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In March 1664 King Charles II granted his brother James Stuart, Duke of York and Albany, proprietorship of New Netherland with Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and all of Maine east of the Kennebec River. James had personal title to all the lands with authority to govern without a representative assembly, and he appointed Col. Richard Nicolls to be his deputy governor. On September 8 the Dutch surrendered Fort Amsterdam, and it and New Netherland became New York. In the negotiation the English promised Stuyvesant that none of the Dutch who swore allegiance to King Charles would be punished or have their possessions confiscated, and they would have freedom of religion and free trade with the Netherlands. Most of the Dutch merchants found Nicolls to be wise, gentle, and intelligent, and they stayed and prospered. Only in Delaware did Robert Carr expropriate property for his own use and sell resisting Dutch soldiers into slavery. Nicolls went to the Delaware River and made Carr give back some of the goods. In January 1665 the Governor decreed that no purchase of land from Indians would be valid without his approval so that the same tracts would not be sold more than once.
Governor Nicolls confiscated all the property of the Dutch West India Company and that of Dutch owners who did not swear allegiance to the British crown. He established no courts of law but judged all the cases himself, and he was respected for his integrity and moderation. On March 1, 1665 he met at Hempstead with 34 delegates from Westchester and Long Island and promulgated the Duke's laws based on those of Massachusetts and Connecticut for what was now called Yorkshire, but in 1674 they were extended to Manhattan and two years later to Delaware. The deputies had no legislative power and submitted. At the same time Charles II was declaring war against the Dutch in Europe. The Duke only gradually began collecting quitrents from the landholders. The Rensselaerswycks retained their patroonship, and manors were recognized in Fordham, Pelham, Philipsburgh, Fox Hall, and later in Livingston and Van Cortlandt. Stuyvesant even became a friend and advisor of Nicolls. English soldiers were quartered in Dutch households, and this caused some conflicts. The Treaty of Breda in July 1667 confirmed English sovereignty over New York, and the next year Nicolls spent several months instructing his successor Col. Francis Lovelace before leaving in August. Nicolls was such a benevolent autocrat that he was thanked by the burghers with a farewell dinner.
Governor Lovelace appointed justices of the peace for a Court of Assizes. He cut import duties thirty percent and appointed a Dutch customs collector to reduce port regulations and stimulate trade. Manhattan merchants were given a monopoly of the Hudson River carrying trade. In 1668 he abolished the unpopular class distinction the Dutch had set up between the wealthy "great burghers" and the "small burghers." He disbanded the garrison at Esopus and made grants to promote the English system. In 1670 Lovelace levied a tax on Long Island towns to pay for work on Fort James; but the towns drew up remonstrances that they were not represented, and the Governor called them seditious and had the petitions burned in public. Voluntary militias were established to protect against Indian raids, and with a European war threatening, voluntary contributions paid to repair the fort.
An insurrection in Delaware collapsed after the Swedish Marcus Jacobsen was arrested in 1669. Governor Lovelace visited Delaware in 1672 and warned the Marylanders not to interfere in the Duke's territory. Every town in New York was required to support a minister and have a church, and a minority could contribute to their own church; but many towns had no minister. The Dutch Reformed congregation shared their church with the Anglicans, and the Lutherans built their first church. John Burnyeat organized a Quaker meeting in New York City in 1671, and the Quakers built a meetinghouse at Oyster Bay on Long Island the next year. Lovelace corresponded with Connecticut governor John Winthrop Jr., and in 1673 he hired a rider and founded the first postal service from New York to Hartford to Boston and back which was monthly.
During the third Anglo-Dutch War while Governor Lovelace was away visiting Winthrop at New Haven, Cornelis Evertsen Jr. arrived in August 1673 with 1,600 men on fifteen ships and eight prizes he had taken in the West Indies and Chesapeake Bay. Captain John Manning refused to surrender, and Evertsen had Fort James bombarded. Captain Anthony Colve landed with six hundred marines, who were urged on by four hundred armed Dutch burghers. After four hours Manning agreed to a truce, and the English garrison surrendered. Evertsen left Colve to govern and sailed away in September to attack Newfoundland. When Lovelace came back to New York, he was arrested. Dutch merchants, who said he owed them money, shipped him to England, where he was put in the Tower as his estate was seized to pay the debts. New Netherland was revived but directly under the Estates General. Colve wanted to strengthen the fort; but he had to demolish several houses around the walls, and he imposed temporary sales taxes. English and French property was confiscated, but Americans were exempt. On February 19, 1674 the Dutch made the Treaty of Westminster with England and gave the colony back to Charles II. Colve surrendered the city they called New Orange in October and went back to the Netherlands with a few of the Dutch.
On June 29, 1674 Charles II again granted the territory to his brother James without regard to claims made by others, and three days later the Duke appointed Major Edmund Andros governor. He had served in the Netherlands and could speak Dutch as well as French. Andros took over on October 31, and two days later he reinstated all the magistrates and officials from before the Dutch interlude except Peter Alrichs in Delaware. Now only English was recognized in New York courts. Ignoring the wishes of those in Albany, the Governor ordered all imports and exports to pay duties in New York City. During his six years in office New York's trade would increase tenfold. Thirty merchants became rich enough to hold more than half the assessed wealth. Poverty was increasing, and 1,600 slaves lived in crowded conditions.
In April 1675 the Council required all inhabitants to swear allegiance to the English authority. Nicholas Bayard and seven other Dutch burghers refused to take the oath; but they promised obedience as long as they did not have to take up arms against a Dutch nation. A third of their estates were confiscated, and Bayard was also imprisoned. When 23 coopers joined together to set rates for casks and barrels, Andros fined them for forming an illegal combination. He summoned sachems from the Hackensacks and other tribes in New Jersey to meet at Fort James; he made them promise allegiance, and he kept hostages as guarantees. With the powerful Iroquois he formed the important alliance called the Covenant Chain. The militia had about 2,000 men. The English Test Act of 1673 assured that only Protestants could serve in the government. A 1679 law declared Indians in New York free and mandated the emancipation of imported Indians within six months, but this law was not well enforced.
Andros went to London and made a report in 1677, and he returned the following August. Some criticized Andros for favoring Dutch merchants, for violating the Navigation Acts, obstructing trade, accepting bribes, extorting money, and keeping provincial taxes. He retaliated by dismissing his critics from office and prosecuted some. The Duke of York recalled him to London, and Andros left New York in January 1681. Captain Anthony Brockholls again became acting governor. Merchants and people on Long Island went on a tax strike for a year or so. The collector of customs, William Dyer, impounded trading goods illegally and was charged with treason. He was sent to England but was exonerated. In March 1682 the Duke indicated he might accept an Assembly.
James appointed an Irish Catholic landlord, Col. Thomas Dongan, as governor, and in January 1683 he instructed him to choose a Council and summon a General Assembly of all freeholders. Dongan was to have veto power and could dissolve the Assembly. The first Assembly met in October and enacted a "Charter of Liberties and Privileges" that included rights such as religious freedom, trial by jury, and no taxation without representation. Every freeholder and freeman could vote without constraint and elected members by a majority. Six wards elected aldermen, councilors, constables, and other local officers, but the Governor and his Council annually chose the mayor, recorder, sheriff, coroner, and town clerk. The Dutch had only eight of the eighteen members of the Assembly, which passed some ordinances that offended Dutch customs. A married woman was denied the right to conduct her own business or purchase land. The Assembly enacted 31 additional laws in October 1684 and more in October 1685. Dongan ordered the aldermen to help the poor who could not work. After the death of Charles II on February 6, 1685 the Duke was crowned James II. New York became a royal colony, and those laws were considered too extreme and were not confirmed.
In October 1685 the members of the Council became justices of the peace for the counties, and the first resolution to relieve the poor in the city of New York was passed. Mayor Cornelis Steenwyck and the aldermen persuaded Dongan to issue a charter that made New York City a self-governing corporation on April 27, 1686. The next month King James II sent Governor Dongan instructions that declared the province's new charter disallowed and void. Albany was given a charter in July that gave them a monopoly on the Indian trade. Dongan tried to assert control over the colonial trading with the Indians. He authorized two trading expeditions to the Huron and Ottawa tribes in 1686 and 1687, but both were captured by the French and were imprisoned at Quebec before being deported to Albany. Dongan ordered the cart-men to make 104 free deliveries to the fort each year, and they went on strike. They were discharged and replaced, and the Council refused to rehire them until they paid a fine.
In 1687 James II ordered the Governor to suppress piracy. Dongan appointed some Catholics and authorized the Jesuits to operate a school. This and James being a Catholic concerned many Protestants. Louis XIV had revoked the Edict of Nantes, and two hundred Huguenot families came to New York. Jacob Leisler presented a petition for more ports and fewer revenue officers in eastern Long Island. In August 1688 Edmund Andros returned to New York as the governor of all New England. He removed Dongan and appointed Col. Francis Nicholson as lieutenant governor before taking the provincial records back to Boston. Nicholson had repairs made on Fort James. In November the Council ended the free trade with the Netherlands so that they would be in compliance with the Navigation Act, which prohibited direct trade by the colonies with the European continent.
In 1689 news came that James II had abdicated, and William and Mary declared war on France in May. New England governor Andros had been arrested in Boston, and a rebellion broke out in Suffolk, Queens, and Westchester. They urged Captain Jacob Leisler to lead them, and he withheld customs duties until the Catholic customs collector was removed. Leisler's ensign Joost Stol led the militia and many civilians into Fort James and disarmed the garrison. New York mayor Steven van Cortlandt fled from the angry crowds, and the rebels appointed Leisler commander-in-chief. Leisler was born in Frankfurt and had cooperated with Governor Clove during the Dutch interlude; thus he was suspected by some, but he was supported by most of the working class. A petition by 36 merchants was sent to William and Mary complaining that the rabble were in charge. Mayor Cortlandt and the Council capitulated to Leisler on May 31, and three days later Leisler declared in favor of William and Mary. The Committee of Safety was formed on June 27, and on July 2 Leisler used force to prevent the mayor's court from meeting. The Committee of Safety appointed Leisler commander-in-chief on August 16, and in September they organized voting that elected militia captains and justices of the peace for the first time. Many workingmen won positions. Bands of rebels arrested grandees for questioning and plundered homes and stores; some took refuge in New Jersey. Leisler assumed the position of lieutenant governor in December and appointed his Council.
In January 1690 a convention at Albany denounced Leisler, but in February the French and Indians devastated the village of Corlaer (Schenectady). Leisler sent Jacob Milborne with 160 men to defend Albany, and they accepted his authority. A new Assembly was elected in April that raised taxes and abolished monopolies and trade regulations. However, when they began to legislate more rights, Leisler dismissed them. Leisler hosted a conference of delegates from New England in May to plan a campaign against the French in Canada. William Phips of Massachusetts was to lead an expedition to attack Quebec, and Fitz John Winthrop of Connecticut was to head an effort from Albany aimed at Montreal. In June a group of merchants nearly killed Leisler, but he escaped. Milborne led the city militia and drove back the Long Islanders. In 1690 King William was persuaded to remove Leisler, and he commissioned Col. Henry Sloughter as governor with a Council of wealthy oligarchs that included the richest merchant Frederick Philipse, Van Cortlandt, Nicholas Bayard, and the Tory founder Joseph Dudley. Leisler had Bayard and Attorney General William Nicoll chained in prison for months.
Richard Ingoldsby commanded the English troops that landed in early February 1691. Leisler held out in Fort James, and on March 17 he gave Ingoldsby two hours to disband his forces which were quartered in the City Hall. Leisler's men opened fire and killed two men, but the militia in the blockhouse refused to shoot and went home. Two days later Sloughter arrived. After he saw Sloughter's commission, Leisler surrendered. Leisler, Milborne, and six others were tried before Dudley as judge and were convicted of treason; the sentences were appealed to the King. Sloughter held new elections, and municipal ordinances regulated apprenticeships and made it more difficult to gain the privileges of freemanship. In the 1690s less than ten percent of the population could vote. The Judiciary Act of 1691 established a Supreme Court and English common law. Sloughter paroled all the condemned rebels except Leisler and Milborne, who were hanged and beheaded on May 16, 1691. On the scaffold Leisler requested that no one take revenge and that any injury be forgotten so that the discord on both sides may end. Milborne was more defiant and expected justice "before God's tribunal." An examination in England reversed the attainders and restored their estates four years later.
Sloughter died in 1691 and was succeeded by Ingoldsby until Col. Benjamin Fletcher arrived as the new governor in August 1692. In November a general post office was established under the management of Andrew Hamilton. William III gave Fletcher authority over the militia of Connecticut and the Jerseys, and in 1693 the King put him in charge of Pennsylvania. The Quakers in Pennsylvania refused to go along, and the Hartford Assembly of Connecticut rejected his proposals; but the Jerseys cooperated, and Connecticut was told they had to provide 120 men in time of war.
Governor Fletcher promoted the Anglican religion and got the Assembly to pass the Ministry Act in 1693 so that taxes could be used to pay more Anglican ministers. Those in the Dutch Reformed Church complained, and in 1696 they were given a charter that allowed them to choose their own clergy and exempted them from having to support the Church of England. Fletcher granted the Anglicans in New York a corporate charter the next year, and they built Trinity Church. The Dutch allowed Anglican services in their church, and their minister Henricus Selyns preached alternately at Trinity Church during its first three months in 1698. Although New York had already prohibited Roman Catholic worship, in 1700 the Assembly banned any priest ordained by the pope and authorized a fine of £200 for hiding a priest. William Bradford came from Philadelphia to be the first printer in 1693, and the Assembly hired him to print their journal annually. In 1698 he printed polemical accounts that criticized Leisler's rebellion. The Leislerian response was printed in Boston.
Fletcher granted extensive manors to Steven Cortlandt, Chief Justice William "Tangier" Smith, Lewis Morris, Frederick Philipse, Peter Schuyler, and other wealthy merchants. Philipse, Bayard, Van Cortlandt, Tangier Smith, Schuyler, William Nicoll, and Thomas Willett financed privateers that went to the Indian ocean, sold alcohol and arms at high prices to pirates in Madagascar, and engaged in piracy themselves. The Assembly had rewarded Captain William Kidd for helping Sloughter recapture New York in 1691, and Kidd became friends with Philipse, Bayard, and Cortlandt. Even Whigs such as Robert Livingston and Bellomont in London helped Kidd in 1695 for a share in his expedition that was supposed to hunt pirates in the Indian Ocean. Governor Fletcher benefited from this lucrative piracy that brought about £100,000 a year to New York. He was also accused of taking bribes from licensed Indian traders and embezzling funds from the customs service, military payrolls, and taxes to pay the debt. Fletcher had a luxurious residence in the fort with nineteen servants. The Board of Trade investigated Fletcher's connections to piracy and recalled him to England in 1697.
Richard Coote, the Earl of Bellomont, was the next governor of New York. He was a Whig and had called the executions of Leisler and Milborne judicial murders. In addition to piracy he charged anti-Leislerians with smuggling, graft, land-grabbing, and election fraud. The Leislerians gained control of the Assembly in 1699, and they pardoned Leisler's followers, stopped lawsuits, restored confiscated property, cancelled land grants, and enacted laws to protect local artisans. Bellomont's attempts to enforce the navigation laws by confiscating ships and cargoes offended the merchants. In 1699 the Assembly passed an election law based on English statutes that reduced illegitimate pressures. That year Captain Kidd returned, but he had unloaded his treasure rumored to be worth a half million pounds. Bellomont was embarrassed by his connection, and while in Boston he had Kidd arrested in July. Kidd was tried in London for having killed William Moore with a bucket in a quarrel and with nine other mariners for piracy; he was hanged on May 23, 1701.
Bellomont died suddenly in 1701; for a year the Leislerian faction had free reign, even after Lieutenant Governor John Nanfan arrived. Nicholas Bayard had a role in Leisler's execution and was prosecuted for treason; he was sentenced to be hanged but was reprieved. Robert Livingston's estate was confiscated. Yet he helped the English gain a "deed" to the Iroquois hunting grounds north of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
In 1702 Queen Anne chose her Tory cousin Edward Hyde, the Viscount Cornbury, as governor of New York. He arrived in May and promptly annulled Bayard's conviction, replaced officers, repealed recent legislation, and restored Livingston's estates. In 1702 a slave code banned the enslavement of anyone but Africans, who were not allowed to be indentured servants. The War of the Spanish Succession began in 1702 and was called Queen Anne's War, and in the first two years New York lost more than two dozen ships to the French. However, in nine years of privateering more than fifty prizes were brought into New York. In 1704 the Assembly asked for a Treasurer and denied the Council's prerogative to amend money bills, but the British government vetoed these two years later. Cornbury helped his favorites by increasing government salaries by 85%. He lived extravagantly, and rumor put his debts at £7,000. He was accused of embezzling £1,500.
Cornbury was another devoted Anglican. He increased the salary of Trinity's rector William Vesey and welcomed missionaries from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG). Cornbury replaced the Presbyterian William Hubbard with an Anglican, and in 1707 he arrested Francis Makemie, a founder of the Presbyterian Church in America. The jury found Makemie not guilty, but the court made him pay the costs of his trial and incarceration. The next year the enraged Assembly made it illegal to assess an innocent person for expenses. The Governor even filled vacancies in the Dutch Reformed Church with Anglican ministers based on the Ministry Act of 1693.
In 1708 the Whigs won a majority in Parliament, and Lewis Morris got Cornbury replaced. Stephen de Lancey and other creditors had Cornbury put in debtor's prison. The next year Cornbury inherited the estate of his father, the Earl of Clarendon, enabling him to pay his debts and go home. In 1709 Col. Samuel Vetch planned an attack on Montreal from Albany, and the Assembly appropriated £10,000 with six hundred men. Col. Peter Schuyler was second in command, and his nephew Abraham Schuyler persuaded all the Iroquois nations except the Senecas to take up the hatchet; but they were reluctant, and the entire expedition was abandoned. Peter Schuyler, Francis Nicholson, and four Iroquois chiefs went to England in 1710 to try to drum up support, and the British sent a force that conquered Acadia. In 1711 New York again sent six hundred men, and Schuyler got seven hundred Iroquois; but the British attack on Quebec failed again, and Nicholson's forces withdrew. The 1713 Treaty of Utrecht called for free trade with the Indians.
After the French drove Germans out of the Rhineland, the British Government appropriated £10,000 to pay for the passage of 2,227 Palatine Germans, including 13-year-old John Peter Zenger. They arrived with Governor Hunter in 1710 as indentured servants or "redemptioners," who had to pay back the loans to avoid servitude. An epidemic of typhus broke out, and several hundred were buried in unmarked graves. Others were organized into work gangs to extract turpentine, tar, and pitch from pine trees on the Livingston Manor; but this was not successful, and most had left by 1714.
Class warfare decreased while Robert Hunter governed from 1710 to 1719 and suppressed dissent. He was resented for mismanaging the 1711 campaign against Canada and for taxing the colonists without their consent. Slaves who ran away might find refuge among the Senecas, the Onondagas, or the tribes in eastern Long Island. A municipal slave market opened on Wall Street in New York City in 1711, and the next year a major slave rebellion broke out. Seventy were arrested; twenty were hanged; and others were cruelly burned or tortured to death. The Assembly passed an even harsher slave code that made manumission very expensive and prohibited freed slaves from owning a house or land. A bill to meet the debt crisis was passed in 1714, and Hunter negotiated a compromise the next year that passed the Naturalization Act and the Support Act. The Assembly was increased from 22 to 26, and the government began paying off its debts. Jews were more easily naturalized after 1718 as the oath no longer required them to say they were Christian.
Governor Robert Hunter chose as his successor William Burnet, who supported the landed interests. He tried to suppress the trade with Canada for furs by prohibiting trade with Montreal, but he was opposed by De Lancey and others. In August 1721 Burnet met with the Iroquois; but he refused to talk with the Onondaga chief Decanisora, because he favored neutrality and maintained correspondence with the French. In the 1720s more than 15,000 Scots, who had moved to Ulster, emigrated to New York, and about 70,000 Catholics came from southern Ireland. In September 1722 Burnet called together delegates from New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Six Nations at Albany, and they negotiated a treaty that limited the travel of Iroquois to no more than ten with a pass from a governor. Cadwallader Colden published his Report on the New York Indian Trade in 1724, and a trading post and fort were established at Oswego in 1727. John Montgomerie became governor in 1728 and shifted patronage to the merchants. The census of 1730 showed that 140 merchants and landowners had nearly half the taxable wealth while about half of the people were nearly destitute, having property worth less than £10.
In the first quarter of the 18th century about 2,400 slaves were imported into New York, and in the next half century 5,000 more were purchased. After 1732 the duty on slaves imported from Africa was forty shillings, but it was four shillings for all others. By 1746 Africans were about a fifth of the population. Unlike the large plantations in the West Indies, most New York masters owned only two or three slaves. In 1734 maidservants joined together to object to being beaten.
New York's main exports were flour and grains, but competition from Pennsylvania and expanded production drove prices down and caused a major recession in New York in the 1730s. By 1732 measles and smallpox epidemics took 549 lives, six percent of the population. The number of people on relief doubled to nearly four hundred. Stealing and prostitution increased, and punishments became more severe. Governor John Montgomerie died in the summer of 1731, and the Council president Rip van Dam served until William Cosby arrived in 1732. The Assembly rewarded Cosby with £1,000 for opposing the Molasses Act, and George Clark, who had been provincial secretary since 1703, guided a revenue bill through the Assembly to support the government for the next five years. Cosby sued Van Dam for half the salary he collected while acting as governor; but Van Dam had William Smith and James Alexander as lawyers, and Chief Justice Lewis Morris Sr. dismissed the suit. So Cosby replaced Morris with De Lancey.
A popular party led by Morris won the elections in 1733 over the party of King George II, and John Peter Zenger began publishing the Weekly Journal that challenged the personal tyranny of the Governor over the judicial system. In the municipal elections of March 1734 the Morris party gained control of the Common Council. The Weekly Journal complained that Cosby supported the rich merchants and criticized him for corruption, election fraud, collusion with the French, and incompetence. Zenger published articles celebrating the workers. In response Bradford's Gazette complained of "griping lawyers." In June the Assembly granted the same privileges to the people called Quakers and allowed them to make affirmations and declarations in place of oaths.
De Lancey asked a grand jury to indict Zenger for publishing scandalous songs, but the jurors refused. In November 1734 Governor Cosby had Zenger arrested for seditious libel and burned four issues of his newspaper. De Lancey set bail at £400, and Zenger spent eight months in jail before his trial ended. Smith and Alexander challenged Cosby's commissions to De Lancey and Philipse, but the Chief Justice had them disbarred and appointed John Chambers, a Cosby man, to defend Zenger. However, at the trial appeared the Quaker Andrew Hamilton from Philadelphia, the most respected lawyer in America. Although English common law held that seditious libel only had to undermine the authority of the government and did not have to be proved false, Hamilton complained that prosecutions by the government based on informations without a grand jury deprived the people of their right to remonstrate against those in power. He argued eloquently that people have a natural right to publish the truth and criticize their rulers. The jurors agreed that this was the cause of liberty, and in a historic act of jury nullification they disregarded the judge's instructions on the law and promptly acquitted Zenger of all charges. The people celebrated this verdict with much jubilation. James Alexander wrote a Brief Narrative of the Case and Trial of John Peter Zenger, which Zenger printed in 1736, and it became the most famous book in America.
The ill Cosby suspended Van Dam from the Council and died of tuberculosis in March 1736. This gave the rich George Clark seniority, and he was in Cosby's party. However, the Morris party won the election of 1737, and Lewis Morris Jr. was chosen as speaker of the Assembly, which made Zenger their official printer. The Assembly would only appropriate revenue for one year that was specified in law, and that was in exchange for enacting triennial elections. To stimulate the economy the legal interest rate was reduced, and paper money was issued. An almshouse was built in 1736 as a combined poorhouse, workhouse, and prison, which made it unpopular except in the winter.
Baptists began meeting in New York in 1715, and by 1724 they had a formal church. The evangelist George Whitefield came to America in the summer of 1739. In November he came to New York, and for four days he preached to thousands in the open air of the Common during the day and at the Presbyterian church in the evening. He visited New York again the next year. Whitefield criticized the conservative clergy and urged the humane treatment of slaves, asking that they be instructed in the teachings of Christ.
To support England's war against Spain during the summer of 1740 New York sent six hundred troops to invade Cuba, leaving only a few soldiers at Fort George. On March 18, 1741 a fire spread from the governor's house and burned most of Fort George's buildings. That spring occasional fires broke out in the homes and businesses of the rich. Four fires on April 6 led to the arrest of Adolph Philipse's slave Cuffee, who was caught running from one. Several Africans were charged with arson, and the tavern-keeper John Hughson was investigated for selling liquor to Africans and for having received stolen goods. His 16-year-old indentured servant Mary Burton was promised freedom and became the leading witness. While chained to a stake before they were burned, Cuffee and a slave named Quack, confessed to burning the fort and named fifty accomplices. Hughson and a slave named Caesar were tried and hanged. As their corpses were left hanging, Hughson's turned black while Caesar's became less dark. John Ury tutored people in Latin, and he was accused of being a Catholic priest and a Spanish spy. During his trial Governor Oglethorpe of Georgia sent a letter warning that Spanish agents were going to burn the magazines and towns of the English in America. Ury was convicted and was among the four Europeans who were hanged along with 17 Africans; 13 Africans were burned at the stake, and 72 were deported. None of those accused had a lawyer to defend them. The prosecutor Daniel Horsemanden wrote a book to defend himself against the criticism that ensued.
In 1744 New York enacted several laws to improve public health by providing sanitation, better drainage, and the control of livestock, especially hogs. Governor Clinton (1743-53) proclaimed that ships docking in New York were required to be visited by a physician and obtain a health certificate.
In June 1664 the Duke of York granted the territory of New Jersey between the Hudson and Delaware rivers to his friends John Berkeley and George Carteret, who were also among the proprietors of Carolina. They chose George's 26-year-old cousin Philip Carteret as governor. Two or three thousand peaceful Lenni-Lenape (Delaware) Indians already lived there along with a few Dutch and Swedish settlers. To attract colonists and promote trade, in February 1665 their Concessions and Agreements offered freedom of religion, a representative assembly with control over taxes, 150 acres each if they came before 1666, and a moratorium on quitrents until 1670. In December 1664 New York governor Nicolls granted land to some Long Islanders who founded Elizabethtown, and they made the final payment to the Indians with four hundred fathoms of white wampum. At a town meeting in February 1666 the settlers had to swear allegiance to Charles II and the proprietors of New Jersey. In April 1665 Nicolls granted the Monmouth patent to eight Quakers and four Baptists for the townships of Middletown and Shrewsbury. They each paid £3 or £4 for 120 acres plus 60 acres for each servant, and they were exempted from taxes for seven years. They held regular town meetings starting in June 1667 at Portland Point. Thirty came from New Haven to found Newark in May 1666, and four men from New Hampshire founded Piscataway in December 1666.
Carteret summoned the first assembly of New Jersey in May 1668, and their first act was to threaten with a fine or corporal punishment anyone who resisted official authority by actions or words. Every adult male had to equip himself with a gun. In November the Governor would not let the delegates meet together with the Council. In 1670 those with grants from Nicolls refused to pay quitrents, and George Carteret's second son James arrived in the summer of 1671 during the turmoil over the quitrents. The proprietor did not authorize their meeting at Elizabethtown in May 1672, and the deputies elected Captain James Carteret as president of the province. The Governor and his Council ordered these nine deputies to submit to his authority, and Philip Carteret left for England in July. The Duke of York instructed Governor Lovelace of New York to support the proprietors of New Jersey and ruled that the two Nicolls grants were void. The proprietors ordered that all quitrents be paid up by 1676.
After the Dutch capture of New York in 1673, about 2,500 settlers in northern New Jersey had to swear allegiance to the Dutch government. In March 1674 soon after the Dutch returned New Netherland to England, Berkeley sold his proprietary rights in New Jersey to the Quakers Edward Byllynge and John Fenwick. Byllynge was bankrupt, and he let the Quaker trustees William Penn, Gawen Laurie, and Nicholas Lucas manage his affairs. In June 1674 Charles II gave his brother James Stuart a new grant, and the Duke of York only released to Carteret the northeastern half of New Jersey. The proprietor summoned the Assembly again in November 1675, and anyone spreading false news could be fined ten shillings. Capital crimes included false witness, rape, sodomy, smiting parents, and witchcraft, as in New England. In July 1676 in London the territory was formally divided between Carteret, who governed East Jersey, and Penn and the Quakers, who held West Jersey.
The Quaker trustees controlled West Jersey property from February 1675 to September 1683. Fenwick arrived at Salem in West Jersey with about 150 settlers in November 1675. He was involved in numerous land disputes, and in January 1677 he was taken before Governor Andros at the court of assize in New York. In March 1677 "The Concessions and Agreements of the Proprietors, Freeholders, and Inhabitants of the Province of West Jersey" was published, and many Quakers settled in West Jersey. Although historians have found these liberal policies similar to Penn's ideas, scholarship indicates that they were probably written by Byllynge. They granted the Assembly power to enact all laws by a two-thirds vote of members, who were to be elected by the male freeholders. Religious conscience was sacred, and no person could be called into question for opinions or faith "under any pretence whatsoever." Neither could any person be deprived of life, liberty, or property without a jury trial. Trustees could veto only legislation that was contrary to the Concessions.
Fenwick thought he had mortgaged his property to John Eldridge and Edmund Warner, but they believed he had sold it to them. In May 1678 Eldridge came to Salem, but Fenwick forced him to leave. Fenwick was summoned to New York again in August and was detained there in custody until March 1679. In 1682 Eldridge and Warner sold their claims to Penn for £540. By then West Jersey had more than 1,700 Quakers, but after 1682 most English Quakers migrated to Philadelphia.
In 1679 the East Jersey Assembly refused to pay customs duties to New York. The next spring, following instructions from the Duke, Governor Andros began seizing ships that were going to Elizabethtown without stopping at the custom-house in New York. Andros was a close personal friend of Philip Carteret; but when the latter refused to submit to the duties, he had him arrested. When the New York jury acquitted Carteret, Andros brought new charges without success. The people of East Jersey did not submit to officers appointed by Andros, and the Assembly did not adopt the Duke's laws.
While the Duke of York was in Scotland, George Fox urged his friend Robert Barclay to intervene on behalf of West Jersey. James Stuart relinquished his claims to East Jersey, confirming the proprietorship of the Carteret heir, and in August 1680 the Duke gave up his claim to West Jersey, confirming Byllynge and the Quakers. That summer Byllynge appointed Samuel Jennings as deputy governor. Jennings went to West Jersey in September but deferred to the colonists for a year, and he did not tell them that Byllynge had been granted the government. Jennings ratified the colony's first laws in January 1681 and gradually he won their trust. Before the session of May 1683 word spread that Byllynge was coming as governor. The Assembly, following Penn's advice, elected Jennings governor on May 14 and chose his Council, but in November the King confirmed Byllynge as governor.
In March 1684 the Assembly of West Jersey sent Jennings and
Thomas Budd to London, and Quaker arbitrators, including George
Fox, ordered Byllynge to confirm
the Concessions to the proprietors. Byllynge appointed John Skene
as his deputy, and he arrived in time for the Assembly of November
1685. The Assembly objected to his appointment of rangers, but
they granted him £50 for the expenses of his office. The
penalty for giving liquor to Indians was £3, and half went
to the informer. The term for indentured servants was set at four
years, and at the end the master had to give them supplies. The
Quakers in West Jersey did not authorize the death penalty for
property crimes, as in England, but usually required fourfold
restitution. Upon Byllynge's death in January 1687, the speculator
Dr. Daniel Coxe bought his proprietary rights and was presented
as governor in February 1688. In April a commission annexed New
York, East Jersey, and West Jersey to the Dominion of New England
under Governor Andros, who visited Elizabethtown and Burlington
in August and formally took over the government.
Philip Carteret tried to claim Staten Island for East Jersey in 1681 and quarreled with the Assembly by trying to use "prerogative courts." The Assembly was dissolved in November, and Thomas Rudyard succeeded Philip Carteret a year later. George Carteret had died in January 1680. Two years later Penn, ten other Quakers, and a lawyer bought East Jersey at auction for £3,400. The twelve each chose a partner in August 1682, and these deals were confirmed by the Duke of York and the King. The young theologian Robert Barclay was elected governor of East Jersey and was made a proprietor, but he did not go to America. George Scott, who wrote The Model of Government in 1685, considered Barclay well qualified even though he was a Quaker. Only one of the 24 became a permanent resident. Barclay appointed Gawen Laurie deputy governor, and he arrived in February 1684, the year two Scottish expeditions emigrated to East Jersey. Laurie was instructed to enforce the Navigation Acts and to have good relations with the Indians and New York. He was criticized for abusing land regulations, for failing to enact the Fundamental Constitutions the proprietors wanted, and for not keeping them informed. In October 1686 the proprietors replaced Laurie with Neil Campbell, hoping he would encourage more Scots to migrate. Two months later Campbell left to handle business in Scotland, and he nominated Andrew Hamilton as his deputy. James II allowed ships sailing directly to Perth Amboy to pay his customs there. In May 1688 the East Jersey Assembly levied a Tax to Withstand Invasion on all males and settled lands.
After May 1688 New Jersey came under the Dominion of New England, and the assemblies of East Jersey and West Jersey did not meet again until the fall of 1692. Dr. Coxe sold all his holdings in the two Jerseys to the West Jersey Society of London businessmen in March 1692 for £9,800. The next month the London proprietors commissioned Andrew Hamilton as governor of East Jersey, and the proprietors of West Jersey chose him as their deputy governor also. The West Jersey Assembly met each year in May and November.
The East Jersey Assembly met annually until 1697, when Hamilton was removed from both offices by a controversial interpretation of the 1696 Navigation Act for having been born in Scotland. His successor Jeremiah Basse arrived on the same boat as Bellomont, who prohibited any ship from entering Perth Amboy without first calling at New York. Basse appointed his cronies to the Council and as judges. Lewis Morris II questioned his credentials and was removed from the Council. In November 1698 Basse began unloading his ship, the Hester, at Perth Amboy, and Bellomont had it seized. Basse took his case to the Assembly, which appropriated £675 for his prosecution, and he went to England for the trial in May 1699. Lewis Morris, George Willocks, and others in Perth Amboy opposed this action and were imprisoned for seditious assembly. On May 13 some men with clubs from Elizabethtown freed Morris and Willocks from the Woodbridge jail, and five days later the Assembly adjourned.
Hamilton was recommissioned as governor in both Jerseys and returned in December 1699. He tried to quell the disorder, but in March 1700 five judges found the doors of the county court at Piscataway nailed shut. Samuel Carter and others challenged the court at Elizabethtown, and in September they interfered with proceedings at Newark and with clubs freed Joseph Parmeter from prison. A grand jury named 36 men who had participated in the riot. Some people wanted Hamilton removed, and 240 signed a petition to the King, complaining that they had purchased land from the Indians with licenses from Carteret, but because of quitrents their property had been distrained. In December, Willocks accused the executive secretary of the proprietors, William Dockwra, of corruption and fining local landowners without a hearing, and Dockwra was eventually removed from office. Hamilton was presiding on March 25, 1701 when the court at Middletown was disrupted. Hamilton and his Council petitioned the King in May to command obedience to the government of the proprietors. In June 1701 Captain Andrew Bowne claimed he had a commission to succeed Hamilton as governor, but Lewis Morris went to England and helped mediate the dispute in favor of Hamilton.
In August 1701 the proprietors of both Jerseys offered to surrender to King William as long as fourteen rights were reserved. Several points related to free trade. All Protestants were eligible to serve on the Council, and a law was to be passed giving the Quakers a substitute for taking the oath. The proprietors agreed on April 15, 1702, and Queen Anne accepted two days later. New Jersey became a unified royal colony with the annual Assembly meeting alternately at Perth Amboy and Burlington, but it was under the governor of New York until 1738. Morris became interim governor, as Hamilton was ill and died in April 1703.
The Board of Trade sent Governor Cornbury of New York 103 instructions for governing New Jersey, and he received them in July 1703. New elections were held; but Cornbury refused to allow three Quakers to take their seats because they lacked the property qualification. In May 1705 the Board of Trade ordered the three Quakers reinstated, and the Assembly lowered the qualifications for franchise to £50 and for members of the Assembly to £500. However, by then the land monopolists had a majority, and they confirmed all proprietary land titles. Cornbury illegally required Quaker officers in West Jersey to take an oath of allegiance. Those in his ring gained up to a half million acres of land. Morris and Jennings argued that royal commissions and instructions had no legal authority unless they were confirmed by the Assembly. Governor Hunter removed those in the Cornbury ring from the Council by 1715.
The New Jersey Assembly helped debtors by limiting the interest rate to eight percent in 1719 and to six percent in 1722. The next year the Assembly authorized £40,000 in bills of credit, which served as paper money, and the interest was used to pay the province debt. Many small loans were made, as in Burlington County the average loan was £35. The interest money on these loans helped New Jersey keep taxes low for many years. In the 1720s an early revival occurred among the Dutch colonists because of the preaching by Theodorus Frelinghuysen. In 1726 New Jersey counted 32,442 residents that included 2,581 Africans, who were mostly slaves.
Lewis Morris advocated that New Jersey should have its own governor, and he went to London in 1735. Admiral Charles Wager helped his cause, and in January 1738 Morris was appointed the first royal governor of New Jersey. Instead of allowing judges to be removed by the "King's pleasure," he appointed them to serve "during good behavior." Morris stopped meeting with the Council, which became the upper house, though as governor he retained the veto. The eleventh Assembly that met at Perth Amboy in 1738 had not met for five years. Pressured to support the war against Spain in 1740, the Quakers reluctantly appropriated £2,000.
William Penn was born in London on October 14, 1644. His father William was an admiral, fought for Parliament in the Civil War, and retired to estates in Ireland that had been granted him in the Cromwellian Settlement of 1652. Suspected of communicating with Charles II, Admiral Penn led the conquest of Jamaica for Cromwell in 1655. After the restoration, Charles II knighted him and made him a commissioner for the navy. After showing courage in battle against the Dutch in 1665 and shielding James from strategic blame, he was bequeathed a claim on the government for £16,000. He was hopeful that his son would become prominent in the court and provided him with a fine education. Young William studied at Christ's Church College in Oxford, where John Locke was teaching; but he was fined and expelled for refusing to attend church and for religious nonconformity. William may have first heard a Quaker sermon by Thomas Loe as early as 1660. Disgruntled by his son's pious seriousness, the Admiral sent him off to France in 1663 and was glad when William returned the next year a good French scholar with the bearing of the courtly life. He advised his son then to study law at Lincoln's Inn, but after a year a great plague hit London in 1665.
While in Ireland managing his father's estates, young Penn turned toward religion again; he was convinced by Thomas Loe when he spoke about "a faith that overcomes the world." Penn recalled how the Lord had appeared to him since the age of twelve, the debauchery of Oxford and his persecution there, and the "irreligiousness" of the world's religions. At the Quaker meeting the Lord visited him again, and he testified about the mocking and scorn he had experienced, the displeasure of his parents, the invective from priests, but most of all his resisting and watching his own vain affections and thoughts. Uncertain about whether to give up his fine clothes, it is said that Penn asked George Fox if he must stop wearing a sword. Fox replied, "Wear it as long as thou canst."
In September 1667 Penn was arrested at a meeting of Friends. The mayor, noticing his aristocratic dress, offered to free him on his promise to behave; but he refused and was sent to prison with eighteen others. As he went to prison, Penn gave up his sword and never wore it again. He wrote that religion was his crime and made him a prisoner to a mayor's malice at the same time it made him a free man. In this letter to the Earl of Orrery he pleaded for religious toleration. The arrest brought the conflict between William and his father to a head. His father wanted him to conform to the ways of the world and attain a position of honor, but the son pleaded that he must listen to his conscience. Finally his father threatened to disinherit him; he asked that his son only uncover his head before the king, the duke, and himself. William prayed and fasted to know the heavenly will; but this only strengthened his resolution, and he was thrown out of the house.
Penn became an active promoter of Quaker ideas by writing numerous pamphlets. After he wrote "The Sandy Foundation Shaken" to refute the doctrines of the trinity and the eternal damnation of souls, he was put in prison in December 1668 for eight and a half months, not for his ideas but because he had no license from the bishop of London. He was given pen and paper and was told to recant; but he wrote his father he would die in prison before he would budge. A royal chaplain was sent to mediate. Penn told him that putting him in the Tower was the worst argument because those who use force for religion can never be right. The chaplain persuaded him to write another pamphlet explaining his views. Penn wrote "Innocency with Her Open Face" and was released. Also while in the Tower of London he wrote his most famous book, No Cross, No Crown, in which he criticized current morals and urged a return to early Christianity. Penn was reconciled with his father and lived at Shenagarry in Ireland, where he wrote "The Great Case of Liberty of Conscience," which had at least three printings in 1670.
In August 1670 outside their padlocked meetinghouse Penn and William Meade were arrested for preaching in the London street on a warrant signed by Mayor Samuel Starling, who told Penn he would have his hat pulled off and berated his father. On September 3 before judges and twelve jurors they were charged with unlawful assembly and disturbing the peace. Penn challenged the legality of the indictment and would not plead without seeing a written copy; since this was not given, he pleaded not guilty. The next day the prisoners were fined forty marks for failing to remove their hats. Penn cited Coke on common law and the rights in the Great Charter (Magna Carta). The recorder charged the jury to bring in a verdict of guilty. Four jurors dissented, and they were sent back. The jury found them guilty of speaking in the street but refused to add the words "in an unlawful assembly." So the magistrates ordered them "locked up without meat, drink, fire, and tobacco" as Penn called to them not to give up their rights as Englishmen. The result was that Penn and all twelve of the jury were sent to prison. Someone, probably Penn's father, paid the fines, and they were discharged on September 7.
Penn's father died nine days later, and William inherited a substantial fortune. The jurors, released on a writ of habeas corpus, sued the mayor and recorder, winning their case before the Court of Common Pleas in a historic decision that conceded judges "may try to open the eyes of the jurors, but not to lead them by the nose." Penn wrote a pamphlet with an appendix citing numerous precedents since the Magna Carta of 1215. This trial became famous and showed that the arbitrary and oppressive proceedings of the courts badly needed reform.
In February 1671 Mayor Starling had Penn arrested again for preaching without taking an oath, even though the Conventicle Law was only for those in holy orders, which Penn was not. He was sent to Newgate prison for six months and occupied his time writing pamphlets. He also sent a protest to the sheriffs of London about prison conditions and an address to Parliament against the Conventicle Act. Later in 1671 Penn went with Fox to see him and his companions off to America from Gravesend. This stimulated Penn to undertake a missionary trip to Holland and Germany. In the Netherlands his communications foreboded the miseries of the wars brought about by Louis XIV.
In 1673 Penn went to court to secure a writ of habeas corpus to release George Fox from Worcester prison. Fox had been in prison for more than a year; but Judge Matthew Hale found so many errors in the indictment that he discharged Fox. Probably because of Penn's influence with the last two Stuart kings, Fox was never arrested again. Penn wrote "A Treatise of Oaths" in 1675 so that Quakers would not be imprisoned for refusing to take an oath of allegiance or to swear in court. He cited 122 authorities from Pythagoras to William of Orange on the folly of exacting oaths. Penn's many pamphlets arguing for religious tolerance finally bore fruit in 1689 when the Toleration Act was passed. He anonymously defended the Duke of Buckingham for having advocated freedom of religion, and many believed that his writings, such as the Persuasion to Moderation, brought about the release of 1,300 Quakers from jail.
Before Penn's father died, he gave his son his blessing. The crown of England owed £16,000, interest, and back salary to the late Admiral Penn, and in June 1680 his son William petitioned the King for a grant of American land west of the Delaware River and north of Maryland. Penn published The Benefit of Plantations, or Colonies in 1680 and suggested that this was the best place for a "holy experiment." The land he received in a charter on February 24, 1681 was perhaps the largest piece of property ever owned by a commoner. Penn wanted to call it Sylvania for its forests, but Charles II insisted that Penn be added in honor of his father, making it Pennsylvania. His token payment was to present two beaver skins annually at Windsor Castle. He must make laws with an assembly and submit them every five years to the Privy Council, which had only six months to disapprove them. Although Penn was sole proprietor and therefore governor, he wanted the pacifist society to be a haven for religious toleration and representative government. Of course it was to be a home for the Quakers, but others were welcome also. Penn wrote to a friend that he wanted to make sure that his successors had no power for doing mischief so that "the will of one man may not hinder the good of a whole country."1 He expressed the hope that God would bless Pennsylvania and "make it the seed of a nation."
In April 1681 Penn wrote "Some Account of the Province of Pennsylvania" in order to attract investors and emigrants. Every master and servant who had served one's time would be allowed fifty acres. He hoped that rich Quakers would buy blocs of 5,000 acres for £100, and he deferred the quitrent of a shilling per hundred acres until 1684. Penn and some London Quakers also formed a joint stock company called the Free Society of Traders in Pennsylvania with the minimum investment of £25 that was open to colonists. The company immediately purchased 20,000 acres and appropriated £2,000 pounds for factories in Philadelphia to develop the fur trade, farming, tobacco, and fishing. The Free Society promoted the manumission of slaves after fourteen years. Penn appointed his Anglican cousin William Markham as deputy governor in May 1681.
Most of the five hundred Europeans already in the province were Swedes from the colony founded in 1638. The indigenous Lenni-Lenape, which means Original People, were called Delawares. The number of Indians in Pennsylvania was about 15,000 and also included some Iroquois. The Susquehannocks had been defeated and fled in 1675, and the Shawnees had not yet arrived from the south. In "Certain Conditions and Concessions" Penn laid out his policy for equal rights and privileges for the Indians before the (English) laws and regulation of trade. Markham and his Council of nine took office in August 1681 and began meeting at Upland in September, when the first court met with nine judges. Markham bought several townships in lower Bucks County from the Delawares for three hundred guilders and an assortment of clothes, tools, and other items that included guns, tobacco, rum, cider, and beer. Colonization began in December 1681, and in the next ten months eighteen ships brought nearly two thousand settlers.
Penn worked on seventeen drafts for a political system. "The Frame of Government of the Province of Pennsylvania" appeared in April 1682. Markham later commented that Penn included much to please his friends who would not otherwise settle in the province. In May he added "Laws Agreed Upon in England" to protect civil rights. Penn included the following three important ideas from The Commonwealth of Oceana by James Harrington: first, governmental powers were divided among the governor, the Council, and the Assembly; second, offices were rotated by limiting the terms on the Council; and third, elections were by secret ballot. Instead of referring to the divine right of kings, Penn in the preface argued for the divine right of government to "terrify evildoers" and "cherish those that do well; which gives government a life beyond corruption and makes it as durable in the world as good men shall be."2 He argued that governments depend on men rather than men upon governments, because if the men are good, the government cannot be bad; or if it is, they will cure it; but if men are bad, government will never be good.
Penn made religious liberty the first fundamental, although, unlike the New Jersey Concessions, a law excluded atheists, malefactors, and non-Christians from voting and holding office. All prisons were to be workhouses for felons and vagrants as the usual cruel punishments of branding and ear-cropping were not used, and capital punishment was only allowed for treason and murder. Civil disputes between Quakers were settled within the Society of Friends by means of arbitration.
By the middle of 1682 half of the 500,000 acres sold had gone in parcels of 5,000 or more acres to 41 men. Penn had £10,000 in credit and in the first two years would spend £12,000 to establish the colony. Penn sailed to America on a ship where smallpox took thirty lives, and he landed in late October. He quickly appointed six justices of the peace at New Castle, and he changed the name of Upland to Chester.
Penn was sensitive to being friendly and peaceful toward the Indians and required that all land bought from him must also be purchased from the local tribes. He began by sending an eloquent letter to the "kings of the Indians in America" in which he acknowledged one great God who teaches us to love and help one another. He indicated that he wants to enjoy the province given him with their love and consent so that they can live together as neighbors and friends. He realized that they had suffered unkindness and injustice from Europeans who have tried to take advantage of them, causing great animosities and violence. Penn promised them "full and speedy satisfaction" for any offenses "by an equal number of honest men on both sides." He sent commissioners with presents as tokens of his good will to negotiate about land and to make a league of peace. He spoke to the Indians at Shackamaxon the following address, which was translated for them by Lasse Cock:
The Great Spirit who made me and you,
who rules the heavens and the earth,
and who knows the innermost thoughts of man,
knows that I and my friends have a hearty desire
to live in peace and friendship with you,
and to serve you to the utmost of our power.
It is not our custom to use hostile weapons
against our fellow creatures,
for which reason we have come unarmed.
Our object is not to do injury,
and thus provoke the Great Spirit,
but to do good.
We are met on the broad pathway of good faith and goodwill,
so that no advantage is to be taken on either side,
but all is to be openness, brotherhood, and love.3
On November 21, 1682 Commander Brockhols of New York acknowledged the grant of Delaware to William Penn. The first Assembly of Pennsylvania met on December 4 with 42 members elected from six counties. Penn's close associate, the Anglican Dr. Nicholas More, who was president of the New Society, was elected speaker by one vote. However, the Assembly rejected the charter and Penn's "Frame of Government" because they wanted to be able to initiate legislation. The first Assembly passed the "Great Law" which began by protecting freedom of conscience. The Act of Union granted equal rights to the inhabitants of the three Lower Counties in the south (Delaware), who were there before Pennsylvania was founded, and the Naturalization Act guaranteed the same rights for all European nationalities. In February 1683 each county elected twelve men to represent them in the Assembly, which met and chose Thomas Winn of Philadelphia as speaker. Penn met with the Lenni-Lenape again at Shackamaxon in June, and he made a treaty of peace and brotherhood with Chief Tamamend that would last 72 years. Penn also met with the Conestogas, but according to Johann Kelpius, the Mennonite Hermit of the Wissahickon, they had the following response:
You ask us to believe in the great Creator
and ruler of Heaven and earth,
and yet you yourself do not believe and trust Him,
for you have taken the land unto yourself
which we and our friends occupied in common.
You scheme night and day how you may preserve it
so that no one can take it from you;
yes, you even scheme beyond your life
and parcel it out between your children.
We believe in God who maintains us
and as long as we have this faith
we trust in Him and never bequeath a foot of ground.4
Penn turned down £6,000 and 2.5% of the profits from a company that wanted a monopoly on the fur trade between the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers. He stayed in America for two years, overseeing the founding of the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. His proposal to legalize slave marriages was defeated in the Assembly. In 1683 Francis Daniel Pastorius as agent for the Frankfurt Company bought 15,000 acres, and he was followed by 33 more Germans, who purchased 18,000 acres and arrived in October. They founded Germantown, and Quakers from Wales also established an enclave.
Penn's laws had moral components, and the courts were kept busy with cases of drunkenness, theft, profanity, assault and battery, disturbing the peace, selling rum to Indians, disrespect toward magistrates, and violating the Sabbath. Penn was offended by the salacious theater of the restoration era, and so plays and other sports were also banned. As they had no prisons, the courts sentenced criminals to pay fines, be whipped, or put in the stocks. Cases involving more than £12 could be appealed to the governor and his Council. However, Penn established a provincial court with Nicholas More as chief justice and four conservative Quakers as associate justices. Dual office holding had been deplored originally but was used. Penn ordered James Atkinson to start collecting quitrents in November for his winter supply. Money was tight, and Charles Pickering and Samuel Buckley were convicted of counterfeiting and were fined £50 toward building a county courthouse.
Before leaving for England in August 1684, Penn appointed Thomas Lloyd as president of the Council and gave his executive power to the Council. Lloyd was also commissioned Keeper of the Seal, and he used this authority arrogantly. Penn instructed his commissioners to collect quitrents in coin by March 1685, and from London he warned that those who did not pay might lose their land. Penn spent most of his time in England trying to protect the colony from intrusions by the British government. He negotiated with Lord Baltimore over the disputed boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland, and he was pleased to report that not one soldier or militia man was seen in Pennsylvania. In 1684 a ship brought 150 African slaves to the province. By 1685 about 8,000 people had migrated to Pennsylvania, mostly English, Welsh, and Irish Quakers. About a third of them were indentured servants. Young William Bradford came to Philadelphia as the official Quaker printer. When he printed an almanac, the Council told him he could only print what they licensed. Penn sent the brilliant young Welsh lawyer David Lloyd to be Pennsylvania's attorney general. In early 1687 Penn empowered five deputies, and any three could enact, annul, or amend laws. However, they ignored Penn's orders to call an Assembly, and in May the Privy Council initiated quo warranto proceedings against Penn's charter. In February 1688 the Mennonites of Germantown passed a resolution protesting slavery that said,
There is a saying,
that we should do to all men
like as we will be done ourselves;
making no difference of what generation,
descent, or colour they are.
And those who steal or rob men,
and those who buy or purchase them,
are they not all alike?
Here is liberty of conscience, which is right and reasonable;
here ought to be likewise liberty of the body,
except for evil-doers, which is another case.
But to bring men hither,
or to rob and sell them against their will,
we stand against.5
They noted that some Quakers in Pennsylvania handled men like cattle, and they asked if Africans had as much right to fight for their freedom as others have to keep them slaves? The Pennsylvania Quakers in their 1688 Yearly Meeting took a stand against the importing and sale of slaves, and the province put a duty on the importation of African slaves.
Penn wrote more pamphlets. He believed that immoral and corrupt behavior must be rebuked and punished. He warned that until virtue was cherished, the wrath of God would hang over the nations. He came to believe that he had been too merciful and that repentance is not enough to secure the public good. In September 1688 he appointed Captain John Blackwell from Massachusetts as his deputy, hoping that he would use his authority to suppress the animosities. Blackwell came to Philadelphia in December and began presiding over the Council. He disliked Quakers, whom he accused of praying for their neighbors on Sundays and then preying on them the rest of the week. John White, the court clerk in New Castle, challenged the right of the Council to hear a Delaware case because he believed the Assembly was the supreme judge of the government. Blackwell ordered White dismissed and arrested. The sheriff released White so that he could take his Assembly seat in Philadelphia; but Blackwell had him arrested again. Without a quorum the Assembly passed resolutions condemning the Blackwell faction. John McComb encountered so many protests trying to collect quitrents that he resigned after one day. In 1689 William Bradford published the 1682 Frame of Government with a commentary by the councilor Joseph Growdon and was threatened by Blackwell. A year later Bradford was arrested and tried for seditious libel.
Penn set the principle that all land should be purchased at a fair price from the Indians, and he hired New York's ex-governor Dongan as his agent for buying Indian land on the upper Susquehanna. However, those who were not Quakers did not always adhere to this policy, and relations with the natives began to deteriorate. Penn tried and failed to get the Assembly to prohibit the sale of liquor to the tribes. Merchants would sell rum to traders from other provinces, who then sold it to the Indians. After the revolution of 1688 Penn was interned on charges he had given aid to the deposed Stuart king James II; but one month after William of Orange landed, he was cleared in open court. Additional treason charges prevented him from going to Pennsylvania. King William compelled Penn to retire from public life.
King William's War with Louis XIV lasted from 1689 to 1697 and challenged the pacifist colony. The Quaker councilors refused to support war measures but allowed Blackwell to act on his own for defense. In January 1690, following Penn's instructions, the Council elected Thomas Lloyd as president for their executive functions, and Blackwell went back to Boston in March. Lloyd quickly replaced Penn's partisans with anti-proprietary men. A private militia was allowed in 1690, and Pennsylvania supplied grain to other colonies more involved in the war. Complying with the Navigation Acts reduced the Quakers' profits. The Mennonite papermaker, William Rittinghuysen, built the first American paper mill in Germantown as printer William Bradford and others helped with the financing. When Lloyd persuaded the Council to approve himself as a single deputy governor in March 1691, the members from the Lower Counties walked out of the Assembly; but Penn appointed Markham to be deputy governor of the Lower Counties in the south. Also in 1691 Peter Babbitt and his accomplices stole a vessel from Philadelphia's harbor and began robbing; but the owner Samuel Carpenter got a warrant and organized some young Quakers who managed to bring them to justice.
George Keith had studied for the Presbyterian ministry at the University of Aberdeen, but he became a Quaker in 1664. He went to America in 1685 and was the surveyor general for East Jersey. In 1689 he was invited to be the master at a new Quaker school that Penn chartered in Philadelphia. Keith considered the Bible and Jesus more important than the inner Light. He opposed slaveholding and took the Anabaptist position that pacifists should not participate in government because the doctrine of nonresistance prevented them from performing the duties of government. In September 1691 at the Yearly Meeting the prominent William Stockdale accused Keith of heresy. Thomas Lloyd led a majority against Keith, but he refused to accept their judgment.
Keith wrote numerous tracts, and in 1692 a Meeting of 28 Friends banned him from publishing any more dissertations. He appealed to the Yearly Meeting and criticized selling gunpowder and lead to the Indians. Bradford printed his "Appeal from the twenty-eight Judges to the Spirit of Truth," and McComb circulated a few copies; both were arrested with a few others. Bradford and McComb demanded their right to a jury trial and spent four months in jail before the trial. The prosecutor argued that the judges should determine whether a paper was seditious or not and the jury only whether he printed it; but Bradford held that the jury may judge the question of the law as well as the facts. The jury deadlocked 9-3 for conviction, but Bradford spent another year in jail before he was released at the request of Governor Fletcher. Bradford then moved to New York. The 1692 Yearly Meeting disowned Keith, and the county court of Philadelphia convicted him of slander. The Keith schism led to a new sect called the Christian Quakers. At a meeting in early 1693 the galleries of both sides were destroyed with axes. Most of Lloyd's supporters opposed Keith, and many Keithians opposed the tax of 1692. George Keith opposed slavery, and in 1693 he wrote An Exhortation and Caution to Friends Concerning Buying or Keeping Negroes and presented it at the annual meeting.
The Pennsylvania Assembly refused to organize a militia or soldiers. In 1692 King William ordered the province annexed to New York as all the colonies from New England to Maryland were put under a royal governor during the war against the French and Indians. The Shawnees began moving into Pennsylvania. In March the Board of Trade put Pennsylvania under Governor Benjamin Fletcher of New York and gave him the power to name his Council, dismiss the Assembly, veto its bills, establish courts, and appoint officers and justices of the peace. Lloyd and his followers refused to cooperate with Fletcher. Quaker leaders who were removed from the Council were quickly elected to the Assembly. The Council proposed a tax bill in 1692, but the Assembly rejected it. In 1693 the Assembly granted the governor £760, which was used for officers' salaries. David Lloyd suggested that money could be voted to purchase food and clothing for the Iroquois so that they would not join the French. About forty Quaker merchants and as many other wealthy Englishmen obtained a charter for the New Pennsylvania Company, and they established a whale fishery and shipyard to supply the British navy with timber, pitch, tar, resin, hemp, and flax. In May 1694 Governor Fletcher returned to Philadelphia and asked the Assembly to appropriate funds to feed the hungry and clothe the naked among the Indian nations.
On August 20, 1694 another royal order restored Pennsylvania to its founder. Thomas Lloyd died three weeks later, and Penn commissioned Markham as governor in November with the Quakers John Goodson and Samuel Carpenter as his assistants, one of whom must consent to his orders. Penn commissioned David Lloyd as attorney general, and he was elected to the Council by Chester County in April 1695.
In 1693 Penn published the prophetic "Essay towards the Present and Future Peace of Europe by the Establishment of an European Diet, Parliament, or Estates," the first peace plan that envisioned disarmament as the most effective guarantee for international peace. The same year he wrote Some Fruits of Solitude, which is often quoted for its moral and proverbial insights, such as "Whoever is right, the persecutor must be wrong." In 1694 he published "The Rise and Progress of the People Called Quakers," which began as a preface to George Fox's Journal. Penn described examples of Quaker testimonies. First, he noted their communion in loving and caring for one another. Second, they teach and practice loving their enemies. Third, they find that telling the truth is sufficient without taking oaths or swearing. Fourth, they do not fight and are willing to suffer instead. Fifth, they refuse to pay tithes to support a national ministry. Sixth, they do not respect authorities more than other persons. Seventh, they use the plain language of thou and thee to every person. Eighth, they practice silence and use few words. Ninth, they do not drink to people nor make pledges (toasts). Tenth, they marry without a priest or a magistrate as the man and woman before witnesses promise to love each other. Eleventh, they avoid ceremonies and festivals regarding birth. Twelfth, they perform burials with simplicity.
In their ministry Quakers change themselves before they try to change others. In preaching they let the Spirit of God move them rather than speak their own studied material. They emphasize being holy, not doctrines, verbal creeds, and ceremonies of worship. They direct people to look within themselves and to their own experience to find the truth. They find that even people in mean professions can understand divine things and express them. They are humble and despised like the primitive Christians. They are known for their constancy and patience in suffering for their testimony. They do not revenge but forgive their cruel enemies. They speak plain prophecies to those in authority who commit public and private sins. Then Penn described the life, character, and teachings of George Fox.
Penn's wife Gulielma died in 1694, and he married 26-year-old Hannah Callowhill two years later. After Penn's fiftieth birthday she would bear him seven children. The royal investigator Edward Randolph was put in a Philadelphia jail by Quaker magistrates, and he sought revenge in England. In the last two years of the war after Penn again was made proprietor, grants were passed for the King to use as he pleased; but in 1697 the Assembly denied a request for £2,000 as Pennsylvania's quota for colonial defense.
In 1696 while England was still at war with France, the Board of Trade was appointed to supervise all colonial affairs and was discussing ways of organizing a unified command in America to defend New York's frontier. Penn testified before the Board, suggesting that if quotas are imposed on the colonies, it is only just that they should be decided by representatives meeting in one assembly. The Lords of Trade invited him to present his scheme in writing, and in 1697 Penn put forth "A Plan of Union for the American Colonies." This brief document recommended they meet at least once a year during war or once in two years in times of peace with appointed deputies to resolve measures needed for public tranquility and safety. He suggested two persons from each of the ten provinces and accepted the King's Commissioner to preside. They should hear and adjust all matters of complaint such as persons leaving a province to avoid paying just debts, offenders fleeing justice, preventing and curing injuries in commerce, and finding ways and means to support their union and safety against public enemies. Penn also accepted the King's Commissioner as chief commander against the enemy for the benefit of the whole.
Randolph and Francis Nicholson reported that Customs Commissioners estimated that Pennsylvania's illegal trade had deprived the King of £50,000 in 1694, and in 1696 Parliament passed a new Navigation Act that established vice-admiralty courts. In February 1697 the House of Lords debated Pennsylvania's complicity in illegal trade. Rumors indicated that Markham and Philadelphia merchants had harbored the crew of the pirate Henry Avery. Meanwhile in 1696 Markham had agreed to an Act of Settlement that allowed either the Council or the Assembly to initiate legislation that both houses had to approve. Markham urged them to pass the Act for Preventing Frauds and Regulating Abuses in Trade, but it specified that the suspected violators were to be tried before juries. Randolph went back to Philadelphia with the Anglican Robert Quary, a vice-admiralty judge who was also an agent for the New Pennsylvania Company. In 1698 Quaker magistrates denied the Anglicans the right of petition based on a law prohibiting inflammatory criticism of the government. In 1699 the Privy Council canceled the Pennsylvania Trade Act and ordered Penn to remove both Markham and Lloyd from their offices.
When Penn came to Philadelphia again in December 1699, the city had five thousand people and was passing New York as the second most populous city in the English colonies after Boston. When Penn dismissed Attorney General Lloyd, Quary persuaded him not to go too far because of Lloyd's popularity and legal abilities. Penn had serious financial problems. Philip Ford had used fraud and claimed that Penn owed him £11,000 while the Crown expected Penn to pay £6,000 in rents and profits from the three Lower Counties. Yet Penn's efforts to collect money were resented. He discharged popular officers for having aided pirates, and the Lower Counties had their illegal tobacco trade to Scotland disrupted.
Penn called a special session of the Assembly to pass laws against piracy that banned illicit trading in Madagascar and Natal. Penn gave Philadelphia a new charter that required two years residency and an estate worth £50 for freemanship. He appointed Quakers to the Philadelphia court and accused Quary, Nicholson, and the London bishop Henry Compton of conspiring to subvert his government. Penn charged Randolph with cheating on his tobacco export duties, and he commissioned water bailiffs to challenge Quary's power over ports. In 1700 the death penalty was extended to Africans for rape, sodomy with animals, and burglary, and punishments by mutilation and branding were added. No servant could be sold out of Pennsylvania without the consent of the servant and two justices of the peace, and freemen had to report harboring a fleeing servant within 24 hours to the master and a justice of the peace. Another law mandated inspection of flour, beef, and pork before export in order to assure the quality of Pennsylvania goods.
In 1701 the Assembly refused to grant King William £350 to support New York fortifications on the frontier. Penn declined to establish a militia, but he did approve an armed watch against pirates invading Delaware Bay. The Charter of Privileges in 1701 turned the Council into an administrative cabinet and made the Assembly the only unicameral legislature in the British empire. The Assembly now had the power to initiate laws, elect its own officers, appoint committees, adjourn itself, certify its own members, and impeach officers of the government. The governor could veto legislation, and his Council was no longer elected. Courts of law, instead of the governor and the Council, were given jurisdiction over property disputes. The new charter could only be amended by the governor and six-sevenths of the Assembly. Concerned that Pennsylvania might soon be a crown colony, Penn approved this frame of government that would last until 1776.
On October 28, 1701 Governor Penn granted the charter of Delaware and to all the "freemen, planters, and adventurers therein, diverse liberties, franchises, and properties" with freedom of conscience and an Assembly annually elected by the freemen. On the same day Penn granted the Charter of Privileges to the inhabitants of Pennsylvania, and the first article affirmed freedom of conscience.
Because no people can be truly happy,
though under the greatest enjoyment of civil liberties,
if abridged of the freedom of their consciences
as to their religious profession and worship.
And Almighty God being the only lord of conscience,
father of lights and spirits, and the author
as well as object of all divine knowledge, faith, and worship,
who only does enlighten the minds
and persuade and convince the understandings of people.
I do hereby grant and declare that
no person or persons inhabiting in this province or territories,
who shall confess and acknowledge one almighty God,
the creator, the upholder, and ruler of the world;
and profess him or themselves obliged
to live quietly under the civil government,
shall be in any case molested or prejudiced
in his or their person or estate
because of his or their conscientious persuasion or practice,
nor be compelled to frequent or maintain
any religious worship, place, or ministry
contrary to his or their mind,
or to do or suffer any other act or thing
contrary to their religious persuasion.6
Before sailing in November, Penn signed the Judiciary Act designed by David Lloyd. Penn instructed his secretary James Logan to collect quitrents and fines and then returned to England to oppose a bill that could turn the proprietary provinces into royal colonies. Penn chose Andrew Hamilton as his deputy even though he was already governor of both West and East Jersey. In 1701 Penn wrote a will that would have freed his slaves, but this provision was removed from his final will of 1712. After Penn left the province in 1701, no more land was bought from the Indians in his lifetime.
In the first half of the 18th century the population of Pennsylvania increased more than tenfold. When Queen Anne's War began in 1702, Governor Hamilton called for volunteers; but few enlisted because of rumors they would be marched to Canada. David Lloyd accepted a position with the vice-admiralty court in order to oppose James Logan and the proprietor Penn. Logan permitted his friends to survey the land of the Brandywines even though he conceded their protest was just. The Brandywines suffered so much encroachment that they moved to the Susquehanna and Ohio valleys. Upon Hamilton's death in 1703 the power went to the Council. Penn chose 26-year-old John Evans, the son of a friend, and instructed him to placate the Anglicans and make sure that the country was defended. Evans arrived early in 1704 with William Penn Jr. and tried to bring the three Lower Counties back into Pennsylvania by replacing all the resisting Quaker magistrates in Philadelphia with Anglicans. Lloyd was elected speaker of the Assembly in May, and he implemented reforms. The Assembly impeached Logan for land improprieties, but Governor Evans refused to judge him.
In 1708 William Penn was arrested while attending a Quaker meeting in London and spent eleven months in debtors' prison, where his health declined even though conditions were more comfortable than in jail. He was released after eight English Quakers financed a £6,600 mortgage on Pennsylvania to pay his debt to the heirs of Philip Ford. Penn replaced Evans in 1709 with army Captain Charles Gookin and instructed him to follow Logan's advice and reunite the Lower Counties with the province. The Pennsylvania Assembly refused to give the Governor £4,000 he requested for an expedition against Canada but appropriated £500. The Assembly tried to arrest Logan to keep him from going to England, but the Council denied their authority to do so. Isaac Norris wrote a pamphlet published by the Yearly Meeting urging an end to factionalism, and in the elections of October 1710 every member of the Assembly was defeated. David Lloyd and the conservative Quakers lost control of the Assembly, which in 1711 appropriated £2,000 for the expedition against the French. Some Quakers refused to pay the tax, and several Friends were imprisoned. Some of this money was used to compensate employers for the indentured servants who enlisted. The disruption of shipping during this long war caused a recession in Pennsylvania as few immigrants risked being taken by French privateers. In 1711 the Mennonite Quakers and the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting persuaded the legislature to ban the slave trade, but Queen Anne vetoed the law.
Most Quakers followed the teaching of Jesus not to swear and usually were allowed to affirm. Penn negotiated an agreement to maintain the freedom from taking oaths and from serving in the military; but before he could sign it, he suffered a debilitating stroke in 1712. That year the Pennsylvania Assembly put a duty of £20 on every African or Indian slave imported by land or sea, but Queen Anne and her Council repealed it two years later. In 1715 the Assembly imposed a duty of £5 on every African slave imported, but the Crown rejected it in 1719. The Assembly often got around the royal veto by enacting laws for less than five years, by reenacting laws that had been disallowed, or by not sending them to England for up to five years.
When George became king in 1714, the Parliament enacted a conformity law that no one could give evidence in criminal cases, serve on a jury, or hold public office without taking an oath. Governor Gookin applied this in Pennsylvania; but in 1716 the Assembly warned that this shut down the judicial system, and they passed a resolution that the English statute did not apply. In 1715 Gookin did not like the new Assembly; so he charged them with an "unlawful riot" and ordered them to disband. The Assembly met anyway and ordered an investigation of Gookin's dismissal of the elected sheriff in New Castle County. When they reinstated the sheriff, Gookin's goons tried to chop down the jailhouse door. Gookin's sanity was questioned, and the Assembly wrote a letter to Penn asking for his dismissal.
William Keith had been commissioned Surveyor General of Customs upon Quary's death in 1714, and he became well known to the merchants. Keith was appointed lieutenant governor in 1717 as Logan confirmed Hannah Penn's appointment. Keith made an ally of David Lloyd by appointing him chief justice. In 1718 the Assembly made Pennsylvania's laws more like England's by extending the death penalty to twelve more felonies. They also agreed to a voluntary militia. Penn died on July 30, 1718. The proprietorship passed to his sons, who had converted to the Anglican Church. William Penn Jr. tried to cut off Hannah and her sons, but this prodigal son died in 1720. Concerned that the Iroquois were passing through the Susquehanna Valley to fight tribes in Virginia, Keith asked for a militia to protect traders who had made lucrative agreements with the Iroquois. Keith obtained royal approval for Quakers to affirm instead of swear, and the Quakers accepted a militia law. William Bradford's son Andrew was appointed the official printer of the province, and in 1719 he founded Philadelphia's first newspaper, the American Weekly Mercury.
After the war ended in 1713, many Germans and Scotch-Irish began to emigrate into Pennsylvania. Swiss Mennonites passed beyond Germantown and bought 6,000 acres by the Conestoga and Pequa creeks. Those that followed the simplicity taught by Jacob Ammon came to be known as the Amish. The population of Philadelphia reached 10,000 in 1720. Ship captains made a profit selling indentured servants, and many merchants owned African slaves; one Quaker had thirty slaves. In 1720 the silversmith Edward Hunt was hanged for counterfeiting Spanish coins, and his wife Martha was sentenced to prison for life.
In 1721 the bursting of the South Sea Bubble caused a major recession in England that affected Pennsylvania. The adversaries of Logan and the conservative merchants won the Assembly election of October 1721. Trade suffered, and land values became depressed in 1723. Chief Justice David Lloyd once again led the popular cause. In March the Assembly issued £15,000 in paper money by letting people mortgage up to half the value of their land and a third of the value of their houses at five percent interest. Counties were allowed £1,500 for public works and repaid it by a tax. A second issue of £30,000 was issued in December while James Logan was in London. They also eased the burden on debtors, and these laws helped the Pennsylvania economy recover. Counterfeiting paper money became a problem. Governor Keith tolerated and even attended performances of touring players. Logan persuaded Hannah Penn to send new instructions to Keith, but in August 1724 the Governor told the Council he would not follow them. Logan served as proprietary secretary from 1701 to 1747 and handled most of the land transactions, enabling him to become wealthy developing trade with the Indians in the Susquehanna Valley. In 1725 Keith got a bill passed to naturalize the German immigrants quickly. Pennsylvania did not prohibit inter-racial marriages, but the Assembly imposed a fine of £100 on any minister performing a wedding between a European and an African.
In 1726 Major Patrick Gordon was nominated by the Penns and appointed by the King to govern Pennsylvania. Keith stayed in politics by getting elected to the Assembly in October, and his rambunctious followers set fire to the pillory, the stocks, and butcher stalls on election day; but Keith stopped them from burning Gordon's proclamation under the Riot Act. Lloyd defeated Keith in the voting for speaker. Hannah Penn died on December 20, 1726. Her eldest son John inherited half the province, and her other two sons, Thomas and Richard, shared the other half.
The first killing of a European by an Indian since the founding of Pennsylvania occurred in 1727 and created a sensation. Logan gave Chief Nutimus £60 for a small tract where Durham Creek joins the Delaware River in order to start an iron mine, despite Pennsylvania law that did not allow a private person to buy Indian land. In 1728 the Iroquois placed the Oneida chief Shickellamy in Shamokin (Sunbury) in the Susquehanna Valley, and the Delaware chief Sassoonan moved there also. Many Shawnees and Delawares resented the changes and moved to the Ohio Valley. Logan met the Delawares at Conestoga in May, and a few days later Sassoonan of the Tulpehocken Delawares came to Philadelphia for a signing ceremony. Logan blamed Keith for letting the Germans take the Tulpehocken Valley. In the decade after 1728 about 18,500 German-Swiss immigrated through the port of Philadelphia. Duties on Irish servants and aliens that were passed in 1729 were repealed nine months later; but the compromise £2 tax on imported Africans was allowed to become law. These immigrants provided a shield between the pacifist Quakers in the east and the hostile tribes in Ohio. The Assembly passed another paper currency bill for £30,000. The stone prison that was built in 1723 for Philadelphia was no longer adequate. Men and women were lodged together in the workhouse, and occasionally a female convict would return to be with her lover.
In August 1731 Governor Gordon announced that selling rum or liquor to Indians was prohibited. In the autumn Shickellamy went to Onondaga and returned with a Cayuga chief and Conrad Weiser, an interpreter of the Six Nations who had lived with the Mohawks for sixteen years. In 1732 Thomas Penn came to Philadelphia and dismissed Logan's executive power. Logan met with Sassoonan and other Tulpehocken Delawares, and they agreed on £700 compensation for their lost land in installments. The next year Sassoonan complained they received shoddy goods. An Iroquois delegation also came to Philadelphia in 1732, and Thomas Penn offered the departed Shawnees a reservation if the Iroquois could help Pennsylvanians persuade them to return. In October 1734 Weiser returned to Philadelphia with Shickellamy and the Seneca chief Hetaquantagechty. The Shawnees had sent a belt of wampum to the Delawares, inviting them to join them in Ohio, but Chief Sassoonan forbade his tribe to go. John Penn asked Shickellamy and Hetaquantagechty to use their influence to preserve the English friendship with the Six Nations.
When Gordon died in August 1736, Logan became president of the Council with Robert Charles as his secretary. Logan had perhaps the largest private library in America. He knew Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic, and wrote books on optics and scientific philosophy. He studied lightning and let Ben Franklin use his library. Logan met with a hundred delegates of the Iroquois, and on October 11 Weiser, Logan, and the chiefs of the Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida, Cayuga, and Tuscarora signed the treaty that ceded to Pennsylvania the territory from the Susquehanna River west to the setting sun. Shickellamy complained that the streets were filled with drunken Indians, and Logan ordered that no more liquor be given or sold to Indians. This was the first time the Six Nations had claimed land on the Delaware, and this treaty alienated the Delawares and the Shawnees. Meanwhile Thomas Cresap had been giving the sheriff of Lancaster County fits by attacking Pennsylvania territory from Maryland, and the Governor of Virginia wanted Logan to help stop the long-distance hostility between the Six Nations in the north and the Cherokees and Catawbas in Carolina.
Conrad Beissel founded a monastic community at Ephrata in Lancaster County that appealed to Brethren (Dunkers) and Moravians. They were expected to be celibate, but rumors indicated that Beissel was intimate with his nuns. They performed charitable works and excelled in choral singing and manuscript illumination. Christopher Sauer started a newspaper after Franklin's Die Philadelphische Zeitung failed in 1732, and the Sauer Press published a German Bible in 1743. In 1733 Jesuit Joseph Greaton was allowed to build St. Joseph's Chapel by the Quaker almshouse in Philadelphia. The next year the Council of Pennsylvania refused to let Governor Thomas Penn suppress the liberty of this church. When a mob of Presbyterians tried to destroy the chapel with axes in 1740, some Quakers intervened to protect the building.
In a 1686 deed the Delawares granted Penn land from the Delaware River "back into the woods as far as a man can go in a day and a half." The Delawares assumed this meant about thirty miles; but in September 1737 some Pennsylvanian walkers with athletic ability were aided by a planned route supplied with provisions, and the third walker covered more than 66 miles and went beyond the Blue Mountains to Pocono Mountain. The proprietors took the Delaware River as one boundary and claimed 750,000 acres. The Indians resented this notorious "Walking Purchase" as more colonists arrived. Benjamin Lay wrote a pamphlet and was so vigorous in his criticism of slavery and Quaker hypocrisy that he was expelled from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in 1738.
George Thomas secretly offered to pay the Penns £500 sterling per year, half the perquisites of the office, and in 1738 he succeeded Logan. By now the Quakers were only about a third of Pennsylvania's 85,000 inhabitants; but more of them were eligible voters, and Bucks, Chester, and Philadelphia counties each had eight representatives in the Assembly, plus two from the city of Philadelphia, compared to only four for Lancaster County. Also about one sixth of the population were peaceful Mennonites, and many Scotch-Irish despised the King and Parliament. After being speaker for ten years, except in 1734, Andrew Hamilton retired in 1739, and the Quakers gained 22 of 36 seats in the October election. Quaker John Kinsey was chosen speaker and retained that position until he died in 1750. Kinsey was later found to have taken £3,000 from the General Loan Office for his own use, but the Society of Friends was afraid to break their unanimity by challenging him.
The evangelist George Whitefield came to Pennsylvania in October 1739 and spoke to thousands in outdoor audiences. He was raising money for an orphanage for Africans in Georgia, and he eventually accepted Franklin's idea for one in Philadelphia. Nicholas Ludwig Zinzendorf came from New York, and in 1741 the Moravians founded Bethlehem. He became the leader of the Lutherans and emphasized the atonement of the crucifixion. He invited different sects to Germantown in 1742, but eventually the Ephrata, Schwenkfelders, Dunkards, and Mennonites withdrew because of his view that Moravians were elected by God.
England's war with Spain and France was proclaimed at Philadelphia in April 1740. Deputy Governor Thomas argued that fighting a war against a public enemy was like punishing criminals; but Quakers in the Assembly replied that killing a soldier, whose sole crime was obeying his sovereign, was vastly different from executing a murderer or a burglar for violating laws. In July the Assembly appropriated £2,000 for King George II and a like amount to compensate masters for the indentured servants who ran off to enlist. However, they made sure that the August audit left no surplus for the Governor's use. Masters demanded the return of their servants and refused to provide money for transport and temporary quarters until they were delivered. When some bondsmen were returned, freemen wanted to lay down their arms; so the Governor refused to deliver servants in order to avoid mutinies. The winter of 1741 was so cold that many deer, turkeys, and other animals died. During the summer yellow fever spread, and that year Philadelphia buried 738 people compared to 233 in 1740. Thomas criticized the Assembly for not having built a pest-house, and they voted to construct one on Fisher's Island. Logan urged the Quaker Yearly Meeting to support a militia law as essential to civil government, but the managers voted not to circulate his letter. Benjamin Franklin promoted defense, and in 1741 the Assembly voted £3,000 for the King.
Early in 1742 the Assembly ordered Franklin to publish the Laws of the Government of New Castle, Kent and Sussex upon Delaware, and these Lower Counties eventually became the colony of Delaware. During the summer Weiser and delegates of the Iroquois met with Governor Thomas, who wanted them as allies against the French. The Onondaga chief Canassatego displayed his knowledge of Indian history and called the Delawares women because he believed they were unfit for war or negotiations. The Delawares withdrew from the council and resented this treaty also. The October elections were marred by violence. Quakers tended to congregate around the courthouse to make it difficult for opponents to vote. They were also accused of bringing in unnaturalized Germans even though they were ineligible to vote. When William Allen Jr. learned that he was losing, his supporters sent about sixty hired sailors with clubs to drive the Quakers from the courthouse. After Allen tried and failed to stop the riot, the sheriff issued constables' staffs to volunteers who included Germans and drove them back. An effort to bar Quakers from the Assembly during war-time had failed, and no funds were supporting the war; even the Governor had not been paid for more than two years. Early in 1743 John Penn nominated speaker Kinsey as chief justice, and this improved his relationship with the Assembly. In April 1744 an Indian named Mussmemeelin murdered three traders. He was arrested, tried, and hanged in November.
1. Penn to Robert Turner, March 5, 1681, quoted in Pennsylvania:
The Colonial Years by Joseph J. Kelley Jr., p. 19.
2. "First Frame of Government for Pennsylvania," preface by William Penn in The Witness of William Penn, p. 110.
3. "Address to Lenni-Lenape tribes" by William Penn, November 30, 1682 at Shackamaxon.
4. Quoted in The Settlement of Germantown by Samuel W. Pennypacker, p. 252 and in William Penn by Harry Emerson Wildes, p. 204.
5. Documents of American History ed. Henry Steele Commager, p. 37.
6. Ibid., p. 40 and Foundations of Colonial America: A Documentary History ed. W. Keith Kavenagh, p. 1161.
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