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New Englanders; stating that the laws were good, and would continue to be well executed, but could not be allowed to emanate from the wavering multitude He derived his authority only from God and the West India Company, who would never become responsible to their own subjects. The remonstrants were therefore commanded, under a severe penalty, immediately to disperse. In this the company firmly supported their governor, directing that the people should no longer indulge the visionary dream that taxes could be imposed only with their own consent. They, however, cherished a deep dissatisfaction, which, though it did not break out into open violence, indisposed them to make any exertions in support of a government under which they enjoyed no rights. This became of a serious consequence in the crisis that was now approaching.
Considering the long and embittered hostility of England against the Dutch, it may appear wonderful that she did not sooner attempt the conquest of a valuable possession, to which she had so plausible a title. Cromwell, in fact, kad projected
it, but was diverted by other objects. Charles II., always prejudiced against that people, soon adopted the same resolution; and even before any measure was taken for conquering the country, he included it in a grant made to his brother James, of the territory from the Kennebec to the St. Croix, and from the Connecticut to the Delaware. To make good this donation, Sir Robert Nichols was sent out with an expedition, to be reinforced by a detachment from another colony. The Dutch had for some time foreseen the crisis ; but unwilling to ex pend their funds in sending troops, they urged the governor to seek means of defence within his own dominions. This, from circumstances already stated, was exceedingly difficult; and though Stuyvesant, in this emergency, granted their demand for a representative assembly, it was too late to inspire confidence, and the people declined making any sacrifices to repel a power from whom they hoped more liberal treatment. In August, 1664, Nichols cast anchor in face of New Amsterdam, having landed part of his troops on Long Island. He imme
diately summoned the city to surrender, guarantying to the people their property, the rights of citizens, their ancient laws and usages. The governor attempted by delay and negotiation to parry the blow; but the other declined all discussion, and the principal inhabitants, headed by Winthrop from Connecticut, assembling in the town-hall, determined against offering any resistance. They drew up articles of surrender conformable to the demand of the English officer, which, however, Stuyvesant refused to sign till the place was actually in the enemy's hands.
XII. The history of New England exhibits the extravagance indulged in by the quakers. Carrying to an undue length that religious movement which produced the Reformation, they relinquished a proper regard not only to forms and ordinances, but to reason, and, in some degree, to scripture, yielding themselves in a great measure to the guidance of visions and inward illuminations. They constituted at this period, as already observed, the extreme of the ultraprotestant section, which thenceforth began to recede from its too forward position. Not only did no similar sects spring up, but they themselves gradually pruned away the exaggerated features of their system. They assumed even a remarkably sedate character, and retaining still their deep devotional feeling, with only a few outward peculiarities, distinguished themselves in the walks of life by practical philanthropy. In this chastened and reformed quakerism, the lead was taken by William Penn, one of the most illustrious characters of modern
Fig. 36-—Portrait of William Penn. times. Born to rank and distinction, son of an admiral who had attained celeb. rity under Cromwell by the conquest of Jamaica, he embraced at college his persecuted cause, and devoted himself to it throughout his whole life. Refusing to retract or compromise his views, he was expelled from his father's house, becoming amenable to all the rigors then enforced against eccentric modes of religious "rorship and teaching. He indulged at first in certain extravagances; but ' ening years, combined with extensive study, and travel over a great part
Europe, enlarged his mind, and while retaining the same devoted attachment 10 what was valuable in his system, he purified it from its principal errors. His steady course of christian kindness gained for him the general esteem of the public, and ultimately led to a reconciliation with his parent, who bequeathed to him the whole of his property.
Among the tenets of this school, which Penn at all times advocated with the utinost zeal, was that of complete liberty in religious opinion and worship. It became, indeed, a leading object of his life to render himself a shield not only to his own people but to all who on this ground were exposed to suffering and persecution. Unable as yet fully to accomplish his end in the old world, he conceived the plan of providing for them, in the new continent, an asylum similar to that of their pilgrim ancestors. By founding there a state open to the votaries of every faith, he might, he hoped, fulfil his benevolent purpose, and at the same time secure for himself a degree of importance and wealth. He possessed, in virtue of his father's services, a claim on government, estimated at £16,000; but after a long delay, amid the exigencies of the court, he could not without difficulty have rendered it effective in any shape, except for one favorable circumstance. He enjoyed the favor both of Charles II. and James II., and was always a welcome guest at Whitehall. This intercourse with princes whose character was so unlike his own, excited in that age a feeling of surprise which we can scarcely avoid sharing. The most injurious surmises arose he was represented as a papist, and even a jesuit. He seems, however, to have clearly proved, that he never concurred in any of the illegal measures of those rulers, but employed his influence almost solely with the view of obtaining protection for those numerous sufferers in whom he took so deep an interest. Had his object been money, he must have encountered many obstacles in obtaining it from the dilapidated treasury of Charles. It was much easier to get the royal assent respecting a desert region beyond the Atlantic, whence no immediate benefit was to be derived. His petition, being presented in June, 1680, was referred to the agents of the Duke of York and Lord Baltimore, who declared it to be unobjectionable, provided the rights of these individuals were preserved inviolate. Penn, therefore, submitted the draft of a charter, which, after being revised by Chief Justice North and the Bishop of London, was passed under the seal-royal. It granted to him the tract in America extending northward from the 40th to the 43d degree of latitude, and five degrees of longitude westward, from a boundary line drawn twelve miles from Newcastle on the Delaware. Nearly the same privileges were conceded as were formerly granted to Lord Baltimore. The proprietor was empowered to dispose of the lands in fee-simple, to levy taxes with consent of the freemen or their delegates, to erect courts of justice, and (what one might scarcely have expected) to raise forces for the defence of the province by sea and land. There was reserved, however, the sovereignty of the crown, and its claim to allegiance, also an appeal from the courts to the king in council, and the right of parliament to levy custom-duties. The acts passed by the assembly and the owner were to be transmitted within five years to his majesty, and if considered unconstitutional, might be disallowed. The Bishop of London stipulated for the reception of a preacher, as soon as one should be requested by twenty of the settlers.
Invested with these ample powers, Penn proceeded to give to the colony a constitution, on a very liberal footing. A council of seventy-two, elected by the body of the people, and having a third of their number renewed every year, carried on the executive government, in conjunction with the proprietor, who was allowed three votes. This body was divided into four committees, of plantation, trade, justice, and education. They prepared the bills and propositions which were submitted to the general assembly, also elected by the people. They were to sit nine days only, during eight of which they were to consider the proposals made by the council, and on the ninth to pronounce their decision. This system, said to have been copied chiefly from the Oceana of Harrington, was not very well fitted for practical purposes, and had not a long duration.
Penn now circulated widely his proposals through Britain, France, and Ger. many; the oppressed and impoverished of every class being invited to this land of promise He recommended it not only to those who suffered under religious persecution, but “to industrious laborers and handicraftsmen--ingenious spirits low in the world-younger brothers of small inheritances, instead of haging on as retainers on their elder brothers' table and charitylastly, to men of an universal spirit, who have an eye to the good of posterity." The necessary expense of conveyance was stated to be--for an adult £5, a child under twelve £2,10s., goods £2 per ton. Those who could not afford even this moderate amount, were informed that, on engaging with emigrants of property for a service of four years, not only would their passage be defrayed, but at the end of the term they would receive 50 acres, at 25. quitrent. An extent of 5,000 acres
preferred might pay merely a quitrent of Id. an acre, or £20, 16s. 8d. Smaller tracts were disposed of at corresponding prices. Poor men were allowed 50 acres at ld. per acre.
These advantageous terms, the troubled state of Europe, and the high character of the proprietor, caused his proposals to be received with general favor. An influx into America took place, such as had never been equalled since the days of the first settlers. Between 1682 and 1685, there arrived ninety sail, conveying an average of eighty passengers, in all 7,200, beside 1,000 who had landed in 1681. They had been sent under his kinsman Markham, to take possession of the country, and prepare the way for the larger colony. He found no difficulty in completing the purchase of an extensive tract of land from the Indians on terms satisfactory to them, yet moderate for the buyer.
In October, 1682, Penn arrived with a body of 2,000 emigrants. After some time spent in surveying his new possessions, he, in the beginning of 1683, arranged a meeting with the native chiefs, under the canopy of a spacious elm tree, near the present site of Philadelphia. They appeared on the day appointed, in their rude attire, and with brandished weapons, beneath the shadow of those dense woods which covered what is now a fine and cultivated plain. On learning that the English approached, they deposited their arms and sat down in groups, each tribe behind its own chieftain. Penn then stepping forward in his usual plain dress and unarmed, held forth in his hand the parchment on which the treaty was engrossed. In a simple speech, he announced to them those principles of equity and amity upon which he desired that all their future intercourse should be conducted. He besought them to keep this parchment during three generations. The Indians replied, in their usual solemn and figurative language, that they would live in peace with him and with his children while the sun and moon should endure. A friendly display like this is by no means unusual in the first opening of intercourse between civilized and savage nations; but seldom indeed does it long continue unbroken, or fail even of being succeeded by an
founder continued with this savage people on terms not only of peace, but of intimate union; he visited them in their villages, he slept in their wigwams ; they welcomed him almost as a brother. Forty years afterward they said to the governor, Sir William Keith, as the highest possible compliment: “We esteem and love you as if you were William Penn himself.” What was still more wonderful, the colonists, though they had to struggle with many uncongenial spirits in their own body, succeeded in maintaining good terms with the natives; and for nearly a century, the Indian tomahawk was never lifted against a people who would have considered it unlawful to return the blow.
His next object was to found a capital for his new settlement. He chose & site upon a neck of land between the Schuylkill and Delaware, in a situation which appeared at once agreeable and healthy, abounding in water, and with