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Affairs of Pennsylvania.

Dissensions. Mili

tary Supplies refused. New Act of Settlement by Markham. - Penn's second Arrival.-Birth of a Son. The Assembly.. Penn's humane Measures in Behalf of Slaves and Indians in Part frustrated. The Constitution. - Penn is called to England again. State of the Colony. The Assembly adopts

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REVERTING to the fact already stated, that Penn, on the restoration to him of his proprietary rights and authority, in 1694, had ap pointed Markham as his deputy, a brief review of affairs during the interval will present the condition of the colony at the time of Penn's second arrival. Markham, assuming his office on the 26th of March, 1695, called a new provincial Council of three members, and an Assembly of six members, from each county of the province and territories. The Council met on the 20th of April, the Assembly on the 10th of September. Altercations at once arose, because he followed the precedent of


commenced in October.

Fletcher, rather than the provisions of the charThe session was soon closed, and another Markham renewed the demand of Fletcher, founded on Queen Anne's letter, for money to aid in the fortifications of New York. Penn seems to have favored this demand, and it is probable that an implied condition on which his government was restored to him, was, that he should bear his share in such exactions.

This demand of money, for a purpose which, it could not be disguised, was directly or indirectly connected with military proceedings, was most offensive to the Quaker portion of the people. Indeed, the whole people opposed it, as an unsafe precedent, or as a trespass upon the terms under which they had emigrated; and as they tried all means of evading, deferring, or resisting a compliance with it, and, whenever they yielded, connected one or more conditions with their grants, we may readily conceive that the demand was fruitful of contentions.

Markham convened the Assembly again, on the 26th of October, 1696. They remonstrated, as before, against the illegality of the call. They were now anxious for a change in the mode of government, and, under the name of a new Act of Settlement, another charter or constitu

tion was proposed. Markham again presented Fletcher's request for more money; and, after much bickering, by way of compromise, Markham confirmed the new constitution in November, and the Assembly voted three hundred pounds, to be appropriated, however, to the relief of distressed Indians, near Albany. The Act of Settlement provided that the Council should consist of two, and the Assembly of four members, from each of the three counties of the province and the territories; that an affirmation should serve as an oath for Quakers; and that the Assembly should have the power to propose laws.

A temporary quiet was thus restored in the legislature, while the general interests of the colony were flourishing. Markham asked for more money in 1697, and was respectfully refused, on the plea of poverty, and the assertion that the neighboring provinces had not contributed their fair proportion. A grossly exaggerated report had reached London, charging upon the Pennsylvanians the crime of piracy, and an illicit contempt of the navigation laws of England. The Pennsylvania government, therefore, issued a proclamation against such offenders.

On the whole, the state of affairs was as propitious as Penn could have expected to find


it when he arrived in December, 1699. ing his son William in England, he had brought with him his wife, and his daughter Lætitia, probably then his only other child. His son John was born in Philadelphia, about a month after his arrival. The general expectation, encouraged too by the language of the proprietor, was, that he would make Pennsylvania the permanent home of himself and family. He landed at Chester, and was received by the Friends with the most affectionate respect and joy. An accident marred the occasion; as some young men, contrary to express orders, discharged some old ship's cannon, one of them lost an arm by the forbidden display. After attending a religious meeting at Chester, on Sunday, Penn went up to Philadelphia, and there held another meeting. His presence caused delight to the multitude, though it was observed that some, who knew him not, and were not Quakers, but had come since his last visit, did not participate in the general joy.

He at once issued his writs calling together the Assembly, and, in the interval preceding its meeting, he mingled freely and heartily with the people, attending courts, weddings, and religious meetings, and endeavoring to acquaint himself with the whole interests and

occupations of all. His residence was at Pennsbury, when he allowed himself any rest; but he had also a dwelling in Philadelphia. The severe weather of winter precluded any extended journeys. He kept the Assembly in session but a fortnight, as his chief purpose was to pass some decisive laws against piracy and illicit trade, to remove all reproach from the colony.

The concern, which at this period weighed most heavily upon the heart of Penn, was the condition of the negro slaves and the Indians, but more especially of the former. The outrageous iniquity which has rioted in its foulest license in this land, where it ought never even to have been named, the holding of human beings as slaves, was introduced into Pennsylvania with the very beginnings of its plantations. Even the Quakers, whose standards and practice are allowed, by consenting testimony, to come nearest to the law of Christianity, engaged in the abominable traffic. Their sufficient excuse to their own hearts, and perhaps their sufficient defence against the judgment of our day, was, that they were exercising a humane mercy, in receiving to a share in their comforts and blessings, as civilized beings, the abject and barbarous victims of heathenism. Penn resolved, that, both in his re

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