PENN BIOGRAPHY CONTINUED
PENN PLANS TO AMERICA AGAIN
Peter the Great of Russia was then a youth living incognito in England and working in the ship-yards to inform his barbaric mind about that curious thing civilization, which he had heard would make a nation powerful. He thought it might accomplish something in his own frozen deserts. The Quakers, especially Penn, sought him out. He was rather unpromising material for a proselyte, and asked of what earthly use to a nation a people could be who would not fight. But Penn talked to him in German and gave him German Quaker books, with the result, it is said, that he always retained a great respect for the Quakers, and once in Denmark attended one of their meetings.
We also find Penn back at his old work of writing pamphlets on Quaker doctrine, and indulging occasionally in controversy with opponents of his faith.
At this time we find him proposing to the Lords of Trade a plan of union or general government for the colonies in America, which is quite remarkable because it foreshadows some of the provisions of our national constitution. It is pleasant to find Penn once more himself after having been so long obscured in Jacobitism; and his mind was always at its best in proposing improvements far in advance of his time. He wanted a general government for the colonies, so as to make customs duties the same in all, regulate commerce and military quotas, and return absconding debtors. In other words, he was the first to call public attention to these difficulties, and he suggested the remedy which within a hundred years was carried into effect by the American people.
He probably did his best preaching at this period, and his farewell sermon before sailing to Pennsylvania has been preserved, the only one of his sermons, so far as I can discover, that was taken down and kept for posterity. Quaker sermons are not of a sort to be admired in other religious bodies, and scarcely any of them are preserved, because the Quakers believed they were spoken from the Spririt to that particular meeting only. This sermon of Penn's reads like a good but not a remarkable one, and seems to have a more modern tone than we should have expected.
We have a slight glimpse of his life and methods at this time in an account of his going to bid farewell to Thomas Story, who was about to sail for America. Penn, with other friends of Story, went on board the ship, and Penn, "after they had sat together in solemn silence, appeared in supplication for the well-being and preservation of all present, in reverent thankfulness for all the favors of God, and especially for the precious enjoyment of his divine presence which they then experienced." He was a many-sided man, this Quaker courtier.
In such occupations the six years passed away. In the Sixth month, 1699, William Penn, with his wife and family, embarked for Pennsylvania in the ship Canterbury; and from on board, while lying at the Isle of Wright, he addressed a farewell epistle to his friends wherever scattered in England, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Germany, or other parts of Europe, of which the following is part:
KING WILLIAM had taken the government of Pennsylvania away from William Penn probably because he thought that a colony governed by a Quaker friend of James Stuart might easily become a prey to French greed. But when the king and Penn became reconciled, the province was given back to Penn, in August, 1694. Although he was anxious to see his new city of Philadelphia again, it was not until five years later that Penn was able to cross the Atlantic. This was largely due to the fact that he had very little money left.
His colony of Pennsylvania had cost him a great deal of money; and, although he had expected large returns from the land and natural products there, he found that the colony caused greater and greater leakage to his purse. The settlers would not pay even the very small quit-rent of one shilling a year for each hundred acres, and were constantly calling on Penn to help them. His estates in Ireland brought in no profits, and the property at Worminghurst that had belonged to Mrs. Penn had been left in trust for her oldest son, Springett Penn, who was then about nineteen years old. All that Penn received from that property was enough to support and educate the three children. While he stayed in England he began preaching again, and found that now, under William and Mary, the Quakers were allowed the fullest liberty to hold their meetings, and that religious persecution was a thing of the past. His preaching was very successful. Wherever he spoke great crowds gathered to hear the words of a man who had had such a remarkable history, who had been a close friend of King James, and who had been in hiding for some years. Penn was unquestionably a very eloquent speaker, and his many experiences must have added very much to the interest of what he had to tell the quiet-living Quakers of the English countryside.
Meantime, much had happened in Pennsylvania. The history of the province had been full of ups and downs, many of its difficulties being due to the fact that for fifteen years Penn had been obliged to stay away from it. There had been many squabbles between the settlers and the men appointed to govern the province, but in spite of disagreements the colony had grown until now there were nearly twenty thousand settlers there. When Penn left his colony in 1684, he had placed the power in the charge of a Council of eighteen men, and each of the eighteen had felt that it was his duty to do all the governing. When he learned that this system did not work well, Penn had tried to mend matters by doing away with the Council and appointing five commissioners. But this did not work very well, either, and in less than a year Penn appointed an old soldier of Cromwell's army, Captain John Blackwell, to replace the commissioners, and act as a deputy governor. The Quakers, however, did not like being in charge of a soldier, and made matters so difficult for Captain Blackwell that he resigned his post. Then followed another Council, and then another deputy governor, so that in ten years the form of government was changed no less than six times.
When William III took the province away from Penn, he appointed a captain general, Colonel Benjamin Fletcher, who served until the colony was given back to Penn, a year and ten months later. Then Penn appointed his cousin, Markham, to be deputy governor, with two assistants. Markham, although he had a troubled time of it, managed to keep charge until William Penn was able to join him in 1699. All this time Penn had been paying salaries and spending money on his home at Pennsbury, and had been receiving nothing in return. There was another reason for Penn's returning to his colony as soon as he could, and that was that King William was growing impatient at the stories he heard of the misgovernment of Pennsylvania, and was determined that something should be done to put things on a more stable footing. So, under the urging of friends at court who knew the king's mind, Penn collected what money he could, and on September 9, 1699, embarked with his wife and his daughter Letitia on the ship Canterbury at Southampton. The voyage was long and stormy, but three months later - toward the end of November - the ship reached the mouth of the Delaware River. The ship was so slow in sailing up the river that when New Castle was reached, Penn left her and was rowed to Chester.
Many settlers, hearing of the arrival of the proprietor of the province, flocked to Chester to greet him. Among them was a Quaker who had been well known in England, Thomas Story, who had traveled extensively in America. Penn and Story spent the night together at the house of Lydia Wade, near Chester, 'and Story told the proprietor all that had been happening in the province, including the scourge of yellow fever, or "Barbados distemper," as it was often called, that had visited Philadelphia a short time before and proved fatal to more than two hundred people.
Next day Penn returned to the Canterbury and sailed on up to Philadelphia. Here he landed, paid a short visit to Markham, the deputy governor, and then went to the Quaker meetinghouse, where he preached to a great congregation. He brought with him to Philadelphia a young man named James Logan, who acted as his secretary; in time Logan became Penn's chief representative, and one of the wisest of those who helped to govern the province.
Penn had no house of his own in Philadelphia, so he, with his wife, his daughter Letitia, and James Logan, stayed for a month at the house of Edward Shippen, and then moved to one of the largest houses of the town, then known as "the slate-roof house"; it stood on the east side of Second Street between Chestnut and Walnut. There his son John was born, and the boy was always affectionately known as "John the American."
Most of the people of Pennsylvania, and particularly
the Quakers, were very glad to have Penn
with them again. He was a man well able to
govern, but not generally successful, in choosing
others to govern for him. There was one man,
Colonel Quarry, who had been sowing dissension
and distrust of Penn in the province, but Penn
sent for him, and after a talk, Quarry admitted
that he had been wrong and the two became
friends. One of the things Penn soon learned, a
thing that seems strange enough to us, was that,
there was a good deal of piracy going on in the
neighborhood of his province, and that many of
the pirates were actually living in comfort in Philadelphia!
It did not take Penn long to get after
these men, and he soon had them arrested and
punished in a way that spoke well for his energy
and zeal. Other crimes and wrongs he punished
or corrected, and the Quakers soon found they
were right in believing that their governor was as
good an executive as he was a preacher.
He was very busy that winter, holding meetings of his Council and passing new laws, preaching to Quakers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, surveying a manor of ten thousand acres at Rockhill, in Bucks County, for his son John, and overseeing repairs to his country place at Pennsbury.
At a meeting of the council, William Penn, with his expected wisdom, said to them :
He urged the settlers to make their prisons not merely places of restraint but workhouses and reformatories, and as a result Pennsylvania prisons were far better managed than those in other colonies. He introduced the custom of having a night watchman go through the streets, calling out the hour, the state of the weather, and any news of interest. In many ways he improved conditions, showing that he had a real genius for governing and an intense desire to make his province an ideal place in which to live.
In the early time of the settlement some negroes had been purchased as laborers at Pennsbury, and they continued to be employed prior to William Penn's last visit; but, before he had returned to England again, he arranged for them all to have their liberty. In a will left on that occasion with James Logan, in order to make their liberation perfectly secure he says, "I give to my blacks their freedom, as is under my hand already, and to old Sam one hundred acres of land, to be his children's after he and his wife are dead, forever." He was greatly concerned for the general instruction and religious care of the negroes who were occupied or owned by the colonists. While he was in Pennsylvania, he endeavored by legal enactment to secure to them such rightful privileges as he saw were not extended to them by their owners, and he brought a measure for that purpose before the provincial representatives; but his attempts were defeated in the House of Assembly. With his own religious society he had more success, as is proved by the minutes of Philadelphia monthly meeting. Many Friends about that time and shortly afterwards liberated their slaves long before it became an imperative rule of the society to do so.
The Pennsylvania legislature passed a resolution opposing slavery in 1688, the first known action by any governmental body in the colonies; undoubtedly encouraged by Penn. In 1671 George Fox, Penn's close associate and father of the Quakers, urged Quaker slave holders to give their slaves freedom after 30 years of service; this was a radical proposal for the time, but very Biblical. He strongly lobbied against slavery. Quoting from below in this same book: One of his latest efforts was on behalf of the negro slaves in the province. In 1692 he had tried to get justice done to these people, but in vain. Now he felt more strongly than ever that it was wrong to import negroes into the new country as slaves. He worked for this object until he induced the colonial Assembly to try to discourage that traffic by placing a duty on the importing of slaves. In 1711 they prohibited such importation in the future, but no sooner had word of this good law reached England than the government there, in spite of Penn's efforts, canceled the Pennsylvania act.
Early in the spring of 1700 Penn moved to his mansion at Pennsbury, twenty miles up the river. It was built of bricks, most of which had been brought from England, and it stood about one hundred rods from the bank of the Delaware. Back of it were deep forests, penetrated by only a few roads and trails. Its remoteness in the wilderness made it more costly to build, but Penn loved the country; in his maxims he said:
It was the most imposing residence to be found anywhere between the Hudson and Potomac rivers, and had few equals in New York or Virginia. The house and grounds of Pennsbury, which was their summer residence, is thus described by Janney:
That beautiful spot on the banks of the Delaware, which is associated with some of the happiest days of the great Christian philanthropist, exhibits to the view of the traveler, as he sails up the river, scarcely any remains of Pennsbury Manor. The mansion is gone, and a comfortable farmhouse occupies its site. A leaky reservoir on the top of the house is said to have been the cause of the premature ruin of tile building, which extended about sixty feet in front, looking down on the river from a moderate eminence. It was surrounded by tastefully arranged gardens and terraces, with vistas which opened into views of the distant woods, and again up the river to the falls of the Delaware. The Governor, after his first return to England, continued to send out European shrubs and trees, to be intermixed with the native varieties in the ornamental grounds around the house. He afterwards sent directions to the gardener about their disposal, and about collecting and cultivating the beautiful native flowers which grew in the surrounding woods.
The furniture and draperies of Pennsbury, as we learn from an inventory which still exists, seem to have been handsome and tasteful, suitable to the station and habits of its occupants. The family at the manor used vehicles of various kinds, among which a coach, a folding hood on a horse-drawn carriage, and a sedan-chair are specified, but we are told they generally preferred riding on horseback when in the country. The Governor's usual mode of transit between the city and his country-house was a large barge, with one mast and six oars, for which he seems to have had a decided preference. Writing to James Harrison, his steward, and commending the plants to his watchful care, he says "but, above all dead things, my barge. I hope nobody uses it on my account, and that she is kept in dock, covered from the weather."
We are told that when passing in his barge between Philadelphia and Pennsbury, he frequently stopped at Burlington, to see Governor Jennings of New Jersey, who was also an eminent minister among the Friends. "On one occasion Jennings and some of his friends were enjoying their pipes, a practice which Penn and Quakers disapproved. On hearing that Penn's barge was in sight, they put away their pipes, so that their friend might not be annoyed, and endeavored to conceal from him what they were about. He came upon them, however, somewhat suddenly, and pleasantly remarked that he was glad they had sufficient sense of propriety to be ashamed of the practice. Jennings, who was rarely at a loss for an answer, rejoined that they were not ashamed, but desisted to avoid hurting a weak brother."
The house had two stories, with a high attic for servants' rooms, and the main walls were eighteen inches thick. There was a large hall on the first floor, where Penn held meetings of his Council, gave entertainments, and welcomed the Indian chiefs who frequently came to see him. A parlor and a drawing-room were to the north of the hall, a library and a dining-room to the south. As was the custom then, the kitchen was a separate building, but connected with the mansion by a covered passageway. Back of the kitchen was a building called "the brew house," where ale and "strong beer" were brewed. There was also a laundry and a stable for twelve horses, and at either end of the main house were small buildings, one of which was Penn's office for the transaction of the affairs of his province, the other for the business of his private estate. This was the way in which the large landowners of colonial times planned their homes and business offices.
When Penn visited Philadelphia, he usually went down the Delaware in his private barge, rowed by six oarsmen. He seems to have enjoyed this mode of travel, and to have taken great pleasure in the scenery along the broad river. Gardens stretched from his house to the water front, and he transplanted many native wild flowers to his own grounds, besides setting out walnuts, hawthorns, hazels, and fruit trees that he brought from England. He lived in fine style; for William Penn, in spite of his urging simplicity in all things, his Christian freedom allowed him to appreciate and enjoy relative luxury of what were the essentials of his career. He had very handsome oak and walnut chairs and tables, satin curtains, a wine cellar well stocked, and six large cisterns for holding water or beer. As governor of the colony, he was expected to host many officials and peoples in his home, so he needed such facilities to function in his official capacity. Frequently he played the part of host to many Indians, and it is said that he once entertained them at a long table spread out-of-doors, serving a hundred turkeys and a large quantity of venison, both products of the surrounding woods and to the taste of both the Indians and whites.
The affairs of the government must have occupied great part of his care and attention, for many things had gotten out of order. But there were two subjects which particularly claimed his consideration; namely, the instruction and civilization of the Indians; and the improvement of the negroes. He had devoted considerable attention to the former while in America before, and during his absence the subject does not appear to have been entirely neglected.
At the Monthly Meeting of Philadelphia, which occurred in the First month, 1700, William Penn opened his concern, which he informed them had long engaged his mind, for the benefit and welfare of the Indians and negroes; pressingly exhorting Friends to discharge their duty to those people; more particularly in relation to the improvement of their minds. Advising that they should, as frequently as possible, enjoy the advantage of attending religious meetings, and receiving instruction in the principles of the Christian religion. In consequence of this communication, a meeting was appointed particularly for the negroes, to be held once a month. Measures were also adopted for having meetings more frequently with the Indians, William Penn taking upon himself the charge of regulating the manner, and procuring interpreters.
Three lower counties, in 1691, separated from the province, and that William Penn, then in retirement on account of the accusations of Fuller, was induced to give a reluctant assent to this separation. When the government of the province and territories was conferred upon Colonel Fletcher, he reunited them, apparently without consulting their choice on the subject. The legislative assembly, thus composed of members from the province and territories, was convened at Philadelphia in the Third month, 1700. In the commencement of the session, William Penn sent them information, that as he understood they were not satisfied with the charter which was granted by his deputy in 1696, he was prepared to offer them another. This information was given at the opening of the session, for the double purpose of proving his readiness to oblige them, and of giving time to consider the subject deliberately.
His next object was to secure, by legislative enactments, the improvement in the condition and treatment of the negroes and Indians in the province; which he had previously labored to effect within the limits of his own religious Society. In pursuance of this object, he presented soon afterwards a bill for regulating the morals and marriages of the negroes, and another for the regulation of their trials and punishment, substituting the judgment of the law for the will of the master. A third was also laid before the assembly, for preventing abuses upon the Indians. Of these bills he had the mortification to find the first and last rejected, the reasons for which are not transmitted to us in the history of the time. What portion of the members of the assembly belonged to the Society of Friends is uncertain; but the council of the Governor, consisting altogether of Friends, had united with him in proposing these bills, and the Monthly Meeting of Philadelphia had sanctioned the principle of them.
Here we may very rationally conclude that this rejection was the effect of an influence extraneous to his own Society. The assembly after a short session was dissolved by the Governor.
While the provincial Assembly was in session in Philadelphia, Penn was very busy directing its business; but when it adjourned, he usually turned his attention to questions concerning the Indians, whom he regarded as almost as much his own people as the white settlers. When he made his first treaty with them, he planned to call them together twice each year to renew their treaty of friendship, to adjust any matters of trade that might have arisen, and to smoke the pipe of peace with them. His absence in England had for a long time made these meetings impossible, but he now resumed them, and called the chiefs into conference with him.
The Delaware and Susquehanna tribes, who had now enjoyed his fair treatment for almost twenty years, were anxious to have Penn make agreements with other tribes, more especially those who lived in the country along the Potomac River. So they went to Onas, as Penn was usually called, and he agreed to meet their allies in April, 1700. At this meeting there came to see him many leading Indians, - three kings, and the brother of the Emperor of the Five Nations, as well as forty other chiefs. With all these Penn made treaties of peace and trade, by which the Indians were to be protected from the greed and cunning of white traders, and were, on their part, to sell their furs and skins only to Pennsylvanians. In this way he contrived to keep the red men friendly to the whites in his province, and gained the great benefit of having a bulwark of friendly Indians to protect his colony from enemies. When he made one of these treaties, he sent word of it to the government in England, and so increased his already well-deserved reputation of knowing how to deal with the Indians better than any other governor of an English colony. At Pennsbury the family lived much like a family of high rank in England. The ladies dressed in silk and wore elaborate caps and buckles and golden ornaments. Penn himself bought no less than four wigs in one year at a cost of nearly twenty pounds. But if he was indulgent to his family and himself, he was always looking after the poor and the sick. When he heard of men or women in prison for debt, he contrived to get them out and start them afresh; he was always ready to listen to and help those who came to him in any distress, and he gave pensions of three shillings a week to many old people who were no longer able to support themselves. His private cash books show a long list of generous giving that far outstrips the sums he spent for his own household use.
Besides his barge on the river he had a coach, a calash, and a sedan chair. He was very fond of good horses, and had a number in his stables. Often, however, he found it easier to explore the neighboring country on foot than on horseback, and he was very fond of taking long walks through the woods. Once he was lost on a hill near Valley Forge, and wandered about for some time when he came to another height from which he saw the Schuylkill River. The first hill he named Mount Misery, and the second Mount Joy, and these names stuck to the hills for some time. A pleasant little incident is told of how, as William Penn was riding one day to the Quaker meetinghouse at Haverford, outside Philadelphia, he overtook a little barefooted girl, Rebecca Wood, who was also going to the meeting. He took her up behind him on the horse, and the two rode on to the meetinghouse, the little girl's bare legs making an odd contrast to the tall governor in his long coat and knee breeches.
William and Hannah Penn entertained continually at their country home, preferring Pennsbury to the town. Penn's daughter Letitia, however, who was twenty years old, and a very lively, handsome girl, did not care so much for the quiet of the country, and spent most of her time in Philadelphia with the Markhams, the Logans, or the Shippens.
Penn always dealt fairly with the Indians, and they trusted him far more than they did most of the white men. He traveled through New Jersey, New York, and Maryland, being eager to see the country and also to spread Quaker influence as widely as he could in the new world. The life of a country gentleman suited him to perfection, and he was undoubtedly much happier in Pennsylvania than he had been when a courtier at Whitehall in London, or striving to, make other people believe that King James was as worthy a king as he himself thought him.
Among the recreations of the Governor and his family was the occasional attendance at an Indian fair, or cantico -- in reference to which his cash book, kept by James Logan, contains the following entries :-
When visiting the Indians, William Penn, in the overflowing sympathy of his heart, always endeavored to make them feel as innocently happy as possible, and he found that nothing succeeded better than entering into whatever was going forward among them, such as partaking in hearty good will of their venison, their hominy, or their roasted acorns-whatever happened to be at hand. And when they stood up to try their strength and skill, in the athletic games to which they were accustomed, he used to join them, and in his earlier days is said to have been a full match for any of them, and to have entered into these exercises with great zest and pleasantry.
Isaac Norris, a man of wealth and influence in the colony, remarks in a family letter:
Still, the government of Pennsylvania did not run smoothly even while Penn was there. Quakers and Church of England people were constantly wrangling, and the Assembly would not pass the laws that Penn thought it ought to. He was not making money from his province; he still had to pay large salaries, and he was constantly being asked for money for various purposes. Once he declared that the province had meant a loss to him of £20,000; this compares with the value owed to Penn's father by the King, of £16,000, for which Pennsylvania was given to Penn; he was loosing money in a big way. Occasionally he received payment from the sale of land or for rent, but the settlers were hard people to deal with and paid out their money grudgingly.
The limits of Pennsylvania were still very indefinite, and for the most part were not settled until years later. The province was said to be bounded on the north by the southern limits of New York, and on the south by the northern limits of Maryland. Neither of these boundaries was actually settled until 1768. Westward the boundary was yet more vague, being defined by the words "as far to the westward as Maryland extends." But boundaries were not of great importance then, when there was so much vacant land, although by 1702 great numbers of Germans, Swiss, Huguenots, and Scotch-Irish were coming into the province and taking up homesteads west and north of the little Quaker settlement on the Delaware. The Pennsylvania Assembly refused to grant certain supplies that were asked by King William in 1701.
During the time which William Penn had passed in America, he had applied himself industriously to the affairs of the government; endeavoring to rectify the disorders which had crept into the province; always preferring the good of the country and its inhabitants to his own private interest; rather remitting than strictly exacting his lawful revenues; so that under his paternal administration the people of the province were advancing in prosperity and accumulating the necessities and comforts of life. But the ambition of rulers and the intrigues of their enemies raised another storm, which in a short time separated William Penn forever from his province. The growing wealth and population of the American colonies began before this time to excite the jealousy of the government at home, and the project appears to have been formed soon after the revolution to purchase the proprietorship of the more important ones, if not of all, and vest their government in the crown. A bill was at this time actually before the House of Lords, for changing the colonial governments into regal ones. The excuse for this intended assumption of power, was the national advantage to be derived from it on one hand, and the pretended abuses existing among them on the other. The friends of William Penn and others interested in the affairs of Pennsylvania, represented to Parliament the hardship of his case, and solicited a suspension of their proceedings until he could return and answer for himself. Letters were also dispatched, giving him information of the measures in progress and urging his immediate return. Painful as the prospect of abandoning the colony in which he had expected to spend the evening of his day unquestionably was, there appeared no alternative. The experiment wich he had attempted, of maintaining a government upon Christian principles, and making the settlement of the country subservient to the civilization of the original inhabitants, was in danger of being totally frustrated. A military government might be reasonably expected in case the bill in question should be completed; and very possibly the barbarous contests with the natives which marked the early settlements in Virginia and New England, would be renewed upon the banks of the Delaware. Having decided upon a voyage to Europe, William Penn again convened the assembly at Philadelphia, to whom on the 15th of Seventh month he delivered an address, in which he said :
It is not necessary to enter into a detail of the proceedings of this assembly. Suffice it to observe, that the jealousies of the lower counties again appeared, but were so far allayed by the mildness and firmness of the Governor, that the members agreed to proceed with those from the province in the settlement of the business for which they were convened. The charter of privileges was completed and signed, to the general satisfaction of the parties concerned.
The news that William Penn was going to England soon brought a number of Indians to visit him. Some of these visits were received at Pennsbury, probably before the meeting of the assembly, and one, at least, at Philadelphia, during the session. John Richardson, who was then in Pennsylvania upon a religious visit, has left us a brief account of an interview between William Penn and the Indians at Pennsbury. The conference was conducted with great sobriety and decorum. One of the chiefs, speaking of their covenants which they were then reviving, told them that they never first broke their covenants with any people; for, striking his hand upon his head, he said they did not make them there; but said, striking his hand on his breast, they made them there. After the proper business was finished, William Penn presented them with some articles of clothing, and before they left him, assured them that if any differences should arise between them and any of his people, it need not be the cause of war; for that justice should be done in such cases; that animosities might be prevented on both sides forever.
Of the visit made during the session of the assembly, but little is now known, though the interview is said to have been very interesting. It appears to have been in the presence of the council.
William Penn told them, the assembly was then about enacting a law, according to the desire of the Indians, to prevent their being abused by the sale of rum among them; and he requested them to unite their utmost efforts with those of the government, to secure its due execution. Observing to them at the same time, that this was likely to be his last interview with them, at least until his return, he assured them he had always loved them, and been kind to them, and should always continue so to be, not from policy or to promote his own interest, but from a real affection; and he desired them, in his absence, to cultivate friendship with those whom he should leave in authority behind him; for they would always, in some degree, continue their friendship to them as he had ever done. Lastly, he told them, that he had charged the members of council, and he then repeated the charge, that they should in all respects be kind to them, and entertain them with all courtesy and demonstrations of good-will, as he had always done. The members then promised that they would faithfully observe the charge. Some presents were then made to the Indians, after which they withdrew. Preparations being made for his voyage, and the vessel nearly ready to sail, he appointed a council of state, consisting of ten persons, of whom Thomas Story was one; he likewise presented the citizens of Philadelphia with a charter, constituting it a city, with the necessary power for its government; and lastly, he constituted Andrew Hamilton, who was sometime governor both of East and West New Jersey, his deputy governor for the province and territories.
He expected his visit to England would take him only a short time, and he planned to return to Pennsbury at the end of a year. He wanted to make his home there, and expected his wife and Letitia to stay there until he returned. But his family thought otherwise about being left behind. Penn wrote to James Logan: "I can not prevail on my wife to stay: still less Tishe. I know not what to do." And in another "letter he wrote: "The "going of my wife and Tishe will add greatly to the expense; more of living in London than of the passage. But they will not be denied."
Both Mrs. Penn and Letitia were probably homesick for their native England. Letitia in particular missed her celebrant friends at home, and found the Quakers of the province a poor substitute. It happened that later, when she did return to England, she gave up the Quaker faith and became a member of the Church of England. Mrs. Penn, in addition to other reasons for returning home, had already seen that her husband required the help of her firm will and clear insight when he was beset with political troubles in England, and believed she could be of great assistance to him. So when Penn did return, he took his family with him.
He made Andrew Hamilton deputy governor of the province, and James Logan secretary; and on November 4, 1701, sailed from Philadelphia in the ship Dalmaho.
From on board the ship, he wrote to James Logan:
The ship made a very quick
run, in fact one of the fastest voyages recorded at
that time, taking only thirty-six days to cross;
and by the middle of December Penn was again in
London. He took apartments in Kensington,
that he might be close to the king and Parliament
in looking after his title to his province.
It turned out that Penn never went back to
Pennsylvania again, although some of his children
did. Politics were to take all his attention;
he was to have no more of the country life in
America that he had grown so fond.
AT COURT AND IN PRISON
Although the daughter of James Stuart, Queen Anne was a Protestant, and had married a Protestant, Prince George of Denmark. She was liberal to all religions, and soon after she became queen, the Quakers asked Penn to present her with an address thanking her for the toleration toward all sects that she had promised to observe. Penn read the address. Queen Anne then answered graciously enough, "Mr. Penn, I am so well pleased that what I have said is to your satisfaction, that you and your friends may be assured of my protection, and I sincerely hope for your welfare and happiness."
She kept her word to the Quakers, and also proved the constant friend of Penn. She had seen him much at court when her father was king, and knew of the old friendship between her father and the Quaker leader. Therefore Penn became in a way a courtier again, and held somewhat the same prominent position he had held before William came to the throne.
He spent much of his time in London, where he now had friends in both the Whig and Tory parties. The leading statesmen thought so highly of his abilities that they frequently asked him to arrange political and personal matters that required tact and diplomatic skill. Sometimes he tried to exercise these qualities by correspondence with the lawmakers of Pennsylvania, and one of his latest efforts was on behalf of the negro slaves in the province. In 1692 he had tried to get justice done to these people, but in vain. Now he felt more strongly than ever that it was wrong to import negroes into the new country as slaves. He worked for this object until he induced the colonial Assembly to try to discourage that traffic by placing a duty on the importing of slaves. In 1711 they prohibited such importation in the future, but no sooner had word of this good law reached England than the government there, in spite of Penn's efforts, canceled the Pennsylvania act. Yet the wisest statesmen in England realized that Penn was right, and that the course he was urging his colony to adopt, not only in regard to negro slavery but in all matters that dealt with human liberty and enlightenment, was the best for the new world to follow.
Of Penn's children by his first wife, the lively Letitia married William Aubrey, who was harsh and overbearing to her father and tyrannical toward her. His son William had married, but had become very dissipated during his father's visit to Pennsylvania, and was now the black sheep of the family. He owed a great many debts and was in danger of being put into prison for them, so Penn decided he would be better off in Pennsylvania, and sent him out to Pennsbury. He was to be encouraged to live a healthy outdoor life, and have horses and hounds for hunting foxes, deer, and wolves. The son went out to Pennsbury, and James Logan tried to keep a watchful and restraining eye on him, but he managed to get into almost as much trouble there as he had in London, in spite of all efforts to keep him straight.
A great change had come over England since the days when the Stuarts were sovereigns. The old brutal laws had been abolished for the most part, and there was far less cruelty and violence. Instead of the dissolute Charles and the treacherous James, the rulers were honorable and virtuous. There were no longer constant rumors of plots and conspiracies, and all religions were treated fairly. William Penn found that he was no longer needed to help some poor Quaker who had fallen under the disfavor of officers of the law. Now his difficulties were mainly those connected with trying to provide a decent government for his province, and to get enough money from it to pay expenses.
Before Penn left Pennsylvania the Assembly there had voted to pay him £2000, but that was soon spent, and the settlers were so economical that they did not wish to give him anything more. Again and again he wrote to James Logan about his financial difficulties in managing Pennsylvania. In one letter he said: "Never had poor man my task, with neither men nor money to assist me. I therefore strictly charge thee that thou represent to Friends there, that I am forced to borrow money, and add debts to debts, instead of paying them off.... Make return with all speed or I'm undone." He tried many ways to make his province pay him something in return for the work and money he had already bestowed on it. He urged Logan to buy and send him as many furs as he could get, knowing that they would bring a good price in England. At one time he thought of selling his government directly to the English Crown for a sum sufficient to payoff all his debts. There was considerable haggling about the price and the sale was never made. Meantime his son William was getting into more trouble at Pennsbury and in Philadelphia. One night he and a dissipated comrade began to beat the night watch. He received a thrashing, and was afterwards treated as a common rioter. The son had been given a manor in the hope that he would look after it, but instead he sold it and squandered all the money. At last Penn sent for him to come home, and when William the younger finally reached England, he took to his former way of living, and incurred fresh debts for his already impoverished and indulgent parent. Penn figured that he had lost £30,000 by his province. "Oh Pennsylvania," he wrote, "what have you cost me! Above £30,000 more than I ever got by it, two hazardous and most fatiguing voyages, my straits and slavery here, and my child's soul almost. . .. In short, I must sell all or be undone, and disgraced into the bargain."
Meantime no supplies reached the Governor, to enable him to conduct the expensive suit which resulted from the threatened annexation of the province. He says, writing to Logan,
The annexation would have been of all things dreaded by the colonists, as in that case their colonial laws must have been endangered; yet they could not be roused to send their Governor suitable supplies to withstand it.
Eight months later he writes again, "I never was so reduced; for Ireland, my old principal verb, has hardly any money. England is severe to her. No trade is allowed here but butter and meat to Flanders and the West Indies and at England's mercy for prices, so that we must go and eat out half our rents, or we cannot enjoy them."
The man who was now acting as deputy governor of Pennsylvania was proving a poor makeshift, and conditions in the province seemed to be going from bad to worse. Opposition to Penn himself also was increasing, and presently the Assembly passed a set of resolutions that were sent to him in London. These resolutions made many complaints against his government of the province, charging him with having sided with enemies of the colony, with having extorted money from settlers in the sale of lands, with having failed to pay a former governor's salary, and ended by stating that something must be done to suppress lawlessness in the province. When it became known that the Assembly had sent such a note to Penn, the colonists at once objected to the offensiveness of its tone. Orders were given to recall the resolutions, and, in an attempt to straighten the matter out, the Assembly voted £1200 for the support of Penn's government. All might now have gone smoothly had not the deputy governor, John Evans, tried to scare the Quakers by a foolish trick. He had been wanting to build up a militia for the province, but the Quakers had objected to this. So, on the day of the annual fair, Evans arranged to have a messenger ride into Philadelphia, bringing the exciting news that a force of French soldiers had been seen on the Delaware heading toward Philadelphia. Then Evans buckled on his sword and rode up and down before the people, urging them to arm and defend their province.
There was a brief alarm, during which the larger ships on the Delaware were hurried up the river while the smaller craft were concealed in creeks. Silverware and valuables were hidden, but only four men came to the meeting-place Evans had appointed to enroll as militiamen. When it was discovered how Evans had tried to trick them, the settlers were highly indignant, and sent a complaint to Penn in England. Penn also heard that there was much criticism of his friend and secretary, James Logan.
A few of the men in whom Penn trusted, like James Logan, were entirely worthy of his trust, but there were many who were not. Among these latter was a man named Philip Ford, a Quaker, who had for some time been acting as steward of Penn's estates in England and Ireland. Penn grew very fond of Ford, as he had been very fond of James Stuart, and at length made him a present of ten thousand acres in Pennsylvania, a city lot in Philadelphia, and one hundred and fifty acres in the suburbs.
Pennsylvania met with another great trouble in the evening of his life, through the duplicity of his agents, the Fords. He trusted Philip Ford to the utmost, passing his accounts without scrutiny. For the space of twenty years he suspected nothing, till the final catastrophe. On Ford's death, his widow and his son Philip Ford, Jr. presented an account against William Penn, showing him to be £14,000 in their debt. William Penn impugned the statement, and all those concerned being Quakers, he at once prepared to submit the whole to a body of Quaker arbitrators for examination and decision. This the Fords spurned, well knowing it could not stand any such test. But, from the cunning way in which the affair had been managed, they expected the law would serve their purpose better. At one period of the difficulties occasioned by his expenditure on Pennsylvania, William Penn, without the knowledge of any of his friends, had borrowed £2,800 from Philip Ford, for which he gave him security of title on the province. When, of the income from the English and Irish estates, enough was afterwards left in Ford's hands to pay off the debt, Penn, feeling no doubt of its faithful application, did not look after his bond. Meantime Ford calculated enormous interest and compound interest on the debt, with exorbitant charges for every movement in connection with it, while none of the money which in been left in his hands was taken any notice of till the debt was represented on his death as having amounted to £14,000. The imposition practiced by this unworthy confidant may be in part computed from the fact, that he received seventeen thousand pounds of William Penn's money, and disbursed on his own account only sixteen thousand pounds, and yet brought his employer twelve thousand pounds in debt for interest and services. A close examination, with such documentary evidence as William Penn could bring forward in Ford's own writing, proved clearly that instead of owing this sum to Ford, Ford owed him £1659. Despite all this, the bond stood legally against him, with enormous accumulations, and nothing short of the last penny would satisfy the Fords. However, it was found that was only about one half what was claimed. On non-payment of one of the smaller items of their demands, they took out a warrant against William Penn, which the bailiffs were ordered to execute one day when he should be seated in Gracechurch-street meeting. They would have acted up to these instructions but for the interference of Henry Goldney and Herbert Springett, who promised that he should be ready for them in a few hours. Penn's friends advised him not to pay the claim, but rather go to prison, and he was accordingly lodged in the Fleet prison.
His case called forth the utmost sympathy of his own fellow believers, which they manifested in every way in their power. Many of his most valued friends repeatedly visited him in the Fleet prison, and often held their religious meetings with him there. James Logan, in writing to Thomas Callowhill, Hannah Penn's father, under date 13th of Sixth-month, 1706, thus speaks of the circumstances which led to his son-in-law's imprisonment :
In Thomas Callowhill's reply he says,
On that occasion William Penn remained for nine months a prisoner in the Fleet. His is friends had exerted themselves, and by that time raised-the sum of £7,500 to payoff the mother, daughter, and son of Philip Ford, rather than allow their friend to remain any longer incarcerated. Those who advanced the money were given due securities on Pennsylvania for its repayment. Penn's excellent and faithful American biographer speaks of that period in the following terms :
Meantime, while he was still in prison, his deputy governor Evans had been behaving so badly that the people of the province decided they would stand him no longer. Penn, having once felt a strong friendship for this man, would have put up with almost any injustice from him. Three prominent Quakers went to him in the Fleet Prison, however, and told him that unless he removed Evans from the governorship the people would appeal to Queen Anne to settle the matter. This might result in taking the province from him; so, reluctantly, Penn agreed to dismiss Evans from his position. Even then, however, he was so fond of Evans that he would not let him know that he disapproved of his acts. He wrote to James Logan, asking him to explain the matter to his deputy governor, and said, "Pray break it to him and that the reason why I chose to change, rather than contest with the complaints before the queen in council, is that he may stand the fairer for any employment elsewhere; which would be very doubtful if those blemishes were aggravated in such a presence." In place of Evans, Penn sent out as the new governor another friend of his, Colonel Charles Gookin. He wrote very flattering accounts of this new governor to the people of Philadelphia.
PENN'S WORKS COMPLETED
WHEN Penn left the Fleet Prison, he went to his home at Brentford, nine miles out of London, and stayed there for a short time, after which he moved with his family to a country place in the Berkshire Hills called Ruscombe. While he was here he kept up his efforts to sell Pennsylvania to the English Crown, and, as that matter dragged along with little result, he tried his best to straighten out the tangled government of his colony by sending long letters to James Logan and other officers in Philadelphia. In its early days the province had been a great pleasure to him, but now it seemed to be only a source of continual misunderstandings and debts. He felt that, however much the colony might have profited others, it had proved almost a thankless burden to himself. He wrote to some of the colonists just what his feelings were in regard to Pennsylvania. "The many combats I have engaged in," he said, "the great pains and incredible expense to your welfare and ease, to the decay of my former estate, of which, (however some there would represent it), I too sensibly feel the effects, with the undeserved opposition I have met with from there, sink me into sorrow, that if not supported by a superior hand, might have overwhelmed me long ago. And I cannot but think it hard measure, that, while that has proved a land of freedom and flourishing, it should become to me, by whose means it was principally made a country, the cause of grief, trouble, and poverty."
Although the English Crown was anxious to take over the province of Pennsylvania, there were many obstacles to their coming to an agreement with Penn. Some of these obstacles he at length compromised; for example, he agreed that he and his family should have only 100,000* acres in fee, in place of all the rights to real estate that had been granted him under the original charter. He insisted that there should be no official establishing of the Church of England in Pennsylvania, that no public money should be used for one sect in preference to others, and that public offices should be open to all settlers. After much controversy the English government drew up a new charter or constitution, modeled after those in New York and New Jersey, except that nothing whatever was said in the charter about establishing the Church of England; while the question of the right to vote on public matters was left for the people themselves to decide.”
By 1710 the arrangements to take over Pennsylvania from Penn were about completed. Three years before this, James Logan had written to William Penn : "It is the very leaven of George Keith left among the people at his separation, and now fermenting up again; and these proceedings are contrary to the minds of honest Friends."
The dispatches which reached William Penn through the instrumentality of James Logan, or through other channels, gave him full knowledge of the turbulent spirit which distracted the province. He addressed to the assembly the following energetic expostulation : LONDON, 29th Fourth month, 1710.
At the election an entirely new set of members was returned to the assembly, and a degree of harmony between them and the Governor, which had been unknown for several years, marked the progress of the session, and this state of things continued with little interruption during the short time in which William Penn was capable of taking an active part in these concerns.
The English Crown was to pay Penn £12,000 in four annual installments. Before the matter could be finally settled it had to be ratified by an Act of Parliament; however, there seemed little reason to doubt but that the affair was practically settled, and so Penn considered it. Although he was now almost seventy years old, he made many journeys through England in order to spread the Quaker doctrines. In his leisure moments he added many maxims to the collection he had made, and did other writing as well. He seems to have given up the idea of returning to his house at Pennsbury, although he sometimes spoke as if he should like to return, if only his affairs in London would let him do so.
Some time before he had been taken ill, having what appeared to be a stroke of paralysis. He recovered from this, but a second recurrence of his illness came, and then on the 24th of Fifth-month, 1712, William Penn commenced a letter to James Logan, in which, after feelingly alluding to the death of his wife's father and mother, his pen suddenly stopped.. under the pressure of a paralytic seizure. It was the third time he had been assailed by paralysis, but on the present occasion far more severely than ever; and his intellect never recovered from the effects of this attack. His sweet temper and happy spirit remained, and a heart overflowing with love to God and man was as visible as in his brighter days. In fact, the memory of all recent things, and with it mental anxiety and intellectual power, had vanished, while the spirit remained the same. He continued to attend Friends' meetings, and some times spoke a few sentences exhorting Friends to love one another; while, with a countenance beaming with sympathy and kindness, he used to meet with and part from them. In this condition, life wore away with little variation for five years.
Although calm and serene, he could not transact business intelligently. This prevented the completion of the sale of his title to Pennsylvania; for, his mind being impaired, he could not give a valid deed to the government. As a result the title to the province stayed in his family until the American Revolution in 1776.
When he could not attend to matters in Pennsylvania, his wife took charge, and she managed them very capably. It was she who discharged a deputy governor who was quarreling with the Assembly there, and appointed in his place an excellent governor, Sir William Keith, who proved a popular and very successful officer. Also, trade in Pennsylvania was now beginning to boom, so that in a short time the province became much more valuable, and it turned out well for Penn's wife and children that he had not sold his title to the English Crown. Penn remained an invalid until his death on July 30, 1718, and during this time, freed from care concerning his province, he delighted in the quiet country life at Ruscombe, and in the company of his devoted wife and younger children. Many friends came to visit him, and on Sundays he was driven to the meetinghouse, where he would sometimes speak briefly, always proclaiming his faith in the religion that had been the guide and mainstay of his eventful life. William Penn was always a deeply religious and honorable man, thoroughly sincere, and indomitable in his defense of what he believed to be the truth. He was a great man, for he led the new sect of Quakers through their early trials; he had the vision to build them a new home beyond the seas and to set them standards of liberty and government that were far in advance of his time. His faults of judgment were that he too often trusted the wrong men, and frequently he showed himself a child in caring for money matters. These faults, however, were never faults of character, but rather of a nature too generous and confiding. We usually think of him as a quiet, simple Quaker, wearing plain clothes and caring little or nothing for luxury or display. He was a man of action, a man who was naturally fond of court life, who was comfortable with power. While he lived in Pennsylvania he lived in the comforts necessary to be its governor, and he enjoyed his reputation among the Quakers both in Pennsylvania and in England.
His province of Pennsylvania was at once the
delight and the torment of his existence. He liked
his ideal of what such a colony ought to be, but as would be expected in the governing of imperfect men, he
found it a great deal of difficulty. He dealt fairly
with settlers and Indians, probably more fairly
than any other governor of an American colony,
and the Indians seemed to appreciate his fair dealing
more than did the white men. The colony
owed something to his governing, but a great deal
more to the noble spirit of liberty of religion in
which he founded it. There is to be found what has
made the name of William Penn illustrious and beloved,
for he had a great vision of human liberty
and he worked mightily to make that vision become
a reality. In the light of his splendid ambitions his
mistakes count for little.
PENNSYLVANIA UNDER PENN'S DESCENDANTS
WILLIAM PENN'S son by his first wife, named for himself, the one who had been sent to Pennsylvania in the hope that he would give over his wild way of living, inherited the property in England and Ireland, most of which had belonged to his mother. Letitia, who had married William Aubrey, had already received a dower, and later received ten thousand acres of land in Pennsylvania, as did each of the younger William's children, Gulielma, Maria, Springett, and William. The remainder of Penn's estate went to his second wife, Hannah Penn, and her five children, John, Thomas, Margaret, Richard, and Dennis. Hannah Penn had practically all the powers over the province that her husband had wielded, and she used them capably, proving a most excellent business woman. She arranged that her eldest son, John, should become the principal Proprietary of the province, as he was called, and his brothers Thomas and Richard his associates. The youngest son, Dennis, died very young. From 1712 to 1727 Hannah Penn managed the affairs of Pennsylvania, and far more successfully than her husband had done. He had left his province in such a debt-ridden condition that it had seemed as if it would have to be sold to the Crown to straighten it out, but Hannah Penn left it to her three sons in such excellent shape that it was generally considered to be one of the finest domains in the world owned by private individuals. Sir William Keith, the governor who had been appointed by Hannah Penn, managed affairs with success for some time, but finally came disagreements with Mrs. Penn. He believed that her son John would not make a good manager of the province, and secretly advised the popular leaders in the colony to try to abolish the Proprietary system of government. This caused Hannah Penn to appoint Patrick Gordon to succeed Governor Keith in 1726. In 1732 Thomas Penn made a visit to Pennsylvania, and he was followed by his older brother John in 1734. Neither of these sons of William Penn made a good impression in Philadelphia, and it is said that the people there even preferred young William Penn, with all his bad manners and wildness, to these two half-brothers of his. Neither John nor Thomas seem to have had the broadmindedness and kindly disposition of their father, but to have been unscrupulous, overbearing, and too eager to make all the money they could out of the colony. John was somewhat better liked than Thomas, who seemed to have little sense about anything but money-getting. Benjamin Franklin, who was editor of the Pennsylvania Gazette during the visit of the two sons of Penn to Philadelphia, but who had never met the roistering young William, is reported to have said to a friend that "according to all accounts there was more of the gentleman in Billy Penn drunk than in both of these Penns sober." John Penn returned to England in 1736, and Thomas in 1741, and neither ever returned to Pennsylvania, having about as much affection for their father's province as the province had for them. Governor Gordon, who had been appointed by Hannah Penn, had a successful administration and held the office until his death in 1736. The Penn brothers then chose George Thomas to the place, and he proved a most loyal adherent of England until he resigned in 1747. James Hamilton, the first governor of Pennsylvania who was born and bred in America, succeeded him, and proved the most popular governor since William Penn had made his second visit to his province. Governor Hamilton felt that Pennsylvania would be better off as an English colony than under the proprietorship of the Penn family, and most of the people agreed with him, but no definite steps in that direction were taken. John Penn had died, and the two brothers who survived him, Thomas and Richard, knew that Hamilton was too popular with the Pennsylvanians to be removed from office. After a while, however, disagreements developed to such a degree that Hamilton resigned, and the governors who followed had to face new difficulties arising from the fact that the French were influencing the Indians against the English colonists, in Pennsylvania no less than in New England and New York. William Penn's policy of fair dealing with the Indians had been abandoned by his sons, and the frontiersmen were made to feel the result in constant attacks on their outlying settlements. The Quakers did not believe in warfare, but the men on the Pennsylvania frontiers, Scotch-Irish, Swiss, and Germans, had to arm and form companies for self-protection after General Braddock's defeat by the French and Indians. They felt that they ought to have some help, financial if no other, from the wealthy people in the eastern part of the province; and at length they succeeded in getting the Assembly to vote for supplies. When it came to raising this money, the property of the Penns had to be taxed, and this gave the greatest offense to Thomas and Richard Penn in England. They removed the governor, and tried to fight the tax, but the colonists replied by voting the tax again and even increasing the amount the Penns had to pay. The governor who had been removed told Franklin that he was glad to be rid of the job, adding that three years of the governorship as he had held it would turn any man against the Proprietary system. To which Franklin answered, "Particularly with Tom and Dick Penn for Proprietors." In 1763 John Penn, the son of Richard, and grandson of William Penn, became governor, and his term of office was the stormiest and least creditable of all the governorships that the province had known. During his first year in office a revolt took place in the mountains which became known as the "revolution of the Paxton boys." A crowd of mountaineers defied a battalion of British regulars in the town of Lancaster, and announced that if the regulars dared to fire "so much as one shot, their scalps would ornament every cabin from the Susquehanna to the Ohio."
The soldiers did not fire, and the Paxton boys thereupon helped themselves to all the horses they wanted, took the ammunition wagons belonging to the regulars, and set out for Philadelphia. There were almost a thousand of them when they arrived on the high ground of Germantown, and there demanded that certain Indians who were being kept under guard in the Northern Liberties should be given to them on pain of their sacking the city otherwise. The citizens found that the regular troops could not be relied on, and sent some deputies to treat with the rebels. By agreeing to all the latter demanded, except the massacre of the Indians, the deputies were finally able to induce the mountaineers to return to their homes. Very soon afterward the Assembly petitioned the English Parliament to abolish the Proprietary. It is interesting to recall that this term, "Liberties," had been applied to certain tracts of land lying north and west of the original limits of Philadelphia. The soil contained in these tracts was called "liberty land" or "free lots" because William Penn had made a gift of land in these sections to the first purchasers of lots in the city proper, the amount of "free" land given being in proportion to the amount of "town" land that was bought. The term, "City and Liberties of Philadelphia," was commonly used in the early days of the province, the city containing about 1820 acres, and the Liberties about 16,236 acres. Later, the Northern Liberties became a part of the city of Philadelphia. Before Parliament did this, however, another misadventure had occurred in the province. About 1762 fifty families from Connecticut had moved to the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania, and believing the country there to be very productive, they had made some clearings, built log cabins, and grown some fields of corn. John Penn, the governor, heard of this, and in 1764 he sent constables to this settlement to order the pioneers off, claiming that they were on land that had been granted to his grandfather. The Wyoming settlement now numbered about three thousand persons, and naturally they were unwilling to give up their lands. Then a company was formed in Philadelphia to buy that section of the country from John Penn, and, making use of the improvements of the Connecticut' settlers, market it as the company saw fit. They would only buy it, however, on condition that John Penn should first drive out the settlers. So John Penn, in 1770, hired a crowd of rascals to go into the Wyoming Valley and drive the pioneers away from their cabins and fields. The settlers answered Penn's demands by building a fort which they christened Forty Fort, in honor of the first settlers, who were forty in number. They were always referred to as the First Forty, and were held in high esteem. They had been sent by the Susquehanna Company of Connecticut into the Wyoming Valley. After some fighting the settlers managed to hold their ground. This became known as the Pennamite War; and, although the governor was backed by some of the leading men of Philadelphia, his attempts to oust the settlers made his rule more distasteful than ever to a people who were growing more and more fond of liberty. The American Revolution was now at hand, and the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety decided that it was time to "annul the charter that had been granted to William Penn, and abolish the Proprietary government. Therefore, two months after the Declaration of Independence was signed, in 1776, the Committee of Safety, now calling itself the "Supreme Executive Council," deposed John Penn from his office, and decreed that what had been the province of Pennsylvania should become a state in the new American Union. The boundaries of Pennsylvania were by that time definitely settled, and incidentally those boundaries included the rich Wyoming Valley, where now stands the prosperous city of Wilkes Barre. The title that had belonged to the Penn family was now vested in the state, and the state appropriated £130,000 to be paid to the heirs of William Penn. In addition to this amount the heirs of William Penn, having sided with the Tories during the Revolution, claimed a large sum from the English government after the Revolution, basing their claim on the Act of Parliament that agreed" to indemnify loyal subjects of his Britannic Majesty for losses suffered in the American War." The English government settled this claim by paying William Penn's heirs £500,000. As a result these heirs secured from Pennsylvania and from England more than three million dollars, besides retaining the private estates in Pennsylvania that they had always owned. Eventually, therefore, Penn's province proved of very great value to his children and grandchildren, although the people who had opened up and settled that new country had gained little from those descendants; they had to look back to the great founder, William Penn, the noble and steadfast Quaker, for the liberty-loving ideas and wise principles of government that helped to make Pennsylvania one of the greatest of the new union of states. It is well that his name should forever be associated with that state, for it is the name of a man of noble character and a fearless champion of liberty.