Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE

IN
NORTH AMERICA,

FROM THE Original Institution and Settlement of that Province, under the first Proprietor and Governor WILLIAM PENN,

in 1681, till after the Year 1742;

WITH A N

INTRODUCTION,

R E SPECTING, The Life of W. PENN, prior to the grant of the Province, and the religious Society of the People called Quakers;— with the first rise of the neighbouring Colonies, more particularly of Wes-New-Ferfey, and the Settlement

of the Dutch and Swedes on Delaware.

TO WHICH IS ADDED, A brief Description of the said Province,

AND OF THE General State, in which it flourished, principally between the Years 1760 and 1770.

The whole including a Variety of Things, Useful and interesting to be known, respecting that Country in early Time, &c.

With an APPENDIX.

.

Written principally between the Years 1776 and 1780,

By ROBERT PROUD.

16 PULCHRUM EST BENEFACERE REIPUBLICÆ, ETIAM BENEDIC ERL HAUD ABSUR

DUM EST, VEL PACE VEL BELLO CLARUM FIERI LICET." Sal. Catalin,

5 SED CUM PLERIQUE ARBITRENTUR RES BELLICAS MAJORES ESSE QUAM URBAN397

MINUENDA EST HÆC OPINIO.” Cic. Off.

VOLUME I.

Philadelphia:

PRINTED AND SOLD BY ZACHARIAH POULSON, JUNIOR,

NUMBER EIGHTY, CHESN UT-STREET.

[merged small][ocr errors]

memo

The means, Though the materials of this performance, and or mate the regular accounts of the early progressive adrials.

vances of this country, left by those who were most capable of giving them, appear, in some things, and more fo at particular times, very defective, yet the compilation is made from the best that could be had, as transmitted from the most early settlers, and their successors, of the first reputation and character, in the province; as well as from the public records, and such other ac

counts as may be depended on. C. Pufey & Among the first collectors of these materials apfirst collec- pears to have been Caleb Pusey, one of the early tors of the

De fettlers of Pennsylvania from about London, in &c. 1682; who, at different times, was both of the

provincial and proprietary's, or governor's, council, and frequently in the assembly. He lived many years; was well acquainted with the public affairs, and saw great improvements in the province. His papers after his decease, in 1725, were delivered to David Lloyd and Isaac Norris; and afterwards to James Logan, about the year 1732. From these persons, who made such additions, as came within their obfervation, they afterwards passed to Johni Kinsey; who, in conjunction with several others, his friends, revised them; and they remained in his poffeffion till his death, in the year 1750.

The character of these persons, above mentioned, who, at different periods of time, filled some of the most eminent public stations in the province, will further appear in the ensuing history; as being men who had not only the best opportunity of knowing the variety of incidents, and the true itate of its internal affairs, from the beginning, but also were themselves actively concerned in a large share of the public transactions; and some of them, in the different interests both of the proprietary and of his opposers.

But

But the person who took the most pains to adjusts and reduce these materials into such order, as might hisM.S.&c. be proper for the public view, before that of the present publication, was Samuel Smith of Burlinga ton, in New Jersey, author of the history of that province; whose manuscript (which contained only the space of about forty years after his decease, in 1776, being thought by divers fenfible and judicious persons, among his friends, to be capable of further improvement, and useful alterations, or additions, the present history, therefore, is published, not only in a form, different from that of S. Smith's manuscript, but also divers particulars therein, are here much abbreviated, especially respecting the long and tedious disputes between some of the governors and assemblies; and considerable additions are made, from other accounts, of such things as were either not at all touched upon, or but slightly mentioned, by him; besides most of the notes, with the introduction, and the description of the province and its present state, between the years 1760 and 1770; both which last, not being attempted by him, are, for the most part, entirely new:-So that the whole comprizes, besides what may be found of veracity, in other publications, respecting the province, a true and genuine narrative of the different public transactions, the great and vaa rious improvements, memorable incidents, entertaining anecdotes, and things worthy to be known, for above sixty years, besides the said present state, &c. The restoration and enjoyment of those natural

al Subject of and civil rights and privileges, of which men origi- the history, nally, by their folly and wickedness, are often deprived, was the great end, for which the prede. cessors of the present inhabitants of Pennsylvania, at first, peaceably withdrew into this retirement, from those, who, at that time, appeared either to have lost, or too partially distributed them; and the preservation thereof was the original design of

the

the civil government and constitution of the province; an account of which, &c. is the principal

subject of the following history. Remarka- Hence, in the first rise, and early progress, of ble exam- this province, there manifestly appears a remarkple, &c.

able and extraordinary example of that excellent wisdom, industry and moderation, whose effects are replete with useful instruction to posterity, for having, in reality, rendered a people fo very happy and flourishing;—not proved by the boasting of mere theory and anticipation, but by a happy

experience for many years. Possible be- It is likewise by means of the same kind of evinefit of his- dence, or proof, so far as history favors us with tory, &c.

the experience of former times, in all ages and
countries, that men may be taught, not only that
the happy state of any country cannot reasonably
be expected long to continue, in the same degree
of increasing prosperity, as before, without the
continued prevalence of principles and means,
among the people, in general, similar to those by
which it was first obtained; but also how liable
such a happy and prosperous condition is again to
be lost, by that folly or depravity, which has ever
been fatal, where it got the ascendency, though
generally under the most plausible appearances.
6. Fallit enini vitium fpecie virtutis & umbra,

Evil deceives under the pretence, or appearance of good. Human na

na. For the history of all nations abounds with inture still the stances of the same nature, operating in all the lame, &c. descendants of Adam and Eve, which we are told,

prevailed in these first parents, or representatives, of mankind; and through this medium of history, it may be clearly feen, as in a glass, that too much, or very great, prosperity has been, and confequently may still be, as fatal to the human race, (which is capable of bearing only a certain proportion of it) as the extreme of adversity; and that the effects of plenty, pride and ambition, in the

one

one, have been, and thence may still be, no less
pernicious, than those of want, oppression and dis-
tress, in the other:-But how little have posterity
profited from such former examples! -human na-
ture is still the same;--the interdicted tree, with
its forbidden fruit, is still as tempting as ever it
was.
Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum.
Happy is he whom the harms of others make wary.

How often, under some plausible pretence or Men love other, are peace and improvement wantonly ex- change,&e. changed for war and destruction; whose natural consequence are violence and oppression!-Have we not seen the commencement of this already, even, within our borders, in this young country? which the former had rendered so flourishing and Motives for

settling happy.-The first and early colonists, or settlers Pennsylvaand makers of the province, left the finely culti- nia. vated plains of Europe, with their nearest and dearest connections there, to enjoy and promote the former, in this wilderness, in such degree of perfection, as seemed impossible for them there, and to avoid the latter, with its consequences;from which, in an eminent degree, it is most manifest, their wisdom, virtue, moderation, and good policy, through much labor, danger and expence, many ways, and in a very signal, pacific and extraordinaryınanner, effected the deliverance and preservation of the inhabitants, while they directed the affairs of the colony, and for so many years prolonged the golden days of Pennsylvania.

For, as there appears to be a constant decay, in Happyconhuman affairs, and all things have their beginning sequences, and end, fo is it not manifest, in the course of na

&c. ture, or of all things within the circle of human observation, that a constant recurring to first principles, or, that a renovation, or melioration, to balance this decay, is always necessary, both in an individual and collective capacity?---But then do

all

« PreviousContinue »