Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

justices, and by the county commissioners, as mere min. that way of thinking which Government requires, but isterial officers, upon the requisition of the directors of likewise to his strong distates and resentments against the poor, in such counties as have an alms house and persons of what merit soever upon any supposition of a house of employment. The necessity of obt.ining the slight, or upon the most groundless whispers of those approbation of aldermen or justices, is not a check on who ought to be below his notice. As also to his inflexiwhich much reliance should be placed, in a matter of bility and irreconcilable Temper upon any dissatisfaction this kind. Your committee would suggest, that the or jealousy which his weakness renders him extremely poor rates should be laid throughout the State, by the liable to entertain. same persons who impose the county taxes, and in the "Tis now about ten months since, upon his leaving city of Philadelphia and annexed districts, by a concur- New Castle county without one magistrate in it, by his rent act of the respective corporations to whom the mu- affixing on the Court house a writing to make void his nicipal government is entrusted. No money should be last commission without issuing any other, in which state borrowed to supply a deficiency in the funds, but by they continued many weeks, that we thought it incumthe same authority which is empowered, in the first in- bent on us to remonstrate to him on that matter and some stance, to lay the rate.

others wanting redress, in a representation of which the Your committee recommend to the House the follow- Secretary, we suppose, transmitted a copy. A month ing resolution's.

after the date of that, a Commission was granted to per1. Resolved, That it is expedient to provide by law for sons several of whom were in that business, altogether compelling the managers of the alms house, and the new. His brother Birmingham the first named, was guardians, overseers and directors of the poor, through-absent, being Gone for Europe before, the next, a man out the commonwealth, to transmit annually to the Se- of some little experience vizt. Isaac Coodin died very cretary of State, to be by him laid before the legislature, soon after, and then there were only such ignorant and a full account of the actual state of pauperism in their willfull persons left to act, that it became scandalous a respective counties, boroughs, townships and districts. county of such importance should be under their direc

2. Resolved, That it is expedient to prohibit the rais- tion. Nor was this the only unhappy County. In those ing, by poor rates or assessments, in any future year, in three Lower, the Governor seems to claim a greater auany part of this commonwealth, a greater sum than that thority than elsewhere, and the weaker thy Right of raised by such rates or assessments during the present Government is there he is persuaded that by the Royal year.

Approbation his becomes the stronger, and hence all of 3. Resolved, That it is expedient to repeal so much of them being more peculiarly under his own management the several poor laws of this commonwealth, as authori- have felt the effects of it. But his Seat being in New ses the granting of orders of removal, and to prohibit Castle county and therefore himself very often there, any overseers, directors, guardians or managers, from that neighbourhood have been made more particularly relieving any able bodied person, who may not be legal- sensible of his conduct. ly settled in the place where such relief is granted. In the mean time on the complaints of divers from

4. Resolved, That it is expedient to repeal so much of New Castle we were anxiously concerned for their conthe poor laws of this commonwealth, as points out the dition. That County, because of its Inhabitants intermode of making and laying poor rates and assessments, mixing with those of Maryland may be accounted our and to provide a mode of making and laying such rates frontier to the other, as it is also to this Province by Sea, and assessments more in conformity with the principles the disturbancies lately given by Maryland about our of our government.

Boundaries and the great strength they conceived they 5. Resolved, that the committee be instructed to had now obtained by the Young Lord Baltimore's sucbring in a bill or bills, in conformity with the principles cession after his making himself a convert, makes it of of the above report and resolutionis.

very great importance that that County should be made

easie, and as far as possible united. But besides this For the following three Documents we are indebted there is another consideration that upon the late advices to the family of the late Dr. George Logan of Stenton- from Europe very sensibly affects us, vizt. That in that they throw light upon the early history of the State.

County there are a great number of Sweeds who have

a Church at Christina, and who upon some conjunctures COPY OF A LETTER FROM THE COUNCIL TO which may happen might not prove so friendly inclined THE PROPRIETOR WM. PENN.

to us as is consistent with our safety, for these people Philad. 11th 6th mo. 1715." have of late been too much taken notice of by their May ít please the Proprietor!

original country, and by their using their own language It would be matter of great satisfaction and comfort to and having their own ministers sent from time to time us might these Tenders of our Respects find thee in the from the Government of Sweden they have too much same state of Health and in that vigour and serenity of kept up the distinction of their nation from us, and as thought thou hast formerly been blessed with. Nor are they are generally very loyal to their Prince, may on we without hopes from the late accounts we have had some occasion think of another sovereign than ours of of thy being at the Bath (as it is our most earnest de- Great Britain. As this is but a melancholy consideration sire) that God in his mercy may be yet graciously pleas- should our Fleet find themselves involved in War in the ed to restore thee to the inspection of thy own affairs, Baltic, so tho' all our endeavours can scarce be sufficient from which, by so melancholy a cause thou hast been so to render us secure, yet we cannot but think that all long sequestered.

prudent precautions should be used. Both these conThy Government here being by this means for so long siderations we have prest upon the Governor earnestly a time denied the influence of thy orders and directions, requesting him that laying aside all Reservments he has been no small unhappiness to it, Yet as we have been would Commissionate such persons in the County with. named of thy Council to assist in the Public Affairs of out distinction as might be most capable to serve the it, we hope, considering the discouragement we have Publick. Jasper Yeates, a man of the first Rank both lain under, we have not been wanting in using our en- for his Estate and Good sense, is removed wholly into deavours for thy interest and that of the Publick, which that County and is Seated near the town. John French, we take to be most intimately interwoven. But are sor- tho' thro' a too ready an obedience to the commands of ry we have occasion to say that we cannot find means to his Superiors* ; he unhappily overrated it in the "False bring these endeavours to the desired effect, and must Alarm,' has in general acquitted himself both with an at length think it our duty in plain terms to represent ability and integrity not easily to be met with in these the obstructions which to us appear principally to cause parts, of which the Lord Baltimore's friends are so sen. not only from the natural unaptness (in an uncommon degree) in the Gentleman thou hast placed over us for • Gov. Evans is here alluded to,

sible that they have made him Great offers, (now when county to Sale to the best Bidder and took a considerahis necessities by reason of his disappointments very tion for it. When last Fall he actually sold even the much straiten him) to remove to them and quit us. - Sheriffs place for this city and county for 30 Pistoles to These two persons we thought our selves obliged more the person who now holds it, the other pretence becomes particularly to recommend to the Governour and for but an aggravation. that purpose not long ago, spent a whole evening till But we have dwelt too long on this subject to which midnight with him but all to no purpose, he will rather we were induced thro’ a consideration of the great Imforfeit all, even his life, he says rather than employ John portance of New Castle county, and how necessary it is French whom he loads with many frivolous and ground-that John French be continued in it. But by keeping less calumnies, (tho’ if he will pay him what money he a Deputy in that Clerk's place for whom he must prospent of his in England he offers at the same time to re- vide, he feels so little advantage by it, that being much store him to all his places. Next morning two of us straitned other ways it falls far short of yielding a subwaited on him again in hopes the arguments used over sistance, and his best services in that county would lie in night might have wrought upon him, and he was at a more active way. The People yearly choose him for length prevailed on to promise, which he often repeat. Sheriff but the Governor will by no means commissioned that excepting Jobn French and his brother Birming- ate him. We therefore think it our duty to recommend ham whom he would not have joined with Jasper Yeates this affair to thee, for if we can judge in the matter we he would commissionate any others that we should name believe it will be very much for thy interest and the to him, Their Court being just at hand we met again the country's security that he above all others should be same day and named such as we thought might be most Sheriff of that County and therefore hope, if this man serviceable and agreeable to the Country, tho’ in truth continues thou wilt give him thy positive orders to prethey are but poorly stocked at present with Persons of fer him in the place, if the People choose and present ability. But notwithstanding all his promises he retract- him, for tho’’tis objected that those two offices of Sheed, and absolutely refused to Grant any new Commis- riff and Clerk ought not to be in the same person, we sion at all which we fear will have the worst effect be- conceive in this case they can scarce be accounted so, cause he kept Several there in heart who were much for John needs not concern himself in the clerk's office dispirited by his late proceedings, some of us Staked all his Deputy wholly managing it, who himself has given our credit with the Governr. that it should be obtained. the security required for the just discharge of it; and To the List presented, tho' drawn with the utmost im- without some such support we are sensible John cannot partiallity objections were made almost to every person possibly subsistamung us, But must remove to those who upon some old Resentment, but against Jasper Yeates will know better how to value him as an officer, and the nothing could be found but that he is the 'Proprietor's consequences of his loss before the differences with the Enemy which we know can at this time have no manner Lord Baltimore are over should there be nothing else to of foundation but on the contrary that his undertaking be apprehended, might prove very unhappy to thy into act (which some of us with much courting prevailed terest and that county, tho' the Governor not only' de..on him to promise,) would, as matters now stand be of sires, but seems to labour it. very great service. The signing of a legal Writt against We cannot omit on this occasion furthur to hint That his Brother, which no Justice when applied to dare if there should be a breach with Sweeden, especially without perjury deny, the faulting of his intermeddling should France espouse their Quarrel, or even without with or directing the Justices in the business of the that consideration, It may be requisite to represent to Court, which is contrary to Law, or any other act that the ministry the state of this River where there are such falls not in with making his passions the Rule and Stan- numbers of those People, especially when the Indians dard of Justice to the People, seems to be crime suffi- of America seem so unsettled with whom these old Incient to exclude any man.

habitants have a more intimate acquaintance than any John French was formerly a most approved officer other. with him till on that unhappy business of Park's Ship, May it please the Proprietor! and Sloop, the Governor sent him to England; John ex- It is with no small concern we find ourselves obliged pected his part of the Prize as Informer, but in his ab- to give thee the trouble of such a Representation. But sence the Governor had dissipated the whole Cargo ex- as our Fortunes and Families are fixed to this place, and cepting a small matter he could not reach, at his Return as more is expected from us than others by reason of the John being highly provoked, taxed the Governor with Trust we have undertaken, we should be deficient in acting dishonourably and ruining him, and from hence our duty to thee, to the Country and ourselves should the quarrel proceeded. But if the Governor failed of we continue silent and leave thee wholly uninformed of ruining him before, he cannot well deny, we believe, our condition. We therefore in behalf of thy whole but he has heartily endeavoured it since. His Clerk's Government beseech thee to take these matters into thy office must be taken from him because a Breach of the serious consideration. Or, if it should please God still Peoples Privileges, which is, that upon a vacancy the to continue thy visitation, we as earnestly desire of those Justices may present three persons to the Governor for who have the care of thy concerns, and whose business bis choice to appoint one. John, soon after his arrival it will be to peruse and consider this, not to pass over waiting on the Justices had their hearty approbation be with disregard what we are obliged thus to represent, fore he published ye Commission and they immediately but that we may be favoured with an answer.

In other qualified him and took his Deputy's security, who was affairs of Government such as Legislation, we have freely well approved of also by the Court as a person brought spent our time and labour in exerting ourselves the more, up to the business; the Governor sometime after not-by reason of the Governors inability, of which he is so withstanding gave a susedeas to his Commission, but sensible in those affairs, that he makes himself little more upon the interposition of the Commissioners of Proper- than passive, and on such occasions it gives us some ty in thy behalf requesting him that he would not fly in trouble to cast a veil over his defects in the sight of the the face of thy authority, he withdrew it and suffered Assembly that they may not too Glaringly appear, tho' him still to hold the place. The Assembly of those 'tis impossible wholly to cover them. But in his pasCounties afterwards took notice of this violence done to sions and Resentments against men he shews himself so thy authority; but tho' both the Assembly and the court fully, that all endeavours prove generally too fruitless. approved both of the commission and their clerk, it can- We must therefore request, if 'tis expected that a Counnot be forgiven as a breach of the Peoples Privilege.-cil should undergo the fatigue of attending him, He Which would he as well observe in other cases might may have such orders for his future conduct, (if he have some colour with it; But while he declares that he must be continued over us) that Publick affairs may be who will give most money shall have any place in his managed with more ease, Regularity and steadiness, for disposal, when he lately put the office of clerk for Kent few men in a Publick character ever stood more in need of counsel, and as few perhaps have been more difficult pistols, shot dead upon the place, to the great terror of to be persuaded by it.

the women. And about ten days after returned with With which, and our hearty desires for thy health and James Reed, and said that man was their master, which prosperity, and with sincere Love to thyself and family, he the said Reed affirmed, and said he had paid much we shall conclude.

money for them, and laid down several match coats Thy real and affectionate ffriends

which he said he would give them for taking them up, Signed JOSEPH GROWDON, but the women not believing that the said Reed was their GRIFFITH OWEN,

true master, refused to deliver them up, and conveyed the ROBERT ASHETON, women away, whereupon the said Garland laid hold of RICHARD HILL,

one of the chief of the women with violent hands, and ISAAC NORRIS,

threatened to carry her away, and make her a servant, JONATH. DICKINSON, which being put in great fear she was forced to do, alSAML. PRESTON,

though they had good cause to believe she did not be. JAMES LOGAN.

long to them. All which deportment and threatenings,

hath put these petitioners and their people into such Copy of a Petition from Conodahbo King of the Susque- fear, that ever since they have been wholly unsettled, quehanna or Conostogo Indians, and of Mecallona, and have not made to this day.any preparation for plantKing of the Shawnese, against Sylvester Garland, Jonas ing their corn, but have continued in a moving posture Arskin, and J. Reed.

in fear of being cut off, and that without any just cause To the Right Honourable WILLIAM Penn, Proprietor given by them. But having been faithfully informed of

and Governor of the Province and Territories of Penn- the Governor's love, good will, and favour, towards the sylvania. The humble petition of Conadahbo, king rest of the inhabitants of this government, as well Inof the Susquehanna Indians, and Mecallona king of dians as Christians, have reason to hope to receive at the Gavino Indians, in behalf of themselves and their least an equal share of favour and protection under him people, humbly showeth.

as the rest of our brethren, and with that confidence That last fall four strange Indians came from the pray that it may please the Governor to accept of us as northward amongst them, and which they did, from their his true friends. And afford us future relief and protecclothing, suppose to have been servants to some Chris- tion as true subjects and faithful friends may reasonably tians, and the said Mecallona coming to discourse with expect from so honourable and virtuous a Governor as them, found one woman with her son to be nearly relat-thy actions hath hitherto proclaimed thee; and therein ed to the king of the naked Indians, and he took her shall ever command in, home to his house, and kindly entertained her and her

Thy true servants and faithful friends, son, intending with the first opportunity to redeem her

CONODAHBO, (Ind. Seal] his mark. from her master and return her and her child safe to her

The mark (Ind. Seal of MECALLONA, relations, hoping thereby to settle a lasting peace with

Dated at Brandywine the 1st of the 3d month, 1700. the said naked Indians, which might have been of great importance to the petitioners as well as to the inhabi- COPY OF QUEEN MARY'S LETTER TO W. PENK tants of this government, they being a powerful nation,

Upon the restoration of his government, 1694. and hath often molested these petitioners, as well in their Trusty and well beloved, we greet you well, whereas towns at Susquehanna as in their hunting quarters; these upon your humble petition and application to us to be petitioners being the frontier inhabitants of this govern- restored to the administration of the government of our ment. Now so it is that last winter came Sylvester province of Pensilvania, country of New Castle, and the Garland and Jonas Arskin to the petitioners, and pro- Territories depending thereon, whereof you are proprieduced a paper with a large seal, and pretended it was a tor, in America. And upon the good assurance you have warrant from the Governor for to require them to deliver given to us, that you will take care of the government of the said Indians, but Mecallona, one of these petitioners, our said province and country, and provide for the safety not believing the same to be true, rcfused to deliver the and security thereof all that in you lies, We have been said Indians; nevertheless the said Garland and Arskin, graciously pleased to restore you to the administration of about ten days after came again, along with James Reed, the government of our said province and country, and and then produced another paper with a large seal, and for that purpose to revoke so much of our commission to again demanded the said Indians in the Governor's name, our trusty and well beloved Benjamin Fletcher, Esq. and affirmed that the said Reed was the next man to the bearing date the 21st day of October 1692, whereby he Governor, and to confirm the same the said Reed put off is appointed our Captain-General and Governor in Chief his wig, and said, “You may see by this I am a great of our said province, country, and territories. man, for that I have two heads.” Nevertheless one of And so not doubting of your ready and chearful obethe petitioners, Mecallona, did not believe him, nor give dience to our Royal pleasure, in a matter wherein the credit to their words, still believing all they said to be security and preservation, as well of our good subjects false pretences, and all for the lucre of gain; and still within our province of Pensilvania, as of all our subjects refusing to deliver them up for the same. Whereupon inhabiting in those parts of America is so much concernthe said Sylvester, Reed, and Arskin, threatened the ed; we bid you farewell; Given at our court at Whitesaid petitioners that they would return and come again hall this twenty-first day of August, 1694, in the sixth with 600 men, and cut off these petitioners with all their year of our reign. families, for that they had refused to obey the Gover

By her Majesties command, nor's order, and the demand of him by Read his second

1. TRENCHARD. man in the government, which put this petitioner Me. From a duplicicate copy at Stenton. callona in such fear that he delivered up to them the Indians that were with him.

MESSAGES OF THE GOVERNORS. Conadahbo, king of the Susquehanna Indians, complains, that he and all his men being abroad, Sylvester corded in the Register, a regular series of the Messages

Several persons have expressed a wish to have reGarland came to his house, and demanded the two Indians that were in his custody, and said they were his or Speeches of the Governors of this State since the servants, but the women answering him that they did adoption of our present constitution. To comply with not believe him, and for that reason would not deliver their wishes, and as documents connected with the histhem-The said Sylvester threatened that he would fetch forty men and carry them all away and make ser.tory of the state, we commence with the speech of Govants of them all, and then riding away in great fury, two vernor MIFPLIN to the Assembly on the 22d day of Deof the Indians' dogs followed him, which dogs, he with'cember, 1790.

Gentlemen of the Senate, and House of Representatives. too often absorbed the means of replacing the sums thus

disbursed, in season to comply with the original approThere cannot be a fairer subject for congratulation, than that which the establishment of a new constitution neral have laid before you a comprehensive view of the

priations. The Comptroller-General and Register-Gepresents, at this time, to every patriotic citizen of Penn- situation of the treasury; and when you have examined sylvania. The wisdom, the candour, and the liberality the various funds created by the different acts of Assemof the late Convention, have not only produced a system bly, their objects, and their deficiencies (either on acthat promises political energy and happiness to the count of an inadequate product, or of an estrangement state, but have been the means of diffusing the blessings from their proper use) I submit to your judgment, the of confidence and concord among the people. A just expediency of taking measures to render them ultimatesense of the common interest has happily prevailed; and ly competent to the views of the legislature, and to prefor the advancement and security of that interest, we vent the necessity, as well as the power, of any future are now convened to organize and administer a govern- alienations. For I am persuaded you will think with me, ment, which has been sanctioned by the warinest ap- that a strict and certain collection of the unavoidable probation, and is supported by the best wishes of our impositions of government not only equalizes, but tends constituents. The task assigned to us is not, however, less difficult to diminish the public burthens; and that a regular and

certain adherence to the legislative engagements, as it than it is important: For, whether we analyse the nature affords the best evidence of public faith, will be the surand extent of our relative connexion with the Union, or

est means of establishing public credit. contemplate the increased population of the commonwealth, the extensive cultivation of her soil, the flourish

It is with great satisfaction, gentlemen, that I lead ing state of her commerce, and the enterprising spirit of of the public debt, which will furnish a strong induce

your attention to the prospect of a total extinguishment hier inhabitants

, we shall be equally impressed with the ment to your exertions upon this subject. Besides the magnitude and variety of the objects, that demand the current expenses of the government, it appears that the care and consideration of the government. But reflect. faith of Pennsylvania is pledged for the redemption of ing, on the other hand, that to cherish the springs of na- the bills of credit emitted in June 1780, in April 1781, tional felicity and opulence, by encouraging industry, and in March 1785; for the redemption of the State-Isdisseminating knowledge, raising our social compact land money, and the Resolve and Commonwealth mo upon the permanent foundations of liberty and virtue, must be pleasing to that Being by whom the order and ney, for the redemption of the funded and militia certifi

cates, the depreciation certificates, the certificates issued harmony of the universe were established, we shall find for interest, by virtue of the act of March 1783, the cere a great and constant consolation, amidst all the difficul. tificates given for horses and provisions during the war, ties of prosecuting our public duties, and are justified in will become irredeemable on the first of January next, a grateful hope, that our zeal, and our labours for the in consequence of the limitation prescribed by law; prosperity of our country, will not be vain and ineffec- when, likewise, all the obsolete and unliquidated claims tual.

against the state will be for ever barred. If, therefore, I am, sensible, gentlemen, that the reputation and succonduct of its officers, and the good understanding that debts, it is highly probable, that, at the close of the encess of government depend, in a great degree, upon the due regard is paid to the arrangements which have

been made for exonerating the commonwealth of her subsists among them. Permit me, therefore, to take suing year, the funded or militia certificates, the deprethis first opportunity to bespeak a mutual confidence ciation certificates, the pension list, and the proprietary between the Legislative and Executive departments. As public servants , our duties, our interests, and our ob grant, will constitute the only incumbrance on the puố

lic revenue; and even a great part of this, from the abjects, are the same; and so perfectly do I rely upon your sorption of the land-office, the nature of the debts or wisdom and integrity, that in every act which can pro- the necessary progress of periodical payments, must mote the common weal, or which is necessary to accom

eventually become extinct. plish the patriotic views of the Legislature, you may

be assured, on my part, of the most cheerful assistance and mit me, gentlemen, cursorily to trace the sources, by

Having thus viewed the state of the public debt, perco-operation; while, on your part I am persuaded, that which you will perceive, that if they were not retarded, I shall experience a cordial support in the constitutional or intercepted, in their course, the treasury ought to be exercise of my official powers, since, next to the ambition of promoting the happiness of our fellow citizens, dependent of the ordinary taxes on the various kinds of

amply supplied for the discharge of every demand. In- . and of advancing

the honour and reputation of the com- licenses, on sales at auctions, and on legal process, the monwealth, I shall ever cherish the desire of conciliating very arrearages of taxes have grown into a fund, from and deserving your esteem. As soon, gentlemen, as the necessary arrangements aid must for some time longer be occasionally derived.

which, (though constantly decreasing) a considerable shall be made, I will lay before you such business, as the excise, though it has not hitherto been as producwill, in my opinion, require your attention in the present tive as might justly have been expected, or as it may be session.

rendered, is, likewise, a resourcc of importance, but lia THOMAS MIFFLIN.

ble to be assumed by Congress. And the land-office,

rich in the arrearages due for upatented lands, is an Gentlemen of Senate and House of Representatives. instrument actively employed in the reduction of the

In considering the present circumstances of the com- public debt, and promises, in that respect, to gratify our monwealth, her finances will necessarily claim an early most sanguine expectations. On the 1st of January, the attention; and the representations that have formerly tax, called the funding tax, will of course revive; and. been made to the legislature, by the Comptroller-Gene- although, in your wisdom, you may deem it expedient to ral and Register.General, will yield abundant encourage- permit its operation for another year, yet, when the diment, from the comparative state of the public wants minution of public obligation which I have anticipated and resources, to undertake the establishment of a more shall take place, and the claims of Pennsylvania against perfect system for the punctual collection and faithful the Union shall become an actual source of revenue, you application of the revenues. The embarrassments of the will, I am confident, feel a sincere pleasure in the oppor. treasury, indeed, have principally arisen from a defect in nity of totally discontinuing that charge upon the industhis respect; for the slow and precarious collection of try and property of our fellow citizens. the taxes has occasionally obliged the treasurers to di- It is then an honourable consideration, that the annual vert the several funds of the state from the objects for interest of those continental claims, which yield the most which they were peculiarly designed; and, eventually, decisive testimony of the alacrity and perseverance of the delinquency, or insolvency, of the collectors, has this state in prosecuting the great objects of the revolux

[graphic]

tion, may, upon a reasonable estimate, be rendered suffi- the supplemental with the original acts, and bringing cient, in the course of a few years, to discharge all the laws upon the same subject into one point of view-beremaining obligations, and to defray all the incidental sides expunging such acts as are become obsolete, and expenses of government. In order, therefore, gentle- omitting the detail of such as are merely of a private men, to prevent any injurious delay in a business of such nature-shall be instructed to report the various statutes importance, allow me particularly to recommend to your of the British parliament, which, without the legislative attention the act of congress providing for the debts of sanction of Pennsylvania, have obtained a binding force the United States. It is proper that the sense of the in her jurisprudence, in consequence of the usage of legislature should be speedily expressed respecting the her citizens, or the judgments of her courts. loan, which that act proposes to the creditors of the Before this great object can be accomplished, how. Union; and I am persuaded, that, while you examine ever, the circumstances in which we are placed, by the the terms with all the necessary regard to the interests operation of the federal system, and the new form of of Pennsylvania, you will not be uninfluenced in your our domestic constitution, will require some very matedeliberations by that attachment to the honor and pros- rial amendments and alteration in our laws. The imperity of the general government, which has hitherto post laws, the laws respecting a court of admiralty, the distinguished the political character of the common-establishment of a board of wardens for the port of Phiwealth.

ladelphia, and for the regulation of the militia, with maUnder the impressions that I have communicated, I ny other acts of assembly, which will naturally occur in cannot forbear enforcing, gentlemen, the salutary policy the course of your deliberations, are either entirely anof destroying the balances of the various emissions of nihilated, or partially affected, by the jurisdiction and paper money, as fast as they are deposited in the public laws of the United States. Your desire to cherish a treasury. It is not merely the reputation of completing mutually beneficial harmony between the Union and its legislative systems, or the advantage of gradually di- constituent members will, therefore, induce you gentleminishing the public debt, which this measure tends to men, to pursue the most effectual measures for removensure; but it becomes peculiarly interesting, as it must, ing every ground, on which their interest or their plans likewise, be the means of checking the spirit of specu- might possibly appear to clash. And, particularly, lation, which always produces a pernicious fluctuation while I congratulate you on the choice which the fedeof property, and too generally taints the principles of ral governmert has made for its temporary residence, i benevolence, patriotism and morality. A considerable am convinced that you feel a sincere disposition to conpart of the emission, which is commonly termed dollar- cur with me in rendering this event satisfactory to that money, has been retained for some time in the hands of honorable body, and advantageous to the commonwealth. the continental loan-officer; and there may, perhaps, Under the influence of similar sentiments, the city and arise a reasonable doubt, whether it is the property of county of Philadelphia have prepared accommodations the state, or of the Union: but at all events, I refer to for the President of the United States and Congress, your consideration the propriety of entering into a ne- and the late Esecutive Council have assigned a part of gotiation with congress for the re-delivery, or redemp- the buildings of the State House for the use of their tion, of this money, that, with the other similar engage officers. You will decide, gentlemen, how far it is likely ments of the commonwealth, it may at once be remov. necessary, upon this occasion, to extend the exception ed from the possibility of being introduced into public in the tenth section of the act for the gradual abolition circulation.

of slavery, so as to prevent any controversy with respect The regulation of coins, and the establishment of to domestic slaves brought hither by public characters, standards for weights and measures, being of high im- citizens of other states, who, though neither members portance to the revenues, as well as to the commerce of of congress, nor foreign ministers or consuls, are oblithe state, it will give you satisfaction to find that con- ged personally to attend at the seat of the national go. gress, in conformity to their constitutional powers, have vernment. taken those subjects into serious consideration; but, un- As to the laws which require an immediate revision, on less a general plan shall soon be promulged by that ho account of the new structure of our state government, norable body, you will, perhaps, find it expedient to re- you will find that they principally relate to the exercise vise the acts of assembly for regulating weights and of the executive authority, under its former modification. measures, so as to obviate some doubts wbich have oc- The seal of the state was placed by the late consutution Curred with respect to the right of the Mayor, or Cor- in the custody of the executive council. In the busiporation, of the city of Philadelphia to appoint a keeper ness of the land-office, all patents are directed to be of a standard, in exclusion of the officer appointed for signed by the president, or vice president, in council, the county; and also to designate, with more certainty, and countersigned by the secretary of council; the forin the general standards of the state and for your informa- of the patent runs in the name of the Supreme Execution, I shall lay before you the opinion of the Attorney- tive Council, and all warrants of acceptance, survey, reGeneral upon this subject.

slirvey, and partition, are to be signed by the president, Tho confused state of our municipal law has long or vice president. The sales of the different descripbeen matter of complaint. Its inconveniences have tions of public lands, and the titles of the respective purbeen felt in every department of govertment; while the chasers, are to be made and granted by the authority of citizens at large, from this cause, have found it difficult the president and council, who are likewise enjoined to to obtain that degree of information respecting the acts order and superintend the survey of the lands approof the legislature, which is necessary to guide their con- priated by the legislature for the endowment of public duct, and to enable them to judge of the conduct of schools. The constitution of the board of property their representatives. Although the subject has been (which I find has already been an object of your consi. repeatedly suggested for the consideration of the Gene. deration) renders the attendance of the president, or ral Assembly, the present period seens peculiarly pro- vice president, and a member of the executive council, pitious for undertaking the revision and reformation of essentially necessary to its proceedings; nor upon the our code; since the organization of the federal govern entry of a caveat, can any citation be issued, or a day of hent, and the establishment of the state constitution, hearing be appointed, by the secretary of the land-office, nust ensure certainty and permanency in such regula- without the previous approbation of the president or tions as you may now think it is proper to adopt. In vice president. In the departments of the comptrollerorder, therefore, to lay the foundation of a comprehen. general, the register general, and the treasurer, the final site and satisfactory system, allow me to recommend the settlement of accounts rests upon the examination and carly appointment of a person of competent talents, approbation of the executive council; or, in case a conand legal information, to prepare a general digest of the troversy should arise upon the statements of those offi. laws for your examination; who, besides incorporating Icers, the allowance of an appeal, or the institution of a

VOL.II. 12

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »