Page images
PDF
EPUB

times settle and order the situation of all cities and market towns in every county, modelling therein all public buildings, streets and market places; and shall appoint all necessary roads and highways in this province and territories thereof.

Ninth. That the Governor and provincial Council shall at all times have power to inspect the management of the public treasury, and punish those who shall convert any part thereof to any other use than what hath been agreed upon by the Governor, provincial Council and Assembly.

Tenth. That the Governor and provincial Council shall erect and order all public schools, and encourage and reward the authors of useful sciences and laudable inventions in the said province and territories thereof.

Eleventh. That one-third part of the provincial Council residing with the Governor from time to time, shall with the Governor have the care of the management of public affairs relating to the peace, justice, treasury and improvement of the province and territories and to the good education of youth, and sobriety of the manners of the inhabitants therein as aforesaid.

Twelfth. That the Governor or his Deputy shall always preside in the provincial Council, and that he shall at no time therein perform any public act of state, whatsoever, that shall or may relate unto the justice, trade, treasury or safety of the province and territories aforesaid, but by and with the advice and consent of the provincial Council thereof.

Thirteenth. And to the end, that all bills prepared and agreed by the Governor and provincial Council as aforesaid, may yet have the more full concurrence of the freemen of the province and territories thereof, it is declared, granted and confirmed, that at the time and place in every county for the choice of one person, to serve in provincial Council as aforesaid, the respective Members thereof, at their said meeting, shall yearly choose out of themselves six persons of most note for virtue, wisdom and ability, to serve in Assembly as their representatives, who shall yearly meet on the tenth day of the third month, in the capital town or city of the said Province, unless the Governor and provincial Council shall think fit to appoint another place to meet in, where during eight days, the several members may confer freely with one another; and if any of them see meet, with a committee of the provincial Council, which shall be at that time purposely appointed, to receive from any of them proposals for the alterations or amendments of any of the said proposed and promulgated bills, and on the ninth day from their so meeting, the said Assembly after their reading over the proposed bills, by the Clerk of the provincial Council, and the occasions and motives for them being opened by the Governor or his Deputy, shall upon the question by bim put, give their affirmative or negative, which to them seemeth best in such manner as is hereafter expressed : but not less than twothirds shall make a quorum in the passing of all bills into laws, and choice of such officers as are by them to be chosen.

Fourteenth. That the laws so prepared and proposed as aforesaid, that are assented to by the Assembly shall be enrolled as laws of this province and territories thereof, with this stile: By the Governor with the assent and approbation of the freemen in provincial Council and Assembly met, and from henceforth the meetings, sessions, acts and proceedings of the Governor, provincial Council and Assembly, shall be stiled and called : The meetings, sessions and proceedings of the General Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania, and the territories thereunto belonging.

Fifteenth. And that the representatives of the people in provin. cial Council and Assembly, may in after ages bear some proportion with the increase and multiplying of the people, the number of such representatives of the people, may be from time increased and enlarged, so as at no time the number exceed seventy-two for the provincial Council, and two bundred for the Assembly; the appointment and proportion of which number, as also the laying and methodizing of the choice of such representatives in future time, most equally to the division of the country, or number of the inhabitants is left to the Governor and provincial Council to propose, and the Assembly to resolve, so that the order of proportion be strictly observed, both in the choice of the Council and the respective committees thereof, viz: one-third to go off, and come in yearly.

Sixteenth. That from and after the death of this present Governor, the provincial Council shall, together with the succeeding Go. vernor, erect from time standing courts of justice, in such places and number as they shall judge convenient, for the good government of the said province and territories thereof; and that the provincial Council shall, on the thirteenth day of the second month then next ensuing, elect and present to the Governor or his deputy, a double number of persons to serve for judges, treasurers, and master of the rolls, within the said province and territories, to continue so long as they shall well behave themselves in those capacities respectively; and the freemen of the said province in an Assembly met, on the thirteenth day of the third month, yearly shall elect and then present to the Governor or his deputy a double number of persons to serve for sherifs, justices of the peace and coroners for the year next ensuing, out of which respective elections and presentments the Governor or his deputy shall nominate and commissionate the proper number for each office, the third day after the said respective presentments, or else the first named in such presentment, for each office as aforesaid shall stand and serve in that office the time before respectively limited, and in case of death or default, such vacancy shall be supplied by the Governor and provincial Council in manner aforesaid.

Seventeenth. That the Assembly shall continue so long as may be needful to impeach criminals, fit to be there impeached, to pass such bills into laws as are proposed to them, which they shall think fit to pass into laws, and till such time as the Governor and provincial Council shall declare, that they have nothing further to propose unto them for their assent and approbation, and that declaration shall de a dismiss to the Assembly for that time, which Assembly shall be notwithstanding, capable of assembling together upon the summons of the Governor, and provincial Council, at any time during that year, if the Governor and provincial Council shall see occasion for their so assembling.

Eighteenth. That all the elections of members or representatives of the people, to serve in provincial Council and Assembly, and all questions to be determined by both or either of them, that relate to choice of officers, and all, or any other personal matters, shall be resolved or determined by the ballot, and all things relating to the preparing and passing of bills into laws, shall be openly declared and resolved by the vote.

Nineteenth. That at all times when the proprietary and Governor shall happen to be an infant and under the age of one and twenty years, and no guardians or commissioners are appointed in writing, by the father of the said infant, or that such guardian shall be deceased, that during such minority, the provincial Council shall from time to time, as they shall see meet, constitute and appoint guardians and commissioners not exceeding three; one of which shall preside as deputy and chief guardian during such minority, and shall have and execute with the consent of one of the other two, all the poirer of a Governor in all public affairs and concerns of the said province and territories thereof, according to charter, which said guardian so appointed, shall also have the care and oversight of the estate of the said minor and be yearly accountable and responsible for the same to the provincial Council, and the provincial Council to the minor when of age, or to the next heir, in case of the minor's death, for the trust before expressed.

Twentieth. That as often as any days of the month mentioned in any article of this charter shall fall upon the first day of the week, commonly called the Lord's day, the business appointed for that day shall be deferred until the next day, unless in case of emergency.

Twenty-first. And for the satisfaction and encouragement of all aliens, I do give and grant, that if any alien who is or shall be a purchaser, or who doth or shall inhabit in this province or territories thereof, shall decease at any time before he can well be naturalized, his right and interest therein shall notwithstanding descend to his wife and children, or other his relations be he testate or intestate, according to the laws of this province and territories thereof in such cases provided, in as free and ample manner to all intents and purposes as if the said alien had been naturalized.

Twenty-second. And that the inhabitants of this province and territories thereof, may be accommodated with such food and sustenance as God in his providence hath freely afforded. I do also further grant to the inhabitants of this province and territories thereof, liberty to fowl and hunt upon the lands they hold, and all other lands therein not inclosed; and to fish in all waters in the said lands, and in all rivers and rivulets, in and belonging to this province and territories thereof, with liberty to draw his or their fish on shore on any man's lands, so as it be not to the detriment or annoyance of the owner thereof, except such lands as do lie upon inland rivulets that are not boatable, on which are or may be hereafter erected into manors.

Twenty-third. And that all the inhabitants of this province and territories thereof, whether purchasers or others, may have the last worldly pledge of my good and kind intentions to them and theirs, I do give, grant and confirm to all and every one of them, full and quiet possession of their respective lands, to which they have any lawful or equitable claim, saving only such rents and services for the same, as are or customarily ought to be reserved to me, my heirs or assigns.

Twenty-fourth. That no act, law or ordinance whatsoever, shall at any time hereafter be made or done by the proprietary and Governor of this province and territories thereunto belonging, his heirs or assigus, or by the freemen in Provincial Council or Assembly, to alter, change or diminish the form or effect of this charter, or any part or clause thereof, contrary to the true intent and meaning thereof, without the consent of the proprietary and Governor, bis heirs or assigos, and six parts of seven of the said freemen in provincial Council and Assembly met.

And lastly. I, the said William Penn, proprietary and Governor of the province of Pennsylvania and territories thereunto belonging, for me, my heirs and assigns, have solemnly declared, granted and confirmed, and do hereby solemnly declare, grant and confirm, that neither I, my heirs nor assigns, shall procure or do any thing or things whereby the liberties in this Charter contained and expressed, shall be infringed or broken, and if any thing be procured by any person or persons, contrary to these premises, it shall be held of no force or effect. In witness whereof, I, the said William Penn, at Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, have unto this present charter of liberties, set my hand and broad seal, this second day of the second montb, in the year of our Lord one thousand six bundred eighty and three, being the five and thirtieth year of the king and the third year of my government.

WILLIAM PENN. This within charter, which we have distinctly heard read, and thankfully received, shall be by us inviolably kept, at Philadelphia, the second day of the second month, one thousand, six hundred eighty and three.

The members of the Provincial Council present : William Markham,

William Clark, John Moll,

William Biles, William Haige,

James Harrison, Christopher Taylor,

John Richardson, John Simcock,

Philip Thomas Lenmar, William Clayton,

Secr. Gov. Francis Whitwell,

Richard Ingelo, Cl. Coun. Thomas Holme,

The members of the Assembly present : Casparus Harman,

Thomas Hassald, John Darby,

John Hart, Benjamin Williams,

Robert Hall. William Guest,

Robert Bedwell, Valentine Hollingsworth, William Simsmore, James Boyden,

Samuel Darke, Bennony Bishop,

Robert Lucas, John Beazor,

James Williams, John Harding,

John Blunston, Andrews Bringston,

John Songhurst, Simon Irons,

John Hill, John Wood,

Nicholas Waln, Jobn Curtis,

Thomas Fitzwater, Daniel Brown,

John Clows, William Futcher,

Luke Watson, John Kipshaven,

Joseph Phipps, Alexander Molestine,

Dennis Rotchford, Robert Bracy, senior,

John Brinklair, Thomas Bracy,

Henry Bowman, William Yardly,

Cornelius Verhoofe, John Hastings,

John Southworth, Cl. Synod. Robert Wade.

Some of the inhabitants of Philadelphia present : William Howell,

Henry Lewis, Edmund Warner,

Samuel Miles.

No. IX.

THE FRAME OF THE GOVERNMENT Of the Province of Pennsylvania and the territories thereunto be

longing, passed by Governor Markham, November 7, 1696. Whereas, the late King Charles the Second, in the three and thirtieth year of his reign, by letters patent under the great seal of England, did for the considerations therein mentioned, grant unto William Penn, his heirs and assigns for ever, this colony, or tract of land, thereby erecting the same into a province called Pennsylvania, and constituting him the said William Penn, absolute proprietary thereof, vesting him, his deputies and lieutenants, with divers great powers, pre-eminencies, royalties, jurisdictions and authorities, neces. sary for the well-being and good government of the said province. And whereas, the late Duke of York and Albany, &c., for valuable considerations, did grant unto the said William Penn, his heirs and assigns, all that tract of land, which hath been cast or divided into three counties, now called Newcastle, Kent and Sussex, together with all royalties, franchises, duties, jurisdictions, liberties and privileges thereunto belonging; which last mentioned tract being intended as a beneficial and requisite addition to the territory of the said pro

« PreviousContinue »