Page images
PDF
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

It is in the junior grades, to men like these, -young, educated, full of zeal and intelligence,—that in times of peril, we are to look for the detence of our rights and

honor, and the glory of our arms.-For his repeated

acts of heroism, Captain Biddle received the rank of major, by brevet. in 18iS-9, Major B served in the staff of BrigadierGeneral Atkinson, whilst the latter established the posts on the upper Missouri and Mississippi rivers. On the further reduction of the army, in 1821, he accepted the office of district paymaster; married, and has since resi ded in St. Louis down to the period of his late fatal rencounter. In him the country has lost not only a gallant, but a most gifted and estimable man. Something must be allowed to the habits of certain district of country particularly in times of high party strife and dissension — If, therefore, the manner of his death was rash, but a small portion of the blame was his:—in chivalry, none; for his conduct was honorable and manly throughout. And even there, the scene of his lamented end, hundreds and hundreds who shared his friendship, or partook of his open hospitality, like the thousands who knew and admitted him elsewhere, will ever be ready to bear witness that, to the greatest sternness of integrity, courage and purpose, he united in private intercourse, the gentleness and amiability of a child. . - NIAGARA.

From the Germantown Telegraph. DIVISION OF THE COUNTY.

Mn. Epiton—Believing, as I do, that your useful journal is, and always has been, open to a free discussion of the subject of dividing the county, and knowing that the subject is an important one, l have long anxiously expected, that some one of your numerous correspondents would enter the lists in opposition to the measure, and show us the opposite side of the question. It is evident that I, together with those of my fellowcitizens opposed to it, have been disappointed ; while the columns of the Telegraph have been weekly filled with arguments in favour of division, no one has yet dared to oppose it. This being the case, in the absence of those much more capable, I propose through your columns to lay before the citizens of the county, a few facts in relation to the matter

It has become almost habitual, in the present state of human nature, particularly in affairs of this kind, for every one to question his neighbour's motives. I have doubted, (and justly, as I think I shall prove) the ostensible objects of those in favour of a division. ... I have sought their motives, but must confess have failed in finding them. I first attributed it to some political manoeuvre, to politics, that all-absorbing subject, which so often carries everything before it but I see among the advocates of division, men of all political hues, with many of whom I am personally acquainted, and for whom I entertain the highest respect, and know that they could not stoop to political intrigue. I next thought, as the idea, from the best of my information, originated in Germantown, that it was a measure intended solely for the benefit of that place ; but here again I am met with a proposition, that the location of the county town be left with three disinterested commis. sioners appointed from another county, and that it shall be central as it regards population and geographical limits. It is true the calculation may be such, by taking Blockley and parts of Montgomery county, as to make Germantown central in both these points of this, however, I know nothing, but am fully convinced that if Germantown expects to be benefitted by being a court town, it is altogether a mistaken idea. I have only to refer to other county court towns, what are they Take away from them their industrious citizens, their mechanies, and their manufacturers—I repeat,

what are they Too often, hot-beds of vice, immorality, and dissipation, filled with pettifogging lawyers, who, generally speaking, have not employment for more than three months in the year ; the remainder of which is spent in idleness and dissipation. How many pa. rents have had their ambitious hopes and prospects blighted by sending their sons to those places to study law by the way, generally a mere burlesque on study. How many of those sons, after having run a brief course of dissipation, gambling, &c. have ended in mania a potu ? I write, Mr. Editor, feelingly on this subject, and could, if it were proper, name a number of cases in point, the subjects of which were personally known to me. I appeal to any person acquainted with the manners and customs of most county towns, whether this is an exaggerated statement. And let me ask, what equivalent would Germantown receive for being infested with a set of ninth-rate lawyers and their stu. dents What benefit would she receive simply, encouragement for another nuisance, a multiplicity of taverns, Pandoras Boxes ; first, a set of petty, half. learned quibbling attorneys, to produce and encourage litigation and disputes among many of your honest citi. zens, leading them continually after some ignis futuus, producing in them a state of excitement and idleness, and finally, having been fleeced out of half their sub. stance by one bar, spend the remainder at the other.

At a loss to find other reasons for dividing the present county, I must conclude that it originates in want of proper information on the subject; and although I consider it unwise and imprudent for us of the country to agitate the question, convinced as I am that the county has every thing to lose and little to gain; that she is in fact (to use a conrmon expression,) Juarrelling with her bread and butter.—l will in my next furnish a few facts, which will, I think, at least serve to throw more light on the subject.

A CITIzEN or the County.

o MEkti MG Fort DIWI Dixg THE COUNTY OF PHILADELPHIA.

At a numerous and respectable meeting of the inhabtants of Lower Dublin Township convened by public notice at the Inn of Benjamin Snyder, in Bustleton, on Friday the 2d September inst. for the purpose of taking into consideration the resolutions passed at a meeting of the county of Philadelphia, and for assisting which, the co-operation of the inhabitants of Lower Dublin the inhabitants of Germantown township held at Ger. mantown on Thursday 11th of August last, for dividing township, and other townships composing the northern section of the county were in-vited, by sending delegates to meet hereafter in Convention, Samuel Swift was called to the Chair and John W. Trump, appointed Secretary. After the published proceedings, and circular from the Germantown Committee of correspondence, had been read and discussed, the following resolutions were unanimously adepted. Resolved, That the delegates be appointed for this Township with power to supply any vacancies in their number, who shall be authorized by this meeting to confer with an equal number appointed by the townships of Germantown and others, on the subject of a division of the county of Philadelphia in future Convention,whereupon Samuel Swift, John H. Gibbon, and Daniel Walton were nominated and appointed. Resolved, That the delegates be instructed to inquire into and ascertain the sentiments of the people of the other townships, both as to their willingness to unite in the proposed plan, and to learn their views in regard to the place proposed for the county town and give their aid for effecting it by the ensuing Legislature provided it appears to them, there is fairness and equality intendod, as to fixing the place for the public buildings in the 1831.]

MANUFACTURES IN 1792.

223

centre of the proposed district, having in view both population and geographical limits. Resolved, That this committee of delegates com

MANUFACTURES.

The following view of manufactures of several towns

municate by letter or otherwise, with the corresponding in the state in 1792, is extracted from an essay entitled committee of Germantown, &c. in relation to their own “Reflections on the state of the union,” and published

appointment, and the ulterior movements of the other parties, the townships before mentioned. Resolved, That the said delegates be instructed to use their exertions to have the subject of division submitted directly to the people of the townships invited to form a new County. SAMUEL SWIFT, Chairman, John W. TRUMr, Secretary.

[From the Crawford Messenger.] ANOTHER NEW COUNTY PROPOSED.

Pursuant to public notice, a large and respectable number of the citizens of the eastern part of Crawford county, convened at the house of Samuel Rice, in Centreville, on Thursday 15th of September ult, and from thence adjourned to the school house. The meeting was organized by calling William Curry, Esq. of Oil creek, to the Chair, and Cornelius W. Cummings, of Rome, Secretary. The object of the meeting being announced, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted.— 2. Resolved, That a committee of three persons be appointed to prepare resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting—whereupon Joseph Patten, Esquire, Thomas Bloomfield, Esq. and Major Adam Holiday, were appointed that committee. The committee retired for a few minutes, and on their return submitted the following resolutions: Resolved, That in the opinion of this meeting, a new county to be composed of parts of Erie, Crawford, Venango and Warren, comprizing within its limits about three thousand inhabitan s, would have a tendency to increase the wealth and population of this section of country, and promote the common interests of the state. We therefore deem it expedient that a committee should be chosen embracing in it one memoer from each township within the contemplated new county, for the purpose of preparing petit ons and making the necessary arrangements for having our local situation, and the subject of our claims legally represented to the next legislature. Resolved, That the following persons shall compose that committee, viz. Capt. Willi im Robison, Aaron Benedict, Esq. and James L. Chase, of Venango, william Curry, Esq. Ransom Kingsley, Abraham Wheeler, Joseph Patten, Esq. George White, and Stephen Bloomfield, of Crawford; Capt. Warner Perry, Aaron D. Rose, and Nathaniel Stacy, of Warren; William Miles, Esq. Eli Gray, William Gray, Esq. and James Nelson, Esq. of Erie county, and the aforesaid committee are requested to meet at the house of Samuel Rice, in Centreville, on the 4th luesday in October next, to perform those duties required by the above resolution. Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the Chairinan and Secretary and published in the papers of Erie, Crawford, Venango and Warren. WILLIAM CURRY, Chairman. C. W. CUMMINgs, Secretary.

The whole amount of property sold by Mr. C.J. wol. bert, Auctioneer, on Thursday evening, Sept. 15, at

in the “..?merican Museum” vol. 11. p. 187.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

It appears from this table, that in those county towns (or seats of justice) in the interior and western parts of Pennsylvania, the necessity for manufactures has occasigned a little congregation of artizans, in the proportion of twenty-seven parts in one hundred, of the whole village in the smallest instance, and in the proportion of thirty-seven parts in one hundred, in the largest. The town of Washington, which is the most remote, and is beyond the Ohio, has been created since the late war. Its distance is about 300 miles west of Phila...elphia. — The variety of its manufactures is striking, and it may be sately affirmed, that at the seats of justice, in the counties of Delaware, Bucks, Chester and Montgomery, which are nearest to Philadelphia, as great a number of manufacturers, in proportion to their respective population, does not exist, though the family manufacturers are more considerable in these, and though they have numerous tanneries, iron works, powder mills, paper

the Merchant's Coffee House, including the follow- mills, blacksmiths, hatters, shoemakers, weavers, and

iug properties, was $91,545. Laurel Hill

Fountain Green, - - 14,000 Stone House, - - - 4, 100 Gothic Mansion, Chesnut St. - 16,500 The Rising Sun Tavern, No. 38 Market St. 14,200 The House and Lot No. 338 Market St. 13,950

other valuable workmen, in their villages and scattered

$14,000 troughout their populous townships. This, however,

is the case, in some degree, likewise in the townships of the western scene above described. In the midland counties of Pennsylvania, manufactures have resulted from a flourishing agriculture, and, im. mediately on their birth, have contributed to the pros

224

MISGELLANEOUS.

[Ocrossa

perity of the cultivators. The borough of Lancaster, which is the largest inland town in the United States, is sixty-six miles from a seaport, and ten from any prac. tised boat navigation. The number of families was in 1786, about 700, of whom 234 were manufacturers.The following is the list of them. Fourteen hatters, thirty-six shoemakers, four tanners, seventeen saidlers, twenty-five tailors, twenty-five weavers of woolen, linen and cotton cloth, three stocking weavers, twenty five white and black smiths, six wheelwrights, eleven coopers, six clock and watchmakers, six tobacco and snuff manufacturers, four dyers, seven gun smiths, five rope makers, four tinners, two brass founders, three skin dressers, one brush maker, seven turners, seven nail makers, five silver smiths, three potters, three brewers, three coppersmiths, and two printers in English and German. There were in 1786, also within thirty-nine miles of the town, seventeen furnaces, forges, rolling mills and slitting mills, and within ten miles of it eigh. teen corn mills, sixteen saw mills, one fulling mill, four oil mills, five hemp mills, two boreing and grinding mills for gun barrels, and eight tanneries. The increase since 1786, must have been very considerable; for the attention of the United States has been yery much turned to manufactures since the year 1787. It may be safely affirmed, that the counties of Lancaster (in which the borough is) York and Berks are the most vigorous in Pennsylvania, perhaps in the Union, and that there are none in the state in which there are more manufacturers, is beyond all question. They are all fifty miles or more, from the nearest seaport.

- From the United State, Gazette. PHILADELPHIA ANI) READING RAIL ROAD. At a meeting of the committee appointed to examine the proposed route for the Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road on the west side of the River Schuylkill, held at Kimberton, 9th mo. 17th 1831. The minutes of the Proccedings of the committee were read, from which it appears a survey has been made by J. Edgar Thompson of the route from the head waters of the north branch of French creek to Reading—that the grade of the road from the summit level to Iteading would be under 30 feet to the mile, after overcoming about 200 feet by stationary power near the summit—that the French creek valley has been examined, and is deemed favorable ground for a rail road, and that from French creek to Peters Island, two routes are deemed practicable, one to enter the great valley, by the Pickering gap and thence down the val. ley to the mouth of the gulf stream, and thence by the Schuylkill, or to keep down the French creek to its mouth, thence by the Schuylkill to Valley Forge, thence through the high grounds, by the course of the valley, and thence to the Gulf stream as before, &c. And the following letter from the Engineer to one of the committee being now produced, his views were upon motion unanimously adopted, and the letter ordered to be published for the information of the friends of the route. And it is agreed that this cominitttee will not meet again until after the meeting of the friends of the route, which is to be held by their own adjournment, at Kim. berton, on 7th day the 15th of next month, at 1 o'clock, P. M. Editors of newspapers, friendly to the object, are re. quested to give these papers one insertion. JOHN ROGERS, GEORGE CHRISMAN, EMMOR KIMBER. PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 16th, 1831. “Dear Sir:—I do not conceive that it is necessary for the committee to incur any additional expense in ma

king further surveys for the proposed Philadelphia and Reading rail road; although it would have been both

adviseable and satisfactory, while on the ground, to have ascertained the possibility of entering the Great Valley by a more direct route than that by following the French creek valley to its junction with the Schuylkill river; still it is known that the latter is practicable, without much difficulty; which is all sufficient for the purpose of obtaining a charter for the road. From the mouth of French creek, the line may continue along the valley of the Schuylkill to the Pennsylvania rail way at Peters Island, which is the only practicable point of intersecting that work: or as proposed, pass up Valley creek, thence near the King of Prussia, and along the Gulf stream, to its intersection with the river.

If the committee desire it, I will draw a report and estimate of what has been done, and also give my opin. ion on the probable cost of forming the road along the French creek valley.

Respectfuly, your friend, J.N. El) GAR THOMPSON. EMMon KIM Ben, Esq.

PROCE EDINGS OF COUNCILS. Mondar Eves ING, Sept. 26, 1831.

SELECT COUNCIL.-Mr. DUANE presented the following remonstrance from STEPHEN Gia ARD, Esq. which was laid on the table. To the Select and Common Councils of Philadelphia. The memorial of Stephen Girard of the said city, respectfully represents—That having been informed of an application, made to Councils by Messrs. Hollings. head, Platt and Taylor, in relation to the property lately purchased by them in north Water-street, north of your memorialist’s stores ; and having also been informed of the ordinance proposed by the Committee of Councils, to which the said application was referred, conceives it to be his duty after due consideration, to remonstrate against such proceeding as is contemplated by that oldinance. Your memorialist does not suppose that Councils have a right to grant to any private persons for any term of time, the right, title, interest and property of the city in any part of any public street, or alley ; but if your memorialist is mistaken, and if Councils have such a right, he respectfully asks whether any such privilege should be granted to any private persons to the prejudice of your memorialist, and in preference to him Your memorialist conceives that when his past improvements, his long residence on the spot, and his desire further to improve, are considered, a preference should be given to him : he does not, however, seek a favour ; he barely objects to the grant of a favour to others, to his own injury, and respectfully makes known, that if Councils are disposed to grant the privilege referred to, your memorialist wishes to have it for the term of twenty-five years only, and will give to the City at least five hundred dollars more than any other individual, obligating himself in the mean time, to keep the premises in complete and good order in all respects. The Select Council passed an ordinance for constructing a culvert in Schuylkill Sixth-street, and one fixing the width of the cart-way in Bank-street. The Common Council did not form a quorum.

[ocr errors]

We learn from a respectable source at Doylestown, that that place is exempt from bilious disease except in a single family at the foot of the hill. The population is about eight hundred souls, and there are not five persons sick. Our correspondent remarks that but few districts either in town or country, are so well offin this respect, at this season. We give this statement to correct the tendency of a paragraph of the opposite tenor, which was, last week, circulated in the newspapers, and erroneously ascribed to the Dnylestown Democrat.

[ocr errors][merged small]

DEVOTED TO THE PRESERVATION OF EVERY RINI) of Us EFU L INFort MATI on RESPECTING THE STATE.

[ocr errors][merged small]

From the Bucks County Republican.

ESCHEAT COURT-REYNOLIDS” CASE. [continued from PAGE 198.]

The following is a sketch of the Address of Mr. Ross, the Escheator :

Gentlemen of the Inquest—We have, after a long and laborious investigatiou, arrived nearly at the close of this case. Its importance, not only to the persons in possession, but particularly to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, demanded a patient and serious examination. This it has received. It now becomes my duty, as the representative of the interests of the Commonwealth, to lay before you the grounds upon which this property is claimed as an Escheat. In doing so, it will be my object to select from the great mass of tes. timony that has been offered, such parts as really have any bearing upon the immediate points in issue ; and to present them for your consideration in as plain and simple a shape as the nature of this case will admit. It has been objected in the outset of this case, and urged strenuously in the argument of it, that this Court has no authority to take cognizance of the case now trying i but that the decision of it belongs to the Board of Property, under the act of Ap. 5, 1782, 2 Smith’s Laws, p. 15. The determination of this question forms no part of the matter you are called upon to decide. The oath or affirmation that you have severally taken is, that “you will diligently inquire whether John Reynolds, late of the county of Bucks, hath died intestate, and whether he was at the time of his death seized or possessed of any and what estate, real or personal, in the county aforesaid, and also in whose hands or posses. sion the same shall be.” You cannot therefore extend your inquiry to questions relating exclusively to the power and authority of this court ; but must confine yourselves to the matters contained in the oath that has been administered to you. The question of jurisdiction must be determined by another tribunal. Stif. fice it to say; that the proceeding in this case is founded on the 14th sec. of the act of 1787, which expressly authorizes the cognizance of cases of Escheat happening as well previously, as since the Revolution. By the 28th sec. of this act, it is provided, “that if any person, who at the time of his or her death, was seized or possessed of any real or personal estate within this commonwealth, die intestate, without heirs or any known kindred, such estate shall Escheat to the Commonwealth, subject to all legal demands on the same.” In order then to establish the Escheat of this land, it is necessary that the commonwealth should prove, 1st, That John Reynolds hath died intestate, without heirs or known kindred. 2d, That he was at the time of his death seized or possessed of this property. 3d, 1t is also necessary to show in whose hands or possession the said land may be. (Before Mr. Ross proceeded to an examination of these points, he presented the Jury with a history of the proceedings that had at different periods taken place in relation to this property, as far as it could be collected from the evidence adduced. For this statement,

VIII Vol. 26

see a former number [Register, p.209] of the paper containing it. He then proceeded.) The first question for your inquiry, and to which your attention must be particularly directed, is, Did John Reynolds die intestate, without heirs or any known kindred 2 1st, Did he die intestate There can be no doubt, gentlemen, of the death of John Reynolds, although it has been seriously urged that there is no evidence of it, and that you should not be permitted to presume it. The Patent was granted to him in 1687, and supposing him to be then only 21 years of age, he would at this time, if living, have numbered 162 years. The time that has elapsed, therefore, is sufficient to raise a presumption of his death. Independent, however, of any presumption, you have in evidence the admission of the settlers themselves, in all their proceedings with the commonwealth in relation to this land, that John Reynolds is dead. Did he then die intestate It has been shown by the certificate of the Register of this county, that there is

no will of John Reynolds on record in his office ; and

also by the certificate of the Register of the city and county of Philadelphia, that there is no will on record in that office from the year 1687 to 1776, both inclusive. If John Reynolds had died testate in this county, his will must have been recorded in one of these offices ; and consequently, as no will has been found, it is sufficiently proved that he died intestate. It has been urged, however, that he might have died in England, and left a will on record in that country; and that his intestacy has not been made out, inasmuch as there has been no certificate adduced in evidence, showing that there is no will on record in that country. Even admitting that he died testate in England, still, unless such will is executed and proved according to the laws of this State, it would not pass real property situated in this county (Tol. Ex, 72 ;) though as respects personal property the case would be different: (1 Binn. 266.) It has then, I think, been clearly shown, that John teynolds died intestate. The next point under this division of the case is, did he die without heirs or known kindred 2 This might be presumed from the fact; that although a period of 144 years has elapsed, no one has been able to establish his title to the property, as the heir of John Reynolds. You are, however, not asked to presume it 5 you have the admissions of it by those under whom the present

holders of this land claim. Upon examining the Escheat

Warrants of 1769, you will find that the settlers themselves represented to the commonwealth, that John Reynolds had died “without issue, relation, or known kindred,” &c. The present holders claim under the persons to whom these Escheat Warrants were granted; so that you have the express declarations of the parties immediately interested, admitting the fact ; stronger evidence than this could not be offered. These Escheat Warrants are the foundations upon which rest the titles which Betts and Bonner have obtained from the Commonwealth ; and which if the representation then made be now denied by you, can convey no title, although they have received patents for the respective quantities of this tract. In addition to what I deem such strong conclusive testimony, we have also the decision of the Board of Property made in 1794, upon the caveats

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

In support of this branch of the case, a warrant for 1000 acres of land in Bucks county, granted “at the request of Zach Whitpaine in behalf of John Reynolds, * T his warrant is dated the

filed in 1788 by the persons claiming to be the heirs of John Reynolds. The Board in their decision say :— “Heatly and Tilghman, counsel for the caveators, respectively appearing, and producing divers testimony, has been read in evidence. some in support of an English John Reynolds, and some 18th of February 1687. A return was made of the of that under an Irish John Reynolds, neither of which survey on this warrant the 7th of May 1687; and a pais satisfactory to the Board, therefore the said caveats tent issued to John Reynolds the 8th of July in the are dismissed, and patents allowed to the said settlers, same year, for 984 acres, the quantity returned in the

&c.” Thus it appears that so lave as 1794, the Board of Property examined this matter, and not only decided against the claims of those representing themselves as the heirs of John Reynolds, but directed patents to issue to the settlers. This decision, independent of the Escheat Warrants of 1769, goes far towards esta. blishing the point that I am now considering, particularly if taken in connexion with the other strong presumptive evidence. [Here Mr. Ross also commented upon the Report of the Board of Property, made in 1784, and the petition presented to the Legislature in 1831, together with the report of the committee, to whom had been referred the petition.] To refute this evidence, you have the declarations of Samuel Reynolds that he is an heir; made at different times and to different individuals, once I believe before the committee of the Legislature. The church records of Chichester, in England, have also been offered in evidence, to show that John Reynolds left heirs. First, as respects the declaration of Samuel Reynolds, I would observe, that they can have no weight with you in your decision of this point ; as well might the commonwealth call upon you to receive the information, which he has filed as evidence of the facts therein stated, as the counsel for the claimants to ask you to receive his declarations, as sufficient evidence of John Reynolds dying without heirs. If he be really an heir, why has he not long since established his claim Why has he surrendered to the commonwealth all his right to the property, as heir, and preferred receiving but one-fifth of this land, when he might have received the whole The fact is, it is in evidence, that he did endeavour to establish his claim, and was unable to do so. So far then as respects Samuel Revnolds being the heir of John Reynolds, it has been clearly established that he is not... I lay it down to you, however, gentlemen, that the right of the commonwealth to property that is alleged to have Escheated, cannot be defeated by the mere declarations of a person that he is an heir, whether such person be the informer, or a mere stranger to the proceedings of Escheat. The heirship must be clearly and satisfactorily made out. Mere suspicion or rumour that a person is an heir, is not sufficient to jus. tify you in finding a verdict, that property has not Escheated. Then we have the church records of Chichester to the same point. These records show that there was a John Reynolds born in England, 24th of October 1651, They prove nothing more than that a man by the name of John Reynolds was born in England, and that he had brothers also born there ; but whether it was the same John Reynolds who obtained a patent from the Proprietary does not appear; on the contrary it is to be presumed, that it was not the same John Reynolls, because these church records were certified in England in 1790, and in 1794 the Board of Property made their decision upon the caveats filed by the individuals claiming to be the heirs of John Reynolds. There can be no doubt therefore that these records were procured for the purpose of establishing the right of the cavea. tors, claiming under the English John Reynolds; particularly if it be recollected that these records have been until lately in possession of a family representing themselves as descended from John Reynolds. Then, gentlemen, the commonwealth has I think satisfactorily shown, that John Reynolds died intestate without heirs or known kindred. The next question for your consideration is, did he

survey. It has, however, been strongly contended, that these proceedings are no evidence that John Reynolds was ever seized or possessed of this property; and particularly that it was necessary for the commonwealth to have shown that this land was seated and improved

by John Reynolds within three years after the survey

made upon it. A patent is prima facie evidence, that the title is vested in the patentee, [2 Binn. 12,] and in this State, title draws after it, as a legal incident, a constructive possession, unless where the land is held adversely, (4 Serg. and Rawle, 466.) It has been shown that John Reynolds received a patent. This was prima facie evidence of his title. It threw the onus of disproving it upon the occupiers of this land, who now deny the title. If John Reynolds did not seat and improve this land within three years after the survey, according to the tenth article of the concessions agreed upon, between William Penn and the first purchasers, it rested with them to show it, and not with the commonwealth, as has been contended. Some of you, gentlemen, I believe, own land originally patented to the first purchasers; and can you for a moment believe, that in order to derive a title from the commonwealth, you would be called upon not only to produce the patent, but also to show that the land had been settled and improved within three years from the survey 2 Who of you could make the requisite proof? Such, however, is not the law. The party disputing your title would be bound to show that the settlement required had not been made. In this case, what evidence have the present occupiers offered, to show that the land was not settled or improved within three years They contend that the warrant having been taken out by Zach Whitpaine, the inference is strong that John Reynolds never was in this country ; and consequently, that the land could not have been settled by him. Zach Whitpaine took out the warrant in behalf of Reynolds, and acted as his agent. If, therefore, you believe that Whitpaine settled the land, it was the same as if Reynolds himself had done it; the maxim of the law being, “Qui facit per alium, facit per se.” The recital in the patent to Struttell, is also relied upon to show that this land had not been settled , and that the Proprietary Government had resumed the grant. Upon an examination of the re-survey of 1781, you will find, gentlemen, that no part of the 500 acres patented to Struttell, was embraced within the Reynolds' tract. This therefore can be no evidence that the Commonwealth resumed the grant, neither is there anything in the recital which proves that Reynolds did not settle the land; it is the mere representation of an individual applying for land made in 1742, fifty-five years after the patent to John Reynolds. It was impossible, therefore, for Struttell to have known whether the land had been seated or improved within the three years; at any rate, his declaration is no evidence of the fact. On the contrary, it is evident from the letter of James Steel, written in 1739, that the land had been for some time settled previous to that period. So that the representation of Struttel is expressly contradicted by this letter of Steel's, who it seems at that time assumed the charge and care of this property. It is manifest that the Commonwealth has always admitted that John Reynolds was seized and possessed of this land, and that she has done no act, from which the presumption can be drawn that Reynolds forfeited his title to it. In granting the Escheat Warrants of 1769, in making the re-survey of 1781, and the contract of

die seized or possessed of this land

1784; in issuing patents to Betts and Bonner, and in

« PreviousContinue »