The Quaker Colonies, A Chronicle of the Proprietors of the

By Sydney G. Fisher

New Haven: Yale University Press
Toronto: Glasgow, Brook & Co.
London: Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press





Chapter I. The Birth Of Pennsylvania

In 1661, the year after Charles II was restored to the throne of
England, William Penn was a seventeen-year-old student at Christ
Church, Oxford. His father, a distinguished admiral in high favor
at Court, had abandoned his erstwhile friends and had aided in
restoring King Charlie to his own again. Young William was
associating with the sons of the aristocracy and was receiving an
education which would fit him to obtain preferment at Court. But
there was a serious vein in him, and while at a high church
Oxford College he was surreptitiously attending the meetings and
listening to the preaching of the despised and outlawed Quakers.
There he first began to hear of the plans of a group of Quakers
to found colonies on the Delaware in America. Forty years
afterwards he wrote, "I had an opening of joy as to these parts
in the year 1661 at Oxford." And with America and the Quakers, in
spite of a brief youthful experience as a soldier and a courtier,
William Penn's life, as well as his fame, is indissolubly linked.

Quakerism was one of the many religious sects born in the
seventeenth century under the influence of Puritan thought. The
foundation principle of the Reformation, the right of private
judgment, the Quakers carried out to its logical conclusion; but
they were people whose minds had so long been suppressed and
terrorized that, once free, they rushed to extremes. They shocked
and horrified even the most advanced Reformation sects by
rejecting Baptism, the doctrine of the Trinity, and all
sacraments, forms, and ceremonies. They represented, on their
best side, the most vigorous effort of the Reformation to return
to the spirituality and the simplicity of the early Christians.
But their intense spirituality, pathetic often in its extreme
manifestations, was not wholly concerned with another world.
Their humane ideas and philanthropic methods, such as the
abolition of slavery, and the reform of prisons and of charitable
institutions, came in time to be accepted as fundamental
practical social principles.

The tendencies of which Quakerism formed only one manifestation
appeared outside of England, in Italy, in France, and especially
in Germany. The fundamental Quaker idea of "quietism," as it was
called, or peaceful, silent contemplation as a spiritual form of
worship and as a development of moral consciousness, was very
widespread at the close of the Reformation and even began to be
practiced in the Roman Catholic Church until it was stopped by
the Jesuits. The most extreme of the English Quakers, however,
gave way to such extravagances of conduct as trembling when they
preached (whence their name), preaching openly in the streets and
fields--a horrible thing at that time--interrupting other
congregations, and appearing naked as a sign and warning. They
gave offense by refusing to remove their hats in public and by
applying to all alike the words "thee" and "thou," a form of
address hitherto used only to servants and inferiors. Worst of
all, the Quakers refused to pay tithes or taxes to support the
Church of England. As a result, the loathsome jails of the day
were soon filled with these objectors, and their property melted
away in fines. This contumacy and their street meetings, regarded
at that time as riotous breaches of the peace, gave the
Government at first a legal excuse to hunt them down; but as they
grew in numbers and influence, laws were enacted to suppress
them. Some of them, though not the wildest extremists, escaped to
the colonies in America. There, however, they were made welcome
to conditions no less severe.

The first law against the Quakers in Massachusetts was passed in
1656, and between that date and 1660 four of the sect were
hanged, one of them a woman, Mary Dyer. Though there were no
other hangings, many Quakers were punished by whipping and
banishment. In other colonies, notably New York, fines and
banishment were not uncommon. Such treatment forced the Quakers,
against the will of many of them, to seek a tract of land and
found a colony of their own. To such a course there appeared no
alternative, unless they were determined to establish their
religion solely by martyrdom.

About the time when the Massachusetts laws were enforced, the
principal Quaker leader and organizer, George Fox (1624-1691),
began to consider the possibility of making a settlement among
the great forests and mountains said to lie north of Maryland in
the region drained by the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers. In
this region lay practically the only good land on the Atlantic
seaboard not already occupied. The Puritans and Dutch were on the
north, and there were Catholic and Church of England colonies on
the south in Maryland and Virginia. The middle ground was
unoccupied because heretofore a difficult coast had prevented
easy access by sea. Fox consulted Josiah Coale, a Quaker who had
traveled in America and had seen a good deal of the Indian
tribes, with the result that on his second visit to America Coale
was commissioned to treat with the Susquehanna Indians, who were
supposed to have rights in the desired land. In November, 1660,
Coale reported to Fox the result of his inquiries: "As concerning
Friends buying a piece of land of the Susquehanna Indians I have
spoken of it to them and told them what thou said concerning it;
but their answer was, that there is no land that is habitable or
fit for situation beyond Baltimore's liberty till they come to or
near the Susquehanna's Fort."* Nothing could be done
immediately, the letter went on to say, because the Indians were
at war with one another, and William Fuller, a Maryland Quaker,
whose cooperation was deemed essential, was absent.

* James Bowden's "History of the Friends in America," vol. I, p.

This seems to have been the first definite movement towards a
Quaker colony. Reports of it reached the ears of young Penn at
Oxford and set his imagination aflame. He never forgot the
project, for seventeen is an age when grand thoughts strike home.
The adventurousness of the plan was irresistible--a home for the
new faith in the primeval forest, far from imprisonment, tithes,
and persecution, and to be won by effort worthy of a man. It was,
however, a dream destined not to be realized for many a long
year. More was needed than the mere consent of the Indians. In
the meantime, however, a temporary refuge for the sect was found
in the province of West Jersey on the Delaware, which two Quakers
had bought from Lord Berkeley for the comparatively small sum of
1000 pounds. Of this grant William Penn became one of the
trustees and thus gained his first experience in the business of
colonizing the region of his youthful dreams. But there was never
a sufficient governmental control of West Jersey to make it an
ideal Quaker colony. What little control the Quakers exercised
disappeared after 1702; and the land and situation were not all
that could be desired. Penn, though also one of the owners of
East Jersey, made no attempt to turn that region into a Quaker

Besides West Jersey the Quakers found a temporary asylum in
Aquidneck, now Rhode Island.* For many years the governors and
magistrates were Quakers, and the affairs of this island colony
were largely in their hands. Quakers were also prominent in the
politics of North Carolina, and John Archdale, a Quaker, was
Governor for several years. They formed a considerable element of
the population in the towns of Long Island and Westchester County
but they could not hope to convert these communities into real
Quaker commonwealths.

* This Rhode Island colony should be distinguished from the
settlement at Providence founded by Roger Williams with which it
was later united. See Jones, "The Quakers in the American
Colonies," p. 21, note.

The experience in the Jerseys and elsewhere very soon proved that
if there was to be a real Quaker colony, the British Crown must
give not only a title to the land but a strong charter
guaranteeing self-government and protection of the Quaker faith
from outside interference. But that the British Government would
grant such valued privileges to a sect of schismatics which it
was hunting down in England seemed a most unlikely event. Nothing
but unusual influence at Court could bring it about, and in that
quarter the Quakers had no influence.

Penn never forgot the boyhood ideal which he had developed at
college. For twenty years he led a varied life--driven from home
and whipped by his father for consorting with the schismatic;
sometimes in deference to his father's wishes taking his place in
the gay world at Court; even, for a time, becoming a soldier, and
again traveling in France with some of the people of the Court.
In the end, as he grew older, religious feeling completely
absorbed him. He became one of the leading Quaker theologians,
and his very earnest religious writings fill several volumes. He
became a preacher at the meetings and went to prison for his
heretical doctrines and pamphlets. At last he found himself at
the age of thirty-six with his father dead, and a debt due from
the Crown of 16,000 pounds for services which his distinguished
father, the admiral, had rendered the Government.

Here was the accident that brought into being the great Quaker
colony, by a combination of circumstances which could hardly have
happened twice. Young Penn was popular at Court. He had inherited
a valuable friendship with Charles II and his heir, the Duke of
York. This friendship rested on the solid fact that Penn's
father, the admiral, had rendered such signal assistance in
restoring Charles and the whole Stuart line to the throne. But
still 16,000 pounds or $80,000, the accumulation of many deferred
payments, was a goodly sum in those days, and that the Crown
would pay it in money, of which it had none too much, was
unlikely. Why not therefore suggest paying it instead in wild
land in America, of which the Crown had abundance? That was the
fruitful thought which visited Penn. Lord Berkeley and Lord
Carteret had been given New Jersey because they had signally
helped to restore the Strait family to the throne. All the more
therefore should the Stuart family give a tract of land, and even
a larger tract, to Penn, whose father had not only assisted the
family to the throne but had refrained so long from pressing his
just claim for money due.

So the Crown, knowing little of the value of it, granted him the
most magnificent domain of mountains; lakes, rivers, and forests,
fertile soil, coal, petroleum, and iron that ever was given to a
single proprietor. In addition to giving Penn the control of
Delaware and, with certain other Quakers, that of New Jersey as
well, the Crown placed at the disposal of the Quakers 55,000
square miles of most valuable, fertile territory, lacking only
about three thousand square miles of being as large as England
and Wales. Even when cut down to 45,000 square miles by a
boundary dispute with Maryland, it was larger than Ireland. Kings
themselves have possessed such dominions, but never before a
private citizen who scorned all titles and belonged to a hunted
sect that exalted peace and spiritual contemplation above all the
wealth and power of the world. Whether the obtaining of this
enormous tract of the best land in America was due to what may be
called the eternal thriftiness of the Quaker mind or to the
intense desire of the British Government to get rid of these
people--at any cost might be hard to determine.

Penn received his charter in 1681, and in it he was very careful
to avoid all the mistakes of the Jersey proprietary grants.
Instead of numerous proprietors, Penn was to be the sole
proprietor. Instead of giving title to the land and remaining
silent about the political government, Penn's charter not only
gave him title to the land but a clearly defined position as its
political head, and described the principles of the government so
clearly that there was little room for doubt or dispute.

It was a decidedly feudal charter, very much like the one granted
to Lord Baltimore fifty years before, and yet at the same time it
secured civil liberty and representative government to the
people. Penn owned all the land and the colonists were to be his
tenants. He was compelled, however, to give his people free
government. The laws were to be made by him with the assent of
the people or their delegates. In practice this of course meant
that the people were to elect a legislature and Penn would have a
veto, as we now call it, on such acts as the legislature should
pass. He had power to appoint magistrates, judges, and some other
officers, and to grant pardons. Though, by the charter,
of the province, he usually remained in England and appointed a
deputy governor to exercise authority in the colony. In modern
phrase, he controlled the executive part of the government and
his people controlled the legislative part.

Pennsylvania, besides being the largest in area of the
proprietary colonies, was also the most successful, not only from
the proprietor's point of view but also from the point of view of
the inhabitants. The proprietorships in Maine, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, and the Carolinas were largely failures. Maryland was
only partially successful; it was not particularly remunerative
to its owner, and the Crown deprived him of his control of it for
twenty years. Penn, too, was deprived of the control of
Pennsylvania by William III but for only about two years. Except
for this brief interval (1692-1694), Penn and his sons after him
held their province down to the time of the American Revolution
in 1776, a period of ninety-four years.

A feudal proprietorship, collecting rents from all the people,
seems to modern minds grievously wrong in theory, and yet it
would be very difficult to show that it proved onerous in
practice. Under it the people of Pennsylvania flourished in
wealth, peace, and happiness. Penn won undying fame for the
liberal principles of his feudal enterprise. His expenses in
England were so great and his quitrents always so much in arrears
that he was seldom out of debt. But his children grew rich from
the province. As in other provinces that were not feudal there
were disputes between the people and the proprietors; but there
was not so much general dissatisfaction as might have been
expected. The proprietors were on the whole not altogether
disliked. In the American Revolution, when the people could have
confiscated everything in Pennsylvania belonging to the
proprietary family, they not only left them in possession of a
large part of their land, but paid them handsomely for the part
that was taken.

After Penn had secured his charter in 1681, he obtained from the
Duke of York the land now included in the State of Delaware. He
advertised for colonists, and began selling land at 100 pounds
for five thousand acres and annually thereafter a shilling
quitrent for every hundred acres. He drew up a constitution or
frame of government, as he called it, after wide and earnest
consultation with many, including the famous Algernon Sydney.
Among the Penn papers in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
is a collection of about twenty preliminary drafts. Beginning
with one which erected a government by a landed aristocracy, they
became more and more liberal, until in the end his frame was very
much like the most liberal government of the other English
colonies in America. He had a council and an assembly, both
elected by the people. The council, however, was very large, had
seventy-two members, and was more like an upper house of the
Legislature than the usual colonial governor's council. The
council also had the sole right of proposing legislation, and the
assembly could merely accept or reject its proposals. This was a
new idea, and it worked so badly in practice that in the end the
province went to the opposite extreme and had no council or upper
house of the Legislature at all.

Penn's frame of government contained, however, a provision for
its own amendment. This was a new idea and proved to be so happy
that it is now found in all American constitutions. His method of
impeachment by which the lower house was to bring in the charge
and the upper house was to try it has also been universally
adopted. His view that an unconstitutional law is void was a step
towards our modern system. The next step, giving the courts power
to declare a law unconstitutional, was not taken until one
hundred years after his time. With the advice and assistance of
some of those who were going out to his colony he prepared a code
of laws which contained many of the advanced ideas of the
Quakers. Capital punishment was to be confined to murder and
treason, instead of being applied as in England to a host of
minor offenses. The property of murderers, instead of being
forfeited to the State, was to be divided among the next of kin
of the victim and of the criminal. Religious liberty was
established as it had been in Rhode Island and the Jerseys. All
children were to be taught a useful trade. Oaths in judicial
proceedings were not required. All prisons were to be workhouses
and places of reformation instead of dungeons of dirt, idleness,
and disease. This attempt to improve the prisons inaugurated a
movement of great importance in the modern world in which the
part played by the Quakers is too often forgotten.

Penn had now started his "Holy Experiment," as he called his
enterprise in Pennsylvania, by which he intended to prove that
religious liberty was not only right, but that agriculture,
commerce, and all arts and refinements of life would flourish
under it. He would break the delusion that prosperity and morals
were possible only under some one particular faith established by
law. He, would prove that government could be carried on without
war and without oaths, and that primitive Christianity could be
maintained without a hireling ministry, without persecution,
without ridiculous dogmas or ritual, sustained only by its own
innate power and the inward light.

Chapter II. Penn Sails For The Delaware

The framing of the constitution and other preparations consumed
the year following Penn's receipt of his charter in 1681. But at
last, on August 30, 1682, he set sail in the ship Welcome, with
about a hundred colonists. After a voyage of about six weeks, and
the loss of thirty of their number by smallpox, they arrived in
the Delaware. June would have been a somewhat better month in
which to see the rich luxuriance of the green meadows and forests
of this beautiful river. But the autumn foliage and bracing air
of October must have been inspiring enough. The ship slowly beat
her way for three days up the bay and river in the silence and
romantic loneliness of its shores. Everything indicated richness
and fertility. At some points the lofty trees of the primeval
forest grew down to the water's edge. The river at every high
tide overflowed great meadows grown up in reeds and grasses and
red and yellow flowers, stretching back to the borders of the
forest and full of water birds and wild fowl of every variety.
Penn, now in the prime of life, must surely have been aroused by
this scene and by the reflection that the noble river was his and
the vast stretches of forests and mountains for three hundred
miles to the westward.

He was soon ashore, exploring the edge of his mighty domain,
settling his government, and passing his laws. He was much
pleased with the Swedes whom he found on his land. He changed the
name of the little Swedish village of Upland, fifteen miles below
Philadelphia, to Chester. He superintended laying out the streets
of Philadelphia and they remain to this day substantially as he
planned them, though unfortunately too narrow and monotonously
regular. He met the Indians at Philadelphia, sat with them at
their fires, ate their roasted corn, and when to amuse him they
showed him some of their sports and games he renewed his college
days by joining them in a jumping match.

Then he started on journeys. He traveled through the woods to
New York, which then belonged to the Duke of York, who had given
him Delaware; he visited the Long Island Quakers; and on his
return he went to Maryland to meet with much pomp and ceremony
Lord Baltimore and there discuss with him the disputed boundary.
He even crossed to the eastern shore of the Chesapeake to visit a
Quaker meeting on the Choptank before winter set in, and he
describes the immense migration of wild pigeons at that season,
and the ducks which flew so low and were so tame that the
colonists knocked them down with sticks.

Most of the winter he spent at Chester and wrote to England in
high spirits of his journeys, the wonders of the country, the
abundance of game and provisions, and the twenty-three ships
which had arrived so swiftly that few had taken longer than six
weeks, and only three had been infected with the smallpox. "Oh
how sweet," he says, "is the quiet of these parts, freed from the
anxious and troublesome solicitations, hurries and perplexities
of woful Europe."

As the weeks and months passed, ships kept arriving with more
Quakers, far exceeding the migration to the Jerseys. By summer,
Penn reported that 50 sail had arrived within the past year, 80
houses had been built in Philadelphia, and about 300 farms had
been laid out round the town. It is supposed that about 8000
immigrants had arrived. This was a more rapid development than
was usual in the colonies of America. Massachusetts and Virginia
had been established slowly and with much privation and
suffering. But the settlement of Philadelphia was like a summer
outing. There were no dangers, the hardships were trifling, and
there was no sickness or famine. There was such an abundance of
game close at hand that hunger and famine were in nowise to be
feared. The climate was good and the Indians, kindly treated,
remained friendly for seventy years.

It is interesting to note that in that same year, 1682, in which
Penn and his friends with such ease and comfort founded their
great colony on the Delaware, the French explorers and voyageurs
from Canada, after years of incredible hardships, had traversed
the northern region of the Great Lakes with their canoes and had
passed down the Mississippi to its mouth, giving to the whole of
the Great West the name of Louisiana, and claiming it for France.
Already La Salle had taken his fleet of canoes down the
Mississippi River and had placed the arms of France on a post at
its mouth in April, 1682, only a few months before Penn reached
his newly acquired colony. Thus in the same year in which the
Quakers established in Pennsylvania their reign of liberty and of
peace with the red men, La Salle was laying the foundation of the
western empire of despotic France, which seventy years afterwards
was to hurl the savages upon the English colonies, to wreck the
Quaker policy of peace, but to fail in the end to maintain itself
against the free colonies of England.

While they were building houses in Philadelphia, the settlers
lived in bark huts or in caves dug in the river bank, as the
early settlers in New Jersey across the river had lived.
Pastorius, a learned German Quaker, who had come out with the,
English, placed over the door of his cave the motto, "Parva
domus, sed amica bonis, procul este profani," which much amused
Penn when he saw it. A certain Mrs. Morris was much exercised one
day as to how she could provide supper in the cave for her
husband who was working on the construction of their house. But
on returning to her cave she found that her cat had just brought
in a fine rabbit. In their later prosperous years they had a
picture of the cat and the rabbit made on a box which has
descended as a family heirloom. Doubtless there were preserved
many other interesting reminiscences of the brief camp life.
These Quakers were all of the thrifty, industrious type which had
gone to West Jersey a few years before. Men of means, indeed,
among the Quakers were the first to seek refuge from the fines
and confiscations imposed upon them in England. They brought with
them excellent supplies of everything. Many of the ships carried
the frames of houses ready to put together. But substantial
people of this sort demanded for the most part houses of brick,
with stone cellars. Fortunately both brick clay and stone were
readily obtainable in the neighborhood, and whatever may have
been the case in other colonies, ships loaded with brick from
England would have found it little to their profit to touch at
Philadelphia. An early description says that the brick houses in
Philadelphia were modeled on those of London, and this type
prevailed for nearly two hundred years.

It was probably in June, 1683, that Penn made his famous treaty
with the Indians. No documentary proof of the existence of such a
treaty has reached us. He made, indeed, a number of so-called
treaties, which were really only purchases of land involving oral
promises between the principals to treat each other fairly.
Hundreds of such treaties have been made. The remarkable part
about Penn's dealings with the Indians was that such promises as
he made he kept. The other Quakers, too, were as careful as Penn
in their honorable treatment of the red men. Quaker families of
farmers and settlers lived unarmed among them for generations
and, when absent from home, left children in their care. The
Indians, on their part, were known to have helped white families
with food in winter time. Penn, on his first visit to the colony,
made a long journey unarmed among the Indians as far as the
Susquehanna, saw the great herds of elk on that river, lived in
Indian wigwams, and learned much of the language and customs of
the natives. There need never be any trouble with them, he said.
They were the easiest people in the world to get on with if the
white men would simply be just. Penn's fair treatment of the
Indians kept Pennsylvania at peace with them for about seventy
years--in fact, from 1682 until the outbreak of the French and
Indian Wars, in 1755. In its critical period of growth,
Pennsylvania was therefore not at all harassed or checked by
those Indian hostilities which were such a serious impediment in
other colonies.

The two years of Penn's first visit were probably the happiest of
his life. Always fond of the country, he built himself a fine
seat on the Delaware near Bristol, and it would have been better
for him, and probably also for the colony, if he had remained
there. But he thought he had duties in England: his family needed
him; he must defend his people from the religious oppression
still prevailing; and Lord Baltimore had gone to England to
resist him in the boundary dispute. One of the more narrow-minded
of his faith wrote to Penn from England that he was enjoying
himself too much in his colony and seeking his own selfish
interest. Influenced by all these considerations, he returned in
August, 1684, and it was long before he saw Pennsylvania
again--not, indeed, until October, 1699, and then for only two

Chapter III. Life In Philadelphia

The rapid increase of population and the growing prosperity in
Pennsylvania during the life of its founder present a striking
contrast to the slower and more troubled growth of the other
British colonies in America. The settlers in Pennsylvania engaged
at once in profitable agriculture. The loam, clay, and limestone
soils on the Pennsylvania tide of the Delaware produced heavy
crops of grain, as well as pasture for cattle and valuable lumber
from its forests. The Pennsylvania settlers were of a class
particularly skilled in dealing with the soil. They apparently
encountered none of the difficulties, due probably to incompetent
farming, which beset the settlers of Delaware, whose land was as
good as that of the Pennsylvania colonists.

In a few years the port of Philadelphia was loading abundant
cargoes for England and the great West India trade. After much
experimenting with different places on the river, such as New
Castle, Wilmington, Salem, Burlington, the Quakers had at last
found the right location for a great seat of commerce and trade
that could serve as a center for the export of everything from
the region behind it and around it. Philadelphia thus soon became
the basis of a prosperity which no other townsite on the Delaware
had been able to attain. The Quakers of Philadelphia were the
soundest of financiers and men of business, and in their skillful
hands the natural resources of their colony were developed
without setback or accident. At an early date banking
institutions were established in Philadelphia, and the strongest
colonial merchants and mercantile firms had their offices there.
It was out of such a sound business life that were produced in
Revolutionary times such characters as Robert Morris and after
the Revolution men like Stephen Girard.

Pennsylvania in colonial times was ruled from Philadelphia
somewhat as France has always been ruled from Paris. And yet
there was a difference: Pennsylvania had free government. The
Germans and the Scotch-Irish outnumbered the Quakers and could
have controlled the Legislature, for in 1750 out of a population
of 150,000 the Quakers were only about 50,000; and yet the
Legislature down to the Revolution was always confided to the
competent hands of the Quakers. No higher tribute, indeed, has
ever been paid to any group of people as governors of a
commonwealth and architects of its finance and trade.

It is a curious commentary on the times and on human nature that
these Quaker folk, treated as outcasts and enemies of good order
and religion in England and gradually losing all their property
in heavy fines and confiscations, should so suddenly in the
wilderness prove the capacity of their "Holy Experiment" for
achieving the best sort of good order and material success. They
immediately built a most charming little town by the waterside,
snug and pretty with its red brick houses in the best
architectural style. It was essentially a commercial town down to
the time of the Revolution and long afterwards. The principal
residences were on Water Street, the second street from the
wharves. The town in those days extended back only as far as
Fourth Street, and the State House, now Independence Hall, an
admirable instance of the local brick architecture, stood on the
edge of the town. The Pennsylvania Hospital, the first
of its kind to be built in America, was situated out in the

Through the town ran a stream following the line of the present
Dock Street. Its mouth had been a natural landing place for the
first explorers and for the Indians from time immemorial. Here
stood a neat tavern, the Blue Anchor, with its dovecotes in old
English style, looking out for many a year over the river with
its fleet of small boats. Along the wharves lay the very solid,
broad, somber, Quaker-like brick warehouses, some of which have
survived into modern times. Everywhere were to be found ships and
the good seafaring smell of tar and hemp. Ships were built and
fitted out alongside docks where other ships were lading. A
privateer would receive her equipment of guns, pistols, and
cutlasses on one side of a wharf, while on the other side a ship
was peacefully loading wheat or salted provisions for the West

Everybody's attention in those days was centered on the water
instead of inland on railroads as it is today. Commerce was the
source of wealth of the town as agriculture was the wealth of the
interior of the province. Every one lived close to the river and
had an interest in the rise and fall of the tide. The little town
extended for a mile along the water but scarcely half a mile back
from it. All communication with other places, all news from the
world of Europe came from the ships, whose captains brought the
letters and the few newspapers which reached the colonists. An
important ship on her arrival often fired a gun and dropped
anchor with some ceremony. Immediately the shore boats swarmed to
her side; the captain was besieged for news and usually brought
the letters ashore to be distributed at the coffeehouse. This
institution took the place of the modern stock exchange, clearing
house, newspaper, university, club, and theater all under one
roof, with plenty to eat and drink besides. Within its rooms
vessels and cargoes were sold; before its door negro slaves were
auctioned off; and around it as a common center were brought
together all sorts of business, valuable information, gossip, and
scandal. It must have been a brilliant scene in the evening, with
the candles lighting embroidered red and yellow waistcoats, blue
and scarlet Coats, green and black velvet, with the rich drab and
mouse color of the prosperous Quakers contrasting with the
uniforms of British officers come to fight the French and Indian
wars. Sound, as well as color, had its place in this busy and
happy colonial life. Christ Church, a brick building which still
stands the perfection of colonial architecture had been
established by the Church of England people defiantly in the
midst of heretical Quakerdom. It soon possessed a chime of bells
sent out from England. Captain Budden, who brought them in his
ship Myrtilla, would charge no freight for so charitable a deed,
and in consequence of his generosity every time he and his ship
appeared in the harbor the bells were rung in his honor. They
were rung on market days to please the farmers who came into town
with their wagons loaded with poultry and vegetables. They were
rung muffled in times of public disaster and were kept busy in
that way in the French and Indian wars. They were also rung
muffled for Franklin when it was learned that while in London he
had favored the Stamp Act--a means of expressing popular opinion
which the newspapers subsequently put out of date.

The severe Quaker code of conduct and peaceful contemplation
contains no prohibition against good eating and drinking. Quakers
have been known to have the gout. The opportunities in
Philadelphia to enjoy the pleasures of the table were soon
unlimited. Farm, garden, and dairy products, vegetables, poultry,
beef, and mutton were soon produced in immense quantity and
variety and of excellent quality. John Adams, coming from the
"plain living and high thinking" of Boston to attend the first
meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, was invited
to dine with Stephen Collins, a typical Quaker, and was amazed at
the feast set before him. From that time his diary records one
after another of these "sinful feasts," as he calls them. But the
sin at which he thus looks askance never seems to have withheld
him from a generous indulgence. "Drank Madeira at a great rate,"
he says on one occasion, "and took no harm from it." Madeira
obtained in the trade with Spain was the popular drink even at
the taverns. Various forms of punch and rum were common, but the
modern light wines and champagne were not then in vogue.

Food in great quantity and variety seems to have been placed on
the table at the same time, with little regard to formal courses.
Beef, poultry, and mutton would all be served at one dinner.
Fruit and nuts were placed on the table in profusion, as well as
puddings and desserts numerous and deadly. Dinners were served
usually in the afternoon. The splendid banquet which Adams
describes as given to some members of the Continental Congress by
Chief Justice Chew at his country seat was held at four in the
afternoon. The dinner hour was still in the afternoon long after
the Revolution and down to the times of the Civil War. Other
relics of this old love of good living lasted into modern times.
It was not so very long ago that an occasional householder of
wealth and distinction in Philadelphia could still be found who
insisted on doing his own marketing in the old way, going himself
the first thing in the morning on certain days to the excellent
markets and purchasing all the family supplies. Philadelphia
poultry is still famous the country over; and to be a good judge
of poultry was in the old days as much a point of merit as to be
a good judge of Madeira. A typical Philadelphian, envious New
Yorkers say, will still keep a line of depositors waiting at a
bank while he discourses to the receiving teller on what a
splendid purchase of poultry he had made that morning. Early in
the last century a wealthy leader of the bar is said to have
continued the old practice of going to market followed by a negro
with a wheelbarrow to bring back the supplies. Not content with
feasting in their own homes, the colonial Philadelphians were
continually banqueting at the numerous taverns, from the Coach
and Horses, opposite the State House, down to the Penny Pot Inn
close by the river. At the Coach and Horses, where the city
elections were usually held, the discarded oyster shells around
it had been trampled into a hard white and smooth floor over
which surged the excited election crowds. In those taverns the
old fashion prevailed of roasting great joints of meat on a
turnspit before an open fire; and to keep the spit turning before
the heat little dogs were trained to work in a sort of treadmill

In nothing is this colonial prosperity better revealed than in
the quality of the country seats. They were usually built of
stone and sometimes of brick and stone, substantial, beautifully
proportioned, admirable in taste, with a certain simplicity, yet
indicating a people of wealth, leisure, and refinement, who
believed in themselves and took pleasure in adorning their lives.
Not a few of these homes on the outskirts of the city have come
down to us unharmed, and Cliveden, Stenton, and Belmont are
precious relics of such solid structure that with ordinary care
they will still last for centuries. Many were destroyed during
the Revolution; others, such as Landsdowne, the seat of one of
the Penn family, built in the Italian style, have disappeared;
others were wiped out by the city's growth. All of them, even the
small ones, were most interesting and typical of the life of the
times. The colonists began to build them very early. A family
would have a solid, brick town house and, only a mile or so away,
a country house which was equally substantial. Sometimes they
built at a greater distance. Governor Keith, for example, had a
country seat, still standing though built in the middle of the
eighteenth century, some twenty-five miles north of the city in
what was then almost a wilderness.

Penn's ideal had always been to have Philadelphia what he called
"a green country town." Probably he had in mind the beautiful
English towns of abundant foliage and open spaces. And Penn was
successful, for many of the Philadelphia houses stood by
themselves, with gardens round them. The present Walnut was first
called Pool Street; Chestnut was called Winn Street; and Market
was called High Street. If he could have foreseen the enormous
modern growth of the city, he might not have made his streets so
narrow and level. But the fault lies perhaps rather with the
people for adhering so rigidly and for so long to Penn's scheme,
when traffic that he could not have imagined demanded wider
streets. If he could have lived into our times he would surely
have sent us very positive directions in his bluff British way to
break up the original rectangular, narrow plan which was becoming
dismally monotonous when applied to a widely spread-out modern
city. He was a theologian, but he had a very keen eye for
appearances and beauty of surroundings.

Chapter IV. Types Of The Population

The arrival of colonists in Pennsylvania in greater numbers than
in Delaware and the Jerseys was the more notable because, within
a few years after Pennsylvania was founded, persecution of the
Quakers ceased in England and one prolific cause of their
migration was no more. Thirteen hundred Quakers were released
from prison in 1686 by James II; and in 1689, when William of
Orange took the throne, toleration was extended to the Quakers
and other Protestant dissenters.

The success of the first Quakers who came to America brought
others even after persecution ceased in England. The most
numerous class of immigrants for the first fifteen or twenty
years were Welsh, most of whom were Quakers with a few Baptists
and Church of England people. They may have come not so much from
a desire to flee from persecution as to build up a little Welsh
community and to revive Welsh nationalism. In their new
surroundings they spoke their own Welsh language and very few of
them had learned English. They had been encouraged in their
national aspirations by an agreement with Penn that they were to
have a tract of 40,000 acres where they could live by themselves.
The land assigned to them lay west of Philadelphia in that high
ridge along the present main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad,
now so noted for its wealthy suburban homes. All the important
names of townships and places in that region, such as Wynnewood,
St. Davids, Berwyn, Bryn Mawr, Merion, Haverford, Radnor, are
Welsh in origin. Some of the Welsh spread round to the north of
Philadelphia, where names like Gwynedd and Penllyn remain as
their memorials. The Chester Valley bordering the high ridge of
their first settlement they called Duffrin Mawr or Great Valley.

These Welsh, like so many of the Quakers, were of a well-to-do
class. They rapidly developed their fertile land and, for
pioneers, lived quite luxuriously. They had none of the usual
county and township officers but ruled their Welsh Barony, as it
was called, through the authority of their Quaker meetings. But
this system eventually disappeared. The Welsh were absorbed into
the English population, and in a couple of generations their
language disappeared. Prominent people are descended from them.
David Rittenhouse, the astronomer, was Welsh on his mother's
side. David Lloyd, for a long time the leader of the popular
party and at one time Chief Justice, was a Welshman. Since the
Revolution the Welsh names of Cadwalader and Meredith have been

The Church of England people formed a curious and decidedly
hostile element in the early population of Pennsylvania. They
established themselves in Philadelphia in the beginning and
rapidly grew into a political party which, while it cannot be
called very strong in numbers, was important in ability and
influence. After Penn's death, his sons joined the Church of
England, and the Churchmen in the province became still stronger.
They formed the basis of the proprietary party, filled executive
offices in the Government, and waged relentless war against the
Quaker majority which controlled the Legislature. During Penn's
lifetime the Churchmen were naturally opposed to the whole
government, both executive and legislative. They were constantly
sending home to England all sorts of reports and information
calculated to show that the Quakers were unfit to rule a
province, that Penn should be deprived of his charter, and that
Pennsylvania should be put under the direct rule of the King.

They had delightful schemes for making it a strong Church of
England colony like Virginia. One of them suggested that, as the
title to the Three Lower Counties, as Delaware was called, was in
dispute, it should be taken by the Crown and given to the Church
as a manor to support a bishop. Such an ecclesiastic certainly
could have lived in princely state from the rents of its fertile
farms, with a palace, retinue, chamberlains, chancellors, feudal
courts, and all the appendages of earthly glory. For the sake of
the picturesqueness of colonial history it is perhaps a pity that
this pious plan was never carried out.

As it was, however, the Churchmen established themselves with not
a little glamour and romance round two institutions, Christ
Church for the first fifty years, and after that round the old
College of Philadelphia. The Reverend William Smith, a pugnacious
and eloquent Scotchman, led them in many a gallant onset against
the "haughty tribe" of Quakers, and he even suffered imprisonment
in the cause. He had a country seat on the Schuylkill and was in
his way a fine character, devoted to the establishment of
ecclesiasticism and higher learning as a bulwark against the
menace of Quaker fanaticism; and but for the coming on of the
Revolution he might have become the first colonial bishop with
all the palaces, pomp, and glory appertaining thereunto.

In spite of this opposition, however, the Quakers continued their
control of the colony, serenely tolerating the anathemas of the
learned Churchmen and the fierce curses and brandished weapons of
the Presbyterians and Scotch-Irish. Curses and anathemas were no
check to the fertile soil. Grist continued to come to the mill;
and the agricultural products poured into Philadelphia to be
carried away in the ships. The contemplative Quaker took his
profits as they passed; enacted his liberalizing laws, his prison
reform, his charities, his peace with the savage Indians; allowed
science, research, and all the kindly arts of life to flourish;
and seemed perfectly contented with the damnation in the other
world to which those who flourished under his rule consigned him.

In discussing the remarkable success of the province, the
colonists always disputed whether the credit should be given to
the fertile soil or to the liberal laws and constitution. It was
no doubt due to both. But the obvious advantages of Penn's
charter over the mixed and troublesome governmental conditions in
the Jerseys, Penn's personal fame and the repute of the Quakers
for liberalism then at its zenith, and the wide advertising given
to their ideas and Penn's, on the continent of Europe as well as
in England, seem to have been the reasons why more people, and
many besides Quakers, came to take advantage of that fertile

The first great increase of alien population came from Germany,
which was still in a state of religious turmoil, disunion, and
depression from the results of the Reformation and the Thirty
Years' War. The reaction from dogma in Germany had produced a
multitude of sects, all yearning for greater liberty and
prosperity than they had at home. Penn and other Quakers had made
missionary tours in Germany and had preached to the people. The
Germans do not appear to have been asked to come to the Jerseys.
But they were urged to come to Pennsylvania as soon as the
charter was obtained; and many of them made an immediate
response. The German mind was then at the height of its emotional
unrestraint. It was as unaccustomed to liberty of thought as to
political liberty and it produced a new sect or religious
distinction almost every day. Many of these sects came to
Pennsylvania, where new small religious bodies sprang up among
them after their arrival. Schwenkfelders, Tunkers, Labadists, New
Born, New Mooners, Separatists, Zion's Brueder, Ronsdorfer,
Inspired, Quietists, Gichtelians, Depellians, Mountain Men, River
Brethren, Brinser Brethren, and the Society of the Woman in the
Wilderness, are names which occur in the annals of the province.
But these are only a few. In Lancaster County alone the number
has at different times been estimated at from twenty to thirty.
It would probably be impossible to make a complete list; some of
them, indeed, existed for only a few years. Their own writers
describe them as countless and bewildering. Many of them were
characterized by the strangest sort of German mysticism, and some
of them were inclined to monastic and hermit life and their
devotees often lived in caves or solitary huts in the woods.

It would hardly be accurate to call all the German sects Quakers,
since a great deal of their mysticism would have been anything
but congenial to the followers of Fox and Penn. Resemblances to
Quaker doctrine can, however, be found among many of them; and
there was one large sect, the Mennonites, who were often spoken
of as German Quakers. The two divisions fraternized and preached
in each other's meetings. The Mennonites were well educated as a
class and Pastorius, their leader, was a ponderously learned
German. Most of the German sects left the Quakers in undisturbed
possession of Philadelphia, and spread out into the surrounding
region, which was then a wilderness. They and all the other
Germans who afterwards followed them settled in a half circle
beginning at Easton on the Delaware, passing up the Lehigh Valley
into Lancaster County, thence across the Susquehanna and down the
Cumberland Valley to the Maryland border, which many of them
crossed, and in time scattered far to the south in Virginia and
even North Carolina, where their descendants are still found.

These German sects which came over under the influence of Penn
and the Quakers, between the years 1682 and 1702, formed a class
by themselves. Though they may be regarded as peculiar in their
ideas and often in their manner of life, it cannot be denied that
as a class they were a well-educated, thrifty, and excellent
people and far superior to the rough German peasants who followed
them in later years. This latter class was often spoken of in
Pennsylvania as "the church people," to distinguish them from
"the sects," as those of the earlier migration were called.

The church people, or peasantry of the later migration, belonged
usually to one of the two dominant churches of Germany, the
Lutheran or the Reformed. Those of the Reformed Church were often
spoken of as Calvinists. This migration of the church people was
not due to the example of the Quakers but was the result of a new
policy which was adopted by the British Government when Queen
Anne ascended the throne in 1702, and which aimed at keeping the
English people at home and at filling the English colonies in
America with foreign Protestants hostile to France and Spain.

Large numbers of these immigrants were "redemptioners," as they
were called; that is to say, they were persons who had been
obliged to sell themselves to the shipping agents to pay for
their passage. On their arrival in Pennsylvania the captain sold
them to the colonists to pay the passage, and the redemptioner
had to work for his owner for a period varying from five to ten
years. No stigma or disgrace clung to any of these people under
this system. It was regarded as a necessary business transaction.
Not a few of the very respectable families of the State and some
of its prominent men are known to be descended from

This method of transporting colonists proved a profitable trade
for the shipping people, and was soon regularly organized like
the modern assisted immigration. Agents, called "newlanders" and
"soul-sellers," traveled through Germany working up the
transatlantic traffic by various devices, some of them not
altogether creditable. Pennsylvania proved to be the most
attractive region for these immigrants. Some of those who were
taken to other colonies finally worked their way to Pennsylvania.
Practically none went to New England, and very few, if any, to
Virginia. Indeed, only certain colonies were willing to admit

Another important element that went to make up the Pennsylvania
population consisted of the Scotch-Irish. They were descendants
of Scotch and English Presbyterians who had gone to Ireland to
take up the estates of the Irish rebels confiscated under Queen
Elizabeth and James I. This migration of Protestants to Ireland,
which began soon after 1600, was encouraged by the English
Government. Towards the middle of the seventeenth century the
confiscation of more Irish land under Cromwell's regime increased
the migration to Ulster. Many English joined the migration, and
Scotch of the Lowlands who were largely of English extraction,
although there were many Gaelic or Celtic names among them.

These are the people usually known in English history as
Ulstermen--the same who made such a heroic defense of Londonderry
against James II, and the same who in modern times have resisted
home rule in Ireland because it would bury them, they believe,
under the tyranny of their old enemies, the native Irish Catholic
majority. They were more thrifty and industrious than the native
Irish and as a result they usually prospered on the Irish land.
At first they were in a more or less constant state of war with
the native Irish, who attempted to expel them. They were
subsequently persecuted by the Church of England under Charles I,
who attempted to force them to conform to the English established
religion. Such a rugged schooling in Ireland made of them a very
aggressive, hardy people, Protestants of the Protestants, so
accustomed to contests and warfare that they accepted it as the
natural state of man.

These Ulstermen came to Pennsylvania somewhat later than the
first German sects; and not many of them arrived until some years
after 1700. They were not, like the first Germans, attracted to
the colony by any resemblance of their religion to that of the
Quakers. On the contrary they were entirely out of sympathy with
the Quakers, except in the one point of religious liberty; and
the Quakers were certainly out of sympathy with them. Nearly all
the colonies in America received a share of these settlers.
Wherever they went they usually sought the frontier and the
wilderness; and by the time of the Revolution, they could be
found upon the whole colonial frontier from New Hampshire to
Georgia. They were quite numerous in Virginia, and most numerous
along the edge of the Pennsylvania wilderness. It was apparently
the liberal laws and the fertile soil that drew them to
Pennsylvania in spite of their contempt for most of the Quaker

The dream of their life, their haven of rest, was for these
Scotch-Irish a fertile soil where they would find neither Irish
"papists" nor Church of England; and for this reason in America
they always sought the frontier where they could be by
themselves. They could not even get on well with the Germans in
Pennsylvania; and when the Germans crowded into their frontier
settlements, quarrels became so frequent that the proprietors
asked the Ulstermen to move farther west, a suggestion which they
were usually quite willing to accept. At the close of the
colonial period in Pennsylvania the Quakers, the Church of
England people, and the miscellaneous denominations occupied
Philadelphia and the region round it in a half circle from the
Delaware River. Outside of this area lay another containing the
Germans, and beyond that were the Scotch-Irish. The principal
stronghold of the Scotch-Irish was the Cumberland Valley in
Southern Pennsylvania west of the Susquehanna, a region now
containing the flourishing towns of Chambersburg, Gettysburg,
Carlisle, and York, where the descendants of these early settlers
are still very numerous. In modern times, however, they have
spread out widely; they are now to be found all over the State,
and they no longer desire so strongly to live by themselves.

The Ulstermen, owing to the circumstances of their earlier life,
had no sympathy whatever with the Quaker's objection to war or
with his desire to deal fairly with the Indians and pay them for
their land. As Presbyterians and Calvinists, they belonged to one
of the older and more conservative divisions of the Reformation.
The Quaker's doctrine of the inward light, his quietism,
contemplation, and advanced ideas were quite incomprehensible to
them. As for the Indians, they held that the Old Testament
commands the destruction of all the heathen; and as for paying
the savages for their land, it seemed ridiculous to waste money
on such an object when they could exterminate the natives at less
cost. The Ulstermen, therefore, settled on the Indian land as
they pleased, or for that matter on any land, and were
continually getting into difficulty with the Pennsylvania
Government no less than with the Indians. They regarded any
region into which they entered as constituting a sovereign state.
It was this feeling of independence which subsequently prompted
them to organize what is known as the Whisky Rebellion when,
after the Revolution, the Federal Government put a tax on the
liquor which they so much esteemed as a product, for corn
converted into whisky was more easily transported on horses over
mountain trails, and in that form fetched a better price in the

After the year 1755, when the Quaker method of dealing with the
Indians no longer prevailed, the Scotch-Irish lived on the
frontier in a continual state of savage warfare which lasted for
the next forty years. War, hunting the abundant game, the deer,
buffalo, and elk, and some agriculture filled the measure of
their days and years. They paid little attention to the laws of
the province, which were difficult to enforce on the distant
frontier, and they administered a criminal code of their own with
whipping or "laced jacket," as they called it, as a punishment.
They were Jacks of all trades, weaving their own cloth and making
nearly everything they needed. They were the first people in
America to develop the use of the rifle, and they used it in the
Back Country all the way down into the Carolinas at a time when
it was seldom seen in the seaboard settlements. In those days,
rifles were largely manufactured in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and
there were several famous gunsmiths in Philadelphia. Some of the
best of these old rifles have been preserved and are really
beautiful weapons, with delicate hair triggers, gracefully curved
stocks, and quaint brass or even gold or silver mountings. The
ornamentation was often done by the hunter himself, who would
melt a gold or silver coin and pour it into some design which he
had carved with his knife in the stock.

The Revolution offered an opportunity after the Ulstermen's
heart, and they entered it with their entire spirit, as they had
every other contest which involved liberty and independence. In
fact, in that period they played such a conspicuous part that
they almost ruled Philadelphia, the original home of the Quakers.
Since then, spread out through the State, they have always had
great influence, the natural result of their energy,
intelligence, and love of education.

Nearly all these diverse elements of the Pennsylvania population
were decidedly sectional in character. The Welsh had a language
of their own, and they attempted, though without success, to
maintain it, as well as a government of their own within their
barony independent of the regular government of the province. The
Germans were also extremely sectional. They clung with better
success to their own language, customs, and literature. The
Scotch-Irish were so clannish that they had ideas of founding a
separate province on the Susquehanna. Even the Church of England
people were so aloof and partisan that, though they lived about
Philadelphia among the Quakers, they were extremely hostile to
the Quaker rule and unremittingly strove to destroy it.

All these cleavages and divisions in the population continue in
their effects to this day. They prevented the development of a
homogeneous population. No exact statistics were taken of the
numbers of the different nationalities in colonial times; but
Franklin's estimate is probably fairly accurate, and his position
in practical politics gave him the means of knowing and of
testing his calculations. About the year 1750 he estimated the
population as one-third Quaker, one-third German, and one-third
miscellaneous. This gave about 50,000 or 60,000 to each of the
thirds. Provost Smith, of the newly founded college, estimated
the Quakers at only about 40,000. But his estimate seems too low.
He was interested in making out their numbers small because he
was trying to show the absurdity of allowing such a small band of
fanatics and heretics to rule a great province of the British
Empire. One great source of the Quaker power lay in the sympathy
of the Germans, who always voted on their side and kept them in
control of the Legislature, so that it was in reality a case of
two-thirds ruling one-third. The Quakers, it must be admitted,
never lost their heads. Unperturbed through all the conflicts and
the jarring of races and sects, they held their position
unimpaired and kept the confidence and support of the Germans
until the Revolution changed everything.

The varied elements of population spread out in ever widening
half circles from Philadelphia as a center. There was nothing in
the character of the region to stop this progress. The country
all the way westward to the Susquehanna was easy hill, dale, and
valley, covered by a magnificent growth of large forest
trees--oaks, beeches, poplars, walnuts, hickories, and ash--which
rewarded the labor of felling by exposing to cultivation a most
fruitful soil.

The settlers followed the old Indian trails. The first westward
pioneers seem to have been the Welsh Quakers, who pushed due west
from Philadelphia and marked out the course of the famous
Lancaster Road, afterwards the Lancaster Turnpike. It took the
line of least resistance along the old trail, following ridges
until it reached the Susquehanna at a spot where an Indian
trader, named Harris, established himself and founded a post
which subsequently became Harrisburg, the capital of the State.

For a hundred years the Lancaster Road was the great highway
westward, at first to the mountains, then to the Ohio, and
finally to the Mississippi Valley and the Great West. Immigrants
and pioneers from all the New England and Middle States flocked
out that way to the land of promise in wagons, or horseback, or
trudging along on foot. Substantial taverns grew up along the
route; and habitual freighters and stage drivers, proud of their
fine teams of horses, grew into characters of the road. When the
Pennsylvania Railroad was built, it followed the same line. In
fact, most of the lines of railroad in the State follow Indian
trails. The trails for trade and tribal intercourse led east and
west. The warrior trails usually led north and south, for that
had long been the line of strategy and conquest of the tribes.
The northern tribes, or Six Nations, established in the lake
region of New York near the headwaters of the Delaware, the
Susquehanna, and the Ohio, had the advantage of these river
valleys for descending into the whole Atlantic seaboard and the
valley of the Mississippi. They had in consequence conquered all
the tribes south of them as far even as the Carolinas and
Georgia. All their trails of conquest led across Pennsylvania.

The Germans in their expansion at first seem to have followed up
the Schuylkill Valley and its tributaries, and they hold this
region to the present day. Gradually they crossed the watershed
to the Susquehanna and broke into the region of the famous
limestone soil in Lancaster County, a veritable farmer's paradise
from which nothing will ever drive them. Many Quaker farmers
penetrated north and northeast from Philadelphia into Bucks
County, a fine rolling and hilly wheat and corn region, where
their descendants are still found and whence not a few well-known
Philadelphia families have come.

The Quaker government of Pennsylvania in almost a century of its
existence largely fulfilled its ideals. It did not succeed in
governing without war; but the war was not its fault. It did
succeed in governing without oaths. An affirmation instead of an
oath became the law of Pennsylvania for all who chose an
affirmation; and this law was soon adopted by most American
communities. It succeeded in establishing religious liberty in
Pennsylvania in the fullest sense of the word. It brought
Christianity nearer to its original simplicity and made it less
superstitious and cruel.

The Quakers had always maintained that it was a mistake to
suppose that their ideas would interfere with material prosperity
and happiness; and they certainly proved their contention in
Pennsylvania. To Quaker liberalism was due not merely the
material prosperity, but prison reform and the notable public
charities of Pennsylvania; in both of which activities, as in the
abolition of slavery, the Quakers were leaders. Original research
in science also flourished in a marked degree in colonial
Pennsylvania. No one in those days knew the nature of thunder and
lightning, and the old explanation that they were the voice of an
angry God was for many a sufficient explanation. Franklin, by a
long series of experiments in the free Quaker colony, finally
proved in 1752 that lightning was electricity, that is to say, a
manifestation of the same force that is produced when glass is
rubbed with buckskin. He invented the lightning rod, discovered
the phenomenon of positive and negative electricity, explained
the action of the Leyden jar, and was the first American writer
on the modern science of political economy. This energetic
citizen of Pennsylvania spent a large part of his life in
research; he studied the Gulf Stream, storms and their causes,
waterspouts, whirlwinds; and he established the fact that the
northeast storms of the Atlantic coast usually move against the

But Franklin was not the only scientist in the colony. Besides
his three friends, Kinnersley, Hopkinson, and Syng, who worked
with him and helped him in his discoveries, there were David
Rittenhouse, the astronomer, John Bartram, the botanist, and a
host of others. Rittenhouse excelled in every undertaking which
required the practical application of astronomy, He attracted
attention even in Europe for his orrery which indicated the
movements of the stars and which was an advance on all previous
instruments of the kind. When astronomers in Europe were seeking
to have the transit of Venus of 1769 observed in different parts
of the world, Pennsylvania alone of the American colonies seems
to have had the man and the apparatus necessary for the work.
Rittenhouse conducted the observations at three points and won a
world-wide reputation by the accuracy and skill of his
observations. The whole community was interested in this
scientific undertaking; the Legislature and public institutions
raised the necessary funds; and the American Philosophical
Society, the only organization of its kind in the colonies, had
charge of the preparations.

The American Philosophical Society had been started in
Philadelphia in 1743. It was the first scientific society to be
founded in America, and throughout the colonial period it was the
only society of its kind in the country. Its membership included
not only prominent men throughout America, such as Thomas
Jefferson, who were interested in scientific inquiry, but also
representatives of foreign nations. With its library of rare and
valuable collections and its annual publication of essays on
almost every branch of science, the society still continues its
useful scientific work.

John Bartram, who was the first botanist to describe the plants
of the New World and who explored the whole country from the
Great Lakes to Florida, was a Pennsylvania Quaker of colonial
times, farmer born and bred. Thomas Godfrey, also a colonial
Pennsylvanian, was rewarded by the Royal Society of England for
an improvement which he made in the quadrant. Peter Collinson of
England, a famous naturalist and antiquarian of early times, was
a Quaker. In modern times John Dalton, the discoverer of the
atomic theory of colorblindness, was born of Quaker parents, and
Edward Cope, of a well-known Philadelphia Quaker family, became
one of the most eminent naturalists and paleontologists of the
nineteenth century, and unaided discovered over a third of the
three thousand extinct species of vertebrates recognized by men
of science. In the field of education, Lindley Murray, the
grammarian of a hundred years ago, was a Quaker. Ezra Cornell, a
Quaker, founded the great university in New York which bears his
name; and Johns Hopkins, also a Quaker, founded the university of
that name in Baltimore.

Pennsylvania deserves the credit of turning these early
scientific pursuits to popular uses. The first American
professorship of botany and natural history was established in
Philadelphia College, now the University of Pennsylvania. The
first American book on a medical subject was written in
Philadelphia by Thomas Cadwalader in 1740; the first American
hospital was established there in 1751; and the first systematic
instruction in medicine. Since then Philadelphia has produced a
long line of physicians and surgeons of national and European
reputation. For half a century after the Revolution the city was
the center of medical education for the country and it still
retains a large part of that preeminence. The Academy of Natural
Sciences founded in Philadelphia in 1812 by two inconspicuous
young men, an apothecary and a dentist, soon became by the
spontaneous support of the community a distinguished institution.
It sent out two Arctic expeditions, that of Kane and that of
Hayes, and has included among its members the most prominent men
of science in America. It is now the oldest as well as the most
complete institution of its kind in the country. The Franklin
Institute, founded in Philadelphia in 1824, was the result of a
similar scientific interest. It was the first institution of
applied science and the mechanic arts in America. Descriptions of
the first 2900 patents issued by the United States Government are
to be found only on the pages of its Journal, which is still an
authoritative annual record.

Apart from their scientific attainments, one of the most
interesting facts about the Quakers is the large proportion of
them who have reached eminence, often in occupations which are
supposed to be somewhat inconsistent with Quaker doctrine.
General Greene, the most capable American officer of the
Revolution, after Washington. was a Rhode Island Quaker. General
Mifflin of the Revolution was a Pennsylvania Quaker. General
Jacob Brown, a Bucks County Pennsylvania Quaker, reorganized the
army in the War of 1819. and restored it to its former
efficiency. In the long list of Quakers eminent in all walks of
life, not only in Pennsylvania but elsewhere, are to be found
John Bright, a lover of peace and human liberty through a long
and eminent career in British politics; John Dickinson of
Philadelphia, who wrote the famous Farmer's Letters so signally
useful in the American Revolution; Whittier, the American poet, a
Quaker born in Massachusetts of a family converted from
Puritanism when the Quakers invaded Boston in the seventeenth
century; and Benjamin West, a Pennsylvania Quaker of colonial
times, an artist of permanent eminence, one of the founders of
the Royal Academy in England and its president in succession to
Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Wherever Quakers are found they are the useful and steady
citizens. Their eminence seems out of all proportion to their
comparatively small numbers. It has often been asked why this
height of attainment should occur among a people of such narrow
religious discipline. But were the Quakers really narrow, or were
they any more narrow than other rigorously self-disciplined
people: Spartans, Puritans, soldiers whose discipline enables
to achieve great results? All discipline is in one sense narrow.
Quaker quietude and retirement probably conserved mental energy
instead of dissipating it. In an age of superstition and
irrational religion, their minds were free and unhampered, and it
was the dominant rational tone of their thought that enabled
science to flourish in Pennsylvania.

Chapter V. The Troubles Of Penn And His Sons

The material prosperity of Penn's Holy Experiment kept on proving
itself over and over again every month of the year. But meantime
great events were taking place in England. The period of fifteen
years from Penn's return to England in 1684, until his return to
Pennsylvania at the close of the year of 1699, was an eventful
time in English history. It was long for a proprietor to be away
from his province, and Penn would have left a better reputation
if he had passed those fifteen years in his colony, for in
England during that period he took what most Americans believe to
have been the wrong side in the Revolution of 1688.

Penn was closely tied by both interest and friendship to Charles
II and the Stuart family. When Charles II died in 1685 and his
brother, the Duke of York, ascended the throne as James II, Penn
was equally bound to him, because among other things the Duke of
York had obtained Penn's release in 1669 from imprisonment for
his religious opinions. He became still more bound when one of
the first acts of the new King's reign was the release of a great
number of people who had been imprisoned for their religion,
among them thirteen hundred Quakers. In addition to preaching to
the Quakers and protecting them, Penn used his influence with
James to secure the return of several political offenders from
exile. His friendship with James raised him, indeed, to a
position of no little importance at Court. He was constantly
consulted by the King, in whose political policy he gradually
became more and more involved.

James was a Roman Catholic and soon perfected his plans for
making both Church and State a papal appendage and securing for
the Crown the right to suspend acts of Parliament. Penn at first
protested, but finally supported the King in the belief that he
would in the end establish liberty. In his earlier years,
however, Penn had written pamphlets arguing strenuously against
the same sort of despotic schemes that James was now undertaking;
and this contradiction of his former position seriously injured
his reputation even among his own people.

Part of the policy of James was to grant many favors to the
Quakers and to all other dissenting bodies in England, to release
them from prison, to give them perfect freedom of worship, and to
remove the test laws which prevented them from holding office. He
thus hoped to unite them with the Roman Catholics in extirpating
the Church of England and establishing the Papacy in its place.
But the dissenters and nonconformists, though promised relief
from sufferings severer than it is possible perhaps now to
appreciate, refused almost to a man this tempting bait. Even the
Quakers, who had suffered probably more than the others, rejected
the offer with indignation and mourned the fatal mistake of their
leader Penn. All Protestant England united in condemning him,
accused him of being a secret Papist and a Jesuit in disguise,
and believed him guilty of acts and intentions of which he was
probably entirely innocent. This extreme feeling against Penn is
reflected in Macaulay's "History of England," which strongly
espouses the Whig side; and in those vivid pages Penn is
represented, and very unfairly, as nothing less than a scoundrel.

In spite of the attempts which James made to secure his position,
the dissenters, the Church of England, and Penn's own Quakers all
joined heart and soul in the Revolution of 1688, which quickly
dethroned the King, drove him from England, and placed the Prince
of Orange on the throne as William III. Penn was now for many
years in a very unfortunate, if not dangerous, position, and was
continually suspected of plotting to restore James. For three
years he was in hiding to escape arrest or worse, and he largely
lost the good will and affection of the Quakers.

Meantime, since his departure from Pennsylvania in the summer of
1684, that province went on increasing in population and in
pioneer prosperity. But Penn's quitrents and money from sales of
land were far in arrears, and he had been and still was at great
expense in starting the colony and in keeping up the plantation
and country seat he had established on the Delaware River above
Philadelphia. Troublesome political disputes also arose. The
Council of eighteen members which he had authorized to act as
governor in his absence neglected to send the new laws to him,
slighted his letters, and published laws in their own name
without mentioning him or the King. These irregularities were
much exaggerated by enemies of the Quakers in England. The
Council was not a popular body and was frequently at odds with
the Assembly.

Penn thought he could improve the government by appointing five
commissioners to act as governor instead of the whole Council.
Thomas Lloyd, an excellent Quaker who had been President of the
Council and who had done much to allay hard feeling, was
fortunately the president of these commissioners. Penn instructed
them to act as if he himself were present, and at the next
meeting of the Assembly to annul all the laws and reenact only
such as seemed proper. This course reminds us of the absolutism
of his friend, King James, and, indeed, the date of these
instructions (1686) is that when his intimacy with that bigoted
monarch reached its highest point. Penn's theory of his power was
that the frame or constitution of government he had given the
province was a contract; that, the Council and Assembly having
violated some of its provisions, it was annulled and he was free,
at least for a time, to govern as he pleased. Fortunately his
commissioners never attempted to carry out these instructions.
There would have been a rebellion and some very unpleasant
history if they had undertaken to enforce such oriental despotism
in Pennsylvania. The five commissioners with Thomas Lloyd at
their head seem to have governed without seriously troublesome
incidents for the short term of two years during which they were
in power. But in 1687 Thomas Lloyd, becoming weary of directing
them, asked to be relieved and is supposed to have advised Penn
to appoint a single executive instead of commissioners. Penn
accordingly appointed Captain John Blackwell, formerly an officer
in Cromwell's army. Blackwell was not a Quaker but a "grave,
sober, wise man," as Penn wrote to a friend, who would "bear down
with a visible authority vice and faction." It was hoped that he
would vigorously check all irregularities and bring Penn better
returns from quitrents and sales of land.

But this new governor clashed almost at once with the Assembly,
tried to make them pass a militia law, suggested that the
province's trade to foreign countries was illegal, persecuted and
arrested members of the Assembly, refused to submit new laws to
it, and irritated the people by suggesting the invalidity of
their favorite laws. The Quaker Assembly withstood and resisted
him until they wore him out. After a year and one month in office
he resigned at Penn's request or, according to some accounts, at
his own request. At any rate, he expressed himself as delighted
to be relieved. As a Puritan soldier he found himself no match
for a peaceable Quaker Assembly.

Penn again made the Council the executive with Thomas Lloyd as
its President. But to the old causes of unrest a new one was now
added. One George Keith, a Quaker, turned heretic and carried a
number of Pennsylvania Quakers over to the Church of England,
thereby causing great scandal. The "Lower Counties" or
Territories, as the present State of Delaware was then called,
became mutinous, withdrew their representatives from the Council,
and made William Markham their Governor. This action together
with the Keithian controversy, the disturbances over Blackwell,
and the clamors of Church of England people that Penn was absent
and neglecting his province, that the Quakers would make no
military defense, and that the province might at any time fall
into the hands of France, came to the ears of King William, who
was already ill disposed toward Penn and distrusted him as a
Jacobite. It seemed hardly advisable to allow a Jacobite to rule
a British colony. Accordingly a royal order suspended Penn's
governmental authority and placed the province under Benjamin
Fletcher, Governor of New York. He undertook to rule in
dictatorial fashion, threatening to annex the province to New
York, and as a consequence the Assembly had plenty of trouble
with him. But two years later, 1694, the province was returned to
Penn, who now appointed as Governor William Markham, who had
served as lieutenant-governor under Fletcher.

Markham proceeded to be high-handed with the Assembly and to
administer the government in the imperialistic style of Fletcher.
But the Assembly soon tamed him and in 1696 actually worried out
of him a new constitution, which became known as Markham's Frame,
proved much more popular than the one Penn had given, and allowed
the Assembly much more power. Markham had no conceivable right to
assent to it and Penn never agreed to it; but it was lived under
for the next four years until Penn returned to the province.
While it naturally had opponents, it was largely regarded as
entirely valid, and apparently with the understanding that it was
to last until Penn objected to it.

Penn had always been longing to return to Pennsylvania and live
there for the rest of his life; but the terrible times of the
Revolution of 1688 in England and its consequences had held him
back. Those difficulties had now passed. Moreover, William III
had established free government and religious liberty. No more
Quakers were imprisoned and Penn's old occupation of securing
their protection and release was gone.

In the autumn of 1699 he sailed for Pennsylvania with his family
and, arriving after a tedious three months' voyage, was well
received. His political scrapes and mistakes in England seemed to
be buried in the past. He was soon at his old enjoyable life
again, traveling actively about the country, preaching to the
Quakers, and enlarging and beautifying his country seat,
Pennsbury, on the Delaware, twenty miles above Philadelphia. As
roads and trails were few and bad he usually traveled to and from
the town in a barge which was rowed by six oarsmen and which
seemed to give him great pride and pleasure.

Two happy years passed away in this manner, during which Penn
seems to have settled, not however without difficulty, a great
deal of business with his people, the Assembly, and the Indian
tribes. Unfortunately he got word from England of a bill in
Parliament for the revocation of colonial charters and for the
establishment of royal governments in their place. He must needs
return to England to fight it. Shortly before he sailed the
Assembly presented him with a draft of a new constitution or
frame of government which they had been discussing with him and
preparing for some time. This he accepted, and it became the
constitution under which Pennsylvania lived and prospered for
seventy-five years, until the Revolution of 1776.

This new constitution was quite liberal. The most noticeable
feature of it was the absence of any provision for the large
elective council or upper house of legislation, which had been
very unpopular. The Assembly thus became the one legislative
body. There was incidental reference in the document to a
governor's council, although there was no formal clause creating
it. Penn and his heirs after his death always appointed a small
council as an advisory body for the deputy governor. The Assembly
was to be chosen annually by the freemen and to be composed of
four representatives from each county. It could originate bills,
control its own adjournments without interference from the
Governor, choose its speaker and other officers, and judge of the
qualifications and election of its own members. These were
standard Anglo-Saxon popular parliamentary rights developed by
long struggles in England and now established in Pennsylvania
never to be relaxed. Finally a clause in the constitution
permitted the Lower Counties, or Territories, under certain
conditions to establish home rule. In 1705 the Territories took
advantage of this concession and set up an assembly of their own.

Immediately after signing the constitution, in the last days of
October, 1701, Penn sailed for England, expecting soon to return.
But he became absorbed in affairs in England and never saw his
colony again. This was unfortunate because Pennsylvania soon
became a torment to him instead of a great pleasure as it always
seems to have been when he lived in it. He was a happy present
proprietor, but not a very happy absentee one.

The Church of England people in Pennsylvania entertained great
hopes of this proposal to turn the proprietary colonies into
royal provinces. Under such a change, while the Quakers might
still have an influence in the Legislature, the Crown would
probably give the executive offices to Churchmen. They therefore
labored hard to discredit the Quakers. They kept harping on the
absurdity of a set of fanatics attempting to govern a colony
without a militia and without administering oaths of office or
using oaths in judicial proceedings. How could any one's life be
safe from foreign enemies without soldiers, and what safeguard
was there for life, liberty, and property before judges, jurors,
and witnesses, none of whom had been sworn? The Churchmen kept up
their complaints for along time, but without effect in England.  
Penn was able to thwart all their plans. The bill to change the
province into a royal one was never passed by Parliament. Penn
returned to his court life, his preaching, and his theological
writing, a rather curious combination and yet one by which he had
always succeeded in protecting his people. He was a favorite with
Queen Anne, who was now on the throne, and he led an expensive
life which, with the cost of his deputy governor's salary in the
colony, the slowness of his quitrent collections, and the
dishonesty of the steward of his English estates, rapidly brought
him into debt. To pay the government expense of a small colonial
empire and at the same time to lead the life of a courtier and to
travel as a preacher would have exhausted a stronger exchequer
than Penn's.

The contests between the different deputy governors, whom Penn or
his descendants sent out, and the Quaker Legislature fill the
annals of the province for the next seventy years, down to the
Revolution. These quarrels, when compared with the larger
national political contests of history, seem petty enough and
even tedious in detail. But, looked at in another aspect, they
are important because they disclose how liberty, self-government,
republicanism, and many of the constitutional principles by which
Americans now live were gradually developed as the colonies grew
towards independence.    The keynote to all these early contests
was what may be called the fundamental principle of colonial
constitutional law or, at any rate, of constitutional practice,
namely, that the Governor, whether royal or proprietary, must
always be kept poor. His salary or income must never become a
fixed or certain sum but must always be dependent on the annual
favor and grants of a legislature controlled by the people. This
belief was the foundation of American colonial liberty. The
Assemblies, not only in Pennsylvania but in other colonies, would
withhold the Governor's salary until he consented to their
favorite laws. If he vetoed their laws, he received no salary.
One of the causes of the Revolution in 1776 was the attempt of
the mother country to make the governors and other colonial
officials dependent for their salaries on the Government in
England instead of on the legislatures in the colonies.

So the squabbles, as we of today are inclined to call them, went
on in Pennsylvania--provincial and petty enough, but often very
large and important so far as the principle which they involved
was concerned. The Legislature of Pennsylvania in those days was
a small body composed of only about twenty-five or thirty
members, most of them sturdy, thrifty Quakers. They could meet
very easily anywhere--at the Governor's house, if in conference
with him, or at the treasurer's office or at the loan office, if
investigating accounts. Beneath their broad brim hats and grave
demeanor they were as Anglo-Saxon at heart as Robin Hood and his
merry men, and in their ninety years of political control they
built up as goodly a fabric of civil liberty as can be found in
any community in the world.

The dignified, confident message from a deputy governor, full of
lofty admonitions of their duty to the Crown, the province, and
the proprietor, is often met by a sarcastic, stinging reply of
the Assembly. David Lloyd, the Welsh leader of the
anti-proprietary party, and Joseph Wilcox, another leader, became
very skillful in drafting these profoundly respectful but deeply
cutting replies. In after years, Benjamin Franklin attained even
greater skill. In fact, it is not unlikely that he developed a
large measure of his world famous aptness in the use of language
in the process of drafting these replies. The composing of these
official communications was important work, for a reply had to be
telling and effective not only with the Governor but with the
people who learned of its contents at the coffeehouse and spread
the report of it among all classes. There was not a little
good-fellowship in their contests; and Franklin, for instance,
tells us how he used to abuse a certain deputy governor all day
in the Assembly and then dine with him in jovial intercourse in
the evening.

The Assembly had a very convenient way of accomplishing its
purposes in legislation in spite of the opposition of the British
Government. Laws when passed and approved by the deputy governor
had to be sent to England for approval by the Crown within five
years. But meanwhile the people would live under the law for five
years, and, if at the end of that time it was disallowed, the
Assembly would reenact the measure and live under it again for
another period.

The ten years after Penn's return to England in 1701 were full of
trouble for him. Money returns from the province were slow,
partly because England was involved in war and trade depressed,
and partly because the Assembly, exasperated by the deputy
governors he appointed, often refused to vote the deputy a salary
and left Penn to bear all the expense of government. He was being
rapidly overwhelmed with debt. One of his sons was turning out
badly. The manager of his estates in England and Ireland, Philip
Ford, was enriching himself by the trust, charging compound
interest at eight per cent every six months, and finally claiming
that Penn owed him 14,000 pounds. Ford had rendered accounts from
time to time, but Penn in his careless way had tossed them aside
without examination. When Ford pressed for payment, Penn, still
without making any investigation, foolishly gave Ford a deed in
fee simple of Pennsylvania as security. Afterwards he accepted
from Ford a lease of the province, which was another piece of
folly, for the lease could, of course, be used as evidence to
show that the deed was an absolute conveyance and not intended as
a mortgage.

This unfortunate business Ford kept quiet during his lifetime.
But on his death his widow and son made everything public,
professed to be the proprietors of Pennsylvania, and sued Penn
for 2000 pounds rent in arrears. They obtained a judgment for the
amount claimed and, as Penn could not pay, they had him arrested
and imprisoned for debt. For nine months he was locked up in the
debtors' prison, the "Old Bailey," and there he might have
remained indefinitely if some of his friends had not raised
enough money to compromise with the Fords. Isaac Norris, a
prominent Quaker from Pennsylvania, happened at that time to be
in England and exerted himself to set Penn free and save the
province from further disgrace. After this there was a reaction
in Penn's favor. He selected a better deputy governor for
Pennsylvania. He wrote a long and touching letter to the people,
reminding them how they had flourished and grown rich and free
under his liberal laws, while he had been sinking in poverty.

After that conditions improved in the affairs of Penn. The colony
was better governed, and the anti-proprietary party almost
disappeared. The last six or eight years of Penn's life were free
from trouble. He had ceased his active work at court, for
everything that could be accomplished for the Quakers in the way
of protection and favorable laws had now been done. Penn spent
his last years in trying to sell the government of his province
to the Crown for a sum that would enable him to pay his debts and
to restore his family to prosperity. But he was too particular in
stipulating that the great principles of civil and religious
liberty on which the colony had been established should not be
infringed. He had seen how much evil had resulted to the rights
of the people when the proprietors of the Jerseys parted with
their right to govern. In consequence he required so many
safeguards that the sale of Pennsylvania was delayed and delayed
until its founder was stricken with paralysis. Penn lingered for
some years, but his intellect was now too much clouded to make a
valid sale. The event, however, was fortunate for Pennsylvania,
which would probably otherwise have lost many valuable rights and
privileges by becoming a Crown colony.

On July 30,1718, Penn died at the age of seventy-four. His widow
became proprietor of the province, probably the only woman who
ever became feudal proprietor of such an immense domain. She
appointed excellent deputy governors and ruled with success for
eight years until her death in 1726. In her time the ocean was
free from enemy cruisers, and the trade of the colony grew so
rapidly that the increasing sales of land and quitrents soon
enabled her to pay off the mortgage on the province and all the
rest of her husband's debts. It was sad that Penn did not live to
see that day, which he had so hoped for in his last years, when,
with ocean commerce free from depredations, the increasing money
returns from his province would obviate all necessity of selling
the government to the Crown.

With all debts paid and prosperity increasing, Penn's sons became
very rich men. Death had reduced the children to three--John,
Thomas, and Richard. Of these, Thomas became what may be called
the managing proprietor, and the others were seldom heard of.
Thomas lived in the colony nine years--1732 to 1741-- studying
its affairs and sitting as a member of the Council. For over
forty years he was looked upon as the proprietor. In fact, he
directed the great province for almost as long a time as his
father had managed it. But he was so totally unlike his father
that it is difficult to find the slightest resemblance in feature
or in mind. He was not in the least disposed to proclaim or argue
about religion. Like the rest of his family, he left the Quakers
and joined the Church of England, a natural evolution in the case
of many Quakers. He was a prosperous, accomplished, sensible,
cool-headed gentleman, by no means without ability, but without
any inclination for setting the world on fire. He was a careful,
economical man of business, which is more than can be said of his
distinguished father. He saw no visions and cared nothing for
grand speculations.

Thomas Penn, however, had his troubles and disputes with the
Assembly. They thought him narrow and close. Perhaps he was. That
was the opinion of him held by Franklin, who led the
anti-proprietary party. But at the same time some consideration
must be given to the position in which Penn found himself. He had
on his hands an empire, rich, fertile, and inhabited by
liberty-loving Anglo-Saxons and by passive Germans. He had to
collect from their land the purchase money and quitrents rapidly
rolling up in value with the increase of population into millions
of pounds sterling, for which he was responsible to his
relatives. At the same time he had to influence the politics of
the province, approve or reject laws in such a way that his
family interest would be protected from attack or attempted
confiscation, keep the British Crown satisfied, and see that the
liberties of the colonists were not impaired and that the people
were kept contented.

It was not an easy task even for a clear-headed man like Thomas
Penn. He had to arrange for treaties with the Indians and for the
purchase of their lands in accordance with the humane ideas of
his father and in the face of the Scotch-Irish thirst for Indian
blood and the French desire to turn the savages loose upon the
Anglo-Saxon settlements. He had to fight through the boundary
disputes with Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia, which
threatened to reduce his empire to a mere strip of land
containing neither Philadelphia nor Pittsburgh. The controversy
with Connecticut lasted throughout the colonial period and was
not definitely settled till the close of the Revolution. The
charter of Connecticut granted by the British Crown extended the
colony westward to the Pacific Ocean and cut off the northern
half of the tract afterwards granted to William Penn. In
pursuance of what they believed to be their rights, the
Connecticut people settled in the beautiful valley of Wyoming.
They were thereupon ejected by force by the proprietors of
Pennsylvania; but they returned, only to be ejected again and
again in a petty warfare carried on for many years. In the summer
of 1778, the people of the valley were massacred by the Iroquois
Indians. The history of this Connecticut boundary dispute fills
volumes. So does the boundary dispute with Maryland, which also
lasted throughout the colonial period; the dispute with Virginia
over the site of Pittsburgh is not so voluminous. All these
controversies Thomas Penn conducted with eminent skill,
inexhaustible patience, and complete success. For this
achievement the State owes him a debt of gratitude.

Thomas Penn was in the extraordinary position of having to govern
as a feudal lord what was virtually a modern community. He was
exercising feudal powers three hundred years after all the
reasons for the feudal system had ceased to exist; and he was
exercising those powers and acquiring by them vast wealth from a
people in a new and wild country whose convictions, both civil
and religious, were entirely opposed to anything like the feudal
system. It must certainly be put down as something to his credit
that he succeeded so well as to retain control both of the
political government and his family's increasing wealth down to
the time of the Revolution and that he gave on the whole so
little offense to a high-strung people that in the Revolution
they allowed his family to retain a large part of their land and
paid them liberally for what was confiscated.

The wealth which came to the three brothers they spent after the
manner of the time in country life. John and Richard do not
appear to have had remarkable country seats. But Thomas purchased
in 1760 the fine English estate of Stoke Park, which had belonged
to Sir Christopher Hatton of Queen Elizabeth's time, to Lord
Coke, and later to the Cobham family. Thomas's son John, grandson
of the founder, greatly enlarged and beautified the place and far
down into the nineteenth century it was one of the notable
country seats of England. This John Penn also built another
country place called Pennsylvania Castle, equally picturesque and
interesting, on the Isle of Portland, of which he was Governor. 

Chapter VI. The French And Indian War

There was no great change in political conditions in Pennsylvania
until about the year 1755. The French in Canada had been
gradually developing their plans of spreading down the Ohio and
Mississippi valleys behind the English colonies. They were at the
same time securing alliances with the Indians and inciting them
to hostilities against the English. But so rapidly were the
settlers advancing that often the land could not be purchased
fast enough to prevent irritation and ill feeling. The
Scotch-Irish and Germans, it has already been noted, settled on
lands without the formality of purchase from the Indians. The
Government, when the Indians complained, sometimes ejected the
settlers but more often hastened to purchase from the Indians the
land which had been occupied. "The Importance of the British
Plantations in America," published in 1731, describes the Indians
as peaceful and contented in Pennsylvania but irritated and
unsettled in those other colonies where they had usually been
ill-treated and defrauded. This, with other evidence, goes to
show that up to that time Penn's policy of fairness and good
treatment still prevailed. But those conditions soon changed, as
the famous Walking Purchase of 1737 clearly indicated.

The Walking Purchase had provided for the sale of some lands
along the Delaware below the Lehigh on a line starting at
Wrightstown, a few miles back from the Delaware not far above
Trenton, and running northwest, parallel with the river, as far
as a man could walk in a day and a half. The Indians understood
that this tract would extend northward only to the Lehigh, which
was the ordinary journey of a day and a half. The proprietors,
however, surveyed the line beforehand, marked the trees, engaged
the fastest walkers and, with horses to carry provisions, started
their men at sunrise. By running a large part of the way, at the
end of a day and a half these men had reached a point thirty
miles beyond the Lehigh.

The Delaware Indians regarded this measurement as a pure fraud
and refused to abandon the Minisink region north of the Lehigh.
The proprietors then called in the assistance of the Six Nations
of New York, who ordered the Delawares off the Minisink lands.
Though they obeyed, the Delawares became the relentless enemies
of the white man and in the coming years revenged themselves by
massacres and murder. They also broke the control which the Six
Nations had over them, became an independent nation, and in the
French Wars revenged themselves on the Six Nations as well as on
the white men. The congress which convened at Albany in 1754
was an attempt on the part of the British Government to settle
all Indian affairs in a general agreement and to prevent separate
treaties by the different colonies; but the Pennsylvania
delegates, by various devices of compass courses which the
Indians did not understand and by failing to notify and secure
the consent of certain tribes, obtained a grant of pretty much
the whole of Pennsylvania west of the Susquehanna. The Indians
considered this procedure to be another gross fraud. It is to be
noticed that in their dealings with Penn they had always been
satisfied, and that he had always been careful that they should
be duly consulted and if necessary be paid twice over for the
land. But his sons were more economical, and as a result of the
shrewd practices of the Albany purchase the Pennsylvania Indians
almost immediately went over in a body to the French and were
soon scalping men, women, and children among the Pennsylvania
colonists. It is a striking fact, however, that in all the
after years of war and rapine and for generations afterwards the
Indians retained the most distinct and positive tradition of
Penn's good faith and of the honesty of all Quakers. So
persistent, indeed, was this tradition among the tribes of the
West that more than a century later President Grant proposed to
put the whole charge of the nation's Indian affairs in the hands
of the Quakers. The first efforts to avert the catastrophe
threatened by the alliance of the red man with the French were
made by the provincial assemblies, which voted presents of money
or goods to the Indians to offset similar presents from the
French. The result was, of course, the utter demoralization of
the savages. Bribed by both sides, the Indians used all their
native cunning to encourage the bribers to bid against each
other. So far as Pennsylvania was concerned, feeling themselves
cheated in the first instance and now bribed with gifts, they
developed a contempt for the people who could stoop to such
practices. As a result this contempt manifested itself in deeds
hitherto unknown in the province. One tribe on a visit to
Philadelphia killed cattle and robbed orchards as they passed.
The delegates of another tribe, having visited Philadelphia and
received 500 pounds as a present, returned to the frontier and on
their way back for another present destroyed the property of the
interpreter and Indian agent, Conrad Weiser. They felt that they
could do as they pleased. To make matters worse, the Assembly
paid for all the damage done; and having started on this foolish
business, they found that the list of tribes demanding presents
rapidly increased. The Shawanoes and the Six Nations, as well as
the Delawares, were now swarming to this new and convenient
source of wealth.

Whether the proprietors or the Assembly should meet this
increasing expense or divide it between them, became a subject of
increasing controversy. It was in these discussions that Thomas
Penn, in trying to keep his family's share of the expense as
small as possible, first got the reputation for closeness which
followed him for the rest of his life and which started a party
in the province desirous of having Parliament abolish the
proprietorship and put the province under a governor appointed by
the Crown.

The war with the French of Canada and their Indian allies is of
interest here only in so far as it affected the government of
Pennsylvania. From this point of view it involved a series of
contests between the proprietors and the Crown on the one side
and the Assembly on the other. The proprietors and the Crown took
advantage of every military necessity to force the Assembly into
a surrender of popular rights. But the Assembly resisted,
maintaining that they had the same right as the British Commons
of having their money bills received or rejected by the Governor
without amendment. Whatever they should give must be given on
their own terms or not at all; and they would not yield this
point to any necessities of the war.

When Governor Morris asked the Assembly for a war contribution in
1754, they promptly voted 20,000 pounds. This was the same amount
that Virginia, the most active of the colonies in the war, was
giving. Other colonies gave much less; New York, only 5000
pounds, and Maryland 6000 pounds. Morris, however, would not
assent to the Assembly's bill unless it contained a clause
suspending its effect until the King's pleasure was known. This
was an attempt to establish a precedent for giving up the
Assembly's charter right of passing laws which need not be
submitted to the King for five years and which in the meantime
were valid. The members of the Assembly very naturally refused to
be forced by the necessities of the war into surrendering one of
the most important privileges the province possessed. It was,
they said, as much their duty to resist this invasion of their
rights as to resist the French.

Governor Morris, besides demanding that the supply of 20,000
pounds should not go into force until the King's pleasure was
known, insisted that the paper money representing it should be
redeemable in five years. This period the Assembly considered too
short; the usual time was ten years. Five years would ruin too
many people by foreclosures. Moreover, the Governor was
attempting to dictate the way in which the people should raise a
money supply. He and the King had a right to ask for aid in war;
but it was the right of the colony to use its own methods of
furnishing this assistance. The Governor also refused to let the
Assembly see the instructions from the proprietors under which he
was acting. This was another attack upon their liberties and
involved nothing less than an attempt to change their charter
rights by secret instructions to a deputy governor which he must
obey at his peril. Several bills had recently been introduced in
the English Parliament for the purpose of making royal
instructions to governors binding on all the colonial assemblies
without regard to their charters. This innovation, the colonists
felt, would wreck all their liberties and turn colonial
government into a mere despotism.

The assemblies of all the colonies have been a good deal abused
for delay in supporting the war and meanness in withholding
money. But in many instances the delay and lack of money were
occasioned by the grasping schemes of governors who saw a chance
to gain new privileges for the Crown or a proprietor or to weaken
popular government by crippling the powers of the legislatures.
The usual statement that the Pennsylvania Assembly was slow in
assisting the war because it was composed of Quakers is not
supported by the facts. The Pennsylvania Assembly was not behind
the rest. On this particular occasion, when their large money
supply bill could not be passed without sacrificing their
constitutional rights, they raised money for the war by
appointing a committee which was authorized to borrow 5000 pounds
on the credit of the Assembly.

Other contests arose over the claim of the proprietors that their
estates in the province were exempt from taxation for the war or
any purpose. One bill taxing the proprietary estates along with
others was met by Thomas Penn offering to subscribe 5000 pounds,
as a free gift to the colony's war measures. The Assembly
accepted this, and passed the bill without taxing the proprietary
estates. It turned out, however, to be a shrewd business move on
the part of Thomas Penn; for the 5000 pounds was to be collected
out of the quitrents that were in arrears, and the payment of it
was in consequence long delayed. The thrifty Thomas had thus
saddled his bad debts on the province and gained a reputation for
generosity at the same time.

Pennsylvania, though governed by Quakers assisted by noncombatant
Germans, had a better protected frontier than Maryland or
Virginia; no colony, indeed, was at that time better protected.
The Quaker Assembly did more than take care of the frontier
during the war; it preserved at the same time constitutional
rights in defense of which twenty-five years afterwards the whole
continent fought the Revolution. The Quaker Assembly even passed
two militia bills, one of which became law, and sent rather more
than the province's full share of troops to protect the frontiers
of New York and New England and to carry the invasion into

General Braddock warmly praised the assistance which Pennsylvania
gave him because, he said, she had done more for him than any of
the other colonies. Virginia and Maryland promised everything and
performed nothing, while Pennsylvania promised nothing and
performed everything. Commodore Spy thanked the Assembly for the
large number of sailors sent his fleet at the expense of the
province. General Shirley, in charge of the New England and New
York campaigns, thanked the Assembly for the numerous recruits;
and it was the common opinion at the time that Pennsylvania had
sent more troops to the war than any other colony. In the first
four years of the war the province spent for military purposes
210,567 pounds sterling, which was a very considerable sum at
that time for a community of less than 200,000 people. Quakers,
though they hate war, will accept it when there is no escape. The
old story of the Quaker who tossed a pirate overboard, saying,
"Friend, thee has no business here," gives their point of view
better than pages of explanation. Quaker opinion has not always
been entirely uniform. In Revolutionary times in Philadelphia
there was a division of the Quakers known as the Fighting
Quakers, and their meeting house is still pointed out at the
corner of Fourth Street and Arch. They even produced able
military leaders: Colonel John Dickinson, General Greene, and
General Mifflin in the Continental Army, and, in the War of 1812,
General Jacob Brown, who reorganized the army and restored its
failing fortunes after many officers had been tried and found

There was always among the Quakers a rationalistic party and a
party of mysticism. The rationalistic party prevailed in
Pennsylvania all through the colonial period. In the midst of the
worst horrors of the French and Indian wars, however, the
conscientious objectors roused themselves and began preaching and
exhorting what has been called the mystical side of the faith.
Many extreme Quaker members of the Assembly resigned their seats
in consequence. After the Revolution the spiritual party began
gaining ground, partly perhaps because then the responsibilities
of government and care of the great political and religious
experiment in Pennsylvania were removed. The spiritual party
increased so rapidly in power that in 1827 a split occurred which
involved not a little bitterness, ill feeling, and litigation
over property. This division into two opposing camps, known as
the Hicksites and the Orthodox, continues and is likely to

Quaker government in Pennsylvania was put to still severer tests
by the difficulties and disasters that followed Braddock's
defeat. That unfortunate general had something over two thousand
men and was hampered with a train of artillery and a splendid
equipment of arms, tools, and supplies, as if he were to march
over the smooth highways of Europe. When he came to drag all
these munitions through the depths of the Pennsylvania forests
and up and down the mountains, he found that he made only about
three miles a day and that his horses had nothing to eat but the
leaves of the trees. Washington, who was of the party, finally
persuaded him to abandon his artillery and press forward with
about fifteen hundred picked men. These troops, when a few miles
from Fort Duquesne (now Pittsburgh), met about six hundred
Indians and three hundred French coming from the fort. The
English maintained a close formation where they were, but the
French and Indians immediately spread out on their flanks, lying
behind trees and logs which provided rests for their rifles and
security for their bodies. This strategy decided the day. The
English were shot down like cattle in a pen, and out of about
fifteen hundred only four hundred and fifty escaped. The French
and Indian loss was not much over fifty.

This defeat of Braddock's force has become one of the most famous
reverses in history; and it was made worse by the conduct of
Dunbar who had been left in command of the artillery, baggage,
and men in the rear. He could have remained where he was as some
sort of protection to the frontier. But he took fright, burned
his wagons, emptied his barrels of powder into the streams,
destroyed his provisions, and fled back to Fort Cumberland in
Maryland. Here the governors of Pennsylvania and Virginia as well
as the Pennsylvania Assembly urged him to stay. But, determined
make the British rout complete, he soon retreated to the peace
and quiet of Philadelphia, and nothing would induce him to enter
again the terrible forests of Pennsylvania.

The natural result of the blunder soon followed. The French,
finding the whole frontier of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and
Virginia abandoned, organized the Indians under French officers
and swept the whole region with a devastation of massacre,
scalping, and burning that has never been equaled. Hurons,
Potawatomies, Ojibways, Ottawas, Mingoes, renegades from the Six
Nations, together with the old treaty friends of Penn, the
Delawares and Shawanoes, began swarming eastward and soon had
killed more people than had been lost at Braddock's defeat. The
onslaught reached its height in September and October. By that
time all the outlying frontier settlers and their families had
been killed or sent flying eastward to seek refuge in the
settlements. The Indians even followed them to the settlements,
reached the Susquehanna, and crossed it. They massacred the
people of the village of Gnadenhutten, near Bethlehem on the
Lehigh, and established near by a headquarters for prisoners and
plunder. Families were scalped within fifty miles of
Philadelphia, and in one instance the bodies of a murdered family
were brought into the town and exhibited in the streets to show
the inhabitants how near the danger was approaching. Nothing
could be done to stem the savage tide. Virginia was suffering in
the same way: the settlers on her border were slaughtered or were
driven back in herds upon the more settled districts, and
Washington, with a nominal strength of fifteen hundred who would
not obey orders, was forced to stand a helpless spectator of the
general flight and misery. There was no adequate force or army
anywhere within reach. The British had been put to flight and had
gone to the defense of New England and New York. Neither
Pennsylvania nor Virginia had a militia that could withstand the
French and their red allies. They could only wait till the panic
had subsided and then see what could be done.

One thing was accomplished, however, when the Pennsylvania
Assembly passed a Quaker militia law which is one of the most
curious legal documents of its kind in history. It was most aptly
worded, drafted by the master hand of Franklin. It recited the
fact that the province had always been ruled by Quakers who were
opposed to war, but that now it had become necessary to allow men
to become soldiers and to give them every facility for the
profession of arms, because the Assembly though containing a
Quaker majority nevertheless represented all the people of the
province. To prevent those who believed in war from taking part
in it would be as much a violation of liberty of conscience as to
force enlistments among those who had conscientious scruples
against it. Nor would the Quaker majority have any right to
compel others to bear arms and at the same time exempt
themselves. Therefore a voluntary militia system was established
under which a fighting Quaker, a Presbyterian, an Episcopalian,
or anybody, could enlist and have all the military glory he could

It was altogether a volunteer system. Two years afterwards, as
the necessities of war increased, the Quaker Assembly passed a
rather stringent compulsory militia bill; but the governor vetoed
it, and the first law with its volunteer system remained in
force. Franklin busied himself to encourage enlistments under it
and was very successful. Though a philosopher and a man of
science, almost as much opposed to war as the Quakers and not
even owning a shotgun, he was elected commander and led a force
of about five hundred men to protect the Lehigh Valley. His
common sense seems to have supplied his lack of military
training. He did no worse than some professional soldiers who
might be named. The valley was supposed to be in great danger
since its village of Gnadenhutten had been burned and its people
massacred. The Moravians, like the Quakers, had suddenly found
that they were not as much opposed to war as they had supposed.
They had obtained arms and ammunition from New York and had built
stockades, and Franklin was glad to find them so well prepared
when he arrived. He built small forts in different parts of the
valley, acted entirely on the defensive, and no doubt checked the
raids of the Indians at that point. They seem to have been
watching him from the hilltops all the time, and any rashness on
his part would probably have brought disaster upon him. After his
force had been withdrawn, the Indians again attacked and burned

The chain of forts, at first seventeen, afterwards increased to
fifty, built by the Assembly on the Pennsylvania frontier was a
good plan so far as it went, but it was merely defensive and by
no means completely defensive, since Indian raiding parties could
pass between the forts. They served chiefly as refuges for
neighboring settlers. The colonial troops or militia, after
manning the fifty forts and sending their quota to the operations
against Canada by way of New England and New York, were not
numerous enough to attack the Indians. They could only act on the
defensive as Franklin's command had done. As for the rangers, as
the small bands of frontiersmen acting without any authority of
either governor or legislature were called, they were very
efficient as individuals but they accomplished very little
because they acted at widely isolated spots. What was needed was
a well organized force which could pursue the Indians on their
own ground so far westward that the settlers on the frontier
would be safe. The only troops which could do this were the
British regulars with the assistance of the colonial militia.

Two energetic efforts to end the war without aid from abroad were
made, however, one by the pacific Quakers and the other by the
combatant portion of the people. Both of these were successful so
far as they went, but had little effect on the general situation.
In the summer of 1756, the Quakers made a very earnest effort to
persuade the two principal Pennsylvania tribes, the Delawares and
Shawanoes, to withdraw from the French alliance and return to
their old friends. These two tribes possessed a knowledge of the
country which enabled them greatly to assist the French designs
on Pennsylvania. Chiefs of these tribes were brought under safe
conducts to Philadelphia, where they were entertained as equals
in the Quaker homes. Such progress, indeed, was made that by the
end of July a treaty of peace was concluded at Easton eliminating
those two tribes from the war. This has sometimes been sneered at
as mere Quaker pacifism; but it was certainly successful in
lessening the numbers and effectiveness of the enemy.

The other undertaking was a military one, the famous attack upon
Kittanning conducted by Colonel John Armstrong, an Ulsterman from
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and the first really aggressive officer
the province had produced. The Indians had two headquarters for
their raids into the province, one at Logstown on the Ohio a few
miles below Fort Duquesne, and the other at Kittanning or, as the
French called it, Attique, about forty miles northeast. At these
two points they assembled their forces, received ammunition and
supplies from the French, and organized their expeditions. As
Kittanning was the nearer, Armstrong in a masterly maneuver took
three hundred men through the mountains without being discovered
and, by falling upon the village early in the morning, he
effected a complete surprise. The town was set on fire, the
Indians were put to flight, and large quantities of their
ammunition were destroyed. But Armstrong could not follow up his
success. Threatened by overwhelming numbers, he hastened to
withdraw. The effect which the fighting and the Quaker treaty had
on the frontier was good. Incursions of the savages were, at
least for the present, checked. But the root of the evil had not
yet been reached, and the Indians remained massed along the Ohio,
ready to break in upon the people again at the first opportunity.

The following year, 1757, was the most depressing period of the
war. The proprietors of Pennsylvania took the opportunity to
exempt their own estate from taxation and throw the burden of
furnishing money for the war upon the colonists. Under pressure
of the increasing success of the French and Indians and because
the dreadful massacres were coming nearer and nearer to
Philadelphia, the Quaker Assembly yielded, voted the largest sum
they had ever voted to the war, and exempted the proprietary
estates. The colony was soon boiling with excitement. The
Churchmen, as friends of the proprietors, were delighted to have
the estates exempted, thought it a good opportunity to have the
Quaker Assembly abolished, and sent petitions and letters and
proofs of alleged Quaker incompetence to the British Government.
The Quakers and a large majority of the colonists, on the other
hand, instead of consenting to their own destruction, struck at
the root of the Churchmen's power by proposing to abolish the
proprietors. And in a letter to Isaac Norris, Benjamin Franklin,
who had been sent to England to present the grievances of the
colonists, even suggested that "tumults and insurrections that
might prove the proprietary government unable to preserve order,
or show the people to be ungovernable, would do the business

Turmoil and party strife rose to the most exciting heights, and
the details of it might, under certain circumstances, be
interesting to describe. But the next year, 1758, the British
Government, by sending a powerful force of regulars to
Pennsylvania, at last adopted the only method for ending the war.
Confidence was at once restored. The Pennsylvania Assembly now
voted the sufficient and, indeed, immense sum of one hundred
thousand pounds, and offered a bounty of five pounds to every
recruit. It was no longer a war of defense but now a war of
aggression and conquest. Fort Duquesne on the Ohio was taken; and
the next autumn Fort Pitt was built on its ruins. Then Canada
fell, and the French empire in America came to an end. Canada and
the Great West passed into the possession of the Anglo-Saxon

Chapter VII. The Decline Of Quaker Government

When the treaty of peace was signed in 1763, extinguishing
France's title to Canada and turning over Canada and the
Mississippi Valley to the English, the colonists were prepared to
enjoy all the blessings of peace. But the treaty of peace had
been made with France, not with the red man. A remarkable genius,
Pontiac, appeared among the Indians, one of the few characters,
like Tecumseh and Osceola, who are often cited as proof of latent
powers almost equal to the strongest qualities of the white race.
Within a few months he had united all the tribes of the West in a
discipline and control which, if it had been brought to the
assistance of the French six years earlier, might have conquered
the colonies to the Atlantic seaboard before the British regulars
could have come to their assistance. The tribes swept westward
into Pennsylvania, burning, murdering, and leveling every
habitation to the ground with a thoroughness beyond anything
attempted under the French alliance. The settlers and farmers
fled eastward to the towns to live in cellars, camps, and sheds
as best they could.* Fortunately the colonies retained a large
part of the military organization, both men and officers, of the
French War, and were soon able to handle the situation. Detroit
and Niagara were relieved by water; and an expedition commanded
by Colonel Bouquet, who had distinguished himself under General
Forties, saved Fort Pitt.

* For an account of Pontiac's conspiracy, see "The Old Northwest"
by Frederic A. Ogg (in "The Chronicles of America").

At this time the Scotch-Irish frontiersmen suddenly became
prominent. They had been organizing for their own protection and
were meeting with not a little success. They refused to join the
expedition of regular troops marching westward against Pontiac's
warriors, because they wanted to protect their own homes and
because they believed the regulars to be marching to sure
destruction. Many of the regular troops were invalided from the
West Indies, and the Scotch-Irish never expected to see any of
them again. They believed that the salvation of Pennsylvania, or
at least of their part of the province, depended entirely upon
themselves. Their increasing numbers and rugged independence were
forming them also into an organized political party with decided
tendencies, as it afterwards appeared, towards forming a separate

The extreme narrowness of the Scotch-Irish, however, misled them.
The only real safety for the province lay in regularly
constituted and strong expeditions, like that of Bouquet, which
would drive the main body of the savages far westward. But the
Scotch-Irish could not see this; and with that intensity of
passion which marked all their actions they turned their energy
and vengeance upon the Quakers and semicivilized Indians in the
eastern end of the colony. Their preachers, who were their
principal leaders and organizers, encouraged them in denouncing
Quaker doctrine as a wicked heresy from which only evil could
result. The Quakers had offended God from the beginning by making
treaties of kindness with the heathen savages instead of
exterminating them as the Scripture commanded: "And when the Lord
thy God shall deliver them before thee, thou shalt smite them and
utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor
show mercy unto them." The Scripture had not been obeyed; the
heathen had not been destroyed; on the contrary, a systematic
policy of covenants, treaties, and kindness had been persisted in
for two generations, and as a consequence, the Ulstermen said,
the frontiers were now deluged in blood. They were particularly
resentful against the small settlement of Indians near Bethlehem,
who had been converted to Christianity by the Moravians, and
another little village of half civilized basketmaking Indians at
Conestoga near Lancaster. The Scotch-Irish had worked themselves
up into a strange belief that these small remnants were sending
information, arms, and ammunition to the western tribes; and they
seemed to think that it was more important to exterminate these
little communities than to go with such expeditions as Bouquet's
to the West. They asked the Governor to remove these civilized
Indians and assured him that their removal would secure the
safety of the frontier. When the Governor, not being able to find
anything against the Indians, declined to remove them, the
Scotch-Irish determined to attend to the matter in their own

Bouquet's victory at Bushy Run, much to the surprise of the
Scotch-Irish, stopped Indian raids of any seriousness until the
following spring. But in the autumn there were a few
depredations, which led the frontiersmen to believe that the
whole invasion would begin again. A party of them, therefore,
started to attack the Moravian Indians near Bethlehem; but before
they could accomplish their object, the Governor brought most of
the Indians down to Philadelphia for protection. Even there they
were narrowly saved from the mob, for the hostility against them
was spreading throughout the province.

Soon afterwards another party of Scotch-Irish, ever since known
as the "Paxton Boys," went at break of day to the village of the
Conestoga Indians and found only six of them at home--three men,
two women, and a boy. These they instantly shot down, mutilated
their bodies, and burned their cabins. As the murderers returned,
they related to a man on the road what they had done, and when he
protested against the cruelty of the deed, they asked, "Don't you
believe in God and the Bible?" The remaining fourteen inhabitants
of the village, who were away selling brooms, were collected by
the sheriff and put in the jail at Lancaster for protection. The
Paxtons heard of it and in a few days stormed the jail, broke
down the doors, and either shot the poor Indians or cut them to
pieces with hatchets.

This was probably the first instance of lynch law in America. It
raised a storm of indignation and controversy; and a pamphlet war
persisted for several years. The whole province was immediately
divided into two parties. On one side were the Quakers, most of
the Germans, and conservatives of every sort, and on the other,
inclined to sympathize with the Scotch-Irish, were the eastern
Presbyterians, some of the Churchmen, and various miscellaneous
people whose vindictiveness towards all Indians had been aroused
by the war. The Quakers and conservatives, who seem to have been
the more numerous, assailed the Scotch-Irish in no measured
language as a gang of ruffians without respect for law or order
who, though always crying for protection, had refused to march
with Bouquet to save Fort Pitt or to furnish him the slightest
assistance. Instead of going westward where the danger was and
something might be accomplished, they had turned eastward among
the settlements and murdered a few poor defenseless people,
mostly women and children.

Franklin, who had now returned from England, wrote one of his
best pamphlets against the Paxtons, the valorous, heroic Paxtons,
as he called them, prating of God and the Bible, fifty-seven of
whom, armed with rifles, knives, and hatchets, had actually
succeeded in killing three old men, two women, and a boy. This
pamphlet became known as the "Narrative" from the first word of
its title, and it had an immense circulation. Like everything
Franklin wrote, it is interesting reading to this day.

One of the first effects of this controversy was to drive the
excitable Scotch-Irish into a flame of insurrection not unlike
the Whisky Rebellion, which started among them some years after
the Revolution. They held tumultuous meetings denouncing the
Quakers and the whole proprietary government in Philadelphia, and
they organized an expedition which included some delegates to
suggest reforms. For the most part, however, it was a well
equipped little army variously estimated at from five hundred to
fifteen hundred on foot and on horseback, which marched towards
Philadelphia with no uncertain purpose. They openly declared that
they intended to capture the town, seize the Moravian Indians
protected there, and put them to death. They fully expected to be
supported by most of the people and to have everything their own
way. As they passed along the roads, they amused themselves in
their rough fashion by shooting chickens and pigs, frightening
people by thrusting their rifles into windows, and occasionally
throwing some one down and pretending to scalp him.

In the city there was great excitement and alarm. Even the
classes who sympathized with the Scotch-Irish did not altogether
relish having their property burned or destroyed. Great
preparations were made to meet the expedition. British regulars
were summoned. Eight companies of militia and a battery of
artillery were hastily formed. Franklin became a military man
once more and superintended the preparations. On all sides the
Quakers were enlisting; they had become accustomed to war; and
this legitimate chance to shoot a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian was
too much for the strongest scruples of their religion. It was a
long time, however, before they heard the end of this zeal; and
in the pamphlet war which followed they were accused of
clamorously rushing to arms and demanding to be led against the

It is amusing now to read about it in the old records. But it was
serious enough at the time. When the Scotch-Irish army reached
the Schuylkill River and found the fords leading to the city
guarded, they were not quite so enthusiastic about killing
Quakers and Indians. They went up the river some fifteen miles,
crossed by an unopposed ford, and halted in Germantown ten miles
north of Philadelphia. That was as far as they thought it safe to
venture. Several days passed, during which the city people
continued their preparations and expected every night to be
attacked. There were, indeed, several false alarms. Whenever the
alarm was sounded at night, every one placed candles in his
windows to light up the streets. One night when it rained the
soldiers were allowed to shelter themselves in a Quaker meeting
house, which for some hours bristled with bayonets and swords, an
incident of which the Presbyterian pamphleteers afterwards made
much use for satire. On another day all the cannon were fired to
let the enemy know what was in store for him.

Finally commissioners with the clever, genial Franklin at their
head, went out to Germantown to negotiate, and soon had the whole
mighty difference composed. The Scotch-Irish stated their
grievances. The Moravian Indians ought not to be protected by the
government, and all such Indians should be removed from the
colony; the men who killed the Conestoga Indians should be tried
where the supposed offense was committed and not in Philadelphia;
the five frontier counties had only ten representatives in the
Assembly while the three others had twenty-six--this should be
remedied; men wounded in border war should be cared for at public
expense; no trade should be carried on with hostile Indians until
they restored prisoners; and there should be a bounty on scalps.

While these negotiations were proceeding, some of the
Scotch-Irish amused themselves by practicing with their rifles at
the weather vane, a figure of a cock, on the steeple of the old
Lutheran church in Germantown--an unimportant incident, it is
true, but one revealing the conditions and character of the time
as much as graver matters do. The old weather vane with the
bullet marks upon it is still preserved. About thirty of these
same riflemen were invited to Philadelphia and were allowed to
wander about and see the sights of the town. The rest returned to
the frontier. As for their list of grievances, not one of them
was granted except, strange and sad to relate, the one which
asked for a scalp bounty. The Governor, after the manner of other
colonies, it must be admitted, issued the long desired scalp
proclamation, which after offering rewards for prisoners and
scalps, closed by saying, "and for the scalp of a female Indian
fifty pieces of eight." William Penn's Indian policy had been
admired for its justice and humanity by all the philosophers and
statesmen of the world, and now his grandson, Governor of the
province, in the last days of the family's control, was offering
bounties for women's scalps.

Franklin while in England had succeeded in having the proprietary
lands taxed equally with the lands of the colonists. But the
proprietors attempted to construe this provision so that their
best lands were taxed at the rate paid by the people on their
worst. This obvious quibble of course raised such a storm of
opposition that the Quakers, joined by classes which had never
before supported them, and now forming a large majority,
determined to appeal to the Government in England to abolish the
proprietorship and put the colony under the rule of the King. In
the proposal to make Pennsylvania a Crown colony there was no
intention of confiscating the possessions of the proprietors. It
was merely the proprietary political power, their right to
appoint the Governor, that was to be abolished. This right was to
be absorbed by the Crown with payment for its value to the
proprietors; but in all other respects the charter and the rights
and liberties of the people were to remain unimpaired. Just there
lay the danger. An act of Parliament would be required to make
the change and, having once started on such a change, Parliament,
or the party in power therein, might decide to make other
changes, and in the end there might remain very little of the
original rights and liberties of the colonists under their
charter. It was by no means a wise move. But intense feeling on
the subject was aroused. Passionate feeling seemed to have been
running very high among the steady Quakers. In this new outburst
the Quakers had the Scotch-Irish on their side, and a part of the
Churchmen. The Germans were divided, but the majority
enthusiastic for the change was very large.

There was a new alignment of parties. The eastern Presbyterians,
usually more or less in sympathy with the Scotch-Irish, broke
away from them on this occasion. These Presbyterians opposed the
change to a royal governor because they believed that it would be
followed by the establishment by law of the Church of England,
with bishops and all the other ancient evils. Although some of
the Churchmen joined the Quaker side, most of them and the most
influential of them were opposed to the change and did good work
in opposing it. They were well content with their position under
the proprietors and saw nothing to be gained under a royal
governor. There were also not a few people who, in the increase
of the wealth of the province, had acquired aristocratic tastes
and were attached to the pleasant social conditions that had
grown up round the proprietary governors and their followers; and
there were also those whose salaries, incomes, or opportunities
for wealth were more or less dependent on the proprietors
retaining the executive offices and the appointments and

One of the most striking instances of a change of sides was the
case of a Philadelphia Quaker, John Dickinson, a lawyer of large
practice, a man of wealth and position, and of not a little
colonial magnificence when he drove in his coach and four. It was
he who later wrote the famous "Farmer's Letters" during the
Revolution. He was a member of the Assembly and had been in
politics for some years. But on this question of a change to
royal government, he left the Quaker majority and opposed the
change with all his influence and ability. He and his
father-in-law, Isaac Norris, Speaker of the Assembly, became the
leaders against the change, and Franklin and Joseph Galloway, the
latter afterwards a prominent loyalist in the Revolution, were
the leading advocates of the change.

The whole subject was thoroughly thrashed out in debates in the
Assembly and in pamphlets of very great ability and of much
interest to students of colonial history and the growth of
American ideas of liberty. It must be remembered that this was
the year 1764, on the eve of the Revolution. British statesmen
were planning a system of more rigorous control of the colonies;
and the advisability of a stamp tax was under consideration.
Information of all these possible changes had reached the
colonies. Dickinson foresaw the end and warned the people.
Franklin and the Quaker party thought there was no danger and
that the mother country could be implicitly trusted.

Dickinson warned the people that the British Ministry were
starting special regulations for new colonies and "designing the
strictest reformations in the old." It would be a great relief,
he admitted, to be rid of the pettiness of the proprietors, and
it might be accomplished some time in the future; but not now.
The proprietary system might be bad, but a royal government might
be worse and might wreck all the liberties of the province,
religious freedom, the Assembly's control of its own
adjournments, and its power of raising and disposing of the
public money. The ministry of the day in England were well known
not to be favorably inclined towards Pennsylvania because of the
frequently reported willfulness of the Assembly, on which the
recent disturbances had also been blamed. If the King, Ministry,
and Parliament started upon a change, they might decide to
reconstitute the Assembly entirely, abolish its ancient
privileges, and disfranchise both Quakers and Presbyterians.

The arguments of Franklin and Galloway consisted principally of
assertions of the good intentions of the mother country and the
absurdity of any fear on the part of the colonists for their
privileges. But the King in whom they had so much confidence was
George III, and the Parliament which they thought would do no
harm was the same one which a few months afterwards passed the
Stamp Act which brought on the Revolution. Franklin and Galloway
also asserted that the colonies like Massachusetts, the Jerseys,
and the Carolinas, which had been changed to royal governments,
had profited by the change. But that was hardly the prevailing
opinion in those colonies themselves. Royal governors could be as
petty and annoying as the Penns and far more tyrannical.
Pennsylvania had always defeated any attempts at despotism on the
part of the Penn family and had built up a splendid body of
liberal laws and legislative privileges. But governors with the
authority and power of the British Crown behind them could not be
so easily resisted as the deputy governors of the Penns.

The Assembly, however, voted--twenty-seven to three--with
Franklin and Galloway. In the general election of the autumn, the
question was debated anew among the people and, though Franklin
and Galloway were defeated for seats in the Assembly, yet the
popular verdict was strongly in favor of a change, and the
majority in the Assembly was for practical purposes unaltered.
They voted to appeal to England for the change, and appointed
Franklin to be their agent before the Crown and Ministry. He
sailed again for England and soon was involved in the opening
scenes of the Revolution. He was made agent for all the colonies
and he spent many delightful years there pursuing his studies in
science, dining with distinguished men, staying at country seats,
and learning all the arts of diplomacy for which he afterwards
became so distinguished.

As for the Assembly's petition for a change to royal government,
Franklin presented it, but never pressed it. He, too, was finally
convinced that the time was inopportune. In fact, the Assembly
itself before long began to have doubts and fears and sent him
word to let the subject drop; and amid much greater events it was
soon entirely forgotten.

Chapter VIII. The Beginnings Of New Jersey

New Jersey, Scheyichbi, as the Indians called it, or Nova
Caesarea, as it was called in the Latin of its proprietary grant,
had a history rather different from that of other English
colonies in America. Geographically, it had not a few
attractions. It was a good sized dominion surrounded on all sides
but one by water, almost an island domain, secluded and
independent. In fact, it was the only one of the colonies which
stood naturally separate and apart. The others were bounded
almost entirely by artificial or imaginary lines.

It offered an opportunity, one might have supposed, for some
dissatisfied religious sect of the seventeenth century to secure
a sanctuary and keep off all intruders. But at first no one of
the various denominations seems to have fancied it or chanced
upon it. The Puritans disembarked upon the bleak shores of New
England well suited to the sternness of their religion. How
different American history might have been if they had
established themselves in the Jerseys! Could they, under those
milder skies, have developed witchcraft, set up blue laws, and
indulged in the killing of Quakers? After a time they learned
about the Jerseys and cast thrifty eyes upon them. Their
seafaring habits and the pursuit of whales led them along the
coast and into Delaware Bay. The Puritans of New Haven made
persistent efforts to settle the southern part of Jersey, on the
Delaware near Salem. They thought, as their quaint old records
show, that if they could once start a branch colony in Jersey it
might become more populous and powerful than the New Haven
settlement and in that case they intended to move their seat of
government to the new colony. But their shrewd estimate of its
value came too late. The Dutch and the Swedes occupied the
Delaware at that time and drove them out. Puritans, however,
entered northern Jersey and, while they were not numerous enough
to make it a thoroughly Puritan community, they largely tinged
its thought and its laws, and their influence still survives.

The difficulty with Jersey was that its seacoast was a monotonous
line of breakers with dangerous shoal inlets, few harbors, and
vast mosquito infested salt marshes and sandy thickets. In the
interior it was for the most part a level, heavily forested,
sandy, swampy country in its southern portions, and rough and
mountainous in the northern portions. Even the entrance by
Delaware Bay was so difficult by reason of its shoals that it was
the last part of the coast to be explored. The Delaware region
and Jersey were in fact a sort of middle ground far less easy of
access by the sea than the regions to the north in New England
and to the south in Virginia.

There were only two places easy of settlement in the Jerseys. One
was the open region of meadows and marshes by Newark Bay near the
mouth of the Hudson and along the Hackensack River, whence the
people slowly extended themselves to the seashore at Sandy Hook
and thence southward along the ocean beach. This was East Jersey.
The other easily occupied region, which became West Jersey,
stretched along the shore of the lower Delaware from the modern
Trenton to Salem, whence the settlers gradually worked their way
into the interior. Between these two divisions lay a rough
wilderness which in its southern portion was full of swamps,
thickets, and pine barrens. So rugged was the country that the
native Indians lived for the most part only in the two open
regions already described.

The natural geographical, geological, and even social division of
New Jersey is made by drawing a line from Trenton to the mouth of
the Hudson River. North of that line the successive terraces of
the piedmont and mountainous region form part of the original
North American continent. South of that line the more or less
sandy level region was once a shoal beneath the ocean; afterwards
a series of islands; then one island with a wide sound behind it
passing along the division line to the mouth of the Hudson.
Southern Jersey was in short an island with a sound behind it
very much like the present Long Island. The shoal and island had
been formed in the far distant geologic past by the erosion and
washings from the lofty Pennsylvania mountains now worn down to
mere stumps.

The Delaware River flowed into this sound at Trenton. Gradually
the Hudson end of the sound filled up as far as Trenton, but the
tide from the ocean still runs up the remains of the Old Sound as
far as Trenton. The Delaware should still be properly considered
as ending at Trenton, for the rest of its course to the ocean is
still part of Old Pensauken Sound, as it is called by geologists.

The Jerseys originated as a colony in 1664. In 1675 West Jersey
passed into the control of the Quakers. In 1680 East Jersey came
partially under Quaker influence. In August, 1664, Charles II
seized New York, New Jersey, and all the Dutch possessions in
America, having previously in March granted them to his brother
the Duke of York. The Duke almost immediately gave to Lord
Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, members of the Privy Council
and defenders of the Stuart family in the Cromwellian wars, the
land between the Delaware River and the ocean, and bounded on the
north by a line drawn from latitude 41 degrees on the Hudson to
latitude 41 degrees 40 minutes on the Delaware. This region was
to be called, the grant said, Nova Caesarea, or New Jersey. The
name was a compliment to Carteret, who in the Cromwellian wars
had defended the little isle of Jersey against the forces of the
Long Parliament. As the American Jersey was then almost an island
and geologically had been one, the name was not inappropriate.

Berkeley and Carteret divided the province between them. In 1676
an exact division was attempted, creating the rather unnatural
sections known as East Jersey and West Jersey. The first idea
seems to have been to divide by a line running from Barnegat on
the seashore to the mouth of Pensauken Creek on the Delaware just
above Camden. This, however, would have made a North Jersey and a
South Jersey, with the latter much smaller than the former.
Several lines seem to have been surveyed at different times in
the attempt to make an exactly equal division, which was no easy
engineering task. As private land titles and boundaries were in
some places dependent on the location of the division line, there
resulted much controversy and litigation which lasted down into
our own time. Without going into details, it is sufficient to say
that the acceptable division line began on the seashore at Little
Egg Harbor at the lower end of Barnegat Bay and crossed
diagonally or northwesterly to the northern part of the Delaware
River just above the Water Gap. It is known as the Old Province
line, and it can be traced on any map of the State by prolonging,
in both directions, the northeastern boundary of Burlington

West Jersey, which became decidedly Quaker, did not remain long
in the possession of Lord Berkeley. He was growing old; and,
disappointed in his hopes of seeing it settled, he sold it, in
1673, for one thousand pounds to John Fenwick and Edward
Byllinge, both of them old Cromwellian soldiers turned Quakers.
That this purchase was made for the purpose of affording a refuge
in America for Quakers then much imprisoned and persecuted in
England does not very distinctly appear. At least there was no
parade of it. But such a purpose in addition to profit for the
proprietors may well have been in the minds of the purchasers.

George Fox, the Quaker leader, had just returned from a
missionary journey in America, in the course of which he had
traveled through New Jersey in going from New York to Maryland.
Some years previously in England, about 1659, he had made
inquiries as to a suitable place for Quaker settlement and was
told of the region north of Maryland which became Pennsylvania.
But how could a persecuted sect obtain such a region from the
British Crown and the Government that was persecuting them? It
would require powerful influence at Court; nothing could then be
done about it; and Pennsylvania had to wait until William Penn
became a man with influence enough in 1681 to win it from the
Crown. But here was West Jersey, no longer owned directly by the
Crown and bought in cheap by two Quakers. It was an unexpected
opportunity. Quakers soon went to it, and it was the first Quaker
colonial experiment.

Byllinge and Fenwick, though turned Quakers, seem to have
retained some of the contentious Cromwellian spirit of their
youth. They soon quarreled over their respective interests in the
ownership of West Jersey; and to prevent a lawsuit, so
objectionable to Quakers, the decision was left to William Penn,
then a rising young Quaker about thirty years old, dreaming of
ideal colonies in America. Penn awarded Fenwick a one-tenth
interest and four hundred pounds. Byllinge soon became insolvent
and turned over his nine-tenths interest to his creditors,
appointing Penn and two other Quakers, Gawen Lawrie, a merchant
of London, and Nicholas Lucas, a maltster of Hertford, to hold it
in trust for them. Gawen Lawrie afterwards became deputy governor
of East Jersey. Lucas was one of those thoroughgoing Quakers just
released from eight years in prison for his religion.*

* Myers, "Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West Jersey, and
Delaware", p. 180.

Fenwick also in the end fell into debt and, after selling over
one hundred thousand acres to about fifty purchasers, leased what
remained of his interest for a thousand years to John Edridge, a
tanner, and Edmund Warner, a poulterer, as security for money
borrowed from them. They conveyed this lease and their claims to
Penn, Lawrie, and Lucas, who thus became the owners, as trustees,
of pretty much all West Jersey.

This was William Penn's first practical experience in American
affairs. He and his fellow trustees, with the consent of Fenwick,
divided the West Jersey ownership into one hundred shares. The
ninety belonging to Byllinge were offered for sale to settlers or
to creditors of Byllinge who would take them in exchange for
debts. The settlement of West Jersey thus became the distribution
of an insolvent Quaker's estate among his creditor fellow

Although no longer in possession of a title to land, Fenwick, in
1675, went out with some Quaker settlers to Delaware Bay. There
they founded the modern town of Salem, which means peace, giving
it that name because of the fair and peaceful aspect of the
wilderness on the day they arrived. They bought the land from the
Indians in the usual manner, as the Swedes and Dutch had so often
done. But they had no charter or provision for organized
government. When Fenwick attempted to exercise political
authority at Salem, he was seized and imprisoned by Andros,
Governor of New York for the Duke of York, on the ground that,
although the Duke had given Jersey to certain individual
proprietors, the political control of it remained in the Duke's
deputy governor. Andros, who had levied a tax of five per cent on
all goods passing up the Delaware, now established commissioners
at Salem to collect the duties.

This action brought up the whole question of the authority of
Andros. The trustee proprietors of West Jersey appealed to the
Duke of York, who was suspiciously indifferent to the matter, but
finally referred it for decision to a prominent lawyer, Sir
William Jones, before whom the Quaker proprietors of West Jersey
made a most excellent argument. They showed the illegality,
injustice, and wrong of depriving the Jerseys of vested political
rights and forcing them from the freeman's right of making their
own laws to a state of mere dependence on the arbitrary will of
one man. Then with much boldness they declared that "To exact
such an unterminated tax from English planters, and to continue
it after so many repeated complaints, will be the greatest
evidence of a design to introduce, if the Crown should ever
devolve upon the Duke, an unlimited government in old England."
Prophetic words which the Duke, in a few years, tried his best to
fulfill. But Sir William Jones deciding against him, he
acquiesced, confirmed the political rights of West Jersey by a
separate grant, and withdrew any authority Andros claimed over
East Jersey. The trouble, however, did not end here. Both the
Jerseys were long afflicted by domineering attempts from New

Penn and his fellow trustees now prepared a constitution, or
"Concessions and Agreements," as they called it, for West Jersey,
the first Quaker political constitution embodying their advanced
ideas, establishing religious liberty, universal suffrage, and
voting by ballot, and abolishing imprisonment for debt. It
foreshadowed some of the ideas subsequently included in the
Pennsylvania constitution. All these experiences were an
excellent school for William Penn. He learned the importance in
starting a colony of having a carefully and maturely considered
system of government. In his preparations some years afterwards
for establishing Pennsylvania he avoided much of the bungling of
the West Jersey enterprise.

A better organized attempt was now made to establish a foothold
in West Jersey farther up the river than Fenwick's colony at
Salem. In 1677 the ship Kent took out some 230 rather well-to-do
Quakers, about as fine a company of broadbrims, it is said, as
ever entered the Delaware. Some were from Yorkshire and London,
largely creditors of Byllinge, who were taking land to satisfy
their debts. They all went up the river to Raccoon Creek on the
Jersey side, about fifteen miles below the present site of
Philadelphia, and lived at first among the Swedes, who had been
in that part of Jersey for some years and who took care of the
new arrivals in their barns and sheds. These Quaker immigrants,
however, soon began to take care of themselves, and the weather
during the winter proving mild, they explored farther up the
river in a small boat. They bought from the Indians the land
along the river shore from Oldman's Creek all the way up to
Trenton and made their first settlements on the river about
eighteen miles above the site of Philadelphia, at a place they at
first called New Beverly, then Bridlington, and finally

They may have chosen this spot partly because there had been an
old Dutch settlement of a few families there. It had long been a
crossing of the Delaware for the few persons who passed by land
from New York or New England to Maryland and Virginia. One of the
Dutchmen, Peter Yegon, kept a ferry and a house for entertaining
travelers. George Fox, who crossed there in 1671, describes the
place as having been plundered by the Indians and deserted. He
and his party swam their horses across the river and got some of
the Indians to help them with canoes.

Other Quaker immigrants followed, going to Salem as well as to
Burlington, and a stretch of some fifty miles of the river shore
became strongly Quaker. There are not many American towns now to
be found with more of the old-time picturesqueness and more
relics of the past than Salem and Burlington.

Settlements were also started on the river opposite the site
afterwards occupied by Philadelphia, at Newton on the creek still
called by that name; and another a little above on Cooper's
Creek, known as Cooper's Ferry until 1794. Since then it has
become the flourishing town of Camden, full of shipbuilding and
manufacturing, but for long after the Revolution it was merely a
small village on the Jersey shore opposite Philadelphia,
sometimes used as a hunting ground and a place of resort for
duelers and dancing parties from Philadelphia.

The Newton settlers were Quakers of the English middle class,
weavers, tanners, carpenters, bricklayers, chandlers,
blacksmiths, coopers, bakers, haberdashers, hatters, and linen
drapers, most of them possessed of property in England and
bringing good supplies with them. Like all the rest of the New
Jersey settlers they were in no sense adventurers, gold seekers,
cavaliers, or desperadoes. They were well-to-do middle class
English tradespeople who would never have thought of leaving
England if they had not lost faith in the stability of civil and
religious liberty and the security of their property under the
Stuart Kings. With them came servants, as they were called; that
is, persons of no property, who agreed to work for a certain time
in payment of their passage, to escape from England. All, indeed,
were escaping from England before their estates melted away in
fines and confiscations or their health or lives ended in the
damp, foul air of the crowded prisons. Many of those who came had
been in jail and had decided that they would not risk
imprisonment a second time. Indeed, the proportion of West Jersey
immigrants who had actually been in prison for holding or
attending Quaker meetings or refusing to pay tithes for the
support of the established church was large. For example, William
Bates, a carpenter, while in jail for his religion, made
arrangements with his friends to escape to West Jersey as soon as
he should be released, and his descendants are now scattered over
the United States. Robert Turner, a man of means, who settled
finally in Philadelphia but also owned much land near Newton in
West Jersey, had been imprisoned in England in 1660, again in
1662, again in 1665, and some of his property had been taken,
again imprisoned in 1669 and more property taken; and many others
had the same experience. Details such as these make us realize
the situation from which the Quakers sought to escape. So
widespread was the Quaker movement in England and so severe the
punishment imposed in order to suppress it that fifteen thousand
families are said to have been ruined by the fines,
confiscations, and imprisonments.

Not a few Jersey Quakers were from Ireland, whither they had fled
because there the laws against them were less rigorously
administered. The Newton settlers were joined by Quakers from
Long Island, where, under the English law as administered by the
New York governors, they had also been fined and imprisoned,
though with less severity than at home, for nonconformity to the
Church of England. On arriving, the West Jersey settlers suffered
some hardships during the year that must elapse before a crop
could be raised and a log cabin or house built. During that
period they usually lived, in the Indian manner, in wigwams of
poles covered with bark, or in caves protected with logs in the
steep banks of the creeks. Many of them lived in the villages of
the Indians. The Indians supplied them all with corn and venison,
and without this Indian help, they would have run serious risk of
starving, for they were not accustomed to hunting. They had also
to thank the Indians for having in past ages removed so much of
the heavy forest growth from the wide strip of land along the
river that it was easy to start cultivation.

These Quaker settlers made a point of dealing very justly with
the Indians and the two races lived side by side for several
generations. There is an instance recorded of the Indians
attending with much solemnity the funeral of a prominent Quaker
woman, Esther Spicer, for whom they had acquired great respect.
The funeral was held at night, and the Indians in canoes, the
white men in boats, passed down Cooper's Creek and along the
river to Newton Creek where the graveyard was, lighting the
darkness with innumerable torches, a strange scene to think of
now as having been once enacted in front of the bustling cities
of Camden and Philadelphia. Some of the young settlers took
Indian wives, and that strain of native blood is said to show
itself in the features of several families to this day.

Many letters of these settlers have been preserved, all
expressing the greatest enthusiasm for the new country, for the
splendid river better than the Thames, the good climate, and
their improved health, the immense relief to be away from the
constant dread of fines and punishment, the chance to rise in the
world, with large rewards for industry. They note the immense
quantities of game, the Indians bringing in fat bucks every day,
the venison better than in England, the streams full of fish, the
abundance of wild fruits, cranberries, hurtleberries, the rapid
increase of cattle, and the good soil. A few details concerning
some of the interesting characters among these early colonial
Quakers have been rescued from oblivion. There is, for instance,
the pleasing picture of a young man and his sister, convinced
Quakers, coming out together and pioneering in their log cabin
until each found a partner for life. There was John Haddon, from
whom Haddonfield is named, who bought a large tract of land but
remained in England, while his daughter Elizabeth came out alone
to look after it. A strong, decisive character she was, and women
of that sort have always been encouraged in independent action by
the Quakers. She proved to be an excellent manager of an estate.
The romance of her marriage to a young Quaker preacher, Estaugh,
has been celebrated in Mrs. Maria Child's novel "The Youthful
Emigrant." The pair became leading citizens devoted to good works
and to Quaker liberalism for many a year in Haddonfield.

It was the ship Shields of Hull, bringing Quaker immigrants to
Burlington, of which the story is told that in beating up the
river she tacked close to the rather high bank with deep water
frontage where Philadelphia was afterwards established; and some
of the passengers remarked that it was a fine site for a town.
The Shields, it is said, was the first ship to sail up as far as
Burlington. Anchoring before Burlington in the evening, the
colonists woke up next morning to find the river frozen hard so
that they walked on the ice to their future habitations.

Burlington was made the capital of West Jersey, a legislature was
convened and laws were passed under the "concessions" or
constitution of the proprietors. Salem and Burlington became the
ports of the little province, which was well under way by 1682,
when Penn came out to take possession of Pennsylvania.

The West Jersey people of these two settlements spread eastward
into the interior but were stopped by a great forest area known
as the Pines, or Pine Barrens, of such heavy growth that even the
Indians lived on its outer edges and entered it only for hunting.
It was an irregularly shaped tract, full of wolves, bear, beaver,
deer, and other game, and until recent years has continued to
attract sportsmen from all parts of the country. Starting near
Delaware Bay, it extended parallel with the ocean as far north as
the lower portion of the present Monmouth County and formed a
region about seventy-five miles long and thirty miles wide. It
was roughly the part of the old sandy shoal that first emerged
from the ocean, and it has been longer above water than any other
part of southern Jersey. The old name, Pine Barrens, is hardly
correct because it implies something like a desert, when as a
matter of fact the region produced magnificent forest trees.

The innumerable visitors who cross southern Jersey to the famous
seashore resorts always pass through the remains of this old
central forest and are likely to conclude that the monotonous low
scrub oaks and stunted pines on sandy level soil, seen for the
last two or three generations, were always there and that the
primeval forest of colonial times was no better. But that is a
mistake. The stunted growth now seen is not even second growth
but in many cases fourth or fifth or more. The whole region was
cut over long ago. The original growth, pine in many places,
consisted also of lofty timber of oak, hickory, gum, ash,
chestnut, and numerous other trees, interspersed with dogwood,
sassafras, and holly, and in the swamps the beautiful magnolia,
along with the valuable white cedar. DeVries, who visited the
Jersey coast about 1632, at what is supposed to have been
Beesley's or Somer's Point, describes high woods coming down to
the shore. Even today, immediately back of Somer's Point, there
is a magnificent lofty oak forest accidentally preserved by
surrounding marsh from the destructive forest fires; and there
are similar groves along the road towards Pleasantville. In fact,
the finest forest trees flourish in that region wherever given a
good chance. Even some of the beaches of Cape May had valuable
oak and luxuriant growths of red cedar; and until a few years ago
there were fine trees, especially hollies, surviving on Wildwood

The Jersey white cedar swamps were, and still are, places of
fascinating interest to the naturalist and the botanist. The
hunter or explorer found them scattered almost everywhere in the
old forest and near its edges, varying in size from a few square
yards up to hundreds of acres. They were formed by little streams
easily checked in their flow through the level land by decaying
vegetation or dammed by beavers. They kept the water within the
country, preventing all effects of droughts, stimulating the
growth of vegetation which by its decay, throughout the
centuries, was steadily adding vegetable mold or humus to the
sandy soil. This process of building up a richer soil has now
been largely stopped by lumbering, drainage, and fires.

While there are many of these swamps left, the appearance of
numbers of them has largely changed. When the white men first
came, the great cedars three or four feet in diameter which had
fallen centuries before often lay among the living trees, some of
them buried deep in the mud and preserved from decay. They were
invaluable timber, and digging them out and cutting them up
became an important industry for over a hundred years. In
addition to being used for boat building, they made excellent
shingles which would last a lifetime. The swamps, indeed, became
known as shingle mines, and it was a good description of them. An
important trade was developed in hogshead staves, hoops,
shingles, boards, and planks, much of which went into the West
Indian trade to be exchanged for rum, sugar, molasses, and

* Between the years 1740 and '50, the Cedar Swamps of the county
[Cape May] were mostly located; and the amount of lumber since
taken from them is incalculable, not only as an article of trade,
but to supply the home demand for fencing and building material
in the county. Large portions of these swamps have been worked a
second and some a third time, since located. At the present time
[1857] there is not an acre of original growth of swamp standing,
having all passed away before the resistless sway of the
speculator or the consumer." Beesley's "Sketch of Cape May" p.

The great forest has long since been lumbered to death. The pines
were worked for tar, pitch, resin, and turpentine until for lack
of material the industry passed southward through the Carolinas
to Florida, exhausting the trees as it went. The Christmas demand
for holly has almost stripped the Jersey woods of these trees
once so numerous. Destructive fires and frequent cutting keep the
pine and oak lands stunted. Thousands of dollars' worth of cedar
springing up in the swamps are sometimes destroyed in a day. But
efforts to control the fires so destructive not only to this
standing timber but to the fertility of the soil, and attempts to
reforest this country not only for the sake of timber but as an
attraction to those who resort there in search of health or
natural beauty, have not been vigorously pushed. The great forest
has now, to be sure, been partially cultivated in spots, and the
sand used for large glass-making industries. Small fruits and
grapes flourish in some places. At the northern end of this
forest tract the health resort known as Lakewood was established
to take advantage of the pine air. A little to the southward is
the secluded Brown's Mills, once so appealing to lovers of the
simple life. Checked on the east by the great forest, the West
Jersey Quakers spread southward from Salem until they came to the
Cohansey, a large and beautiful stream flowing out of the forest
and wandering through green meadows and marshes to the bay. So
numerous were the wild geese along its shores and along the
Maurice River farther south that the first settlers are said to
have killed them for their feathers alone and to have thrown the
carcasses away. At the head of navigation of the Cohansey was a
village called Cohansey Bridge, and after 1765 Bridgeton, a name
still borne by a flourishing modern town. Lower down near the
marsh was the village of Greenwich, the principal place of
business up to the year 1800, with a foreign trade. Some of the
tea the East India Company tried to force on the colonists
during the Revolution was sent there and was duly rejected. It is
still an extremely pretty village, with its broad shaded streets
like a New England town and its old Quaker meeting house. In
fact, not a few New Englanders from Connecticut, still infatuated
with southern Jersey in spite of the rebuffs received in ancient
times from Dutch and Swedes, finally settled near the Cohansey
after it came under control of the more amiable Quakers. There
was also one place called after Fairfield in Connecticut and
another called New England Town.

The first churches of this region were usually built near running
streams so that the congregation could procure water for
themselves and their horses. Of one old Presbyterian Church it
used to be said that no one had ever ridden to it in a wheeled
vehicle. Wagons and carriages were very scarce until after the
Revolution. Carts for occasions of ceremony as well as utility
were used before wagons and carriages. For a hundred and fifty
years the horse's back was the best form of conveyance in the
deep sand of the trails and roads. This was true of all southern
Jersey. Pack horses and the backs of Indian and negro slaves were
the principal means of transportation on land. The roads and
trails, in fact, were so few and so heavy with sand that water
travel was very much developed. The Indian dugout canoe was
adopted and found faster and better than heavy English rowboats.
As the province was almost surrounded by water and was covered
with a network of creeks and channels, nearly all the villages
and towns were situated on tidewater streams, and the dugout
canoe, modified and improved, was for several generations the
principal means of communication. Most of the old roads in New
Jersey followed Indian trails. There was a trail, for example,
from the modern Camden opposite Philadelphia, following up
Cooper's Creek past Berlin, then called Long-a-coming, crossing
the watershed, and then following Great Egg Harbor River to the
seashore. Another trail, long used by the settlers, led from
Salem up to Camden, Burlington, and Trenton, going round the
heads of streams. It was afterwards abandoned for the shorter
route obtained by bridging the streams nearer their mouths. This
old trail also extended from the neighborhood of Trenton to Perth
Amboy near the mouth of the Hudson, and thus, by supplementing
the lower routes, made a trail nearly the whole length of the

As a Quaker refuge, West Jersey never attained the success of
Pennsylvania. The political disturbances and the continually
threatened loss of self-government in both the Jerseys were a
serious deterrent to Quakers who, above all else, prized rights
which they found far better secured in Pennsylvania. In 1702,
when the two Jerseys were united into one colony under a
government appointed by the Crown, those rights were more
restricted than ever and all hopes of West Jersey becoming a
colony under complete Quaker control were shattered. Under
Governor Cornbury, the English law was adopted and enforced, and
the Quakers were disqualified from testifying in court unless
they took an oath and were prohibited from serving on juries or
holding any office of trust. Cornbury's judges wore scarlet
robes, powdered wigs, cocked hats, gold lace, and side arms; they
were conducted to the courthouse by the sheriff's cavalcade and
opened court with great parade and ceremony. Such a spectacle of
pomp was sufficient to divert the flow of Quaker immigrants to
Pennsylvania, where the government was entirely in Quaker hands
and where plain and serious ways gave promise of enduring and
unmolested prosperity.

The Quakers had altogether thirty meeting houses in West Jersey
and eleven in East Jersey, which probably shows about the
proportion of Quaker influence in the two Jerseys. Many of them
have since disappeared; some of the early buildings, to judge
from the pictures, were of wood and not particularly pleasing in
appearance. They were makeshifts, usually intended to be replaced
by better buildings. Some substantial brick buildings of
excellent architecture have survived, and their plainness and
simplicity, combined with excellent proportions and thorough
construction, are clearly indicative of Quaker character. There
is a particularly interesting one in Salem with a magnificent old
oak beside it, another in the village of Greenwich on the
Cohansey farther south, and another at Crosswicks near Trenton.

In West Jersey near Mount Holly was born and lived John Woolman,
a Quaker who became eminent throughout the English speaking world
for the simplicity and loftiness of his religious thought as well
as for his admirable style of expression. His "Journal," once
greatly and even extravagantly admired, still finds readers. "Get
the writings of John Woolman by heart," said Charles Lamb, "and
love the early Quakers." He was among the Quakers one of the
first and perhaps the first really earnest advocate of the
abolition of slavery. The scenes of West Jersey and the writings
of Woolman seem to belong together. Possibly a feeling for the
simplicity of those scenes and their life led Walt Whitman, who
grew up on Long Island under Quaker influence, to spend his last
years at Camden, in West Jersey. His profound democracy, which
was very Quaker-like, was more at home there perhaps than
anywhere else.

Chapter IX. Planters And Traders Of Southern Jersey

Most of the colonies in America, especially the stronger ones,
had an aristocratic class, which was often large and powerful, as
in the case of Virginia, and which usually centered around the
governor, especially if he were appointed from England by the
Crown or by a proprietor. But there was very little of this
social distinction in New Jersey. Her political life had been too
much broken up, and she had been too long dependent on the
governors of New York to have any of those pretty little
aristocracies with bright colored clothes, and coaches and four,
flourishing within her boundaries. There seems to have been a
faint suggestion of such social pretensions under Governor
Franklin just before the Revolution. He was beginning to live
down the objections to his illegitimate birth and Toryism and by
his entertainments and manner of living was creating a social
following. There is said also to have been something a little
like the beginning of an aristocracy among the descendants of the
Dutch settlers who had ancestral holdings near the Hudson; but
this amounted to very little.

Class distinctions were not so strongly marked in New Jersey as
in some other colonies. There grew up in southern Jersey,
however, a sort of aristocracy of gentlemen farmers, who owned
large tracts of land and lived in not a little style in good
houses on the small streams.

The northern part of the province, largely settled and influenced
by New Englanders, was like New England a land of vigorous
concentrated town life and small farms. The hilly and mountainous
nature of the northern section naturally led to small holdings of
land. But in southern Jersey the level sandy tracts of forest
were often taken up in large areas. In the absence of
manufacturing, large acreage naturally became, as in Virginia and
Maryland, the only mark of wealth and social distinction. The
great landlord was looked up to by the lesser fry. The Quaker
rule of discountenancing marrying out of meeting tended to keep a
large acreage in the family and to make it larger by marriage. A
Quaker of broad acres would seek for his daughter a young man of
another landholding Quaker family and would thus join the two

There was a marked difference between East Jersey and West Jersey
in county organization. In West Jersey the people tended to
become planters; their farms and plantations somewhat like those
of the far South; and the political unit of government was the
county. In East Jersey the town was the starting point and the
county marked the boundaries of a collection of towns. This
curious difference, the result of soil, climate, and methods of
life, shows itself in other States wherever South and North meet.
Illinois is an example, where the southern part of the State is
governed by the county system, and the northern part by the town

The lumberman, too, in clearing off the primeval forest and
selling the timber, usually dealt in immense acreage. Some
families, it is said, can be traced steadily proceeding southward
as they stripped off the forest, and started sawmills and
gristmills on the little streams that trickled from the swamps,
and like beavers making with their dams those pretty ponds which
modern lovers of the picturesque are now so eager to find. A good
deal of the lumbering in the interior pines tract was carried on
by persons who leased the premises from owners who lived on
plantations along the Delaware or its tributary streams. These
operations began soon after 1700. Wood roads were cut into the
Pines, sawmills were started, and constant use turned some of
these wood roads into the highways of modern times.

There was a speculative tinge in the operations of this landed
aristocracy. Like the old tobacco raising aristocracy of Virginia
and Maryland, they were inclined to go from tract to tract,
skinning what they could from a piece of deforested land and then
seeking another virgin tract. The roughest methods were used;
wooden plows, brush harrows, straw collars, grapevine harness,
and poor shelter for animals and crops; but were the Virginia
methods any better? In these operations there was apparently a
good deal of sudden profit and mushroom prosperity accompanied by
a good deal of debt and insolvency. In this, too, they were like
the Virginians and Carolinians. There seem to have been also a
good many slaves in West Jersey, brought, as in the southern
colonies, to work on the large estates, and this also, no doubt,
helped to foster the aristocratic feeling.

The best days of the Jersey gentlemen farmers came probably when
they could no longer move from tract to tract. They settled down
and enjoyed a very plentiful, if rude, existence on the products
of their land, game, and fish, amid a fine climate--with
mosquitoes enough in summer to act as a counterirritant and
prevent stagnation from too much ease and prosperity. After the
manner of colonial times, they wove their own clothes from the
wool of their own sheep and made their own implements, furniture,
and simple machinery.

There are still to be found fascinating traces of this old life
in out-of-the-way parts of southern Jersey. To run upon old
houses among the Jersey pines still stored with Latin classics
and old editions of Shakespeare, Addison, or Samuel Johnson, to
come across an old mill with its machinery, cogwheels, flywheels,
and all, made of wood, to find people who make their own oars,
and the handles of their tools from the materials furnished by
their own forest, is now unfortunately a refreshment of the
spirit that is daily becoming rarer.

This condition of material and social self-sufficiency lasted in
places long after the Revolution. It was a curious little
aristocracy--a very faint and faded one, lacking the robustness
of the far southern type, and lacking indeed the real essential
of an aristocracy, namely political power. Moreover, although
there were slaves in New Jersey, there were not enough of them to
exalt the Jersey gentlemen farmers into such self-sufficient
lords and masters as the Virginian and Carolinian planters

To search out the remains of this stage of American history,
however, takes one up many pleasant streams flowing out of the
forest tract to the Delaware on one side or to the ocean on the
other. This topographical formation of a central ridge or
watershed of forest and swamp was a repetition of the same
formation in the Delaware peninsula, which like southern Jersey
had originally been a shoal and then an island. The Jersey
watershed, with its streams abounding in wood duck and all manner
of wild life, must have been in its primeval days as fascinating
as some of the streams of the Florida cypress swamps. Toward the
ocean, Wading River, the Mullica, the Tuckahoe, Great Egg; and on
the Delaware side the Maurice, Cohansey, Salem Creek, Oldman's,
Raccoon, Mantua, Woodberry, Timber, and the Rancocas, still
possess attraction. Some of them, on opposite sides of the
divide, are not far apart at their sources in the old forest
tract; so that a canoe can be transported over the few miles and
thus traverse the State. One of these trips up Timber Creek from
the Delaware and across only eight miles of land to the
headwaters of Great Egg Harbor River and thence down to the
ocean, thus cutting South Jersey in half, is a particularly
romantic one. The heavy woods and swamps of this secluded route
along these forest shadowed streams are apparently very much as
they were three hundred years ago.

The water in all these streams, particularly in their upper
parts, owing to the sandy soil, is very clean and clear and is
often stained by the cedar roots in the swamps a clear brown,
sometimes almost an amber color. One of the streams, the
Rancocas, with its many windings to Mount Holly and then far
inland to Brown's Mills, seems to be the favorite with canoemen
and is probably without an equal in its way for those who love
the Indian's gift that brings us so close to nature.

The spread of the Quaker settlements along Delaware Bay to Cape
May was checked by the Maurice River and its marshes and by the
Great Cedar Swamp which crossed the country from Delaware Bay to
the ocean and thus made of the Cape May region a sort of island.
The Cape May region, it is true, was settled by Quakers, but most
of them came from Long Island rather than from the settlements on
the Delaware. They had followed whale fishing on Long Island and
in pursuit of that occupation some of them had migrated to Cape
May where whales were numerous not far off shore.

The leading early families of Cape May, the Townsends,
Stillwells, Corsons, Leamings, Ludlams, Spicers, and Cresses,
many of whose descendants still live there, were Quakers of the
Long Island strain. The ancestor of the Townsend family came to
Cape May because he had been imprisoned and fined and threatened
with worse under the New York government for assisting his fellow
Quakers to hold meetings. Probably the occasional severity of the
administration of the New York laws against Quakers, which were
the same as those of England, had as much to do as had the whales
with the migration to Cape May. This Quaker civilization extended
from Cape May up as far as Great Egg Harbor where the Great Cedar
Swamp joined the seashore. Quaker meeting houses were built at
Cape May, Galloway, Tuckahoe, and Great Egg. All have been
abandoned and the buildings themselves have disappeared, except
that of the Cape May meeting, called the Old Cedar Meeting, at
Seaville; and it has no congregation. The building is kept in
repair by members of the Society from other places.

Besides the Quakers, Cape May included a number of New Haven
people, the first of whom came there as early as 1640 under the
leadership of George Lamberton and Captain Turner, seeking profit
in whale fishing. They were not driven out by the Dutch and
Swedes, as happened to their companions who attempted to settle
higher up the river at Salem and the Schuylkill. About one-fifth
of the old family names of Cape May and New Haven are similar,
and there is supposed to be not a little New England blood not
only in Cape May but in the neighboring counties of Cumberland
and Salem. While the first New Haven whalers came to Cape May in
1640, it is probable that for a long time they only sheltered
their vessels there, and none of them became permanent settlers
until about 1685.

Scandinavians contributed another element to the population of
the Cape May region. Very little is definitely known about this
settlement, but the Swedish names in Cape May and Cumberland
counties seem to indicate a migration of Scandinavians from
Wilmington and Tinicum.

Great Egg Harbor, which formed the northern part of the Cape May
settlement, was named from the immense numbers of wild fowl,
swans, ducks, and water birds that formerly nested there every
summer and have now been driven to Canada or beyond. Little Egg
Harbor farther up the coast was named for the same reason as well
as Egg Island, of three hundred acres in Delaware Bay, since then
eaten away by the tide. The people of the district had excellent
living from the eggs as well as from the plentiful fowl, fish,
and oysters.

Some farming was done by the inhabitants of Cape May; and many
cattle, marked with brands but in a half wild state, were kept
out on the uninhabited beaches which have now become seaside
summer cities. Some of the cattle were still running wild on the
beaches down to the time of the Civil War. The settlers "mined"
the valuable white cedar from the swamps for shingles and boards,
leaving great "pool holes" in the swamps which even today
sometimes trap the unwary sportsman. The women knitted
innumerable mittens and also made wampum or Indian money from the
clam and oyster shells, an important means of exchange in the
Indian trade all over the colonies, and even to some extent among
the colonists themselves. The Cape May people built sloops for
carrying the white cedar, the mittens, oysters, and wampum to the
outside world. They sold a great deal of their cedar in Long
Island, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Philadelphia finally
became their market for oysters and also for lumber, corn, and
the whalebone and oil. Their sloops also traded to the southern
colonies and even to the West Indies.

They were an interesting little community, these Cape May people,
very isolated and dependent on the water and on their boats, for
they were completely cut off by the Great Cedar Swamp which
stretched across the point and separated them from the rest of
the coast. This troublesome swamp was not bridged for many years;
and even then the roads to it were long, slow, and too sandy for
transporting anything of much bulk.

Next above Cape May on the coast was another isolated patch of
civilization which, while not an island, was nevertheless cut off
on the south by Great Egg Harbor with its river and marshes, and
on the north by Little Egg Harbor with the Mullica River and its
marshes extending far inland. The people in this district also
lived somewhat to themselves. To the north lay the district which
extended to Sandy Hook, also with its distinct set of people.

The people of the Cape became in colonial times clever traders in
various pursuits. Although in one sense they were as isolated as
islanders, their adventurous life on the sea gave them breadth of
view. By their thrift and in innumerable shrewd and persistent
ways they amassed competencies and estates for their families.
Aaron Leaming, for example, who died in 1780, left an estate of
nearly $1,000,000. Some kept diaries which have become
historically valuable in showing not only their history but their
good education and the peculiar cast of their mind for keen
trading as well as their rigid economy and integrity.

One character, Jacob Spicer, a prosperous colonial, insisted on
having everything made at home by his sons and daughters--shoes,
clothes, leather breeches, wampum, even shoe thread--calculating
the cost of everything to a fraction and economizing to the last
penny of money and the last second of time. Yet in the course of
a year he used "fifty-two gallons of rum, ten of wine, and two
barrels of cyder." Apparently in those days hard labor and hard
drinking went well together.

The Cape May people, relying almost entirely on the water for
communication and trade, soon took to piloting vessels in the
Delaware River, and some of them still follow this occupation.
They also became skillful sailors and builders of small craft,
and it is not surprising to learn that Jacocks Swain and his sons
introduced, in 1811, the centerboard for keeping flat-bottomed
craft closer to the wind. They are said to have taken out a
patent for this invention and are given the credit of being the
originators of the idea. But the device was known in England in
1774, was introduced in Massachusetts in the same year, and may
have been used long before by the Dutch. The need of it, however,
was no doubt strongly impressed upon the Cape May people by the
difficulties which their little sloops experienced in beating
home against contrary winds. Some of them, indeed, spent weeks in
sight of the Cape, unable to make it. One sloop, the Nancy,
seventy-two days from Demarara, hung off and on for forty-three
days from December 25, 1787, to February 6, 1788, and was driven
off fifteen times before she finally got into Hereford Inlet.
Sometimes better sailing craft had to go out and bring in such
distressed vessels. The early boats were no doubt badly
constructed; but in the end apprenticeship to dire necessity made
the Cape May sailors masters of seamanship and the windward art.*

* Stevens, "History of Cape May County," pp. 219, 229; Kelley,
"American Yachts" (1884), p. 165.

Wilson, the naturalist, spent a great deal of time in the Cape
May region, because of the great variety of birds to be found
there. Southern types, like the Florida egret, ventured even so
far north, and it was a stopping place for migrating birds,
notably woodcock, on their northern and southern journeys. Men of
the stone age had once been numerous in this region, as the
remains of village plats and great shell heaps bore witness. It
was a resting point for all forms of life. That much traveled,
adventurous gentleman of the sea, Captain Kidd, according to
popular legend, was a frequent visitor to this coast.

In later times, beginning in 1801, the Cape became one of the
earliest of the summer resorts. The famous Commodore Decatur was
among the first distinguished men to be attracted by the simple
seaside charm of the place, long before it was destroyed by
wealth and crowds. Year by year he used to measure and record at
one spot the encroachment of the sea upon the beach. Where today
the sea washes and the steel pier extends, once lay cornfields.
For a hundred years it was a favorite resting place for statesmen
and politicians of national eminence. They traveled there by
stage, sailing sloop, or their own wagons. People from Baltimore
and the South more particularly sought the place because it was
easily accessible from the head of Chesapeake Bay by an old
railroad, long since abandoned, to Newcastle on the Delaware,
whence sail- or steamboats went to Cape May. This avoided the
tedious stage ride over the sandy Jersey roads. Presidents,
cabinet officers, senators, and congressmen sought the
invigorating air of the Cape and the attractions of the old
village, its seafaring life, the sailing, fishing, and bathing on
the best beach of the coast. Congress Hall, their favorite hotel,
became famous, and during a large part of the nineteenth century
presidential nominations and policies are said to have been
planned within its walls.

Chapter X. Scotch Covenanters And Others In East Jersey

East Jersey was totally different in its topography from West
Jersey. The northern half of the State is a region of mountains
and lakes. As part of the original continent it had been under
the ice sheet of the glacial age and was very unlike the level
sands, swamps, and pine barrens of West Jersey which had arisen
as a shoal and island from the sea. The only place in East Jersey
where settlement was at all easy was along the open meadows which
were reached by water near the mouth of the Hudson, round Newark
Bay, and along the Hackensack River.

The Dutch, by the discoveries of Henry Hudson in 1609, claimed
the whole region between the Hudson and the Delaware. They
settled part of East Jersey opposite their headquarters at New
York and called it Pavonia. But their cruel massacre of some
Indians who sought refuge among them at Pavonia destroyed the
prospects of the settlement. The Indians revenged themselves by
massacring the Dutch again and again, every time they attempted
to reestablish Pavonia. This kept the Dutch out of East Jersey
until 1660, when they succeeded in establishing Bergen between
Newark Bay and the Hudson.

The Dutch authority in America was overthrown in 1664 by Charles
II, who had already given all New Jersey to his brother the Duke
of York. Colonel Richard Nicolls commanded the British expedition
that seized the Dutch possessions; and he had been given full
power as deputy governor of all the Duke of York's vast

Meantime the New England Puritans seem to have kept their eyes on
East Jersey as a desirable region, and the moment the Connecticut
Puritans heard of Nicolls' appointment, they applied to him for a
grant of a large tract of land on Newark Bay. In the next year,
1665, he gave them another tract from the mouth of the Raritan to
Sandy Hook; and soon the villages of Shrewsbury and Middletown
were started.

Meantime, however, unknown to Nicolls, the Duke of York in
England had given all of New Jersey to Lord Berkeley and Sir
George Carteret. As has already been pointed out, they had
divided the province between them, and East Jersey had fallen to
Carteret, who sent out, with some immigrants, his relative Philip
Carteret as governor. Governor Carteret was of course very much
surprised to find so much of the best land already occupied by
the excellent and thrifty Yankees. As a consequence, litigation
and sometimes civil war over this unlucky mistake lasted for a
hundred years. Many of the Yankee settlers under the Nicolls
grant refused to pay quitrents to Carteret or his successors and,
in spite of a commission of inquiry from England in 1751 and a
chancery suit, they held their own until the Revolution of 1776
extinguished all British authority.

There was therefore from the beginning a strong New England tinge
in East Jersey which has lasted to this day. Governor Carteret
established a village on Newark Bay which still bears the name
Elizabeth, which he gave it in honor of the wife of the
proprietor, and he made it the capital. There were also
immigrants from Scotland and England. But Puritans from Long
Island and New England continued to settle round Newark Bay. By
virtue either of character or numbers, New Englanders were
evidently the controlling element, for they established the New
England system of town government, and imposed strict Connecticut
laws, making twelve crimes punishable with death. Soon there were
flourishing little villages, Newark and Elizabeth, besides
Middletown and Shrewsbury. The next year Piscatawa and Woodbridge
were added. Newark and the region round it, including the
Oranges, was settled by very exclusive Puritans, or
Congregationalists, as they are now called, some thirty families
from four Connecticut towns--Milford, Guilford, Bradford, and New
Haven. They decided that only church members should hold office
and vote.

Governor Carteret ruled the colony with an appointive council and
a general assembly elected by the people, the typical colonial
form of government. His administration lasted from 1665 to his
death in 1682; and there is nothing very remarkable to record
except the rebellion of the New Englanders, especially those who
had received their land from Nicolls. Such independent
Connecticut people were, of course, quite out of place in a
proprietary colony, and, when in 1670 the first collection of
quitrents was attempted, they broke out in violent opposition, in
which the settlers of Elizabeth were prominent. In 1672 they
elected a revolutionary assembly of their own and, in place of
the deputy governor, appointed as proprietor a natural son of
Carteret. They began imprisoning former officers and confiscating
estates in the most approved revolutionary form and for a time
had the whole government in their control. It required the
interference of the Duke of York, of the proprietors, and of the
British Crown to allay the little tempest, and three years were
given in which to pay the quitrents.

After the death of Sir George Carteret in 1680, his province of
East Jersey was sold to William Penn and eleven other Quakers for
the sum of 3400 pounds. Colonies seem to have been comparatively
inexpensive luxuries in those days. A few years before, in 1675,
Penn and some other Quakers had, as has already been related,
gained control of West Jersey for the still smaller sum of one
thousand pounds and had established it as a Quaker refuge. It
might be supposed that they now had the same purpose in view in
East Jersey, but apparently their intention was to create a
refuge for Presbyterians, the famous Scotch Covenanters, much
persecuted at that time under Charles II, who was forcing them to
conform to the Church of England.

Penn and his fellow proprietors of East Jersey each chose a
partner, most of them Scotchmen, two of whom, the Earl of Perth
and Lord Drummond, were prominent men. To this mixed body of
Quakers, other dissenters, and some Papists, twenty-four
proprietors in all, the Duke of York reconfirmed by special
patent their right to East Jersey. Under their urging a few
Scotch Covenanters began to arrive and seem to have first
established themselves at Perth Amboy, which they named from the
Scottish Earl of Perth and an Indian word meaning "point." This
settlement they expected to become a great commercial port
rivaling New York. Curiously enough, Robert Barclay, the first
governor appointed, was not only a Scotchman but also a Quaker,
and a theologian whose "Apology for the True Christian Divinity"
(1678) is regarded to this day as the best statement of the
original Quaker doctrine. He remained in England, however, and
the deputies whom he sent out to rule the colony had a troublous
time of it.

That Quakers should establish a refuge for Presbyterians seems at
first peculiar, but it was in accord with their general
philanthropic plan to help the oppressed and suffering, to rescue
prisoners and exiles, and especially to ameliorate the horrible
condition of people confined in the English dungeons and prisons.
Many vivid pictures of how the Scotch Covenanters were hunted
down like wild beasts may be found in English histories and
novels. When their lives were spared they often met a fate worse
than death in the loathsome dungeons into which thousands of
Quakers of that time were also thrust. A large part of William
Penn's life as a courtier was spent in rescuing prisoners,
exiles, and condemned persons of all sorts, and not merely those
of his own faith. So the undertaking to make of Jersey two
colonies, one a refuge for Quakers and the other a refuge for
Covenanters, was natural enough, and it was a very broad-minded
plan for that age.

In 1683, a few years after the Quaker control of East Jersey
began, a new and fiercer persecution of the Covenanters was
started in the old country, and shortly afterwards Monmouth's
insurrection in England broke out and was followed by a most
bloody proscription and punishment. The greatest efforts were
made to induce those still untouched to fly for refuge to East
Jersey; but, strange to say, comparatively few of them came. It
is another proof of the sturdiness and devotion which has filled
so many pages of history and romance with their praise that as a
class the Covenanters remained at home to establish their faith
with torture, martyrdom, and death.

In 1685 the Duke of York ascended the throne of England as James
II, and all that was naturally to be expected from such a bigoted
despot was soon realized. The persecutions of the Covenanters
grew worse. Crowded into prisons to die of thirst and
suffocation, shot down on the highways, tied to stakes to be
drowned by the rising tide, the whole Calvinistic population of
Scotland seemed doomed to extermination. Again they were told of
America as the only place where religious liberty was allowed,
and in addition a book was circulated among them called "The
Model of the Government of the Province of East Jersey in
America." These efforts were partially successful. More
Covenanters came than before, but nothing like the numbers of
Quakers that flocked to Pennsylvania. The whole population of
East Jersey--New Englanders, Dutch, Scotch Covenanters, and
all--did not exceed five thousand and possibly was not over four

Some French Huguenots, such as came to many of the English
colonies after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes of 1685,
were added to the East Jersey population. A few went to Salem in
West Jersey, and some of these became Quakers. In both the
Jerseys, as elsewhere, they became prominent and influential in
all spheres of life. There was a decided Dutch influence, it is
said, in the part nearest New York, emanating from the Bergen
settlement in which the Dutch had succeeded in establishing
themselves in 1660 after the Indians had twice driven them from
Pavonia. Many descendants of Dutch families are still found in
that region. Many Dutch characteristics were to be found in that
region throughout colonial times. Many of the houses had Dutch
stoops or porches at the door, with seats where the family and
visitors sat on summer evenings to smoke and gossip. Long Dutch
spouts extended out from the eaves to discharge the rain water
into the street. But the prevailing tone of East Jersey seems to
have been set by the Scotch Presbyterians and the New England
Congregationalists. The College of New Jersey, afterward known as
Princeton, established in 1747, was the result of a movement
among the Presbyterians of East Jersey and New York.

All these elements of East Jersey, Scotch Covenanters,
Connecticut Puritans, Huguenots, and Dutch of the Dutch Reformed
Church, were in a sense different but in reality very much in
accord and congenial in their ideas of religion and politics.
They were all sturdy, freedom-loving Protestants, and they set
the tone that prevails in East Jersey to this day. Their strict
discipline and their uncompromising thrift may now seem narrow
and harsh; but it made them what they were; and it has left a
legacy of order and prosperity under which alien religions and
races are eager to seek protection. In its foundation the Quakers
may claim a share.

The new King, James II, was inclined to reassume jurisdiction and
extend the power of the Governor of New York over East Jersey in
spite of his grant to Sir George Carteret. In fact, he desired to
put New England, New York, and New Jersey under one strong
government centered at New York, to abolish their charters, to
extinguish popular government, and to make them all mere royal
dependencies in pursuance of his general policy of establishing
an absolute monarchy and a papal church in England.

The curse of East Jersey's existence was to be always an
appendage of New York, or to be threatened with that condition.
The inhabitants now had to enter their vessels and pay duties at
New York. Writs were issued by order of the King putting both the
Jerseys and all New England under the New York Governor. Step by
step the plans for amalgamation and despotism moved on
successfully, when suddenly the English Revolution of 1688 put an
end to the whole magnificent scheme, drove the King into exile,
and placed William of Orange on the throne.

The proprietaries of both Jerseys reassumed their former
authority. But the New York Assembly attempted to exercise
control over East Jersey and to levy duties on its exports. The
two provinces were soon on the eve of a little war. For twelve or
fifteen years East Jersey was in disorder, with seditious
meetings, mob rule, judges and sheriffs attacked while performing
their duty, the proprietors claiming quitrents from the people,
the people resisting, and the British Privy Council threatening a
suit to take the province from the proprietors and make a Crown
colony of it. The period is known in the history of this colony
as "The Revolution." Under the threat of the Privy Council to
take over the province, the proprietors of both East and West
Jersey surrendered their rights of political government,
retaining their ownership of land and quitrents, and the two
Jerseys were united under one government in 1702. Its subsequent
history demands another chapter.

Chapter XI. The United Jerseys

The Quaker colonists grouped round Burlington and Salem, on the
Delaware, and the Scotch Covenanters and New England colonists
grouped around Perth Amboy and Newark, near the mouth of the
Hudson, made up the two Jerseys. Neither colony had a numerous
population, and the stretch of country lying between them was
during most of the colonial period a wilderness. It is now
crossed by the railway from Trenton to New York. It has always
been a line of travel from the Delaware to the Hudson. At first
there was only an Indian trail across it, but after 1695 there
was a road, and after 1738 a stage route.

In 1702, while still separated by this wilderness, the two
Jerseys were united politically by the proprietors voluntarily
surrendering all their political rights to the Crown. The
political distinction between East Jersey and West Jersey was
thus abolished; their excellent free constitutions were rendered
of doubtful authority; and from that time to the Revolution they
constituted one colony under the control of a royal governor
appointed by the Crown.

The change was due to the uncertainty and annoyance caused for
their separate governments when their right to govern was in
doubt owing to interference on the part of New York and the
desire of the King to make them a Crown colony. The original
grant of the Duke of York to the proprietors Berkeley and
Carteret had given title to the soil but had been silent as to
the right to govern. The first proprietors and their successors
had always assumed that the right to govern necessarily
accompanied this gift of the land. Such a privilege, however, the
Crown was inclined to doubt. William Penn was careful to avoid
this uncertainty when he received his charter for Pennsylvania.
Profiting by the sad example of the Jerseys, he made sure that he
was given both the title to the soil and the right to govern.

The proprietors, however, now surrendered only their right to
govern the Jerseys and retained their ownership of the land; and
the people always maintained that they, on their part, retained
all the political rights and privileges which had been granted
them by the proprietors. And these rights were important, for the
concessions or constitutions granted by the proprietors under the
advanced Quaker influence of the time were decidedly liberal. The
assemblies, as the legislatures were called, had the right to
meet and adjourn as they pleased, instead of having their
meetings and adjournments dictated by the governor. This was an
important right and one which the Crown and royal governors were
always trying to restrict or destroy, because it made an assembly
very independent. This contest for colonial rights was exactly
similar to the struggle of the English Parliament for liberty
against the supposed right of the Stuart kings to call and
adjourn Parliament as they chose. If the governor could adjourn
the assembly when he pleased, he could force it to pass any laws
he wanted or prevent its passing any laws at all. The two Jersey
assemblies under their Quaker constitutions also had the
privilege of making their own rules of procedure, and they had
jurisdiction over taxes, roads, towns, militia, and all details
of government. These rights of a legislature are familiar enough
now to all. Very few people realize, however, what a struggle and
what sacrifices were required to attain them.

The rest of New Jersey colonial history is made up chiefly of
struggles over these two questions--the rights of the proprietors
and their quitrents as against the people, and the rights of the
new assembly as against the Crown. There were thus three parties,
the governor and his adherents, the proprietors and their
friends, and the assembly and the people. The proprietors had the
best of the change, for they lost only their troublesome
political power and retained their property. They never, however,
received such financial returns from the property as the sons of
William Penn enjoyed from Pennsylvania. But the union of the
Jerseys seriously curtailed the rights enjoyed by the people
under the old government, and all possibility of a Quaker
government in West Jersey was ended. It was this experience in
the Jerseys, no doubt, that caused William Penn to require so
many safeguards in selling his political rights in Pennsylvania
to the Crown that the sale was, fortunately for the colony, never

The assembly under the union met alternately at Perth Amboy and
at Burlington. Lord Cornbury, the first governor, was also
Governor of New York, a humiliating arrangement that led to no
end of trouble. The executive government, the press, and the
judiciary were in the complete control of the Crown and the
Governor, who was instructed to take care that "God Almighty be
duly served according to the rites of the Church of England, and
the traffic in merchantable negroes encouraged." Cornbury
contemptuously ignored the assembly's right to adjourn and kept
adjourning it till one was elected which would pass the laws he
wanted. Afterwards the assemblies were less compliant, and, under
the lead of two able men, Lewis Morris of East Jersey and Samuel
Jennings, a Quaker of West Jersey, they stood up for their rights
and complained to the mother country. But Cornbury went on
fighting them, granted monopolies, established arbitrary fees,
prohibited the proprietors from selling their lands, prevented
three members of the assembly duly elected from being sworn, and
was absent in New York so much of the time that the laws went
unexecuted and convicted murderers wandered about at large. In
short, he went through pretty much the whole list of offenses of
a corrupt and good-for-nothing royal governor of colonial times.
The union of the two colonies consequently seemed to involve no
improvement over former conditions. At last, the protests and
appeals of proprietors and people prevailed, and Cornbury was

Quieter times followed, and in 1738 New Jersey had the
satisfaction of obtaining a governor all her own. The New York
Governor had always neglected Jersey affairs, was difficult of
access, made appointments and administered justice in the
interests of New York, and forced Jersey vessels to pay
registration fees to New York. Amid great rejoicing over the
change, the Crown appointed the popular leader, Lewis Morris, as
governor. But by a strange turn of fate, when once secure in
power, he became a most obstinate upholder of royal prerogative,
worried the assembly with adjournments, and, after Cornbury, was
the most obnoxious of all the royal governors.

The governors now usually made Burlington their capital and it
became, on that account, a place of much show and interest. The
last colonial governor was William Franklin, an illegitimate son
of Benjamin Franklin, and he would probably have made a success
of the office if the Revolution had not stopped him. He had
plenty of ability, affable manners, and was full of humor and
anecdote like his father, whom he is said to have somewhat
resembled. He had combined in youth a fondness for books with a
fondness for adventure, was comptroller of the colonial post
office and clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly, served a couple of
campaigns in the French and Indian Wars, went to England with his
father in 1757, was admitted to the English Bar, attained some
intimacy with the Earl of Bute and Lord Fairfax, and through the
latter obtained the governorship of New Jersey in 1762.

The people were at first much displeased at his appointment and
never entirely got over his illegitimate birth and his turning
from Whig to Tory as soon as his appointment was secured. But he
advanced the interests of the colony with the home government and
favored beneficial legislation. He had an attractive wife, and
they entertained, it is said, with viceregal elegance, and
started a fine model farm or country place on the north shore of
the Rancocas not far from the capital at Burlington. Franklin was
drawing the province together and building it up as a community,
but his extreme loyalist principles in the Revolution destroyed
his chance for popularity and have obscured his reputation.

Though the population of New Jersey was a mixed one, judged by
the very distinct religious differences of colonial times, yet
racially it was thoroughly Anglo-Saxon and a good stock to build
upon. At the time of the Revolution in 1776 the people numbered
only about 120,000, indicating a slow growth; but when the first
census of the United States was taken, in 1790, they numbered

The natural division of the State into North and South Jersey is
marked by a line from Trenton to Jersey City. The people of these
two divisions were quite as distinct in early times as striking
differences in environment and religion could make them. Even in
the inevitable merging of modern life the two regions are still
distinct socially, economically, and intellectually. Along the
dividing line the two types of the population, of course, merged
and here was produced and is still to be found the Jerseyman of
the composite type.

Trenton, the capital of the State, is very properly in the
dividing belt. It was named after William Trent, a Philadelphia
merchant who had been speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly and
who became chief justice of New Jersey. Long ages before white
men came Trenton seems to have been a meeting place and residence
of the Indians or preceding races of stone age men. Antiquarians
have estimated that fifty thousand stone implements have been
found in it. As it was at the head of tidewater, at the so-called
Falls of the Delaware, it was apparently a center of travel and
traffic from other regions. From the top of the bluff below the
modern city of Trenton there was easy access to forests of
chestnut, oak, and pine, with their supplies of game, while the
river and its tributary creeks were full of fish. It was a
pleasant and convenient place where the people of prehistoric
times apparently met and lingered during many centuries without
necessarily having a large resident population at any one time.
Trenton was so obviously convenient and central in colonial times
that it was seriously proposed as a site for the national

Princeton University, though originating, as we have seen, among
the Presbyterians of North Jersey, seems as a higher educational
institution for the whole State to belong naturally in the
dividing belt, the meeting place of the two divisions of the
colony. The college began its existence at Elizabeth, was then
moved to Newark, both in the strongly Presbyterian region, and
finally, in 1757, was established at Princeton, a more suitable
place, it was thought, because far removed from the dissipation
and temptation of towns, and because it was in the center of the
colony on the post road between Philadelphia and New York.
Though chartered as the College of New Jersey, it was often
called Nassau Hall at Princeton or simply "Princeton." In 1896
it became known officially as Princeton University. It was a hard
struggle to found the college with lotteries and petty
subscriptions here and there. But Presbyterians in New York and
other provinces gave aid. Substantial assistance was also
obtained from the Presbyterians of England and Scotland. In the
old pamphlets of the time which have been preserved the founders
of the college argued that higher education was needed not only
for ministers of religion, but for the bench, the bar, and the
legislature. The two New England colleges, Harvard and Yale, on
the north, and the Virginia College of William and Mary on the
south, were too far away. There must be a college close at hand.

At first most of the graduates entered the Presbyterian ministry.
But soon in the short time before the Revolution there were
produced statesmen such as Richard Stockton of New Jersey, who
signed the Declaration of Independence; physicians such as Dr.
Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia; soldiers such as "Light Horse"
Harry Lee of Virginia; as well as founders of other colleges,
governors of States, lawyers, attorney-generals, judges,
congressmen, and indeed a very powerful assemblage of
intellectual lights. Nor should the names of James Madison, Aaron
Burr, and Jonathan Edwards be omitted.

East Jersey with her New England influence attempted something
like free public schools. In West Jersey the Quakers had schools.
In both Jerseys, after 1700 some private neighborhood schools
were started, independent of religious denominations. The West
Jersey Quakers, self-cultured and with a very effective system of
mental discipline and education in their families as well as in
their schools, were not particularly interested in higher
education. But in East Jersey as another evidence of intellectual
awakening in colonial times, Queen's College, afterward known as
Rutgers College, was established by the Dutch Reformed Church in
1766, and was naturally placed, near the old source of Dutch
influence, at New Brunswick in the northerly end of the dividing

New Jersey was fortunate in having no Indian wars in colonial
times, no frontier, no point of hostile contact with the French
of Canada or with the powerful western tribes of red men. Like
Rhode Island in this respect, she was completely shut in by the
other colonies. Once or twice only did bands of savages cross the
Delaware and commit depredations on Jersey soil. This colony,
however, did her part in sending troops and assistance to the
others in the long French and Indian wars; but she had none of
the pressing danger and experience of other colonies. Her people
were never drawn together by a common danger until the

In Jersey colonial homes there was not a single modern
convenience of light, heat, or cooking, and none of the modern
amusements. But there was plenty of good living and simple
diversion--husking bees and shooting in the autumn, skating and
sleighing in the winter. Meetings and discussions in coffeehouses
and inns supplied in those days the place of our modern books,
newspapers, and magazines. Jersey inns were famous meeting
places. Everybody passed through their doors--judges, lawyers,
legislators, politicians, post riders, stage drivers, each
bringing his contribution of information and humor, and the
slaves and rabble stood round to pick up news and see the fun.
The court days in each county were holidays celebrated with games
of quoits, running, jumping, feasting, and discussions political
and social. At the capital there was even style and extravagance.
Governor Belcher, for example, who lived at Burlington, professed
to believe that the Quaker influences of that town were not
strict enough in keeping the Sabbath, so he drove every Sunday in
his coach and four to Philadelphia to worship in the Presbyterian
Church there and saw no inconsistency in his own behavior.

Almanacs furnished much of the reading for the masses. The few
newspapers offered little except the barest chronicle of events.
The books of the upper classes were good though few, and
consisted chiefly of the classics of English literature and books
of information and travel. The diaries and letters of colonial
native Jerseymen, the pamphlets of the time, and John Woolman's
"Journal," all show a good average of education and an excellent
use of the English language. Samuel Smith's "History of the
Colony of Nova-Casaria, or New Jersey," written and printed at
Burlington and published there in the year 1765, is written in a
good and even attractive style, with as intelligent a grasp of
political events as any modern mind could show; the type, paper,
and presswork, too, are excellent. Smith was born and educated in
this same New Jersey town. He became a member of council and
assembly, at one time was treasurer of the province, and his
manuscript historical collections were largely used by Robert
Proud in his "History of Pennsylvania."

The early houses of New Jersey were of heavy timbers covered with
unpainted clapboards, usually one story and a half high, with
immense fireplaces, which, with candles, supplied the light. The
floors were scrubbed hard and sprinkled with the plentiful white
sand. Carpets, except the famous old rag carpets, were very rare.
The old wooden houses have now almost entirely disappeared; but
many of the brick houses which succeeded them are still
preserved. They are of simple well-proportioned architecture, of
a distinctive type, less luxuriant, massive, and exuberant than
those across the river in Pennsylvania, although both evidently
derived from the Christopher Wren school. The old Jersey homes
seem to reflect with great exactness the simple feeling of the
people and to be one expression of the spirit of Jersey

There were no important seats of commerce in this province.
Exports of wheat, provisions, and lumber went to Philadelphia or
New York, which were near and convenient. The Jersey shores near
the mouth of the Hudson and along the Delaware, as at Camden,
presented opportunities for ports, but the proximity to the two
dominating ports prevented the development of additional harbors
in this part of the coast. It was not until after the Revolution
that Camden, opposite Philadelphia, and Jersey City, opposite New
York, grew into anything like their present importance.

There were, however, a number of small ports and shipbuilding
villages in the Jerseys. It is a noticeable fact that in colonial
times and even later there were very few Jersey towns beyond the
head of tidewater. The people, even the farmers, were essentially
maritime. The province showed its natural maritime
characteristics, produced many sailors, and built innumerable
small vessels for the coasting and West India trade--sloops,
schooners, yachts, and sailboats, down to the tiniest gunning
boat and sneak box. Perth Amboy was the principal port and
shipbuilding center for East Jersey as Salem was for West Jersey.
But Burlington, Bordentown, Cape May, and Trenton, and
innumerable little villages up creeks and channels or mere
ditches could not be kept from the prevailing industry. They
built craft up to the limit of size that could be floated away in
the water before their very doors. Plentifully supplied with
excellent oak and pine and with the admirable white cedar of
their own forests, very skillful shipwrights grew up in every
little hamlet.

A large part of the capital used in Jersey shipbuilding is said
to have come from Philadelphia and New York. At first this
capital sought its profit in whaling along the coast and
afterwards in the trade with the West Indies, which for a time
absorbed so much of the shipping of all the colonies in America.
The inlets and beaches along the Jersey coast now given over to
summer resorts were first used for whaling camps or bases. Cape
May and Tuckerton were started and maintained by whaling; and as
late as 1830, it is said, there were still signs of the industry
on Long Beach.

Except for the whaling, the beaches were uninhabited--wild
stretches of sand, swarming with birds and wild fowl, without a
lighthouse or lifesaving station. In the Revolution, when the
British fleet blockaded the Delaware and New York, Little Egg,
the safest of the inlets, was used for evading the blockade.
Vessels entered there and sailed up the Mullica River to the head
of navigation, whence the goods were distributed by wagons. To
conceal their vessels when anchored just inside an inlet, the
privateersmen would stand slim pine trees beside the masts and
thus very effectively concealed the rigging from British cruisers
prowling along the shore.

Along with the whaling industry the risks and seclusion of the
inlets and channels developed a romantic class of gentlemen, as
handy with musket and cutlass as with helm and sheet, fond of
easy, exciting profits, and reaping where they had not sown. They
would start legally enough, for they began as privateersmen under
legal letters of marque in the wars. But the step was a short one
to a traffic still more profitable; and for a hundred years
Jersey customs officers are said to have issued documents which
were ostensibly letters of marque but which really abetted a
piratical cruise. Piracy was, however, in those days a
semi-legitimate offense, winked at by the authorities all through
the colonial period; and respectable people and governors and
officials of New York and North Carolina, it is said, secretly
furnished funds for such expeditions and were interested in the

Chapter XII. Little Delaware

Delaware was the first colony to be established on the river that
bears this name. It went through half a century of experiences
under the Dutch and Swedes from 1609 to 1664, and then eighteen
years under the English rule of the Duke of York, from whom it
passed into the hands of William Penn, the Quaker. The Dutch got
into it by an accident and were regarded by the English as
interlopers. And the Swedes who followed had no better title.

The whole North Atlantic seaboard was claimed by England by
virtue of the discoveries of the Cabots, father and son; but
nearly a hundred years elapsed before England took advantage of
this claim by starting the Virginia colony near the mouth of the
Chesapeake Bay in 1607. And nearly a quarter of a century more
elapsed before Englishmen settled on the shores of Massachusetts
Bay. Those were the two points most accessible to ships and most
favorable for settlement. The middle ground of the Delaware and
Hudson regions was not so easily entered and remained unoccupied.
The mouth of the Delaware was full of shoals and was always
difficult to navigate. The natural harbor at the mouth of the
Hudson was excellent, but the entrance to it was not at first

Into these two regions, however, the Dutch chanced just after the
English had effected the settlement of Jamestown in Virginia. The
Dutch had employed an Englishman named Henry Hudson and sent him
in 1609 in a small ship called the Half Moon to find a passage to
China and India by way of the Arctic Ocean. Turned back by the
ice in the Arctic, he sailed down the coast of North America, and
began exploring the middle ground from the Virginia settlement,
which he seems to have known about; and, working cautiously
northward along the coast and feeling his way with the lead line,
he soon entered Delaware Bay. But finding it very difficult of
navigation he departed and, proceeding in the same careful way up
along the coast of New Jersey, he finally entered the harbor of
New York and sailed up the Hudson far enough to satisfy himself
that it was not the desired course to China.

This exploration gave the Dutch their claim to the Delaware and
Hudson regions. But though it was worthless as against the
English right by discovery of the Cabots, the Dutch went ahead
with their settlement, established their headquarters and seat of
government on Manhattan Island, where New York stands today, and
exercised as much jurisdiction and control as they could on the

Their explorations of the Delaware, feeling their way up it with
small light draft vessels among its shoals and swift tides, their
travels on land--shooting wild turkeys on the site of the present
busy town of Chester--and their adventures with the Indians are
full of interest. The immense quantities of wild fowl and animal
and bird life along the shores astonished them; but what most
aroused their cupidity was the enormous supply of furs,
especially beaver and otter, that could be obtained from the
Indians. Furs became their great, in fact, their only interest in
the Delaware. They established forts, one near Cape Henlopen at
the mouth of the river, calling it Fort Oplandt, and another far
up the river on the Jersey side at the mouth of Timber Creek,
nearly opposite the present site of Philadelphia, and this they
called Fort Nassau. Fort Oplandt was destroyed by the Indians and
its people were massacred. Fort Nassau was probably occupied only
at intervals. These two posts were built mainly to assist the fur
trade, and any attempts at real settlement were slight and

Meantime about the year 1624 the Swedes heard of the wonderful
opportunities on the Delaware. The Swedish monarch, Gustavus
Adolphus, a man of broad ambitions and energetic mind, heard
about the Delaware from Willem Usselinx, a merchant of Antwerp
who had been actively interested in the formation of the Dutch
West India Company to trade in the Dutch possessions in America.
Having quarreled with the directors, Usselinx had withdrawn from
the Netherlands and now offered his services to Sweden. The
Swedish court, nobles, and people, all became enthusiastic about
the project which he elaborated for a great commercial company to
trade and colonize in Asia, Africa, and America.* But the plan
was dropped because, soon after 1630, Gustavus Adolphus led his
country to intervene on the side of the Protestants in the Thirty
Years' War in Germany, where he was killed three years later at 
the battle of Lutzen. But the desire aroused by Usselinx for a 
Swedish colonial empire was revived in the reign of his infant 
daughter, Christina, by the celebrated Swedish Chancellor,

* See "Willem Usselinx," by J. F. Jameson in the "Papers of the
American Historical Association," vol. II.

An expedition, which actually reached the Delaware in 1638, was
sent out under another Dutch renegade, Peter Minuit, who had been
Governor of New Netherland and after being dismissed from office
was now leading this Swedish enterprise to occupy part of the
territory he had formerly governed for the Dutch. His two ships
sailed up the Delaware and with good judgment landed at the
present site of Wilmington. At that point a creek carrying a
depth of over fourteen feet for ten miles from its mouth flowed
into the Delaware. The Dutch had called this creek Minquas, after
the tribe of Indians; the Swedes named it the Christina after
their infant Queen; and in modern times it has been corrupted
into Christiana.

They sailed about two and a half miles through its delta marshes
to some rocks which formed a natural wharf and which still stand
today at the foot of Sixth Street in Wilmington. This was the
Plymouth Rock of Delaware. Level land, marshes, and meadows lay
along the Christina, the remains of the delta which the stream
had formed in the past. On the edge of the delta or moorland,
rocky hills rose, forming the edge of the Piedmont, and out of
them from the north flowed a fine large stream, the Brandywine,
which fell into the Christina just before it entered the
Delaware. Here in the delta their engineer laid out a town,
called Christinaham, and a fort behind the rocks on which they
had landed. A cove in the Christina made a snug anchorage for
their ships, out of the way of the tide. They then bought from
the Indians all the land from Cape Henlopen to the Falls of the
Delaware at Trenton, calling it New Sweden and the Delaware New
Swedeland Stream. The people of Delaware have always regarded New
Sweden as the beginning of their State, and Peter Minuit, the
leader of this Swedish expedition, always stands first on the
published lists of their governors.

On their arrival in the river in the spring of 1638, the Swedes
found no evidences of permanent Dutch colonization. Neither Fort
Oplandt nor Fort Nassau was then occupied. They always maintained
that the Dutch had abandoned the river, and that it was therefore
open to the Swedes for occupation, especially after they had
purchased the Indian title. It was certainly true that the Dutch
efforts to plant colonies in that region had failed; and since
the last attempt by De Vries, six years had elapsed. On the other
hand, the Dutch contended that they had in that time put Fort
Nassau in repair, although they had not occupied it, and that
they kept a few persons living along the Jersey shore of the
river, possibly the remains of the Nassau colony, to watch all
who visited it. These people had immediately notified the Dutch
governor Kieft at New Amsterdam of the arrival of the Swedes, and
he promptly issued a protest against the intrusion. But his
protest was neither very strenuous nor was it followed up by
hostile action, for Sweden and Holland were on friendly terms.
Sweden, the great champion of Protestant Europe, had intervened
in the Thirty Years' War to save the Protestants of Germany. The
Dutch had just finished a similar desperate war of eighty years
for freedom from the papal despotism of Spain. Dutch and Swedes
had, therefore, every reason to be in sympathy with each other.
The Swedes, a plain, strong, industrious people, as William Penn
aptly called them, were soon, however, seriously interfering with
the Dutch fur trade and in the first year, it is said, collected
thirty thousand skins. If this is true, it is an indication of
the immense supply of furbearing animals, especially beaver,
available at that time. For the next twenty-five years Dutch and
Swedes quarreled and sometimes fought over their respective
claims. But it is significant of the difficulty of retaining a
hold on the Delaware region that the Swedish colonists on the
Christina after a year or two regarded themselves as a failure
and were on the point of abandoning their enterprise, when a
vessel, fortunately for them, arrived with cattle, agricultural
tools, and immigrants. It is significant also that the
immigrants, though in a Swedish vessel and under the Swedish
government, were Dutchmen. They formed a sort of separate Dutch
colony under Swedish rule and settled near St. George's and
Appoquinimink. Immigrants apparently were difficult to obtain
among the Swedes, who were not colonizers like the English.

At this very time, in fact, Englishmen, Puritans from
Connecticut, were slipping into the Delaware region under the
leadership of Nathaniel Turner and George Lamberton, and were
buying the land from the Indians. About sixty settled near Salem,
New Jersey, and some on the Schuylkill in Pennsylvania, close to
Fort Nassau--an outrageous piece of audacity, said the Dutch, and
an insult to their "High Mightinesses and the noble Directors of
the West India Company. " So the Schuylkill English were
accordingly driven out, and their houses were burned. The Swedes
afterwards expelled the English from Salem and from the Cohansey,
lower down the Bay. Later the English were allowed to return, but
they seem to have done little except trade for furs and beat off
hostile Indians.

The seat of the Swedish government was moved in 1643 from the
Christina to Tinicum, one of the islands of the Schuylkill delta,
with an excellent harbor in front of it which is now the home of
the yacht clubs of Philadelphia. Here they built a fort of logs,
called Fort Gothenborg, a chapel with a graveyard, and a mansion
house for the governor, and this remained the seat of Swedish
authority as long as they had any on the river. From here
Governor Printz, a portly irascible old soldier, said to have
weighed "upwards of 400 pounds and taken three drinks at every
meal," ruled the river. He built forts on the Schuylkill and
worried the Dutch out of the fur trade. He also built a fort
called Nya Elfsborg, afterward Elsinboro, on the Jersey side
below Salem. By means of this fort he was able to command the
entrance to the river and compelled every Dutch ship to strike
her colors and acknowledge the sovereignty of Sweden. Some he
prevented from going up the river at all; others he allowed to
pass on payment of toll or tribute. He gave orders to destroy
every trading house or fort which the Dutch had built on the
Schuylkill, and to tear down the coat of arms and insignia which
the Dutch had placed on a post on the site of Philadelphia. The
Swedes now also bought from the Indians and claimed the land on
the Jersey side from Cape May up to Raccoon Creek, opposite the
modern Chester.

The best place to trade with the Indians for furs was the
Schuylkill River, which flowed into the Delaware at a point where
Philadelphia was afterwards built. There were at that time Indian
villages where West Philadelphia now stands. The headwaters of
streams flowing into the Schuylkill were only a short distance
from the headwaters of streams flowing into the Susquehanna, so
that the valley of the Schuylkill formed the natural highway into
the interior of Pennsylvania. The route to the Ohio River
followed the Schuylkill for some thirty or forty miles, turned up
one of its tributaries to its source, then crossed the watershed
to the head of a stream flowing into the Susquehanna, thence to
the Juniata, at the head of which the trail led over a short
divide to the head of the Conemaugh, which flowed into the
Allegheny, and the Allegheny into the Ohio. Some of the Swedes
and Dutch appear to have followed this route with the Indians as
early as 1646.

The Ohio and Allegheny region was inhabited by the Black Minquas,
so called from their custom of wearing a black badge on their
breast. The Ohio, indeed, was first called the Black Minquas
River. As the country nearer the Delaware was gradually denuded
of beaver, these Black Minquas became the great source of supply
and carried the furs, over the route described, to the
Schuylkill. The White Minquas lived further east, round
Chesapeake and Delaware bays, and, though spoken of as belonging
by language to the great Iroquois or Six Nation stock, were
themselves conquered and pretty much exterminated by the Six
Nations. The Black Minquas, believed to be the same as the Eries
of the Jesuit Relations, were also practically exterminated by
the Six Nations.*

* Myers, "Narratives of Early Pennsylvania", pp. 103-104.

The furs brought down the Schuylkill were deposited at certain
rocks two or three miles above its mouth at Bartram's Gardens,
now one of the city parks of Philadelphia. On these rocks, then
an island in the Schuylkill, the Swedes built a fort which
completely commanded the river and cut the Dutch off from the fur
trade. They built another fort on the other side of Bartram's
Gardens along the meadow near what is now Gibson's Point; and
Governor Printz had a great mill a couple of miles away on Cobb's
Creek, where the old Blue Bell tavern has long stood. These two
forts protected the mill and the Indian villages in West

One would like to revisit the Delaware of those days and see all
its wild life and game, its islands and shoals, its virgin
forests as they had grown up since the glacial age, untouched by
the civilization of the white man. There were then more islands
in the river, the water was clearer, and there were pretty pebble
and sandy beaches now overlaid by mud brought down from vast
regions of the valley no longer protected by forests from the
wash of the rains. On a wooded island below Salem, long since cut
away by the tides, the pirate Blackhead and his crew are said to
have passed a winter. The waters of the river spread out wide at
every high tide over marshes and meadows, turning them twice a
day for a few hours into lakes, grown up in summer with red and
yellow flowers and the graceful wild oats, or reeds, tasseled
like Indian corn.

At Christinaham, in the delta of the Christina and the
Brandywine, the tide flowed far inland to the rocks on which
Minuit's Swedish expedition landed, leaving one dry spot called
Cherry Island, a name still borne by a shoal in the river. Fort
Christina, on the edge of the overflowed meadow, with the rocky
promontory of hills behind it, its church and houses, and a wide
prospect across the delta and river, was a fair spot in the old
days. The Indians came down the Christina in their canoes or
overland, bringing their packs of beaver, otter, and deer skins,
their tobacco, corn, and venison to exchange for the cloth,
blankets, tools, and gaudy trinkets that pleased them. It must
often have been a scene of strange life and coloring, and it is
difficult today to imagine it all occurring close to the spot
where the Pennsylvania railroad station now stands in Wilmington.

When doughty Peter Stuyvesant became Governor of New Netherland,
he determined to assert Dutch authority once more on the South
River, as the Delaware was called in distinction from the Hudson.
As the Swedes now controlled it by their three forts, not a Dutch
ship could reach Fort Nassau without being held up at Fort
Elfsborg or at Fort Christina or at the fort at Tinicum. It was a
humiliating situation for the haughty spirit of the Dutch
governor. To open the river to Dutch commerce again, Stuyvesant
marched overland in 1651 through the wilderness, with one hundred
and twenty men and, abandoning Fort Nassau, built a new fort on a
fine promontory which then extended far out into the river below
Christina. Today the place is known as New Castle; the Dutch
commonly referred to it as Sandhoeck or Sand Point; the English
called it Grape Vine Point. Stuyvesant named it Fort Casimir.

The tables were now turned: the Dutch could retaliate upon
Swedish shipping. But the Swedes were not so easily to be
dispossessed. Three years later a new Swedish governor named
Rising arrived in the river with a number of immigrants and
soldiers. He sailed straight up to Fort Casimir, took it by
surprise, and ejected the Dutch garrison of about a dozen men. As
the successful coup occurred on Trinity Sunday, the Swedes
renamed the place Fort Trinity.

The whole population--Dutch and Swede, but in 1654 mostly
Swede--numbered only 368 persons. Before the arrival of Rising
there had been only seventy. It seems a very small number about
which to be writing history; but small as it was their "High
Mightinesses," as the government of the United Netherlands was
called, were determined to avenge on even so small a number the
insult of the capture of Fort Casimir.

Drums, it is said, were beaten every day in Holland to call for
recruits to go to America. Gunners, carpenters, and powder were
collected. A ship of war was sent from Holland, accompanied by
two other vessels whose names alone, Great Christopher and King
Solomon, should have been sufficient to scare all the Swedes. At
New Amsterdam, Stuyvesant labored night and day to fit out the
expedition. A French privateer which happened to be in the harbor
was hired. Several other vessels, in all seven ships, and six or
seven hundred men, with a chaplain called Megapolensis, composed
this mighty armament gathered together to drive out the handful
of poor hardworking Swedes. A day of fasting and prayer was held
and the Almighty was implored to bless this mighty expedition
which, He was assured, was undertaken for "the glory of His
name." It was the absurdity of such contrasts as this running all
through the annals of the Dutch in America that inspired
Washington Irving to write his infinitely humorous "History of
New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch
Dynasty," by "Diedrich Knickerbocker." It is difficult for an
Anglo-Saxon to take the Dutch in America seriously. What can you
do with a people whose imagination allowed them to give such
names to their ships as Weigh Scales, Spotted Cow, and The Pear
Tree? So Irving described the taking of Fort Casimir in mock
heroic manner. He describes the marshaling of the Dutch hosts of
New York by families, the Van Grolls of Anthony's Nose, the
Brinkerhoffs, the Van Kortlandts, the Van Bunschotens of Nyack
and Kakiat, the fighting men of Wallabout, the Van Pelts, the Say
Dams, the Van Dams, and all the warriors of Hellgate "clad in
their thunder-and-lightning gaberdines," and lastly the standard
bearers and bodyguards of Peter Stuyvesant, bearing the great
beaver of the Manhattan.

"And now commenced the horrid din, the desperate struggle, the
maddening ferocity, the frantic desperation, the confusion and
self-abandonment of war. Dutchman and Swede commingled, tugged,
panted, and blowed. The heavens were darkened with a tempest of
missives. Bang! went the guns; whack! went the broadswords;
thump! went the cudgels; crash! went the musket-stocks; blows,
kicks, cuffs, scratches, black eyes and bloody noses swelling the
horrors of the scene! Thick, thwack, cut and hack,
helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, hurly-burly, heads-over-heels,
rough-and-tumble! Dunder and blixum! swore the Dutchmen; splitter
and splutter! cried the Swedes. Storm the works! shouted
Hardkoppig Peter. Fire the mine! roared stout
Rising--Tantarar-ra-ra! twanged the trumpet of Antony Van
Corlear;--until all voice and sound became
unintelligible,--grunts of pain, yells of fury, and shouts of
triumph mingling in one hideous clamor. The earth shook as if
struck with a paralytic stroke; trees shrunk aghast, and withered
at the sight; rocks burrowed in the ground like rabbits; and even
Christina creek turned from its course, and ran up a hill in
breathless terror!"

As a matter of fact, the fort surrendered without a fight on
September 1, 1655. It was thereupon christened New Amstel,
afterwards New Castle, and was for a long time the most important
town on the Delaware. This achievement put the Dutch in complete
authority over the Swedes on both sides of the river. The Swedes,
however, were content, abandoned politics, secluded themselves on
their farms, and left politics to the Dutch. Trade, too, they
left to the Dutch, who, in their effort to monopolize it, almost
killed it. This conquest by their High Mightinesses also ended
the attempts of the New Englanders, particularly the people of
New Haven, to get a foothold in the neighborhood of Salem, New
Jersey, for which they had been struggling for years. They had
dreams of a great lake far to northward full of beaver to which
the Delaware would lead them. Their efforts to establish
themselves survived in one or two names of places near Salem, as,
for example, New England Creek, and New England Channel, which
down almost into our own time was found on charts marking one of
the minor channels of the bay along the Jersey shore. They
continued coming to the river in ships to trade in spite of
restrictions by the Dutch; and some of them in later years, as
has been pointed out, secured a foothold on the Cohansey and in
the Cape May region, where their descendants are still to be

Chapter XIII. The English Conquest

It is a curious fact that the ancestor of the numerous Beekman
family in New York, after whom Beekman Street is named, was for a
time one of the Dutch governors on the Delaware who afterwards
became the sheriff of Esopus, New York. His successor on the
Delaware had some thoughts of removing the capital down to Odessa
on the Appoquinimink, when an event long dreaded happened. In
1664, war broke out between England and Holland, long rivals in
trade and commerce, and all the Dutch possessions in the New
World fell an easy prey to English conquerors. A British fleet
took possession of New Amsterdam, which surrendered without a
struggle. But when two British men of war under Sir Robert Carr
appeared before New Amstel on the Delaware, Governor D'Hinoyossa
unwisely resisted; and his untenable fort was quickly subdued by
a few broadsides and a storming party. This opposition gave the
conquering party, according to the custom of the times, the right
to plunder; and it must be confessed that the English soldiers
made full use of their opportunity. They plundered the town and
confiscated the land of prominent citizens for the benefit of the
officers of the expedition.

After the English conquest on the Delaware, not a few of the
Dutch migrated to Maryland, where their descendants, it is said,
are still to be found. Some in later years returned to the
Delaware, where on the whole, notwithstanding the early
confiscations, English rule seemed to promise well. The very
first documents, the terms of surrender both on the Delaware and
on the Hudson, breathed an air of Anglo-Saxon freedom. Everybody
was at liberty to come and go at will. Hollanders could migrate
to the Delaware or to New York as much as before. The Dutch
soldiers in the country, if they wished to remain, were to have
fifty acres of land apiece. This generous settlement seemed in
striking contrast to the pinching, narrow interference with trade
and individual rights, the seizures and confiscations for private
gain, all under pretense of punishment, bad enough on the
Delaware but worse at New Amsterdam, which had characterized the
rule of the Dutch.

The Duke of York, to whom Delaware was given, introduced trial by
jury, settled private titles, and left undisturbed the religion
and local customs of the people. But the political rule of the
Duke was absolute as became a Stuart. He arbitrarily taxed
exports and imports. Executive, judicial, and legislative powers
were all vested in his deputy governor at New York or in
creatures appointed and controlled by him. It was the sort of
government the Duke hoped to impose upon all Great Britain when
he should come to the throne, and he was trying his 'prentice
hand in the colonies. A political rebellion against this
despotism was started on the Delaware by a man named Konigsmarke,
or the Long Finn, aided by an Englishman, Henry Coleman. They
were captured and tried for treason, their property was
confiscated, and the Long Finn branded with the letter R, and
sold as a slave in the Barbados. They might be called the first
martyrs to foreshadow the English Revolution of 1688 which ended
forever the despotic reign of the Stuarts.

The Swedes continued to form the main body of people on the
Delaware under the regime of the Duke of York, and at the time
when William Penn took possession of the country in 1682 their
settlements extended from New Castle up through Christina, Marcus
Hook, Upland (now Chester), Tinicum, Kingsessing in the modern
West Philadelphia, Passyunk, Wicaco, both in modern Philadelphia,
and as far up the river as Frankford and Pennypack. They had
their churches at Christina, Tinicum, Kingsessing, and Wicaco.
The last, when absorbed by Philadelphia, was a pretty little
hamlet on the river shore, its farms belonging to a Swedish
family called Swanson whose name is now borne by one of the
city's streets. Across the river in New Jersey, opposite Chester,
the Swedes had settlements on Raccoon Creek and round Swedesboro.
These river settlements constituted an interesting and from all
accounts a very attractive Scandinavian community. Their
strongest bond of union seems to have been their interest in
their Lutheran churches on the river. They spread very little
into the interior, made few roads, and lived almost exclusively
on the river or on its navigable tributaries. One reason they
gave for this preference was that it was easier to reach the
different churches by boat.

There were only about a thousand Swedes along the Delaware and
possibly five hundred of Dutch and mixed blood, together with a
few English, all living a life of abundance on a fine river amid
pleasing scenery, with good supplies of fish and game, a fertile
soil, and a wilderness of opportunity to the west of them. All
were well pleased to be relieved from the stagnant despotism of
the Duke of York and to take part in the free popular government
of William Penn in Pennsylvania. They became magistrates and
officials, members of the council and of the legislature. They
soon found that all their avenues of trade and life were
quickened. They passed from mere farmers supplying their own
needs to exporters of the products of their farms.

Descendants of the Swedes and Dutch still form the basis of the
population of Delaware.* There were some Finns at Marcus Hook,
which was called Finland; and it may be noted in passing that
there were not a few French among the Dutch, as among the Germans
in Pennsylvania, Huguenots who had fled from religious
persecution in France. The name Jaquette, well known in Delaware,
marks one of these families, whose immigrant ancestor was one of
the Dutch governors. In the ten or dozen generations since the
English conquest intermarriage has in many instances inextricably
mixed up Swede, Dutch, and French, as well as the English stock,
so that many persons with Dutch names are of Swedish or French
descent and vice versa, and some with English names like Oldham
are of Dutch descent. There has been apparently much more
intermarriage among the different nationalities in the province
and less standing aloof than among the alien divisions of

* Swedish names anglicized are now found everywhere. Gostafsson
has become Justison and Justis. Bond has become Boon; Hoppman,
Hoffman; Kalsberg, Colesberry; Wihler, Wheeler; Joccom, Yocum;
Dahlbo, Dalbow; Konigh, King; Kyn, Keen; and so on. Then there
are also such names as Wallraven, Hendrickson, Stedham, Peterson,
Matson, Talley, Anderson, and the omnipresent Rambo, which have
suffered little, if any, change. Dutch names are also numerous,
such as Lockermans, Vandever, Van Dyke, Vangezel, Vandegrift,
Alricks, Statts, Van Zandt, Hyatt, Cochran (originally Kolchman),
Vance, and Blackstone (originally Blackenstein).

After the English conquest some Irish Presbyterians or
Scotch-Irish entered Delaware. Finally came the Quakers,
comparatively few in colonial times but more numerous after the
Revolution, especially in Wilmington and its neighborhood. True
to their characteristics, they left descendants who have become
the most prominent and useful citizens down into our own time. At
present Wilmington has become almost as distinctive a Quaker town
as Philadelphia. "Thee" and "thou" are frequently heard in the
streets, and a surprisingly large proportion of the people of
prominence and importance are Quakers or of Quaker descent. Many
of the neat and pleasant characteristics of the town are
distinctly of Quaker origin; and these characteristics are found
wherever Quaker influence prevails.

Wilmington was founded about 1731 by Thomas Willing, an
Englishman, who had married into the Swedish family of Justison.
He laid out a few streets on his wife's land on the hill behind
the site of old Fort Christina, in close imitation of the plan of
Philadelphia, and from that small beginning the present city
grew, and was at first called Willingtown.* William Shipley, a
Pennsylvania Quaker born in England, bought land in it in 1735,
and having more capital than Willing, pushed the fortunes of the
town more rapidly. He probably had not a little to do with
bringing Quakers to Wilmington; indeed, their first meetings were
held in a house belonging to him until they could build a meeting
house of their own in 1738.

* Some years later in a borough charter granted by Penn, the name
was changed to Wilmington in honor of the Earl of Wilmington.

Both Shipley and Willing had been impressed with the natural
beauty of the situation, the wide view over the level moorland
and green marsh and across the broad river to the Jersey shore,
as well as by the natural conveniences of the place for trade and
commerce. Wilmington has ever since profited by its excellent
situation, with the level moorland for industry, the river for
traffic, and the first terraces or hills of the Piedmont for
residence; and, for scenery, the Brandywine tumbling through
rocks and bowlders in a long series of rapids.

The custom still surviving in Wilmington of punishing certain
classes of criminals by whipping appears to have originated in
the days of Willing and Shipley, about the year 1740, when a
cage, stocks, and whipping-post were erected. They were placed in
the most conspicuous part of the town, and there the culprit, in
addition to his legal punishment, was also disciplined at the
discretion of passers-by with rotten eggs and other equally
potent encouragements to reform. These gratuitous inflictions,
not mentioned in the statute, as well as the public exhibition of
the prisoner were abolished in later times and in this modified
form the method of correction was extended to the two other
counties. Sometimes a cat-o'nine-tails was used, sometimes a
rawhide whip, and sometimes a switch cut from a tree. Nowadays,
however, all the whipping for the State is done in Wilmington,
where all prisoners sentenced to whipping in the State are sent.
This punishment is found to be so efficacious that its infliction
a second time on the same person is exceedingly rare.

The most striking relic of the old Swedish days in Wilmington is
the brick and stone church of good proportions and no small
beauty, and today one of the very ancient relics of America. It
was built by the Swedes in 1698 to replace their old wooden
church, which was on the lower land, and the Swedish language was
used in the services down to the year 1800, when the building was
turned over to the Church of England. Old Peter Minuit, the first
Swedish governor, may possibly have been buried there. The Swedes
built another pretty chapel--Gloria Dei, as it was called--at the
village of Wicaco, on the shore of the Delaware where
Philadelphia afterwards was established. The original building
was taken down in 1700, and the present one was erected on its
site partly with materials from the church at Tinicum. It
remained Swedish Lutheran until 1831, when, like all the Swedish
chapels, it became the property of the Church of England, between
which and the Swedish Lutheran body there was a close affinity,
if not in doctrine, at least in episcopal organization.* The old
brick church dating from 1740, on the main street of Wilmington,
is an interesting relic of the colonial Scotch-Irish
Presbyterians in Delaware, and is now carefully preserved as the
home of the Historical Society.

* Clay's "Annals of the Swedes", pp. 143, 153-4.

After Delaware had been eighteen years under the Duke of York,
William Penn felt a need of the west side of the river all the
way down to the sea to strengthen his ownership of Pennsylvania.
He also wanted to offset the ambitions of Lord Baltimore to
extend Maryland northward. Penn accordingly persuaded his friend
James, the Duke of York, to give him a grant of Delaware, which
Penn thereupon annexed to Pennsylvania under the name of the
Territories or Three Lower Counties. The three counties, New
Castle, Kent, and Sussex,* are still the counties of Delaware,
each one extending across the State and filling its whole length
from the hills of the Brandywine on the Pennsylvania border to
the sands of Sussex at Cape Henlopen. The term "Territory" has
ever since been used in America to describe an outlying province
not yet given the privileges of a State. Instead of townships,
the three Delaware counties were divided into "hundreds," an old
Anglo-Saxon county method of division going back beyond the times
of Alfred the Great. Delaware is the only State in the Union that
retains this name for county divisions. The Three Lower Counties
were allowed to send representatives to the Pennsylvania
Assembly; and the Quakers of Delaware have always been part of
the Yearly Meeting in Philadelphia.

* The original names were New Castle, Jones's, and Hoerekill, as
it was called by the Dutch, or Deal.

In 1703, after having been a part of Pennsylvania for twenty
years, the Three Lower Counties were given home rule and a
legislature of their own; but they remained under the Governor of
Pennsylvania until the Revolution of 1776. They then became an
entirely separate community and one of the thirteen original
States. Delaware was the first State to adopt the National
Constitution, and Rhode Island, its fellow small State, the last.
Having been first to adopt the Constitution, the people of
Delaware claim that on all national occasions or ceremonies they
are entitled to the privilege of precedence. They have every
reason to be proud of the representative men they sent to the
Continental Congress, and to the Senate in later times.
Agriculture has, of course, always been the principal occupation
on the level fertile land of Delaware; and it is agriculture of a
high class, for the soil, especially in certain localities, is
particularly adapted to wheat, corn, and timothy grass, as well
as small fruits. That section of land crossing the State in the
region of Delaware City and Middleton is one of the show regions
in America, for crops of wheat and corn. Farther south, grain
growing is combined with small fruits and vegetables with a
success seldom attained elsewhere. Agriculturally there is no
division of land of similar size quite equal to Delaware in
fertility. Its sand and gravel base with vegetable mold above is
somewhat like the southern Jersey formation, but it is more
productive from having a larger deposit of decayed vegetation.

The people of Delaware have, indeed, very little land that is not
tillable. The problems of poverty, crowding, great cities, and
excessive wealth in few hands are practically unknown among them.
The foreign commerce of Wilmington began in 1740 with the
building of a brig named after the town, and was continued
successfully for a hundred years. At Wilmington there has always
been a strong manufacturing interest, beginning with the famous
colonial flour mills at the falls of the Brandywine, and the
breadstuffs industry at Newport on the Christina. With the
Brandywine so admirably suited to the water-power machinery of
those days and the Christina deep enough for the ships,
Wilmington seemed in colonial times to possess an ideal
combination of advantages for manufacturing and commerce. The
flour mills were followed in 1802 by the Du Pont Powder Works,
which are known all over the world, and which furnished powder
for all American wars since the Revolution, for the Crimean War
in Europe, and for the Allies in the Great War.

"From the hills of Brandywine to the sands of Sussex" is an
expression the people of Delaware use to indicate the whole
length of their little State. The beautiful cluster of hills at
the northern end dropping into park-like pastures along the
shores of the rippling Red Clay and White Clay creeks which form
the deep Christina with its border of green reedy marshes, is in
striking contrast to the wild waste of sands at Cape Henlopen.
Yet in one way the Brandywine Hills are closely connected with
those sands, for from these very hills have been quarried the
hard rocks for the great breakwater at the Cape, behind which the
fleets of merchant vessels take refuge in storms.

The great sand dunes behind the lighthouse at the cape have their
equal nowhere else on the coast. Blown by the ocean winds, the
dunes work inland, overwhelming a pine forest to the tree tops
and filling swamps in their course. The beach is strewn with
every type of wreckage of man's vain attempts to conquer the sea.
The Life Saving Service men have strange tales to tell and show
their collections of coins found along the sand. The old pilots
live snugly in their neat houses in Pilot Row, waiting their
turns to take the great ships up through the shoals and sands
which were so baffling to Henry Hudson and his mate one hot
day of the year 1609.

The Indians of the northern part of Delaware are said to have
been mostly Minquas who lived along the Christiana and
Brandywine, and are supposed to have had a fort on Iron Hill. The
rest of the State was inhabited by the Nanticokes, who extended
their habitations far down the peninsula, where a river is named
after them. They were a division or clan of the Delawares or Leni
Lenapes. In the early days they gave some trouble; but shortly
before the Revolution all left the peninsula in strange and
dramatic fashion. Digging up the bones of their dead chiefs in
1748, they bore them away to new abodes in the Wyoming Valley of
Pennsylvania. Some appear to have traveled by land up the
Delaware to the Lehigh, which they followed to its source not far
from the Wyoming Valley. Others went in canoes, starting far down
the peninsula at the Nanticoke River and following along the wild
shore of the Chesapeake to the Susquehanna, up which they went by
its eastern branch straight into the Wyoming Valley. It was a
grand canoe trip--a weird procession of tawny, black-haired
fellows swinging their paddles day after day, with their freight
of ancient bones, leaving the sunny fishing grounds of the
Nanticoke and the Choptank to seek a refuge from the detested
white man in the cold mountains of Pennsylvania.


A large part of the material for the early history of
Pennsylvania is contained of course in the writings and papers of
the founder. The "Life of William Penn" by S. M. Janney (1852) is
perhaps the most trustworthy of the older biographies but it is a
dull book. A biography written with a modern point of view is
"The True William Penn" by Sydney G. Fisher (1900). Mrs.
Colquhoun Grant, a descendant of Penn has published a book with
the title "Quaker and Courtier: the Life and Work of William
Penn" (1907). The manuscript papers of Penn now in the possession
of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, together with much new
material gathered in England, are soon to be published under the
able editorship of Albert Cook Myers.

There is a vast literature on the history of Quakerism. The
"Journal of George Fox" (1694), Penn's "Brief Account of the Rise
and Progress of the People called Quakers" (1695), and Robert
Barclay's "Apology for the True Christian Divinity" (1678) are of
first importance for the study of the rise of the Society of
Friends. Among the older histories are J.J. Gurney's
"Observations on the Religious Peculiarities of the Society of
Friends" (1824), James Bowden's "History of the Society of
Friends in America," 2 vols. (1850-54), and S.M. Janney's
"History of the Religious Society of Friends," 4 vols. (1860-67).
Two recent histories are of great value: W. C. Braithwaite, "The
Beginnings of Quakerism" (1912) and Rufus M. Jones, "The Quakers
in the American Colonies" (1911). Among the older histories of
Penn's province are "The History of Pennsylvania in North
America," 2 vols. (1797-98), written by Robert Proud from the
Quaker point of view and of great value because of the quotations
from original documents and letters, and "History of Pennsylvania
from its Discovery by Europeans to the Declaration of
Independence in 1776" (1829) by T. F. Gordon, largely an epitome
of the debates of the Pennsylvania Assembly which recorded in its
minutes in fascinating old-fashioned English the whole history of
the province from year to year. Franklin's "Historical Review of
the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania from its Origin"
(1759) is a storehouse of information about the history of the
province in the French and Indian wars. Much of the history of
the province is to be found in the letters of Penn, Franklin,
Logan, and Lloyd, and in such collections as Samuel Hazard's
"Register of Pennsylvania," 16 vols. (1828-36), "Colonial
Records," 16 vols. (1851-53), and "Pennsylvania Archives"
(1874-). A vast amount of material is scattered in pamphlets, in
files of colonial newspapers like the "Pennsylvania Gazette," in
the publications of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and
in the "Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography" (1877-).
Recent histories of the province have been written by Isaac
Sharpless, "History of Quaker Government in Pennsylvania," 2
vols. (1898-99), and by Sydney G. Fisher, "The Making of
Pennsylvania" (1896) and "Pennsylvania, Colony and Commonwealth"
(1897). A scholarly "History of Proprietary Government in
Pennsylvania" has been published by William R. Shepherd in the
Columbia University Studies" (1896) and the "Relations of
Pennsylvania with the British Government, 1696-1765" (1912) have
been traced with painstaking care by Winfred T. Root.

Concerning the racial and religious elements in Pennsylvania the
following books contribute much valuable information: A. B.
Faust, "The German Element in the United States," 2 vols. (1909);
A. C. Myers, "Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania,
1682-1750" (1909); S. W. Pennypacker, "Settlement of Germantown,
Pennsylvania, and the Beginning of German Immigration to North
America" (1899); J. F. Sachse, "The German Pietists of Provincial
Pennsylvania, 1694-1708" (1895), and "The German Sectarians of
Pennsylvania, 1708-1800," 2 vols. (1899-1900); L. O. Kuhns, "The
German and Swiss Settlements of Colonial Pennsylvania"(1901); H.
J. Ford, "The Scotch-Irish in America" (1915); T. A. Glenn,
"Merion in the Welsh Tract" (1896).

The older histories of New Jersey, like those of Pennsylvania,
contain valuable original material not found elsewhere. Among
these Samuel Smith's "The History of the Colony of Nova Casaria,
or New Jersey" (1765) should have first place. E. B.
O'Callaghan's "History of New Netherland," 2 vols. (1846), and J.
R. Brodhead's "History of the State of New York," 2 vols. (1853,
1871) contain also information about the Jerseys under Dutch
rule. Other important works are: W. A. Whitehead's "East Jersey
under the Proprietary Governments" (New Jersey Historical Society
"Collections," vol.1, 1875), and "The English in East and West
Jersey" in Winsor's "Narrative and Critical History of America,"
vol. III, L. Q. C. Elmer's "The Constitution and Government of
the Province and State of New Jersey" (New Jersey Historical
Society Collections, vols. III and VII, 1849 and 1872. Special
studies have been made by Austin Scott, "Influence of the
Proprietors in the Founding of New Jersey" (1885), and by H. S.
Cooley, "Study of Slavery in New Jersey" (1896), both in the
Johns Hopkins University "Studies;" also by E. P. Tanner, "The
Province of New Jersey" (1908) and by E. J. Fisher, "New Jersey
as a Royal Province, 1738-1776" (1911) in the Columbia University
"Studies." Several county histories yield excellent material
concerning the life and times of the colonists, notably Isaac
Mickle's "Reminiscences of Old Gloucester" (1845) and L. T.
Stevens's "The History of Cape May County" (1897) which are real
histories written in scholarly fashion and not to be confused
with the vulgar county histories gotten up to sell.

The Dutch and Swedish occupation of the lands bordering on the
Delaware may be followed in the following histories: Benjamin
Ferris, "A History of the Original Settlements of the Delaware"
(1846); Francis Vincent, "A History of the State of Delaware"
(1870); J. T. Scharf, "History of Delaware, 1609-1888," 2 vols.
(1888); Karl K. S. Sprinchorn, Kolonien Nya Sveriges Historia
(1878), translated in the "Pennsylvania Magazine of History and
Biography," vols. VII and VIII. In volume IV of Winsor's
"Narrative and Critical History of America" is a chapter
contributed by G. B. Keen on "New Sweden, or The Swedes on the
Delaware." The most recent minute work on the subject is "The
Swedish Settlements on the Delaware," 2 vols. (1911) by Amandus