Charter Of Pennsylvania [March 4-14, 1680] - History

Charter Of Pennsylvania [March 4-14, 1680] - History

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AN ACT for the incouragement of the Greeneland and Eastland Trades, and for the better secureing the Plantation Trade.

[V.] AND whereas by ... [the Navigation Act of I660] .... and by severall other Lawes passed since that time it is permitted to shipp, carry, convey and transport Sugar, Tobacco, Cotton~~wooll, Indicoe, Ginger, Fusticke and all other Dying wood of the Growth, Production and Manufacture of any of your Majestyes Plantations in America, Asia or Africa from the places of their Growth Production and Manufacture to any other of your Majestyes Plantations in those Parts (Tangier onely excepted) and that without paying of Custome for the same either at ladeing or unladeing of the said Commodityes by meanes whereof the Trade and Navigation in those Commodityes from one Plantation to another is greatly increased, and the Inhabitants of diverse of those Colonies not contenting themselves with being supplyed with those Commodities for their owne use free from all Customes (while the Subjects of this your Kingdome of England have paid great Customes and Impositions for what of them hath been pent here) but contrary to the expresse Letter of the aforesaid lawes have brought into diverse parts of Europe great quantitie thereof, and doe alsoe [dayly ] vend great quantities thereof to the shipping of other Nations who bring them into diverse part of Europe to the great hurt and diminution of your Majestyes Customes and of the Trade and Navigation of this your King dome; For the prevention thereof . bee it enacted . Tha from and after . [September I, I673,] . If any Shipp or Vessell which by Law may trade in any of your Majesties Plantations shall come to any of them to shipp and take on board ant of the aforesaid Commodities, and that Bond shall not be first given with one sufficient Surety to bring the same to England or Wales or the Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede and to noe other place, and there to unloade and putt the same on shoare (the danger of the Seas onely excepted) that there shall be . paid to your Majestie . for soe much of the said Commodities as shall be laded and putt on board such Shipp or Vessell these following Rates and Dutyes, That is to say

For Sugar White the hundred Weight containing one hundred and twelve pounds five shillings;
And Browne Sugar and Muscavadoes the hundred weight containing one hundred and twelve pounds one shilling [and] six pence;
For Tobacco the pound one penny;
For Cotton-wooll the pound one halfepenny;
For Indicoe the pound, two pence;
For Ginger the hundred Weight containing one hundred and twelve pounds one shilling;
For Logwood the hundred Weight containing one hundred and twelve pounds, five pounds,
For Fusticke and all other Dying-wood the hundred Weight containing one hundred and twelve pounds six pence;
And alsoe for every pound of Cacao-nutts one penny . .

Charter Of Pennsylvania [March 4-14, 1680] - History

[Charles the Second by the Grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland Defender of the Faith &c To our Right Trusty and Welbeloved Chancellor Heneage Lord Finch our Chancellor of England greeting Wee will and comand you that under our Great Seale of England remaining in your Custody you cause our Letters to be made Forth patents in form following] (2)

CHARLES the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all whom these presents shall come, Greets. WHEREAS Our Trustie and wellbeloved Subject WILLIAM PENN, Esquire, Sonne and heire of Sir WILLIAM PENN deceased, out of a commendable Desire to enlarge our English Empire, and promote such usefull comodities as may bee of Benefit to us and Our Dominions, as also to reduce the savage Natives by gentle and just mamlers to the Love of Civil Societie and Christian Religion, hath humbley besought Leave of Us to transport an ample Colonie unto a certaine Countrey hereinafter described. in the Partes of America not yet cultivated and planted And hath likewise humbley besought Our Royall Majestie to Give, Grant, and Confirme all the said Countrey, with certaine Privileges and Jurisdictions, requisite for the good Government and Safetie of the said Countrey and Colonie, to him and his Heires forever: KNOW YE THEREFORE, That Wee, favouring the Petition and good Purpose of the said William Penn, and haveing Regard to the Memorie and Meritts of his late Father in divers Services, and perticulerlv to his Conduct, Courage, and Discretion under our Dearest Brother JAMES Duke of York, in that Signall Battell and Victorie fought and obteyned against the Dutch Fleete, command by the Heer Van Opdam, in the yeare One thousand six hundred and sixty-five: In consideration thereof, of Our Speciale grace, certaine Knowledge, and meere Motion have Given and Granted, and by this Our present Charter, for Us, Our Heires and Successors, Doe give and Grant unto the said William Penn, his Heires and Assignes, all that Tract or Parte of Land in America, with all the Islands therein conteyned, as the same is bounded on the East by Delaware River, from twelve miles distance Northwards of New Castle Towne unto the three and fortieth degree of Northerne Latitude, if the said River doeth extende so farre Northwards But if the said River shall not extend soe farre Northward, then by the said River soe farr as it doth extend and from the head of the said River, the Easterne Bounds are to bee determined by a Meridian Line, to bee drawne from the head of the said River, unto the said three and fortieth Degree. The said Lands to extend westwards five degrees in longitude, to bee computed from the said Easterne Bounds and the said I,ands to bee bounded on the North by the beginning of the three and fortieth degree of Northern Latitude, and on the South by a Circle drawne at twelve miles distance from New Castle Northward and Westward unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of Northern Latitude, and then by a streight Line Westward to the Limitt of Longitude above-mentioned. WEE do also give and grant unto the said Willaim Penn, his heires and assignee, the free and undisturbed use and continuance in, and passage into and out of all and singuler Ports, Harbours, Bays, Waters, Rivers, Isles, and Inletts, belonging unto, or leading to and from the Countrey or Islands aforesaid, And all the Soyle, lands, fields, woods, underwoods, mountaines, hills, fenns, Isles, Lakes, Rivers, waters, Rivuletts, Bays, and Inletts, scituate or being within, or belonging unto the Limitts and Bounds aforesaid, togeather with the fishing of all sortes of fish, whales, Sturgeons, and all Royall and other Fishes, in the Sea, Bayes, Inletts, waters, or Rivers within the premisses, and the Fish therein taken And also all Veines, Mines, and Quarries as well discovered as not discovered, of Gold, Silver, Gemms, and Pretious Stones, and all other whatsoever, be it Stones, Mettals, or of any other thing or matter whatsoever, found or to bee found within the Countrey, Isles, or Limitts aforesaid AND him, the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, Wee doe by this Our Royall Charter, for Ifs, Our heires and Successors, make, create, and constitute the true and absolute Proprietarie of the Countrey aforesaid, and of all other the premisses, Saving alwayes to Us, Our heires and Successors, the Faith and Allegiance of the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, and of all other Proprietaries, Tenants, and Inhabitants that are or shall be within the Territories and Precincts aforesaid and Saving also, unto Us, Our heires and Successors, the Sovereignty of the aforesaid Countrey To HAVE, hold, possess, and enjoy the said Tract of Land, Countrey, Isles, Inletts, and other the premisses unto the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, to the only Proper use and behoofe of the said William Penn, his heires and assignee for ever, to bee holden of Us, Our heires and Successors, Kings of England, as of Our Castle of Windsor in Our County of Berks, in free and comon Socage, by fealty only for all Services, and not in Capite or by Knights Service: Yielding and paying therefore to Ifs, Our heires and Successors, Two Beaver Skins, to bee delivered at Our said Castle of Windsor on the First Day of January in every Year and also the Fifth Part of all Gold and Silver Oare, which shall from Time to Time happen to bee found within the Limitts aforesaid, cleare of all Charges. And of Our further Grace, certaine Knowledge, and meer motion, We have thought fitt to erect and We doe hereby erect the aforesaid Countrey and Islands into a Province and Seigniorie, and doe call itt PENSILVANIA, and soe from henceforth we will have itt called.

AND forasmuch as Wee have hereby made and ordained the aforesaid William Penn, his heires and assignee, the true and absolute Proprietaries of all the Lands and Dominions aforesaid, KNOW YE THEREFORE, That We reposing speciall trust and Confidence in the fidelitie, wisedom, Justice, and provident circumspection of the said William Penn for us, our heires and Successors, Doe grant free, full, and absolute power by vertue of these presents to him and his heires, and to his and their Deputies, and Lieutenants, for the good and happy government of the said countrey, to ordeyne, make, and enact and under his and their Seales to publish any Lawes whatsoever, for the raising of money for the publick use of the said Province, or for any other End, apperteyning either unto the publick state, peace, or safety of the said Countrey, or unto the private utility of perticular persons, according unto their best discretions, by and with the advice, assent, and approbation of the Freemen of the said Countrey, or the greater parse of them, or of their Delegates or Deputies, whom for the Enacting of the said Lawes, when, and as often as need shall require, Wee will that the said William Penn and his heires, shall assemble in such sort and forme, as to him and them shall seeme best, and the same Lawes duly to execute, unto and upon all People within the said Countrey and the Limitts thereof.

AND wee doe likewise give and grant unto the said William Penn, and his heires, and to his and their Deputies and Lieutenants, full power and authoritie to appoint and establish any Judges and Justices, Magistrates and Officers whatsoever, for what Causes soever for the probates of wills, and for the granting of Administrations within the precincts aforesaid and with what Power soever, and in such forme as to the said William Penn or his heires shall seeme most convenient: Also to remits, release, pardon, and abolish whether before Judgement or after all Crimes and Of I ences whatsoever comitted within the said Countrey against the said Lawes, Treason and wilful and malitious Murder onely excepted, and in those Cases to grant Reprieves, until Our pleasure may bee known therein and to doe all and every other thing and things, which unto the compleate Establishment of Justice, unto Courts and Tribunalls, formes of Judicature, and manner of Proceedings doe belong, altho in these presents expresse mention bee not made thereof, And by Judges by them delegated, to award Processe, hold Pleas, and determine in all the said Courts and Tribunalls all Actions, Suits, and Causes whatsoever, as well Criminall as Civill, Personall, reall and mixt which Lawes soe as aforesaid to bee published, Our Pleasure is, and soe Wee enjoyne, require, and command, shall bee most absolute and avaylable in law and that all the Liege People and subjects of Us, Our heires and Successors, doe observe and keepe the same inviolabl in those parses, soe farr as they concerne them under the paine therein expressed, or to bee expressed. PROVIDED nevertheles, That the said Lawes bee consonant to reason, and bee not repugnant or contrarie, but as neare as conveniently may bee agreeable to the Lawes and Statutes, and rights of this Our Kingdome of England And Saving and reserving to Us, Our heires and Successors, the receiving, heareing, and determining of the appeale and appeales of all or any Person or Persons, of, in, or belonging to the Territories aforesaid, or touching any Judgement to bee there made or given.

AND forasmuch as in the Government of soe great a Countrey, sudden Accidents doe often happen, whereunto itt will bee necessarie to apply remedie before the Freeholders of the said Province, or their Delegates or Deputies, can bee assembled to the making of Lawes neither will itt bee convenient that instantly upon every such emergent occasion, soe grease a multitude should be called together: Therefore for the better Government of the said Countrey Wee will, and ordaine, and by these presents, for us, our Heires and successors, Doe Grant unto the said William Penn and his heires, by themselves or by their Magistrates and Officers, in that behalfe duely to bee ordeyned as aforesaid, to make and constitute fitt and wholesome Ordinances, from time to time, within the said Countrey to bee kept and observed, as well for the preservation of the peace, as for the better government of the People there inhabiting and publickly to notifie the same to all persons, whome the same doeth or anyway may concerne. Which ordinances, Our Will and Pleasure is shall bee observed inviolably within the said Province, under Paines therein to be expressed, soe as the said Ordinances bee consonant to reason, and bee not repugnant nor contrary, but soe farre as conveniently may bee agreeable with the Lawes of our Kingdome of England, and soe as the said Ordinances be not extended in any Sort to bind, charge, or take away the right or Interest of any person or persons, for or in their Life, members, Freehold, goods, or Chattles. And our further will and pleasure is, that the Lawes for regulateing and governing of Propertie within the said Province, as well for the descent and enjoyment of lands as likewise for the enjoyment and succession of goods and Chattles, and likewise as to Felonies, shall bee and continue the same, as they shall bee for the time being by the generall course of the Law in our Kingdome of England, untill the said Lawes shall bee altered by the said William Penn, his heires or assignee, and by the Freemen of the said Province, their Delegates or Deputies, or the greater Part of them.

AND to the End the said William Penn, or his heires, or other the Planters, Owners, or Inhabitants of the said Province, may not att any time hereafter by misconstruction of the powers aforesaid through inadvertencie or designe depart from that Faith and due allegiance, which by the lawes of this our Kingdom of England they and all our subjects, in our Dominions and Territories, alwayes owe unto us, Our heires and Successors, by colour of any Extent or largnesse of powers hereby given, or pretended to bee given, or by force or colour of any lawes hereafter to bee made in the said Province, by vertue of any such Powers Our further will and Pleasure is, that a transcript or Duplicate of all Lawes, which shall bee soe as aforesaid made and published within the said Province, shall within five yeares after the makeing thereof, be transmitted and delivered to the Privy Councell, for the time being, of us, our heires and successors: And if any of the said Lawes, within the space of six moneths after that they shall be soe transmitted and delivered, bee declared by us, Our heires or Successors, in Our or their Privy C)olmcell, inconsistent with the Sovereigntey or lawful Prerogative of us, our heires or Successors, or contrary to the Faith and Allegiance due by the legall government of this Realme, from the said William Penn, or his heires, or of the Planters and Inhabitants of the said Province, and that thereupon any of the said Lawes shall bee adjudged and declared to bee void by us, our heires or Successors, under our or their Privy Seale, that then and from thenceforth, such Lawes, concerning which such Judgement and declaration shall bee made, shall become voyd: Otherwise the said Lawes soe transmitted, shall remains, and stand in full force, according to the true intent and meaneing thereof.

FURTHERMORE, that this new Colony may the more happily increase, by the multitude of People resorting thither Therefore wee for us, our heirs and Successors, doe Rive and grant by these presents power, Licence, and Libertie unto ail the Liege People and Subjects, both present and future, of us, our heires, and Successors, excepting those who shall bee Specially forbidden to transport themselves and Families unto the said Countrey, with such convenient Shipping as by the lawes of this our Kingdome of England they ought to use, with fitting provisions, paying only the customes therefore due, and there to settle themselves, dwell and inhabitt, and plant, for the publick and their owne private advantage.

AND FURTHERMORE, that our Subjects may bee the rather encouraged to undertake this expedicion with ready and cheerful minces, KNOW YE, That wee, of Our especial! grace, certaine knowledge, and meere motion, Doe Give and Grant by vertue of these presents, as well unto the said William Penn, and his heires, as to all others, who shall from time to time repaire unto the said Countrey, with a purpose to inhabitt there, or trade with the Natives of the said Countrey, full Licence to lade and freight in any ports whatsoever, of us, our heires and Successors, according to the lawes made or to be made within our Kingdome of England, and into the said Countrey, by them, theire Servants or assignee, to transport all and singular theire wares, goods, and Merchandizes, as likewise all sorts of graine whatsoever, and all other things whatsoever, necessary for food or cloathing, not prohibited by the Lawes and Statutes of our Kingdomes and Dominiones to be carryed out of the said Kingdomes, without any Lett or molestation of us, our heires and Successors, or of any of the Officers of us, our heires and Successors saveing alwayes to us, our heires and Successors, the legall impositions, customer, and other Duties and payments, for the said Wares and Merchandize, by any Law or Statute due or to be due to us, our heires and Successors.

AND Wee doe further, for us, our heires and Successors, Give and grant unto the said William, Penn, his heires and assignee, free and absolute power, to Divide the said Countrey and Islands into Townes, Hundreds and Counties, and to erect and incorporate Townes into Borroughs, and Borroughs into Citties, and to make and constitute faires and Marketts therein, with all other convenient priviledges and immunities, according to the merits of the inhabitants, and the Tithes of the places, and to doe all and every other thing and things touching the premisses, which to him OI them shall seeme meet and requisite, albeit they be such as of their owne nature might otherwise require a more especiall comandment and Warrant then in these presents is expressed.

WE Will alsoe, and by these presents, for us, our heires and Successors, Wee doe Give and grant Licence by this our Charter, unto the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, and to all the inhabitants and dwellers in the Province aforesaid, both present and to come, to import or unlace, by them

selves or theire Servants, ffactors or assignee, all merchandises and goods whatsoever, that shall arise of the fruites and comodities of the said Province, either by Land or Sea, into any of the ports of us, our heires and successors, in our Kingdome of England, and not into any other Countrey whatsoever: And wee give him full power to dispose of the said goods in the said ports and if need bee, within one yeare next after the unladeing of the same, to lade the said Merchandizes and Goods again into the same or other sllipps, and to export the same into any other Countreys, either of our Dominions or fforeigne, according to Lawe: Provided alwayes, that they pay such customer and impositions, subsidies and duties for the same, to US, our heires and Successors, as the rest of our Subjects of our Kingdom of England, for the time being, shall be bound to pay, and doe observe the Acts of Navigation, and other Lawes in that behalfe made.

AND FURTHERMORE Of OUR most ample and esspeciall grace, certaine knowledge, and meere motion, Wee doe, for us, our heires and Suceessors, Grant unto the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, full and absolute power and authoritie to make, erect, and constitute within the said Province and the Isles and Islets aforesaid, such and soe many Sea-ports, harbours, Creeks, Havens, Keyes, and other places, for discharge and unladeing of goods and Merchandizes, out of the shipps, Boates, and other Vessells, and ladeing them in such and soe many Places, and with such rights, Jurisdictions, liberties and priviledges unto the said ports belonging, as to him or them shall seeme most expedient and that all and singuler the shipps, boater, and other Vessells, which shall come for merchandise and trade unto the said Province, or out of the same shall depart, shall be laden or unladen onely at such Ports as shall be erected and constituted by the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, any use, custome, or other thing to the contrary notwithstanding. Provided, that the said William, Penn and his heires, and the Lieutenants and Governors for the time being, shall admits and receive in and about all such Ports, Havens, Creeks, and Keyes, all Officers and their Deputies, who shall from time to time be appointed for that Purpose by the Farmers or Commissioners of our Customes for the time being.

AND Wee doe further appoint and ordaine, and by these presents, for us, our heires and Successors, Wee doe grant unto the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, That he, the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, may from time to time for ever, have and enjoy the Customes and Subsidies, in the Fortes, Harbours, and other Creeks and Places aforesaid, within the Province aforesaid, payable or due for merchandises and wares there to be laded and unjaded, the said Customes and Subsidies to be reasonably assessed upon any occasion, by themselves and the People there as aforesaid to be assembled, to whom wee give power by these presents, for us, our heires and Successors, upon just cause and in dudue p'portion to assesse and impose the same Saveing unto us, our heires and Successors, such impositions and Customes, as by Act of Parliament are and shall be appointed.

AND it is Our further Will and plasure, that the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, shall from time to time constitute and appoint an Attorney or Agent, to Reside in or neare our City of London, who shall make knowne the place where he shall dwell or may be found, unto the Clerks of our Privy Counsell for the time being, or one of them, and shall be ready to appeare in any of our Courts aft Westminster, to Answer for any Misdemeanors that shall be committed, or by any wilfull default or neglect permitted by the said William Penn, his heires or assignee, against our Lawes of Trade or Navigation and after it shall be ascertained in any of our said Courts, what damages Wee or our heires or Successors shall have sustained by such default or neglect, the said William Penn, his heires and assignee shall pay the same within one yeare after such taxation, and demand thereof from such Attorney: or in case there shall be noe such Attorney by the space of a yeare, or such Attorney shall not make payment of such damages within the space of one yeare, and answer such other forfeitures and penalties within the said time, as by the Acts of Parliament in England are or shall be provided according to the true intent and meaneing of these presents then it shall be lawfull for us, our heires and Successors, to seize and Resume the government of the said Province or Countrey, and the same to retaine untill payment shall be made thereof: But notwithstanding any such Seizure or resumption of the government, nothing concerning the propriety or ownership of any Lands tenements, or other hereditaments, or goods or chattels of any the Adventurers, Planters, or owners, other then the respective Offenders there, shall be any way be affected or molested thereby.

PROVIDED alwayes, and our will and pleasure is, that neither the said William Penn, nor his heires, or any other the inhabitants of the said Province, shall at any time hereafter have or maintain any Correspondence with any other king, prince, or State, or with any of theire subjects who shall then be in Warr against us our heires or Successors Nor shall the said William Penn, or his heires, or any other the Inhabitants of the said Province, make Warre or doe any act of Hostility against any other king, princes or State, or any of there Subjects, who shall then be in league or amity with us, our heires or successors.

AND, because in soe remote a Countrey, and scituate neare many Barbarous Nations, the incursions as well of the Savages themselves, as of other enemies, pirates and robbers, may probably be feared Therefore Wee have given, and for us, our heires and Successors, Doe give power by these presents unto the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, by themselves or theire Captained or other their Officers, to levy, muster and traine all sorts of men, of what condition soever, or wheresoever borne, in the said Province of Pensilvania, for the time being, and to make Warre, and to pursue the enemies and Robbers aforesaid, as well by Sea as by Land, even without the Limitts of the said Province, and by God's assistance to vanquish and take them, and being taken to put them to death by the Law of Warre, or to save them, aft theire pleasure, and to doe all arid every other Thing which to the Charge and Office of a Captaine-Generall of an Army belongeth or hath accustomed to belong, as fully and Freely as any Captaine-Generall of an Army hath ever had the same.

AND FURTHERMORE, of Our especial! grace and of our certaine knowledge and meere motion, wee have given and granted, and by these presents, for us, our heires and Successors, do Give and Grant unto the said William Penn, his Heirs and Assigns, full and absolute power, licence and authoritie, that he, the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, from time to time hereafter forever, att his or theire own Will and pleasure may assigne, alien, Grant, demise, or enfeoffe of the Premises soe many and such parses or parcells to him or them that shall be willing to purchase the samej as they shall thinke fitt, To have and to hold to them the said person and persons willing to take or purchase, theire heires and assignee, in ffee-simple or ffee-taile, or for the terme of life, or lives or yeares, to be held of the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, as of the said Seigniory of Windsor, by such services, customer and rents, as shall seeme ffitt to the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, and not imediately of us, our heires and successors. AND to the same person or persons, and to all 'end every of them, wee doe give and grant by these presents, for us, our heires and successors, licence, authoritie and power, that such person or persons may take the premisses, or any parcell thereof, of the aforesaid William Penn, his heires or assignee and the same hold to themselves, their heires and assignee, in what estate of inheritance soever, in ffee-simple or in ffee-taile, or otherwise, as to him, the said William Penn, his heires and assignee, shall seem expedient: The Statute made in the parliament of EDWARD, sonne of King HENRY, late King of England, our predecessor, commonly called The Statute QUIA EMPTORES TERRARUM, lately published in our Kingdome of England in any wise notwithstanding.

AND by these presents wee give and Grant Licence unto the said William Penn, and his heires, likewise to all and every such person and persons to whom the said William Penn or his heires shall att any time hereafter grant any estate or inheritance as aforesaid, to erect any parcells of Land within the Province aforesaid into Mannors by and with the Licence to be first had and obteyned for that purpose, under the hand and Seale of the said William Penn or his heires and in every of the said Mannors to have and to hold a Court Baron, with all thinges whatsoever which to a Court-Baron do belong, and to have and to hold View of drank-pledge for the conservation of the peace and the better government of those parses, by themselves or their Stewards, or by the Lords for the time being of other Mannors to be deputed when they shall be erected, and in the same to use all things belonging to the View of frank-pledge. AND Wee doe further grant licence and authoritie, that every such person and persons who shall erect any such Mannor or Mannors, as aforesaid, shall or may grant all or any parse of his said Lands to any person or persons, in ffee-simple, or any other estate of inheritance to be held of the said Mannors respectively, soe as noe further tenures shall be created, but that upon all further and other alienations thereafter to be made, the said lands see aliened shall be held of the same Lord and his heires, of whom the alienor did then before hold, and by the like rents and Services which were before due and accustomed.

AND FARTHER our pleasure is, and by these presents, for us, our heires and Successors, Wee doe covenant and grant to and with the said William Penn, and his heires and assignee, That Wee, our heires and Successors, shall at no time hereafter sett or make, or cause to be sets, any impossition, custome or other taxation, rate or contribution whatsoever, in and upon the dwellers and inhabitants of the aforesaid Province, for their Lands, tenements, goods or chattells within the said Province, or in and upon any goods or merchandise within the said Province, or to be laden or unladen within the ports or harbours of the said Province, unless the same be with the consent of the Proprietary, or chiefe governor, or assembly, or by act of Parliament in England.

AND Our Pleasure is, and for us, our heires and Successors, Wee charge and comand, that this our Declaration shall from henceforward be received and allowed from time to time in all our courts, and before all the Judges of us, our heires and Successors, for a sufficient and lawfull discharge, payment and acquittance commanding all and singular the officers and ministers of us, our heires and Successors, and enjoyneing them upon pain of our high displeasure, that they doe not presume aft any time to attempt any thing to the contrary of the premisses, or that doe in any sort withstand the same, but that they be aft all times aiding and assisting, as is fitting unto the said William Penn, and his heires, and to the inhabitants and merchants of the Province aforesaid, their Servants, Ministers, doctors and Assignes, in the full use and fruition of the benefit of this our Charter.

AND Our further pleasure is and wee doe hereby, for us, our heires and Successors, charge and require, that if any of the inhabitants of the said Province, to the number of Twenty, shall at any time hereafter be desirous, and shall by any writeing, or by any person deputed for them, signify such their desire to the Bishop of London for the time being that any preacher or preachers, to be approved of by the said Bishop, may be sent unto them for their instruction, that then such preacher or preachers shall and may be and reside within the said Province, without any deniall or molestation whatsoever.

AND if perchance hereafter it should happen any doubts or questions should arise, concerning the true Sense and meaning of any word, clause, or Sentence conteyned in this our present Charter, Wee will ordaine, and comand, that att all times and in all things, such interpretation be made thereof, and allowed in any of our Courts whatsoever, as shall be adjudged most advantatacous and favourabla unto the said William Penn, his heires and assignes: Provided always that no interpretation be admitted thereof by which the allegiance due unto us, our heires and Successors may suffer any prejudice or diminution Although express mention be not made in these presents of the true yearly value, or certainty of the premisses, or of any parse thereof, or of other gifts and grants made by us our progenitors or predecessors unto the said William Penn Any Statute, Act, ordinance, provision, proclamation, or restraint heretofore had, made, published, ordained or provided, or any other thing, cause, or matter whatsoever, to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

Given under our Privy Seale at our Palace of Westminster the Eight and Twentieth day of February in the Three and Thirtyeth Yeare of Our Reigne.

1 This charter, granted by Charles II to William Penn, constituted him and his heirs proprietors of the province, which, in honor of his father, Admiral Penn, (whose cash advances and services were thus requited,) was called Pennsylvania. To perfect his title, William Penn purchased, in August, 1682, a quit-claim from the Duke of York to the lands west of the Delaware River embraced in his patent of 1664. Back

" Charter to William Penn and Laws of the Province of Pennsylvania passed between the Years 1682 and 1700, preceded by Duke of York's Laws in force from the year 1676 to the year 1682, with an appendix, containing Laws relating to the organization of the Provincial Courts and Historical matter. Published under the direction of John Blair Linn, Secretary of the Commonwealth. Compiled and edited by Staughton George, Benjamin M. Nead, Thomas McCamant. Harrisburg: Lane S. Hart, State Printer. 1879. " 614 pp.

2 The portion in brackets is found in the original copy, in the Public Record Office, London, Bundle 388, Privy Seals and Signed Bills (Chancery) 33 Charles the Second. See a certified copy in MS. from the Assistant Keeper of Public Records, London, September 25, 1878, in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back


Penn was born in London on October 24, 1644, the son of Admiral Sir William Penn. Despite high social position and an excellent education, he shocked his upper-class associates by his conversion to the beliefs of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, then a persecuted sect. He used his inherited wealth and rank to benefit and protect his fellow believers. Despite the unpopularity of his religion, he was socially acceptable in the king's court because he was trusted by the Duke of York, later King James II. The origins of the Society of Friends lie in the intense religious ferment of 17th century England. George Fox, the son of a Leicestershire weaver, is credited with founding it in 1647, though there was no definite organization before 1668. The Society's rejections of rituals and oaths, its opposition to war, and its simplicity of speech and dress soon attracted attention, usually hostile.

King Charles II owed William Penn �,000, money which Admiral Penn had lent him. Seeking a haven in the New World for persecuted Friends, Penn asked the King to grant him land in the territory between Lord Baltimore's province of Maryland and the Duke of York's province of New York. With the Duke's support, Penn's petition was granted. The King signed the Charter of Pennsylvania on March 4, 1681, and it was officially proclaimed on April 2. The King named the new colony in honor of William Penn's father. It was to include the land between the 39th and 42nd degrees of north latitude and from the Delaware River westward for five degrees of longitude. Other provisions assured its people the protection of English laws and, to a certain degree, kept it subject to the government in England. Provincial laws could be annulled by the King. In 1682 the Duke of York deeded to Penn his claim to the three lower counties on the Delaware, which are now the state of Delaware.

In April 1681, Penn made his cousin William Markham deputy governor of the province and sent him to take control. In England, Penn drew up the First Frame of Government, his proposed constitution for Pennsylvania. Penn's preface to First Frame of Government has become famous as a summation of his governmental ideals. Later, in October 1682, the Proprietor arrived in Pennsylvania on the ship Welcome. He visited Philadelphia, just laid out as the capital city, created the three original counties, and summoned a General Assembly to Chester on December 4. This first Assembly united the Delaware counties with Pennsylvania, adopted a naturalization act and, on December 7, adopted the Great Law, a humanitarian code that became the fundamental basis of Pennsylvania law and which guaranteed liberty of conscience. The second Assembly, in 1683, reviewed and amended Penn's First Frame with his cooperation and created the Second Frame of Government. By the time of Penn's return to England late in 1684, the foundations of the Quaker Province were well established.

In 1984, William Penn and his wife Hannah Callowhill Penn were made the third and fourth honorary citizens of the United States, by act of Congress. On May 8, 1985, the Penns were granted honorary citizenship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Population and Immigration

Although William Penn was granted all the land in Pennsylvania by the King, he and his heirs chose not to grant or settle any part of it without first buying the claims of Indians who lived there. In this manner, all of Pennsylvania except the northwestern third was purchased by 1768. The Commonwealth bought the Six Nations' claims to the remainder of the land in 1784 and 1789, and the claims of the Delawares and Wyandots in 1785. The defeat of the French and Indian war alliance by 1760, the withdrawal of the French, the crushing of Chief Pontiac's Indian alliance in 1764, and the failure of all attempts by Indians and colonists to live side by side led the Indians to migrate westward, gradually leaving Pennsylvania.

English Quakers were the dominant element, although many English settlers were Anglican. The English settled heavily in the southeastern counties, which soon lost frontier characteristics and became the center of a thriving agricultural and commercial society. Philadelphia became the metropolis of the British colonies and a center of intellectual and commercial life.

Thousands of Germans were also attracted to the colony and, by the time of the Revolution, comprised a third of the population. The volume of German immigration increased after 1727, coming largely from the Rhineland. The Pennsylvania Germans settled most heavily in the interior counties of Northampton, Berks, Lancaster and Lehigh, and neighboring areas. Their skill and industry transformed this region into a rich farming country, contributing greatly to the expanding prosperity of the province.

Another important immigrant group was the Scotch-Irish, who migrated from about 1717 until the Revolution in a series of waves caused by hardships in Ireland. They were primarily frontiersmen, pushing first into the Cumberland Valley region and then farther into central and western Pennsylvania. They, with immigrants from old Scotland, numbered about one-fourth of the population by 1776.

Despite Quaker opposition to slavery, about 4,000 slaves were brought to Pennsylvania by 1730, most of them owned by English, Welsh, and Scotch-Irish colonists. The census of 1790 showed that the number of African-Americans had increased to about 10,000, of whom about 6,300 had received their freedom. The Pennsylvania Gradual Abolition Act of 1780 was the first emancipation statute in the United States.

Many Quakers were Irish and Welsh, and they settled in the area immediately outside of Philadelphia. French Huguenot and Jewish settlers, together with Dutch, Swedes, and other groups, contributed in smaller numbers to the development of colonial Pennsylvania. The mixture of various national groups in the Quaker Province helped to create its broad-minded tolerance and cosmopolitan outlook.

Pennsylvania's political history ran a rocky course during the provincial era. There was a natural conflict between the proprietary and popular elements in the government which began under Penn and grew stronger under his successors. As a result of the English Revolution of 1688 which overthrew King James II, Penn was deprived of his province from 1692 until 1694. A popular party led by David Lloyd demanded greater powers for the Assembly, and in 1696 Markham's Frame of Government granted some of these. In December 1699, the Proprietor again visited Pennsylvania and, just before his return to England in 1701, agreed with the Assembly on a revised constitution, the Charter of Privileges, which remained in effect until 1776. This gave the Assembly full legislative powers and permitted the three Delaware counties to have a separate legislature.

Deputy or lieutenant governors (addressed as "governor") resided in Pennsylvania and represented the Penn family proprietors who themselves remained in England until 1773. After 1763, these governors were members of the Penn family. From 1773 until independence, John Penn was both a proprietor and the governor.

William Penn's heirs, who eventually abandoned Quakerism, were often in conflict with the Assembly, which was usually dominated by the Quakers until 1756. One after another, governors defending the proprietors' prerogatives battered themselves against the rock of an Assembly vigilant in the defense of its own rights. The people of the frontier areas contended with the people of the older, southeastern region for more adequate representation in the Assembly and better protection in time of war. Such controversies prepared the people for their part in the Revolution.

As part of the British Empire, Pennsylvania was involved in the wars between Great Britain and France for dominance in North America. These wars ended the long period when Pennsylvania was virtually without defense. The government built forts and furnished men and supplies to help defend the empire to which it belonged. The territory claimed for New France included western Pennsylvania. The Longueuil and Celoron expeditions of the French in 1739 and 1749 traversed this region, and French traders competed with Pennsylvanians for Indian trade. The French efforts in 1753 and 1754 to establish control over the upper Ohio Valley led to the last and conclusive colonial war, the French and Indian War (1754-1763). French forts at Erie (Fort Presque Isle), Waterford (Fort LeBoeuf), Pittsburgh (Fort Duquesne) and Franklin (Fort Machault) threatened all the middle colonies. In 1753 Washington failed to persuade the French to leave. In the ensuing war, Gen. Braddock's British and colonial army was slaughtered on the Monongahela in 1755, but Gen. John Forbes recaptured the site of Pittsburgh in 1758. After the war, the Indians rose up against the British colonies in Pontiac's War, but in August 1763, Colonel Henry Bouquet defeated them at Bushy Run, interrupting the threat to the frontier in this region.

From its beginning, Pennsylvania ranked as a leading agricultural area and produced surpluses for export, adding to its wealth. By the 1750s an exceptionally prosperous farming area had developed in southeastern Pennsylvania. Wheat and corn were the leading crops, though rye, hemp, and flax were also important.

The abundant natural resources of the colony made for early development of industries. Arts and crafts, as well as home manufactures, grew rapidly. Sawmills and gristmills were usually the first to appear, using the power of the numerous streams. Textile products were spun and woven mainly in the home, though factory production was not unknown. Shipbuilding became important on the Delaware. The province early gained importance in iron manufacture, producing pig iron as well as finished products. Printing, publishing, and the related industry of papermaking, as well as tanning, were significant industries. The Pennsylvania long rifle was an adaptation of a German hunting rifle developed in Lancaster County. Its superiority was so well recognized that by 1776 gunsmiths were duplicating it in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and Maryland. The Conestoga wagon was also developed in Lancaster County. Capable of carrying as much as four tons, it was the prototype for the principal vehicle for American westward migration, the prairie schooner.

Commerce and Transportation

The rivers were important as early arteries of commerce and were soon supplemented by roads in the southeastern area. Stagecoach lines by 1776 reached from Philadelphia into the southcentral region. Trade with the Indians for furs was important in the colonial period. Later, the transport and sale of farm products to Philadelphia and Baltimore, by water and road, formed an important business. Philadelphia became one of the most important centers in the colonies for the conduct of foreign trade and the commercial metropolis of an expanding hinterland. By 1776, the province's imports and exports were worth several million dollars.

Philadelphia was known in colonial times as the "Athens of America" because of its rich cultural life. Because of the liberality of Penn's principles and the freedom of expression that prevailed, the province was noted for the variety and strength of its intellectual and educational institutions and interests. An academy that held its first classes in 1740 became the College of Philadelphia in 1755, and ultimately grew into the University of Pennsylvania. It was the only nondenominational college of the colonial period. The arts and sciences flourished, and the public buildings of Philadelphia were the marvel of the colonies. Many fine old buildings in the Philadelphia area still bear witness to the richness of Pennsylvania's civilization in the 18th century. Such men of intellect as Benjamin Franklin, David Rittenhouse, John Bartram, and Benjamin West achieved international renown. Newspapers and magazines flourished, as did law and medicine. Pennsylvania can claim America's first hospital, first library, and first insurance company.

Quakers held their first meeting at Upland (now Chester) in 1675, and came to Pennsylvania in great numbers after William Penn received his Charter. Most numerous in the southeastern counties, the Quakers gradually declined in number but retained considerable influence. The Pennsylvania Germans belonged largely to the Lutheran and Reformed churches, but there were also several smaller sects: Mennonites, Amish, German Baptist Brethren or "Dunkers," Schwenkfelders and Moravians. Although the Lutheran Church was established by the Swedes on Tinicum Island in 1643, it only began its growth to become the largest of the Protestant denominations in Pennsylvania upon the arrival of Henry Metchior Muhlenberg in 1742. The Reformed Church owed its expansion to Michael Schlatter, who arrived in 1746. The Moravians did notable missionary work among the Indians. The Church of England held services in Philadelphia as early as 1695. The first Catholic congregation was organized in Philadelphia in 1720, and the first chapel was erected in 1733 Pennsylvania had the second largest Catholic population among the colonies. The Scotch brought Presbyterianism its first congregation was organized in Philadelphia in 1698. Scotch-Irish immigrants swelled its numbers. Methodism began late in the colonial period. St. George's Church, built in Philadelphia in 1769, is the oldest Methodist building in America. There was a significant Jewish population in colonial Pennsylvania. Its Mikveh Israel Congregation was established in Philadelphia in 1740.

Pennsylvania on the Eve of the Revolution

By 1776, the Province of Pennsylvania had become the third largest English colony in America, though next to the last to be founded, Philadelphia had become the largest English-speaking city in the world next to London. There were originally only three counties: Philadelphia, Chester, and Bucks. By 1773 there were eleven. Westmoreland, the last new county created before the Revolution, was the first county located entirely west of the Allegheny Mountains. The American Revolution had urban origins, and Philadelphia was a center of ferment. Groups of artisans and mechanics, many loyal to Benjamin Franklin, formed grassroots leadership. Philadelphia was a center of resistance to the Stamp Act (1765) and moved quickly to support Boston in opposition to the Intolerable Acts, in 1774.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

In 1701, William Penn created a Charter of Privileges for the residents of his colony. Penn envisioned a colony that permitted religious freedom, the consent and participation of the governed, as well as other laws pertaining to property rights. The Charter of Privileges recognized the authority of the King and Parliament over the colony, while creating a local governing body that would propose and execute the laws. Penn clearly states the responsibilities the citizens have in selecting virtuous men to lead and govern what many would refer to as the “Holy Experiment.”


Big Ideas

Essential Questions

How can the story of another American, past or present, influence your life?

What document or physical representation best summarizes Pennsylvania and why?


Textual evidence, material artifacts, the built environment, and historic sites are central to understanding the history of Pennsylvania.

Biography is a historical construct used to reveal positive and/or negative influences an individual can have on Pennsylvania’s society.

United States history can offer an individual judicious understanding about one’s self in the dimensions of time and space.


Synthesize a rationale for the study of individuals in Pennsylvania and the history of the United States.

Analyze the interaction of cultural, economic, geographic, political, and social relations for William Penn's Charter of Privileges.

Background Material for Teacher

The unit and lesson plan are a part of Preserving American Freedom, which presents and interprets fifty of the treasured documents within the vast catalog of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In this project, documents are digitized with transcriptions and annotations, as well as with other user-friendly elements, that will help both teachers and students to better understand the materials in the lesson.

The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia has several essays on various people, events, and organizations that played a role in the history of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the United States.

The William Penn papers offer a brief historical summary of Penn and his family.

End of Unit Assessment

A variety of traditional assessment styles can be applied to these readings. Traditional assessments can include a variety of quizzes (multiple choice or fill in), an essay, or a short paper highlighting all three documents. Primary sources may also be incorporated into a larger paper, student presentation, or class discussion led by student based questions. An alternative for those students who are unfamiliar with primary sources may be assessing notes taken during the reading to be used later as an open-notebook quiz.

For a less traditional assessment, to demonstate their understanding of the document, have students re-write the charter of privileges in casual language, the kind they would use to talk to their friends. Then have students write about the importance of the document as if they were posting on a social media site.

1. As a warm up to the lesson, begin with background information on Pennsylvania and what the area was like prior to colonization. This will introduce students to the context surrounding colonization when William Penn landed and who already lived there.
a. Show the primary sources of Native American tribes and how they lived.
b. Explain that William Penn was born in 1644. Quickly do the math and explain that if William Penn was alive today in 2014, he would be 370 years old. This will help students develop the context that these events took place in the past.

2. Next, introduce students to the world that William Penn lived in by reading the Prologue and Chapter 1 of the picture book 13 Colonies: Pennsylvania, as a guide for students to understand the differences between Pennsylvania then and now. This reading will continue to give students the background knowledge they need to understand the founding of Pennsylvania, the making of Philadelphia, and its importance as a colony in the United States.

3. Tell the students the story of William Penn. The picture book, William Penn: Visionary and Proprietor, is a good guide to teach students about William Penn and the founding of the Pennsylvania colony. While explaining to students the story of William Penn, be sure to include visuals provided in the primary source materials section so students can see graphic representations of different events.

Points of discussion while telling the story of William Penn, utilizing the listed primary sources as teaching tools:
a. Ask the students to tell you what they see in the picture. What are the people wearing, and what does it look like is happening?
b. Explain to students that Pennsylvania was meant to be a haven for people who were being persecuted for their religion in England.
c. Show maps of William Penn’s original layout of Philadelphia and then provide the larger map which shows Philadelphia as well as the surrounding area.
d. Remember to include information on how Pennsylvania got its name and why William Penn did not appreciate it.
e. After telling the story of William Penn and the founding of Pennsylvania, work together as a class to construct a timeline on the board starting at 1644. This will help students recall what they just learned as well as create a visual for them to understand the progress which was made from 1644 until Penn’s death. This timeline will also act as a reference for students if they have questions during the rest of the lessons.

4. After discussing William Penn’s life and the colony he created, give students the vocabulary list. As a whole group, or in pairs depending on level of students, have students fill in each vocabulary definition. Since this is the first lesson on William Penn, it is important for students to use this lesson to understand how Pennsylvania was founded and the vocabulary which will show up in further reading.
a. Make sure to go over “English Pound” directly so that they understand that in England, instead of calling money “dollars,” they refer to it as “pounds”.
b. Also, if possible, use these vocabulary words with your weekly spelling words so the students can become familiar with them.

Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

English Quaker William Penn founded Pennsylvania in 1681, when King Charles II granted him a charter for over forty-five thousand square miles of land. This made Penn not just the owner of thousands of square miles of land in North America, but also the proprietor of a whole new colony. His constitutional authority in Pennsylvania was second only to the King of England. With this power, he had granted certain powers to the colonists of Pennsylvania in his First and Second Frames of Government, which were the governing documents of Pennsylvania until the late 1690s. When the Second Charter expired, the colonial government under the leadership of acting governor William Markham (1635-1704) attempted to establish a new frame of government without the consent of Penn. The government created by Markham and the Pennsylvania legislature was far more liberal than the previous frames of government. The new frame of government gave the government the ability to legislate for itself and to choose its own leaders. Penn affirmed the right of the legislature to enact its own laws and choose its own leaders with the Charter of Privileges that he granted in 1701.

John Locke

John Locke is considered one of the most important political philosophers in Western thought. Works such as An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and his Two Treatises of Government were political essays that influenced thought during the English Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 and thereafter. His theories of government revolved around the idea that government derived its powers from the consent of the governed, and that any government should enact laws that serve the common good of society. This idea of where the power of government is derived, and what purpose it should serve, influenced the thinking of William Penn during the period in which he granted Pennsylvania the Charter of Privileges in 1701.

Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges

The Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges, granted by William Penn in 1701, gave many powers to the colonial government of Pennsylvania. These powers included the ability to enact its own laws and appoint its own legislative leaders. Penn granted these powers before leaving Pennsylvania because he feared that the power of the monarchy would erode the powers of the colonial government and would force Pennsylvania into becoming a royal colony. In 1812, as part of an initiative to preserve historical documents, members of the American Philosophical Society secured the donation of the original charter from a Philadelphia resident, Joseph Anthony. The charter remains in the collection of the society.

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Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges

English Quaker William Penn founded Pennsylvania in 1681, when King Charles II granted him a charter for over forty-five thousand square miles of land. With this charter, Penn’s constitutional authority in Pennsylvania was second only to the King of England. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

The Charter of Privileges, effective October 28, 1701, and sometimes known as the Charter of Liberties, functioned as Pennsylvania’s constitution until the American Revolution. It replaced several attempts since the colony’s 1681 establishment to create a viable frame of government. Among the more permissive of colonial constitutions in British North America, the document guaranteed religious freedom, strengthened the separation of church and state, granted popularly-elected officials the ability to enact laws, and balanced power between the offices of the governor, legislature, and judiciary. The text of the Charter became regarded as a shining example of the ideals of freedom of worship, human equality, individual rights, and self-government put into practice espoused by Pennsylvania founder William Penn (1644–1718).

In August 1701, during his second visit to Pennsylvania (1699–1701), Penn learned that factions in the British government had introduced legislation to strip him of his colony and place it directly under the monarchy’s control. Fearing the worst, he prepared to depart for England. Before sailing in early November, and with the approbation of the Provincial Assembly, Penn enacted several official measures already under discussion, the most significant of these being a new constitution. Others included a revised Charter for the City of Philadelphia, broadening the power of municipal government a proposed Charter of Property outlining the rights of landowners (never instituted) and legislation regulating the judiciary. Penn worked on these during his last days in Pennsylvania at his country estate, Pennsbury Manor in Bucks County, and later from his Philadelphia home, the Slate Roof House (at Second Street, just north of Walnut, later the site of Welcome Park). He presented them to the Provincial Assembly where it met, likely at the Friends Public School on Fourth Street, south of Chestnut.

John Locke is considered one of the most important political philosophers in Western thought. Works such as An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and his Two Treatises of Government were political essays that influenced thought during the English Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 and thereafter. (Library of Congress)

Penn’s theoretical influences in writing the Charter of Privileges and the contemporary notion of individual freedoms can be traced to his Enlightenment era background, Quaker religious principles, and events following England’s 1688 Glorious Revolution. Enlightenment (or Age of Reason, roughly 1650–1780) thinking espoused in part that all humans were equal at birth (a tabula rasa or clean slate), were free to think and reason individually, and were not intrinsically subject to inherited and arbitrary monarchial and class authority. Penn no doubt was familiar with the work of key Enlightenment philosopher John Locke (1632-74), including An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689). Early in life, Penn also heard the teachings of Thomas Loe, a traveling preacher and member of the Religious Society of the Friends of Jesus (or Quakers), who advocated rejection of institutional religion and a more personal relationship with God. Penn converted to Quakerism in the 1660s and through his writings on religion and philosophy rose to become a seminal spokesperson for the Friends. Penn also witnessed the removal of the Catholic King James II (1633-1701) in 1688, and the enactment by Parliament in December 1689 of the English Bill of Rights, which included limiting the power of the monarchy, granting more authority to members of Parliament, and an affirmation of the Enlightenment principle that all people enjoy the same basic rights. These events and ideas were no doubt fresh in his mind as he penned a new constitution for Pennsylvania.

The Charter of Privileges

Members of the Pennsylvania Assembly called the new constitution a Charter of Privileges, for it permitted them certain privileges, liberties, or powers, never before surrendered by Penn. Chief among these was the power to enact legislation, an ability many colonial legislatures lacked: legislation could only originate with the governor and Provincial Council, not popularly elected representatives. Many thought the concept radical, fearing it would engender mob rule. Penn’s earlier frames of government did not grant it, including his First Frame of Government (December 1682), and the Second Frame (April 2, 1683–April 1693). In 1696, with Penn absent from Pennsylvania, the Assembly had attempted its own frame granting this power through acting Governor William Markham (1635–1704). Though in effect from November 7, 1696, to October 27, 1701, Markham’s Frame never gained Penn’s authorization for he feared the idea too liberal. However, with the possibility of a takeover of his proprietary colony by the Crown, Penn permitted the Assembly this ability out of concern for “a violent or arbitrary governor imposed on us” by the royal government, reasoning his colony could defend itself with this new power. The legislature could also choose its own leaders and officers, rather than have the choice made for them by the governor. The legislature accepted the Charter on October 28, 1701.

The Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges, granted by William Penn in 1701, gave many powers to the colonial government of Pennsylvania. These powers included the ability to enact its own laws and appoint its own legislative leaders. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

The Charter of Privileges begins by reiterating a significant clause from earlier frames and the heart of Penn’s “Holy Experiment”—namely, guarantees of freedom of worship, stating that no one “shall be in any case molested or prejudiced … because of his or theire Conscientious perswasion or practice.” Additionally, any male Christian could hold civil office, eliminating the requirement of land ownership. The use of taxes to support religious institutions was banned, further separating church and state. Another provision elevated much of the Assembly’s power to that of the governor and judiciary, creating a tripartite government. The governor’s role was reduced to management status, but still retained veto power. The Charter also created a unicameral legislature, relegating the Provincial Council as an advisory body to the governor. The only American colonial legislature to do so, Pennsylvania remained unicameral with its 1776 Constitution, until the state Constitution of 1790 created a bicameral assembly. Lastly, the Charter authorized the three “Lower Counties on the Delaware” of Kent, Sussex, and New Castle the option to establish their own assembly if they chose. These counties, already established with their own governments long before Penn arrived, were formally granted to him by James, the Duke of York, on August 25, 1681. They separated in 1704, creating the colony of Delaware.

The Charter of Privileges gained respect and admiration in the ensuing decades as a great advancement for representative government. The Liberty Bell, that iconic symbol of American freedom, ordered to be cast by the provincial government in 1751, likely commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of this document. The United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, state constitutions, and those of countries around the world adopted principles set forth in this Charter as basic tenets of democratic government: religious freedom, separation of church and state, tripartite government, and laws created and enacted by popularly-elected officials.

Linda A. Ries is a retired archivist from the Pennsylvania State Archives, part of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, where she worked for thirty-five years. She is editor of Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, the scholarly journal of the Pennsylvania Historical Association.

Copyright 2016, Rutgers University

Related Reading

Bronner, Edwin B. William Penn’s Holy Experiment. New York: Temple University Publications, 1962.

Dunn, Richard S., and Dunn, Mary Maples, Gen. Eds. The Papers of William Penn, Volume IV, 1701–1718. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987.

Nash, Gary B. Quakers and Politics: Pennsylvania, 1681–1726. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.

Soderlund, Jean R. William Penn and the Founding of Pennsylvania: A Documentary History. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,1983.


Charter of Privileges, 1701, Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1668-1983 (Mss.Ms.Coll.200) American Philosophical Society Library, 105 S. Fifth Street, Philadelphia.

Places to Visit

Pennsbury Manor, 400 Pennsbury Manor Road, Morrisville, Pa.

Welcome Park (site of the Slate Roof House), Second Street near Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges

The 1701 Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges was the last and among the most famous of all colonial constitutions. Approved by William Penn, to whom King Charles had given the colony, the charter of 1701 replaced the original 1682 charter as the fundamental law of the colony. The new charter, which remained in force for the next 75 years, was designed to be more “suitable to the present Circumstances of the Inhabitants.” The most important structural changes from the 1682 charter were provisions for annual county-based elections, a unicameral general assembly, and an enhanced political role for the legislature. Note that freedom of conscience was also protected. The free exercise of religion clause was placed first, that clause was permanent, and religious qualification for holding office was limited to belief in Jesus Christ. Finally, the charter included the right of criminals to have “the same Privileges of Witness and Council as their prosecutors.”

Source: F. N. Thorpe, ed., The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws . . . , 7 vols. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1909), 5:3076–81.

. . . Know ye therefore, That for the further Well-being and good Government of the said Province, and Territories and in Pursuance of the Rights and Powers before-mentioned, I the said William Penn do declare, grant and confirm, unto all the Freemen, Planters and Adventurers, and other Inhabitants of this Province and Territories, these following Liberties, Franchises and Privileges, so far as in me lieth, to be held, enjoyed and kept, by the Freemen, Planters and Adventurers, and other Inhabitants of and in the said Province and Territories thereunto annexed, for ever.

Because no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their Religious Profession and Worship: And Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience, Father of Lights and Spirits and the Author as well as Object of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship, who only doth enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the Understandings of People, I do hereby grant and declare, That no Person or Persons, inhabiting in this Province or Territories, who shall confess and acknowledge One almighty God, the Creator, Upholder and Ruler of the World and profess him or themselves obliged to live quietly under the Civil Government, shall be in any Case molested or prejudiced, in his or their Person or Estate, because of his or their conscientious Persuasion or Practice, nor be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious Worship, Place or Ministry, contrary to his or their Mind, or to do or suffer any other Act or Thing, contrary to their religious Persuasion.

And that all Persons who also profess to believe in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, shall be capable (notwithstanding their other Persuasions and Practices in Point of Conscience and Religion) to serve this Government in any Capacity, both legislatively and executively he or they solemnly promising, when lawfully required, Allegiance to the King as Sovereign, and Fidelity to the Proprietary and Governor, and taking the Attests as now established by the Law made at New-Castle, in the Year One Thousand and Seven Hundred, entitled, An Act directing the Attests of several Officers and Ministers, as now amended and confirmed this present Assembly. [1]

For the well governing of this Province and Territories, there shall be an Assembly yearly chosen, by the Freemen thereof, to consist of Four Persons out of each County, of most Note for Virtue, Wisdom and Ability, (or of a greater number at any Time, as the Governor and Assembly shall agree) upon the First Day of October for ever and shall sit on the Fourteenth Day of the same Month, at Philadelphia, unless the Governor and Council for the Time being, shall see Cause to appoint another Place within the said Province or Territories: Which Assembly shall have the Power to choose a Speaker and other their Officers and shall be Judges of the Qualifications and Elections of their own Members sit upon their own Adjournments appoint Committees prepare Bills in order to pass into Laws impeach Criminals, and redress Grievances and shall have all other Powers and Privileges of an Assembly, according to the Rights of the free-born Subjects of England, and as is usual in any of the King’s Plantations in America.

And if any County or Counties, shall refuse or neglect to choose their respective Representatives as aforesaid, or if chosen, do not meet to serve in Assembly, those who are so chosen and met, shall have the full Power of an Assembly, in as ample Manner as if all the Representatives had been chosen and met, provided they are not less than Two Thirds of the whole Number that ought to meet.

And that the Qualifications of Electors and Elected, and all other Matters and Things related to Elections of Representatives to serve in Assemblies, though not herein particularly expressed, shall be and remain as by a Law of this Government, made at New-Castle in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred, entitled, An Act to ascertain the Number of Members of Assembly, and to regulate the Elections.

That the Freemen in each respective County, at the Time and Place of Meeting for Electing their Representatives to serve in Assembly may as often as there be Occasion, choose a double Number of Persons to present to the Governor for Sheriffs and Coroners to serve for Three Years, if so long they behave themselves well out of which respective Elections and Presentments, [2] the Governor shall nominate and commissionate one for each of the said Offices, the Third Day after such Presentment, or else the First named in such Presentment, for each Office as aforesaid, shall stand and serve in that Office for the Time before respectively limited and in Case of Death or Default, such Vacancies shall be supplied by the Governor, to serve to the End of the said Term.

Provided always, That if the said Freemen shall at any Time neglect or decline to choose a Person or Persons for either or both the aforesaid Offices, then and in such Case, the Persons that are or shall be in the respective Offices of Sheriffs or Coroners, at the Time of Election, shall remain therein, until they shall be removed by another Election as aforesaid.

And that the Justices of the respective Counties shall or may nominate and present to the Governor Three Persons, to serve for Clerk of the Peace for the said County, when there is a Vacancy, one of which the Governor shall commissionate within Ten Days after such Presentment, or else the First nominated shall serve in the said Office during good Behavior.

That the Laws of this Government shall be in this Style, viz. By the Governor, with the Consent and Approbation of the Freemen in General Assembly met and shall be, after Confirmation by the Governor, forthwith recorded in the Rolls Office, [3] and kept at Philadelphia, unless the Governor and Assembly shall agree to appoint another Place.

That all Criminals shall have the same Privileges of Witnesses and Council as their Prosecutors.

That no Person or Persons shall or may, at any Time hereafter, be obliged to answer any Complaint, Matter or Thing whatsoever, relating to Property, before the Governor and Council, or in any other Place, but in ordinary Course of Justice, unless Appeals thereunto shall be hereafter by law appointed.

That no Person within this Government, shall be licensed by the Governor to keep an Ordinary, [4] Tavern or House of Public Entertainment, but such who are first recommended to him, under the Hands of the Justices of the respective Counties, signed in open Court which Justices are and shall be hereby empowered, to suppress and forbid any Person, keeping such Public-House [5] as aforesaid, upon their Misbehavior, on such Penalties as the Law doth or shall direct and to recommend others from time to time, as they shall see Occasion.

If any Person, through Temptation or Melancholy, shall destroy himself his Estate, real and personal, shall notwithstanding descend to his Wife and Children, or Relations, as if he had died a natural Death and if any Person shall be destroyed or killed by Casualty or Accident, there shall be no Forfeiture to the Governor by reason thereof.

And no Act, Law or Ordinance whatsoever, shall at any Time hereafter, be made or done, to alter, change or diminish the Form or Effect of this Charter, or of any Part or Clause therein, contrary to the true Intent and Meaning thereof, without the Consent of the Governor for the Time being, and Six Parts of Seven of the Assembly met.

But because the Happiness of Mankind depends so much upon the Enjoying of Liberty of their Consciences as aforesaid, I do hereby solemnly declare, promise and grant, for me, my Heirs and Assigns, That the First Article of this Charter relating to Liberty of Conscience, and every Part and Clause therein, according to the true Intent and Meaning thereof, shall be kept and remain, without any Alteration, inviolably for ever.

And lastly, I the said William Penn, Proprietary and Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania, and Territories thereunto belonging, for myself, my Heirs and Assigns, have solemnly declared, granted and confirmed, and do hereby solemnly declare, grant and confirm, That neither I, my Heirs or Assigns, shall procure or do any Thing or Things whereby the Liberties in this Charter contained and expressed, nor any Part thereof, shall be infringed or broken: And if any thing shall be procured or done, by any Person or Persons, contrary to these Presents, it shall be held of no Force or Effect. . . .

This Charter of Privileges being distinctly read in Assembly and the whole and every Part thereof, being approved of and agreed to, by us, we do thankfully receive the same from our Proprietary and Governor, at Philadelphia, this Twenty-Eighth Day of October, One Thousand Seven Hundred and One. Signed on Behalf, and by Order of the Assembly.

per Joseph Growdon, Speaker

Edward Shippen, Griffith Owen,

Phineas Pemberton, Caleb Pusey,

Samuel Carpenter, Thomas Story,

Proprietary and Governor’s Council

Study Questions

A. Is there something “constitutional” that is recognizable in this document? Should the 1701 Pennsylvania Charter retain its status through the ages?

B. How is this constitution similar to and different from the “constitutionalism” of other colonial and early state documents? See The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, Virginia Declaration of Rights and Constitution, Massachusetts Bill of Rights, and Articles of Confederation.

Charter Of Pennsylvania [March 4-14, 1680] - History

On March 4, 1681, King Charles II of England granted William Penn a New World colony as payment for a debt of 16,000 pounds the King owed to Penn's father, a deceased admiral in the British Navy. It was a shrewd move on the part of Charles. By giving Penn a colony in America, he managed to pay off an outstanding debt and at the same time rid his country of Quakers, a religious sect that constantly challenged English laws and the legitimacy of the Anglican Church, the nation's established church.

Penn's tract of land consisted of 45,000 square miles of land, an area almost as large as England itself. King Charles named the new colony, "Penn's woods" in honor of the admiral. Penn called the capital city Philadelphia, meaning the "City of Brotherly Love," to reflect his desire that his colony serve as a haven for Quakers and other oppressed Christians seeking religious freedom.

Penn guaranteed the settlers of his new "plantation" freedom of religious worship. This rare offer attracted not only Quakers, who had been persecuted in England, but also other Europeans who had suffered because of their religious beliefs. Quakers from the British Isles and Germany, French Huguenots, English and Irish Catholics, Lutherans from Catholic German states, Swiss Amish, German Mennonites and members of other religious sects all headed to Penn's refuge. Settlers of many faiths worshipped in private homes, storehouses and barns until they could erect their own houses of worship.

Penn also extended the principle of religious toleration to the Dutch, Swedes, Finns, Lenape and other indigenous peoples who already inhabited the land he acquired. To him they all were an integral part of his "Holy Experiment." For Penn, Indians and European settlers working together, regardless of their faith, would glorify the Almighty. Rather than simply occupy the land without consent of the Lenape, Penn wrote letters to Lenape chiefs, asking permission to "enjoy the land with your love and consent so that we may always live together as neighbors and friends." According to legend, Penn and Lenape sachems &ndash leaders or chiefs &ndash signed a treaty under a large elm tree at Shackamaxon that French philosopher Voltaire called the "only treaty between the Indian nations and the Christians that was not ratified by oath, and was never broken"&ndash at least in Penn's lifetime.

Penn did not offer settlers religious liberty in the modern sense of the term, for Pennsylvania's charter restricted the right to vote and to hold political office to Protestants. Pennsylvania denied those rights to Jews and Muslims, who did not believe in Christ as savior, and to Catholics, who were subservient to the Pope. For these groups, like other non-Protestants in the colony, religious toleration meant that they were free to worship and practice their faith in Pennsylvania.

Penn did not extend the protections of his charter to enslaved Africans and African-Americans either. Indeed, the proprietor kept at least three slaves at Pennsbury, his country estate above Philadelphia. The presence of race slavery in Penn's Holy Experiment would be a source of growing tension among Quakers and other Pennsylvania colonists for the next hundred years.

To preserve the vision of his Holy Experiment for future generations, Penn established a Friends Public School in 1689 to provide the rudiments of literacy and morality for all Philadelphia's children &ndash Quaker and non-Quaker, rich and poor, male and female &ndash and to cultivate wise and virtuous citizens to people his just colony. The Friends Public School, which later evolved into the Philadelphia Public School system, was the first institution in America that emphasized training in both the educational fundamental and vocational learning.

Penn's colony was also an experiment in a more democratic form of government than that which people had known in Europe. Pennsylvania's first constitution, the Frame of Government, promised settlers the enjoyment of such liberties as "a voice in government, the right of trial by jury and the liberty of conscience." To prevent corruption in government, Penn organized the government into three parts: a governor, a Provincial Council, and a bicameral legislature, elected by the people, in which the upper house drafted legislation and the lower house voted to approve or reject it.

The constitution gave tremendous independence to the Provincial Council and established the governor as a powerful executive. Penn's first Frame of Government, however, was only in existence for a year before he had to revise it. In 1683, Penn reluctantly granted a Second Frame of Government, better known as the Charter of Liberties, which granted more power to the Assembly, which had been pressuring him for greater authority. The struggle for a more democratic government in Pennsylvania would continue for decades.

Over the next twenty years, the Quakers who administered the government and the non-Quaker settlers became embroiled in heated disagreements over land distribution and rental fees, political patronage, the Quaker monopoly of commerce, and Penn's inability to govern effectively because of his fifteen-year absence from the colony. When Penn returned in 1699, he was besieged by demands to revise the constitution.

On October 28, 1701, Penn issued a new constitution, called the Charter of Privileges, to salvage his Holy Experiment. To appease the assembly and quarrelsome settlers, Penn gave a new unicameral legislature powers unknown elsewhere in the colonies. The charter reaffirmed the assembly's right to draft legislation, choose its speaker and other officers, and exercise all other powers and privileges of an assembly according to the freeborn subjects of England. It also reduced the council's role to an advisory capacity and eliminated the governor's power to suspend or dissolve the Assembly, although he could continue to veto legislation.

No other colonial assembly enjoyed so much power. No other governor was so clearly pitted against a legislative body. It was the exact opposite of what Penn had wanted when he established Pennsylvania two decades earlier. But the Charter of Privileges proved to be much less destructive of his Holy Experiment than he feared. The new constitution enhanced the principle of self-government, and preserved &ndash on paper if not always in practice &ndash Penn's unconditional commitment to religious toleration.

The Charter of Privileges served as Pennsylvania's constitution until overturned by the American Revolution some seventy-five years later. But Penn's legacy of toleration can still be seen in the First Amendment's protection of religious liberty as well as in the many reform organizations that still exist in the Commonwealth today.



The concept of creating public charter schools as alternatives to traditional public schools was first brought to public attention in the late 1980s by a small group of policymakers and educators. The notion gained traction in the early 1990s, and in 1991 Minnesota became the first state to pass a charter school law. Ώ]

Charter schools are publicly funded, privately managed and semi-autonomous schools of choice. They do not charge tuition. They must hold to the same academic accountability measures as traditional schools. They receive public funding similarly to traditional schools. However, they have more freedom over their budgets, staffing, curricula and other operations. In exchange for this freedom, they must deliver academic results and there must be enough community demand for them to remain open. Α]

Across the nation, charter schools have grown in number since the passage of the first public charter school law. As of March 2017, 44 states plus the District of Columbia had enacted charter school laws, and in 2013 it was estimated that 4.6 percent of all public school students attended charter schools. Performance results of charter schools nationally have been mixed, with some performing demonstrably better and others closing because they could not meet required standards. ΐ] Β] Γ]

In 1997, Pennsylvania passed its charter school law. The bill established the state's requirements for charter school creation and explained some of the differences and similarities between charters and traditional public schools. The bill also set forth the state's responsibilities towards charter schools, including funding and transportation requirements. Δ]

Charter Of Pennsylvania [March 4-14, 1680] - History

The Dutch established the first European settlement along the Delaware River at Lewes in 1631, but it was soon wiped out by the Indians, so the Dutch settled for occasionally manned trading posts. Next came the Swedes in 1638, who established a colony up and down the river, based at present day Wilmington, and called it New Sweden. The Dutch took over the area again in 1655, only to be superceded by the English in 1664. The future Pennsylvania, the land west of the Delaware River and north of the 40th parallel, became part of the proprietorship of New York, which also included New Jersey, under the control of James, Duke of York, the brother of King Charles II. New Jersey was given to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret in 1676. The colony was divided into East and West, and Berkeley sold West New Jersey to the Quakers John Fenwicke and Edward Byllynge. In the latter 1670's families of Quakers began to settle there on the east bank of the Delaware. William Penn, as a prominent Quaker, became involved as an arbiter in land disputes between Fenwicke and Byllynge and also owned land in New Jersey, and these events likely influenced his petition to the King for additional Quaker settlement land. In 1702 all of New Jersey reverted to the control of the Crown and was reunited, and New Jersey and New York had the same royal governor until 1738.

The Charter of Pennsylvania was issued on March 4, 1681, and defined the boundaries of the colony as follows: ". all that tract or part of land in America, with the islands therein contained, as the same is bounded on the east by Delaware River, from twelve miles distance northward of New Castle Town, unto the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude, if the said river doth extend so far northward but if said river shall not extend so far northward, then by the said river so far as it doth extend and from the head of the said river, the eastern bounds are to be determined by a meridian line, to be drawn from the head of the said river, unto the said forty-third degree. The said land to extend westward five degrees in longitude, to be computed from the said eastern bounds, and the said lands to be bounded on the north by the beginning of the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude, and on the south by a circle drawn at twelve miles distance from New Castle, northward and westward unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of northern latitude, and then by a straight line westward to the limits of longitude above mentioned."

It all sounds so simple, but the only Pennsylvania boundary that did not engender controversy was the Delaware River. European monarchs had a habit of dispensing portions of America to favorites without keeping track of what went before and geographical knowledge of the region was limited. The most troublesome inconsistency in the charter was that a circle of radius 12 miles centered upon New Castle Town did not intersect the 40th parallel, which lay some 20 miles farther north. The history of Pennsylvania's subsequent boundaries is summarized by Russ, the Maryland boundary dispute by Mathews, and a detailed chronology of boundary changes for the state and its counties is given by Long. Pennsylvania eventually ceded one degree of latitude to New York, and received about a quarter degree from Maryland. The modern boundaries (approximately) are: on the east, the Delaware River on the south, the 12 mile circle and latitude 39d 43m 18s on the west, longitude 80d 31m 20s on the north, latitude 42d, and Lake Erie with the Erie triangle beginning at longitude 79d 45m 45s. The land boundaries vary somewhat with local surveys, one second is only about 100 feet.

On March 5, 1681, William Penn wrote to his friend Robert Turner as follows: ". this day my country was confirmed to me under the Great Seal of England with large powers and privileges, by the name of Pennsylvania, a name the King (Charles II) would give it in honor to my father (Admiral William Penn). I chose New-Wales, being as this a pretty hilly country, but Penn being Welsh for a head (i. e. pen), as Penmaenmawr in Wales and Penrith in Cumberland and Penn in Buckinghamshire, the highest land in England (not true), called this Pennsylvania which is the high or head woodlands. For I proposed, when the secretary, a Welshman, refused to have it called New-Wales, Sylvania, and they added Penn to it and though I much opposed it and went to the King to have it struck out and altered, he said it was passed and he would take it upon him. Nor could twenty guineas move the undersecretaries to vary the name, for I feared lest it should be looked on as a vanity to me and not as a respect in the King, as it truly was, to my father whom he often mentions with praise."

Penn's concern about the name seems genuine. Since there was a New Scotland (Nova Scotia), a New England, a New York, a New Jersey and a New Hampshire, the name New Wales seems fitting, as does his second choice Sylvania. But the King didn't want bothered again and twenty guineas was not a sufficient bribe for the secretaries, so Pennsylvania was the name of the colony.

After Pennsylvania was created, the counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex continued to be administered as part of New York. Penn petitioned the Duke of York, the proprietor, for title to these counties because he wanted to secure control of the Delaware River. His petition was granted in August, 1682, even though the Delaware-Maryland boundary was unsettled and Lord Baltimore claimed the same lands. The Delawarians at first acquiesed to Penn's control, but rebelled in 1704 and started their own assembly, thereby founding Delaware, not yet so called. Delaware was known as the Three Lower Counties of Pennsylvania in colonial times. Pennsylvania and Delaware continued to share the same proprietor (a Penn) until the Revolution and some maps continued to show Delaware as part of Pennsylvania until then. Delaware was also an integral part of the Pennsylvania and Maryland boundary dispute. The Catholic Duke of York became King James II, only to be ousted by Protestants William & Mary in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

There appear to be three claimants for the title 'first map of Pennsylvania'. A map made by Peter Lindstrom circa 1655 shows Swedish settlements on the Delaware (see Garrison, Lindstrom). The original map was apparently destroyed by fire but a manuscript copy is in the Royal Archives of Sweden and an engraving of the original was made in 1696. This early map obviously did not carry the name Pennsylvania. The title on the 1696 map is NOVA SVECIA, ANNO 1654 OCH 1655, ARDENNA NOVAE SVECIAE CARTA MED, DESS RIVIERS OCH LANDZ SITUATION OCK, BESKAFFENHET AFTAGEN OCK TILL CARTS, FORD AF P. LINDSTROM. In 1702 Thomas Campanius (Holm) retitled the map across the top NOVA SVECIA HODIE DICTA PENSYLVANIA, retaining the rest of Lindstrom's original imprint on the bottom. Thus, except for the title modification, the 1702 map is essentially the same (state 2?) as the 1655 map. So the question becomes: "What counts, the title or the map?" Perhaps the dates can be averaged to 1679 and thus make it the first Pennsylvania map.

The second claimant is A MAP OF SOME OF THE SOUTH AND EAST BOUNDS OF PENNSYLVANIA IN AMERICA BEING PARTLY INHABITED, by John Thornton & John Seller. This map is undated and sometimes called 'The William Penn Map of Pennsylvania'. It is thought by some (see Garrison) to be the map accompanying the King's grant to Penn made in March, 1681, in which case it would be the earliest map with the name Pennsylvania. More recent studies (see Soderland, Black, Kane) have concluded the map was published in the summer of 1681 as part of Penn's efforts to attract settlers and investors (i.e. land buyers) to his new colony. Sometime in the spring or early summer of 1681 Penn wrote a promotional pamphlet titled A Brief Account of the Province of Pennsylvania, and this map accompanied one version of that pamphlet. The map placed the 40th parallel 40 miles too far south and Penn's assumption of its accuracy initiated the long border dispute with Lord Baltimore.

The third claimant is A PORTRAITURE OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA IN THE PROVINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA IN AMERICA, BY THOMAS HOLME SURVEYOR GENERAL. SOLD BY ANDREW SOWLE IN SHOREDITCH, LONDON. This map was printed in A Letter from William Penn Proprietary and Governour of Pennsylvania in America, to the Committee of the Free Society of Traders, London 1683, and was generally considered the first map of Pennsylvania before the 1681 date of the Thornton-Seller map was accepted. Penn originally wanted to set aside 10,000 acres for Philadelphia, but the riverfront property was already taken by previous Swedish and Dutch settlers. Penn's commissioners bought land along the Delaware from three Swedes named Swanson, and along the Schuylkill from two other Swedes named Cock and Rambo (all is true, see Soderland). This gave a rectangle two miles long and one mile wide, or 1280 acres, between the rivers. Holme based his grid plan of Philadelphia on this rectangle.

By definition no maps of Pennsylvania exist before the state was created in 1681. Most maps of the region up to 1700 are reproduced in Burden and provide a map history of the Pennsylvania region up to that date. From 1670 to 1681 two maps appear which are important to the cartography of the state. In 1673 Augustine Herrman published a map titled VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND, which included southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. This map resembled the 1612 John Smith map of Virginia (and its many derivatives) in that north was to the right, but the Herrman map was more accurate with more geographic detail than previous maps. Most importantly, this map correctly placed the 40th parallel near (future) Philadelphia and had it been used in granting Penn's charter, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland would likely look different today. Sometime circa 1678, John Thornton and Robert Green issued A MAPP OF VIRGINIA, MARY=LAND, NEW=JARSEY, NEW=YORK & NEW ENGLAND, which shows New Castle Town about 10 miles south of the fortieth parallel. This map was probably one of the sources for setting the twelve mile circle. It is also the apparent source for the Thornton & Seller map mentioned above, but does not have that map's erroneous latitudinal markings.

The creation of comprehensive cartobibliographies of printed maps such as The Mapping of North America by Philip Burden, New England in Early Printed Maps 1513 to 1800 by Barbara McCorkle, the MapForum listings, and the many map history books published (see References), have made it possible to attempt a Checklist of Pennsylvania Maps to 1800. Manuscript maps, identified as such, are also included, but no claim to inclusiveness can be made for them. A fair number lie buried in archives or are described only in scattered (and sometimes obscure) publications. Hulbert (1907) published a five volume collection of photographs of manuscript maps of America held in the Crown Collection of the British Library, and collections of French & Indian War (Brown, Schwartz 1994, Stotz) and Revolutionary War (Marshall & Peckham, Guthorn) manuscript maps have appeared. Some of the more well known ones are reproduced in Schwartz & Ehrenberg, Fite & Freeman, and other map histories and articles. Also, manuscript maps of Pennsylvania are listed by Docktor. However, no record is ever made of most manuscript maps, they are ephemora, and undated ones present the additional problem of dating. For example, it is common to prepare a small map whenever a survey of land is done, and hundreds of these from the late 17th century on exist in land records. With a few exceptions, manuscript land survey maps are not included in the Checklist. A description of available Pennsylvania Archives land records is given by Munger, and is online at PA State Archives - RG-17 . Old land records including maps are also held at county courthouses. The Archives also has a large number of road and turnpike maps described at PA State Archives - RG-12. About fifty are manuscript maps dating prior to 18oo. However, as they are well described (see description in Record Group 12.9) in the archives website, they are not included in the checklist.

Burden describes over 750 printed maps of North America up to 1700, of which less than 100 fit the description of a map of Pennsylvania as adopted here. That is, they show the eastern United States (and southern Canada) at most, and include the Pennsylvania region. This definition is arbitrary as a large world map can have more detail than a crude local one, but it limits the maps considered to regional ones of the state. Maps of North America and continental maps of the United States are excluded. Maps of the eastern United States that include Mexico or the Caribbean islands are also excluded. An exception is made for maps where Pennsylvania is in the title and these few are included. Burden and McCorkle are used as the primary published references. For 18th century maps, the definition of a Pennsylvania map used here corresponds to that adopted by McCorkle for New England maps, thus printed maps of the eastern United States up to 1800 appear there. For manuscript maps and maps specific to Pennsylvania, the references vary depending upon where the map was found. For the period 1750-1789 Sellers & van Ee is a major reference and many of the maps listed can be seen in greater detail at Library of Congress - Maps. Also, Docktor provides an extensive list of Library of Congress maps related to Pennsylvania, including manuscript and reproduction maps.

Since the number of maps after 1750 is considerable, reissues of earlier maps are not usually listed after this date. Also, maps of Canada, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland published after 1750 may contain parts of Pennsylvania though they are not listed here. Also, because of the large number of maps after 1750, a decade is split into two pages. A word about prime meridians the maps shown here use different prime meridians depending upon the source and date. Those most used are the following: Ferro Island in the Canary Islands Ferro, the most westerly place known to ancient European geographers, was used by the Hellenistic geographer Ptolemy for the prime meridian of longitude circa AD150, and until around 1800 some maps continued this use. Paris is used on French, and sometimes Italian, maps prior to about 1900. Greenwich (or London on older maps) is used on American and British maps and on all modern maps. The Greenwich meridian was chosen as the world Prime Meridian in 1884. Washington is used on American maps up to around 1900. Philadelphia is used as prime meridian on some early American maps, usually ones published there.

What constitutes a map of Pennsylvania? Obviously the state appears on world maps, on western hemisphere maps, on maps of North America, and on maps of the United States. The smallest scale map included here is of the eastern United States (with southern Canada). The maps are arranged chronologically by century and decade. A catalog number is given for every map up to 1800 consisting of two parts, a date and index number. For example, 1700.2 would refer to a map dated 1700 and listed second. The order of listing is not meaningful.

If interested browsers note a missing map on the checklist up to 1800, an email would be appreciated sent to the address on the home page.

Watch the video: William Penn - Friends in History (May 2022).