« AnteriorContinuar »
eight for meadow; a public inn, several dwelling-houses, a framed barn, 100 feet long, and an oil mill were erected. The next year, among other improvements, 400 acres were cleared ; a brick store-house, saw mill and beer brewery were built. Every succeeding year has added to their wealth and buildings. They have now several capacious brick and framed barns, a brick meeting-house, warehouse, fulling, dyeing, grist and hemp mills, carding machines, spinning jennies, distilleries, &c. The annual quantity of produce, consisting of wheat, rye, oats, barley, and potatoes, exceeds 40,000 bushels, besides 5,000 lbs. of flax and hemp, 100 gallons of sweet oil, distilled from the white poppy, and the product of twelve acres of vineyard. This !. economical people appropriate every foot of the earth within the limits of their little republic, to some object of utility. Hills, which are too steep for the plough or the harrow, are planted with the vine. Their vineyard is situated on the south side of a steep hill, and exhibits to the eye a succession of benches, rising one above the other, like the galleries of churches, the front of each bench or flat being walled up with stones, to prevent the sliding or caving of the earth. They have about 3,000 acres of ground cleared; have a large stock of cattle, and about 1,000 sheep; part of which are merino. Their cloth has obtained a high reputation. There are about 100 mechanics, who work for the country as well as the society. The number of common labourers amounts to about 700 men, who will readily dispose of a large job of work, a field of 100 acres is scarcely the labour of a day. Nothing can exceed their industry. Idleness and intemperance are unknown among them. Food, clothing, and physic, are all received from the public stores. Their costume is very plain; the women dress with no motive of conquest. All are uniform ; a linsey or woollen jacket and petticoat, a close black cap, with a patch of cotton or wool on the crown, and tied under the chin, are their constant attire. The whole society attends divine worship on Sunday. The venerable Rapp fills the pulpit. Every thing, in short, proceeds with the regularity of clock-work. Their village is called Harmony, after the society. It is situated on the right bank of the Connoquenesing creek, which heads near the Allegany river, and runs into the Big Beaver, about fifty miles above its entrance into the Ohio. Over this creek they have a bridge 220 feet long. The creek affords many facilities for water machinery. The surrounding country is excellent for pasturage, but not of the first quality for grain. This interesting little colony have principally removed to the banks of the Wabash, below Vincennes, where they have commenced the culture of the vine, and the manufacture of broad cloths from merino wool.
Constitution.—The civil government of Pennsylvania is vested in a legislature, consisting of a senate and house of representatives. The senators are chosen for four years, and the representatives annually, by the people. The executive authority is vested in a governor, who is also chosen by the people, and holds his office for three years. The constitution declares, “That all men are born equally free and independent; that all power is inherent in the people; that all men have a natural and indisputable right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no man can be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; that no human authority can, in any case whatever, controul or interfere with the rights of conscience, and that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishments or modes of worship; that elections shall be free and equal ; that trial by jury shall be inviolate; that no law shall ever be made to restrain the liberty of the press; that the people shall be secure against all unwarrantble searches, and excessive bail shall not be required; that the legislature shall provide by law for the establishment of schools throughout the state, in such a manner as the poor may be taught gratis; and that the arts and sciences shall be promoted.”— The qualifications required to render a person eligible to sit in the legislature, is two years residence in the city or county for which he is chosen ; no member can hold any other office, except in the militia, the colonels of which are chosen by the freemen.” The qualifications of the electors are, full age, having resided in the state two years next before the election, and paid a state or county tax; the sons of freemen, being twenty-one years of age, are also entitled to vote.
History.-Pennsylvania was granted by king Charles II. to Mr. William Penn, son of the famous admiral Penn, partly in consideration of his father's eminent services,
* The militia of this state, according to the last returns, amounted to 118,015 effective men.
and partly on account of a large sum due to him from the crown, a portion of which he offered to remit on condition he obtained his grant. The charter was signed by the king on the 4th of March, 1681, and the first frame of government is dated 1682. By this frame, all legislative powers were vested in the governor and freemen of the province, in the form of a provincial council, and a general assembly. The council was to consist of seventy-two members, chosen by the freemen; of which the governor or his deputy, was to be perpetual president, with a treble vote: one-third of this council went out of office every year, and their seats were supplied by new elections. The general assembly was at first to consist of all the freemen, afterwards of 200, and never to exceed 500. In 1683, Mr. Penn offered another frame of government, in which the number of representatives was reduced, and the governor vested with a negative upon all bills passed in the assembly. By several specious arguments, the people were induced to accept this frame of government. Not long after, Mr. Penn having occasion to go to England, he committed the administration of government to five commissioners, taken from the council. In 1686, Mr. Penn required the commissioners to dissolve the frame of government; but not being able to effect his purpose, he, in 1688, appointed captain John Blackwell his deputy: from this period, the proprietors usually resided in England, and administered the government by deputies, who were devoted to their interest. Jealousies arose between the people and their governors, which never ceased till the revolution. The primary cause of these jealousies, was an attempt of the proprietor to extend his own power, and abridge that of the assembly; and the consequence was incessant disputes and dissentions in the legislature. In 1689, governor Blackwell, finding himself opposed' in his views, had recourse to artifice, and prevailed on certain members of the council to withdraw themselves from the house; thus defeating the measures of the legislature. The house voted this to be treachery, and addressed the governor on the occasion. In 1693, king William and queen Mary assumed the government into their own hands; and colonel Fletcher was appointed governor of New York and Pennsylvania, by one and the same commission, with equal powers in both provinces; by this commission the number of counsellors in Pennsylvania was reduced. Under the admiQistration of governor Markham, in 1696, a new form of government was established. The election of the council and assembly now became annual, and the legislature, with their powers and forms of proceeding, was new modelled. In 1699, the proprietor arrived from England, and assumed the reins of government; and while he remained in Pennsylvania, the last charter of privileges, or frame of government, which continued to the revolution, was agreed upon and established : this was completed and delivered to the people, Oct. 28, 1701, just on his embarking for England. The inhabitants of the territory,” as it was then called, in the lower counties, refused to accept this charter, and thus separated themselves from the province of Pennsylvania; they afterwards had their own assembly, in which the governor of Pennsylvania used to preside. In September, 1700, the Susquehannah Indians granted to Mr. Penn all their lands on both sides the river; but in conjunction with the Shawanese, and Potomac Indians, they entered into articles of agreement, by which they were permitted to settle about the head of Potomac river, in the province of Pennsylvania: the Conostoga chiefs, also, in 1701, ratified the grant of the Susquehannah Indians, made the preceding year. In 1708, Mr. Penn obtained from the chiefs of the country a confirmation of the grants made by former Indians, of all the lands from Duck creek, in the present state of Delaware, to the mountains, and from the river Delaware to the Susquehannah. In this deed the chiefs declared, that they had seen and heard read divers prior deeds which had been given to Mr. Penn by former chiefs. Philadelphia had been erected into a corporation by the proprietor while he remained in America; the charter being dated in 1701. By this charter the police of the city was vested in a mayor, recorder, aldermen and common council, with power to enquire into treasons, murders, and other felonies; and to inquire into and punish smaller crimes. The corporation had also an extensive civil jurisdiction; but it was dissolved at the revolution, and Philadelphia is governed like other counties in the state. By the favourable terms which Mr. Penn offered to settlers, and an unlimited toleration of all religious denominations, the population of the province was extremely rapid. Notwithstanding the attempts of the proprietor, or his governors, to extend his own power and accumu: late property, by procuring grants from the people, and * This territory now forms the state of Delaware,
exempting his lands from taxation; the government was generally mild, and the burdens of the people by no ‘means oppressive. The selfish designs of the proprietors were vigorously and constantly opposed by the assembly, whose firmness preserved the chartered rights of the prov in Ce. At the revolution, the government was abolished. The proprietors were absent, and the people, by their representatives, formed a new constitution on republican principles; excluding the proprietors from all share in the government, by offering them £130,000 in lieu of all quitrents, which was finally accepted.
STATE OF DELAWARE.
Situation, Boundaries, and Eartent.
This small state is situated between 38°29' and 39° 48' N. lat. and lo 18 and 1° 58' E. long. It is bounded on the north by Pennsylvania; south, by Maryland; east, by Delaware bay and the Atlantic ocean ; and west by Pennsylvania and Maryland. From north to south it is ninety miles in length, and from east to west twenty-five miles in
breadth; forming an area of about 1,700 square miles, or 1,088,000 acres.
General aspect of the country, climate, soil, and productions.—The face of a great part of the country is level, abounding with swamps and stagnant water; which render it equally unfit for the purposes of agriculture, and injurious to the health of the inhabitants; but towards the northern part it is more elevated, and near its extremity there is a considerable chain of hills. Excepting these heights, the surface of the state is very little broken, and the lower country may be said to form one extended plain. In the southern and western parts of the state spring the head waters of Choptank, Nanticock, Pocomoke, Wicomico, Chester, Sassafras, and Bohemia rivers; all of which fall into Chesapeak-bay: some of them are navigable twenty or thirty miles into the country, for vessels of fifty or sixty tons burden. The eastern side of the state is indented with a number of creeks, or small rivers, which generally have a short course, soft banks, numerous shoals, and are skirted with very extensive