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the slightest regard to the rights of the native tribes. They treatea them as mere barbarians and heathens, whom, if they were not at liberty to extirpate, they were entitled to deem mere temporary occupants of the soil. They might convert them to Christianity ; and, if they refused conversion, they might drive them from the soil, as unworthy to inhabit it. They affected to be governed by the desire to promote the cause of Christianity, and were aided in this ostensible object by the whole in fluence of the Papal power. But their real object was, to extend their own power, and increase their own wealth, by acquiring the treasures, as well as the territory, of the New World. Avarice and ambition were at the bottom of all their original enterprises.
$ 6. The right of discovery, thus asserted, has become the settled foundation, on which the European na tions rest their title to territory in America, and it is a right, which, under our governments, must now be deemed incontestable, however doubtful in its origin, or unsat isfactory in its principles. The Indians, indeed, have not been treated as mere intruders, but as entitled to a qualified right of property in the territory. They have been deemed to be the lawful occupants of the soil, and entitled to a temporary possession thereof, subject to the superior sovereignty of the particular European nation, which actually held the title of discovery. They have not, indeed, been permitted to alienate their possessory right to the soil, except to the nation, to whom they were thus bound by a qualified dependence. But in other respects, they have been left to the free exercise of internal sovereignty, in regard to the members of their own tribe, and in regard to their intercourse with other tribes; and their title to the soil, by way of occupancy, has been generally respected, until it has been extinguished by purchase, or by conquest, under the authority of the nation, upon which they were dependent. A large portion of the territory in the United States, to which the Indian title is now extinguished, has been acquired by purchase ; and a still larger portion by the irresistible power of arms, over a brave, hardy, but declining race, whose destir y
seems to b, to perish as fast as the white man advances upon their footsteps.
§ 7. Having thus traced out the origin of the title to the soil of America, asserted by the European nations, we may now enter upon a brief statement of the times and manner, in which the different settlements were made, in the different colonies, which originally composed the Union, at the time of the Declaration of Independence. The first permanent settlement made in America, under the auspices of England, was under a charter granted by King James I., in 1606. By this charter, he granted all the lands lying on the seacoast between the thirty-fourth and the forty-fifth degrees of north latitude, and the islands adjacent, within one hundred miles, which were not then belonging to, or possessed by, any Christian prince or people. The associates were divided into two companies ; one, the First, or Southern Colony, to which was granted all the lands between the thirty-fourth and forty-first degrees of north latitude ; and the other, the Second, oi Northern Colony, to which was granted all the lands be tween the thirty-eighth and forty-fifth degrees of north latitude, but not within one hundred miles of the prior Colony. Each Colony was declared to have the exclusive propriety or title in all the territory within fifty miles from the seat of its first plantation. The name of Virginia was in general confined exclusively to the Southern Colony; and the name of the Plymouth Company (from the place of residence of the original grantees in England) was assumed by the Northern Colony. From the former, the States south of the Potomac n ay be said to have had their origin ; and from the latter, the States of New England.
$ 8. Some of the provisions of this charter deserve : particular consideration, from the light, which they throw upon the civil and political condition of the persons, who should become inhabitants of the Colonies. The two coinpanies were authorized to engage, as colonists, any of the subjects of England, who should be disposed to emi grate. All persons, being English subjects, and inhabitants in the Colonies, and their children born therein, were declared to have and possess all liberties, franchises, and immunities of subjects within any dominions of the Crown of England, to all intents and purposes, as if they were born and abiding within the realm or other dominions of that Crown. The original grantees, or patentees, were to hold the lands and other territorial rights in the Colonies, of the King, his heirs and successors, in the same manner as the manor of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in England, was held of him, in free and common socage, and not in capite, (as it was technically called, that is to say, by a free and certain tenure, as contradistinguished from a military and a servile tenure,-a privilege of inestimable value, as those, who are acquainted with the history of the feudal tenures, well know.* The patentees were also authorized to grant the same lands to the inhabitants of the Colonies in such form and manner, and for such estates, as the Council of the Colony should direct These provisions were, in substance, incorporated into ali the charters subsequently granted by the Crown to the different Colonies, and constituted also the basis, upon which all the subsequent settlements were made.
§ 9. The Colony of Virginia was the earliest in its 7 origin, being settled in 1606. The Colony of Plymouth
(which afterwards was united with Massachusetts, in 1692) was settled in 1620; the Colony of Massachusetts in 1628 ; the Colony of New Hampshire in 1629; the Colony of Maryland in 1632; the Colony of Connecticut in 1635 ; the Colony of Rhode Island in 1636 ; the Colony of New York in 1662 ; the Colonies of North and South Carolina in 1663; the Colony of New Jersey in 1664 ; the Colony of Pennsylvania in 1681'; the Colony of Delaware in 1682 ; and the Colony of Georgia in 1732. In using these dates, we refer not to any sparse and discon nected settlements in these Colonies, (which had been made at prior periods,) but to the permanent settlements made under distinct and organized governments.
* On this subject, the reader can consult the history of the ancieni and modern English tenures in Blackstone's Commentaries, vol. üi chs. 5 and 6, p. 59 to p. 103.
10. Let us next proceed to the consideration of 1110 political Institutions and forms of Government, which were established in these different Colonies, and existed here at the commencement of the Revolution. The governments originally formed in these different Colonies may be divided into three sorts, viz. Provincial, Propri- or tree, etary, and Charter, Governments. First, Provincial Governments. These establishments existed under the direct and immediate authority of the King of England, without any fixed constitution of government; the organ zation being dependent upon the resrective commissions issued from time to time by the Crown to the royal governors, and upon the instructions, whuch usually accompa nied those commissions. The Provincial Governments were, therefore, wholly under the control of the King, and subject to his pleasure. The form of government, however, in the Provinces, was at all times practically the same, the commissions being issued in the same form. The commissions appointed a Governor, who was the King's representative, or deputy; and a Council, who, besides being a part of the Legis'ature, were to assist the Governor in the discharge of bis official duties ; and both the Governor and the Council held their offices during the pleasure of the Crown. The commissions also contained authority to the Governor to convene a general assembly of the representatives of the freeholders and planters in the Province ; and under this authority, Provincial As semblies, composed of the Governor, the Council, and the Representatives, were, from time to time, constituted and held. The Representatives composed the lower house, as a distinct branch ; the Council composed the upper bouse; and the Governor had a negative upon all their proceedings, and the power to prorogue and dis.
solve them. The Legislature, thus constituted, had power to make all local laws and ordinances not repug. nant to the laws of England, but, as near as might conveniently be, agreeable thereto, subject to the ratification or disapproval of the Crown. The Governor appointed the judges and magistrates, and other officers of the Province, and possessed other general executive powers. Under this form of government, New Hampshire, New York,
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, Jewel hy were governed, as provinces, at the commencement of the
Anierican Revolution ; and some of them had been so governed from an early period of their settlement.
§ 11. Secondly, Proprietary Governments. These were grants by letters patent (or open, written grants under the great seal of the kingdom) from the Crown to one or more persons as Proprietary or Proprietaries, conveying to them not only the rights of the soil, but also the general powers of government within the territory so granted, in the nature of feudatory principalities, or dependent royalties. So that they possessed within their own domains nearly the same authority, which the Crown possessed in the Provincial Governments, subject, how ever, to the control of the Crown, as the paramount sov ereign, to whom they owed allegiance. In the Proprietary Governments, the Governor was appointed by the Proprietary or Proprietaries ; the Legislature was organized and convened according to his or their will ; and the appointment of officers, and other executive functions and prerogatives, were exercised by him or them, either personally, or by the Governors for the time being. Of these Proprietary governments, three only existed at the time of the American Revolution, viz., Maryland, held by Lord Baltimore, as Proprietary, and Pennsylvania and Delaware, held by William Penn, as Proprietary,
§ 12. Thirdly, Charter Governments. These were great political corporations, created by letters patent, or grants of the Crown, which conferred on the grantees and their associates not only the soil within their territorial limits, but also all the high powers of legislation and government. The charters contained, in fact, a fundamental