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commenced preparations for the voyage. Some persons from the principality joined the Bristol colonists, and zeal being backed by money, things were soon so far advanced that a vessel filled with emigrants, and taking out the chairman, Nicolas Moore, was ready to set sail.
CLEARING GROUND (1681-82).
Philip Ford, a Bristol Quaker and a leading member of the Free Society of Traders, gained the confidence of Penn, and was appointed as his agent in the western port. This Ford was one of those sedate and sallow rogues who made a business of religion, and was lashed by every writer for the comic stage. He had the face of Cantwell and the hand of Overreach. Penn saw that he was quick and ceremonious, and fancied he was honest and sincere. For many years he was the agent through whose hands receipts and payments on the largest scale were made, but many years elapsed before the family of Penn became aware how much of what was properly their own stuck fast to Ford.
When Markham landed on the Delaware he made known a letter from Penn to the people of Pennsylvania, under date of April 8, 1681, announcing the issue of his patent, and explaining the spirit in which he should proceed to plant a free state in that country. Then he called the Indian sachems into council, and surprised the redskins by inquiring whether they would sell a piece of land near the Trenton Falls to the new lord; and if so, what would be their price? The new lord, whom the great King had set to rule and own the country, was, he said, a just man, who would neither do them wrong himself nor suffer any of his sons to do them wrong. He meant to live with them in love; to buy their lands if he should want it; and to trade with them in open market, as a white man bought and sold with white men. In July the terms of sale were fixed; in August they were signed by Markham on behalf of Penn, arid by the various sachems who had claims on the estate; and Colonel Markham set about to clear the woods and stake the buildings of the homestead afterwards known as Pennsbury Manor. Markham had less success with Baltimore than with the Indians; but his opening moves in that game of chance and skill—the boundary question—left a deep impression of his tact. He was in truth too able and too worldly in such things to be a fitting deputy for an idealist like Penn.
While Markham was buying Pennsbury Manor from the sachems, Penn was putting out in London articles of concession for intending colonists. In these concessions he described the country and the constitution, and he dwelt with vigour on the line of conduct he intended to pursue towards natives of the soil. From Cortez and Pizarro downwards, Europeans in America had treated the aborigines as property. Not content with robbing them of their lands, their lakes, their hunting-grounds, their ornaments of pearl and gold, the pale-faces from Seville and Cartagena had seized their persons and compelled them, under terror of the rod, to toil and die. When some of the bolder spirits among these natives fled from the faces of their tyrants, they were hunted down like wolves, and either worried by blood-hounds or sent to painful death in the mines. Even Puritan settlers, flying from an unjust rule at home, had been at war with natives of the soil, and more than one scene of treachery stains the page of New England history. Penn, strong in his belief in human goodness, would not arm his followers even for their own defence. In his province the sword should cease to be the symbol of authority; no soldier and no cannon should be seen; he would rely on justice and on courtesy to win the confidence of those whom it had hitherto been the vice of his countrymen to treat as foes.
In the autumn two vessels, called the Amity and the John Sarah, sailed from the Thames, and a third vessel, called the Bristol Factor from the Avon. Penn had now completed his scheme with regard to the Indians, and by the John Sarah he sent out three commissioners, William Crispin, John Bezar, and Nathaniel Allen, with written instructions to buy land from them in his name, to arrange a regular course of trade, and enter into treaties of peace and friendship. At sea the two vessels from the Thames parted company. The Amity was driven by storms among the West Indian islands, and did not reach the Delaware till the following spring. The John Sarah was the first to make land; but the Bristol Factor soon afterwards appeared in the river. As they slowly cut the stream, the passengers observed some cottages on the right bank, forming the Swedish village of Upland, and it being nearly dark, with a long winter night before them in an unknown river, they thought it best to pull up. While the adventurers were enjoying themselves in their own fashion on shore, a sudden frost set in, and next morning they found to their alarm that the vessel was locked in ice. The hospitable Swedes offered them such protection as their scanty homesteads yielded; such as could not obtain the shelter of a roof dug holes in the ground or piled up earthen huts; and here at last they determined to wait patiently for the coming spring. Many of these accidential settlers in Upland were still there when Penn arrived next year.
Meanwhile the friends of the Holy Experiment were busy in England and on the Continent. The Lords of Plantation had left several sources of uncertainty in the grant. The quarrel with Baltimore seemed to threaten angry and expensive litigation; for between the Catholic lord and the Quaker lord irreconcilable views as to the nature and aims of government came in to embitter the dispute. Colonel Markham held conference after conference with Baltimore, but without result. Each appealed to his political friends in England, where the King himself took part with Penn, and felt sufficient interest in the matter to write more than one letter to Lord Baltimore about the boundary lines. Some claims advanced on behalf of the Duke of York were