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Nothing could arouse her husband from his sorrows till he heard that Colonel Fletcher was proposing to abolish the separate charter of Pennsylvania, and to form one government out of all the northern colonies. William was inclined to Fletcher's policy; for France, victorious on the continent, was menacing America; the Governor of New York would not answer for his province; and the King was but too glad of any plea for strengthening his military powers. Penn thought that if he were in America, his presence might reconcile parties now at variance, and put an end to dangerous complaints. But where could he obtain the funds? The woods at Worminghurst were sadly thinned; two thousand pounds of timber having been already cut. Owner of twenty million acres of land, he coidd not raise a few hundred pounds. The Irish property had ceased to yield him rent; and his unfaithful stewards, the Fords, pretended they could hardly make his English income meet his outgo. In the depth of his distress a thought occurred to him:—he had spent a fortune on his colony; on the million acres sold there was a quit-rent, which, for ease of the colonists, he had allowed to stand over; and for ten years he had not received a shilling of his due. Why not apply to these prosperous settlers in the land he had made for them, —recently blessed with abundant seasons,—for a loan of ten thousand pounds—a hundred pounds each from a hundred persons? This amount would set him right ; the querents and the lands would be security to the lenders. To an old friend, Robert Turner, he opened his heart, and made proposals, pledging himself, in the event of its success, to sail immediately with a party of emigrants, who were only waiting for a signal; if they refused him this kindness, he knew not where to turn. Then came the old, sad story once again. The men to whom he looked for help—to whom in confidence he laid bare his wants—sought in his distress an opportunity to encroach on his just rights. They said they loved him much—but still they had no mind to lend.
Unable to get help from America, Penn resolved to fight his battle to the end at home. Calling on the friends who had recently done him service, he prevailed on them to take his case once more in hand; if possible, to procure the restoration ot his colonial government, with the rank and dignities attached to it by Charles. King William being abroad, he drew up a petition to the Queen, praying her Majesty to order an inquiry into the whole train of facts alleged by him, and if her Majesty was satisfied, to grant him a re-instatement of his rights.
Mary received this petition with favour. Lady Ranelagh had prepared her mind. Mary referred his petition to the Council, who consulted the Board of Trade and the law officers of the crown; and finding no legal flaw in the charter itself, nor any subsequent act to warrant forfeiture, she admitted his claims to be made out. The Lords of Trade and Plantations asserted,—as they were bound to do in dealing as statesmen with a case so peculiar and exceptional,—that although the soil and the government belonged to Penn, as lord proprietor under the great seal, the King's government, still retaining its imperial right, was laid under the necessity of defending the province from its enemies as part and parcel of the empire; but that so soon as war was finished in Europe, and fear of invasion had subsided in Canada, the government must devolve on Penn as owner of the soil. The Five Nations, long in amity with the English, had been won over to the Canadian interest; numerous farms had been sacked and burnt in Albany; settlers had been either massacred or carried off; and it was feared that the friendly Lenni Lenape" would be compelled to join the great confederacy of their tribes. In this event, the forests of Pennsylvania would aiford no protection to the unarmed towns and villages scattered over the country; and devoted as he was to peace, Penn saw the folly of maintaining a passive attitude under a tomahawk and a scalping-knife. He promised the Council that as early as convenient he would repair to the colony in person; and in the meantime he undertook to supply money and men for the general defence. Markham was a soldier; there were men in the province who felt no scruple at bearing arms; and Penn had little fear of raising any contingent that the crown might fix. In case he met with opposition from the Assembly, he stipulated that he would then surrender the direction of affairs entirely to the King.
in Council was made, restoring Penn to his government, revoking the military commission, and appointing eighty men and their complete equipment and charges as the contingent of Pennsylvania, to be maintained on either the frontiers or at New York, so long as war should last.
LAND OF PROMISE (1694-99).
With Guli dead and Springett dying, Penn was not in case to go in person to Philadelphia, and he therefore sent out a new commission to Colonel Markham as his deputy-governor. King William gave his sanction to this act.
Six years elapsed after the restitution of his charter ere he could set his foot again in the Promised Land. Two years he acted as a nurse to his dying boy; his almost constant companion by day and night. Everything that tender nurture, parental watchfulness, and medical skill, could do for him, was done. In spite of all, the youth grew worse and worse;—and fell asleep in his father's arms on the 2nd of April, 1696, in the twentyfirst year of his age. Penn's other children still living—Mary and Hannah having died in infancy—were Letitia and William; the latter now his heir, and, as it seemed, the future lord proprietor of Pennsylvania. Springett had the virtues as well as the names of his joint ancestry; to his father's strong sense of political