4000bce - 399
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Certain conditions, or concessions, agreed upon by William Penn, Proprietary and Governor of the province of Pennsylvania, find those who are the adventurers and purchasers in the same province, the eleventh of July, one thousand six hundred and eighty-one.
That so soon as it pleaseth God that the abovesaid persons arrive there, a certain quantity of land, or ground plat, shall be laid out, for a large town or city, in the most convenient place, upon the river, for health and navigation; and every purchaser and adventurer shall, by lot, have so much land therein as will answer to the proportion, which he hath bought, or taken up, upon rent: but it is to be noted, that the surveyors shall consider what roads or high-ways will be necessary to the cities, towns, or through the lands. Great roads from city to city not to contain less than forty foot, in breadth, shall be first laid out and declared to be for high-ways, before the dividend of acres be laid out for the purchaser, and the like observation to be had for the streets in the towns and cities, that there may be convenient roads and streets preserved, not to be encroached upon by any planter or builder, that none may build irregularly to the damage of another. In this, custom governs.
II. That the land in the town be laid out together after the proportion of ten thousand acres of the whole country, that is, two hundred acres, if the place will bear it: however, that the proportion be by lot, and entire, so as those that desire to be together, especially those that are, by the catalogue, laid together, may be so laid together both in the town and country.
III. That, when the country lots are laid out, every purchaser, from one thousand, to ten thousand acres, or more, not to have above one thousand acres together, unless in three years they plant a family upon every thousand acres; but that all such as purchase together, lie together; and, if as many as comply with this condition, that the whole be laid out together.
IV. That, where any number of purchasers, more or less, whose number of acres amounts to five or ten thousand acres, desire to sit together in a lot, or township, they shall have their lot, or township, cast together, in such places as have convenient harbours, or navigable rivers attending it, if such can be found; and in case any one or more purchasers plant not according to agreement, in this concession, to the prejudice of others of the same township, upon complaint thereof made to the Governor, or his Deputy, with assistance, they may award (if they see cause) that the complaining purchaser may, paying the survey money. and purchase money, and interest thereof, be entitled, enrolled and lawfully invested, in the lands so not seated.
V. That the proportion of lands, that shall be laid out in the first great town, or city, for every purchaser, shall be after the proportion of ten acres for every five hundred acres purchased, if the place will allow it.
VI. That notwithstanding there be no mention made, in the several deeds made to the purchasers; yet the said William Penn does accord and declare, that all rivers, rivulets, woods, and underwoods, waters, watercourses, quarries, mines, and minerals, (except mines royal) shall be freely and fully enjoyed, and wholly by the purchasers, into whose lot they fall.
VII. That, for every fifty acres, that shall be allotted to a servant, at the end of his service, his quit-rent shall be two shillings per annum, and the master, or owner of the servant, when he shall take up the other fifty acres, his quit-rent, shall be four shillings by the year, or, if the master of the servant (by reason in the indentures he is so obliged to do) allot out to the servant fifty acres in his own division, the said master shall have, on demand, allotted him, from the governor, the one hundred acres, at the chief rent of six shillings per annum.
VIII. And, for the encouragement of such as are ingenious and willing to search out gold and silver mines in this province, it is hereby agreed, that they have liberty to bore and dig in any man's property, fully paying the damages done; and in case a discovery should be made, that the discoverer have one-fifth, the owner of the soil (if not the discoverer) a tenth part, the Governor two-fifths, and the rest to the public treasury, saving to the king the share reserved by patent.
IX. In every hundred thousand acres, the Governor and Proprietary, by lot, reserveth ten to himself, what shall lie but in one place.
X. That every man shall be bound to plant, or man, so much of his share of land as shall be set out and surveyed, within three years after it is so set out and surveyed, or else it shall be lawful for new comers to be settled thereupon, paying to them their survey money, and they go up higher for their shares.
XI. There shall be no buying and selling, be it with an Indian, or one among another, of any goods to be exported, but what shall be performed in public market, when such places shall be set apart, or erected, where they shall pass the public stamp, or mark. If bad ware, and prized as good, or deceitful in proportion or weight, to forfeit the value, as if good and full weight and proportion, to the public treasury of this province, whether it be the merchandise of the Indian, or that of the planters.
XII. And forasmuch, as it is usual with the planters to over-reach the poor natives of the country, in trade, by goods not being good of the kind, or debased with mixtures, with which they are sensibly aggrieved, it is agreed, whatever is sold to the Indians, in consideration of their furs, shall be sold in the market place, and there suffer the test, whether good or bad; if good, to pass; if not good, not to be sold for good, that the natives may not be abused, nor provoked.
XIII. That no man shall, by any ways or means, in word, or deed, affront, or wrong any Indian, but he shall incur the same penalty of the law, as if he had committed it against his fellow planter, and if any Indian shall abuse, in word, or deed, any planter of this province, that he shall not be his own judge upon the Indian, but he shall make his complaint to the governor of the province, or his lieutenant, or deputy, or some inferior magistrate near him, who shall, to the utmost of his power, take care with the king of the said Indian, that all reasonable satisfaction be made to the said injured planter.
XIV. That all differences, between the planters and the natives, shall also be ended by twelve men, that is, by six planters and six natives; that so we may live friendly together as much as in us lieth, preventing all occasions of heart-burnings and mischief.
XV. That the Indians shall have liberty to do all things relating to improvement of their ground, and providing sustenance for their families, that any of the planters shall enjoy.
XVI. That the laws, as to slanders, drunkenness, swearing, cursing, pride in apparel, trespasses, distriesses, replevins, weights, and measures, shall be the same as in England, till altered by law in this province.
XVII. That all shall mark their hogs, sheep and other cattle, and what are not marked within three months after it is in their possession, be it young or old, it shall be forfeited to the governor, that so people may be compelled to avoid the occasions of much strife between planters.
XVIII. That, in clearing the ground, care be taken to leave one acre of trees for every five acres cleared, especially to preserve oak and mulberries, for silk and shipping.
XIX. That all ship-masters shall give an account of their countries, names, ships, owners, freights and passengers, to an officer to be appointed for that purpose, which shall be registered within two days after their arrival, and if they shall refuse so to do, that then none presume to trade with them, upon forfeiture thereof; and that such masters be looked upon as having an evil intention to the province.
XX. That no person leave the province, without publication being made thereof, in the market place, three weeks before? and a certificate from some justice of the peace, of his clearness with his neighbours and those he dealt withal, so far as such an assurance can be attained and given: and if any master of a ship shall, contrary hereunto, receive and carry away any person, that hath not given that public notice, the said master shall be liable to all debts owing by the said person, so secretly transported from the province.
Lastly, That these are to be added to, or corrected, by and with the consent of the parties hereunto subscribed.
(1) Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the Province of Pennsylvania, beginning the Fourth Day of December, 1682, vol. I, Philadelphia, printed and sold by R. Franklin, and D. Hall, at the New-Printing-Office near the market, MDCCLII, pp. XXIV-XXVI. Back
The Federal and State Constitutions Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America
Compiled and Edited Under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906 by Francis Newton Thorpe
Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1909.