At the time of our Declaration of Independence the only states in which all Christian sects stood socially and politically on an equal footing were Pennsylvania and Delaware, the two states which had originally constituted the palatinate or proprietary domain of William Penn. Rhode Island, indeed, had been founded upon equally liberal principles, but during the strong wave of anti-Catholic feeling that passed over the country in the time of James II, a clause depriving Papists of the franchise found its way into its statute book and it was not repealed until 1783. If Roger Williams had lived a few years longer, it is not likely that this one stain upon the noble record of Rhode Island would have been permitted. As for Pennsylvania, if there was anything which she stood for in the eyes of the world, it was liberty of conscience. Her fame had gone abroad over the continent of Europe. In Voltaire's writings Pennsylvania more than once receives admiring mention as the one favoured country in the world where men can be devoutly religious and still free from tearing one another to pieces.
There was something more than satire in the suggested antithesis; as with most of Voltaire's keen-edged remarks, there was deep and earnest meaning behind it. Until quite modern times toleration was found only in union with indifference. In religious matters the Gallio, who "cared for none of those things," might refuse to play the part of a persecutor, but the most devout and disinterested zeal for religion was apt to be combined with more or less fanatical intolerance. p93 Various causes from time to time contributed to this, but the deepest and most abiding cause was the imperfect separation between religion and politics. If we carry our thoughts back to primeval ages, we see that there was no such separation; religious life and civil life were identical. The earliest glimpses we can get of the human race show us nowhere anything like a nation, but everywhere small tribes perpetually encroaching upon one another and perpetually fighting to escape annihilation. The state of things among the American Indians of the seventeenth century may serve to illustrate what had been going on over a large part of the earth's surface for at least 300,000 or 400,000 years. From the Australian stage of human existence up to the Iroquois stage there was in many respects an enormous advance toward civilization, but the omnipresence of exterminating warfare continued, and enables us to understand that feature of primeval times. In such a stage of society almost every act of tribal life is invested with religious significance, and absolute conformity to tribal rules and observances is enforced with pitiless rigour. The slightest neglect of an omen, for example, might offend some tutelar deity and thus bring on defeat; it is therefore unhesitatingly punished with death. It is an important part of the duties of medicine-men to take cognizance of the slightest offences and lapses. In early society the enforced conformity relates chiefly to matters of ritual and ceremony; questions of dogma rise at a later stage, after a considerable development in human thinking. But to whatever matter the enforcement of conformity relates, there can be no doubt as to the absolute necessity of it in early society. No liberty of divergence can be allowed to the individual without endangering the community.
As a kind of help toward the illustration of this point, let me cite a familiar instance of persecution in modern times and in a highly civilized community, where some of the conditions of primitive society had been temporarily reproduced. p94 In 1636 there were about 5000 Englishmen in New England, distributed in more than twenty villages, mostly on the shores of Massachusetts Bay, but some as remote as the Connecticut River. Such a concerted Indian assault as was actually made in King Philip's war, might have overwhelmed them. Such an assault was contemplated by the Pequots and dreaded throughout the settlements, and the train-bands were making ready for war, when a certain number of Boston men refused to serve. There were a few persons of influence in Boston, called Antinomians, of whom the one best remembered is Anne Hutchinson. According to them it made a great difference to one's salvation whether one were under a "covenant of grace" or only under a "covenant of works." The men who in a moment of peril to the commonwealth refused to march against the enemy alleged as a sufficient reason that they suspected their chaplain of being under a "covenant of works," and therefore would not serve with him. Under such circumstances Mrs. Hutchinson and p95 the other Antinomians were banished from Boston. A disagreement upon a transcendental question of theology was breeding sedition and endangering the very existence of the state. Those who defend the government of Massachusetts for banishing Mrs. Hutchinson rest their defence upon such grounds. Without feeling called upon to decide that question, we can see that the case is historically instructive in a high degree.
Now when we come to early society, the military urgency is incessant and imperative, and all other things must yield to it. It is sustained by the feeling of corporate responsibility which is universal among tribal communities. The tribe is regarded as responsible for the acts of its individuals. Religious sanctions and penalties are visited upon everything. What we call conventionalities are in the tribal stage of society regarded as sacraments and thus the slightest infringement is liable to call down upon the whole tribe the wrath of some offended tutelar deity, in the shape of defeat or famine or pestilence. In such a stern discipline there is no room for divergence or dissent. And such was undoubtedly the kind of training under which all our ancestors were reared, from far-off ages of which only a geologic record remains down to the mere yesterday that witnessed the building of the Pyramids. Under such rigid training were formed, through wave after wave of conquest, the great nations of prechristian times.
It is not strange that it has taken the foremost races of men three or four thousand years to free themselves from the tyranny of mental habits which had been engrained into them for three or four hundred thousand. A careful study of the history of religious persecution shows us that sometimes politics and sometimes religion have been most actively concerned in it. The persecution of Christians by the Roman emperors was chiefly political, because Christianity asserted a dominion over men paramount to that of the emperor. The persecution of the Albigenses by Pope Innocent III was largely political, because p96 that heresy threatened the very continuance of the Papacy as part of the complex government of mediaeval Europe. Innocent, like the heathen emperors, was fighting in self-defence. So, too, a considerable part of the mutual persecutions of Catholics and Protestants in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was simply downright warfare in which A kills B to prevent B from killing A. But if we consider the nature of the religious motives that have entered into persecution, whether they have been dominating motives or have simply been enlisted in furtherance of political ends, we find that they have always been rooted in the ancient notion of corporate responsibility. Let us get rid of the unclean thing lest we be cursed for its sake; such has been the feeling which has more than anything else sustained persecution. The Spanish prelates, for example, who urged the banishment of the Moriscos, loudly asseverated that the failure to suppress the Dutch Netherlands was a mark of God's displeasure that such people were allowed to stay in Spain. Was God likely to aid the Spaniards in exterminating infidels abroad while they were so sinful as to harbour infidels in their own country? So when Queen Mary Tudor was led by domestic disappointments to fancy herself undergoing divine punishment, she quickly reached the conclusion that she had not been sufficiently zealous in purging the kingdom of heresy, and this particular act of logic kindled the flames for more than fifty Protestants. In the sixteenth century this way of looking at things (which I now take pains to explain to my readers) would not have needed a word of explanation for anybody; it was simply a piece of plain common sense, self-evident to all!
Now if we look at religious persecution from the point of view of modern society, it is easy to see that it is an unmitigated evil. The evolution of a higher civilization can best be attained by allowing to individual tastes, impulses and capacities the freest possible play. Procrustes-beds are out of fashion; we no longer think it desirable that all people should act alike. From a Darwinian standpoint we recognize that an abundance of spontaneous variation is favourable to progress. A wise horticulturist sees signs of promise in many an aberrant plant and carefully nurtures it. If you wish to produce a race of self-reliant, inventive, and enterprising Yankees, you must not begin by setting up a winnowing machine for picking out and slaughtering all the men and women who are bold enough and bright enough to do their own thinking, and earnest enough to talk about it to others. Such an infernal machine was the Inquisition; it weeded out the sturdiest plants and saved the weaker ones, thus lowering the average capacity of the people wherever it was in vigorous operation. As a rule it has been persons of a progressive type who have become objects of persecution, and when they have fled from their native land they have added p98 strength to the country that has received them. In the history of what has been done by men who speak English, it is a fact of cardinal importance that England has never had an Inquisition, but has habitually sheltered religious refugees from other countries.
Such is the scientific aspect of the case. But it has a purely religious aspect from which we are brought to the same conclusion. The moment we cease to regard religious truth as a rigid body of formulas, imparted to mankind once for all and incapable of further interpretation or expansion; the moment we come to look upon religion as part of the soul's development under the immediate influence of the Spirit of God; the moment we concede to individual judgment some weight in determining what the individual form of religious expression shall be, — that moment we have taken the first step toward the conclusion that a dead uniformity of opinion on religious questions is undesirable. In the presence of an Eternal Reality which confessedly transcends our human powers of comprehension in many ways, we are not entitled to frown or to sneer at our neighbour's view, but if we give it due attention we may find in it more or less that is helpful and uplifting which we had overlooked. Thus, instead of mere toleration we rise to a higher plane and greet the innovator with words of cordial welcome. Such a state of things, on any general scale, can hardly yet be said to have come into existence, but in the foremost communities many minds have come within sight of it, and some have attained to it. So in past times we find here and there some choice spirit reaching it. Especially in the seventeenth century, when Protestantism was assuming sundry extreme forms, and when one of the symptoms of the age was the demonstration, by Hobbes and Locke, of the relativity of all knowledge, there were active leaders of men who attained to this great breadth of view. For example, Sir Henry Vane, whom Milton, in that sonnet which is the most glorious tribute ever paid by a man of p99 letters to a statesman, calls Religion's "eldest son," — Sir Henry Vane once exclaimed in Parliament, "Why should the labours of any be suppressed, if sober, though never so different? We now profess to seek God, we desire to see light!" Roger Williams called this a "heavenly speech." It merited Milton's encomium:—
Both Spiritual and Civil, what each means,
What serves each, thou hast learn'd, which few have done."
It was greatly to the credit of Oliver Cromwell as a statesman that he usually exhibited this large-minded and generous tolerance. It was Cromwell, for example, who encouraged Jews to come to England, where they had not been allowed since 1290.1 So a Rhode Island statute of 1684, the year after Roger Williams's death, and in accordance with his principles, expressly admits Jewish immigrants to all rights and privileges of citizens. These men — Vane and Williams, Milton and Cromwell — had reached a very modern standpoint in such matters.
Just at the zenith of Cromwell's career that notable phase of religious development known as Quakerism appeared upon the scene. Quakerism was the most extreme form which Protestantism had assumed. In so far as Protestantism claimed to be working a reformation in Christianity by retaining the spiritual core and dropping off the non-essential integuments, the Quakers carried this process about as far as it could go. There have always been two sides to Quakerism, the rationalistic side, whereby it has sometimes drawn upon itself the imputation of Socinianism or Deism, and the mystic side, whereby it shows traces of kinship with various sects of Quietists. John Tauler, the mighty Dominican preacher in the days of the Black Death, seems in many respects a forerunner of the Quakers. Thomas à Kempis, author of the most widely read Christian book after the Bible, belonged to the same class of minds. Without much organization or machinery p100 as a sect, such men were known in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries as "Friends of God." A group of them which attained to some organization in Holland about 1360 came to be known as "Brethren of the Common Life." It was among these people that Thomas à Kempis was trained at Deventer; their influence upon Dutch culture was very great, and I dare say the mildness and tolerance of the Netherlands in matters of religion owes much to them.
The founder of Quakerism, George Fox, was born in Leicestershire, in 1624, the son of a prosperous weaver, known to his neighbours as "righteous Christopher Fox." An origin among Leicester weavers is suggestive of Dutch influences, but in the lack of detailed evidence it is easy to make too much of such suggestions. At an early age and with scanty education, George Fox became a lay preacher. His aim was not to gather disciples about him and found a new sect, but to purify the Church from sundry errors, doctrinal and practical. The basis of his teaching was the belief that each soul is in religious matters answerable not to its fellows, but to God alone, without priestly mediation, because the Holy Spirit is immediately present in every soul, and is thus a direct source of illumination. From this central belief flowed two important practical consequences, both essentially modern; one was complete toleration, the other was complete equality of human beings before the law, and hence the condemnation of slavery, in which Quakers have generally been foremost. Fox's extreme democracy was shown in the refusal to take off his hat, and in the avoidance of the plural pronoun of dignity. His rejection of a priesthood extended to all ordained and salaried preachers. He cared little for communion with bread and wine in comparison with communion in spirit, and set more value upon the baptism of repentance than upon the baptism of water. He regarded the inner light as a more authoritative guide than Scripture, since it was the interpreter to which the sacred text must ultimately be p101 referred; but he was far from neglecting the written word. On the contrary, his deference to it was often extremely scrupulous, as when he understood the injunction, "Swear not at all," as a prohibition of judicial oaths, and the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," as a condemnation of all warfare. Fox was a man of rare executive power; "I never saw the occasion," said Penn, "to which he was not equal." He was a man of lofty soul and deep spiritual insight; and before his commanding presence and starlike eyes the persecutor often quailed.
It was customary at that moment of religious upheaval for independent preachers and laymen to invade the pulpits and exhort the congregations after the unceremonious manner described by Sir Walter Scott in "Woodstock." Unseemly brawls were apt to result, in the course of which the preacher was dragged before the nearest magistrate. Fox tells us how on one of these occasions, at Derby in 1650, he was taken before Justice Bennett, "who was the first that was called us Quakers, because I bade him tremble at the word of the Lord." Fox and his early followers were often put in jail, not so much for teaching heresy as for breaking the peace. The absence of ecclesiastical organization made them seem like vagrant ranters, and their refusals to pay tithes, or to terrify under oath, or to lift their hats before a magistrate, kept them perpetually liable to punishment for contempt of court. Cromwell was indisposed to annoy them, and his relations with Fox were friendly, yet between 1650 and 1658 several hundred Quakers were put into jail, usually for such breaches of custom and etiquette.
It was, moreover, not always possible to distinguish offhand between the followers of George Fox and those of other enthusiasts who were swarming in England. Such a preacher was James Naylor, who had been a cavalry officer in Cromwell's army, but turned prophet and went stark mad, calling himself "the Prince of Peace, the fairest among Ten Thousand, and the Altogether Lovely." p102 This Naylor marched through the streets of Wells and Glastonbury, while the people threw down their cloaks to serve as mats for his feet, and sang "Hosanna in the highest." On one occasion he was believed to have raised a dead woman to life. Other prophets, not easy to deal with, were those who thought it needful to remove all their clothing in order to "testify in the sight of the Lord." In a very few instances disciples of Fox seem to have taken part in such performances, but so little care was taken to discriminate that Quakers had to bear the odium of the whole. They were regarded as a set of ignorant and lawless fanatics, like John of Leyden and the Anabaptists of Münster and until the truth about them came to be better understood, the general feeling toward them was one of horror and dread.
Under these circumstances it was impossible for Quakers to avoid persecution had they wished to avoid it. But, on the contrary, they courted it. It was their business to reform the whole of Christendom, not to gather themselves into some quiet corner where they might worship unmolested. They were inspired by an aggressive missionary zeal which was apt to lead them where their company was not wanted, and so it happened in the case of Massachusetts. The ideal of the Quakers was flatly antagonistic to that of the settlers of Massachusetts. The Christianity of the former was freed from Judaism as far as was possible; the Christianity of the latter was heavily encumbered with Judaism. The Quaker aimed at complete separation between church and state; the government of Massachusetts was patterned after the ancient Jewish theocracy, in which church and state were identified. The Quaker was tolerant of differences in doctrine; the Calvinist regarded such tolerance as a deadly sin. For these reasons the arrival of a few Quakers in Boston in 1656 was considered an act of invasion and treated as such. Under various penalties Quakers were forbidden to enter any of the New England colonies except Rhode Island. There they were welcomed, but that did not content them. The penalties p104 against them were heaviest in Massachusetts, and thither they turned their chief attention. They came not to minister unto sound Rhode Island, but unto sick Massachusetts. The Puritan theocracy was their man of sin. They made up their minds to overthrow it, and they succeeded, because the party of the unenfranchised people in Boston were largely in sympathy with them. The furious scene in the council-room, when the venerable Endicott smote upon the table and threatened to go and end his days in England, marked the downfall of the theocratic ideal. Henceforth there was to be room for heretics in Massachusetts. The lesson has since been well improved, and all that now remains is to set up, on Boston Common, the scene of their martyrdom, a fitting monument to the heroes that won the victory.
The accession of Charles II is commonly cited as the cause of this victory of the Quakers in Boston; but there can be no doubt that the chief cause was the disagreement between the people of Boston and their theocratic government, and the moment when it proved impossible to execute the sentence upon Wenlock Christison, the battle was virtually decided. As for Charles II, we shall see how his policy led him more and more to extend his favour to Quakers. At first their refusal to take the oath of allegiance cost them dear; for many people, unable to understand their scruples, could not see in such contumacy anything but an evidence of disloyalty. Many were sent to Barbadoes and Jamaica, where they were sold into temporary slavery, like that of the white servants in Virginia. In 1662 they were forbidden to hold meetings, and their meeting-houses were closed by the police.
It is about this time that William Penn may be said to have made his first appearance in history. He was born in London in 1644. His father, Sir William Penn, was a distinguished admiral in the navy of the Commonwealth, but afterward became a warm friend of Charles II. His mother was a Dutch lady, Margaret Jasper, daughter of a wealthy p105 merchant of Rotterdam, — a fact which was probably of importance in view of Penn's future social relations and connections upon the continent of Europe. As a child Penn was educated at Chigwell, where dwelt the eccentric John Saltmarsh, whose book entitled "Sparkles of Glory" is one of the most remarkable productions of English mysticism, and in some places reads like a foreshadowing or prophecy of Penn's own ideas. It is not unlikely that Saltmarsh's book may have suggested to Penn the memorable experience which he had at the age of eleven. One day when alone in his chamber "he was suddenly p106 surprised with an inward comfort; and, as he thought, an external glory in the room, which gave rise to religious emotions, during which he had the strongest conviction of the being of a God, and that the soul of man was capable of enjoying communication with Him. He believed also that the seal of Divinity had been put upon him at this moment, and that he had been awakened or called upon to a holy life."2 From that time forth he felt that he had a mission in the world. After the Chigwell school, he studied with a private tutor on Tower Hill until he was sixteen, when he saw the formal entry of Charles II into the city across London Bridge. Admiral Penn was that year elected to Parliament, and William was matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he remained two years. There he acquired a high reputation as a scholar and as an athlete, enthusiastic in field sports, a good oarsman, and a lover of Greek. Among the languages which he could speak fluently were Latin, Italian, French, German, and Dutch. At Oxford, along with sundry other students, he became converted to Quakerism, refused to wear surplices, forsook chapel worship, and got into trouble. There is a story that he was expelled far from the college, but it is not well supported, and it seems more likely that his father took him away. He was then sent with some fashionable friends to Paris, in the hope of curing him of his Quaker notions. He was in his nineteenth year, tall, lithe, and strongly built, a picture of manly beauty, with great lustrous eyes under wide arching brows, a profusion of dark hair falling in curls upon his shoulders, a powerful chin, a refined and sensitive mouth. He seems to have been a skilful swordsman, for when attacked one evening on the street by a desperado who threatened his life, Penn overcame and disarmed the wretch without wounding him. He spent a year or more in hard study at the Huguenot college in Saumur, and then travelled for a year in Italy. After that he studied law at Lincoln's Inn, and presently visited Ireland, p107 where he was thrown into prison for attending a Quaker meeting at Cork.
Sir William Penn, who was a good churchman, was shocked and disgusted at the sort of reputation his son was earning, and we get glimpses of contention in the household. "You may thee and thou other folk as much as you like, quoth the angry father, "but don't you dare to thee and thou the king, or the Duke of York, or me."3 Young William did dare, however, even so far as to wear his hat in the royal presence, which only amused the merry monarch. One day when William met him, the king took off his hat. "Why dost thou remove thy hat, friend p108 Charles?" quoth the young man. "Because," said the king, "wherever I am, it is customary for only one to remain covered!" But the admiral did not take it so pleasantly; he threatened to turn his obstinate son out of doors without a shilling. Lady Penn implored, and one of the family friends, a nobleman of the court, insisted that Sir William ought to be proud of a son of such varied accomplishments and lofty character, in spite of a few eccentricities of demeanour. It is sad to relate that the father's threat was carried out; but it was only for a time. Admiration for dauntless courage and high principle at length prevailed with the old naval hero, and he called his son home again and ever after held him in reverence.
In 1670 the admiral died, commending William with his last breath to the especial care of the Duke of York. William was left in possession of an ample fortune, and devoted himself to writing and preaching in defence and explanation of Quakerism. His learning and eloquence, with a certain sobriety of mind that qualified his mysticism, made many converts; nor is it unlikely that his high social position and gallant bearing were helpful to the cause in some quarters. It was largely due to Penn that current opinion gradually ceased to confound the disciples of Fox with the rabble of Antinomian fanatics with which England was then familiar, and to put them upon a plane of respectability, by the side of Presbyterians and other Dissenters. Again and again, while engaged in this work, Penn was thrown into prison and kept there for months, sometimes in the Tower, like a gentleman, but once for six months in noisome Newgate, along with common criminals. These penalties were mostly for breaking the Conventicle Act. The reports of the trials are often very interesting, by reason of the visible admiration felt by the honest judges for the brilliant prisoner. "I vow, Mr. Penn," quoth Sir John Robinson, from the bench one day, "I vow, Mr. Penn, I am sorry for you. You are an ingenious gentleman, all the world must allow you, and do allow you, p109 that; and you have a plentiful estate; why should you render yourself unhappy by associating with such a simple people?" Sometimes the prisoner's ingenuity and resourcefulness would baffle the prosecutor, and in despair of other means of catching him the magistrate would tender the oath of allegiance. But Penn's subtlety was matched by boldness: once when the judge insulted him by a remark derogatory to his character, the reply came quickly and sharply, "I trample thy slander as dirt under my feet!" And this boldness was equalled by his steadfastness: once the Bishop of London sent word to him in the Tower, that he must either withdraw certain statements or die a prisoner. "Thou mayest tell him," said Penn to the messenger, "that my prison shall be my grave before I will budge a jot, for I owe obedience of my conscience to no mortal man."
During these years Penn kept publishing books and pamphlets controversial or expository, wherein he argues and persuades with logic and with eloquence, and is not always meek; sometimes the keen blade leaps from the scabbard and deals a mortal thrust. Mrs. Samuel Pepys read one of these treatises aloud to her husband, who calls it extremely well written and "a serious sort of book, not fit for every one to read." The titles of these books give an inkling of their savour: "Truth Exalted," "The Guide Mistaken," "A Seasonable Caveat against Popery," etc. The one which Mr. Pepys would not recommend to all readers was entitled "The Sandy Foundation Shaken," which was clearly open to the charge of Socinianism. Grave accusations of heresies were brought against Penn, to which he made reply in his "Innocency with her Open Face," some quotations from which will give us an impression of his style:—
"It may not be unreasonable to observe, that however industrious some (and those dissenters too) have been to represent me as a person disturbing the civil peace, I have not violated any truly fundamental law which relates to external p110 propriety and good behaviour, and not to religious apprehensions; it being the constant principal of myself and friends to maintain good works and keep our consciences void of offence, paying active or passive obedience, suitable to the meek example of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nor would I have any ignorant how forward I was by messages, letters, and visits, to have determined this debate in a sober and select assembly, notwithstanding the rude entertainment we had met with before; but contrary to their own appointments our adversaries failed us, which necessitated me to that defence;4 and finding the truths prest with slander, I cannot but say I saw my just call to her relief; but alas! how have those two or three extemporary sheets been tost, tumbled, and torn on all hands, yea, aggravated to a monstrous design, even the subversion of the Christian religion, than which there could be nothing more repugnant to my principle and purpose; wherefore how very intemperate have all my adversaries been in their revilings, slanders, and defamations! using the most opprobrious terms of seducer, heretic, blasphemer, deceiver, Socinian, Pelagian, Simon Magus, impiously robbing Christ of his divinity, for whom the vengeance of the great day is reserved, etc. Nor have these things been whispered, but in one book and pulpit after another have been thundered out against me, as if some bull had lately been arrived from Rome; and all this acted under the foul pretence of zeal and love to Jesus Christ, whose meek and gentle example always taught it for a principal mark of true Christianity to suffer the most outrageous injuries, but never to return any. . . . Tell me, p111 I pray, did Luther, that grand reformer whom you so much reverence, justly demand from the emperor at the Diet of Worms . . . that none should sit upon his doctrines but the scripture; and in case they should be cast, that no other sentence should be passed upon him than what Gamaliel offered to the Jewish council? If it were not of God it would not stand; and if you will not censure him who first arraigned the Christian world (so called) at the bar of his private judgment (that had so many hundred years soundly slept, without so much as giving one considerable shrug or turn during that tedious winter-night of dark apostasy), but justify his proceedings, can you so furiously assault others?
"But above all you, who refuse conformity to others, and that have been writing these eight years for liberty of conscience, . . . what pregnant testimonies do you give of your unwillingness to grant that to others you so earnestly beg for yourselves? Doth it not discover your injustice, and plainly express that only want of power hinders you to act? But of all Protestants in general I demand, do you believe that persecution to be Christian in yourselves that you condemned for anti-christian in the Papists? You judged it a weakness in their religion, and is it cogent argument in yours? Nay, is it not the readiest way to enhance and propagate the reputation of what you would depress? If you were displeased at their assuming an infallibility, will you believe it impossible in yourselves to err? Have Whitaker, Reynolds, Laud, Owen, Baxter, Stillingfleet, Poole, etc., disarmed the Romanists of these inhuman weapons, that you might employ them against your inoffensive countrymen? Let the example and holy precepts of Christ dissuade you, who came not to destroy but to save; and soberly reflect upon his equal law of doing as you would be done unto. . . . Have a care you are not upon one of Saul's errands to Damascus, and helping the mighty against God and his anointed; and rather choose by p112 fair and moderate debates, not penalties ratified by imperial decrees, to determine religious differences. . . . But if you are resolved severity shall take its course, in this our case can never change nor happiness abate; for no human edict can possibly deprive us of His glorious presence, who is able to make the dismallest prisons so many receptacles of pleasure, and whose heavenly fellowship doth unspeakably replenish our solitary souls with divine consolation."5
It is interesting to see how Penn's argument partly anticipates that of John Stuart Mill, in his famous "Essay on Liberty." The extent to which the sense of an ever present God replenished his soul with divine consolation is shown in one of his most important works, "No Cross, no Crown," written in the Tower of London in the year 1668. It is as beautiful as its title, albeit we must make allowance for the peculiar prolixity which English writers of the seventeenth century seldom succeeded in avoiding. In spite of this drawback the book abounds in the eloquence that wins the soul:—
"This made the prophet David say, 'The King's daughter is all glorious within, her clothing is of wrought gold.' What is the glory that is within the true church, and that gold that makes up that inward glory? Tell me, O superstitious man! is it thy stately temples, altars, carpets, tables, tapestries; thy vestments, organs, voices, candles, lamps, censers, plate, and jewels, with the like furniture of thy worldly temples? No such matter; they bear no proportion with the divine adornment of the King of heaven's day, the blessed and redeemed church of Christ. Miserable apostasy that it is! and a wretched supplement in the loss and absence of the apostolic life, the spiritual glory of the primitive church.
"But yet some of these admirers of external pomp and glory in worship would be thought lovers of the Cross, and to that end have made to themselves many. But alas! what hopes can there be of reconciling that to Christianity, that p114 the nearer it comes to its resemblance, the farther off it is in reality? . . . It is true, they have got a cross, but it seems to be in the room of the true one; and so mannerly, that it will do as they will have it that wear it; for instead of mortifying their wills by it, they made it and use it according to them; so that the cross is become their ensign that do nothing but what they list. Yet by that they would be thought his disciples, that never did his own will but the will of his heavenly Father.
"This is such a cross as flesh and blood can carry, for flesh and blood invented it; therefore not the cross of Christ that is to crucify flesh and blood. Thousands of them have no more virtue than a chip; poor empty shadows, not so much as images of the true one. Some carry them for charms about them, but never repel one evil with them. They sin with them upon their backs; and though they put them in their bosoms, their beloved lusts lie there too without the least disquiet. They are as dumb as Elijah's mock-gods; no life nor power in them (1 Kings xviii.27). . . . Is it possible that such crosses should mend their makers? Surely not. . . .
"Nor is a recluse life (the boasted righteousness of some) much more commendable, or one whit nearer to the nature of the true cross; for if it be not unlawful as other things are, it is unnatural, which true religion teaches not. The Christian convent and monastery are within, where the soul is encloistered from sin. And this religious house the true followers of Christ carry about with them, who exempt not themselves from the conversation of the world, though they keep themselves from the evil of the world in their conversation. That is a lazy, rusty, unprofitable self-denial, burdensome to others to feed their idleness; religious bedlams, where people are kept up lest they should do mischief abroad. . . . No thanks if they commit not what they are not tempted to commit. What the eye views not, the heart craves not, as well as rues not. p115 The cross of Christ is of another nature; it truly overcomes the world, and leads a life of purity in the face of its allurements. They that bear it are not thus chained up for fear they should bite, nor locked up lest they should be stole away; no, they receive power from Christ their captain, to resist the evil and do that which is good in the sight of God. . . . What a world should we have if everybody, for fear of transgressing, should mew himself up within four walls! . . .
"Not that I would be thought to slight a true retirement; for I do not only acknowledge but admire solitude. Christ himself was an example of it; he loved and chose to frequent mountains, gardens, seasides. They are requisite to the growth of piety; and I reverence the virtue that seeks and uses it, wishing there were more of it in the world; but then it should be free, not constrained. What benefit to the mind to have it for a punishment, not for a pleasure? Nay, I have long thought it an error among all sorts that use not monastic lives, that they have no retreats for the afflicted, the tempted, the solitary, and the devout;6 where they might undisturbedly wait upon God, pass through their religious exercises, and being thereby strengthened may with more power over their own spirits enter into the business of the world again; though the less the better, to be sure. For divine pleasures are to be found in a free solitude."7
From such sweet reflections we come now and then upon quaint arguments in justification of sundry peculiarities of the Friends, as for example their plainness of attire: "Were it possible that any one could bring us father Adam's girdle and mother Eve's apron, what laughing, what fleering, what mocking of their homely fashion would there be! surely their tailor would find but little custom, although we read p116 it was God himself that made them coats of skins. . . . How many pieces of ribband, and what feathers, lace-bands, and the like, did Adam and Eve wear in Paradise or out of it? What rich embroideries, silks, points, etc., had Abel, Enoch, Noah, and good old Abraham? Did Eve, Sarah, Susannah, Elizabeth and the Virgin Mary use to curl, powder, patch, paint, wear false locks of strange colours, rich points, trimmings, laced gowns, embroidered petticoats, shoes with slipslaps laced with silk or silver lace and ruffled like pigeons' feet, with several yards of ribbands? How many plays did Jesus Christ and the apostles recreate themselves at? What poets, romances, comedies, and the like did the apostles and saints use to pass away their time withal? . . . But if I were asked, whence came themº [these follies]; I would quickly answer, from the Gentiles that knew not God, . . . an effeminate Sardanapalus, . . . a comical Aristophanes, a prodigal Charaxus, a luxurious Aristippus . . . [from] such women as the infamous Clytemnestra, the painted Jezabel, the lascivious Campaspe, the most immodest Posthumia, the costly Corinthian Lais, the impudent Flora, the wanton Egyptian Cleopatra, and most insatiable Messalina; persons whose memories have stunk through all ages and carry with them a perpetual rot. These and not the holy self-denying men and women in ancient times were devoted to the like recreations and vain delights."8
Or, as concerns the use of "thou" and "thee" for "you," the modern reader needs to be reminded of the English usage in Penn's time, which made the Quaker innovation seem especially heinous. The usage in English was like that in French to‑day, and analogous to the German, Italian, and Spanish usage. The singular pronoun was reserved for solemn invocations to the Deity, or for familiar intercourse with the members of one's family, including the servants; for addressing parents, however (especially the father), or social superiors or equals p117 outside the circle of familiarity, the plural was necessary. The rule was much like that which governs the use of the Christian name to‑day; you may call your wife, or sister, or brother, or children, or the housemaid, by the forename; but to address father or mother in that way is felt to be disrespectful, and to address a lady so, unless she is an intimate acquaintance, is an unwarrantable liberty. In the seventeenth century, to "thou" (French tutoyer) a lady was as rude as to call her Lizzie or Jane; to "thou" one's father was much like addressing him as Tom or Jack. Probably few things did so much to make the Quakers shock people's sense of the proprieties as their use of the pronouns, which was in later days imitated by the Jacobins of the French Revolution. "There is another piece of our non-conformity to the world, that renders us [i.e. makes us seem] very clownish to the breeding of it, and that is, Thou for You, and that without difference or respect to persons; a thing that to some looks so rude, it cannot well go down without derision or wrath." Nevertheless, says Penn, we Friends have good reasons and high authorities on our side. "Luther, the great reformer, was so far from condemning our plain speech that in his 'Ludus' he sports himself with You to a single person as an incongruous and ridiculous speech, viz. Magister, vos estis iratus? 'Master, are You angry?' as absurd with him in Latin as 'My masters, art Thou angry?' is in English. Erasmus, a learned man and an exact critic in speech, not only derides it, but bestows a whole discourse upon rendering it absurd; plainly manifesting . . . that the original of this corruption was the corruption of flattery. Lipsius affirms of the ancient Romans, that the manner of greeting now in vogue was not in use among them. . . . Is it not as proper to say, 'Thou lovest,' to ten men, as to say, 'You love,' to one man? . . . Is it reasonable that children should be whipt at school for putting You for Thou, as having made false Latin; and yet that we must be (though not whipt) reproached, and often abused, when we use the contrary propriety of speech? . . . It p118 not be denied that the most famous poems, dedicated to love or majesty, are written in this style [i.e. with Thou]. Read of each in Chaucer, Spenser, Waller, Cowley, Dryden, etc. Why then should it be so homely, ill-bred, and insufferable in us? This, I conceive, can never be answered. . . . [The other style] was first ascribed in way of flattery to proud popes and emperors, imitating the heathen's vain homage to their gods; . . . for which reason, You, only to be used to many, became first spoken to one. It seems the word Thou looked like too lean and thin a respect; and therefore some, bigger than they should be, would have a style suitable to their own ambition. . . . It is a most extravagant piece of pride in a mortal man to require or expect from his fellow-creature a more civil speech . . . than he is wont to give the immortal God his Creator, in all his worship to him. . . . Say not, I am serious about slight things; but beware you of levity and rashness in serious things. . . . But I would not have thee think it is a mere Thou or Title, simply or nakedly in themselves, we boggle at, or that we would beget or set up any form inconsistent with severity or true civility; . . . but the esteem and value the vain minds of men do put upon them constrains us to testify so steadily against them."9
Other things in Penn's career beside the free circulation of his heretical books occur to remind us that in the England of Charles II, in spite of grave shortcomings, we are in a free country. Attacks upon liberty are made in courts of justice, but are apt to fail of success. Such a damnable iniquity as the Dreyfus case, which has made every true lover of France put on mourning, shows us that the Paris of Zola still has lessons of vital importance to learn from the London of Congreve and Aphra Behn. In 1670 Penn was arraigned before the Lord Mayor's court for infringing the Conventicle Act and provoking a riot by speaking in Gracechurch Street to an p120 unlawful assembly. He argued his own case, and proved much more than a match for the recorder. The twelve jurors failed to agree, and were sent out again and again after a scolding from the Court. At length they brought in the verdict, "Guilty of speaking in Gracechurch Street," but this was not enough. So they were locked up for the night "without meat, drink, fire, or tobacco," and next morning the question was put to them, "Guilty, or not guilty?" The foreman replied, "Guilty of speaking in Gracechurch Street," and stopped, whereupon the Lord Mayor added, "to an unlawful assembly." "No, my lord," said the foreman, "we give no other verdict than we gave last night." So these brave men were scolded again, locked up again for several hours, and again brought into court, but their spirit was not quelled. "Is William Penn, the prisoner, guilty or not guilty?" asked the mayor. "Not guilty, my lord." Then the mayor, quite beside himself with rage, proceeded to fine each of the jurors in a sum equivalent to about £30, with jail until it should be paid. "What is all this for?" exclaimed Penn. "For contempt of court," quoth the Lord Mayor. But his was not the last word on the subject. The case was taken to the Court of Common Pleas, which summarily quashed the mayor's order and set free the sturdy jurors. Thus justice triumphed, and Penn straightway published his own account of the affair, in a pamphlet entitled, "The People's Ancient and Just Liberties Asserted."10
In 1672 Penn was married to Gulielma Maria, daughter of Sir William Springett, a noted officer of the Parliamentary army who had lost his life in the Civil War. This lady was celebrated for beauty, wit, and accomplishments, and had withal a handsome estate at Worminghurst, p121 in Sussex, overlooking the beautiful South Downs. There all the things that make life delightful seemed to be combined, — books and flowers, cultivated friends, the supreme restfulness of rural England with its tempered sunshine, its gentle showers, and the tonic fragrance of the salt sea. In this blest retreat Penn spent his happiest days, but he was often called upon to leave it. One of his first visitors was his friend George Fox, who had lately returned from a journey through the American colonies, and had much to tell. The time had arrived when matters of business were to turn Penn's attention decisively toward America, but while these matters of business were taking shape he visited Holland and travelled in the lower parts of Germany with a party of friends, holding meetings at all times and places, here and there meeting with rebuffs and insults, but finding many spirits to whom his words were an inspiration and a solace. There can be no doubt that this journey had far-reaching results in afterward turning the attention of Germany towards Penn's colonizing work in America. Penn afterward published a diary of this missionary tour.11 A general outline of the route and a few of the interesting scenes must suffice for the present narrative.
p122 Leaving his wife at the beautiful Sussex home, Penn sailed for Rotterdam on a July day of 1677. Among his companions were George Fox, Robert Barclay, and George Keith, and at Rotterdam they held a great meeting at the house of Benjamin Furly, with such effect, says Penn, that "the dead were raised and the living comforted." With similar success they visited Leyden, Haarlem, and Amsterdam. There the party left Fox behind, but Furly accompanied them into Hanover. After talking with "the man of the inn" at Osnabrug, and leaving with him "several good books of Friends, in the Low and High Dutch tongues, to read and dispose of," the missionaries proceeded next day to Herwerden in Westphalia, where Elizabeth, the Princess Palatine, had her court. This Elizabeth, sister of Prince Rupert, cousin to Charles II, and aunt to the German prince who afterwards became George I of England, was a woman of liberal and cultivated mind. It may have been from her grandfather, James I, that she inherited her bookish proclivities. She had received lessons in philosophy from the immortal Descartes, who was reported to have said that he "found none except her who thoroughly understood his works." She had for a time given protection to Jean de Labadie, and now she cordially welcomed Penn and his companions. After a pleasant day with the Princess Elizabeth and her friend, Anna Maria, Countess of Hornes, the party were invited to return next morning and continue their conference upon sacred themes. So "the next morning we were there between eight and nine; where Robert Barclay falling into some discourse with the princess, the countess took hold of the opportunity, and whispered me to withdraw, to get a meeting for the more inferior servants of the house, who would have been bashful to have presented themselves before the princess. And blessed be the Lord, he was not wanting to us; but the same blessed power that had appeared to visit them of high, appeared also to visit them of low degree; and we were all sweetly tendered and broken p123 together, for virtue went forth of Jesus that day, and the life of our God was shed abroad amongst us as a sweet savour, for which their souls bowed before the Lord and confessed to our testimony. Which did not a little please that noble young woman, to find her own report of us, and her great care of them, so effectually answered. . . . I must not here forget that we found at our inn, the first night at supper, a young merchant, of a sweet and ingenuous temper, belonging to the city of Bremen, who took occasion from that night's discourse, the sixth day at dinner and supper, and the seventh day also, to seek all opportunities of conference with us; and, as we have reason to believe, he stayed twenty-four hours in [Herwerden] on p124 our account. . . . We asked him, in case any of us should visit [Bremen], if he would give us opportunity of meeting at his house; which he readily granted us. So we gave him some books, etc. . . . It being now three in the afternoon, we went to the princess's; where being come, after some little time, the princess and countess put me in remembrance of a promise I made them in one of my letters out of England, namely, that I would give them an account (at some convenient time) of my first convincement, and of those tribulations and consolations which I had met withal in this way of the kingdom which God had brought me to. After some pause I found myself very free, and prepared in the Lord's love and fear to comply with their request; and so, after some silence, began. But before I had half done it was supper time, and the princess would by no means let us go, we must sup with her; which importunity not being well able to avoid, we yielded to, and sat down with her to supper.
"Among the rest present at these opportunities, it must not be forgotten that there was a countess, sister to the countess, then come in to visit her, and a Frenchwoman of quality; the first behaving herself very decently and the last often deeply broken; and from a light and slighting carriage toward the very name of a Quaker, she became very intimately and respectfully kind and respectful to us. Supper being ended, we all returned to the princess's chamber; where making us all to sit down with her, she with both the countesses and the Frenchwoman pressed from me the continuance of my relation; . . . which, though late, I was not unwilling to oblige them with, because I knew not when the Lord would give me such an opportunity."
The ladies lessoned "with aº earnest and tender attention," and afterwards a meeting was appointed for the next day, Sunday, at two o'clock, in Princess Elizabeth's palace; and so toward midnight the evening came to an end. The next day, at the inn dinner, "there were several strangers that p125 came by the post wagon, among whom there was a young man of Bremen, being a student at the college at Duysburgh, who informed us of a sober and seeking man of great note in the city of Duysburgh. To him we gave some books. . . . The second hour being at hand we went to the meeting; where were several as well of the town as of the family. The meeting began with a weighty exercise and travail in prayer, that the Lord would glorify his own name that day. And by his own power he made way to their consciences and sounded his wakening trumpet in their ears, that they might know that he was God, and that there is none like unto him. O, the day of the Lord livingly dawned upon us, and the searching life of Jesus was in the midst of us! O, the Word, that never faileth them that wait for it and abide in it, opened the way and unsealed the book of life. Yea, the quickening power and life of Jesus wrought and reached to them; and virtue from him, in whom dwelleth the Godhead bodily, went forth and blessedly distilled upon us his own heavenly life, sweeter than the pure frankincense; yea, than the sweet-smelling myrrh that cometh from a far country. . . . As soon as the meeting was done the princess came to me and took me by the hand (which she usually did to us all, coming and going) and went to speak to me of the sense she had of that power and presence of God that was amongst us, but was stopped. And turning herself to the window brake forth in an extraordinary fashion, crying out, 'I cannot speak to you; my heart is full' clapping her hands upon her breast.
"It melted me into a deep and calm tenderness, in which I was moved to minister a few words softly to her, and after some time of silence she recovered herself, and as I was taking leave of her, she interrupted me thus: 'Will ye not come hither again? Pray call here as ye return out of Germany.' I told her, we were in the hand of the Lord, and being his, could not dispose of ourselves; p126 but the Lord had taken care that we should not forget her and those with her."12
From Herwerden our friends proceeded to Paderborn, "a dark popish town, and under the government of a bishop of that religion." Thence in floods of rain, with "only naked carts to ride in," to Hesse-Cassel, and thence to Frankfort. At every place they made converts; at Frankfort "a Lutheran minister was broken to pieces," "a doctor of physic was affected and confessed to the truth." These things happened in the parlour of a young maiden lady, who declared herself ready to go to prison, if need be, for harbouring such preachers. At some places on the route the Quakers were forbidden to preach, but they paid small heed to the injunction. As they made a little circuit through Mannheim, Worms, and Mayence, and back to Frankfort, people thronged from neighbouring towns and villages, in coaches and wagons or afoot, in order to listen to them. Down the beautiful Rhine they went to Cologne, and so on toward Duysburg, near which towered the castle of the gruff old Count von Falkenstein. They carried a letter of introduction to his daughter, "an extraordinary woman," but on the way they met the father, who said that he had no need of Quakers and ordered them to get out of his dominions. The walk to Duysburg was so long that when they arrived there they found the city gates shut and had to sleep under the open sky. As they entered the city in the morning they met with a messenger from the young Countess von Falkenstein, "a pretty young tender man, near to the kingdom, who saluted us in her name with much love; telling us that she was much grieved at the entertainment of her father towards us, advising us not to expose ourselves to such difficulties and hardships, for it would grieve her heart that any that came in the love of God to visit her should be so severely handled; for at some he sets his dogs, upon others he puts his soldiers to beat them." Our pilgrims begged the young man to assure the lady p127 "that our concern was not for ourselves, but for her," i.e. since they understood her father's reputation for cruelty. A walk of •eight English miles after dinner brought them to their next resting-place, and so they kept on, making some impression wherever they stopped, until they arrived at Amsterdam.
Thence Penn set out once more, in company with a certain Jan Claus, and visited Leeuwarden, where he met "an ancient maid, above sixty years of age," Anna Maria Schurmann, the celebrated mystic and friend of Labadie, and "of great note and fame for learning in languages and philosophy." This ancient maiden "told us of her former life, of her pleasure in learning, and her p128 love to the religion she was brought up in; but confessed she knew not God nor Christ truly all that while . . . she never felt such a powerful stroke as by the ministry of Jean de Labadie. She saw her learning to be vanity, and her religion like a body of death." From Friesland Penn entered Germany again at Emden, and after a stop at Bremen, returned once more to the Princess Elizabeth and her ladies at herwerden. Thence after affectionate farewells it was a wearisome journey to Wesel: "We rode three nights and days without lying down on a bed or sleeping, otherwise than in the wagon, which was only covered with an old ragged sheet. The company we had with us made twelve in number, which much straitened us. They were often if not always vain; yea, in their religious songs, which is the fashion of that country, especially by night. They call them Luther's songs, and sometimes psalms. We were forced often to reprove and testify against their hypocrisy, — to be full of all vain and often profane talk one hour, and sing psalms to God the next; we showed them the deceit and abomination of it. . . . All was very well; they bore what we said."
From Wesel through the Netherlands the journey was brief, and at the end of October, after an absence of three months, Penn arrived at Worminghurst, and found wife, child, and family all well. "I had that evening a sweet meeting amongst them, in which God's blessed power made us truly glad together."
A charming picture this is of the highly gifted young man, with his noble face, commanding presence, and magnetic demeanour, going about to win souls to a higher life. It was because they felt the divine authority in the nature of his utterances that his hearers were so "broken" and contrite. It was a renewal of Christ's teaching that religion is an affair of the inner soul and not of externals; and there can be little doubt that the Christian ideal has been, on the whole, more perfectly realized among the Quakers than with any other sect of Christians.
p129 The importance of this journey in relation to the European peopling of the middle zone of the United States is obvious. It made Penn and his ideas familiarly known to many excellent men and women in Germany, persons of career and influence. At the time when he made the journey his American schemes were rapidly developing. We have now to observe the manner in which his attention was directed to the New World.
It will be remembered that in 1673 Lord Berkeley sold his half share in the province of New Jersey to a Quaker, John Fenwick, in trust for another Quaker, Edward Byllinge. Fenwick, who is described as a "litigious and troublesome person," soon got into a quarrel with Byllinge, and the affair was referred to William Penn as arbitrator. He adjudged one tenth of the Berkeley purchase to Friend Fenwick, along with a certain sum of money, and directed him to hand over the other nine tenths to Friend Byllinge. At first Fenwick was sorely dissatisfied with the award, and refused to abide by it, whereat he was gravely rebuked by Penn. Meanwhile Byllinge became insolvent. Presently Fenwick yielded, and made over nine tenths of the property to William Penn, Gawaine Laurie, and Nicholas Lucas, as trustees for the benefit of Byllinge's creditors. In 1675 Fenwick sailed for the Delaware River with a party of colonists, and landed at the mouth of a small stream which the Dutch had called by the unromantic name of Varkenskill, or "Hog's Creek," hard by the Swedish settlement of Elsingburgh. There he laid out a town and called it Salem. These proceedings aroused the ire of Andros, who demanded by what authority was Fenwick taking on airs of proprietorship within the Duke of York's dominions. Not getting a satisfactory reply, Andros summoned Fenwick to New York, and when he refused to come the summons was followed by an officer who seized the obstinate Quaker and carried him off to Fort James.
p130 Meanwhile an important question was settled between the proprietors in England. The joint proprietorship of New Jersey between Carteret and Berkeley had passed almost unconsciously into two proprietorships of East and West Jersey in severalty; and the boundary between the two had been declared to be a straight line running from Barnegat to Rankokus Creek. This was felt to be an inequitable division, and in 1676 the matter was readjusted by what was known as the Quintipartite Deed, between Sir George Carteret on the one hand, and Penn, Laurie, Lucas, and Byllinge on the other. By this instrument it was agreed that the boundary between East and West Jersey should be a straight line running from Little Egg Harbour to the northernmost branch of the Delaware River in latitude 41°40′.
In the summer of 1677 the good ship Kent, Gregory Marlow, master, dropped down the Thames with 230 passengers bound for West Jersey, including a small board of commissioners for organizing a government for that province. As they were gliding down-stream, King Charles in his pleasure barge came alongside and asked whither they were bound. Hearing the name West Jersey, he asked if they were all Quakers, and gave them his royal blessing. On arriving at Sandy Hook the Kent dropped anchor while the commissioners went up to New York to pay their respects to Andros. The governor received them politely, but was particular to ask "if they had anything from the duke, his master? They replied, nothing particularly; but that he had conveyed that part of his country to Lord Berkeley, and he to Byllinge, etc., in which the government was as much conveyed as the soil. The governor replied: 'All that will not clear me. If I should surrender without the duke's order, it is as much as my head is worth; but if you had but a line or two from the duke, I should be as ready to surrender it to you as you would be to ask it.' Upon which the commissioners, instead of p131 excusing their imprudence in not bringing such an order, began to insist upon their right and strenuously to assert their independency. But Andros, clapping his hand on his sword, told them that he should defend the government [of West Jersey] from them till he received orders from the duke to surrender it. He, however, softened and told them he would do what was in his power to make them easy till they could send home to get redress; and in order thereto, would commissionate the same persons mentioned in the commission they produced. This they accepted, and undertook to act as magistrates under him till further orders came from England, and to proceed in relation to their land affairs according to the methods prescribed by the proprietors."13
This incident throws a strong sidelight upon the behaviour of Andros toward Philip Carteret. Neither personal friendship nor any other consideration could avail against his mastiff-like fidelity to his master. By their well-timed pliancy Penn's commissioners probably saved themselves from forcible detention in Fort James. After coming to terms with the governor of New York, the immigrants went on to the Delaware River and proceeded far up-stream, above the Rankokus Creek, as if it were part of their purpose to assert ownership of what had once belonged to East Jersey. Here they founded a village which they called Burlington, after the town in Yorkshire whence a goodly number of them came. Andros now, having sufficiently carried his point, released Fenwick.
A letter from one of the settlers, Thomas Hooton, to his wife in England, dated October 29, 1677, is full of interest: "My dear, — I am this present at the town called Burlington, where our land is; it is ordered to be a town for the ten Yorkshire and ten London proprietors. I like the place well; our lot is the second next the water side. It's like to be a healthful place and very pleasant to live in. I came hither yesterday with some friends that p132 were going to New York. I am to be at Thomas Olive's house till I can provide better for myself. I intend to build a house and get some corn into the ground; and I know not how to write concerning thy coming or not coming hither. The place I like very well, and believe that we may live here very well. But if it be not made free, I mean as to the customs and government, then it will not be so well, and may hinder many that have desires to come. But if those two things be cleared, thou may take thy opportunity of coming this [i.e. next?] summer."
The two things that thus needed clearing up were surely of supreme importance to the colonists. In sending them to New Jersey, Penn and his colleagues supposed they were founding a self-governing community. Penn had drawn up a constitution for it, providing that "no man was to have power over another man's conscience. A governing assembly was to be chosen by ballot; every man was eligible to vote, and to be voted for; each elected member was to receive a shilling a day as the servant of the people. Executive power was to be in the hands of ten commissioners appointed by the assembly; and justices and constables were to be elected by popular vote; and it is added, 'All, and every person in the province, shall by the help of the Lord and these fundamentals be free from oppression and slavery.' " Here we have democracy in quite modern shape, containing some of the features which are now found to be objectionable (such as an elective judiciary), as well as those which time and experience have approved. A friendly message, commenting on the above provisions, exclaimed, "We lay a foundation for after ages to understand their liberty as Christians and as men, that they may not be brought into bondage but by their own consent, for we put the power in the people."14 Our worthy Quakers did not foresee the day when the people, lured by the bait of high tariffs and the "spoils of office," would consent to be brought into bondage under p133 petty tyrants as cheap and vile as ever cumbered the earth. They would have been sorely astonished if told that nowhere could be seen a more flagrant spectacle of such humiliating bondage than in the great commonwealth which bears Penn's name.
Now according to the claim which Andros asserted for the Duke of York, these Quakers were merely landowners in New Jersey under the sovereign jurisdiction of New York; their taxes were to be levied not by their own representative assembly, but by the despotic governor of New York; and at Newcastle on the Delaware there was a custom-house, where goods imported into West Jersey had to pay duties into the New York treasury. Under such circumstances, no wonder that some of the settlers felt dubious about staying and bringing over their wives and children. Nevertheless, people kept on coming and agitating, and as the population grew the question was more and more warmly discussed.
In 1679 there was a strong anti-Catholic excitement in England, due largely to Titus Oates and his alleged detection of a Popish plot in the previous year. The horrors in Scotland and the defeat of Claverhouse by the Covenanters at Drumclog also produced a great effect; and amid it all the friends of the Habeas Corpus Act, led by the Earl of Shaftesbury, wrenched from the king his signature to that famous measure. The Duke of York, as a Romanist, was threatened with exclusion from the throne, and so strong was the feeling against him that he deemed it prudent for a time to leave the country. During his absence the West Jersey question was discussed. Penn argued that Berkeley's conveyance expressly included powers of government along with territorial possession, and that the Duke of York had no authority to levy duties on the colonists in West Jersey, or exclude them of their "English right of common assent to taxes;" and then, skilfully alluding to "the duke's circumstances and the people's jealousies," it was suggested that since he had now an opportunity to p134 free West Jersey with his own hand, "so will Englishmen here [in England] know what to hope for, by the justice and kindness he shows to Englishmen there, and all men to see the just model of his government in New York to be the scheme and draft in little of his administration in Old England at large, if the crown should ever devolve upon his head."15
This argument was certainly defective in ignoring the p135 legal facts attendant upon the loss and recovery of New Netherland in 1673‑74, which should have made it plain that Penn and his friends could have no rights of sovereignty over West Jersey without an explicit release from the Duke of York.16 Apparently their minds were not clear on this point; or perhaps they acted upon the maxim of worldly wisdom that it is just as well to begin by "claiming everything." The hope of Penn's subtle and weighty argument lay not so much in this preamble as in the suggestion of the duke's true interests. So the duke evidently understood it, and in August, 1680, he executed a deed whereby he released all his powers of sovereignty over West Jersey to Byllinge, Penn, and their colleagues. Two months later he released to the Carterets all his powers over East Jersey, and due notification of these measures was sent to the peremptory Andros. Thus were the Jerseys definitively set free from New York.
In the course of these discussions Penn had acquired a wide knowledge of American affairs, and his mind was turned more and more to thoughts of colonization. The new settlements at Salem and Burlington were flourishing, and in England there were thousands of industrious and thrifty Quakers who would be likely to flock to a new colony expressly in their own behoof by their trusted leader. Circumstances combined to favour such a scheme. Penn inherited the claim to a debt of £16,000 due from the crown to his father, and there was no way in which such a debt could more easily be paid than by a grant of wild lands in America. Penn, as he said of himself, was not destitute of "a moderate and seasonable regard" to worldly interests, and he was shrewd enough to see that such an American domain might prove to be better property than the hard cash, even if he were ever likely to get cash from the needy spendthrift who sat on the thrown or the niggardly brother who was expected to succeed him. Uppermost in his mind, however, was the p136 hope of planting a free and self-governing community wherein his own ideal of a civil polity might be realized. Irrespective of nationality, from the banks of the Rhine and Weser, or from those of the Thames and the Severn, he might draw people of various kinds and grades of free thinking, and deliver them from the vexations which pursued them in their old homes. The more he dwelt upon this scheme, more it seemed to him "a holy experiment" which with God's help it was his duty to try. "The Lord is good to me," he wrote to a friend, "and the interest his truth has given me with his people may more than repay [this claim upon the crown]. For many are drawn forth to be concerned with me, and perhaps this way of satisfaction hath more the hand of God in it than a downright payment. . . . For the matters of liberty and privilege I purpose that which is extraordinary, and [to] leave myself and succession no power of doing mischief, that the will of one man may not hinder the good of a whole country."17
Penn's petition to the privy council asked for "a tract of land in America, lying north of Maryland, on the east bounded with Delaware River, on the west limited as Maryland, and northward to extend as far as plantable." The determining of these bounds was, as usual, attended with hard feelings and hard words. Lord Baltimore's charter fixed his northern boundary at the 40th parallel of latitude, which runs a little north of the site of Philadelphia. This latitude was marked by a fortress on the Susquehanna River, and when the crown lawyers consulted with Baltimore's attorneys, they were told that all questions of encroachment would be avoided if the line were to be run just north of this fort, so as to leave it on the Maryland side. Penn made no objection to this, but an inspection of maps showed that such a boundary would give his province inadequate access to the ocean. Of all the English colonies, his was the only one that had no seaboard, and he was eager to get an outlet at the head of Chesapeake p137 Bay. His position as a royal favourite enabled him to push the whole line •twenty miles to the south of the Susquehanna fort. But this fell short of attaining his object; so he persuaded the Duke of York to give him the land on the west shore of Delaware Bay which the Dutch had once taken from the Swedes. By further enlargement the area of this grant became that of the present state of Delaware, the whole of which was thus, in spite of vehement protest, carved out of the original Maryland.18 Throughout the colonial period Delaware and Pennsylvania, though distinct provinces with separate legislative assemblies, continued under the same proprietary government, and the history of the little community was to a considerable extent merged in that of the great one.
On the east the Delaware River was a boundary sufficiently definite, and the circumstances of a later day determined at precisely what remote points in the interior the western limit should be fixed. Five degrees of longitude were allowed in the charter, but rather more than this was ultimately obtained. The northern boundary is placed in the charter at the 43d parallel, but in the final compromise between the Penns and Calverts in 1760, when it was decreed that Mason and Dixon should run their division line at 39°43′26.3ʺ north, the privy council also insisted that the northern boundary of Pennsylvania should be at 42° instead of 43°. This arrangement, like Penn's original charter, ignored the claim of Connecticut, under her Winthrop charter of 1662, to the strip of land between 41° and 42° as far as the Pacific Ocean; an unsettled question which led to the Pennamite-Yankee conflicts, disgraceful alike to both parties. It has been truly said that Penn's charter was the source of more boundary disputes than any other in American history.19
It was Penn's intention to call his province New Wales, p138 because he had heard that there were hills west of the Delaware River. But as the king for some reason objected to this, he changed it to Sylvania, or Woodland. When the king had in hand the draft of the charter, with this correction, he added the name Penn before Sylvania. When Penn saw this he was not at all pleased. It had an egotistical look, and he insisted that his own name should be crossed off; but Charles II was quick-witted. "We will keep it," said he, "but not on your account, my dear fellow. Don't flatter yourself. We will keep the name to commemorate the admiral, your noble father." If there were any answer for this, Penn had it not forthcoming, and the king's emendation remained. Penn afterward laughingly argued that, since in the Welsh tongue pen means "hill," the compound Pennsylvania might well mean Hilly Woodland or Wooded Hills.20
The charter which made Penn lord proprietor of this goodly domain was drawn up by himself in imitation of the charter of Maryland, but differed from it in two important particulars. Laws passed by the assembly of Maryland were valid as soon as confirmed by Lord Baltimore, and did not need even to be looked at by the king or his privy council; but the colonial enactments of Pennsylvania were required to be sent to England for the royal approval. p139 It was, moreover, expressly provided in the Maryland charter that the crown should never impose any taxes within the limits of the province; and although nothing is said about the authority of parliament in such matters, there is no doubt that the proviso was understood to mean that the right of taxing the colony was entirely disclaimed by the government in England. For the views of Charles I were unquestionably identical with those of his father, who declared in 1624 that the government of colonies was the business of the king, and that parliament had nothing whatever to do with it.21 But in the charter of Pennsylvania, half a century later than that of Maryland, the right of parliament to levy taxes in the colony was expressly maintained. The younger colony was therefore less independent of the mother country than her elder sister, and the position of Penn was distinctly less regal than that of Baltimore.
This noticeable contrast marks the growth of the imperial and anti-feudal sentiment in England during those fifty years, the feeling that privileges like those accorded to the Calverts were too extensive to be enjoyed by subjects. It also marks the great decline in the royal power and the concomitant increase in the power and p140 importance of parliament. We see that august body putting forth claims to a voice in the imposition of American taxes, claims which the American colonies could never be brought to admit, but which were naturally resented and resisted with more alertness and decision by the older colonies than by the younger.
The limitations in Penn's charter show also the influence of the conflict which had been going on for twenty years between Charles II and the colony of Massachusetts. That stiff-necked Puritan commonwealth had coined money, set the navigation acts at defiance, prohibited the Episcopal form of worship, snubbed the royal commissioners, and passed laws inconsistent with those of England. Hence in the Pennsylvania charter we see imperial claims more carefully guarded. Massachusetts, moreover, had neglected to appoint an agent or attorney to represent her interests at the English court, for, in the rebellious phrase of a later era, all she asked was to be let alone. Accordingly the Pennsylvania charter required that such an agent be employed. The toleration of Episcopal forms of worship was also expressly provided for.
But in spite of these few limitations in the charter,22 Penn was allowed the widest latitude in shaping the policy of his colony, and nothing could have been less like the principles of the Stuarts than the kind of civil government which he forthwith proclaimed. Absolute freedom of conscience was guaranteed to everybody. It was declared, in language which to the seventeenth century seemed arrant political heresy, that governments exist for the sake of the people, and not the people for the sake of governments; and side by side with this came the equally novel doctrine that in legislating for the punishment of criminals, the reformation of the criminal is a worthier object than the wreaking of vengeance. The death penalty p142 was to be inflicted only in cases of murder or high treason; a notable departure from the customary legislation of those days. In Massachusetts, for example, there were fifteen capital crimes, including such offences as idolatry, witchcraft, blasphemy, adultery, bearing false witness, and cursing or smiting one's parents.23 In such wise, with his humane and reasonable policy, did Penn seek to draw men to his new colony. To all who should come he offered land at forty shillings (equivalent to something between $40 and $50) for a hundred acres, subject to a quit-rent of one shilling a year.
In April, 1681, Penn sent his cousin, William Markham, to be deputy-governor of Pennsylvania, and with him a letter to the colonists already settled west of the Delaware River: "My friends: I wish you all happiness, here and hereafter. These are to let you know that it hath pleased God, in his providence, to cast you within my lot and care. It is a business that, though I never undertook before, yet God has given me an understanding of my duty, and an honest mind to do it uprightly. I hope you will not be troubled at your change and the king's choice, for you are now fixed at the mercy of no governor that comes to make his fortune great; you shall be governed by laws of your own making, and live a free, and, if you will, a sober and industrious people. I shall not usurp the right of any, or oppress his person. God has furnished me with a better resolution, and has given me his grace to keep it. In short, whatever sober and free men can reasonably desire for the security and improvement of their own happiness, I shall heartily comply with, and in five months I resolve, if it please God, to see you. In the mean time pray submit to the commands of my deputy, so far as they p144 are consistent with the law, and pay him those dues (that formerly you paid to the order of the governor of New York) for my use and benefit, and so I beseech God to direct you in the way of righteousness, and therein prosper you and your children after you. I am your true friend, — William Penn."24
So great was the success of the "holy experiment" that in the course of the first year more than twenty ships sailed for the Delaware River,25 carrying perhaps 3000 passengers. Penn did not come, as he had hoped, within five months of the date of his letter. Business connected with the new colony was driving him, and probably for the next year not a man in the three kingdoms worked harder than he. It is worthy of note that at this time he was chosen a Fellow of the Royal Society. Devising a frame of government for his colony, making grants of land, sending out detailed instructions to his deputy, and keeping up a huge miscellaneous correspondence, consumed all his time. In the midst of it all he did not forget to preach. He went with Fox one day to a meeting (once more an "unlawful assemblage" in Gracechurch Street!); and Fox informs us that while Penn was speaking "a constable came in with his great staff, and bid him give over and come down; but William Penn held on, declaring truth in the power of God." Late in the summer of 1682 he sailed for the New World, leaving his wife and children in England. He sailed from Deal, in the ship Welcome, with a hundred passengers, mostly Quakers. In the two months' voyage more than thirty of this company died of smallpox. Toward the end of October Penn landed at Newcastle, amid the welcoming shouts of Dutch and Swedish settlers in woodland garb, the men in leather breeches and jerkins, the women "in skin jackets and linsey petticoats."26 Penn showed his deeds of enfeoffment, and p145 two of the inhabitants performed livery of seisin by handing over to him water and soil, turf and twig. Thence he went on to Upland, where there had been for some time a settlement. Turning to his friend and shipmate, Thomas Pearson, he said, "Providence has brought us here safe. Thou hast been the companion of my perils. What wilt thou that I shall call this place?" "Call it Chester," replied Pearson, who had come from that most quaint and beautiful city of old England.27 At this new Chester an assembly was held, which passed sixty-one statutes known as the Great Law of Pennsylvania. After visits to New York and Maryland, Penn sought the spot just above the confluence of the little Schuylkill and the great Delaware rivers, and there laid out the squarest and levelest city, no doubt, that our planet had ever seen.28 The plan was like a p146 checkerboard, and the first streets were named after the trees and shrubs, pine and spruce, chestnut and walnut, sassafras and cedar, that grew luxuriantly in the areas now covered with brick and mortar. The settlers at first came more rapidly than log huts could be built, so that many were fain to become troglodytes for a while in caves along the river's bank. Building went on briskly, and settlers kept coming, until by the end of 1683, this new Philadelphia, this City of Brotherly Love, contained 357 dwellings, many of them framed wooden houses, many of them stoutly built of bright red brick, and sometimes so uniform in aspect that a chalk-mark would seem needed to distinguish one from its neighbours, as in the Arabian tale of the Forty Thieves. The great city on the Delaware, like the great city on the Hudson, had its characteristic features strongly marked from the very outset.
Penn was charmed with his woodland. In a letter he exclaims, "O how sweet is the quiet of these parts, freed from the anxious and troublesome solicitations, hurries, and perplexities of woeful Europe!" Again, he says, the land is like "the best vales of England watered by brooks; the air, sweet; the heavens, serene like the south of France; the seasons, mild and temperate; vegetable productions abundant, chestnut, walnut, plums, muscatel grapes, wheat and other grain; a variety of animals, elk, deer, squirrel, and turkeys weighing forty or fifty pounds, water-birds and fish of divers kinds, no want of horses; and flowers lovely for colour, greatness, figure, and variety. . . . The stories of our necessity [have been] either the fear of our friends or the scarecrows of our enemies; for the greatest hardship we have suffered hath been salt meat, which by fowl in winter and fish in summer, together with some poultry, lamb, mutton, veal, and plenty of venison, the best part of the year has been made very passable."29 As regards the climate, however, the writer does not find it always mild and temperate; in p148 another letter he says, "the weather often changeth without notice, and is constant almost in its inconstancy," — an excellent description of nearly all weather in the United States, except on the coast of California.
One of the most famous events of Penn's first visit to the New World was his treaty with the tribe of Delawares or Lenapé Indians under the elm-tree at Shackamaxon. Documentary evidence concerning this affair is extremely deficient, but there is little doubt that such a treaty was made,30 probably in November, 1682, at Shackamaxon, under a great elm which was blown down in 1810. There is no doubt that the Indians from the first were greatly pleased with Penn's looks and manners. None can appreciate better than the red man that union of royal dignity with affable grace which characterized the handsome young cavalier. A lady who was present at a conference between Penn and the Indians, near Philadelphia, gave some detailed accounts of it which were afterward used by the antiquarian John Watson: "She said that the Indians, as well as the whites, had severally prepared the best entertainment the place and circumstances could admit. William Penn made himself endeared to the Indians by his marked condescension and acquiescence in their wishes. He walked with them, sat with them on the ground, and ate with them of their roasted acorns and hominy. At this they expressed their great delight, and soon began to show how they could hop and jump; at which exhibition William Penn, to cap the climax, sprang up and outdanced them all! We are not prepared," continues the worthy Watson, "to credit such light gaiety in a sage Governor and religious Chief; but we have the positive assertion of a woman of truth, who said she saw it. There may have been very wise policy in the measure as an act of conciliation, worth more than a regiment of sharpshooters. He was then sufficiently young for any agility; and we remember p149 that one of the old journalists among the Friends incidently speaks of him as having naturally an excess of levity of spirit for a grave minister."31
The testimony of the "woman of truth" seems to me eminently credible, as the act was highly characteristic. Penn, like Frontenac, knew instinctively what chords in the Indian's nature to touch. The red men always remembered affectionately their Onas, for by this Algonquin word, meaning "feather" or "quill," they translated the name of Penn; the name thenceforth always designated the governor of Pennsylvania, and it was an unshakable Lenapé tradition that Onas was a good fellow.
Of the Shackamaxon covenant Voltaire pithily observes that it was "the only treaty between savages and Christians that was never sworn to and that was never broken."32 The Quaker policy toward the red men was a policy of justice and truth, and deserves all that has been said in its praise. Nevertheless in connection with this subject sundry impressions have obtained currency which are not historically correct. Many people suppose that Penn's conduct, in paying the Indians for the land which he occupied, was without precedent. There could not be a greater mistake. The Dutch settlers of New Netherland were careful to pay for every tract of land which they p150 took, and New York writers sometimes allude to this practice in terms which imply that it was highly exceptional.33 But similar purchases by the Puritan settlers of New England occurred repeatedly. In the time of King Philip's war, Josiah Winslow, governor of Plymouth, said, in a report to the Federal Commissioners: "I think I can clearly say that, before these present troubles broke out, the English did not possess one foot of land in this colony but what was fairly obtained by honest purchase of the Indians."34 So the lands of the Providence plantation were bought from Canonicus by Roger Williams; the island of Aquedneck was duly paid for by Hutchinson and Coddington; and Samuel Gorton obtained Shawomet by fair purchase.35 The first settlers of Boston found in that neighbourhood a solitary survivor of an Algonquin tribe extirpated by the recent pestilence, and they made a payment for the land to him. An Indian village at Beverly was afterwards bought from its tawny occupants for £6 6s. 8d., equivalent to about $158, which was more than Minuit paid for Manhattan. In 1638 Davenport's company bought their New Haven lands for "12 coats of English cloth, 12 metal spoons, 12 hoes, 12 hatchets, 12 porringers, 24 knives, and 4 cases of French knives and scissors;" and in 1666 the pilgrims from the New Haven republic paid for the site of Newark in "50 double hands of powder, 100 bars of lead; of axes, coats, pistols, and hoes, 20 each; of guns, kettles, and swords, 10 each; 4 blankets, 4 barrels of beer, 50 knives, 850 fathoms of wampum, 2 anchors of liquor, and 3 trooper's p151 coats." So in 1610 Captain West bought the site of Richmond, in Virginia, from The Powhatan; in 1634 Leonard Calvert bought the Algonquin village on St. Mary's River; and in 1638 the Swedish settlers paid for their land on the Delaware.36
It appears, therefore, that the custom of paying the Indians a price for their lands was not peculiar to the Quakers, or to the Quakers and Dutch. On the contrary, the European settlers on the Atlantic seaboard of the United States seem all to have entertained similar ideas on this matter.
As for the proceedings at Shackamaxon, they seem certainly to have included the welding of a "chain of friendship," with the customary exchange of keepsakes and civilities. Whether any treaty of purchase was then made is uncertain. At all events, it can hardly have been completed until a later date, for in 1685, after Penn's return to England, the council concluded a negotiation with four chiefs — Shakkopoh, Sekane, Tangoras, and Malibore — for a large tract of land extending from the Delaware to the Susquehanna. The price paid was 44 lbs. of red lead, 30 pair of hawks' bells, 30 fathoms of duffels, 60 fathoms of "Strandwaters;"37 of guns, kettles, shirts, combs, axes, knives, bars of lead, pounds of powder, pair of scissors, pair of stockings, glasses, awls, tobacco-boxes, 30 each; 12 pair of shoes, 20 tobacco-tongs, 2 papers of beads, 6 draw-knives, 6 caps, 12 hoes, 200 fathoms of wampum. The openly chronicler who cites this curious inventory tells us that he feels "almost ashamed" to name such a shabby compensation;38 but who can tell what might have been an adequate price to the untutored Indian? We have no standard by which to estimate such things.
Looking back at the situation from the vantage ground of p152 our present knowledge, we must regard it as highly creditable to the early settlers in North America that they felt bound to give the aborigines some compensation for the lands of which they deprived them. When this had been done they could not understand why the Indians did not remain satisfied. But we can understand the case if we remember that alike in all instances the transaction was not like a free bargain and sale between members of a civilized community; it was much more like an exercise of eminent domain, in which compensation is allowed. The white men came to America uninvited, and having come they did not ask the red man's permission to stay. It may be doubted if even William Penn would have consented to abandon his "holy experiment" at the behest or entreaty of Shakkopoh, Sekane, Tangoras, and Malibore. It was said by Dr. Increase Mather that "the Lord God of our fathers hath given to us for a rightful possession" the lands of "the heathen people amongst whom we live,"39 whereupon Dr. Ellis has wittily observed that "between holding lands by fair purchase from the Indians and receiving them as a rightful possession from the Lord God, there is certainly a confusion of title." But in spite of the inconsistency, Mather gave expression to the principle upon which all the colonizers implicitly acted. Everywhere alike the bottom fact in the situation was that the white man came here to stay, without saying "By your leave."
It has often been said, and is commonly supposed, that the kind and just treatment of the Indians by the Quakers was the principal reason why more than seventy years elapsed before Pennsylvania suffered from the horrors of Indian warfare. This opinion seems closely connected with the notion that the red man is an exceptionally high-minded and peaceably disposed personage, who would never plunder and slay except under the stimulus of revenge for grievous wrongs. Such views p153 appear to me inadequately supported. The red man is not, indeed, an unmitigated fiend, but in his wild state he is a man of the Stone Age, whose bloodthirsty policy is swayed by considerations of passion and self-interest, even as the policy of more civilized men is governed. The most successful way of managing him is to keep him impressed with the superior power of the white man, while always treating him with absolute justice and truthfulness. Great credit is due to the Quakers of Pennsylvania for their methods of dealing with the Indians. Their way was the right way, and their success is one of the bright features in American history. Nevertheless it seems to me quite clear that in the long peace enjoyed by Pennsylvania, the controlling factor was not Quaker justice so much as Indian politics. If Penn's colony had been placed in New England, in the days of Pequot supremacy, followed by the days of deadly rivalry between Narragansetts and Mohegans, it is not likely that its utmost efforts could have kept it clear of complications that would have brought on a war with the Indians. On the other hand, if the Puritans of New England had established themselves on the Delaware River about fifty years after the founding of Boston, they would almost certainly have been unmolested by Indians until after 1750. The powerful Iroquois tribe of Susquehannocks, after a long and desperate struggle with their kinsmen of the Long House, finally succumbed in 1675, left their old hunting-grounds, and wandered southward, working mischief in Maryland and Virginia. The red men with whom Penn made his Shackamaxon treaty were Algonquins, remnants of the once formidable confederacy of Lenni Lenapé, called Delawares. They had been so completely broken in spirit by repeated defeats inflicted by the Long House, that they had consented to a treaty in which they were described as "cowards" and "women," and humbly confessed themselves to be vassals and payers of tribute to the terrible Five Nations. Now the Long House, as we have seen, was the irreconcilable foe of Onontio, the power p154 on the St. Lawrence, and the steadfast friend of Corlear, the power on the Hudson, whether Dutch or English. By the same token it was bound to befriend Onas. For the next seventy years, if any misguided Lenapé had undertaken to ply the tomahawk among Penn's people, Corlear had but to say the word, and the waters of the Susquehanna would soon swarm with canoes of befeathered Senecas and Cayugas, eager for the harvest of Lenapé scalps. Under these circumstances a ruffianly policy, like that of Kieft in New Netherland, might have goaded the Delawares to hostilities; but nothing short of that could have done it. Practically Penn's colony occupied an exceptionally safe position until its westward growth brought it within reach of the Algonquin tribes on the Ohio. These facts in nowise diminish the credit due to the Quaker policy, but they help us to a rational view of the Indian situation.
Penn had much reason to feel contented with the success of his noble experiment. Within three years from its founding Philadelphia had 2500 inhabitants, while in the whole province there were more than 8000, — a growth as great as that of New Netherland in its first half century. Having made such an auspicious beginning, Penn heard news from England which made him think it desirable to return thither. He heard of Quaker meetings broken up by soldiers, and the worshippers sent to jail. His presence was needed. He sailed in August, 1684, and arrived at his home in Sussex early in October. He expected soon to return to America, but fifteen years were to elapse and strange vicissitudes to be encountered before he was able to do so.
1 Masson's Milton, V.71.
2 Stoughton's Penn, p8.
4 A discussion in a Presbyterian meeting-house in London, between Penn with some friends and the Presbyterian minister, Thomas Vincent, had ended in an attempt to silence the Quakers by uproar. Penn persisted even after the lights were put out, but then yielded to Vincent's promise to meet him again in a fair and open discussion. It proved impossible, however, to make Vincent keep his promise, and so Penn had recourse to the press, and published his The Sandy Foundation Shaken. See Stoughton's William Penn, p57.
5 Penn's Select Works, London, 1825, I.163‑165.
6 It was such a want that the noble and saintlike Nicholas Ferrar sought to satisfy in his Protestant monastery of Little Gidding. See my Old Virginia and Her Neighbours, Illustrated Edition, I.196.
7 Penn's Select Works, I.368‑371.
8 Penn's Select Works, I.482.
9 Penn's Select Works, I.421‑428.
10 Penn's Select Works, I.179‑223. At one point in the trial, the recorder, John Howell, exclaimed: "Till now I never understood the reason of the policy and prudence of the Spaniards in suffering the Inquisition among them. And certainly it will never be well with us, till something like the Spanish Inquisition be in England." Id. p194.
11 It is contained in his Select Works, II.398‑503.
12 Penn's Select Works, II.414‑418.
13 Smith's History of Nova Caesaria, or New Jersey, Burlington, 1765, pp93, 94.
14 Stoughton's William Penn, p119.
15 Brodhead's History of the State of New York, II.339; an excellent and scholarly work, though occasionally disfigured by a proneness to ascribe unworthy motives to New York's neighbours, whether in Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or Pennsylvania.
17 Clarkson's Life of Penn, I.288.
18 See Old Virginia and Her Neighbours, Illustrated Edition, II.130‑132.
19 The subject is ably and succinctly treated in Hinsdale's Old Northwest, pp98‑119.
20 See his letter to his friend Robert Turner, in Stoughton's William Penn, p169. The reader must pardon me for throwing the king's remark into the oratio directa, thus paraphrasing but scarcely amplifying what Penn tells us. The king spake as I have quoted him, or "words to that effect," as the lawyers say.
It is said that Penn once told the Rev. Hugh David that he was himself of Welsh origin and descended from the Tudors. "My great-grandfather, John Tudor, lived upon the top of a hill or mountain in Wales and was generally called John Penmunnith, which in English is John-on‑the‑Hilltop. He removed from Wales into Ireland, where he acquired considerable property," and afterward removed to London. His Welsh nickname became abbreviated to John Penn, and in the new surroundings the old name Tudor was forgotten. See Watson's Annals of Philadelphia, I.119. I relate the tradition for whatever it may be worth.
21 See Old Virginia and Her Neighbours, Illustrated Edition, I.207.
22 These were probably added by Lord Chief Justice North, who revised the document.
23 Colonial Laws of Massachusetts, pp14‑16.
24 Hazard's Annals of Pennsylvania, p502.
25 Proud's History of Pennsylvania, I.216.
26 Watson's Annals of Philadelphia, I.19.
27 Smith's History of Delaware County, p139. This Pearson was maternal grandfather of the painter, Benjamin West. Id. p170.
28 But not so level as it has since become. Many inequalities have been smoothed out.
29 Clarkson's Life of Penn, I.350, 402.
30 Memoirs of Pennsylvania Historical Society, vol. III part 2, p143.
31 Watson's Annals of Philadelphia, I.56.
32 "Il commença par faire une ligue avec les Américains ses voisins. C'est le seul traité entre ces peuples et les chrétiens qui n'ai point été juré et qui n'ait point été rompu." Dictionnaire philosophique, s.v. Quakers, in his Oeuvres, Paris, 1785, tom. XLIII p18. A new sight it was indeed, he goes on to exclaim, that of a sovereign to whom everybody could say Thou and address him with hat on, etc.: "C'était un spectacle bien nouveau qu'un souverain que tout le monde tutoyaient,º et à qui on parlait le chapeau sur la tête; un gouvernement sans prêtres, un peuple sans armes, des citoyens tous égaux à la magistrature près, et des voisins sans jalousie. Guillaume Pen pouvait se vanter d'avoir apporté sur la terre l'âge d'or, dont on parle tant, et qui n'a vraisemblablement existé qu'en Pensilvanie." But the good Voltaire, in his enthusiasm, gets his geography mixed up, and places Pennsylvania "au sud de Mariland."
33 "Of this purchase [of Manhattan Island by Director Minuit], so unique and rare an episode in the history of American colonization, there fortunately exists unassailable proof." Wilson, Memorial History of the City of New York, I.158.
34 See Hubbard's Narrative, 13. For the general temper of New England legislation for Indians, see General Laws of Massachusetts, pp74‑78; General Laws of Connecticut, pp32‑34; Plymouth Records, II.74, 89, 167; IV.66, 109; Winthrop's Journal, I.120; Trumbull's History of Connecticut, I.37.
35 Arnold's History of Rhode Island, I.70, 125; II.112.
36 See Ellis, The Red Man and the White Man, p337; and my Old Virginia and Her Neighbours, Illustrated Edition, I.260.
37 Duffels and Strandwaters were coarse kinds of cloth.
38 Watson's Annals of Philadelphia, I.143.
39 Mather's Brief History of the War with the Indians, Boston, 1676, ad init.
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