John Collins Warren.

Genealogy of Warren, with some historical sketches online

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Governor is the law making power. The Governor how-
ever depends on the Assembly for his salary, as he has no
fijced allowance, wdiich is voted only from year to year, and
if he displeases the Assembly, it votes him no salary for the

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AchmicaWs Observations on North. America^ 1767. 11

next year. The Assembly has been for six years on bad
terms with the Proprietor and has made no grant for the
Goyernor. The Assembly %yants the Proprietor to pay tax
on his property especially to^ya^ds the extraordinary war
expenses. The decision rests with the King in Council, but
if the Assembly appealed, it would be sent to the King's
Bench. The fact that all Judges are appointed by the
Proprietor, makes difficulties, as he is in his own cases both
Judge and Plaintiff. The newer Colonies haye institutions
based on Acts of Parliament for New Georgia, New Scot-
land, &c., but the older Colonies haye Charters from the
King, and not from Parliament. These Colonies claim to
be subject to the King, but not to Parhament, at least not to
its arbitrary power, like the newer Colonies, which owe
their existence to Parliament. The latter are called Plan-
tations ^yithin his Majesty's Dominions, the former his
Majesty's Plantations.

The legal institutions of the Colonies are based on those
of England, for these are part of the Englishman's rights.
All personal relations are controlled by Statute Law and
Common Law. Roman Law is recognized only in Courts
of A dmiralty. The right of trial by a Jury of t^'elve men is
recognized just as in England. It was one of the grounds
of complaint against the Stamp Act, that questions arising
under it were not tried by Jury, but by courts specially

Most of the Colonists of English descent are Presby-
terians. There is not one Bishop of the Established Church
in America, although there are many parishes belonging to
it. These are all under the Bishop of London, and eyery one
of their clerg}Tnen must be examined and ordained in Eng-
land, at a cost of at least £40 to £50, but their stay in
England helps their education. As the Bishops haye spirit-
ual jurisdiction, there are no ecclesiastical Courts in the
Colonies, and matters pertaining to them are settled partly
by local Courts, partly by the AssembHes. The spiritual
Lords may have proposed to send a Bishop to America,


12 AcheracalVs Observations on North America, 1767.

but since the time of Charles the First, that title has
been greatly disliked in the Colonies. Catholic Churches
are found in Pennsylvania as well as in Maryland, in the
former because freedom of religion is universal, in the latter
because the Baltimore family, the Proprietors, were formerly
Catholics, — none are found in the other Colonies. There are
Jews in Pennsylvania and Xev/ York, — in the latter there is
a Synagogue, in the former only Schools. Pennsylvania is
preeminent for the entire religious equality or toleration,
under which it has increased in population and wealth.
Roman Catholics are however excluded from all offices and
from the Assembly, because they cannot take the usual
religious oath and subscribe under the test act. This oath
must be taken here as well as in England, as well as that
against the Pretender. All other Protestant faiths enable
the members to hold office. For education in science there
has long been a high school in Boston, the capital of Massa-
chusetts, and there is another founded in 1749 in Phila-
delphia, the capital of Pennsylvania. Franklin proposed
and founded it. The money was raised partly by subscrip-
tion, partly by Provincial grants. Most of the endowment
consists of land, not very productive, but of value hereafter.
This University has a President with £250 salary, and four
Professors, — two with £200, two %\'ith £150, besides fees
for private instruction. There is no College and therefore
no lodging built yet. It has the right to confer degrees.
In 1764 a Medical School was added, and it will no doubt
have the power to confer degrees. There is no Law School
yet and it is not likely there will ever be one of Theology.
The University was chartered by the Assembly for the
good of the Colony, but as there are so many religious faiths
all enjoying perfect equality, it is enough if the scholars are
taught their religious tenets in their own schools with those
of their own faith, while Theology is excluded.

Farming, stockraising and fisheries flourish in all the
North American Colonies, and the forests supply all that is
needed for fuel and industry. Grapes are successfully culti-

AchenwaWs Observations on North America, 1767. 13

vated in Nortti America and vdla grape vines are found in
some forests. The cheap w-ines from Canary interfere with
the production. Silk can be cultivated and mulberry trees
grow as far north as Xew England. Cod fishing is more
valuable than a silver mine, for it trains up good sailors and
helps many industries. !N'ew England, New Scotland and
New Foundland are most largely interested in it. Colonists
have the same fishing rights in these waters as Englishmen.
The largest market is Spain and Portugal. These Catholic
countries are large consumers, and the fishermen often bless
the Pope.

The French fisheries since the recent peace have greatly
diminished in extent, but the French take a good deal of
the trade, as their own consumption is supplied by French
fishing fleets. The New England fishermen supply Por-
tugal, Spain and Italy at a cheaper rate than the French.

Whale fishing is increasing, and the Island of Nantucket
owns hundreds of ships in this industry. It stretches from
the mouth of the St. Lawrence, on the coast of Greenland,
as far south as Florida. Beasts of prey do little hann, —
bears and wolves rarely injure men, and bear meat is much
liked. Deer are plentiful and Bufl:alo are easily found and
can be tamed and used as in Asia Minor, Persia, Egypt,
Ethiopia and the East Indies as draught animals. Kalm
praises the Sugar Maple and took some of the young trees
to Sweden. The sugar can replace that of the West
Indies, although it has not yet done so. The bounty on
Pearl and Potashes has made a large industry, — over a
thousand tons are annually produced.

Ship building is growing greatly in the North American
Colonies. Ships are all built of oak, some for use at home,
others for sale in England.

Pennsylvania is mainly farming and cattle growing, just
as are most of the German countries. It has little Fishery
trade, as it has a small coast, and it has no products that can
be used largely in commerce.

The growth of the neighboring Colonies is due to their

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14 AchemcaWs Obsercatious on JS^jrlh America, 1767.

Fisheries, Tobacco, Rice and Indigo. Pennsylvania flour-
ishes on its farming and cattle. Horses are raised in some
Colonies, but it is better to raise oxen, which can be used
for twelve years and then killed or sold.

The farmers are industrious and frugal, educate their
families, and are growing rich in land if not in money.

Manufacturing, wool, flax, iron, steel, and copper, is
growing, — field pieces, rifled guns for hunters, and iron
cannon are all made in the Colonies. England does not in-
terfere with domestic production, but it prevents exporta-
tion, and does not allow hats to be made, lest the English
production, although made of American beaver, should be
lessened in demand in the Colonies. There is little ground
for fear of American competition, as workmen are few there,
and forming is always preferred to trades. Farmers are
good fathers, and large families help economical living.
Even if manufacturing increases, it cannot keep pace with
the increase of population and the demand for goods. In
34 years the population of Pennsylvania increased fourfold
at most, but the importation of English wares increased
from £16000 Sterling to £268000, — that is seventeen times
greater. In 1725 the value of such importations was
£16000, in 1757, £268426. Four times the population
uses much more than four times, really seventeen times
more goods, because the population grows more rapidly in
wealth than in numbers. Manufactures must in time be
established in tlie Colonies, because with their prosperity
likely to increase for centuries to come, England and Ireland
cannot supply all the wares needed and the Colonies must
provide them for their future necessities.

The three largest cities are Boston, iS'ew York and
Philadelphia. In 1720 the first was as large as the other
two together, but since then they have grown faster. In
New England there are many sea ports, but the only ports
for !N'ew York and Pennsylvania are their two capitals, and
they are likely to be the largest cities in America. Phila-
delphia has more than 3000 houses, and more than 20000


AchemcaWs Obstrvatlons on Xortk America, 1767. 15

inhabitants. It is regularly laid out at right angles, and the
streets extend every year.

Virginia has the fewest villages and only one little town,
Williamsburg, its capital. The population is scattered and
every family lives on its own tobacco plantation. The
Chesapeake and its affluents reach every where and the
Colonists bring their tobacco by water to the Bay where it
is loaded on sea going vessels.

New York has great advantages for trading with the
native Indians, by means of the Hudson to Albany, and
thence by smaller streams to Oswego and Lake Ontario,
where the great fairs for dealing with the Lidians are held.
From Lake Ontario there is water way to Lake Superior.
The Indians bring their skins and hides from the west by
water to Oswego, and !N'ew York excludes traders from
Pennsylvania. Philadelphia trades with Xew Jersey over
the Delaware River. Salt is imported in 50 or 60 vessels
from Spanish South America and the Cape Yerde Islands
and Senegal, where it is made from salt water, by drying
in the sun.

The Colonies are greatly restricted in their export trade,
yet they have their own vessels, but they are not allowed to
export their products, especially those needed for ship
building, such as masts, ship timber, iron, copper, hemp,
flax, cotton, indigo, tobacco, tar, potash, skins and furs, —
they must all be sent to England and sold there for export
in British ships with British sailors, and where there are
English Trading Companies, as in the East Indies, the
Colonies cannot trade directly. In 1765 the trade with the
Spanish and French West Indies was forbidden, but the
results were so bad that this restriction was removed. The
Colonies ship food stufts to the Portuguese Sugar islands,
meal, butter, meat, grain, wood and timber for house
building etc., and bring back Molasses, from which Rum is
made. Trade with the Spanish Americas is contraband, but
the Colonists run the risk for the sake of the hard money
it brings. Great Britain in 1766 established two free porta

16 Achcmcairs Obsarafions on North America^ 1767.

in the West Indies, one in Jamaica, the other in Dominica,
the French have one in St. Domingo, the Dutch one in
St. Eustache, the Danes one in St. Thomas, — the English
want to prevent the contraband trade with Spain, but have
made the restriction that foreigners can receive all goods
free of duty, but must sell only for cash, and not in exchange
for other goods.

Colonial shipping is important through the trade with the
Spanish and French West Indies, the English Sugar islands,
and the fisheries. It deals with the regions south of Cape
Finisterre, with Africa, the Canary and other islands, and in
British ships with Portugal, Cadiz, Malaga, Marseilles, Leg-
horn and Naples, and it might deal with Turkey. It carries
the surplus products of the fisheries, grain, flour, timber,
saorar and rice. The trade with Portuo;al is restricted be-
cause all its wine must be brought by way of England, so
only salt as ballast is brought back. Sugar is the only cargo
which the Colonial shipping can carry and sell through
Europe. England reserves the right to import and reship
American products, yet it sells more than three million
pounds and Ireland and Scotland two million pounds ster-
ling of products in America. Hard money is rare in the
Colonies, and is higher in price than in England. An
English shilling is 18 pence colonial, as against 12 pence in
sterling. A Guinea is 34 shillings, on account of its conven-
ience for exchange for goods. Spanish pieces of eight,
worth in England 4 shillings 8 pence, are worth in the
Colonies 7 shillings 6 pence, and gold pistoles have fallen
to 27 shillings, because they are so often filled -with base
metal. A credit on London costs 175 p. c, that is 1
English pound sterling If in Provincial currency, but the
price rises and falls, par is 133^, but it often goes up to 166f
p. c. During the late war par was as low as 125, because
England spent so much money and so much was brought
over by English soldiers, — and it varies in different Colonies.
The Colonies have Paper-bills, Bills of Credit and Currency,
issued by the authority of the Assemblies which bind them-


AchenicaWs Observations on North America, 1767, 17

selves to redeem them, — from £5 do%vii to 1 shilling, but
*hey are not good outside the Province that issues them.
It is used to raise large amounts for pressing needs, as in
the French AVar to pay the soldiers, arm and clothe and
feed tliem in the field. Sometimes the money is raised by
currency bills which are taken in payment of taxes etc.
and are cancelled on return to the Treasury office. This
was copied from the English Exchequer Bills introduced in
the reign of William Third by Act of Parliament, but the
Enghsh bills carry interest, and those of the Colonies do
not. Another sort of currency is issued to meet the demand
for money on loan at interest, — the current rate is 6 p. c,
but these loans are made at 5 p. c, and the borrower must
pay one tenth of the principal annually. Thus the Colony
can supply the means of helping farmers to buy cattle,
agricultural implements etc. and thus improve the land.
The issues were made too freely in some Colonies, and fell
15 to 20 p. c. and even more in the market. All the
Colonies used paper currency, until in some the English
government restricted its issue by law to a fixed amount.
The Mother Country did this to protect its trade from
suffering loss. Pennsylvania restricted and regulated its
issues also. The question has been much disputed as to
whether such issues are advantageous or injurious, but it is
still undecided. The taxes in the Colonies are very light, —
in Pennsylvania and Virginia there is a tax payable in rent
at a very low rate to the Proprietor in the former, to the
Crown in the latter Colony, all other taxes are assessed by
authority of the Assembly, — generally a land tax, of 6, 12,
18 pence up to 2^ shillings on the pound of rent, and in-
comes of professions and ofiices are taxed. There are no
taxes on exports and imports or excise. There is a small
light house tax on shipping. The Stamp Tax acts met
universal opposition, — the Colonies claimed the right to
deal with their own finances, — they had accepted all other
Acts of Parliament touching their manufactures and trade,
limiting their freedom, but these did not affect them as



18 AcheiucalVs Observations on North America, 1767.

much as this direct attack on their purses. The Colonists
would not admit that Parliament had the right to tax them.
They claimed to be EngHsh citizens, and that no English
community could be taxed without its own consent, that is
through its representatives in the House of Commons, but
the Colonies have none, — such as the Scotch have, — but
only their own Assemblies, — there only can taxes be legally
levied. Their money should be used to pay their own
debts, not the national debt of Great Britain. The last
war put a hea\w debt on all the Colonies, — this ought to be
first paid. The Colonies maintained at their own expense,
25000 men against the French, costing each Colony
yearly 20, 30, 50 and more thousands of pounds, — when
this debt is paid, the Crown would have the right to require
the Colonial Assembhes to raise a similar loan. All the
Colonies were unanimous on this point, and for the first
time met through their delegates in a Congress called to
object to the Stamp Act, and this they did on the right of
English citizens to petition against any measure they think
wrong, and this right is ensured to any number, whether it
be 2, or 100 or 100000.

There are few fortified places in America. Philadelphia
is quite open to attack, and has only one Battery on the
river, to protect the city against invasion. There are a few
forts to protect the settlers from the Indians. The Provinces
have their own militia, maintained at their own cost, — the
King appoints the ofl&cers. !N"ew England has the largest
body of militia, and the little forts are manned by these
troops under the King's commanders. There are English
regiments in Xorth America garrisoning the large forts, —
these are paid by the Crown. The English like to serve in
America, for they are paid in English sterling and are
supplied by the local authorities with provisions. The
conquest of Canada is advantageous alike to the Enghsh
nation and to the Colonies, for much of the expense of
maintaining troops and forts is no longer required. Eng-
land supported 25000 men in the Colonies, and the Colonies

foj i::n .n:hj

AchemcalVs Observations on Korth America, 1767. 19

as many more iu the last war. The royal rule iu America,
when in harmony with the Colonies, is inexpensive in the
older Colonies, for the King's Cabinet rules by a stroke of
the pen. The Colonies are well pleased that France handed
New Orleans over to the Spanish. The Indians are sworn
foes of the Spanish, who are neither so intriguing nor so in-
dustrious as the French, and hence England can keep on
better terms with the Indians.

Tlie general agreement of the Colonies as shown in re-
lation to the Stamp Act, is the more noteworthy, as the
Colonies have generally been jealous of one another. There
are many disputes between them as to their borders, rivers,
trade etc. If the Colonies were entirely independent, they
would soon be at war with one another. Only the pro-
tection of the King and his authority prevents open out-
breaks. This jealousy increases with the growth of the
Colonies. Pennsylvania gets along best, for it leaves all
trade both import and export open to all other Colonies,
only making such restriction in its own favor as may be
needed to meet restrictions laid on its trade by other
Colonies, but all laws of this kind require the royal approval.




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20 The Journal of Isaac Norris, IT^o.


[Isaac Norris, son of Isaac and Mary (Lloyd) Norris, of Philadelphia,
was born October 23, 1701. He was liberally educated and possessed
high natural endowments. In 1727 he was chosen a Common Council-
man of the city, and later an Alderman. After his father's death, in
1735, he resided at "Fair Hill," where he passed his life in study, of
which he was passionately fond, and in the service of the Proyince.
He was elected to the Assembly in 1734, and for thirty years (half of
which period as Speaker) he was an active, popular, and influential
member. All parties respected his integrity, patriotism, and public
spirit. In 1739 he married Sarah, a daughter of James Logan, of
Stenton, their daughter ilary becoming the wife of John Dickinson.
Isaac Norris died at "Fair Hill," July 13, 1766.]


Septemberj 174-5. — George Clinton, Governor of New
York, ha\'ing received advices from the Commissioners of
Lidian Affairs at Albany; that the Lidians of the Five
Nations had been to Canada, and in a treaty with the
French Government, had been requested to take up the
hatchet, (as they call it,) against the English. "Which re-
quest was made by throwing a belt of wampum on the
ground, -^vith the figure of a hatchet wrought in it; and
that some of the Indians had taken up the belt and told
the Governor of Canada that they would carry it to the
Councilors at Onondogo, where, after a conference with their
Five Nations, they would return him their answer. Upon
which, and some other advices relating to the Lidians, Gov-
ernor Clinton wrote to our Governor, who called the As-
sembly, and the Governor and Assembly appointed Thomas
LawTcnce, Member of Council ; John Kinsey, Speaker of
Assembly; Liaac Norris, Member of Assembly; to go to

vh/i. ■' hl.;i -r.


The Journal of Isaac Norrls^ 17^5. 21

Albany as Commissioners from this province, to meet the
Indians at a treaty appointed by the Governor of Xew
York, to be held there on the 4"" of October next.

September 26, 174-0. — We waited on the Governor, who
delivered to Thomas Lawrence the Commission which he
had executed and a Letter of Listructions under the Lesser
Seal; and after about Rirchase, and Sale of Real Estates.
"To Be Sold,

"That elegant situation the noted tavern called the Wigwam, Upon
the banks of the Schuylkill, 2 miles from the Court House.

"There are on the premises, a Brick House, 21 by 22, with a stone
one adjoining 18 by 30 feet ; the brick building consists of a very hand-
some, well finished Parlour 20 by 21 feet, with two well finished Cham-
bers, and two Garrets, lathed and plastered, with two Piazzas round the
same, and a Balcony with turned Ballustrades, from which may be
seen the city of Philadelphia ; a good Cellar and a Pump of Water at
the door. The stone building consists of a Parlour and Kitchen ad-
ioining, with a Eoom over the whole, and an oven.

" There is also on the premises, a new Frame Building, built of the
very best cedar and white oak, and finished in the modem style, 40 by
20 feet ; the lower floor consists of a Dining Room 34 feet long, with a
Bar Room adjoining, also two Plunging and two Shower Baths, each in
separate genteel rooms ; in the second story is a Room well finished 20
feet by 30, calculated for a Dancing Room, or the Entertainment of a
large Company with a convenient Drawing Room adjoining ; the third
floor has three Lodging Rooms, the whole being well finished, lathed
and plastered, under which is a complete Cellar or Kitchen with a
Fire-Place and every Conveniency.

30 Society of the Sons of Saint Tammamj of Philadelphia.

"On the premises is a good Stable, also an excellent Garden of half
an acre well laid out, and stocked with an assortment of the best grafted
Fruit Trees, such as Peaches, Plumbs, Cherries, Pears, &c. together
with a collection of valuable Flower Roots, in the ground ; there is
also an Orchard adjoining well stocked with an assortment of grafted
Apple Trees, which is enclosed by a Board Fence 7 feet high, and the
Garden is under a Palisade Fence 7 feet high ; in the orchard are
eight well finished Summer Houses, one of which is elegantly finished
after the Chinese taste.

"The whole commands a beautiful and extensive prospect up and
down the river Schuylkill, with a view of the bridges over the middle
and upper ferries, being situated in the middle between the two ; a
plenty of fishing and fowling in the different seasons of the year, and
the whole being a pleasant retreat for a gentleman retiring from business
in the heat of summer,

"This place being so well known renders it unnecessary to say much
relative to it. By paying part of the purchase money down, some time
will be given for the payment of the remainder."

The advertisement shows plainly that our Secretary of the
Saint Tammany Society had met with misfortune and had to
seek his living in this way, consequently there is no more
mention of his place as being the head-quarters of our So-
ciety. The exact meeting-places this year are not given,
and we judge that the great controversy over the adoption
of the Federal Constitution was being felt by our brethren;
for when the Federal Commission came before the people
of Pennsylvania, a very thorough and careful A\Titer says,
"An issue was raised, something was at stake; and the
Whig Party was quickly rent in twain, slanders were set
up — The name of TVhig fell for a time into disuse, and

Online LibraryJohn Collins WarrenGenealogy of Warren, with some historical sketches → online text (page 2 of 39)