Josiah Rhinehart Sypher.

School history of Pennsylvania, from the earliest settlements to the present time online

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10. One hundred years had now elapsed since the date of
the first settlement of the Swedes on the Delaware; and
fifty-seven years since the cession of the country to William
Penn. Pennsylvania at this time had more white inhabitants
than were in the four Provinces of Virginia, Maryland, and
the Carolinas. Though the youngest of the American Prov-
inces, with the exception of Georgia, it had by far the finest
capital city and the second in size on the continent. The
causes of this superior prosperity, were the humane treat-
ment of the Indians, which gave security to person and prop-
erty; the excellency of Penn's laws, whereby the rights of
property were defended and the unlimited toleration for all
manner of religious persuasion secured,

11. The great diversity of population also increased the
tide of immigration. The Swedes, Finns, Dutch, English,
Scotch, Irish, Welsh, Germans, and French who came to
Pennsylvania in the first years of its history, sent home such
favorable accounts of the fertility of the soil, the mildness of
the climate, and the liberality of its laws and proprietary
government, that great numbers of people flocked from every
country in Europe to the shores of the Delaware.

12. These immigrants brought with them their own pecu-

9. How and when did the administration of Council terminate?

10. How old was tlie Province? How did Pennsylvania compare
with other Provinces? Why?

11. What increased immio;ration ?


liar trades and modes of business ; and hence the resources
of the Province were rapidly developed. As early as lt31,
the exports from Pennsylvania were reported to consist of
wheat and flour of su,)erior quality, pork, butter, cheese, cider,
apples, soap, myrtle-wax candles, starch, beeswax, hides, tal-
low, leather, strong beer, linseed oil, hemp, tobacco, lumber,
and furs. About 6000 tons of shipping were employed by
the commerce of the Colony; and every year, several ships
were built in the shipyards and sold to the merchants of the
neighboring Provinces.

13. A visit from Thomas and John Penn, sons of the
founder of the Colony, thus prosperous and happy, added to
the joys of the people. They came to Philadelphia in 1732,
and were cordiajly welcomed by all the inhabitants. John,
who was the eldest living son of William Penn, and a native
of Pennsylvania, was soon recalled to resist the claims of
Lord Baltimore to the territory of Delaware. Thomas re-
mained in the Province, participating in the government as a
member of Council until 1741, when he also returned to

12. How were the resources developed ? Name some of the ex-
ports ? In what year was this ?

13. Who visited the Province ? How were they received?




Political Excitement. — Election Riot. — Militai^y organized.

1. Governor Thomas began his administration in the
summer of 1738, under the most favorable auspices, and over
a prosperous colony. But in October of the following year,
war was declared between England and Spain, and the
American colonies were again required to put themselves in
a state of defense.

2. The governor, unfortunately, did not understand the
character of the people over whom he was sent to administer
the affairs of government. As if clothed with supreme au-
thority, he ordered the inhabitants to provide all necessary
means for the protection of the Province against invasion.
The Quakers, constituting the majority of the Assembly,
refused, pointedly, to engage in v/arlike preparations. A
bitter dispute arose between the governor and the Assembly,
which for a short time seriously embarrassed public busi-

Chapter XIII. — 1. When did Governor Thomas begin his ad-
ministration? What war broke out?

2. What action did Governor Thomas take ? What followed ?


3. Thomas, by unfortunate experience, learned the temper
of the people with whom he had to deal, and, profiting by
the lesson,- he no longer urged the Assembly to raise troops,
but recommended that a sum of money be appropriated for
the use of the king, as a testimonial of the loyalty of the
people. This was readily done, and the governor, by virtue
of his authority as captain-general, proceeded to organize a
militia of seven companies.

4. Among the emigrants who crowded to the Province,
there were many families, principally from Germany, who
were too poor to pay the expense of a passage across the
ocean. It was the custom of these families to sell the time
of some one or more of their members to settlers, who would
pay the passage-money. The persons, whose time was thus
sold, were required to work the number of years agreed upon
for those who had bought their labor. They were called
"redemptioners,"Snd were held as servants in the estimation
of the law.

5. When Governor Thomas called for volunteers, many of
these redemptioners enlisted and were thereby released from
the performance of their contracts with their purchasers.
The Assembly demanded that the governor should pay the
citizens for the loss of their servants. This he refused to do.
A bitter dispute ensued ; and the people taking sides, some
with the Assembly and others with the governor, magnified
the contest into one of the most violent party strifes ever
witnessed in Pennsylvania.

6. The governor withheld his approval from bills passed

3. "What did the governor next do? "Was this done?

4. Who were the "redemptioners?"

5. What effect had enlistment in the military service on redemp-
tioners ? What did the Assembly demand ? What followed ?


by the Assembly, and that body in turn refused to order the
payment of the governor's salary. The quarrel finally be-
came uncontrollable, and the Assembly adjourned without
having done anything for the public good, and without pro-
viding for the governor's support. Governor Thomas took
revenge by immediately removing from office all the judges,
magistrates, sheriffs, and other officers in the Province who
sided with the Assembly.

7. The term of service for members of the Assembly hav-
ing expired, both parties looked forward with anxiety and
hope to the approaching election, and engaged earnestly in
the preparatory canvass. The party headed by the governor,
aided by the mayor, recorder, attorney-general, and the city
alderman of Philadelphia was called the '' gentlemen's party,"
and had its chief strength in the city. The leaders of the
opposition were the members of the Assembly and the prin-
cipal Quakers, and was called the " Quaker, or country

8. Both of these parties labored to win the votes and in-
fluence of the Germans, who now were no longer '' dangerous
foreigners" to be feared, and to be refused the rights of citi-
zenship, but industrious, peaceable citizens, whose friendship
was ardently courted by pledges of amplest protection, and
the fullest guarantee of all their rights.

9. The ballot-box for the whole county and city of Phila-
delphia was opened at the court-house on Market Street.
Early on the morning of election day, October 1, both parties

6. How did the governor and the Assembly act toward each other?

7. What two political parties were formed ?

8. How were the Germans now treated?

9. Where was the election held in Philadelphia ? What prepara-
tions were made?



collected in great numbers about the court-house ; the Quakers
had made successful efforts to have their friends from the coun-
try, especially the Germans, present in great force. The
governor's party had engaged a gang of sailors, from the ships
then in the harbor, to attack the voters and drive them from
the polls.

10. Soon after the people had assembled, the sailors ap-
peared, marching through the streets in a riotous manner.
They attacked the men at the polls with clubs, knocking down
all who came in their way, not sparing even the magistrates,
who endeavored to check their violence. Having cleared the
ground, the rioters retired; but, returning again as soon as
the polls w^ere opened, they took possession of the stairway
"leading to the ballot-box, and beat back the members of the
country party who came forward to vote.

11. The patience of the people was finally exhausted, and
the Germans, less scrupulous than their Quaker brethren in
the matter of self-defense, seized the first weapons at hand,
fell upon the sailors and drove them from the streets. Fifty
were captured and lodged in jail; their companions, about
thirty in number, took refuge on their ships, and were careful
not to appear again on the streets that day.

12. There was no further disturbance, and the first election
riot in Pennsylvania, therefore, terminated in the defeat of
the assailants. The country party triumphed, not only over
the rioters, but also over the gentlemen's party. The mem-
bers of the former Assembly, who had stoutly resisted the
policy of Governor Thomas, were re-elected.

10. "What occurred on the morning of election day ?

11. How was the riot quelled?

12. How did the election result ?


13. The will of the people, as declared at the election, was
respected by the governor; he proposed a compromise with
the Assembly, which was promptly accepted, and thus the
long and profitless dispute ended in the complete triumph of
the representatives of the popular will. The reputation for
loyalty was maintained by the appropriation of money to pay
masters for the loss of servants who had entered the king's
service, and by a liberal donation to the crown, amounting in
all to about £6000.

14. The troops enrolled for the Spanish war were not
called into active service, but the declaration of war between
England and France in 1144, known in American history as
King George's War, rekindled the military spirit in the
colonies. Governor Thomas had been instructed, by expe-
rience, to avoid a second dispute with the Quakers, who
always maintained a majority in the Assembly. He issued
a proclamation, commanding all the able-bodied men to pro-
vide arms, and to assemble on certain days for military

15. Benjamin Franklin,* the statesman and philosopher,

* Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1706.
He removed to Philadelphia in 1723, established himself as a printer,
and for many j^ears was an active public man, and an eminent phi-
losopher. During the revolutionary war he was most of the time
in Europe, where he rendered invaluable service to the cause of
American liberty. On his return he w^as elected governor of Penn-
sylvania. He died in 1790, aged eighty-four years.

13. What was the effect of the triumph of the people? What did
the Assembly do?

14. Were the troops needed in the Spanish war ? What other war
was declared? What was done to prepare for this war?

15. AVhat great statesman now guided the people? AYhat did he
do in this emergency ? What do you know of Franklin ?


who was at this time thirty-eight years old, contributed
greatly to the public .security, and by his wise counsel pre-
served perfect harmony between the executive and the As-
sembly. He published a pamphlet, entitled "Plain Truth,"
wherein he set forth in strong language the helpless con-
dition of the Province, and urged the necessity of union and
discipline. He called a meeting and proposed a plan for a
military association. Over 10,000 men were thus organized
into companies and armed at their own expense, and com-
manded by officers of their own choice. Franklin was
chosen colonel of the Philadelphia regiment; but believing he
could serve the people more effectively as a private citizen, he
declined the office.

16. He afterwards devised a lottery to raise funds to estab-
lish a battery below the city. Many of the Quakers, who
were not scrupulous on the question of defensive war, con-
tributed freely to this scheme, and directed that whatever
prizes they might draw should be sold for the benefit of the
public fund.

17. These active military preparations served to intimidate
the foreign enemy, and also to check the hostile disposition
of the Indians, which began to manifest itself along the
western frontier. Unscrupulous traders were in the habit of
carrying large quantities of spirituous liquors into the Indian
villages, and after making the inhabitants drunk, would
cheat them out of the true value of their furs and skins, and
often abused their wives and children. When, therefore, the
Indians became sober they were fired with anger, and often
sought revenge against the settlers.

16. How did he raise money to erect a battery? How did the
Quakers act?

17. What effect had these active measures? How were the Indians
defrauded ?


18. A conference was called to meet at Lancaster, whereat
all differences were satisfactorily adjusted. The governors
of Virginia and Mar^iand joined Governor Thomas in signing
a treaty. By many valuable presents and pledges of pro-
tection, the friendship of the Indians was secured. They
promised to give to the settlers the earliest information
of the movements of the French and hostile savages in the
Northwest, and to do all in their power to resist these ene-
mies should they attempt to march through their country.

19. The emissaries of the French had long labored to per-
suade the Indians to join them in a war against the English
colonies; their efforts among the Six Nations at this time
produced great alarm. Commissioners were therefore sent
from Pennsylvania to meet the chiefs of these tribes at
Albany, in the State of New York; at the same time Conrad
Weiser, a celebrated Indian interpreter, was sent from Lan-
caster to the northern portion of the Province to watch the
movements of the natives. These precautionary measures
were so successful that all fears of an outbreak on the fron-
tier were dispelled.

20. The British government had now (1746) resolved
upon the conquest of all the French territory in America.
Louisburg, the capital of the settlement at Cape Breton,
had already been captured by the provincial troops from
New England, aided by the English navy; and instructions
were sent to the colonial governors to organize their forces
for a campaign against Canada.

18. How were the difficulties that arose by this wicked practice
settled? What did the Indians promise?

19. What had the French done? What was done to counteract

20. What had the British resolved upon? When? Where was
the French capital? What instructions were sent to the colonies?



21. Governor Thomas convened the Assembly and laid
before it the communication received from the king. The
Assembly promptly voted an appropriation of £5000 to sup-
port the troops raised in the Province. With this money the
governor equipped two companies and sent them to Albany,
where they remained a year and a half, protecting the fron-
tier. But the attempted subjugation of Canada failed, and,
in October, 1Y48, a treaty of peace was signed between the
belligerents, and thus the war, which had resulted only in
loss to both parties, ended.

21. What did Groveriior Thomas do? What action did the Assem-
bly take? What then occurred?





The Countiei< of York and Cumherland settled.

1. The administration of Governor Thomas was noted
both for its failures and for its successes. His quarrel with
the Quakers and their friends terminated unfavorably to the
governor; but his management of Indian affairs was so just
and beneficial to both the natives and the settlers, that he
received the thanks of all good people.

2. His government was also distinguished for the liberality

Online LibraryJosiah Rhinehart SypherSchool history of Pennsylvania, from the earliest settlements to the present time → online text (page 6 of 24)