Province of Pennsylvania

Last updated
Province of Pennsylvania

1682–1783
Penncolony.png
Map of the Province of Pennsylvania
Status
Capital Philadelphia
Common languages English, Pennsylvania German, Welsh, Unami, Susquehannock, Munsee
Government Proprietary colony, semi-autonomous constitutional monarchy
Monarch 
 1681–1685
Charles II
 1685–1688
James II
 1689–1702
William III & Mary II
 1702–1714
Anne
 1714–1727
George I
 1727–1760
George II
 1760–1776
George III
Royal Governor  
 1681–1783
List of colonial governors of Pennsylvania
Legislature Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly
 Upper house
Pennsylvania Provincial Council
 Lower house
Pennsylvania General Assembly
History 
 Land grant to William Penn
March 4 1682
September 3 1783
Currency Pennsylvania pound
Succeeded by
Pennsylvania Flag of the United States (1777-1795).svg
Today part ofFlag of the United States.svg  United States

The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as the Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in English North America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II. The name Pennsylvania, which translates roughly as "Penn's Woods", [1] was created by combining the Penn surname (in honor of William's father, Admiral Sir William Penn) with the Latin word sylvania, meaning "forest land". The Province of Pennsylvania was one of the two major restoration colonies, the other being the Province of Carolina. The proprietary colony's charter remained in the hands of the Penn family until the American Revolution, when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was created and became one of the original thirteen states. "The lower counties on Delaware", a separate colony within the province, would breakaway during the American Revolution as "the Delaware State" and also be one of the original thirteen states.

Contents

Government

The colonial government, established in 1682 by Penn's Frame of Government, consisted of an appointed governor, the proprietor (William Penn), a 72-member Provincial Council, and a larger General Assembly. The General Assembly, also known as the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, was the largest and most representative branch of government, but had little power.

Succeeding Frames of Government were produced in 1683, 1696 and 1701. The fourth Frame was also known as the Charter of Privileges and remained in effect until the American Revolution. At that time, the Provincial Assembly was deemed too moderate by the revolutionaries, who ignored the Assembly and held a convention which produced the Constitution of 1776 for the newly established commonwealth, creating a new General Assembly in the process.

William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Indians. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed.

Counties

Penn, despite having the land grant from the king, embarked on an effort to purchase the lands from Native Americans. Much of the land near present-day Philadelphia was held by the Delaware (Lenni Lenape) who would expect payment in exchange for a quitclaim to vacate the territory. [2] Penn and his representatives (Proprietors) negotiated a series of treaties with the Delaware and other tribes that had an interest in the land in his royal grant.

The initial treaties were conducted between 1682 and 1684 for tracts between New Jersey and the former Swedish / Dutch colonies in present-day Delaware. [3] The province was thus divided first into three counties, plus the three "lower counties on Delaware Bay". The easternmost, Bucks County, Philadelphia County and Chester County, the westernmost.

Lower Counties

"The lower counties on Delaware," a separate colony within the province, constituted the same three counties that constitute the present State of Delaware: New Castle, the northernmost, Sussex, the southernmost, and Kent, which fell between New Castle and Sussex County. Their borders remain unchanged to this day.

New Lands and New Counties

It was not until several decades into the next century that additional treaties with the Native Americans were concluded. The Proprietors of the colony made treaties in 1718, 1732, 1737, 1749, 1754 and 1754 pushing the boundaries of the colony (still within the original royal grant) north and west. [4] By the time the French and Indian War began in 1754, the Assembly had established the additional counties of Lancaster (1729), York (1749), Cumberland (1750), Berks (1752) and Northampton (1752). [5]

After the war was concluded, an additional treaty was made in 1768, that abided by the limits of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. This proclamation line was not intended to be a permanent boundary between the colonists and Native American lands, but rather a temporary boundary which could be extended further west in an orderly manner but only by the royal government and not private individuals such as the Proprietors. This effectively altered the original royal land grant to Penn. The next acquisitions by Pennsylvania were to take place as an independent commonwealth or state and no longer as a colony. The Assembly establish additional counties from the land prior to the War for American Independence. These counties were Bedford (1771), Northumberland (1772) and Westmoreland (1773). [6]

Religious freedom and prosperity

William Penn and his fellow Quakers heavily imprinted their religious values on the early Pennsylvanian government. The Charter of Privileges extended religious freedom to all monotheists and government was initially open to all Christians. Until the French and Indian War Pennsylvania had no military, few taxes and no public debt. It also encouraged the rapid growth of Philadelphia into America's most important city and of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country hinterlands, where German (or "Deutsch") religions and political refugees prospered on the fertile soil and spirit of cultural creativeness. Among the first groups were the Mennonites, who founded Germantown in 1683; and the Amish, who established the Northkill Amish Settlement in 1740. 1751 was an auspicious year for the colony. Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the British American colonies, [7] and The Academy and College of Philadelphia, the predecessor to the private University of Pennsylvania, [8] both opened. Benjamin Franklin founded both of these institutions along with Philadelphia's Union Fire Company fifteen years earlier in 1736. [9] Likewise in 1751, the Pennsylvania State House ordered a new bell which would become known as the Liberty Bell for the new bell tower being built in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia.

Relations with Native Americans

Benjamin West's painting (in 1771) of William Penn's 1682 treaty with the Lenni Lenape Treaty of Penn with Indians by Benjamin West.jpg
Benjamin West's painting (in 1771) of William Penn's 1682 treaty with the Lenni Lenape

William Penn had mandated fair dealings with Native Americans. This led to significantly better relations with the local Native tribes (mainly the Lenape and Susquehanna) than most other colonies had. The Quakers had previously treated Indians with respect, bought land from them voluntarily, and had even representation of Indians and Whites on juries. According to Voltaire, the Shackamaxon Treaty was "the only treaty between Indians and Christians that was never sworn to and that was never broken." [10] The Quakers also refused to provide any assistance to New England's Indian wars.

In 1737, the Colony exchanged a great deal of its political goodwill with the native Lenape for more land. The colonial administrators claimed that they had a deed dating to the 1680s in which the Lenape-Delaware had promised to sell a portion of land beginning between the junction of the Delaware River and Lehigh River (present Easton, Pennsylvania) "as far west as a man could walk in a day and a half." This purchase has become known as the Walking Purchase. Although the document was most likely a forgery, the Lenape did not realize that. Provincial Secretary James Logan set in motion a plan that would grab as much land as they could possibly get and hired the three fastest runners in the colony to run out the purchase on a trail which had been cleared by other members of the colony beforehand. The pace was so intense that only one runner actually completed the "walk," covering an astonishing 70 miles (110 km). This netted the Penns 1,200,000 acres (4,900 km2) of land in what is now northeastern Pennsylvania, an area roughly equivalent to the size of the state of Rhode Island in the purchase. The area of the purchase covers all or part of what are now Pike, Monroe, Carbon, Schuylkill, Northampton, Lehigh and Bucks counties. The Lenape tribe fought for the next 19 years to have the treaty annulled but to no avail. The Lenape-Delaware were forced into the Shamokin and Wyoming Valleys, which were already overcrowded with other displaced tribes.

Limits on further settlement

As the colony grew, colonists and British military forces came into confrontation with Natives in the Western half of the state. Britain fought for control of the neighboring Ohio Country with France during the French and Indian War, and following the British victory the territory was formally ceded to them in 1763 and became part of the British Empire.

With the war just over and Pontiac's War beginning, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 banned colonization beyond the Appalachian Mountains in an effort to prevent settlers settling lands which the Native Americans considered their own. This proclamation affected Pennsylvanians and Virginians the most, as they had been racing towards the lands surrounding Fort Pitt (modern-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

Judiciary

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, consisting of the Chief Justice and at least one other judge, was founded in 1722 and sat in Philadelphia twice a year.

Chief Justices
IncumbentTenureNotes
Took officeLeft office
Arthur Cook16811684
Nicholas Moore16841685
Arthur Cook16861690
John Simcock16901693
Andrew Robson16931699
Edward Shippen 16991701
John Guest 20 Aug 170110 Apr 1703
William Clark10 Apr 17031705
John Guest 17051706
Roger Mompesson 17 April 17061715
Joseph Growden, Jr.17151718
David Lloyd 17181731
James Logan 20 Aug 17311739
Jeremiah Langhorne 13 Aug 17391743
John Kinsey5 April 17431750
William Allen 20 Sept 17501774
Benjamin Chew 29 April 17741776

Famous colonial Pennsylvanians

See also

Related Research Articles

Thirteen Colonies British American colonies which became the United States

The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of colonies of Great Britain on the Atlantic coast of America founded in the 17th and 18th centuries which declared independence in 1776 and formed the United States of America. The Thirteen Colonies had very similar political, constitutional, and legal systems and were dominated by Protestant English-speakers. They were part of Britain's possessions in the New World, which also included colonies in Canada, Florida, and the Caribbean.

Lenape Indigenous people originally from Lenapehoking, now the Mid-Atlantic United States

The Lenape, also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands, who live in Canada and the United States. Their historical territory included present-day New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania along the Delaware River watershed, New York City, western Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Today, Lenape people belong to the Delaware Nation and Delaware Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma; the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Wisconsin; and the Munsee-Delaware Nation, Moravian of the Thames First Nation, and Delaware of Six Nations in Ontario.

Middle Colonies English, from 1707 British, possessions in North America up to 1773

The Middle Colonies were a subset of the thirteen colonies in British America, located between the New England Colonies and the Southern Colonies. Along with the Chesapeake Colonies, this area now roughly makes up the Mid-Atlantic states.

Delaware Colony English, from 1707, British, possession in North America between 1664 and 1776

Delaware Colony in the North American Middle Colonies consisted of land on the west bank of the Delaware River Bay. In the early 17th century the area was inhabited by Lenape and possibly the Assateague tribes of Native Americans. The first European settlers were the Swedes and the Dutch, but the land fell under English control in 1664. William Penn was given the deed to what was then called "the Lower Counties on the Delaware" by the Duke of York, in a deed separate from that which he held for the larger Province of Pennsylvania. Delaware was then governed as part of Pennsylvania from 1682 until 1701, when the Lower Counties petitioned for and were granted an independent colonial legislature, though the two colonies shared the same governor until 1776, when Delaware's assembly voted to break all ties with both Great Britain and Pennsylvania, forming the state of Delaware.

History of Pennsylvania history of the US state of Pennsylvania

The history of Pennsylvania begins in 1681 when William Penn received a royal deed from King Charles II of England, although human activity in the region precedes that date. The area was home to the Lenape, Susquehannock, Iroquois, Erie, Shawnee, Arandiqiouia, and other American Indian tribes. Most of these tribes were driven off or reduced to remnants as a result of diseases, such as smallpox, that swept through long before any permanent colonists arrived.

Treaty of Easton

The Treaty of Easton was a colonial agreement in North America signed in October 1758 during the French and Indian War between British colonials and the chiefs of 13 Native American nations, representing tribes of the Iroquois, Lenape (Delaware), and Shawnee. Negotiations over more than a week were concluded on October 26, 1758, at a ceremony held in Easton, Pennsylvania between the British colonial governors of the provinces of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and representatives of 13 Indian nations, including the Iroquois, who sent chiefs of three of their nations to ensure their continued domination of their Ohio Country region; the eastern and western Lenape (Delaware), represented by two chiefs and headmen; Shawnee and others. More than 500 Native Americans attended the outdoor ceremony, after lengthy negotiations to bring peace to the regions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the Ohio Country.

Walking Purchase Possible land agreement between Penn family and Lenape native Indians in the 1730s

The Walking Purchase was an alleged 1737 agreement between the Penn family, the original proprietors of the Province of Pennsylvania in the colonial era, and the Lenape native Indians. By it the Penn family and proprietors claimed an area of 1,200,000 acres (4,860 km2) along the northern reaches of the Delaware River at the northeastern boundary between the Province of Pennsylvania and the West New Jersey area to the east of the Province of New Jersey and forced the Lenape to vacate it. The Lenape appeal to the Iroquois Indian tribe further north for aid on the issue was refused.

Treaty of Shackamaxon

The Treaty of Shackamaxon also called the Great Treaty, was a legendary treaty between William Penn and the Delaware Indians signed in 1682. There is no extant copy of the treaty and no firm evidence of its existence, nor is it known what the terms were.

The history of Delaware as a political entity dates back to the early colonization of North America by European-American settlers. It is made up of three counties established since 1638, before the time of William Penn. Each had its own settlement history. Their early inhabitants tended to identify more closely with the county than the colony or state. Large parts of southern and western Delaware were thought to have been in Maryland until 1767. All of the state has existed in the wide economic and political circle of Philadelphia.

Lappawinsoe Lenape Chief

Lappawinsoe was a Lenape-Delaware chief. His name signifies "gathering fruit" or "going away to gather food".

James Hamilton (Pennsylvania) lawyer in colonial Pennsylvania

James Hamilton, son of the well-known American lawyer Andrew Hamilton, was a prominent lawyer and governmental figure in colonial Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. He served as Deputy Governor of the Province from 1748 to 1754 and again from 1759 to 1763.

Conrad Weiser Homestead United States historic place

The Conrad Weiser Homestead was the home of Johann Conrad Weiser, who enlisted the Iroquois on the British side in the French and Indian War. The home is located near Womelsdorf, Berks County, Pennsylvania in the United States. A designated National Historic Landmark, it is currently administered as a historic house museum by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The historic site was established in 1923 to preserve an example of a colonial homestead and to honor Weiser, an important figure in the settlement of the colonial frontier.

Thomas Penn son of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania

Thomas Penn was a son of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony that became the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Thomas Penn was born in Bristol, England after his father returned there in 1701 because of financial difficulties. Thomas Penn's mother was his father's second wife, Hannah Callowhill Penn (1671–1726), daughter of Thomas Callowhill.

Conrad Weiser Pennsylvanias interpreter and emissary to the Native Americans

Conrad Weiser, born Johann Conrad Weiser, Jr., was a Pennsylvania Dutch pioneer, interpreter and diplomat between the Pennsylvania Colony and Native Americans. He was a farmer, soldier, monk, tanner and judge. He contributed as an emissary in councils between Native Americans and the colonies, especially Pennsylvania, during the 18th century's tensions of the French and Indian War.

The Provincial Congresses were extra-legal legislative bodies established in some of the Thirteen Colonies early in the American Revolution. Some were referred to as congresses while others used different terms for a similar type body. These bodies were generally renamed or replaced with other bodies when the provinces declared themselves states.

Teedyuscung Leader of the Lenape

Teedyuscung was known as King of the Delawares. He worked to establish a permanent Lenape (Delaware) home in eastern Pennsylvania in the Lehigh, Susquehanna and Delaware River valleys. Teedyuscung participated in the Treaty of Easton which resulted in the surrender of Lenape claims to all lands in Pennsylvania. Following the treaty, the Lenape were forced to live under the control of the Iroquois in the Wyoming Valley near modern-day Wilkes-Barre. Teedyuscung was murdered by arsonists on April 19, 1763 as he reportedly lay asleep as his cabin burned around him. This marked the beginning of the end of the Lenape presence in Pennsylvania. Teedyuscung's son Chief Bull conducted a raid on the Wyoming Valley that was part of a greater Indian uprising that resulted in the Lenape being forced to move west of the Appalachian Mountains by the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

John Penn was a proprietor of the colonial Province of Pennsylvania. He was the eldest son of the colony's founder, William Penn (1644–1718) by his second wife, Hannah Callowhill Penn (1671–1726). He was the only one of Penn's children to be born in the New World – the Americas and was hence called "the American" by his family.

<i>Penns Treaty with the Indians</i>

The Treaty of Penn with the Indians, sometimes known as Penn's Treaty with the Indians at Shackamaxon or more simply Penn's Treaty with the Indians, is an oil painting by Benjamin West, completed in 1771-72. The painting depicts William Penn entering into the Treaty of Shackamaxon in 1683 with Tamanend, a chief of the Lenape Turtle Clan, under the shade of an elm tree near the village of Shackamaxon in Pennsylvania.

Penns Creek massacre massacre in Snyder County, Pennsylvania

The Penn's Creek massacre was an October 16, 1755 raid by Lenape (Delaware) Native Americans on a settlement along Penn's Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River located in central Pennsylvania. It was the first of a series of deadly raids on Pennsylvania settlements by Native Americans allied with the French in the French and Indian War.

References

  1. "About Pennsylvania". Archived from the original on 2009-10-14.
  2. Forest, Tuomi J., William Penn Visionary Proprietor http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/penn/pnind.html
  3. See the Genealogical Map of Pennsylvania Counties developed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 11th Edition (1999) https://www.phmc.state.pa.us%2Fbah%2Fdam%2Frg%2Fdi%2Fr17_522ConnectedDraftAndOtherMaps%2FPennsylvaniaGenealogicalMapOfTheCounties.pdf&usg=AOvVaw098KEykqrxtYLoZE80PLXb
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Historic Pennsylvania Hospital,The American Journal of Nursing , Vol. 39, No. 12 (Dec., 1939) , pp. 1306-1311
  8. College Founding in the American Colonies, 1745-1775 Beverly McAnear, The Mississippi Valley Historical Review , Vol. 42, No. 1 (Jun., 1955), pp. 24-44
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-03-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. Rothbard, Murray N. (2005). "Pennsylvania's Anarchist Experiment: 1681–1690". LewRockwell.com . Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  11. Rothbard, Murray N., Conceived in Liberty, Vol. II (Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1999), p. 64.

Secondary sources

Coordinates: 40°17′46″N75°30′32″W / 40.296°N 75.509°W / 40.296; -75.509