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Original Institution and Settlement of that Province, under the first Proprietor and Governor WILLIAM PENN,
in 1681, till after the Year 1742;
INTRODUCT I O'N,
of the Dutch and Swedes on Delaware.
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
A brief Description of the said Province,
AND OF THE
General State, in which it flourished, principally between the Years 1760 and 1770.
The whole including a Variety of Things,
With an APPENDIX.
Written principally between the Years 1776 and 1780,
By ROBERT PROUD.
PULCHRUM EST BENEFACERE REIPUBLICÆ, ETIAM BENEDICEŘE HAUD ABSUR
DUM EST, VEL PACE VEL BELLO CLARUM FIERI LICET.' Sal. Catalin,
MINUENDA EST HEC OPINIO.
NUMBER EIGHTY, CHESNUT-STREET.
Though the materials of this performance, and
the regular accounts of the early progressive adrials.
vances of this country, left by those who were
counts as may be depended on. C. Pufey &
Among the first collectors of these materials aptors of the pears to have been Caleb Pusey, one of the early memorials,
settlers of Pennsylvania from about London, in
The character of these perfons, above mentioned,
But the person who took the
most pains to adjust s.Smith, &e and reduce these materials into such order, as might hisM.S.&c. be proper for the public view, before that of the present publication, was Samuel Smith of Burlington, in New Jersey, author of the history of that province; whose manuscript (which contained only the space of about forty years) after his decease, in 1776, being thought by divers sensible and judicious persons, among his friends, to be capable of further improvement, and useful alterations, or additions, the present history, therefore, is published, not only in a form, different from that of S. Smith's manuscript, but also divers particulars therein, are here much' abbreviated, especially respecting the long and tedious disputes between some of the governors and assemblies; and considerable additions are made, from other accounts, of such things as were either not at all touched upon, or but slightly mentioned, by him; besides most of the notes, with the introduction, and the description of the province and its present state, between the years 1760 and 1770; both which last, not being attempted by him, are, for the most part, entirely new:-So that the whole comprizes, besides what may be found of veracity, in other publications, respecting the province, a true and genuine narrative of the different public transactions, the great
and various improvements, memorable incidents, entertaining anecdotes, and things worthy to be known, for above fixty years, besides the said present state, &c. The restoration and enjoyment of those natural
Subject of and civil rights and privileges, of which men origi- the history, nally, by their folly and wickedness, are often deprived, was the great end, for which the predeceffors of the present inhabitants of Pennsylvania, at first, peaceably withdrew into this retirement, from those, who, at that time, appeared either to have lost, or too partially distributed them; and the preservation thereof was the original design of
the civil government and constitution of the province; 'an account of which, &c. is the principal subject of the following history,
Hence, in the first rise, and early progress, of ble exam- this province, there manifestly appears a remark,
able and extraordinary example of that excellent wisdom, industry and moderation, whose effects are replete with useful instruction to posterity, for having, in reality, rendered a people so very happy and flourishing ;—not proved by the boasting of mere theory and anticipation, but by a happy experience for many years.
It is likewise by means of the fame kind of evinefit of his- dence, or proof, so far as history favors us with
the experience of former times, in all ages and
For the history of all nations abounds with ineftill the stances of the fame nature, operating in all the fame, &c. descendants of Adam and Eve, which we are told,
prevailed in these first parents, or representatives,
be clearly feen, as in a glass, that too much, or very great, prosperity has been, and consequently may still be, as fatal to the human race, (which is capable of bearing only a certain proportion of it) as the extreme of adversity; and that the effects of plenty, pride and ambition, in the
one, have been, and thence may still be, no less pernicious, than those of want, oppression and distress, in the other:-But how little have posterity profited from such former examples!-hunan nature is still the same;--the interdicted tree, with its forbidden fruit, is still as tempting as ever it
“ Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum.” Happy is he whom the harnis of others make wary.
How often, under some plausible pretence or Men love other, are peace and improvement wantonly ex- change,&e. changed for war and destruction; whose natural consequence are violence and oppression!-Have we not seen the commencement of this already, even, within our borders, in this young country? which the former had rendered so'flourishing and Motives for happy.-The first and early colonists, or settlers Pennsylvaand makers of the province, left the finely culti- nia, vated plains of Europe, with their nearest and dearest" connections there, to enjoy and promote the former, in this wilderness, in such degree of perfection, as seemed impossible for them there, and to avoid the latter, with its consequences;from which, in an eminent degree, it is most manifest, their wisdom, virtue, moderation, and good policy, through much labor, danger and expence, many ways, and in a very signal, pacific and extraordinary manner, effected the deliverance and preservation of the inhabitants, while they directed the affairs of the colony, and for so many years prolonged the golden days of Pennsylvania. For, as there appears to be a constant decay, in
Happycon. human affairs, and all things have their beginning sequences, and end, fo is it not manifest, in the course of nature, or of all things within the circle of human observation, that a constant recurring to first principles, or, that a renovation, or melioration, to balance this decay, is always necessary, both in an individual and collective capacity?-But then do