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Travels through the United States of North America, the country of the Iroquois, and Upper Canada, in… La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, François-Alexandre-Frédéric, duc de, 1747-1827 1800

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Array       TRAVELS
IN THE YEARS 1795r 1796, AND  17Q7 5
Printed ty T. Gi let, Saliibury.^quare,
IN THE YEARS  17Q$, 179^ AND  17Q?.
S I am now on the eve of my departure
from PhilaciBphia, and as it is not probable that I mall be here again before my departure for Europe, I mail fet down whatever
itfi^mation I have been able to collect, reflecting the city of Philadelphia and the ftate of
Pennsylvania, in the feveral vifits I have pafeftW"
#iis part of the United States.
This colony was founded 1(381, by the celebrated William Ps$n, from wkom it derives
its name; and to the genius with which that
g*fcat man conceived the plan of its government,
and the wifdom and juftice of his adminiiiratr^tiP
■%l. IV. B is
is to be afcribed the rapid progrefs it made to a
happy and fiourifhing condition.
The Erlglifh government had given Admiral
Penn reafon to expect the ceffion of this country to him, in payment of a confiderable fum
due to him from the public, The Admiral died
before any thing was done in the affair ; and the
petition prefented by William Penn, after his
death, £o claim the execution of the promife,
was long oppofed by the agents of Lord Baltimore, proprietor of Maryland. It was not till
towards the conclufion of the year 1(381, that
Charles the Second figned William Penn's charter.
At this time feveral fpots on the banks of the
Delaware were inhabited. They were at firft
part of the province of New York occupied by
Dutch fettlers, and afterwards were in the pof-
feftion of the Swedes; till, in 1(3(34, they were
finally united to the crown of England.
The motives mentioned in the preamble of the
patent granted to William Penn are, the fervices
of Admiral Penn, and the laudable intentions of
his fon to add to the grandeur of the Britifh empire, by cultivating fuch branches of commerce
in the territories ceded to him as would enrich
Great Britain, and by civilifmg the fev'4ge nations
of the country.
The limits of the lands ceded by Charles Second to William Penn, were, on the eaft, the
Delaware, from a fpot twelve miles to the north
of Newcaftle, to the fortieth degree of latitude,
in cafe, the words of the patent are, the river fkall
. extend thus far to the north; from this point a
firaight line drawn to the weft, at right angles
with the. Delaware; and from that point, another line -drawn to the fbuth; and finally, a
line drawn parallel to that of the north, and
making thie boundary on the foutk.
The patent gave William Penn, and his heirs*.
the entire property of the province, fubje&J:Q
the fupreme authority of the crown of England ;
it ceded alfo the power of ruling laws, efta-
blilliing a government, grating lands, and raif^
ing taxes.
The commerce of the new province was to be
fubjecr. to the regulations of the Britifh legifla-
ture, and was to be carried on only with Eng*
land. William Penn was obliged to appoint an
agent in London, to anfwer to the crown for any
violations of the laws regulating Britifh commerce ; but it was provided, that in all difputes
between William Penn, or his heirs, or the merchants of the coLoriy, and the crown, the con-
ftru-dion of the laws fhould be favourable to the
former,  and the King's minifters were enjoined
to give them all pofiible aid and protection.
William Penn arrived at the banks of the Delaware in 1682, having with him a great many
families of the people called Quakers. As he did
not fuppofe, with the greater part of the foundr
ers of European colonies, that the place of his
birth and the grant of his king were authorities
for taking pofTemon of the territories of favage
people, without their confent, he treated with
the natives for the lands with fuch equity, that
he not only concluded his negociations without
obftacles, and acquired the friendfhip and confidence of the Indians, but alfo conciliated the
minds of the Dutch and Swedes already efta-
blifhed in the country. The conduct of the
Quakers, who accompanied Penn, was of the
fame equitable character; fo that the new fettlers, far from being difturbed by the Indians,
received every aid thofe poor people could give
them. And fo deeply rooted was the veneration
of the Indian tribes for William Penn, that to
this day, when thofe unhappy victims of European policy are daily driven from their habitations farther back into the wilds of the country, and have too often to complain of other acls
of injuftice, they are accuftomed to quote the
tradition —
tradition handed down to them of William
Penn's humane and equitable conduct.. Nor do
they ever place an entire confidence in any treaties with Pennfylvania, or any other ftate, or
even the Union, unlefs fome Quakers are present at the conference;—" The defcendants of
William Penn," they fay, ¥ will never permit
us to be deceived."
In 1083, William Penn began to lay the
foundations of Philadelphia, at which time he
formed a plan for the building of that city, which
has fmce been followed with great exactnefs.
The country lying along the Delaware to the
fouth of Newcaftle, was a little time afterwards
granted by the crown to WilHan Penn; and the
county of Newcaftle was ceded to him by the
Duke of York.
The inhabitants of this new colony amounted,
in 1(384, to no more than four thoufand. In
1(385, ninety veffels arriving from Europe, with
emigrants from France, Holland* Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland,
and England, the population was encreafed to
fixty-fix thoufand, of which nearly the half were
The wifdom of the admkiiftration, but ftill
more entire liberty in civil and religious matters, brought a great influx of inhabitants,  even
B 3 from
from other parts of America, to Philadelphia;
and the city was full farther increafed in growth,
by conditional grants of ground,, and other political aids given to adventurers.
In 1682, William Penn afTembled the inhabitants of this new colony at Chefter; with the
concurrence of whom he framed a conftitution,
that vefted the legiflation of the ftate in the governor, afftfted with a provincial council and a
general aflembly.. . The council was eompofed of
feventy members, cho-fen by the people. The
governor or his deputy prefided in the council,
and had three voices. A third of the council
was re-elected annually. The general affembly
was at firft eompofed of all the inhabitants, but
was foon reduced to two hundred, and it was
provided that Lt fhould never exceed five hundred.
In the difcourfe pronounced by William Penn
on this occasion, he laid clown a maxim, whofe
truth ought to be inceffantly in the contemplation of every free people;-—" Whatever," he
faid, " be the form of a government, the people.
always are free when they fhare in. the legiflative
power, and are governed only by the laws. In
thefe two circumftances is the fecurity of all freedom ; without them, there can be nothing but.
defpotifm or anarchy.   The legitimate objects of
govern^ THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, &C.      7
government are, the people's refpect for the
gj$*»y and their fecurity againft the abufe of
power. On thefe principles it is, that the people are free, even in obedience, and the magif-
trates honoured and refpectable, for the impar-
tMity of their adminiftration a^ftt their own fub-
miflion to the laws."
In 1683, William Penn offered a new conftitution to the inhabitants of Pennfylvania, of
which they accepted. The number of repre-
fentatives was now diminished; and the prerogative of putting a negative upon laws paffed by
the affembly, given to the governor.
Some difputes between Lord Baltimore and
William Penn, concerning their refpeclive property, obliged the latter to go to England. In
his abfence, the adminiftration of the government was committed to a** council, who abufed
their power, and excited difcontents, that Penn,
^hile he remained in Europe, could neither prevent nor allay. The crown therefore refumed
the government of the province, which was
committed to the care of the governor of New
About this period a new conftitution was efta-
bHfhed in Pennfylvania, differing from the former
fchiefly in this—that the general affembly were
now annually elected.
In l6gg, William Penn arrived from England, and again took the reins of government;
and it was in 1 701, when he was about to embark once more for England* that the confti$&f
tion of this province was eftablifhed on the footing on which it refted till the revolution of Ame^
The three counties of Newcaftle, Kent, and
Suffex, (which at that time were known by the
name of the three lo%$j$ comtties), refufirig to ac-*
cept this new conftitution, William Penn granted his right in them to Edmund Shippen, and
five others, and thefe counties were erected into
a feparate government. They had an affembly
diftinct from that of Pennfylvania, in which?
however, the governor of Pennfylvania prefided :
and thefe three counties at prefent form the State
of Delaware.  ■
William Penn purchafed from the Indians, by
fuccefiive treaties, the country as far as the Suf-
quehanna, and even beyond, and all that tract
of land extending from Duck Creek to the mountains. He died in 1-718, efteemed, beloved, and
regretted, by every one who had occafion at any
time to have dealings' with him. After his death
his heirs, the proprietors and governors of the
province, endeavoured to extend their power, and
ibon began to claim exemptions from taxes for
the THE UNIT-ED SI^T^j^i^LDA, &C. §
Uplands the family of Penn had referved for
itfelf. The houfe of reprefentatives oppofed
thefe pretentions with unrerjitoing fteadin^Sj
and the hiftory of Pennfylvania, from that pe-
I8g4 to the late revolution in America, is nothing more than a record ofdifputes between
the g0flrem(lf»:and' the houfe of reprefentatkg&t
Every queftion that came before the affemhi^
was the occafion of a difpute; and the mutual
jealoufy of thefe authorities prevented the efta-
blifhment of neceffary regulations^ which the reprefentatives of the people had not leifure to pro-
pofe, or were unwilling to fubject to the governor's negative.
At the time of the revolution in America, the
conftitution of Pennfylvania was changed.   The
proprietors were then abfent; and the people, by
' their reprefentatives, eftablifhed a conftitution,
in the following manner.
The legiflative authority was delegated to a
houfe of reprefentatives, chofen annually by the
feveral counties. To become an elector, it was
neceffary to be an inhabitant, a defcendant of
Europeans, and free—to have arrived at the age
of twenty-one, and to have refided a year in Penn-
W   1 The 10
The number of the reprefentatives was to be1
proportioned to the population of each county ;
the only qualification to be a candidate for reprefentative was, a refidence for the two laft years
in the fame county, but no reprefentative was
eligible to be re-elected till after an interval of
four years. Every reprefentative, before he took
his feat, was obliged to read and fign the following declaration—That he believed in one God,
who created the univerfe, and governs it by his pro-
vidence,andwho rewards the good andpunifkes the
wicked; and that he acknowledged the Old and
New Teftamemts to have been written by divine in-
The houfe of reprefentatives had the power of
making laws confiftent with the fpirit of the conftitution. All acts were to be paffed by a majority of at leaft two-thirds of the members prefent , and laws were not to be in force till the expiration of one year from the time of their paff-
ing. During that interval they were to be pub-
iifhed in the gazettes, that the people might have
opportunity to know their nature, and that the
public opinion might be made known refpecting
neceffary amendments.
The number of reprefentatives in 1789 were
The executive power was placed in the fupreme THE UNfTEtJf SftiTfisy CANADA, &C.
preme council of ^Pennfylvania, eompofed of a
prefident, vice-prefident, and fift$&i members
chofen by the people, one in each county. This
council was chofen for three years, and a third
was renewed annuall^by an election. The prefident and vice-prefident were annually chofen*
by an affembly eompofed of the houfe of reprefentatives and the fupreme council; but they
were chofen among tfej lumbers of the fupreme
Another council compleated the political body
of this ftate ; it was called the council of cenfors*
and was eompofed of tw^tmembers from each
county, chofen annually by the people. The
members could not be re-elected till after an in*.
terval of feven years. Their functions were, to
guard the rights of the conftitution; to enquire
into ufurpations of the legiflature, or the fupreme council; to enquire whether the taxe$
were equitably impofed, faithfully levied, and
expended with economy; in a word, to fee the
laws juftly adminiftered. They had the power
to fummon any individual before them ; to fuf-.
pend the deliberations of the legiflature; to examine its acts, and to recommend the annulling
of fuch as appeared to them inconfiftent with
the conftitution.    They had, befide, the power
of Hi
of calling a convention to ckange the conftitu-*
tion, to which they had authority to propofe
fuch reforms as they fhould deem neceffary. In
the cafe of their calling a convention, they were
enjoined to give notice of it in the gazettes,
during fix months previous to its meeting.
As democratic as this conftitution was, there
were many who ftill wifhed for further innovation ; and while it was in exiftence, the State
of Pennfylvania was divided by two factions, one
of which was called the confiitutionalifls, and the
other republicans. The latter demanded two
houfes, on the plan of the majority of the United
States. The conteft for power was eager; and
the public intereft, as is too often the cafe, was
facriflced to the interefts of parties. Finally the
republicans prevailed; and in 1790, the conftitution at prefent in force was framed by a convention.
The conftitution of Pennfylvania, like thofe
of ail the other United States, feparates the executive from the legiflative powder.
.    The legiflature is eompofed of a houfe of reprefentatives and a fenate.
The members of the houfe of reprefentatives
are chofen in each county by the electors, with
the exception of thofe, who are returned by the
citizens of Philadelphia.
The number of reprefentatives for a county is
in proportion to the population, but each, county
returns at leaft one. To keep the number in
each county correfpondent with the population,
an account of the inhabitants is taken every feven
years, according to which the legiflature declares
the number that each county mail return.
The number of reprefentatives is never to exceed a hundred. The houfe of reprefentatives is
elected annually. The qualifications for members are,—the arrival at the age of twenty-one;
the right of citizenfhip acquired three years previous to the election ; and a previous refidence of
three years in the countjp.^
The fenate is elected for four years;, but a
fourth of the fenators is renovated annually.
The fenators are elected by diftricts, formed
by feveral counties, according to their population ; but no diftrict is permitted to return more
than four fenators.
•The number of the fenators is never to be lefs
than the fourth part of the houfe of reprefentatives, nor ever exceed the third.
The qualifications for a fenator are,—the arrival at the  age of twenty-one ; the right of
citizenfhip ,* 14
citizenfhip-; refidence for four years in the ftate;
and a refidence of the year preceding the election
in the diftrict.
The governor is elected for three years, and is
not eligible to continue in office more than nine
years in twelve. The qualifications for the candidate for the office of governor, are—the arrival
at the age of thirty; and the right of citizenfhip
of feven years ftanding, and feven years refidence
in the ftate.
The qualification of refidence in the ftate is
not neceffary to a candidate for the office of governor, or member of either of the houfes of legiflature, when he has been abfent on the fervice of the Union or the State.
The fame electors chufe the governor and the
two houfes of the legiflature. The qualifications
of an elector are,—the arrival at the age of
twenty-one ; two years refidence in the ftate previous to the election; and the payment of taxes
for the laft fix months. The fons of inhabitants
paying taxes are exempt from the laft qualification.
Laws for the impofition of taxes muft originate
in the houfe of reprefentatives; but the fenate
may make amendments in them.
is annually appoint-
The treafurer of the ftate
ed by the legiflature,
All other places under the government, civil
and military, are filled by the governor; who
*gppints alfo the fheriffs and coroner in each
county, from two candidates prefented to him
by the elect$*s.
The governor has the prerogative of granting
pardon to convicts, or of mitigating their fen-
The acts of the legiflature muft receive his
fignature, %o have the force of a law, which fig-
riature is to be affixed to the act within ten days
of its befog prefented to him ; except in the cafe
of his refufing his affent, when his refufal is to
be accompanied with a declaration of his motives. The motives of refufal are to be taken
into conficteration by the two houfes; and if
two-thirds of each perfift in paffing the act, the
governor is to place his fignature to it, notwith-
ftanding his objections. It thenceforth becomes
law, and he is to provide for its execution.
The judicature is divided into five tribunals;
V$he Supreme Court, eompofed of'a chief-
juftice and four other judges. This court holds
its fittiiigs at Philadelphia, in January, April,
and September; in the firft of which months,
the fittings laft for three weeks, and in the two
pthers for fifteen days.
2. The Courts of Oyer.oand Terminer, company
WM i5
pofed of one of the judges of the fupreme court,
and judges of the diftrict, the county being divided into five diftricts for the purpofesof this
'jjfeifdiction. The judges make the circuit of
the diftrict, and take cognizance of both civil
and criminal caufes.
3- The Court of Common Pleas, eompofed of
a prefident who is one of the judges of the diftrict, and juftices of the peace in the county.
This court is held in the county, and takes cognizance only of civil caufes.
4. The Court of Quarter Seffions, eompofed
only of juftices of the peace, and held every
three months in the county.
5. The Court of Errors and Appeal, eompofed
of a prefident who has no other function, and
the judges, who are prefidents of the feveral
courts of common pleas. This court is held
every year at Philadelphia, beginning its fittings
on the firft of July.
The Supreme Court, and the Courts of Circuit, have the powers of the Court of Chancery
vefted in them.
. The refpective judges are appointed by the
governor, and cannot be difplaced but by a fen-
tence o£ the fenate, upon an accufation from the'
houfe of reprefentatives; or, where the accufation is not of a criminal nature., bylthe governor. THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, && 17
nor, on the requifition of two-thirds of each of
the two houfes of the legiflature.
The concluding chapter of the conftitution of
Pennfylvania contains a declaration of rights,
eftablifhed ori the pureft principles of civil and
religious liberty.
; No teft is required from perfons holding public
offices, except a declaration to uphold and defend
the conftitution. No profeflion relative to religion is demanded of them. The declaration is
made upon Oath, or fimple Affirmation, according to the pleafure of the perfon making it; and
this leenis d, neceffary provifion in a ftate in
which Quakers ate as numerous as in that of
Votes at an election are given in writing ; and
the judges who prefide, before they receive a vote,
are to make an entry of the fiame and qualification of the voter, that the fame perfon.may
not vote twice, Or vote without the right of fuf-
The tranquillity of Pennfylvania has been tin-
difturbed fince the eftabllmrrient of this conftitution, except in the inftance of a partial infur-
fection in 1794, of which I fhall hate occafion to
fj)eak hereafter.
This ftate is blened with a high degree of profperity.    Population increafes in an   aftonifhing
Vol. IV. C - progreftion. TRAVELS TH'
progreflion. Commerce is more fiourifhing thai*
in any of the other ftates; and every corner of it
is peopling with emigrations from Europe, or
from the other ftates of the Union.
By the grant of Charles Second to William
Perm, it was provided, that the laws of England
relative to property, and alfo the laws relative to
crimes, fhould be in force in Pennfylvania, till
others fhould be formally fubftituted by himfelf,
and the freemen of the new province, or thci
In the eftablifhment of this colony,. the com*
mon law of England, and feveral of its ftatute
laws, were naturally adopted ; but many of thefe
not being found in any written code of Pennfylvania, they are to be regarded indifcriminately as
the common law of Pennfylvania.
When the revolution took place, thefe laws
ceafed to be obligatory, by the connection with
England being deftroyed. But they were confirmed in the firft independent legiflature by an
exprefs law, till they fhould be repealed by fuc-
ceeding acts of the legiflature. This wife mea-
fure was neceffary in the agitation of a revolu^-
tion, that fcarcely affords the coolncfs and leifure
required for the formation of a new code of laws,
or' of even the careful revifion of an, ancient fyftcm.
Many of the laws fincc that period have been.
repealed, or amended; thofe which are at prefent
in force have been lately conceited and JroblKhed
by Mr. Dallas, fecretary of the ftate of Penn-
fyltariia, a la1
allowed, ever
politics, to p
tbund kriowlc
: eminence, arid whj
bfite fentiments ii
judgment, arid a pro
a... .-...7,..
regulates tn
This law
APYUft.cs ttjjL prececi
the laft of which v
By t
he cxlftinsj
dying i
The ot
her two-th
the leg
itim.ate. chii
third 6
, Is equally
;rt the perf
! the moft intcrcfting of the
d in the firft place, of that
opcrty of perfons dying n.i-
hich was paffed in lf04j
mc leu
has paned in I 704.
law, the widow of a pcrfbri
es a third of all his perfonal
eady born or, polthu-
I of the widow, the
which flic had a life-
irriong the children.'
5 iriteftaib leaves no
roperty is equally di~
V 2
When 20
. perlor
dying inteftate leaves- a widow
the widow takes half the per-
fonal property, and a life-intereft in half the real
eftate; the remainder is divided among the neareft
relations of the deceafed;- to whom alfo defcends,,
at the death of the widow, the half of the real
eftate enjoyed by her during her life-
This law determines the preference to be given
to the degrees of relationfhip ; and regulates the
manner of valuing, felling, and dividing the'property among the co-heirs.
The.abolifhed law of I7Q4, had givea? to the
eldeft of the fons of the perfon dying kvteftate,,
a fhare of the property equal to two of the other
The common-law of England is followed iii*
Pennfylvania, in the difpofition of the property
of a woman dying inteftate; the whole of the
perfonal property belongs to the hufband, andi<
alfo the enjoyment of the real eftate during his
If there are children of the marriage, or their
reprefentatives, they divide the property of the
mother after the death of the father.
The liberty of difpofing of property by will*
without leaving any part to children, is entire in
Pennfylvania, and is confidered .as a fecuri'ty for
the good behaviour of children. It. is very uncommon THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, &C.
common to find a parent making a bad ufe of
•this liberty.; which appears, however, to be
greater than a juft man would defire. It is not
unufual for a parent to leave his.eldeft ion a double portion of his property, but public opinion
condemns every difpofition in which .the eldeft
;fon is favoured beyond tha£pir©po.rtion.
By a law paffed in 1786, no divorce can be
adjudged but in the following cafes;—1. For in*
ability in the hufband, or incapacity of the wife
.to bear children.
• 2. For a preceding marriage of one of-the par
ties, the former wife or hufband taring ft ill alive,
when the fecond marriage took place.
.3. For adultery, proved by one^of tjie parties.
4. For the voluntary abfence of either of the
parties, without reafonable caufe, from .the houfe
of the married  parties during four   fucceeding
years. •
In eaeh of thefe cafes the fupreme court has
the power of pronouncing a fentence of divorce.
The forms of proceeding are pxefcribed by the
law; and it is provided, that they cannot be reported to, by any hu/band or wTife, except where
the parties have refided one year at leaft in the
When a married perfon, on the report of the
4eath of the hufband pr wife, after an abfence ox
>C 3 two m
two years, marries again, fuch perfon is not to
be judged guilty of adultery ; but the hufband
or wife who has been thus reported dead, may,
on his or her return, claim the diffolution of the
marriage made during his or her abfence, and
the restitution of the wife or hufband, provided ~
the claim is made within a year after the return
of fuch perfon.
A hufband who confents to his wife's adultery
is not intitled to a divorce'; and where a divorce
is obtained for adultery, the party convicted of
the crime is not at liberty to marry with the perfon who was his or her partner in the guilt.
The law grants a feparation, when the wife
proves that fhe has been ill-treated by her hufband ; and compels the hufband to afford a. maintenance to the wife after the feparation, not exceeding the third of his revenue ; but every fentence of. feparation is to be revifed by the high
court of errors and appeals, if either of the parties
chufes to appeal.
' By a law palled in 1/80, the children of ftaves
born after that period are declared free; hut they
are liable to ferve the matters of their parents till
the age of twenty-eight. The fame law ordained
the regiftering, in the public books of certain officers, the names of the 'ftaves' then 'rending"in the
ftate; and fuch Haves as were not fo regiftered THE UNITED STATES, .CANADA, &.C.
were declared to be free. It provided that all
flayes fhould be tried by the fame tribunals, and
with the fame forms, as other citizens of the
ftate ; but it prohibited the teftimony of a flave
againft a freeman. The proprietors of flaves were
compelled by this law to provide for their fubfift-
ence, even in the cafe of their not being regif-
tered; and the manner was prefcribed for the
recovery of a flave who had efcaped from his
matter. It was forbidden to engage any negro
or mulatto a'bovc the age of twenty-one to be
bound for any longer term than feven years.
A law that was paffed in May 1/88 explained
and amended the law of 1780. Every flave
brought into the State of Pennfylvania, either
by an inhabitant of the ftate or any perfon coming to rcfide there, was declared free as foon as
he entered on the territories of the ftate. No
perfon could take with him, or fend away to another ftate, a flave engaged only for a term, without the confent of the flave officially declared
before a juftice of the peace. A fine of one hundred and fixty dollars is to be paid for every offence againft this provifion of the law. The
children of flaves born after the firft of March
17&0, who were fubject to fervitude till the age
of twenty-eight, were to be enregiftered in the
C  4 books 24
books of the proper officers, in default of which
they were declared free.
The trading in negroes was prohibited, under
the penalty of the confiscation of the veffel employed in or deftined to that traffic, and a fine
of two thoufand two hundred and fifty dollars.
Every matter of a flave, whether during his life
or for a term of years, was prohibited, under the.
penalty of one hundred and twelye dollars, to remove hufband and wife^ or parents and their
children, to the diftance of more than twelve
miles from each other, without their previous
confent. Where violence is ufed by the. matter,
or perfecution or falfe pretences to effect the. feparation contrary to this law, the fine is doubled,
and the offender to be imprifbned for fix or twelve,
months. The granting liberty to. a flave, whether he is fo for life or a term of years, requires
no other formality than the fignature of the maf-
ter declaring him to be free.
The common law of England is frill in force
in Pennfylvania, relative to the hiring of domef-
tics, and the taking of apprentices. Parents may
therefore engage their children as apprentices an4
domeftics up to the age of twenty-one ; and after
that age young people may make agreements for
themfelves till they are twenty-eight.   Provifions THE UNITED STATES, CANA'D/A, &C.
are made by the law merely to prevent abufes in
thefe engagements. Among the reft are—the declaration before juftices of the peace of the perfon
engaged to be a fervant or apprentice, that he engages himfelf voluntarily ; a prohibition to every
matter to fend fervants or apprentices out of the
ftate; and a fine impofed upon all perfons offending againft that claufe, or retaining the perfons
fo engaged beyond the term of the contract.
The law alfo authorifes the engagement, for a
limited period, of perfons arriving from Europe,
who cannot otherwife difcharge the debts they
' have contracted with the matters of veffels for
tdieir paffage.
The overfeers of the poor may make engagements for the children of the poor as apprentices,
but not for any term exceeding their arrival at
the age of twenty-one ; arid provisions are made
for the proper treatment of fuch apprentices and
domcftics by their mafters.
It is under the fanction of the forms of this law
$hat emigrants, arriving here from the French
colonies fince the French Revolution, have been
able to retain their flaves. Having conducted
them before magiftrates, they engage them till
the time when they fhall attain the age of twenty-
jjpe,  or twenty-eight; but the confent of the
negro to this effect is neceffary, without which
they are declared free.
There is no law in Pennfylvania, directly enacted by the legiflature of the ftate, relative to
bankruptcies; on this fubject the law of England
is followed. That which relates to the inlolvent
debtors is encumbered with the inconveniences
which fuch laws feldom avoid. It provides that
infolvent perfons, imprifoned for debt, fhall be
difcharged and freed from further purfuit, on a
declaration made by them of the amount of their
property and the relinquimment of it to their
creditors. But if the debtor afterwards acquires
other property, he may be again fued. It will be
felt, that the debtor, being once enlarged, may
fecrete his new acquisitions from his creditor, Or
that he may be difhoneft in his declaration concerning his property ; but it will alfo be felt, that
it is lefs difficult to raife objections to this mild
provifion of the law, than to fubftitute one tha£
would protect the honeft and unfortunate debtor,
while if fecured the creditor from frauds. The
'<$£€ty of morals in Pennfylvania renders a pro-
vifioh for this laft-mentibned object neceffary;
and the legiflature is engaged in framing a lavy-
for that purpofe.
It was propofed in the laft feffion to abolifh
arrefts THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, &C.     £f'
arrefts for debt, and to leave to the moneylender and the merchant the talk of enquiring
into the folidi'ty of the funds for their repayment.
•The propofition was fupported by a great number
of the members; but was oppofed by a majority,
and thrown out.
. Chicane will find means to prolong the term
of nine months, which is the term confumed by
the regular forms in the recovery of a debt; and*
it is not unufualto fee it thus employed in Pennfylvania.
By a law of Pennfylvania, cognizance is given
to iuftices of the peace of all actions for debt not
exceeding fifty-three dollars. The object of the
legiflature in'this law was, to fave expence hi
the moft frequent actions for debt, and in which
the parties were the leaft capable of defraying it;
but ari appeal to the fuperior tribunals is given to
the defendant. This law met with much' opposition before it pafjed, and chiefly from lawyers
who imagined it would effect their practice ; 'but
experience has fhewn the wifdom of the provU
lion. There is fcarcely an inftance of an appeal
from the decifions of the juftices of the peace;
and the expences of recovering debts before them
are twenty times lefs than before the fuperior tribunals with the aid of advocates.
mW$  •        THE
mm* $8
It is on the fubject of criminal laws that philosophy has had the moft noble and ufeful influence, in- Pennfylvania; and in this refpect the
government may justly ferve for a model to the
reft of the world.
I cannot proceed with this fubje<$t without repeating part of what I have faid in another work,
publifhed with this title— On the Prifons of Philadelphia ; to which I will refer fuch of my readers as require a more particular detail on this hv
te resting fubject.
Since the year 17Q3^ no crime but wilful murder is punifhed with death. Other crimes are
punifhed with imprifonment, for more or lefs
time, and with circumstances of greater or lefs
feverity, according to the nature of the offence;
the Governor in all cafes having the prerogative
to mitigate the punifhment; for although it has
appeared to the wife legifiators of this ftate, that
the certainty with which punifhment follows
crimes will greatly diminifh them, the hope of
obtaining pardon by fubfequent good conduct has
no lefs appeared to them a motive of fubftaritial
xeform in criminals. They very properly thought
that all punifhment mould have the amendment
of the offender for its object, and ought even to
furnifh him with the means of reform ; and this
valuable maxim is the bafts of the policy of the
prifons in Philadelphia.
The administrators of the prifons have added
this truly wife principle ; that the imprifonment
of a criminal being a reparation to fociety, it
ought as little as poffible to be a burden on its
They have propofed, therefore, the following
objects in their regulations:
lft. That the economy of the prifons fhould,
as much as. poffible, tend to detach the prifoners
from their former habits, and lead them to reflections on their condition, and confequently to
2d. That all arbitrary proceedings, and cruelty, and injustice in the jailors, fhould be carefully excluded, fmce they difpofc the mind of
the prifoner to malice and revenge, inftead of
begetting fentiments of contrition.
3d. That the prifoner fhould be conftantly
employed in fome profitable labour, to. wean him
from habits of idlenefs, to defray the expences of
the prifon, and to provide fome refburce for the
time when he returns again to fociety.
The convicts in the prifons are divided into
two elaffes; the firft are fuch as are convicted of
crimes formerly punifhed with death, and their
fentence 30
Travels through
fentence always includes folitary confinement for
part of the time of their imprifonment. The
quantity of folitary confinement is .t the difcre-
tiori of the judge, within thefe bounds—that it
fhall not exceed half of the time of the imprifonment, nor be lefs than the twelfth part. The
other clafs of convicts are fiieh as are feritenced
for inferior offences; and who are not confequently condemned, to folitary confinement.
The cells for folitary confinement are eight
feet by fix, and nine in height. They are alwa'ys
on the firft or fecond floor of the prifon, are
vaulted, and detached from the reft of the building. They are warmed by a ftove which ftarids
in the corridor facing the cells. The convict;
fhut in by two doors of iron and grated* receives
the benefit of the fire without being able to*
convert it to mifchievous purpofes. The cell is
lighted by the doors leading to the corridor, and
' more immediately by a window. It has a water-
clofet, through which frefh water can be always
turned at the pleafure of the prifoner. No precaution for cleanlinefs or health is forgotten. The
cells, as'well as every part of the prifon, is white-
wafhed twice a year. The prifoner fleeps on a
rnattrafs, and is well furnifhed with covering.
Thus delivered over to folitude; and the bit-
ternefs of reflection and remorfe, the convict has
no communication with human beings';. except
that once a day the turnkey brings him a coarfe
pudding made of Indian wheat.
It is not till after the convict has paffed fome
time in this feclufion from fociety that he obtains
permifiion to1 read, or to be furnifhed with fuch
employment as his ftrict confinement will admit
The convict never quits his cell during the
' term for which he is condemned to folitary confinement, not even to walk in the corridor, except in the cafe of ficknefs.
It is left to the infpectors of the prifons to fay
in what part of the whole term of the imprifon-
ment the time of the folitary confinement mall
take place; provided the prifoner actually fuffers
the quantity of folitary confinement named in
the fentence. It is usually inflicted when the
convict enters the prifon; becaufe the fevereft
part of the fentence ought in juftice, as quickly
as poffible, to follow the crime ; becaufe the rigour of this feclufion would be unjuftly increafed
if the prifoner had already enjoyed the common
liberty of the prifon; becaufe the feclufion from,
fociety is defigned to lead the prifoner to reflection on the crimes whofe punifhment falls fo
heavily on him; and, becaufe the fudden and
abfolute change of food affects the temperament
«£^ 32
of the prifoner and inclines him to the difpofition
that precedes repentance.
The inspectors of the prifons place great confidence in the abstinence they impofe on the
Convict condemned to folitary confinement; regarding it as the fureft means of his amendment,
by the change it effects in hi§ ideas and temper.
This notion feerris to have influenced the founders of fuch religions as enjoin fafts and abfti-
nence; and he who reflects on the power of our
organs over the qualities of our mind will not fail
to applaud the infpectors of the prifons in Philadelphia for the fagacity of their fyftem.
A convict who is not fentenced to folitary
confinement is, on his entrance into the prifon^
put into a common roorn with Others. His
clothes are taken off, and in fome cafes burnt;
and a drefs common to all the prifoners given
to him. He is instructed in the regulations of the
prifon, and examined reflecting the fpecies of la^
bour he is capable of purfuing.
The civil officer who conducts the convict to
prifon, delivers to the infpectors a paper contain-*
ing an account of his offence; the circumstances
by which it is heightened Or extenuated; the
facts that appeared on his trial; the crimes of
which he has in any former time been accufed;
in a word, the entire character and hiftory of the
mari w
rnan as far as it can be gathered. The document
is tranfmitted by the court that pronounced the
fentence ; and enables the infpectors to form
•an opinion of the prifoner, and to conduct themfelves toward him as the cafe requires.
The labour allotted to prifoners is proportioned
•to their strength, and proficiency in the employment. In the prifons there are looms ; carpenters' benches; arid fliops fitted up for fhoe-
makers and taylors. Convicts that cannot avail
themfelves of any of thefe, are employed in faw-
ing, or polifhing marble; preparing the cedar for
pencils grinding plaifter of Paris; combing wool;
or beating hemp. The infpectors have lately
added a manufacture of nails, which employs a
great many hands, and produces a large profit
to the prifon. Convicts that are unable to endure
hard labour, arid are little expert at any thing, are'
employed in forting wool* horfe-hair, and flax*
The bargain for the labour of the prifoners is
inadd between the jailor and the" tradefmeri of
the city, in the prcfence of the convict. Out of
his earnings, the convict pays for his board, his
portion of the Common expences of the hoiife>
and the ufe and wear of his tools; the rate of
payment for thefe things, being neceffarily governed by circumstances, is fixed by the infpectors four times in evety year; it is at prefent
Vol. IV, D fifteen il
fifteen pence per day, and an old man, who can
do nothing but pick hemp, is able to gain one
and twenty or two and twenty pence per day.
There are convicts who earn more than a dollar
per day.
Befides the money which the convict pays to
the prifon from his earnings, the law compells
him to reimburfe the ftate the expences of his
trial, and to pay a fine which is always part of
the fentence. The fine includes a sum to be
paid into the treasury of the ftate ; and in cafe of
theft, a fum sufficient to pay for the ftolen property. The money to be paid into the treasury
is frequenly remitted, but never the expences of
the trial* nor the restitution of the ftolen property. The county advances the money for the
expences of the trial; and is repaid from the
labour of the convict, if his family or friends do
not pay it for him. llBS
The women are employed' in spinning, few-
ing, combing wool, and warning for the prifon.
They pay feven-pence per day for their board;
and they can earn more than that if they are
industrious. As their labour is not fo hard as
that of the men their food is lefs expenfive.
- The jailor does not here, as is too frequently
the practice in other places, levy contributions
on misfortune! and mifery. « Nothing is de-
*l?„y~: ^SBc, manded THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, &C.
hianded on the prifoner's entrance into prifon,
or on his quitting it; nothing for particular indulgences to the individual.
The fmallnefs of the falary of certain fitua-
tions in Europe feems to authorife thofe who
fill them in the exactions by which they increafe
their revenue; and it is difficult for perfons of
higher rank, whofe office it is to fuperintend
their conduct, to make rigid enquiries where
they know the fubaltern has not the falary to
provide the neceffaries of life*
The rapacious exactions to which I allude, are
exercifed by perfons of the vileft condition in fociety ; and they are often levied as an indemnity
for the contempt and hatred which thofe perfons
But here, where no prifoner is ever put
in irons; where blows and even ill language
is strictly forbidden to all perfons who approach
them ; where the whole economy of the prifon
tends to make it a fcene of reform ; the office of
jailor never wounds the delicay of the moft honourable characters; The falaries are very fuffi*
cient, even of the under jailors; the daily visits
of the infpectors are a complete check upon the
jailors, and not only excludes all exaction] bnt
produces conftant evidence that none can exift
in the prifons*
D 2 Every 36
Every prifoner has a fmall book in which are
entered the bargains made in his prefence for his
labour, and the amount of the produce; and
againft this, his debts for the expences of his
trial, the fine to which he is condemned, the
fum to be paid for the ufe and destruction of his
tools, his clothes, and his board; and the account is audited and paffed every three months
in the prefence of the infpectors. A copy of the
account is entered in a general register; and is
alfo paffed every three months.
The produce of the labour is paid into the
treasury of the county, which thus becomes the
banker of the prifoner, to prevent the fufpicions
that would arife if the jailor held the money in
his hands. The jailor, m fact, is no more than
the agent between the convict and his employer ;
and the price of labour in the prifon is the fame
as out of doers ; and the infpectors take care that
no fraud is practifed upon the convicts.
The jailor purchafes the provifions in the prefence of the infpectors. A certain quantity is
allowed to'each prifoner, and is Weighed out before the cook, who is himfelf a convict, and is
paid by his fellow prifoners for his labour.
To thefe precautions of inceffant inspection,
and of the ample falary of the jailors, which
removes the temptation to fraud on their part, is
joined the powerful controul of public opinion.
The humanity and inflexible probity of the infpectors is fo manifest, their defire of the" welfare of the convicts is fo unequivocal, and their
Care that no injuftice be done them fb conftant,
that to rob them would appear in the public eye
a more deteftable crime than any other fpecies of
The rooms in which the prifoners fleep are on
the firft floor ; each room contains ten or twelve
bedfteads, furnifhed with mattraffes, fheets, and
a fuffieiency of covering ; and every prifoner has
a bed to himfelf. Each room is well aired and
well lighted. The prifoners quit their chambers
at day-break, and do not return till the hour of
going to bed. They are then fhut up without
light. When the weather is fevere, a little fire is
allowed them ; the whole of the building being
vaulted, » there is no danger of their burning it
down ; and if they fhould be tempted to fet fire
to their beds, they would do no more than fubject themfelves to perifh, and if they efcaped
would be obliged to pay for the mifchief done.
Every morning, before the convicts go to
work, they are obliged to walls their hands and
face. In fummer they bathe twice a month, in
a bath made for that ufe in the middle of the
court. They are regularly flsaved twice a week ;
and the barber, who is alfo a convict, is paid out
of the fifteen pence per day deducted out of each
prifoner's labour. Their linen is changed twice
a week.
All  heavy work  is  done in the courts; and
light trades are followed in rooms on the fame
floor with their chambers, but in a feparate part
g.  They are not fhut in while they
ich is under the fuperintendance of
ere are feldom more than five or
jailors, of whom there are four to
ire obliged to be continually in the
hers, or corridors; in fine, among
The ur
each prifc
courts, ci
the prifoners.
All converfation is prohited the prifoners, beyond what neceffarily   arifes in  the purfuit of
their  occupations.    They are forbidden to reproach each other  with their crimes, or even to
fpeak of the caufe of their imprifonment.    The
fame   filence is impofed upon  them   at   table.
e and iupper is a pudding of flour
lian  corn,  with   which they eat
inner, each is ferved with half a
:, half a pound of bread, and ve-
ilr drink is always water.    Never,,
made iror;
treacle. \
pound of
on any pretence, are they permitted to tafte fermented liquors, not even fmall beer.    All fuch
liquors are prohibited; and the prohibition is re-
ligioufly obferved. The excitement produced by
fermented liquors is momentary, and deceitful;
and as it would heat the juices of the convict,
would confequently interfere with the fyftem of
temperance through which it is intended to effect a change in his difpofition. The healthy
vigour which is neceffary for him, will be derived from the fubftantial but moderate food that
is given him. Peals of laughter, fongs, and
fhouts, are prohibited; not- only as they would
be inconvenient and difagreeable in the prifon,
but becaufe they disturb the tranquillity which
is to be cultivated and encrcafed in the prifoner's
temper. ^fan iK
When a convict violates a regulation of the
prifon, he is admonifhed for the firft offence by
the infpector, the jailor, or the under jailor. If.
he repeats his offence, he is fent into folitary
confinement. This is a punifhment which the.
jailor may himfelf inflict; but in every fuch cafe
he is obliged inftantly to fend an account of it to
the infpector.
When a convict is idle, and will not work, he.
is fent into folitary confinement; and this punifhment is the greater, becaufe he muft redeem
the time he has loft when he returns to labour,
as the expences of the houfe are charged againft,
111    D4 \ him 40 TRAVELS THROUGH
him even for the  time of his folitary confine-*
The four under jailors are all the night on duty ; two of whom are in the room fet apart for
the irifpectors, and the other two walk continually in the corridors. When there is any extraordinary noife, they weaken the jailor, with
whom they proceed to the chamber whence the
noife comes, and conduct the offenders to the folitary cells. Such cafes are very rare. It perhaps does not happen four times a year that a pri-
nunifhed ;. and no other punifhment is
folitary confinement,
ailors are not permit-
tne prilon
me jailors and und
ted to have either arms or dogs. They ate even
forbidden to carry a fmall stick, leaft in a ilot
ment of anger they fhould strike a prifoner, and
the tranquillity fo- much cultivated, and from
which fo much is expected, be disturbed. An
under jailor who is found drunk, or who treats a
prifoner a fecond time with unprovoked rigour,
too Jrequer.
occalion to convene with
ndeaycur to become ac-
they give them advice and
• to reconcile them to their
befe converfations are not
y fhould produce the lefs
effect. The appearance of the prifoners is generally calm and ferious; it has nothing of that
hard infolence, or the malignant fcowl, or the
mean fervility, that we find in the prifoners of
Europe. A prifoner here is at once refervcd and
The female convicts are in a wing feparated
from the dwelling of the men. They are suffered to mingle with women that are prifoners
for debt—an indulgence that is never granted the
men. It isfuppofed that the example of women
of a better order will tend to correct the manners
of the depraved; and this is true; for in that fex
modefty and an honeft fhame have always an influence which men, when they are once perverted, do not feel.
Wafhing is the only labour carried on in the
court belonging to the women, of which they
otherwife make ufe at their pleafure. The number of female convicts feldom exceeds five or fix.
Silence is lefs rigidly exacted from them; and
they are not fo strictly guarded as the men. One
of them cooks for the reft; and they wait on each
other in ficknefs; but ficknefs is rare among
The new economy introduced into the prifons
Jias made a material change relative to difeafes.
Formerly there were from two hundred and fixty
to three hundred* and twenty patients, afflicted
with the itch, in one quarter; and in the fame
interval, under the new fyftem, they do not
amount to forty. This afionifhing difference is
folely to be attributed to the change of economy.
Formed.} the licence that reigned in the prifons
was the constant occafion of filthinefs, drunken
nefs, quarrels, and difgufting difeafes. At pre •
fent there are no patients in the prifons, but
fome afflicted with the rheumatifm, or the effect
of accidents. In the four laft years, only two
prifoners have died, and they died of the fmall-.
If the diforder is not contagious, the patient is
attended in his chamber; but if contagion is- ap--
-prehended, he is put in a room by himfelf.
Every Sunday morning the prifoners attend a
fermon, preached by a minifter, whofe zeal leads
him to the prifon; nor is it inqsiired to what
ol conlci
it is thro
Yet a
s th
tbitants o
almoft all c
>f th
ians, a c
to the prif
in general
sorality t
points, and
All t
fie p
to the fi
rs,  of e^
ne lermons
m doctrinal
lation of the
:y kind and
rptkisk thofe
who are condemned to folitary confinement. In
the evening there is another fermon; and pious
books are given to thofe who request it.
The fuperintendance of the administration of
the prifon is committed to twelve infpectors.
Six of thefe are replaced by a new election every
fix months, and the election is made by the infpectors themfelves. The elections are thus frequent, that the duty, which is very painful in
its nature, may not fall too heavily on individuals. But an infpector may be continued in
office beyond his term, with his own confent.
The infpectors meet every week; and two of
them, who have the additional title of vifit or s-, are
obliged at leaft to make two vifits in eight days
to the prifons. There is fcarcely a day paffes in
which they do not make their vifit; and frequently fome who are not on that duty do the
fame. The infpectors are for the moft part Quakers ; and it is not to be forgotten, that it is to
the fociety of Quakers that the public is indebted
for the eftablifhment, protection, and fuccefs of
the new fyftem.
To one of thefe people, whofe name is Caleb
Lownes, is to be given the largest fhare of the
honour of this great reform. The opinions of
Beccaria and Howard eafily took root in his
humane heart. It was he who animated his brethren TRAVELS THROUGH
thren  with zeal  for the enlightened system of
men; it  was ne wno exno
change in the prifons—who propofed to fubfti-
tute humanity, joined to firmnefs, for fetters and
ftripes—who fuffered himfelf to be treated as a
wild vifionary, without being turned afide from
his purfuit, perfectly confiding in the fuccefs of
his labour. It was he whofe unwearied zeal
gained over to his caufe whoever wTas neceffary
to its protection; who obtained from the legiflature thofe laws, I will not only fay that humanity claimed, but that juftice and an enlarged po-
ecy demanded. In a word, it is he who confents
at every election to bean infpector, and is indeed
the principal agent of that great work of reafon
and humanity. May God fhower his bleffings
on the head of this benefactor of the human
The judges at firft oppofed this reform ; except
one among them, who, younger than the reft,
and defpairing lefs of the human character, embraced the reform with ardour. He affociated
himfelf to the labours of Caleb Lownes, aiding
him with the advice of a man verfed in jurif-
prudence ; and, having fhared the difficulties, he
deferved to fhare in the glories of the undertaking. The name of this judge wras Wil-
MAiM Bradford.    He was at that  time the
attorney-general of Pennfylvania, and was afterwards the attorney-general of the United States.
He died lately, honoured with the univerfal ef-
teem and love of his fellow-citizens.
This is an homage which I render the more
readily to his memory, as it includes no cenfure
on the other judges* While they withheld their
fanction from the reform, they were influenced
by doubts of its efficacy; and they were prompt
in aiding the plan when they were convinced of
their mistake; nor were they to be deterred by
the opinion they had prerioufly given;—a conduct that will not be thought little of, by thofe
who have had occafion to contemplate the operations of felf-lov^e.
The prifons, under the new regulations, are
fubject to the fuperintendance of the mayor of
Philadelphia, and judges appointed for that pur-
pofe. They form a committee, whofe duty it is
to vifit the prifons once in every quarter. The
fame duty is impofed upon the governor of the
ftate of Pennfylvania, the judges of the feveral
fuperior courts, and the grand juries.
Thefe numerous vifits are' ordained by the legiflature, to enfure the fuccefsof this humane
plan, by watching over the interior economy of
the prifons, if it were even poffible for the zeal of
the infpectors to relax. They have proved, how*
ever, a recompence for the trouble they have oc-
cafioned; they demonftrated the value of the
new fyftem; and induced the friends of humanity to overcome the obftacles, that in every
country are thrown in the way of men who devote themfelves to the overthrowing of abufes.
The infpectors have the right to prefent petitions to the governor, for the pardon of criminals; which they never fail to ufe* when they
are convinced of the amendment of the convict,
and of his having acquired a capital by his labour, or of having means of fubfiftence among
his friends.
The governor of Pennfylvania never refufes a
pardon, on the petition of the infpectors; even
a murderer may hope to obtain it, although, in
that cafe, it is never granted, unlefs the petition
is figned by the relations and friends of the perfon
murdered. The infpectors feldom prefent petitions in behalf of convicts of that clafs ; they
even ufe their prerogative with moderation for
all others; but every prifoner knows that it may
be employed for him, and his heart, warmed by
hope, feels an intereft in his becoming a better
man. Who that is without hope, and without
fear, was ever happily influenced in his conduct ?
When prifoners are -difcharged, they receive
the amount of the faVings of their labour in
money, if the infpectors are persuaded that they
will make a good ufe of it, or in clothes, "when
the infpectors have not that Confidence. Sometimes convicts difpofe of the favings of their labour, while they are frill in prifon, in the maintaining their families. Such is the admirable effects of the new fyftem, that of a hundred convicts difcharged, either in confequence of pardons, or at the expiration of the term of their
fentence, there are not two committed for new
crimes; under the ancient fyftem, the prifons
were filled with old and known offenders, who,
like the criminals in Europe, left their prifons
every time with newly acqsiired vices, and availed
themfelves of their liberty only to commit new
depredations, and were again led back to prifon,
till they terminated their wretched lives on the
I will here give a table of the number and
claffes of convicts for the four laft years of the
ancient fyftem, and the four firft of the new.
It would be a very defireable thing to add a
table of the crimes committed, and the fcntences
paffed, in the four years immediately preceding
the amelioration of the penal code; but the re- 43
gifters of the prifons were carried off by the perfon who at that time had the cuftody of them.
It was not till the year 17QO, that the law was
paffed that gave the new fyftem to the prifons;
and it was not till 17 Ql, that it was put in execution.
TABLE Table of the Number and
Clajfes ofConvicJs
Numb, of j
Crimes of which they v
From January 1787 toMiiy 1788 . .
From May 1788 to May 1789 . , .
From May 1789 to May 1790 . . .
From May 1790 to June 1791 . . .
From June 1791 to June 1792 . . .
From June 1792 to June 1793 . . .
From June 1793 to June 1794 . . .
From June 1794 to March 1795   .
Total. jfS$£
IL 0 3
2    CO
3    O
° 3'
< OQ
5   ,_
e u
W era
« U
4 9
3 3
5   6
47 .
3   1
16 163 1
0   4
Crimes and Offences.
Under the
Ancient Syftem.
New Si
Man-Slaughter   . .
'Highway Robbery
Theft J	
.-».,.  T„. v iitueeree,
Pretty Larceny. -?   . t> 5
J J   I ^d Degree.
Vol. IV. To ft
face if age 48.
1. In the four firft of the eight years named in
the table, criminals Were committed to the prifons of Philadelphia, only from the county and
city of Philadelphia; in the four laft years, criminals were fent from every part of Pennfylvania
to the prifons of Philadelphia.
2. Of the three hundred and twenty-pne convicts that were foreigners and white men in the
firft period of four years, one hundred and thirty-
one were Irifh, arid eighty-four Englifh or Scotch.
In the laft period of four years, of one hundred
and thirty-five convicts that were white men,
ninety-two were Irifh, and nineteen Englifh or
Scotch. The Irifh, therefore, in both periods,
were more than two-thirds of the foreigners, and
nearly the half of the whole number of prifoners ;
and part of the prifoners concealing the name of
their country, it is reafonable to fiippofe there
were more Irifh than were entered as fiich in the
3H In the firft period of four years, feventy-
three criminals were convicted of new crimes,
after having been difchargcd, and fome of thefe
even for the fifth and frxth time ; while five only,
belonging tQ the laft period of four years, were
convicted of new crimes after being difcharged
Vol. IV. E 4. Under
4. Under both the old and the new fyftem,
crimes have been multiplied in Philadelphia and
its environs, in a proportion greatly exceeding
that of all the reft of the ftate of Pennfylvania.
In the four years, therefore, of the new fyftem, more than two hundred have been reftored
as ufeful perfons to fociety, who, under the old
fyftem, and under a penal code of laws refem-
bling that of almoft every ftate of Europe, were
deftined either to be the fcourge of their fellow
creatures, or to be kept fecluded from them, or
to be delivered over to violent deaths.
Criminals were not only rendered more ufeful,
but were in reality more feverely punifhed. The
greater part of them would have readily, in the
firft inftance, preferred death to folitary confinement ; and all were infinitely more fatisfied with
the diforder and vice of the old prifons, than with
the humane and just, but uniform and fteady administration of the new. It is in defpite of themfelves that they are reftored to fociety; but how
much reafon have they and their families to be
grateful to the legiflature that has fnatched them
from their miferies ? I refer fuch of my readers as
would know more of this interesting fubject to
my former work, from which I have been able at
prefent to give a very incompetent extract,
The laft law relative to the regulation of the
poor was paffed in the year 1771. It appoints
overfeers of the poor, both in Philadelphia and
other cities of the ftate. It ordains the levying o£
taxes for their provifion; recommends the eftab-
lifhment of houfes of induftry; and regulates the
manner of removing poor families who become
"burthenfbrne, and have not, acquired the right
of being relieved in the city where they refide.
The right of being relieved is acquired by a
year's refidence; and payment, during that time,
of the poor rates. Domeftics and apprentices acquire the right fimply by a year's refidence. AJ1
perfons who have not acquired the right, and are
declared by the overfeers of the poor to be in
danger of becoming chargeable to the city, are
conveyed to the place of their birth ; the overfeers of the poor of which place are to reimburfe
the city that has thus conveyed them the expences of the journey. Every father or mother,
grandfather or grandmother, or child, of poor
perfons not able to gain their livelihood, is obliged to provide for them, if they have the means,
on the penalty of five dollars and a half for every
month that they neglect this facred duty. An
appeal is allowed to the. court of justices of the
peace, from the fentence of the overfeer of the
poor, who, in the firft inftance, decides in fuch
A law of Pennfylvania, paffed in 178Q, gave
every foreigner, although not a refident in America, the right of acquiring and poffefting every
fpecies of property, as if he were a member of
the ftate. This law, which was to be in force
only for two years, was renewed at the end of that
period, and no doubt will continue to be renewed
till it is declared permanent. This law deferves
to be placed among the moft enlightened and
politic of the ftate of Pennfylvania, and will, no
doubt, induce foreigners to fettle in that fine
country, in preference to every other.
The laws relative to the Indian natives, that
were paffed by the affemblies of Pennfylvania,
were characterifed by the forefight and equity
which governed William Penn in all his tranfac-
tions with thofe people ; but by the federal constitution, the congrefs only can pafs laws relative
to the commerce of the feveral ftates with foreign
nations, in which defcription the Indians are
comprifed. Pennfylvania, therefore, fmce it was
independent, has no particular law on that fub-
Liberty of confcience is more compleat in
Pennfvlvania than in any of the other ftates.    It m
was fo in the birth of the colony ; yet, by a law
of 1705, the inhabitants were compelled to pro-
fefs a belief in Jefus Chrift, in the Holy Ghoft,
and the Scriptures. This profeflion was neceffary to place an inhabitant of the ftate out of the
reach of perfecution. The conftitution adopted
at the beginning of the revolution gave wider
limits to liberty of confcience; and finally, the
conftitution made in 1 79® declares, " that every
1 man has a natural right, of'which he cannot be
juftly deprived, to worfhip God according to. the
dictates of his own confcience; that no man can
juftly be compelled to obferve any form of worfhip, or to incur any expence for public worfhip ;
that no human authority can, on any pretence,
force the confidences of men; and that no preference can be given by law to any particular
form of worfhip." It adds, " that every man,
acknowledging the exiftence of God, and a future
ftate of rewards and punifhments, may hold any
office in the republic of Pennfylvania."
In fact, there is no ftate in the Union in which
religion and its minifters have lefs influence than
in this ftate; its minifters here, as every where
elfe, are willing enough to erect themfelves into
a body, and to influence the public opinion, but
the number that favour their pretentions is fo
fmall, that it can fcarcely be faid to exift.
E3 The
vms 54
The laws that enjoin the obfervation of Sunday, are more regarded in Pennfylvania than in
any of the northern ftates, becaufe they are more
reafonable and moderate. They prohibit merely
the felling of goods in an open fhop, or in the
markets; following the chace ; or attending any
public diversion. The law which prohibits games
of hazard, and the fighting of game-cocks, are
punctually obeyed, becaufe it is agreeable to the
manners and tafte of the people ; but that which
impofes a penalty of three quarters of a dollar for
dxunkennefs is far from being fo ftrictly obferved.
The law regulating the militia was paffed in
17Q3. Every male, from the age of eighteen to
that of forty-five, is in fact a foldier of the ftate.
The captain of the company in the diftrict enrolls
every young man who attains the age of eighteen : a notice, which is ferved upon him by a
fubaltern of the company, is the only form required to enter him in the militia, in which he
ne is tiye a:
The profeffic
which exempt males from this fervice are near!
the fame as thofe that give the fame <
in the other ftates.
meftics hired for a
exempt di
White men who are dc
mng the term 01 tneir
except in the cafe of an actual invasion. The
militia is eompofed of divifions, brigades, regiments, battalions, and companies. The brigades are formed of regiments, and never exceed
eight, nor are lefs than two; regiments are corn1
pofed of two battalions ; and each battalion of
four companies, which, according to the population of the canton, may be eompofed of any
number, from forty to eighty men. Every bat^
talion has a company of grenadiers, and another
of rifle-men. A company of artillery, and a body
of cavalry are attached to every division. A division comprifes the militia of two or three counties, according to their population; and each
county forms one brigade or more, as it is more
or lefs populous. A divifion is commanded by a
major-general; a brigade, by a brigadier-general;
a regiment, by a lieutenant-colonel; a battalion,
by a major; and a company, by a captain, lieutenant, and enfign. Befide the ftaff-ofjicers of the
regiments, a brigadier-general infpects the divifions. The general officers are appointed by the
governor; the lieutenant-colonels appoint their
own majors; they are themfelves, as well as the
captains, lieutenants, and enfigns, chofen by the
foldiers, and non-commiffioned officers of the regiment, battalion, or company, in which the vacancy happens. The commifiion of the officers
£4 is 50
is only for feven years. Every man enrolled in
the militia, officer or private, trooper or foot-
foldier, muft provide himfelf with arms and equi-r
page, under the penalty of a fine. When the
commanding officer of a regiment declares a man
not to be in a condition to comply with this
requifition, he is fupplied with arms by the ftate.
The militia affembles twice in the year, either by
' companies or regiments.
The other articles of this voluminous law re^
gulate the manner in which the fervice of the
militia is to be performed; its pay, when employed by thp ftate or the union, which pay is fix
dollars per month for each foldier. They determine the fines for every fpecies of offence; the
manner in which courts martial are to be eompofed
and summoned. They apportion relief to every
officer and foldier wounded in the fervice, and
to the widows and children of the flain. When
the militia is employed in the fervice of the union,
it is fubject to the laws of the Congrefs; but offences committed by individuals are taken cog-
nifance of by courts martial eompofed of its own
The ftate of Pennfylvania. includes twenty-
three counties, and the militia is computed at a
hundred or a hundred and ten thousand men. THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, &C.
Although the interior navigation of the State
of Pennfylvania has not made fuch progrefs as
that of New York, it is not for want of wifdom
and forefight in the government. A law of 177s
declares the rivers Sufquehannah and Delaware,
and all the rivers and creeks falling into them, to
be public and free navigations, and places them
under the gtiardianfliip and protection of the government. It prohibits the creating any new
obftacle to navigation, and enjoins the removal
of all old ones. The fame regulations were made
fucceffively for the rivers Monongahela and
Youghiogany, and all others in the State of Pennfylvania. Commiffioners were appointed to enquire and make reports concerning the means of
removing all obftructions to the interior navigation, and to make communication by canals between the great rivers or lafe£s. The feveral
companies who undertook to facilitate the navigation on the rivers, or to cut canals, were raifed
into corporations, and aided either by premiums
from the ftate, or by an authority to eftablifh tolls
on tne navies
gations' or canals they formed; fome
times the ftate even gave them permifiion to
raife money by lottery. In many of thefe undertakings the fum§ granted by the legiflature
were 5S
were expended with utility to the ftate, by com
pleating the work. In others, they were mif-
employed; fchemes being adopted without a fufi-
ficient examination of their obftacles. But the
legiflature caufes an annual return to be made to
them of the condition and progrefs of thefe
works ; and it is not to be doubted that in a few
years the interior navigation of Pennfylvania will
be carried to the highest degree of • perfection,
We may reafonably expect to fee Lake Erie
and the River Ohio communicate with the Sufquehannah and the Delaware. The number of
land-carriages that would ftill, from invincible
obftacles to navigation, in fome parts be neceffary would in fact be few, and their length greatly
diminifhed. The numberlefs creeks of Pennsylvania, cleared of the obftacles to navigation,
would afford for all the productions of the interior part of the country a fure, fpeedy, and cheap
conveyance to the great rivets and lakes of the
The roads are made and kept in repair by a
levy on the townfhips. A furveyor of the roads
is chofen by the townfhip. When a new road is
to be made, the furveyors of the feveral townfhips, through which it is to'be carried, superintend its completion, and they have authority to
levy a tax for this purpofe on the lairds.   The tax
muft not exceed fix {hillings and fix-pence in the
pound of the annual income of the land, according to the valuation made for the levying of other
taxes. Before the taxes for the roads can > be
raifed, they are to receive the fanction of two
juftices of the peace of the county; and the general court of juftices of the peace take cognisance of all difputes tha>t arife on the fubject of
this tax.   1
The furveyors are chofen annually; and receive five per cent on the tax, and are paid be-
fides eighteen dollars per day when they are actually employed in the duties of their office.
They hire labourers for the roads; for the law:
wrhich regulates this matter difpenfed with all
perfonal fervice on the high roads. They buy all
the materials for making and repairing the roads;
and their accounts are audited and figned every
year by four commissioners chofen by the electors of the townfhip.
This law, the principal provifions of which
(took place in 1772, was made only for feven
years, but has fince been conftantly renewed at
its expiration. Some of the claufes have from
time to time been altered.; the modifications
however are included in the above statement.
The roads of Pennfylvania are in general better
than thofe of the other ftates;   efpecially the
roads between the moft populous towns. The
bridges are alfo conftructed in a more folid
nsanner. The road from Philadelphia to Lancafter, made by an incorporated company, is not
indeed fo good as the turnpike roads of England,
but it is in very good condition; and, although
the tolls are fo high that a broad-wheeled waggon
pays nearly two dollars and a half between thefe
two cities, which is a diftance of fixty-fix miles,
no complaint is made, becaufe the waggons require only half the horfes they did before the
road was made a turnpike, and perform the journey in half the time. The company that conftructed this road is very flourifhing ; the fhares,
wtiich at the first fubfcription coft three hundred
dollars each, produce between eight and nine per
cent, and bear a premium in their price.
The law which regulates taxes was paffed in
1795. Since.the year 1789 no new taxes have
been raifed in Pennfylvania for the ftate, there
being no other than taxes levied for the interior
ufies of the counties and cities; but the principles on which the county rates are determined
and levied, would in all probability be followed
in any tax that it might be neceffary to levy for
the ftate.
The inhabitants of every county elect three
commiffioners, who remain three years in office,
except that one goes out every year by rotation,
and a new commiftioner fucceeds him. The inhabitants of every townfhip elect, every three
' years, an affeffor and two affiftants, to apportion
the rates impofed on the townfhip. The affef-
fors make a return every three years to the commiffioners of the county, of the names and dwellings (where it is poffible) of the proprietors of
lands, occupied or not occupied, and of the lands
not yet cleared, and of the houfes and fpots of
ground belonging to the town; of all the inhabitants of the townfhip, marking their feveral
employments, professions, or conditions ; and alfo
a lift of all horfes and horned cattle above four
years old, with a valuation of them ; and finally,
an eftimate of the proportion of the tax that may
. be ljiid reflectively on all owners of perfonal and
real property. The commiffioners of the county
examine and compare all the lifts ; and have authority to make alterations in the taxes, provided
they do not alter the relative valuations of the
feveral properties in the fame townfhip. The
affeffment made in confequence of thefe returns
by the commiffioners, forms the rule for the levying the taxes for the three fucceeding years.
The commiffioners are never to lav more on the TRAVELS THROUGH
land than one per cent of their computed value*
When they are obliged to carry the tax on land
to the full extent of one per cent, they are to levy
the following taxes:—on every freeman, without
apparent employment, from half a dollar to ten
dollars; on every labourer, a fum not exceeding
two dollars ; on every vintner, fhopkeeper, or retailer of goods, from half a dollar to five dollars;
on every broker, banker, merchant, lawyer, and
phyfician, from one dollar to ten ; on all other
professions, from one quarter of a dollar to eight
dollars; on every proprietor of flaves, a dollar for
each flave. All the taxes that are not laid on
land are regulated by that tax, and confequently
diminifh in proportion as the tax on land falls
fhort of one per cent, which is its maximum.
The quantity of taxes being determined, the
commiffioners iffue an order to the affeffors to
apportion and levy them on the individuals ; but
an appeal lies to the commiffioners- from their
affeffment. The tenants of the land are refpon-
fible for the tax on land, but are authorifed to
deduct it from the rent. Lands not cleared are
subject to the tax; and if the proprietor is not to
be found, or does not pay the tax during three
fucccfiive years, the commiffioners may order as
much of the land to beNfold as is neceffary for the
payment of the arrears.
The commiffioners of the county appoint the
receivers of the county, and the collectors of the
townlhips. Each commifiioner is paid one dollar
and a third for every day that he is actually employed in his office; the affeffors one dollar.
The expence of the afleffment and collection
for the whole ftate is eftimated at ten thoufand
dollars. The collectors are generally paid five per
cent on the collection. The trcafurer of the committee is paid a dollar for every hundred pounds
which he receives and pays. -
The law has provisions for the exact levying of
the taxes; and impofes refponfibility on the collectors and other officers; and impofes fines for
neglect or fraud in the difcharge of their duty.
The ftate, as I have obferved, levies no new
taxes. Its old duties are—on marriages, taverns,
and public fales by authority, amounting annually from twelve to thirteen thoufand dollars.
The legiflature fuppreffed, in 1795, the tax on
carriages, and fome other taxes, which were formerly impofed for the fervice of the ftate.
The annual expenditure of the ftate amounts
to about an hundred and thirty thoufand dollars jg
it confifts of the falary of the governor, the fe-
cretary and other officers of ftate, and of the
judges; the expence of the courts of circuit; the
falary of the treafurer and his clerks- the ex-
a.f. 64
pence of the office for the fale of lands; the appointments of the members of the fenate, and
the houfe of reprefentatives ; the falaries of fome
other civil officers; and the pay of fome militia
The revenues which, with the old duties, enable the ftate to provide for its expenditure
without additional taxes, confift in the intereft
of a capital accruing from the fale of lands, for
the most part placed in the banks. This capital amounts at prefent to one million five hundred thoufand dollars ; a "million of which is in
the bank of Pennfylvania, and five hundred thoufand in that of the United States. Thefe fums
bear an intereft according to the dividends of
the respective banks; but it may be ftated to be
from nine to ten per cent. Arrears of duties, and
arrears of purchafe-money for the public lands,
form another branch of the revenue of the ftate.
The arrears of every kind come in very flowly.
Several contradictory laws ferve as an excufe to
the creditors of the ftate for default of payment.
Thefe are alfo protected by members of the legiflature, who have a perfonal intereft in the delay. The government of Pennfylvania is indeed
unwilling to employ its force, efpecially for the
recovery of arrears. There are two inftances
which will fufficiently fhow the backwardnefs of THE UNITED STATES; CANADA, &C.
the government to compel the payment of the
impofts. There are ten auctioneers eftablifhed
at Philadelphia for public fales. Six of thefe have
punctually paid the duties impofed upon fuch
fales; the other four have not even condefcended
to give ah account of their fales; The law enjoins every man of eighteen years of age to ferve.
as a militia-man; and impofes a fine of a dollar
every time that he is abfent from the meeting of
his regiment, and a fine of twelve dollars per
mOnth for all the time that he is abfent when his
regiment is on fervice. The defaulters are fo numerous, that no other fund but the fines due for
offences are fet afide for the expence of the militia ; and the fines are fo ill paid, that at prefent
there is a deficiency of more than one hundred
thoufand dollars. It is to be expected, however,
that the ftate will in future be more rigorous in
the collection of its revenues; the necelfity of
this rigour begins to be felt, and circumft aiices
are more favourable than heretofore for its exer-
The debts due to the ftate, from individuals*
for arrears, and from the Union for certain fun a
advanced, and for which the Union is refpon-
fible,'amounted, in the beginning of 1797, by
the ftatement of the treasury, to nine hundred
and twenty-four thoufand five hundred and forty-
Vot, IV. F four
four dollars feven-tenths. Pennfylvania has alio
feveral other claims on the treasury of the United
States, for expences incurred on behalf of the
Union. ISpS
By the balance struck by the commiffioners of
the congrefs, the ftate of Pennfylvania is debtor
for the fum of feven thoufand feven hundred and
nine dollars.
Certain duties, that were formerly the per-
iquifite of the fccretary of ftate and other public
officers, have been purchafed by the legiflature,
and are become part of the public revenue.
There are other duties attached as perquifites to
other officers, which the legiflature will gradually,
and by the fame means, restore to the public
Laws respecting the sale of public lands.
The laws that regulate the fale of public lands
are deemed better in Pennfylvania than in any
other of the ftates.
Before the revolution, the property of the
lands belonged to the governor; that is to fay,
to the family of William Penn. The congrefs
mfylvania paffed a law in 1779, which
transferred the property to the ftate, giving the*,
family of Penn, for indemnity; the fum of a hundred and  thirty  thoufand pounds fteriing, and
leaving THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, &C     67
leaving them in pofleflion of the lands they pof-
feffed as their own proper eftates. The lands
which became the property of the ftate were
immenfe. They were various enormous tracts
that William Penn and his heirs had purchafed
of the Indians; parcels of which they fold for
their own profit. A law in 1781, which efta-
blifhed an office1 called the land-office, enjoined
the pofTeffors of warrants (which were orders
From the furveyor-general of the ftate to his deputy, to meafure out a certain tract of land, and
were a kind of evidence of the purchafe of the
eftate), obtained under the old government^ to
bring them to the land-office, where they were
annulled, if the purchafe-money had not been
paid. In 1783, the affembly fet afide a large
tract of land in the weft of its territory, and to
the north of the Ohio, to be difpofed of, for certain billets which the troops of Pennfylvania had
received during the war for their pay, and whofe
Current value was greatly below the fums for
which they were ifluedi The billets were to be
taken in payment for the lands at their nominal
value; and thefe lands were called, and indeed
continue to be known by the name of, depre*
ciation lands. The affembly alfo fet afide another
tract of land, to the north of thofe I have juft
named, called donation lands, becaufe they were
F 2 to 6s
were to be given as a reward to the officers and
foldiers of the militia of Pennfylvania, in certain
portions, according to their rank. It was not,
however, till 1785, that thefe lands were actually put up to fale ; and then they were put up
fucceffively, in various parcels, at different prices,-
and on different conditions. The acquifitions'
made from the Indians in 1788 were, by the nature of the lands, divided into two claffes—thofe
to the weft of the Allegany mountains were"
offered to fale for ten pounds for a hundred acres;
thofe to the east of the mountains, being inferior
in quality, for three pounds ten fhillings.
The quantity of lands offered to fale, and the
fcarcity or plenty of money, taken relatively,
caufed the price the affembly of Pennfylvania
put upon the land and even the conditions of
fale to fluctuate, independently of the quality of
the land. Lots at one time amounted only to
two hundred acres, while a prohibition existed to
demand a warrant for more than two fuch lots;
afterwards lots were extended to a thoufand acres,
without any restriction on the number that an
individual might acquire. The price has varied,
from fourteen dollars for. an hundred acres to
'twenty-fix and fifty-three. In certain purchafes,
the billets of the ftate were received in payment •
in others, and particularly fince the year  1793,
they were not fo. The laft fales to the north of
the Ohio, and to the weft of the Allegany Mountains, were clogged with a condition, that the
purchafer fhould clear the land, and enclofe and
cultivate it, in the1 proportion of one acre for a
iiuridred; erect a dwelling-houfe, and eftablifls a
family, who fhould refide five fucceeding years
there; and the quantity to be purchafed by an
individual was restricted to four hundred acres.
If, on fpots of the vaft tracts of lands bought of
the Indians, there happened to be inhabitants,
the law gave them the option of purchafing the
lots on which they dwelt. & Vtfo
It was not till 1792,- that the ftate concluded
the purchafe of all the lands within its boundaries. In 1786, the,ftate purchafed the country
extending from the Mountains of Allegany to the
Ohio, reaching as far as the forty-firft degree. It
ftill remained to acquire the lands on its northern
boundary; and that purchafe was concluded in
In 1794, the legiflature finding that immenfe
portions of the public lands had been fold without their precife boundaries being defcribed, and
that the lands which remained in the hands*'of
the ftate were not accurately known, fufpended
the fales. And this law reflects great honour on
F 3 the
the affembly of Pennfylvania ; becaufe it gua~
rantees individuals from the injury which the
avidity for the acquifition of land made too common ; becaufe the uncertainty of the bounds of
the lands that remained undifpofed of, often gave
an opportunity of felling the lands of the ftate
twice, and thereby increafed its revenue; and it
is known, that the legiflatures of the other ftates
have not acted with the fame delicacy in the
fame circumftances.
Although the laws of Pennfylvania reflecting
the fale cf lands have been in general framed
with equity and wifdom, ahufes relative to that
fubjeS have neverthclefs tJeen great and numerous, perhaps indeed more fo than in any of the
other ftates, on account of the immenfe quantity
of lands on fale. Speculations on the fales of land
bought from the public afford a fubject of gaming, common in almost all the ftates. The wealth
and rapacity of many of the inhabitants of Philadelphia inflamed this diforder in a particular
manner in this ftate. Men of fortune and in-
fluence, acquainted with the proceedings of Congrefs for the payment of the paper currency, con-
fpired to diminifh the value of that paper, and •
afterwards bought it up and gave it in payment,
for public lands, at a profit of ten hundred and
fometimes THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, Sec.     7 I
sometimes thirty hundred per cent. The depreciation and the donation lands were fertile subjects
of their fpeculation.
The titles of individuals to lands bought from
the public, are more fecure in Pennfylvania than
in any other of the ftates, both becaufe the firft
purchafes have been carefully recognifed, and becaufe the land-office has developed all that relates
to the titles to the public lands, with a degree of
care, and a fpirit of equity, no .where elfe to be
Complaints have been made within thefe laft
two or three years, that the affairs of the land-
office are not conducted with fo much attention
and regularity as formerly; but the members of
the legiflature have never been reproached, as
fome other of the ftates have been, for laws relative to the fale of lands and their confequent mif-
In the courfe of my journal, I have fpoken of
difputes that long exifted between the ftates of
Pennfylvania and Connecticut, concerning the
property of confiderable tracts of land on the
Sufquehannah, between Wilkfbarre and Tioga.
Thefe lands were finally adjudged to the ftate of
Pennfylvania ; and all appeal prohibited the ftate
of Connecticut. But thefe lands are. filled with
inhabitants who hold them by titles from Con-
F 4 necticut,
necticut, either by purchafe, or .limply by pof-
.feffion ; notwithstanding which they are fold like
the other public lands by the ftate of Pennfylvania.   Among the perfons who hold thefe lands
from Connecticut, many acquired them regularly,
have been long in poffeffion, and,   by the fums
given for them, and the labour expended on them,
have made good their title, at leaft in equity ;
but a much greater number hold, thefe lands by
lefs favourable titles.    For three years paft, the
legiflature of Pennfylvania has been backward to
execute- the judgments of the courts,  ejecting .
the poffeffors of thefe lands;  and every day the
number of ufurpations augments; ancient claims
are multiplied; till the judgments of the courts
can no longer be enforced without military aid.
In the'kit feffion, the houfe of reprefentatives
paffed a vote, authorifing the governor to employ
the militia in that fervice; but the fenate negatived the propofition.    The motives of their negative are not very apparent, fince, in the end,
this measure muft be adopted ; and although, no
doubt, it will create many difcontents, yet, carried into execution with the juftice and moderation from which the legiflature-will not depart,
•it will remove a leaven that continually affects
The difputes in that quarter are not the only
difputes of the kind that have disturbed Pennsylvania. There are others on the borders of the
Ohio, which may occasion confiderable diforders,
without the prudent and timely interference of
the legiflature. In 1792, the ftate of Pennfylvania paffed a law, to put up to fale the lands to
the north-weft of the Ohio, in confequence of
which #iey were divided into lots of four hundred acres. Patents neceffary to give a title to
thefe lots, were to be obtained in two different
ways;—firft, by an engagement to fettle immediately on the lot—and in this manner many
poor families acquired lots ; and fecondly, by an
obligation to clear eight acres of the lot in two
years; and many lots were bought by fpecula-
tors on thefe laft terms. The price of the lot
was eighty dollars in both cafes. In the firft,
it was to be paid in ten years, with intereft, at
the rate of fix per cent, after the firft year; in
the fecond, it was to be paid within twro years.
In default of clearing eight acres within two
years, the purchafers on thofe terms forfeited
their title, and their lots were declared vacant,
except in the cafe where the Indians, who were
not in ansity with the United States, prevented
the clearing of the lands. The majority of fpe-
culators who bought lots on thefe terms did not
• clear the lands; and three thoufand poor families 74
lies eftablifhed themfelves at different periods
upon thefe lands which the law had declared
vacant. The fpeculators, availing themfelves of
the war which took place with the Indians, although no incursions were made on the lands in
question, at prefent affert their right to them,
and fue for the ejectment of the poor families
who took poffefiion on the faith of the law.
Thefe poor people have come to a resolution to
maintain the poffefiion by force. This is in itfelf
an important circumftance; and I fpeak of it be-
fide, as a 'proof of the opinion I have frequently
given in this journal, that the increafe of the population in the United States renders it every day
more difficult to the fpeculators in land to pre-
ferve their titles to the immenfe tracts they pof-
fefs, without clearing and cultivating them.
There is no ftate in the union that has fo extenfive a commerce as that of Pennfylvania.
This ftate furnifhes productions for exportation in
greater abundance than any other; and its exports, moreover, part of the productions of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Jerfey, and New
York. There are, however, fome of the productions of Pennfylvania which   a;re   exported
through Baltimore, by the Sufquehannah; but
the canal that will unite the Chefapeak and the
Delaware, and which cannot fail to be com-
pleated^ will restore that commerce to Philadelphia, and with it a" great portion of the produce of the eaft part of Maryland.
The exportation of Philadelphia, which is the
only port of this ftate, derived from Pennfylvania
and the adjoining ftates, are—charcoal, potafh,
beer, cyder, fait-meat and fifh, butter, cheefe,
Indian corn, flour made from Indian corn, wheat
flour, bifcuits, tallow, candles, linfeed, linfeed
oil, foap, potatoes, timber for building, ftaves,
hides, the fkins of deers and beavers, bark, and f
pigs of iron.
Moft of thefe articles are brought to Philadelphia, down the Delaware, or by land-carriage.
There are very few brought down the Sufquehannah ; for the fettlements on its banks are very
recent, and confume nearly the whole of their
produce;; but when that country, and the lands
lying behind it, are more generally inhabited and
cultivated, that large river, freed from obftacles
which at prefent injure its navigation, will greatly
increafe the commerce of Philadelphia; and there
is no doubt this important change will fpeedily
ibe effected.     34||
Tht produce of the country, however, forms
a very
a very fmall part of the exportation of Philadelphia; which, trading with the whole world, reexports, in immenfe quantities, the produce and
merchandize of foreign countries.
The following is a table of the amount of the
exports from Philadelphia, for the years 179**
lfQ%, 1793, 1794, 1795, and 1796,
-— 3,436,092/
— 3,820,6*52.
— 6,958,330.
— 6,643,890.
I fcarcely think it neceffary to repeat, that the
immenfe increafe in the value of the exportation
is principally owing to the inereafedV value of the
articles; and to the war in Europe, which has
caufed a much greater portion of the productions
of the colonies to be pafs through America, than
The difference in the value of the barrels of
flour, one of the principal articles of the exportation of Philadelphia during the laft fix years,
will fhew how fallacious it is to judge of the
quantity of the article exported by the amount
of its value.    The price of the barrel of fiuper-
find flour in 1790, was fix dollars twelve-thirteenths; in 1791, five-dollars two-thirteenths 5
in 1792, five dollars two-thirteenths; in 1793,
fix dollars two-thirteenths; in 1794, fix dollars
ten thirteenths; in 1795, twelve dollars ; and in
1796, ten dollars. The price of the fecond flour
is two fhillings or half a crown lefs per barrel.
It is to be obferved, that the price of the
fuperfine flour varied in the fame year as much
as two and three dollars. I have given the medium price of the year.
Philadelphia, which in 1796 exported one hundred and ninety-five thoufand one hundred and
fifty-feven barrels of flour, (that is to fay, nearly
the fourth part of the exportation of the whole
union) ; exported two hundred and ninety-four
thoufand and eleven barrels, in 1795 ; two hundred and ninety-nine thoufand two hundred and
eightyrfeven barrels, in 1794 ; four hundred and
fixteen thoufand fix hundred and twenty-one
barrels, in 1793 : four hundred and thirty-three
thoufand nine hundred and fixty-eight barrels,
in 1792; three hundred and fifteen thoufand
feven hundred and eighty-five barrels, in 179
Thefe were barrels of fuperfine flour; the exportation of the fecond flour never exceeded five
thoufand barrels; in 1796, trie exportation of
fecond flour amounted only to one thoufand feven
Kill hundred
v m
hundred and ninety-eight barrels. I have takeri
thefe details from the books of the furveyor.
In 1765, the exportation of fuperfine flour was}
one hundred and forty-eight thoufand eight hundred and eighty-feven barrels; two hundred ana
fifty-two thoufand feven hundred and fourty-four
barrels, in 1771 > two hundred and eighty-four
thoufand eight hundred and feventy-two barrels*
in 1772; two hundred and fixty-five thoufand
nine hundred and fixty-feven barrels, in 1773;
two hundred and one thoufand three hundred and
five barrels, in 1784; one hundred and ninety-
three thoufand feven hundred and twenty barrels^
in 1787 i-*—ftotn which ftatement it will be feen,
that the exportation of flour was not greatly increafed during twenty-two years, The exporta*
tion of wheat has even greatly diminifhed, owing
to the number of mills erected in Pennfylvania
and the neighbouring ftates, and there has been
no material increafe of the exportation of Indian-
corn or bifcuits, bringing it down even to the twd
laft years.
To give a more compleatidea of the commerce
of Philadelphia, I will here fubjoin a table of the
principal articles, both foreign and the produce
of the country, of its exportation in 1796, and
the different ports to which they were configned.
This ftatement is taken from the cuftom-houfe
books. I would gladly have given the computed
value of every article; but that would have required the examination of a multitude of entries,
and more time than could be fpared by the per-
fbft to whom I am indebted for thefe details.
Table of the principal Articles exported from Phlla*
delphia in 1796.
Articles df Merchandize.
Charcoal -
Beer, cyder, and porter,
in barrels      -        S
Ditto, in bottles
Bifcuit     -
f ditto
[fmall ditto
Bricks      -        *     .  -:
Cheefe     -        -        -
Candles    -
Hams       -
Rye flour
Flour of Indian-corn  -
Potatoes   -
Bice         -
Linfeed SO                                 TRAVELS
Articles of Merchandize
Linfeed oil
Train oil - .
Spermaceti oil   -
Furs   •      -
value in
dollars 47,713
Tobacco   -
Timber    -
Staves, heads of barre
value in
.      100,909
ditto .
Wrought iron and fteel
value in
dollars 36,240
Sundry merchandize
value in
dol.    116,086
Spirituous liquors
Salt          -     '  -
Bohea tea
Fine green tea
Common ditto ditto
Ditto in bottles
Names of the Places to which the Articles exported
from Philadelphia in 1796 were configned, together with the Value in Dollars of the whole
Exportation for the Year to each Place.
Sweden and St. Barthelemy - 411,408
Denmark, and the Danifh Antilles 737,287
United Provinces       - 1,824,275
Dutch Antilles - - - 184,825
England - 4,109,011
Ireland 236,544
Englifh Antilles - 760,274
Englifh Colonies in North America 49,380
Gibraltar - 33,365
Newfoundland - - - 21,505
Hamburg, Bremen, and the Hanfeatic
Cities - 2,981,232
France     ----- 913,880
French Antilles - 3,250,584
Iflands of France and of Bourbon 20,967
Spain      - 66,974
Spanifh Antilles - - - Q 16,985
Florida and Louifiana -        - 280,651
Portugal -        -        -        - 12,892
Fayal      - 14,070
Madeira -        -        - 111,528
Teneriffe .        -        - 861
Vol. IV. G Ports
MB 82
Ports of Italy
Eaft Indies
Brought forward 16,943,498"
- - 42,932
The following is a ftatement of the duties
paid at the. cultbm-houfe of Philadelphia, during
five years preceding the date of the table.
1791,—   780,141 dollars.
1792,—1,139,613 ditto.
1793,—1,928,052 ditto.
1794,—2,001,226 ditto.
1795,—2,961,204 ditto.
And for the two firft)
c M796,—1,886,691 ditto,
quarters of )
This ftatement will not give a perfect idea of
the value of the importations, becaufe the duties
vary in every fpecies of merchandize; but when
we find in the report of the fecretary of the treasury of the United States, that the total receipt
of the duties on tonnage, and the taxes on importation and exportation, for the year 1795,
amounted to five million fix hundred and feventy-
nine thoufand four hundred and eighteen dollars; THE UNITED STATES, CANADA^ &C.
and fee that thofe of the port of Philadelphia
alone, for the fame year, amounted to two million nine hundred and fixty-one thoufand two
hundred and four dollars, an idea may be formed
of the immenfe fhare Philadelphia has in the commerce of the United States.
The following is a ftatement of the veffels that
arrived at, and failed from the port of Philadelphia, for the laft year—1796.
Arrived at Philadelphia.
Sailed from
Veffels of three mails
The number of veffels that arrived at Philadelphia in 1795, was lefs by fifty than in 1796;
but the number that failed from that port in
I.795, was more by fixty-fix. This difference
was owing to the capture of American veffels by
privateers from the Weft India Iflands.
In 1788, the veffels that arrived at Philadelphia
were no more than fix hundred and fifty-three,
of which only ninety-three-were veffels of three
G2 The
I 84
The articles of importation at Philadelphia are
fpread, not only through Pennfylvania, and the
ftates which furnifh the articles of its exportation,
but alfo through Kentucky, the back fettlements
cf Virginia, and North Carolina, although thefe
countries do not fend any of their produce to
Philadelphia. I refer my reader to what I have
faid on this fubiect in the account of my journey
through the Southern States*
Freights at Philadelphia are from eighteen to
twenty-two dollars per ton, for moft of the articles fent to Europe. They are from one to two
dollars higher for coffee, fugar, and cotton.
Freights to India are from twenty-two to forty-
four dollars, becaufe the cargo is chiefly fpecie ;
from India, they arc from eighty-fix to eighty-
eight dollars. Freights to and from the Ifle of
France are forty dollars. Thefe are the prices of
the current year; and vary as freights are more
or lefs plentiful. At prefent they are from two
to three per cent higher than they were three
years fince, becaufe there has been a decreafe in
the Ihipping. I fhall conclude what I have to
fay relative to the commerce of Philadelphia, by
the following table of the rate of infurance at
that port for the years 1795, 179®, and 1797-
Rate of Infurance, in the Port of Philadelphia, for the Tears 1
1796, and  1797.
•s 0 s-S,
En °
>- 0
O   2.2-
1 I
"  3' J#
' ° 2. ^
0 H
&k 0
? ^
- ;
& — 3
1     *
1" ?f
3 o_
To Hamburg, Bre
men,   and   other
neutral Ports, not
being in the Bal
tic, or the Medi-
terranean j alio to
Holland    ....
4.   to
4a to
Englifh Ports in the
Channel   ....
to   to \l\
4   to
'3a t0
Ditto weftern Ports,
on the Route to
the N.oi Ireland.
4   t0
4l  3i tp
Ports in the Sourh-
Eaft- of Ireland   .
if to
3 a to
Ditto W. and N. on
the route to North
l\ to   8
4   to
3a to
French Ports in tht
Atlantic   ....
6   to   7|
5   to
3l    ■
?a to    3|
Ditto in the Medi
terranean . . . .
7* to 10
4.   to
6   to
Portuguefe and Spa-
nifli Ports, in tht
Atlantic   ....
75 to 10
3§ to
3 a to
3   to
if to   3
Ifles of France and
Bourbon   ....
y\ to 10
5   to
3a t0   4
Cape of Good Hope
4   to
7| to 10
4a to
4   to
Canton, in China .
4   to   4f
Calcutta io   to 15
4   to   4f
Jamaica 15   to 20
3f to
3| to
Other Englifh Ports
in the Weft-India
10    to 15
3   to
3   to
French Ports in the
Weft Indies . . .   7$
4   to
5   to
t\ to   3
Neutral Ports in the
Weft Indies. .  .
5    to   6
3   to
3   to
3   tp
*f to   3
3    to
% '
New Orleans   . . .
4   to
3 a to
Nova Scotia .  . . .
2     tO     li
Ports of" the United
States; according
to their diftance,
and the difficul
ties of the paflage
if to   zf
if to
if to
if to
Thefe rates of insurance are for neutral, veffels,
bound from Philadelphia, and configned only to
one port. They are calculated for the voyage out
merely, and are generally the fame for the voyage
home; except when the veffel is insured at the
fame time both going and returning, when fome
abatement is made. The rate is higher, of courfe,
wThen the veffel has to touch at feveral ports, becaufe of the additional rifk. It is higher alfo in
voyages to the Baltic, and ports of the north,
during winter ; and, for the fame reafon, in voyages to the Weft India Iflands, from the firft of
August to the first of November. It is higher
alfo for veffels which would not, on a fcmtiny,
by their papers, and the nature of their cargoes,
prove to be neutral.
Towards the end of 1793, and in 17Q4, the.
rate of infurance was higher than in 17Q5 and
1796, becaufe American veffels were at that time
captured by the Englifh* It was lowered by the
fubfequent treaty with England; and has again
rifen, fince the French in their turn captured
American veffels ; and particularly in voyages to
the Weft Indies, becaufe captures there are frequent, and are authorifed by the governments
of the feveral iflands, while it is believed that the.
few American veffels captured by the French in
European feas, are taken without the authority
of the French Government.
The rate of infurance is nearly the fame in
the different ports of the United States.
The building of a veffel at Philadelphia colts,
according to its tonnage, from eighteen to twenty-
two dollars per ton at the time fhe is launched.
The price is increafed in proportion as there is
more holm-oak or cedar put into the veffel. The
fails and rigging of a veffel of three hundred tons
will cost about forty dollars per ton. Thefe
prices, however, have rifen thirty per cent within
the laft three years. It is univerfally acknowledged, that veffels built at Philadelphia are better than thofe of any other port of the United
States. They are more found, better finifhed, and
the ornaments are handfomer; and they will laft,
upon an average, from four to five years longer
than the veffels of the north. Most of the large
veffels built at Philadelphia have their principal
timber of holm-oak.
The quality of flour, pot-ails, and in fact of
all articles defigned for exportation, is here more
carefully attended to than at any other port. In
a word, although Philadelphia is at the distance
of one hundred and fifty miles from the fea, and
the navigation of the Delaware interrupted for
one month or two months, and fometimes more,
in every year, it may be reckoned as the moft confiderable port of the United States. It contains
G,4 the
$gjjgj2&&&m. 88
the greateft number of wealthy merchants, and
affords the moft ready market for the fale of productions.
As to the manner in which commerce is conducted by the merchants of Philadelphia, what
I have to fay of the general commerce of the
United States will be applicable to it, and perhaps
in a particular manner, becaufe the commerce ot
Philadelphia is on a larger fcale, fpeculations are
more extenfive, the mode of living more extravagant, and the passion for acquiring fudden
wealth greater there than in any other of the
American markets.
There are three banks at Philadelphia; the
firft is the bank of the United States, which, by
its conftitution, is obliged to follow the feat of
government. I mall enter into fome detail on
this bank when I come to fpeak generally of the
United States. The other two are—the bank
of Pennfylvania, and that of North America.
The bank of Pennfylvania was incorporated in
1.793* by a law of the ftate. Its capital is three
millions of dollars, divided into feven thoufand
five hundred fhares of four hundred dollars each.
The fhares were bought by individuals, or companies, the ftate not referving any fhare, or the
power of acquiring any, except by fubfcription in
the manner of individuals. This bank receives
depofits; and difcounts at one-half per cent per
month. It cannot fell any thing but the public
funds, or effects that have fallen into its hands for
.advances. It cannot buy any thing but gold or
filver in bullion; or the fhares of its own corporation, which it muft never buy below par,
nor in a greater quantity than fifty at a time.
It cannot lend to the government of the United
States more than fifty thoufand dollars. No
greater loan can be made but in confequence of
an exprefs law. It cannot circulate, either by its
own notes, or by difcount, or otherwife, more
than three millions of dollars.
The law incorporating this bank, enjoins all
the receipts of the ftate to be depofited in it. Of
twenty-five directors that form its adminiftration,
fix are nominated by the legiflature, and'the other
nineteen by the proprietors of its stock. Eleven
go out annually by rotation. A return of the
general fituation of the bank is to be made an-
nually to the legiflature, to be fubmitted to its
examination ; but the legiflature cannot demand
an infpection of the accounts of individuals; and
the little dependence this bank has on the government, and.the fidelity of its tranfactions,
have placed it high in the public confidence.   Its
i r* e°
dividends are from eight to nine per cent, although a confiderable furplus is prudently accumulated. Shares in this bank bear at prefent a
premium of twenty-five and thirty per cent.
The bank of North America is of an older
date, the act under which it was incorporated
having paffed in 1 787. It was at firft eftablifhed
in 1782, but was diffolved in 1784. This bank
may extend its capital to two millions of dollars ;
and has the privilege of making laws, by a court
of its own proprietors and its twelve directors, for
its adminiftration. But it is bound by the fame
rules in its fales and purchafes as the bank of
Pennfylvania. As the legiflature, however, has
placed no other restriction on this bank, and it
is ftill more independent of the government than
the Bank of Pennfylvania, its character is very
great. It is called The Quakers. Bank, becaufe
the greater part of its original fubfcribers were
Quakers; its directors are in general of the fame
body; and it is the bank at which thofe people
generally keep their calls. Its dividends are from
feven to eight per cent. The price of original
fhares, which was a hundred dollars for each,
bears a premium of forty-five per cent; and it is
very feldom that a fhare is to be fold. In 1791/
this bank lent one hundred and fixty thoufand
dollars to the state of Pennfylvania, on the fecu-
rity of its public funds, and for one year only;
the fum was punctually repaid.
Philadelphia is not only the fineft city of the
United States, but may indeed be deemed one of
the moft beautiful cities in the world. It certainly is not ornamented with noble and antique
edifices, like many of the cities of Europe; nor
are the public buildings, with the exception of
the ftate-houfe, remarkable either for the beauty
of their architecture or their magnitude; but the
hqufes are all built of fine brick, and have a
pleafing appearance of fimplicity and neatnefs.
Many of them are decorated at their bafe, and
round their windows, with a white marble lightly
veined, which is found a few miles from the city,
near the Schuylkill, and have flights of fteps of
the fame marble. The streets are wide, and are
generally planted with trees, and have very commodious pavements. The fountains that fupply
the city with water are in great numbers, and indeed exceed any thing of that nature in Europe.
We have nothing to regret here but the want of
noble fquares; nor any confiderable nuifance to
complain of but the burial places, v/hich are often
in the moft crowded parts of the city.
i!i i
This nuifance is indeed a very ferious evil; and
it cannot be doubted, is the caufe of much ficknefs in a city, where the heat of the fummer is
fo great for three months as at Philadelphia. It
has been in agitation to prohibit burial places in
the city; but the matter has never been treated
with the decifion that the importance of the fubject requires.
The narrownefs of the quays is another caufe
of the unhealthinefs of this city, and is one which
it will be more difficult to remove than the former. This defect cannot be remedied, but at the
expence of an entire ftreet extending along the
river and crowded with the counting-houfes and
warehoufes of the merchants. This street is not
to be found in the plan traced by Penn, which was
exactly followed as far as it extended. But the
city is increafed on the borders of the Delaware,
both to the right and left.   The buildings at firft
extended bey
ond th
ground which he marked
out between the Delaware and the Schuylkill;
but the increafe of commerce gave a new direction to buildings of late years; fo that the city,
although large, does not occupy half the ground
between the two rivers, and it is not probable
that it
will extend farther towards the Schuylkill.
The prefent population of Philadelphia amounts
to feventy thoufand inhabitants.
I fhall endeavour to avoid the repeating of cir-
cumftances relative to this city that are known to
every one. Its prifons are the only public efta-
blifhments which are fuperior to the fame kind
in France and England; its hofpitals, libraries,
colleges, literary and philofophical focieties, are
inferior to thofe of the old world, and indeed
muft long continue to be fo ; but if we confider
how few years have palled fmce this city was
founded, and how still fhorter the fpace of time
is fince Pennfylvania, with the other ftates, became free, arid was therefore able to employ all
its refources, we fhall be furprifed at the degree
of improvement we find in Philadelphia; and it
ought not to be concealed, that the difpofition of
the inhabitants tends to facilitate the progrefs of
the arts and fciences; which, however, with every
advantage, demand time to bring them to perfection. Neither ought it to be overlooked, that
the Quakers are, in every part of the ftate, the
moft fteady and zealous promoters of every plan
for the public happinefs. Their influence at Philadelphia is greater than in other parts, becaufe of
their numbers. They are calculated to amount
from one thoufand fix hundred to one thoufand
feven hundreol families in that city.
The majority of the governors of the hofpital
of Pennfylvania are Quakers.    The economy of
I! 94
this hofpital is not, however, fo perfect as we
fhould expect. The patients are too much mingled together. There are fix of the phyficians of
Philadelphia who attend the hofpital gratuitoufty.
Two of thefe attend together, and make but two
visits in the week. They take this office by turns,
two being changed every two months. There are
two pupils rending in the houfe, who fee the pre-
fcriptions administered ; and it is very feldom that
any of the fick have the aid of the phyficians,
except on the vifiting days. I fpeak of poor patients, who are admitted gratis ; for the funds of
this hofpital are fo fmall, that many of the parents are obliged to pay the phyfician, and thefe
the phyficians vifit when fent for.
In 1775, the hofpital received feventy patients
gratis; but, although its revenues are not dimi-
nifhed fince that period, the increafe of the price
of provifions, and of the wages of t