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Supplement to the Act entituled • An Act to enable the owners and Possessors of the Meadow, Marsh and Cripple on Red Lyon Creek, in New Castle County, to keep the Banks, Daws, Sluices, and Flood.gates in repair, and to raise a Fund to defray the Expence thereof."
Eodem Die, P. M.
A Committee of Assembly delivered the Governor the following Written Message on the subject of the County Rate and Levy
“ May it please your Honor,
“We return your Honor 'thanks, for so readily assigning your Reasons for refusing your assent to the Bill entituledAn Act for raising County Rates and Levies ; We have taken them into our Serious Consideration, and beg leave to make the following obser. vations thereon :
“Your honor is pleased to say that the present Bill is a total Subversion of the mode of Taxation now used, and which has been long found beneficial to the People.' We answer, that it appears to us only to take away the Power of the Justices of the Peace and the Grand Jury of taxing those who do not choose them; and that not only the mode of taxation, but also the very words and Clauses of the Present Law for raising County rates and Levies, are retained in the Bill now under consideration, and the principal difference between them is a change of some of the Persons who compose the Levy. Courts as now Constituted. According to the English Constitution, no person whatsoever has a right to take away the property of another without his consent, given in person or by his representative.
« The present Law therefore, in this appears to be unconstitutional, and on experience we know it to be injurious to the l'eople.
“ Your Honor is pleased to say, "That the Sheriff is chosen by the people, and he returns the Grand Jury.' This we agree is the fact, but when your honor is informed that the accounts of the Sheriffs annually exhibitted to the Levy Courts generally amount to a considerable sum, We do not apprehend your Honor will think it Reasonable or just, that he should have thin nomination of the Persons who are to audit and allow them; and if the Recommendation of the Justices of the Peace of the County should be thought the only way for Gentlemen elected Candidates for the Sheriff's office to obtain the Commission, it is more than probable that they will fix upon the man who may be most pliant to their Will.
“ You think it strange, that Gentlemen of Property when put into the Commission of the Peace should become enemies to their
Country.' We humbly conceive there is nothing in the Present Bill which imports any such declaration ; it only implies that it is thought urconstitutional and unsafe, that officers appointed solely by the Crown during pleasure, should have the power of taxing the Subject.
"We would further remark, that tho' men of Property may have been put into the Commission of the Peace, (which has not always been the case,) yet if they should be of an arbitrary disposition, want abilities or integrity, they might under the Law now in force, be very oppressive the People. Besides, the Assessors and Grand jurors, not being on an equallity with the Justices of the Peace in rank or power, (their power in these Counties being much greater than that of the Justices of the Peace in England, or any other of His Majesty's Dominions,) are known to have little influence in the Levy Courts, and many of them, through fear of giving offence, too easily assent to what the Magistrates propose.
"You are pleased to say, 'that if by the change of Circumstances in the Country, the Magistrates have got the superiority in the Levy Courts, that may be amended,' for which We are much obliged to your Honor; but we are of opinion, the most effectual remedy is the present Bill, and if your Honor proposes any alteration or amendment to any particular provision therein, or part thereof, we do assure your Honor We will receive the same with the greatest deference, and pay all the Regard to it in our power consistent with our duty to our constituents. “The Law which is repealed by the present Bill now before you,' your Honor says, 'has been in use for thirty years, and is a good one. In answer, we would observe, that an Act of Assembly founded on the Principle of this present Bill, and nearly similar to it, has been in force in your Province of Pennsylvania for a much longer time, and found on experience to render the greatest satisfaction.
“ Upon the whole, We humbly beg your Honor to believe, that we have nothing in view by the present Bill (which has been petitioned for several years since, as well as now, by a very respectable number of People of this Government) but the good of our constituents, and to reduce their taxes, which in some of the Counties are now enormous; and we flatter ourselves that no Credit will be given to any insinuations to the Contrary.
“We therefore hope that your Honour will be so good as to reconsider the Bill; and that as it is only to have continuance for six Years, and no probable inconveniencies, in our opinion, can arise from it, that you will be pleased to enact it into a Law. “Signed by Order of the House.
" THOS. M'KEAN, Speaker. “ April 12th, 1773."
To which the Governor wrote the following answer, and sent the same to the House with the Bill by the Secretary, who at the same time, by the Governor's directions, returned the Red Lyon Creek Meadow Bill to the assembly, with his assent thereto. “Gentlemen :
“When I received an application from the House on Saturday last, for a conferrence upon the Bill entituled “ An Act for raising County Rates and Levies,” which I so readily assented to, I imagined the Committee would have offered some reasons in support of it; and, by pointing out to me the advantage and utility of such an Act to the Good people of this Government, have inclined me to alter the resolutions I had formerly respecting it; But, contrary to my expectation, the Conferrence desired by the House proved to be only a request that I would acquaint the Committee with my reasons for objecting to the Bill, which, with the greatest willingness, I endeavoured to do, in the most explicit manner I was Capable of ; in consequence of which, I have this day received a very long Message, containing many observations thereon. I have since carefully examined into what the House bave been pleased to call such Observations, and after the most serious consideration, I do not find any thing Contained in them that has, in the least degree, given me reason to change my opinion with regard to the Bill. I therefore return it, and cannot agree to pass it into a Law.
" RICHARD PENN. “ April 12th, 1773."
The Governor having acquainted a Committee of the Assembly who waited on him to know when and where he would be pleased to pass the Bills to which he had given his assent, that he should be ready to receive the House for that Purpose at his Lodgings in half an Hour, the Speaker and the whole House attended accordingly, and Presented twelve Bills, which the Governor enacted into Laws, Signed a Warcant for affixing the Great Seal to them, and directed the Secretary to accompany two Members of Assembly to see them Sealed and deposited in the Rolls Office. The titles of the said Laws follows in these words, Viz" :
“A Supplementary Act to an Act entituled “an Act for Limitation of actions and proving accounts against the Estates of Persons dying within this Government." "A
Supplementary Act to an act entituled 'a Supplement to an act entituled 'an Act for the better Confirmation of the Owners of Lands, &co, in their just rights and Possessions.”
“ An Act for the relief of Mark McCausland and James Adams, Languishing Prisoners in the Goal of New Castle County, and James Parey, a Languishing prisoner in the Gaol of Sussex County, with respect to the Imprisonment of their Persons."
“An Act for Continuance of a former act, entituled 'A Supplement to an act entitlued 'an Act for regulating Fences within this Government.'"
“Ad Act for vesting the Presbeterian Church and the yard or Burying Ground adjoining the same, in the Town of New Castle, and the Burying Ground at the North-east end of the said Town, in Trustees."
“ An Act to enable certain Trustees to sell Lands in the County of Kent, settled in Trust for the use of the Minister of Duck Creek Church, and for other purposes therein mentioned.”
“A Supplement to an Act entituled An Act to enable the owners and Possessors of the Marsh Meadow on the North side of Christiana River, called Brandywine Marsh, and of a Tract of Meadow, Marsh and Cripple on the South side of the said River, called Holland's Creek Marsh, and also of a Tract of Marsh Meadow near New Port, called Conrad's Cripple, to keep the Banks, Dams, and Sluices in repair, and Raise a Fund to defray the Expense thereof, so far as the same relates to the said Holland's Creek Marsh."
" An Act to enable the owners and Possessors of the Marsh Mea. dow on the North side of Christiana River, in the borough of Wilmington, to keep the Banks, drains, and Sluices in Repair."
“ An Act for Stopping Mill Creek, in Christiana Hundred, and for keeping the Dam to be erected across the same, and the Sluices to be laid therein, in Good order and Repair, and for raising a Fund to Defray the Expence thereof."
“ An Act for the stopping Muddy Branch, in little Creek hundred, in Kent County, on Delaware, and embanking, draining, and Improving the Marsh, Cripple, and Lowlands.
« An Act to repeal so much of an Act entituled "An Act for regulating and establishing Fees,' as relates to imposing a Fine of six pence on defaulting Jurors,'" and
" An Act entituled . an Act for the amendment of an Act entituled a further Supplement to the act entituled 'An Act to enable the owners and Possessors of the Meadow, Marsh and Cripple on Red Lyon Creek in New Castle County, to keep the Banks, Dams, Sluices, and Floodgates in repair, and to raise a Fund to Defray the Expence thereof.''
Before the House withdrew, the Speaker presented the Governor an Order on the Trustees of the Loan Office for £150, for which his Honor returned the House his Thanks.
At a Council held at Philadelphia, on Friday 11th Jude, 1773.
The Honourable RICHARD PENN, Esquire, Lieutenant Governor, &ca.
James Tilghman, Esqr. Upon reading and Considering a Letter from Robert Moody, Esquire, to D' William Plunkett, and one from him to Mess". Shippen or Tilghman, concerning the motions of the New England People, which are as follows:
VALLEY FIELD, June 6th, 1773.
“ One Justice Bennet, on his way from York Government to Munsey, has just now declared upon Oath that, about 25 miles this side of Wyoming, he was taken up by a party of Men, 60 or 70 in number, headed by John Dougherty, junior, all arm'd with Guns, &c., bound for the West Branch, with an Intent to build a Fort on J. Dougherty's place; they expected more men from Wyoming, and was to march this day. If you think it necessary the Sheriff should be apprised of the matter, pray do it, and advise me by return of the Bearer what step you intend to take, and I will join with you.
“I am S’r, your Humble Servant,
“ ROBT. MOODIE.”
16 Sir :
“ The inclos'd piece of Intelligence being Confirmed beyond a Doubt from different quarters, I can't refrain the freedom of letting Government know our situation, through the Hands of the Secretary.
« Although cautious of murmering, we can't help wondering at it as strange that such a number of desperadoes should so long have residence unmolested, within the limits of this respectable Province, and in the Neighborhood of so feeble and defenceless a Body of Inhabitants as we are.
“This morning we are Hurrying up to the place were the inclos'd mentions they intend to Fortify, if possible to check them a little, but some are of opinion that they mean for 'tother side of Munsey, or the unpurchased Land; if so I can't conjecture what will follow, as of the majority of the People there I have a mean opinion: in haste I beg leave to subscribe myself, “Sir, your most Obedient Humble Servant,
“ WM. PLUNKET. “Northumberland, June 7th, 1773."
The Governor concluded to write the following Letter to Dr. William Plunket, in answer thereto:
“PHILADELPHIA, the 11th June, 1773. “I have considered the intelligence you communicated in your Letter to Messrs. Shippen and Tilghman, concerning the motions of