Sunday, February 22, 2015

Early Philadelphia History

I am sitting in the Central Library that is located between Old City Hall and the Art museum.  Thought that I would take a few hours to read a bit about the early history of the area.  First book that I am looking at is An Illustrated History of Pennsylvania by Donald E. Markle.  On page 20-21 he says:

"Penn persuaded about six hundred investors to invest in his venture, and in the two years between 1682 and 1684, over fifty ships carrying four thousand immigrants sailed for the new colony of Pennsylvania.  ...."

"In 1692, due to the Glorious Revolution in England that led to the ouster of James II and the establishment of the reign of William III, Penn had his colony taken away from him.  He had been a supporter of James II during the Glorious Revolution and suspected of treason by the followers of William III   The colony was not returned until 1694, when the Crown was restored  to the English throne.  Penn, who had returned to England in 1684 in an attempt to solidify his financial holdings, returned to the colony in 1699, remaining there for a period of two years before once again returning to England"

The question that is raised in my mind here is this:  Are there records of ships that came with Penn in the  years between 1682 and 1684?

The next book that I am looking at is Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West Jersey and Delaware 1630-1707 Edited  by Albert Cook Myers, Charles Scribners Sons NY 1912:

In 1675 Fenwick brought over the initial Quaker colony in the ship Griffin, and planted Salem, the first permanent English Settlement on the east side of the Delaware. (page 180-181)

On page 189: ......trustees soon effected sales of large tracts of land to two Quaker companies in England, one in southern Yorkshire and contiguous territory and the other in London........ The second colony of two hundred persons, bearing this constitution, went over in the ship Kent in 1677, and laid the foundations of the two and settlement of Burlington, more than fifty miles up the Delaware from Salem.  The Yorkshire and London tract were located respectively north and south of the new town.

On page 190:  "Several hundred more immigrants followed those who came on the Kent and gradually extended the bounds of the two original settlements of Salem and Burlington.

Then Mr. Myers presents a treatise written by an unknown person about the settlement in the New World that is meant to entice more settlers to follow.  On page 194 there is the following points:
"16. For transportation of Passengers to West-Jersey, Ships set Sail from London generally  Once in Three Months, sometimes in Two Months:  The Master gives notice Six Weeks (or more) of his going before-hand.
17.  The Price for every Passenger, (that is to say) for men and women, Meat Drink, and Passage, with a chest is Five Pounds Sterling per Head:  Children of Twelve Years of Ag and under, Fifty Shillings per Head; Sucking children, nothing:  For Goods, Forty shillings a ton Freight, to be landed at Burlington, or elsewhere upon the Delaware-River.
18.  Sometimes ships go from Dublin, Sometimes from Hull:  Bur ir any Persons , to the number of Thirty or more in Scotland or Ireland, desiring to be taken in There, the Ship Master will take them in at Leith, Dundee, or Aberdeen on the East, and at Aire on the West of Scotland, and at Dublin or Waterford in Ireland....."

and on the same page (p271) William Penn says:  "We are now laying the foundation [the document written by William Penn is dated 1685]  of a large plain Brick House, for a Meeting House, in the Center (sixty foot long, and about forty foot broad) and hope to have it soon up, many hearts and hands at Work that will do it.  A large Meeting house 50 foot long and 38 foot broad, also going up on the front River, for an evening Meeting the work going on apace.  ..."

the footnote to this statement :

A footnote by Mr. Myers on page 271 says:  "The Friends' Meeting House in the Centre Square of the city, midway between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, where the City Hall now stands, was built of brick, in 1685-1686, and was used for a time for the more important First Day (Sunday) morning and business meetings of the society.  The location being in the midst of the forest some little distance without the town, and its two or three streets along the Delaware, the meeting was not well attended;  the Friends preferred to wait for the afternoon meeting at the Bank Meeting house, hear at hand, within the town proper; consequently, in a few years the Centre Square meeting was abandoned."

Next I am looking at a book called Philadelphia a 300-Year History which seems to be an anthology by many authors.  Editor is Russell F. Weigley.  It is a Barra Foundation Book published by W.W. Norton and Company, New York and London.
on p 11 in an article called The Founding 1681-1701 byMary Maples Dunn and Richard S. Dunn the following is found:

"Population advance through the first two decades can be traced with reasonable accuracy through tax lists and quitrent rolls for the city.  In 1693 there were 356 taxpayers in Philadelphia;  three years later there were 419.  Demographers calculate that one out of four persons were tables in colonial America, which suggests a totally population of about 2000 for the city in 1700.  This approximate figure is confirmed by two early quitrent rolls, which indicate how many building lots were patented within Philadelphia.  In 1689, 377 lots were patented on the Delaware side of the town; by 1703 the number had risen to 516.  The rent rolls show that a great many of these lots were unoccupied.  Taking into account those persons who occupied unpatented lots, and those living on the Schuylkill side of town, it  appears that Philadelphia had about 400 houses at the turn of the century. "

and on page 16:  ".....Consequently Penn's design of a center square as the hub of his community had to be abandoned.  The large Friends Meeting house which was built in 1685 at the midpoint between the rivers was dismantled in 1702.  ..."And a ink engraving probably from the mid 1800s has as its caption:  "The Friends' Bank Meeting House, Front Street north of Arch, built in 1702 with materials from the dismantled meetinghouse in Centre Square.  The author says that the engraving is from Quaker Collection, Haverford College Library.

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