Page images
[ocr errors]


Nor do the divisions, which subsequently took place uuiversal suffrage, and universal eligibility to office; between Penn and the colonists, furnish any argument they abolished imprisonment for debt; they punished against the merits of the former. For it is to be observ- falsehood with the forfeiture of denizenship; they granted, that the emigrants had formed cabals and parties ed no taxes but for a year. “We lay," said Penn, among themselves, before they complained of the pro. foundation for after ages to understand their liberty as prietary. And Penn still had the magnanimity to call men and as Christians; that they may not be brought them one of the best people.” The changes which into bondage but by their own consent, for we put the took place in the form of government, were in the main, power in the people.” These were remarkable words improvements. They chiefly resolve themselves into for a period which saw Charles II. upon the English two; a concession to the popular branch of the right of throne, and the Duke of York the heir apparent and introducing bills, a right which at first had belonged to personal friend of the writer. The economy of the the council; and on the other hand, a reservation of a colony was also as exemplary as the features of its conveto to the governor. It was natural that some portion stitution were liberal. Two hundred pounds a year of the colonists should view any change with alarm. were enough to defray all public expenses; the memThat vague dissatisfaction which belongs to human life bers of the Assembly received no more than a shilling a and human affairs, assumed the form of complaining of day for their services during the session; and that only Penn, as though he had designed to diminish the liber. for the sake of reminding them that they were the hire. ties of the colony. Is there any ground whatever for lings of the people. The country was esteemed the the complaint? The proprietary administration was poor man's paradise; or rather poverty was unknown in essentially a bad one; Penn is not responsible for those all its borders. The pleasant villages on the eastern evils, which lay in the very nature of the organization, side of the Delaware, welcomed the virtuous exile with which had enabled him to accomplish so much good. a homely but cordial hospitality; and there was so little When the Assembly of Pennsylvania transmitted to him of “human nature" in these adventurers, that they a remonstrance about quit-rents, and alleged that by his were unequivocally and magnanimously tolerant, when artifices the several charters granted at the first settling all the rest of the human family was engaged in reliof the colony had been defeated, it is evident, that the gious persecutions. payment of the quit-rents was the main grievance, for But 'not satisfied with planting West Jersey, Penn, he that candidly examines the changes in the charters, fortunately for mankind, persevered in his entreaties the tenor of them, and the manner in which they were in England, till at length he wrested from a voluptuous made, must acquit Penn of all unwarrantable interfe. despot, the broad domain of Pennsylvania. It was then rence, and all disposition to check the growth of the lid that his character was put to the test, for he was made berties of the State.

sole proprietor of the territory of the commonwealth, We might finally notice the attack upon Penn, in with ample and almost irresponsible supremacy. It consequence of his advising King James to practice tole. was then that he stood forth in the eye of the world and

It is contended, that for the king' to bave al- of all ages as a legislator; unrestrained by ancient usage; lowed liberty of conscience was an act of encroaching untrammelled by the influence of established abuses; power; that it was tyranny and usurpation in a British having free course for the exercise of all his mind, and king to have favoured liberty of conscience; and that the display of his principles. Penn was no better than guilty of treasonable designs Penn was at that time in the vigour of manhood He in attempting to procure the release of more than a thou was well informed, if not learned. His early years bad sand, who had been imprisoned for the sin of being the benefit of a careful education; he had subsequently Quakers. As we write, we call to mind the splendid travelled over many parts of Europe; he had lived in an speech of Burke at Bristol, perhaps the noblest which age of revolutions, so that his own experience and the he ever uttered, where he was compelled to make his recollections of those around him were full of variety apology to the English nation for having taken a part and interest; a king dethroned and executed; the an. in repealing a bill of atrocious severity against the Roman cient parliament reformed; the new parliament abolishCatholics. The same men who censured Burke, com- ed; the stern tyranny of the protectorate; the libertine plain of Penn, as the advocate of tolerance. He should despotism of the reformation; these were the occurrenhave seen, say they, that tolerance meant Popery. He ces with which his years were conversant; the wrecks should have snuffed the idolatry of Rome in the breeze. of the feudal system were floating on the stream of In the same spirit, Chalmers derides the Quakers for time before his eyes; the constitutions and the practical emigrating, inasmuch as they "suffered more from administration of the most cultivated European counwhat they dreaded than , from what they felt.” We tries were familiar to him; the voice of antiquity had have before us the copy of the Political Annals which reached him in the quiet of studious seclusion. Abore once belonged to the celebrated Ebeling; the honest all; besides these opportunities of acquiring the know. chronicler makes upon this passage a wise annotation: ledge which he needed, he had confidence in himself; Than what they fell: to be whipped, imprisoned, nay and he had also had a just consciousness of his high reto be, burnt alive, certainly may be felt!!!. And most sponsibility as the founder of a State, " As my under. men will agree with the learned commentator, and will standing,” he remarks, "and my inclination have been hesitate before they condemn Penn for striving to stem much directed to observe and reprove mischiefs in gothe vehemence of public fury and the delirium of fanatic vernment, so it is now put in my power to settle one. hatred.

For the matters of liberty and privilege I purpose that Even at this moment, while we are writing, many which is extraordinary; and leave myself and succescitizens of a large and most respectable commonwealth sors no power of doing mischief, that the will of one are engaged in commemorating the one hundred and man may not hinder the good of a whole country. A fiftieth anniversary of the landing of William Penn at government is free to the people under it, wherr the New Castle; they are communing together upon his laws rule and the people are a party to those laws." virtues, and drawing from the recesses of history, the And in this view, in an age when despotism was on the memorials of his life and policy.

advance, he determined, according to his own sublime The first effort of Penn in colonial legislation was expressions, to set an example to the nations; adding, effected in West New Jersey. A small knot of emi- there may be room in America, though not in Europe, grant husbandmen established themselves there under for such a holy experiment. his auspices; and in the spirit of philanthropy and jus. Need we dwell on the liberal features of his constitu. tice, agreed upon the assertion of civil and religious li- tion? Or the wisdom and humanity of his laws? How berty as the basis of their government. No men on admirable his regulations to encourage industry, to earth, say they, have power to rule over men's consciences protect commerce, to improve the discipline of pris in matters of religion. They introduced voting by ballot, sons: to establish the absolute equality of all religious




sects by the strongest guaranties of constitutional possessing the Schuylkill, because it stretched so far law.

into the interior, and might one day be a channel of in. This is the great glory that makes the name of Penn ternal commerce. What would he say, if he could now conspicuous on the pages of universal history, and return to earth and behold the territory which he chermarks him out for one among the few, to whom immor. ished? He would see the Delaware united with the tal honour will be paid through all succeeding genera- Hudson, and with the waters of New York harbour; the tions: he was the first who successfully established the Schuylkill and the Susquehanna, both feeding canals unqualified spirit of religious liberty in America. He along their banks, and both united; the heights of the does not indecd deserve the honor of having originated Alleghanies conquered by a rail road, that is to bear the the design; but he was the first who succeeded in prac. burdens of commerce with rapidity anı! security, by the tice. It had already been attempted by a Roman Cath. side of the precipices and the mountain waterfalls; and olic nobleman in Maryland; but the views of Lord Bal- finally, to the west of the Apalachian chain, he would timore were subverted by the bitterand ambitious intol. observe the busy activity of steamboats, and the im. erance of the Protestants, whom his own moderation had mense rafts of floating forests upon rivers which in his freely admitted into his settlements. The same object day murmured through the secret places of the wilderhad again been attempted by a Protestant English ness without a name. · He had pitched for his city upon philosopher, whom Providence had called forth to legis. a site, which seemed to him favourable beyond that of late for Carolina; but then the bigotry of the lords any town which he had ever seen. He describes with proprietaries occasioned the greatest abuses, and in delight, the lofty banks covered with stately pines; the spite of the catholicism of Locke, the settlers were ha- bruad plain stretching away from river to river, and rassed by grevious invasions of their stipulated liberties offering ample room, not for dwellings and warehouses What Locke and Baltimore had failed to accomplish, only, but also for gardens and orchards. What if he Penn was enabled to perfect. He and the people of could now behold those gardens covered with stately his colony were true to that charity which rested upon buildings, the streets extending from stream to stream; justice, and gave the promise of peaceful abundance. and the falls of the Schuylkill, diffusing by the aid of

But let us hear the language of Penn himself, simple machinery, the blessings of pure water in abun.

"We must give the liberty we ask: and we cannot dance to every corner of the city, that is happy in its be false to our principles, though to relieve our general prosperity, and tranquil from the force of pubselves.” And again

lic sentiment and the effusion of public virtue? “ We should have none suffer for a truly sober and The consideration of the great results which have conscientious dissent on any hand.” And in his admi- been accomplished in the short space of one hundred rable letter to Tillotson,

and fifty years, is full of solemn admonition to the living “I abhor two principles in religion, and pity those generation, which is necessarily the guardian, to hold that own them. The first is obedience upon authority in trust for coming ages, the wisdom, the comfort, and without conviction: and the other, the destroying them the liberties which have been accumulated by the past. that differ from me for God's sake. Such a religion is The fathers were emigrants; were still subject to a fowithout judgment, though not without teeth.” reign jurisdiction; were few in number; and were sum

And whence could Penn have directed his philan. moned to contend with the savage strength of unsub. thropic and truly Christian liberality? From the Uni-dued nature. We stand upon vantage ground. ---Can versity of Oxford, to which he resorted for his educa- virtue be developed only in the contest with adversity? tion!--He had been indignantly expelled from it for and will patriotism be endangered by the brilliancy of non-conformity.-- From the venerable bishops of Eng- our prosperity? land?—They had 'caused him imprisonment in the Tower of London for his liberality, and had threatened

From the Philadelphia Gazette. to make his prison his grave. -- From the relics of the partizans of Cromwell?–His was bitter fanaticism,

PROCEEDINGS OF COUNCILS. which alone dared to oppose that usurper. - From the

Thursday Evening, Aug. 8, 1833. restoreds of the monarchy? -Let history tell its tale

SELECT COUNCIL. of the political profligacy of Monk, and the inflexible In the absence of Mr. Ingersoll, Mr. Groves was bigotry of Clarendon.-From the voluptuous court of elected President pro tem. Charles II?-Sunk in the excesses of grotesque ribaldry, it fluctuated between the caprices of superstition and

Mr. Neff presented a communication respecting the the grossness of sessuality.-From his travels abroad? Delaware Avenue, signed by Jacob Ridgway and Geo. Holland could imprison Grotius for Arminianism, and Blight, Chairman and Secretary of a meeting on that France exile a million of its best inhabitants for the subject. It was referred to the committee on Delaware crime of being Protestants. – Whence then could the

Avenue. lawgiver of Pennsylvania have derived his candour and

A memorial was presented, signed by sundry inhabi. his charity? He asked counsel of truth and justice; he tants

, respecting certain unfinished improvements in the closed his eyes alike to the visions of metaphysical theo- paving of Filbert street, and requesting the attention of

It was read and referred to the ries and the intolerance of existing governments. His Councils to the same. judgment was not dazzled by the splendour of Euro- Paving Committee. pean hierarchiesų nor was his imagination overpowered

A memorial from the Board of Health respecting nui. by the Utopias and El Dorados of ingenious speculation. sances in the neighbourhood of Logan Square, was reHe interrogated nature on the rights of man, without ceived and referred to the committee on that Square, dictating her reply,

with power to act. Mankind will never forget to do him honor. But his The following communication from Nicholas Biddle, noblest monument is found in the results of his legisla- Esq. was received and read. tion. Emigrants from half the world have felt the at.

Board of Trustees of the 2 traction of the system which he established; and the

Girard College for Orphans. S mass of incongruous elements, Puritans and Prelates, Cavaliers and Roundheads, Catholics and Quakers, Me. To the Select and Common Councils of the City of Phithodists and Baptists, Heretics and Orthodox, have all

ladelphia. been brought together by the benignant influence of Gentlemen,-/ perform a melancholy duty in an. religious liberty, and all' have been harmonized and nouncing to you the death of our respected colleague, united into one civil community under its majestic in- John C. Stocker, Esq. According to the Ordinance Auence. The Delaware river used to gain the most establishing the Board of Trustees for the Girard Col. ready admiration; but Penn would often boast of his lege, it will devolve upon your honorable bodies to sup

ply the vacancy occasioned by this event—and I there. stage owners, praying that Crown street may be made fore take the earliest opportunity of communicating it a stand for a Manayunk line of stages. Referred to the to you officially.

Market Committee. I have the honour to add, that I am,

Mr. Byerly presented a petition praying for the laying With great respect, yours,

of fag stones across South Alley. Referred to Paving N. BIDDLE, President.

Committee with power to act, August 8th, 1833.

Mr. Byerly presented a comprunication from Thomas On motion of Mr. Lippincott, it was resolved and Desilver, offering to Councils the remainder of his edicarried, that the Select and Common Councils meet tion of the “Devises made to the City." Laid on the forthwith, and proceed to the election of a Trustee to table. fill the vacancy in the Board, occasioned by the death

Mr. Smith, from the Paving Committee, reported a of John C. Stöcker, Esq. This was non concurred in, resolution directing the paving of Haines street, which by the Common Council, and Thursday evening next, was adopted. Select Council concurred. the 15th inst, was fixed upon by both bodies, for a special

On motion of Mr. Borie, a resolution was adopted, meeting on the subject.

directing the Mayor to draw his warrant on the City The following resolution, from the Common Council, Treasurer, in favor of Lydia R. Bailey, for the sum of was received and adopted:

$1209 12, the amount of her bill for printing, present. Resolved, by the Select and Common Councils, Thated at the last meeting of Councils; in which resolution the City Commissioners be instructed to collect forth- the Select Council concurred. with all the arrearages of rent due from the tenants occu. An Ordinance authorising the laying of a pipe frons pying the Drawbridge lot, and notify sueh of said tenants the cellar of the premises at the š. W. corner of Se. as may be deemed necessary to remove therefrom, ae- cond and Dock streets to the public sewer, was read a cording to law.

third time and passed. The Ordinance was also adopt

ed by the Common Council. COMMON COUNCIL.

Thursday Evening, Nug. 15th, 1833. The Chair presented a communication, signed John

SELECT COUNCIL. M. Ogden, tendering to Councils, on behalf of the Commissioners of the district of Spring Garden, a copy announcing the readiness of that body to proceed, in

A message was received from the Common Council, of the laws and ordinances of that district.

The Chair presented a communication from the Board joint ballot with the Select Council, to the election of of Health, complaining that nuisances to a great extent a Trustee for the Girard College for Orphans, in the exist on Logan Squares and a public lot, north of the place of John C. Stocker, deceased; Permanent Bridge, with a request that Councils would Mr. Wetherill from the committee to whom was retake order to remove the same. Referred to the Com- ferred Mr. J. Marshall's petition, respecting certain promittee on Logan and Penn Square, with power to act, perty, presented the following report. and instruction to report at the next meeting.

The committee to whom was referred the petition of The Chair presented the following communication Joseph Marshall, praying that certain property be refrom the City Commissioners, wbich was referred to the leased from the operation of a judgment held by the Committee of Ways and Means.

city on Franklin legacy, report: The City Commissioners respectfully state to Coun That Joseph Marshall and George Read are the sure. cils, that by order of the Committee for improving the ties on the bond of David Donaldson in the penal sum City Property, at and near Chesnut street wharf, on 520 dollars, conditioned for the payment of $331 50 irs Schuylkill, they have passed bills from the first of Jan. annual instalments—but one of these instalments has uary last to this date, amounting $22,643 22. Bills become due, and that was paid-at maturity. The comwere in like manner passed by the late Commissioners mittee have reason to believe that Mr Marshall has suffor the same object, which amounted on the 31st De: ficient property to cover the amount of his bond after cember last, to $5,941 93, as appears by the printed the release of that prayed for in his petition. The state of their accounts for 1832. The aggregate ex. committee, accordingly, passed the following resolution pended for the wharf and buildings is $28,545 15, which has been executed. which has been charged to Appropriation, No. 14, for

Resolved, That the Mayor Be requested to affix the repairing and improving City Property for 1832 and city seal to an instrument releasing the property of Ja 1833. No appropriation has been made by Councils seph Marshall, described in the within petition. for these expenditures, which have occasioned an overdraught of Appropriation, No. 14, for 1833, of to whom was referred a petition for changing the name

Mr. Wetherill offered a report from the committee $15,094 10. By order of the City Commissioners,

of South alley,—declining to alter the same, and beg. ROBERT H. SMITH, City Clerk.

ging leave to be discharged from a further considera

tion of the subject, which was adopted. Mr. McMullen presented a petition praying that Mr. Wetherill also offered the following memorial Schuylkill Seventh street, between Market and Arch, from the owners and occupiers of Wharf property on may be paved. Referred to the Paving Committee.

the river Delaware, within the limits of the city, which Mr. McMullen, presented a communication from own. was referred to the committee on the Delaware Ave ers of property on the Delaware river, praying that the nue. action of Councils on the Ordinance relating to Delaware Avenue, may be suspended for the present.

MEMORIAL. Mr. Chandler, presented a memorial from Samuel To the Select and Common Couneils of the city of Guss, the occupier of a house and lot, on the north

Philadelphia side of Market street, west of the Permanent Bridge, The memorial of the subscribers, owners and occupiers stating he has been deprived of the use of a portion of of wharf property on the river Delaware, within the his premises, in consequence of an entry made therein limits of the city of Philadelphia, respectfully shewby the West Philadelphia Canal Company, and praying ethCouncils to take the subject in hand. Referred to a joint That having learned, that a bill has been reported by committee of both Councils, consisting of Messrs. a committee of your honourable bodies, entitled " An Chandler, Maitland, Wetherill and Lippincott.

Ordinance for laying out a passage or street from Vine Mr. Byerly presented a communication from sundry I to Cedar street, to be called the Delaware Avenue,"




accompanied by a plan and description of the same, or ground for stairs or passage in their respective bank made under your authority by Samuel Hains, City Sur. lots," and then this instrument prescribed, “ Fifthly, veyor, they feel themselves bound by a sense of duty to that the bank lots from the east side of Delaware sixty themselves as well as to the public, to remonstrate most foot Front street, to the west side of the thirty foot earnestly against the passage of this measure, fraught | cartway, from the public landing place at the south as it is with

consequences vitally injurious not only to end of the town to Walnut street, shall be thirty foot your memorialists, but to the best interests of the city of deep, and from Walnut street to the northernmost side Philadelphia, and they beg leave briefly to offer their of Samuel Carpenter's public stairs, shall also be thirty reasons for so doing.

foot deep, and fron the said northernmost side of SaThe city of Philadelphia was laid out by the proprie. muel Carpenter's public stairs, beginning at the said tary in the year 1683, on “a neck of land between two thirty fooi, with a bevil-line to Chesnut street shall be navigable rivers, Delaware and Schuylkill; whereby it forty-five foot deep, and from Chesnut street to Vine had two fronts on the water, each a mile, and two from street, beginning at the said forty-five foot with a beriver to river.

vil line to New street, shall be eighty foot deep, and By the original plan, the front streets on each river from New street to the south side of Benjn. Chambers, were to be the eastern and western boundaries of the his lot, shall be eighty foot deep.” lots intended to be granted; and in the year 1684, the This is the only original document which establishes proprietary declared in relation to the bank of the river the public cartway which is now called Water street, Delaware: “ The bank is top common from end to end: and which thus became the most eastern street on the The rest, next the water, belongs to front lot men no Delaware front. more than back lot men: The way bounds them; they may build stairs; and the top of the bank a common ex: which bears date the 25th October 1701, William

By the original charter of the city of Philadelphia, change or walk, and against the street common wharfs Penn erected the “ town and borough of Philadelphia may be built freely;—but into the water, and the shore into a city; which said city shall extend the limits and is no purchasers." The necessities, and perhaps the policy of William bounds as it is laid out between Delaware and Schuyl

kill.” He then says: Penn soon changed this original plan, and we accordingly find him immediately afterwards, granting lots

“ And I do for me, my heirs and assigns, grant and east of Delaware sixty foot front street to various indi. ordain, that the streets of the said city shall forever conviduals upon certain terms which are described in their tinue as they are now laid out and regulated; and that respective pateats. Some regulation relative to these the end of each street extending into the river Delaand future grants of the same part of the city became ware shall be and continue free, for the use and sernecessary, and accordingly on the 26th day of the se

vice of the said city, and the inhabitants thereof, who cond month(April) Anno Domini 1690, the commissioners may improve the same for the best advantage of the city, of property executed an instrument entitled " Regula- and build wharves so far out into the river there, as the tion of the Bank of the River Delaware,” the original of mayor, aldermen, and common council, hereinafter which is now in the possession of the city.

mentioned, shall see meet." By this regulation, the proprietors of bank lots, who After various grants and regulations he proceeds: had been formerly restricted by the terms of their pa. “And I do for me, my heirs and assigns, by virtue of tents, were allowed to build as high as they please the king's letters patent, make, erect and constitute above the top of said bank, “because, the more their the said city of Philadelphia to be a port or barbour for improvements are, the greater will the proprietor's be- discharging and unlading of goods and merchandizes nefit be,” and certain regulations were prescribed with out of ships, boats, and other vessels; and for lading regard to lots already purchased and thereafter to be and shipping them in or upon such and so many places, purchased, of which your memorialists beg leave to keys and wharves, there as by the mayor, aldermen, cite one or two, which they conceive to be material to and common council of the said city, shall from time to the present inquiry.

time, be thought most expedient for the accommodation “First, that all the said persons who have already and service of the officers of the customs, in the mangot, or shall hereafter, any bank lots, shall regularly agement of the king's affairs and preservation of his leave thirty foot of ground in the clear, for a cartway duties, as well as for conveniency of trade." under and along the said whole bank, and in conve “ And I do ordain and declare, that the said portor nient time shall make the same to be a common and harbour shall be called the port of Philadelphia, and public cartway for all persons, by day and by night for. shall extend and be accounted to extend into all such ever hereafter; and that whoever shall be willing to creeks, rivers and places within this province, and shall have cellar stairs or steps up into their houses, shall have so many wharves, keys, landing places, as mem. leave convenient room to make the same upon their bers belonging thereto, for landing and shipping of own ground, without making any encroachment upon goods, as the said mayor, aldermen, and common counthe said way, the narrowness thereof will not admit of cil for the time being, with the approbation of the chief any such incumberance thereupon; and if any person or officer or officers of the king's customs, shall from time persons shall unadvisedly build to the utmost extent of to time think fit to appoint. their bounds, such shall expect no other convenience nei The corporation erected by this charter was dissolved ther for cellar stairs nor steps, than what they can make at the time of the revolution, but was re-established by within their own houses, and if any person or persons the “ Act to incorporate the City of Philadelphia, shall not wharf out and make the said thirty foot cart- passed the 11th March, 1789. way, the person or persons that shall happen to be next By the second section of this act, it is enacted, " that unto and to join upon such, shall and may make the the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia, as the same said cartway for the general service, and the said per. extends and is laid out between the rivers Delaware son or persons so neglecting shall pay the said whole and Schuylkill, be, and they, and their successors forercharge thereof to the person that shall make the same. er are hereby constituted a corporation and body poli. And these commissioners have unanimously agreed that tic, in fact and in law, by the name and style of_"'The the said thirty foot cartway shall run upon one stretch or mayor, aldermen, and citizens of Philadelphia”-with course from one public street to another, as near as may the usual corporate powers; and they were invested by be.” Then followed the regulation relative to the pub- this act with all the

rights of the late corporation known lic stairs and passages to be left open from Delaware by the name of “The mayor and commonalty of PhilaFront street, to the river between each public street, delphia, in the province of Pennsylvania." and leaving it at the option of the purchasers to make By the act entitled “An act to establish a Board and leave, or not to make and leave any stairs, passage, of Wardens for the Port of Philadelphia, and for the

regulation of pilots and pilotages, and for other purpo- highly improved wharf property on the Delaware, made ses therein mentioned,” passed 29th March, 1803, and his will, by which he devised and bequeathed to "The the supplement thereto, passed 7th February, 1818, Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of Philadelphia,” nearly the regulation of wharves to be thereafter erected be the whole of his immense estate, for purposes which do yond low water mark of the river Delaware, was trans- bonour both to his heart and head. ferred to the board of wardens of the port of Philadel. Amongst other dispositions of the residue of his phia.

estate so given to the said corporation, he made the By the of following 1803 , it is enacted, c.lf any person shall erect, make

, XXI. And as to the further sum of five hundred or fix, or cause to be erected, made or fixed, on any thousand dollars, part of the residue of my personal wharf within the city of Philadelphia, any building, in- estate, in trust to invest the same securely, and to keep closure or other obstruction, whereby a free passage the same so invested, and to apply the income to the over and along the same shall be impeded or prevent- following purposes: that is to sayed, every such person shall forfeit and pay for every “1. To lay out, regulate, curb, light and pave a such offence, any sum not exceeding one hundred dol- passage or street, on the east part of the city of Philalars, to be recovered in the same manner and for the delphia, fronting the river Delaware, not less than same uses, as is directed in and by the thirty-sixth sec- twenty-one feet wide, and to be called Delarvaré Avention of this act, and the said wardens shall cause such ue, extending from South or Cedar street, all along the building, inclosure or obstruction, to be abated or re. east part of Water street squares, and the west side of moved, if, the owner or occupier of any such wharf the logs, which form the heads of the docks, or thereshall neglect or refuse to abate or remove the same, on abouts—and to this intent to obtain such acts of Assem. three days notice from the said board of wardens; pro- bly, and to make such purchases or agreements, as will vided always nevertheless, that nothing herein before enable the Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of Philadel

. contained shall be taken or construed in any wise to phia, to remove or pull down all the buildings, fences; prevent any such owner or occupier from depositing, and obstructions, which may be in the way, and to pro'. during a reasonable time, on any such whart, goods, hibit all buildings, fences, or erections of any kind, to wares, and merchandize, unladen from or about to be the eastward of said Avenue; 10 fill up the heads of such shipped on board of any ship or vessel, or for the pur- of the docks as may not afford sufficient room for the pose of being storei-always allowing a sufficient pas. said street; to compel the owners of wharves to keep sage for carts, wagons, and drays, nor in any wise to them clean and covered completely with gravel or oth: hinder any person otherwise entitled so to do, from er hard materials, and to be so levelled that water will erecting any building or inclosure on any part of such not remain thereon after a shower of rain; to complete. wharf lying to the westward of low water mark, or tide- ly clean and keep clean all the docks within the limits way of the river Delaware."

of the city fronting on the Delaware; and to pull down And by the act of the 25th March, 1805, the authori- all platforms carried out. from the east part of the city ty of the board of wardens was extended “ to the river over the river Delaware on piles and pillars. Schuylkill, from the lower falls thereof to its junction “2. To pull down and remove all wooden build: with the river Delaware.

ing's, and to prohibit the erection of any sucht buildUpon the twelfth section of the act of 29th March, ing within the said city's limits at any future time.'. 1803, a judicial construction has been placed by the “3. To regulate, widen, pave and curb Water able and learned President of the Court of Common street, and to distribute the Schuylkill water therein Pleas of this District, in a suit brought by the master upon a plan therein stated. warden against an occupier of whart property, to re By all which improvements," says the testator, "it cover the penalty for obstructing the passage overi t. is my intention to place and maintain the section of the " The proprietor of land bordering on the river Dela. city above referred to, in a condition which will corres. ware,” says. Judge King, "has a right to build to low pond better with the general cleanliness and appear: water mark in any and every way that he chooses. He ance of the whole city, and be more consistent with the may erect to that limit, buildings of any height. The safety, health, and comfort of the citizens. And my jurisdiction of the wardens begins at low water mark, mind and will are, that all the income, interest, and and has nothing to do with ground to the westward of dividends, of the said capital sum of five hundred thou, it. If, therefore, the obstructions and wharf of the de. sand dollars, shall be yearly, and every year, expended fendant be to the west of low water mark, the plaintiff upon the said objects, in the order in which I have cannot recover.

stated them, as closely as possible, and upon no other “There is another point in which I think the plaintiff objects until those enumerated shall have been attained, has totally failed. He has not brought his case within and when those objects shall have been accomplished, the act of Assembly in regard to the obstructions prov. I authorize and direct the said The Mayor, Aldermen, ed to have been placed upon the wharf by the defen- and Citizens, to apply such part of the income of the dant. The obstructions as proved are not within the said capital sum of five hundred thousand dollars, as meaning of the act. I think the olistructions contem- they may think proper to the further improvement, plated by the law must be permanent, something made from time to time, of the eastern or Delaware front of or fixed, as buildings, &c. They must not be merely the city.” casual, occasional, or temporary, such as arise, for in. The testator then gives three hundred thousand dol. stance, from throwing out anchors, dirt, or matters of lars to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for the pur. that kind; so that whether the wharf of defendant be pose of internal improvement by canal navigation, to be above or below low water mark, as the plaintiff bas paid into the state treasury by his executors," as soon failed in proving the obstructions contemplated by the as such laws shall have been enacted by the constituted act of Assembly, your verdict must be for the defen. authorities of the said commonwealth as shall be neces. dant." And the jury accordingly found a verdict for sary, and amply sufficient to carry into effect, or to enthe defendant.

able the constituted authorities of the city of PhiladelAgreeably to the laws and usages of the common. phia to carry into effect the several improvements wealth, your memorialists have become the owners or above specified; namely, 1. Laws to cause Delaware occupiers of this species of property, most valuable in Avenue, as above described, to be made, paved, curb, itself, and the preservation and improvement of which ed, and lighted; to cause the buildings, fences, and they consider vitally important to the commercial pros- other obstructions now existing to be abated and reperity of the city of Philadelphia.

moved, and to prohibit the erection of any such ob On the 16th February, 1830, Stephen Girard, “mer-structions to the eastward of said Delaware Avenue. chant and mariner,”

and an owner of very valuable and 2. Laws to cause all wooden buildings as above de

« PreviousContinue »