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Sale 38 Lot 54

(1674-1751) William Penn's secretary who later served in several offices including the provincial council and Mayor of Philadelphia (1722), where he allowed the first Catholic mass to be. Later served as chief justice of Pennsylvania and Governor (1736-38). Fine content partial A.L.S. signed with initials "JL" 3pp. legal folio, [Philadelphia], [n.d., but docketed Nov. 16, 1729] to John, Thomas and Richard Penn, being a portion of a lengthy report issued by the Penn family secretary in America. The first part of the report discusses an outstanding set of financial issues concerning a prominent but unnamed Pennsylvania settler: "...He receives for Sale of Land made by the Commission and as to ye fear of ye Office for Warrant and Patents of which very few have been granted for 10 years past, these are made so exceeding Low by our Acts of Assembly, that I should be both to doe them for ye Pay. And again as he is truly Zealous for your Cause & is free in entertaining as his house when he thinks he can doe you any Service in it, in which he has been particularly useful...there is ye a great deal due to him... I must observe also that there are Articles for his Journey to Virginia New York &c in yr Service not yet accounted for, which ought to come together...". Land was of course, the chief concern of the Penn family, as it was the colony's most abundant resource, evidence here: "...There is one point of Importance, which I had also most neglected that I must not forebear to mention. Viz Of the 4 Several parcels of 10,000 acres each granted by your father's will to your sister Lolita and Bro. William's 3 Children...are placed by those they employ'd...and by a particular direction form you Selves in favour of ye Cousin Wilm. his was first by us on some Lands high up the River Delaware an accot. of Some very rich Spots of which the Dutch from N York were very fond, and therefore...yield considerable prices. But all of these there are not one Acre yet purchased of the Indians, and their Purchases will certain prove high now who is to bear the Charge of these...". Logan also touches on a subject that would become a cause célèbre for Quakers of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century, slavery - in fact slaves at the home of William Penn: "...I must likewise observe, that it should be decided between Springet [?] and You to whom the Negroes & Stock of Cattle at Pensbury [Manor] belongs...". The report continues with a lengthy postscript concerning other financial affairs of the colony and the Penn family. A wonderful trove of information concerning the internal workings of early Pennsylvania. Light dampstains and weak folds, a few minor marginal chips, else very good.
Estimate $ 800-1,000

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