1764 Petition to Governor Penn by the Inhabitants of Certain Towns of Lancaster County
[Punctuation and spelling is as it appears in the original document]
To the Honorable Etc.
The humble Petition of the Inhabitants of the Township of __________ in the County of Lancaster and Province of Pensylvannia Sheweth,
That Your Petitioners have form some time past, looked upon ourselves as Grieved and Oppressed in Sundry Instances, and have hitherto endeavoured to bear our Misfortunes with the Patience of Christians and the Submission of good Subjects. But our Grievances growing so many and so heavy as to be insupportable, we are Constrained to fly to you for that Redress which we intreat and hope you will grant us.
1st. We are grieved that thousands of his Majesties unhappy Subjects, Men, Women, and Children; who are Banished from their Habitations by Savages, that they are allowed to perish thro want of provisions and Cloths, and hardly any Notice is taken of them be the Government. We therefore beg that Some Provision be made by the Government for the Poor and Distressed Frontier Inhabitants.
2nd. Several of the Frontier Inhabitants have been wounded in voluntary Expeditions against the Indians, by which Expeditions they have been the Means of Saving the Lives of Many of his Majesties Subjects. We therefore beg that Care be taken of the wounded Men and that they are cured at the publick Expence.
3rd. We beg that a Reward be Proclaimed for the Scalps of Indians, who are his Majesties Enemies, in Order to encourage volunteer Parties to go out and reduce those Savages to Peace.
4th. As many of our fellow Subjects and Kindred are in Captivity among the Indians, and they have hitherto delayed to restore them, we beg no Peace or Commerce be again held with those Indians untill those Prisoners be restored.
5th. As we have great Reason to Suspect that much of the present publick Calamity arises from the manner in which Private Persons have treated and tampered with the Indians, we beg that for the future no privaate Person be allowed to Treat with the Indians.
6th. We understand there are a Considerable Number of Indians now at Philadelphia, maintained at the Publick Expence, we have abundant Reason to be assured that Many of them are Enemies, and have actually committed Several Murders on our Frontier People, we think that the Interest of the Government or at least the common Feelings of humanity and Proper Tenderness and Regard for his Majesties Natural Subjects, whose Wives and Children these Savage People have Butchered, that all these things plead for the removal out of these Indians. We therefore beg that they be forthwith removed out of this Province and that for the Future no Indians be allowed to live within the Inhabited parts of the Province whilst we are at war with Indians.
7th. We conceive that according to our Charter and on the Principles of Freedom and Justice we have a Right to be equally concerned in the Legislative Part of Government with the other parts of this Province, and we beg that the Counties of Lancaster, York, Cumberland, Berks, and Northhampton be allowed an Equal number of Representatives each of them, as the Counties of Philadelphia, Chester, and Bucks. We hope this will prevent the Enaction of any Such Law as we have been lately threatned with, and will prevent the return of many other such Grievances as we lately Suffered.
8th. As the Bosom Enemies are most dangerous, we beg that Satisfaction may be given to the good People of the Province his Majesties Loyal Subjects, of the Moravians at Bethlehem, for Corresponding with and for Supplying the Indians our Enemies with ammunition, and giving them Intelligence during [the] last war and this war, as is Manifest by the Qualifications taken against them.
9th. As many of our Lives and fortunes may depend upon your Attention to the Premises, we therefore entreat and humbly pray that you would take them under your Immediate Consideration in order that they be redressed. And under your humble Petitioners, as in Duty Bound shall Pray etc. etc.
P.S. We have Commissioned our Trusty Friend ……to present this our Petition.
Updated: 21 September 2005