(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Benjamin Furly, "an English merchant at Rotterdam" : who promoted the first German emigration to America"

BENJAMIN FURLY, 



AN ENGLISH MERCHANT AT ROTTERDAM,' 



WHO PROMOTED 



THE FIRST GERMjVN EMIGRATION 



TO 



AMERICA. 



BY 



JULIUS FRIEDRICH SACHSE. 



REPRINTED FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE OF HISTORY 
AND BIOGRAPHY, OCTOBER, 1895. 



Fi5a 



I. 



PHILADELPHIA. 

1895. 




UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH 




Jjarluigton Alemorial LiLrar^ 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

University of Pittsburgh Library System 



http://www.archive.org/details/benjaminfurlyaneOOinsach 



BEi^JAMIN FURLY, 



AN ENGLISH MERCHANT AT ROTTERDAM," 



WHO PROMOTED 



THE FIRST GERMAN EMIGRATION 



TO 



AMERICA. 



BY 



JULIUS FRIEDRICH SACHSE, '^*^- ''^''^ 



REPRINTED FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE OF HISTORY 
AND BIOGRAPHY, OCTOBER, 1895. 



PHILADELPHIA. 

1895. 



^: 



^ .No 



\ 



4^\ 



%^ 



V 



\ 



(^' 



\ 



.^\ 



BENJAMIN FURLY. 





'>^<^^^>t>^->-»-^--^^^jj^*-^^J^;>x the friend of 
^ (/ ^!^ William Penn and 

promoter of the first German emigration to America, was a 
native of Colchester, England, where he was born April 13, 
1636.^ He began life as a merchant there, and became 
identified with the early Quakers. Subsequent to the year 
1660 he immigrated to Amsterdam,^ but afterwards made 
Rotterdam his permanent home, where he engaged in the 
mercantile and shipping business, his first establishment 
being in the Sclieepmakershaven. 

Although an Englishman by birth, he soon became iden- 
tified with the land of his adoption, and married " Dorothe 
Graigne," a Dutch maiden.^ His eldest cliild by this mar- 

* According to a Dutch account (Unger, in " Eotterdamsch Jaar- 
boekje," 1890, p. 114), he was born at Rotterdam, of English parentage. 
There is, however, nothing to substantiate the above claim, as the learned 
writer evidently confuses Benjamin Furly with his son Benjohan. 

^ Berhard Croesens, " Quaker Historic, von deren Ursprung bis auf 
jungsthin entstandene Trennung." Berlin, bey Johann Michael Rudiger, 
1696, p. 644. The title of the English edition reads, " The General 
History of the Quakers &c. Being written originally in Latin by 
Gerard Croese." London, 1696. 

Two editions were printed tn Latin, — " Gerardi Croesi Historia Quaker- 
iana," — viz., Theodore Boom, 1695, and Amstelodamie, anno M.DCIVC. 

* " Archief der Gemeente," Rotterdam. 

3 



4 Benjamin Fwrly. 

riage was a son Benjohan, born January 6, 1681. Furly, 
by his honesty and industry, became known as one of the 
leading merchants of Rotterdam, and removed his residence 
and warehouse to the Haaringvliet^ then the chief com- 
mercial centre of the city. He, however, did not confine 
himself exclusively to his commercial life and to the accu- 
mulation of wealth, but continued his interest in literary 
pursuits, and, as Croese intimates,^ " to thoroughly perfect 
himself in the various branches of learning," he cultivated 
the society of the leading critics and scholars of the period, 
and subsequently became a patron of letters. 

His house became the rendezvous of such learned men as 
Leclerc, Limborch, Algernon Sidney, Edward Clarke, and 
Locke, and his library, with its wealth of manuscripts and 
rare imprints, was one of more than local reputation, being 
frequently quoted and consulted by litterateurs from difiereut 
parts of Europe, two notable instances of which were the 
visits of Ludolph Kuster and Zacharias von Ufienbach, ac- 
counts of which have been preserved. Benjamin Furly also 
took an active interest in the religious questions of the day, 
taking the side of the Separatists, as opposed to the estab- 
lished churches, and his home in Rotterdam upon frequent 
occasions was the scene of devotional meetings at which 
George Fox, Keith, William Penn, and others were promi- 
nent participators. 

At an early age he became convinced of the Quaker doc- 
trine, and became one of the most active champions of that So- 
ciety upon the Continent. He was a prolific author, writing 
with equal facility in English, German, Dutch, and French. 

His zeal in the doctrine he had embraced is attested by 
the publication of his numerous controversial writings, to- 
gether with those of Fox and Penn, which were translated 
by him and printed at his expense. 

Furly afterwards became the chief agent of William Penn 
on the Continent for the sale of his newly acquired lands in 

* The " Haaringvliet" is one of the numerous basins or canals that 
form the harbor of Rotterdam. 
» " Quaker Historia," p. 645. 



Benjamin Furly. 6 

America. His wife having died in 1691, he married, on De- 
cember 10, 1693, Susanna Huis, the widow of one Jacobus 
van der Lijt.^ 

Benjamin Furly died in March, 1714, in the seventy-eighth 
year of his age, and was buried, as befitted a man of his 
standing and wealth, in a tomb (No. 175) in the centre 
aisle of the St. Laurentius or Groote Kerk, formerly the 
cathedral church of Rotterdam.^ Four children are known 
to have survived their father, — Benjohan, John, Arent, and 
a daughter Dorothy; all, presumably, issues by the first 
marriage. 

It has been questioned whether Benjamin Furly became 
a Quaker before or after his settlement in Holland. We 
know that he was a man of marked and peculiar religious 
views, and that from his first arrival in Holland he was in 
sympathy with the so-called Separatists ; and from the fact 
that members of his immediate family in England were 
among the early followers of George Fox, it is probable that 
he was convinced prior to his immigration to Holland. 

According to a Dutch account, it would appear, however, 
that he did not join the Society of Friends until after his 
residence in Rotterdam. If this be true, it must have been 
prior to the years 1659-60, as in those years he, together 
with John Stubs, assisted in the compilation of George 
Fox's 

" A Battle-Door for Teachers & Professors to learn Singu- 
lar & Plural : You to Many, and Thou to One : Singular 
One, Thou; Plural Many, You." 

It was a folio of fifty-seven sheets, printed in thirty lan- 
guages, of which, among others, his grandson says that the 
Chaldee, Syriac, Welsh, and French portions were written by 
Furly.^ Croese, in his " Historia Quakeriana," distinctly 
states that " Benjamin Furly had this clever and ingenious 
work printed at great expense, and that Fox, although he 
knew of these thirty tongues but a single one, yet poses as 

^ " Archief der Gemeente," Rotterdam. 

"^ " Rotterdamsch Jaarboekje," Vol. II. p. 114. 

^ " Original Letters," etc. Preface, p. 79. 



6 Benjamin Furly. 

the author." George Fox, in his journal, mentions that 
this work was finished in 1661, and that Benjamin Furly 
took great pains in compiling it. 

During the next fifteen years Benjamin Furly published a 
number of controversial works in the interest of the Quakers, 
prominent among which may be named the following : 

"Die Sache Christi und seines Volks." (German.) (The 
Cause of Christ and His People Justified.) By W. Ames. 
The large preface is by B. Furly. 4to, 1662. 

" The Light upon the Candlestick." By W. Ames. The 
English translation is by Furly. 4to, 1663. 

" The World's Honor detected &c. By a Friend to Truth 
who is no respecter or regarder of persons, called a Quaker." 
B. F[urly]. 4to, 1663. 

" Eine Beschirmunge d'unschuldigen," etc. (Dutch.) By 
Wm. Caton, with a postscript by Benjamin Furly. 4to, 1664. 

" Coppe van een Brief." (Dutch.) 4to, 1666. 

" A Recantation by Benjamin Furly. Given in Rott[er- 
dam] in 1669." (This is in relation to the hat controversy.) 

" Anthoniette Bourignon ontdeckt, ende haeren Geest 
geopenbaert uyt haere Druckten," etc. (Dutch.) 4to, 1671. 

" The Universal Free Grace of the Gospel asserted," etc. 
By George Keith. (Part by B. Furly.) 4to, 1671. 

" A Letter to George Whitehead, about the Hat Contro- 
versy." 8vo, 1673. 

"Missive aan de Nederlanse Natie." (Dutch.) (A Mes- 
sage to the Dutch Nation), by William Penn, Translation, 
with a large preface and conclusion, by Benjamin Furly. 
4to, 1675. 

In the Archives of Rotterdam there is preserved a docu- 
ment written in Hollandese, in which Furly, together with 
Symon Jansz Yettekeiicken, makes the following appeal 
to the burgomasters and regents of Rotterdam for the 
protection of the Quakers who were then holding meet- 
ings in that city. This interesting document, in the hand- 
writing of Benjamin Furly, is dated July 8, 1675, and 
was photographed by the writer during the past summer, — 
1894. 



A Battle-Dooi 

TEACHERS ^'pROFESSORS 

TO L E A-R N 

Singular & Plural , 

Ton to Many J and Thou to One . Singular One^ Thou 

Plural Mdny, \oh 

Wherein is fliewed forth by Grammar, or Scripture Examples, how 
fcvcral Nations and People have made a diftm^ion between Singular and 
rlitral. And firft, In the former part of this Book, Called The Engiijh 
Battle Dfior,mzy be fcen how feveral People have fpoken Singular znd 
Plnral i As the Aphdrfathkites^ the Tarptfites, the AphtrCitts, the Archt- 
vjtcs, the BabylontAns, the Sufdnchite^y the Debavites^ the EUmttts, the 
Temanites^ the f^aomites^ the Shuitet^ the BuTbttes, the Moabites, the ///- 
t///^j, the Edomitesy the Philtfitnet, the Amalckites, the Sadomttes, (he 
Hittttest the MidUniUsy &c. 

Alfo, In this Book is fet forth Examples o£ the Singular 2ind Phral 
about TA*;r, and r*?*, in feveral Languages, divided into diftinft jB«//r/f 
Do<jr/, or Formes, or Examples ^ Englifi, Lattftc, Itdhan^ Greek, Hebrew 
Caldecy Syrtack^ Ambick^ Perfiack^, Ethiopici, Samantaa, Coptic^, or 
Egyptuk, ArrmniAn^ Saxon, IVeUh^ Mtnct, Corntjh, French^ Sfojttfhj 
Torttigal, High-Dutch, how-Dutch , Danjjh^ Bohemian^ Slavonian 
And how Emperors and others have ufed the Singular word to One:, and 
how the word Touf^Smi firft from the Pope. 

Likcwifefome Examples, inthe F*Ww», Uthvaman^ Injh and Eafl- Indian, 
together with the Singular and Plural words, thou and you^ in Sweedijhj 
Turkijh, Mufcovian, and CurltHdian^ tongues. 

in the latter part of this Book arc contained feverall bad unfavoury Word^, 
gathered forth of certam School-Books, which have been taught Boyesm 
England, which IS a Rod and a Whip to the School-Mafters in England and 
elfewhcre who teach fuch Books^ 



George. Fox. John Stubs. Benjamin Furley 



LONDON, Printed for RobirftVilfon, and are to be fold '»;,>"^/j'°f/;j^' 
S\^ncoUhc Black-Spread'Eaglcind mnd mil iti Martins It Gr^nd. 

Fac-simile of the title-page of George Fox's "Battle-Door." 



8 Benjamin Furly. 

TRANSLATION. 

" To the Burgomasters and Begents of the City of Boiterdam : 

" The people of God, mockingly called Quakers, who 
have taken up their residence in this City, cannot refrain 
from making known, with christian respect, unto you, as 
Magistrates of this Cit}'^, that now twice, to wit ; — yesterday, 
within and without their regular meeting place, where they 
come together to wait in silence upon the Lord, 
they have been treated and handeled with vio- 
lence and annoyance by divers sort of men, not only young 
but also of greater age, which is so publicly known that 
the thrown-in window-panes and the broken doors and 
benches are clear witnesses thereof. All the which they 
make known unto you not so much for anxiety for their 
persons and goods, as they well know that the same God is 
livina: yet, and shall live unto eternity, who 
bath set limits to the sea and hath said hitherto 
sbalt thou come but no further, and who can prevent the 
raging of the people when it pleases him : but 
" ' ' to avoid thereby the blame, such things having 
befallen them, of not having made known the same to you, 
for your discretion, and above all for the mani- 

Matt:6. 2, 12. / c f^ A • ' V.' X. 

festation of God in your consciences which 

dictates to every one to do unto others as he would have 

others to do unto him, because with what meas- 

' ' ' " ure he metes, it shall be measured to him again. 

In the name of all signed by us 

"Benjamin FFurly 
" Symon Jansz Yettekeucken 
" At Eotterdam the 8th day 
of the Month which one 
calles July, 1675." 

When, two years later, Penn, accompanied by Robert Bar- 
clay, George Fox, Keith, and others,^ made his celebrated 

^ The party, in addition to the three named, consisted of John Furly, 
a brother of Benjamin Furly, of Rotterdam, G. Watts, William Tailcoat, 
Isabella Yeomans, and Elizabeth Keith.— Journal of William Penn. 



Benjamin Furly. 9 

tour through Germany and Holland, it was this same Ben- 
jamin Furly who met them upon their landing, 

George Fox records that the party was becalmed when a 
league from the shore, and that William Penn and Robert 
Barclay, understanding that Benjamin Furly was to come 
from Rotterdam to the Briel to meet them, got two of the 
sailors to lower a small boat and row them ashore ; but be- 
fore they could reach it, the gates were closed, and there 
being no house without the gates, they were forced to lie in 
a fisher's boat all night. As soon as the gates were opened 
in the morning they entered and found Benjamin Furly, 
who brought them to Briel, where the Friends received 
them with " great gladness." 

The party arrived at Rotterdam on the same day, Satur- 
day, July 28, 1677. The next day — First day (Sunday) — two 
religious meetings were held at the house of Furly, who 
then lived in the Wynstraat, the latter and John Glaus 
acting as interpreters. The next fortnight was spent in 
visits to various towns in Holland. On the 7th of August 
the company divided up into two parties, when Keith, 
Barclay, and Penn left the others at Amsterdam and set 
out towards Germany, where, as Fox states in his journal, 
" they travelled many hundred miles, and had good service 
for the Lord," Benjamin Furly going with them and acting 
as interpreter for the party, and upon that occasion was 
largely instrumental in influencing the Germans in favor 
of Penn. It is further a matter of record, that Furly re- 
mained with Penn and Keith during their entire stay on the 
Continent. 

Towards the close of this memorable pilgrimage, four 
tracts of an exhortative character were written by Penn,^ 
designed for distribution among the Separatists in Germany 
and Holland. These tracts were revised and translated by 
Benjamin Furly, and printed at his expense after Penn's 
departure. The German titles are as follows : 

" Forderung der Christenheit fiir Gericht." (A Call to 
Christendom, etc.) 

^ Penna. Mag., Vol. II. p. 276. 



10 Benjamin Furly, 

"Eine Freundliche heimsuchung in der Liebe Gottes." 
(A Tender Visitation in the Love of God.) 

" An alle diejenigen so unter den Bekennern der Chris- 
tenheit," etc. (To all Professors of Christianity, etc.) 

"An Alle diejenigen welche empfinden," etc. (Tender 
Counsel, etc.) 

The above vi^ere also published collectively in Dutch 
under the general title, " Het Christenrijk Ten Oordeel 
Gedagvaart," etc. Two of the above tracts — " A Call to 
Christendom" and " Tender Counsel" — were printed sep- 
arately at the time in English.^ 

It was about this time that the friendship between John 

Locke, who had been introduced to Furly by Edward 

/j ^ . Clarke, of Chipley,^ ripened into in- 

JJ 0^^ ^OC^ timacy, and the correspondence which 
^y ^^-^ ensued lasted until the death of Locke. 

Algernon Sidney and the Earl of Shaftesbury were also 
frequent visitors at the Furly homestead, and the former, at 
his death, bequeathed to Furly a large silver goblet, which 
is still in possession of his descendants.^ 

When the grant to William Penn was consummated, and 
there became a likelihood of a large German and Dutch 
immigration to Pennsylvania, Penn submitted to Benjamin 
Furly the drafts of several instruments which he proposed 
to make the basis for the laws and government of his 
Province. Furly's comments on these papers, in his hand- 
writing, are among the " Penn Manuscripts" in the collec- 
tion of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In them he 
suggests the protection of the interests of the German and 
foreign settlers who it was expected would immigrate to 

' Whiting's " Catalogue of Friends' Books," London, 1708, pp. 119, 
120. 

^ Edward Clarke, Esq., of Chipley, near Taunton, was one of the 
burgesses for that borough in seven Parliaments, from the first of King 
William, which met in 1690, to the third held by Queen Anne, which 
was dissolved in 1710. 

^ A drawing of this cup forms the frontispiece to the second edition of 
" Original Letters of John Locke, Algernon Sidney, and Lord Shaftes- 
bury," London, 1847. 



Het CHRISTENRIJK 

O O R D EEL 

gedagvaart. 

Eentederebefoekinge. indc LtefJeGods. aanallediegenS 

die een begcerrc hcbbenom.Godte kennen enhcni^m 

Waarheyd en Opregtigheyd aan te bidden, van wat 

■Se^fe, of foort van Codsdtenft de felve zouden 

mogen wcfen 

EenMinfiyeaanalle die gene. dre. onderdebciyders der Chn- 

ftelijkbeyd, afirefonderizijrivandcricUibdrc Setlcn. 

Qnuyierli)ks. Gemeenten. 

-EN 
Een Mifiive aan al die gene, die gevoeilg z\]n van 
den dag harer befoekingc. 

^llei in d' Engelfe Tule gefch<^en . door 

WILL I AM PEN N. 

En daar uyt oveigefer. 



Tot R O T T E R D A M . 

Gedrukt voor jAN PIETERSZ G R O E N ^0(/ O UT». 
Boekvcrkooper , wonendeophetSp«uy 167^ 

Fao-simile of th» Dutch title-page of Penn's Tracts. Original in the " Archief der 
Gemeente," Rotterdam. 



12 Benjamin Furly. 

Pennsylvania, and makes a number of criticisms on the 
laws which Penn proposed, suggesting in some instances 
the usages followed in Holland. 

This interesting document, never before published, is 
reproduced in its entirety at the end of this paper, and it 
deserves the careful consideration of every student of Penn- 
sylvania-German history, for it will be noted that Benjamin 
Furly was not alone concerned about the religious and civil 
liberty of the prospective immigrants, but of their personal 
rights as well. This is instanced in the clause granting 
immunity from arrest and fine to such persons as choose to 
labor upon the First day of the week,^ — a suggestion that 
was made in the interest of the Sabbatarian movement 
which was then attracting considerable attention in both 
England and Holland. 

Then, again, his suggestions and advice to Penn as to the 
course to pursue in regard to a possible attempt to introduce 
negro slavery into the Province ^ is of great interest, as the 
first public protest against negro slavery in America was 
made at Germantown in 1688 by some of the German 
pioneers who came to Pennsylvania under his auspices and 
bounty. 

Subsequent to the grant Benjamin Furly became Penn's 
most active and useful agent on the Continent for the sale 
of his lands. How great a factor he was in bringing about 
the extended German immigration is a matter of history.^ 
It was he who negotiated the first land purchase of the 
Crefelders,* and the deeds were dated and delivered by him. 
It was also through his efforts that passage to America on 
the " Concord," Captain William Jefiries, was procured for 
the thirteen pioneer families, consisting of thirty-three Ger- 
man emigrants, who were met and welcomed upon their 
arrival by both Penn and Pastorius. 

To encourage further immigration of Germans and Hol- 

"■ Section XIX. 

» Section XXIII. 

» Penna. Mag., Vol. II. pp. 237-282. 

* Ibid.,Vol. II. p. 280. 



Benjamin Furly. 13 

landers to Pennsylvania, Furly had printed in English, soon 
after it appeared, a German and Dutch translation of " Some 
Account of the Province of Pennsylvania in America," pub- 
lished in London, 1681. 

Three years later this was followed by " Beschreibung der 
in America neu-erfunden Provinz Pensylvauia." 4to, 32 pp. 
Hamburg, 1694. 

A translation into French was published at the Hague in 
the same year.^ 

From letters and documents in the Lawrence collection 
of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania it appears that in 
later years there was a well-grounded cause for dissatis- 
faction on the part of Furly as to Penn's agents in Penn- 
sylvania, notwithstanding Penn's personal efforts in his 
favor. For this reason Furly gave to Reynier Jants (Jan- 
sen), to whom he had previously sold some land,^ a power 
of attorney to act for him in Pennsylvania upon his ar- 
rival. 

This document was subsequently revoked in favor of a 
similar one granted to the brothers Daniel and Justus 
Falkner, prior to their departure for America in 1700.^ 

William Penn's personal interest in the protection of 
Benjamin Furly 's claims is shown by his letter of instruc- 
tion to James Logan prior to his departure from Pennsyl- 
vania in 1701, wherein he commands him to prepare a 
warrant for four thousand acres of land for Benjamin Furly.* 
A number of letters from Furly, addressed to Justus and 
Daniel Falkner, have also been found among the Lawrence 

^ Att English version of this rare work was printed in the Penna. 
Mag., Vol. VI. p. 321. 

' Deed July 17, 1685. Acknowledged before a notary in Holland. 
Minute-Book " H," " Pennsylvania Archives," Second Series, Vol. XIX. 
p. 598. 

' For an extended account of the controversy and litigation which 
subsequently ensued, vide " The German Pietists of Provincial Pennsyl- 
vania," Vol. I. pp. 145, 167-171, 307, et seq. 

* Letter dated "25th 8"", 1701," "Pennsylvania Archives," Second 
Series, Vol. XIX. p. 219 ; see also " The German Pietists of Provincial 
Pennsylvania," Vol. I. p. 171. 






®tte 

PENNSILVANIA 

in 

AMERICA: 

3undf!cn^ untcr Urn ©rcifen ®f e^d 

in 

William Penn, &c. 

^ucen SKegiernng terfcl^en nit jg/ 
MhtxQthtn tvoiteu/ 

3uw Un(eTrt(()t Imv / To cf roan Ser^H^ Uvoc^tn I tttx Mtif) 

an f>Ukn Dn !|u f<n>en/^«wift 
?Iit«i Dcm \rt London i{iltucUm unt>afbaT Brr) Benjamin Clare k 

•^UibhdnMcrti in George- Yard Lombard-ftrect 6tftttfi(f)<m 
Eoglifchen Wfratff ^er. 

(Sftrt'I'^ii ^i^ obertTfJjnten Will. Penns^ 
3u 2Im Rfirtam / qihruiH 6(9 .Chriiloff Cunradeu . - 

Fac-simile of the German title-page, 



Een kort Bcricht 
Van de TroVtntie ofte Landfchap 

PENN-SYLVANIA 

genacmt , Icggcndc in 

AMERICA; 

Ku onlangs onder het groote Zegel van Engeland 
gegeven aan 

WILLIAM PENN, &c. 

Van de Privilcgien, ende Macht om 
hct fclve wcl tc Rcgeeren. 

Uyt het Engeh overgcfct na de Copye tot Londcn gedrukc by 5'»;<* 
rmn Chrk^, Boekverkoopcr in George Yard Lombardftreet, 1 68 r. 

I^act bp tiu gsbac0t i^ De ^otificotte ban fi* ftontng^^Intcaf t/ 

in Dace ban Den i ttp^H 1 6S j.uiaor innedr reg(nu)06^(»ac 

giniDoonbccjB: ban Pennsylvania, liclafli»o^tr 

\c^iLLEM P£NN fnzijn Erfgcnainet, nl^ bolkomene 

^{tftenoatjsien ^oubernrucjsi, te0el)oo^ramcn. 

De Copye van een Brief by den fcl vcn W.P. gcfchreven aaoi 

zckere Regeeringe Anno 1675. tegens de Vervolginge 

en voor de Vryheyt van Confcientie , aan alle occ. 



Toi 7{^0TTE7^VWM. 

Gedruktby PiETER VAN WynbrugGE, Bock-Df uklccr in dr 
LceuwcAraai, in dc Wcreld Vol - Druk. ^nnt i.6,8i. 

Fac-fiimile of the Dutch title-page. 
[From tbe original ip Carter Prowp Librarjjr, tbroqgh courtesy of John Nicholas Brown.] 



16 Benjamin Furly. 

papers before mentioned ; ^ the latter was for a time the 
mercantile correspondent of Furly in America, and of the 
sons Benjohan and John after their father's death. 

In some of these letters Furly expresses his unbounded 
confidence in the integrity of the two Falkner brothers, in 
others he characterizes a prominent person in Pennsylvania 
as a forger and embezzler, and charges him with defrauding 
him out of his lands in Pennsylvania. 

But little has thus far been written or published of the 
private life and character of Benjamin Furly, who was so 
important a factor in organizing the German immigration 
to Pennsylvania, and in procuring for the immigrants the 
necessary transportation,^ except that he was an eccentric 
person of peculiar religious views. His correspondence, 
however, with Locke, Sidney, Lord Shaftesbury, and others, 
whose letters to him were privately printed some fifty years 
ago,^ shows that Benjamin Furly was a man whose literary 
attainments were of no mean order, and that he was upon 
intimate terms with many of the leading scholars and states- 
men of the period who labored incessantly to establish civil 
and religious liberty in Europe. 

It further appears that Locke spent much of his time at 
Furly's house, and as he was particularly fond of children, 
one of his chief amusements while there was playing with 
the young folks.* 

Although usually classed among the leading Quakers of 
that period on the Continent, and notwithstanding his purse 
and pen were at their disposal and used in their interests, it 
appears that his connection with them was not one of uninter- 



^ Thomas Lawrence was elected mayor of the city of Philadelphia 
by the Common Council, October 1, 1728. 

* A notable instance of his liberality is shown in the case of Kelpius 
and his band of German Pietists, who left Rotterdam in 1693. Vide 
Croese, " Historia Quakeriana," pp. 539 et seq. ; also "The German 
Pietists of Provincial Pennsylvania," Vol. I. pp 44-46. 

' " Original Letters of John Locke, Algernon Sidney, and Lord Shaftes- 
bury," London, 1847. 

* Ibid., Preface, p. 74. 



Bmjamin FurJy. 17 

rupted harmony. Croese/ states that " Benjamin Furly was 
an English Merchant, first at Amsterdam, then at Rotterdam, 
who, tosether with his merchandize, had addicted himself 
to the study of learning, and in his favor of these men 
[Quakers] wrote several little Tracts in Divers Languages. 
But yet refrained himself from exercising the office of a 
Teacher or Minister amongst them, alledging this reason 
for it, that he could safely enough be taught at all times, 
but could scarce be a Teacher himself without danger. 
Altho' as time and age teach Men many things, this same 
man afterwards found fault with and went ofl' from many 
things in the doctrine and Manners of the Quakers." Just 
what these diffiirences between Furly and the Quakers were, 
and when they took place, is unknown to the writer. Joseph 
Smith, in his catalogue, classes him among such as were dis- 
united, and returned, but are believed to have again left the 
Society. 

In later years he is credited with being the author of 
the following works : " Ene Wonderlike voorsegginge tot 
Rome," etc. (Dutch.) Folio, 1689. 

" Copie Van een oude prophetic," etc; (Dutch.) Folio, 
1689. 

" A Prophecy of St. Thomas the Martyr" (from MSS. of 
Algernon Sidney). 1709. 

" Discernement des Tenebres d'avec la Lumi^re." 
(French.) 8vo, 1710. 

"l^clair de Lumiere decendent," etc. (French.) 8vo, 
1711. 

" The Approaching Judgments of God upon the Roman 
Empire," etc. Translated out of high Dutch by B. Furly. 
8vo, 1711. 

It can matter but little whether or not Benjamin Furly 
lived continuously and died within the fold of the Society of 
Friends,^ but it cannot be denied that to him more than to any 

1 English edition, Book III, p. 208. 

* From the fact of his burial within the walls of the chief orthodox 
church at Rotterdam it would appear that he had renounced Quakerism 
prior to bis death. 



18 Benjamin Furly. 

other person is due the credit of materializing the dream of 
Penn, so far as the German element is concerned, for he not 
only encouraged them with advice and counsel, but with 
more substantial means in the shape of concessions of land, 
transportation, and loans of money. 

The only trustworthy personal description of Benjamin 
Furly and his peculiarities that has come down to us is the 
interesting account given in the Memoirs of Zacharias von 
Uffenbach,^ who visited Rotterdam in the year 1710 ; he had 
been a classmate, at Halle, of Justus Falkner, one of the 
early German Pietists in Pennsylvania, and later was an 
attorney for Furly.^ He writes, — 

" On the morning of November 21, we went Op-Te Haar- 
ingVliet, to visit Benjamin Furly, an English Merchant, who 
was the chief of the Quakers in Holland, and possesses a 
curious stock of Books, mainly suspecice Jidei He lives in a 
very fine house, and is a man of about seventy years of age, 
and of peculiar actions. [Sonderbarem wesen.] 

" We were ushered into his compioir as it was called, but 
this appeared more like a library or Museum than a mer- 
cantile counting house, as the walls were shelved and cov- 
ered with books, to the number of at least four thousand. 
They were mostly on theological subjects, of the suspectae 
jidei order, and appear to be well suited to Mr. Benjamin 
Furly's taste, who is a paradoxial and peculiar man, who 
soon gave us to understand that he adhered to no special 
religion. 

1 Zacharias Conrad von Uffenbach, born at Frankfort, February 22, 
1(383. From his youth he was known as a lover and collector of books. 
He first attended the University at Strasburg, later at Halle, where he 
graduated, after which he made a tour through Northern Europe, Holland, 
and England in search of rare imprints and manuscripts. He thus ac- 
cumulated one of the most valuable private libraries in Germany, which 
contained many works on early American history. 

His Memoirs were published at Ulm, in 1753, and contain many 
notices of books and persons not to be found elsewhere. A partial 
printed catalogue of this library may be seen at the Philadelphia 
Library : " Bibliotheca Ufienbachiana," etc. 

» Vid? " The German Pietists; gf Provincial Pennsylvaqia," YoJ. J, 



Benjamin Furly. 19 

" Unfortunately we were not permitted to examine any of 
his books except the original manuscript of the ' Libri In- 
quisitiouis Tolonsanse/ ^ edited by Limborch,'^ and this 
work only after earnest and repeated solicitation. 

" It proved to be a Codex membranaeeus in folio constans foliis 
203, and was neatly and plainly written. 

" This was indeed a great curiosity, especially as it was 
found in the possession of a non-Catholic. This was further 
instanced by the actions of the former Bishop of Utrecht, 
who upon that account doubted its authenticity, and sent a 
clerical to compare Limborch's edition with this original. 
Mr. Furly would not permit this examination until the 
above clerical assured him that if he found the two works 
to agree, he would so certify to the fact officially over his 
hand and seal, which was done, and it is now pasted on the 
cover of the volume. 

^ The Latia title of this work is given in the catalogue of the " Bib- 
liotheca Furliana." Translated it reads as follows : " Book of Maxims ; 
beautifully written on parchment, and bound between two wooden 
leaves; the autograph itself is written; and everywhere it is sub- 
scribed in the hand of the clerks of the Inquisition ; beginning only 
with the year of Christ, 1607, [and going] as far as 1622; and by un- 
doubted indications it is agreed to be the original manuscript, derived 
from the archives of the Inquisition of Toulouse. The Maxims them- 
selves, as far as can be gathered from the resemblance of the hand- 
writing, are written in the hand of Peter of Clav . . . down to the 
eighth discourse, which begins fol. 97. The remainder of the book, 
down to the end, is in the hand of William Julian ; James Marquette 
has written beneath the Maxims almost throughout; [it is] the rarest 
book of all rarest ones, and of the highest possible price." 

The original manuscript was bought in by John Furly at the sale of 
his father's library, and afterwards sold to Archbishop Seeker, who pre- 
sented it to the British Museum, where it now remains. It was trans- 
lated into English and published by Samuel Chandler, London, 1731. 
A copy of this translation can be seen at the Eidgway branch of the 
Philadelphia Library. 

* Philippus Limborch was a learned divine, born at Amsterdam, 1633. 
He embraced the tenets of the "Remonstrants," and first appeared as a 
public preacher at Haarlem in 1655. He was an able annotator and an 
esteemed writer, as is shown hy the tributes pMd km by Locke and Tillot- 
go», He died i» 17U, 



20 Benjamin Furly. 

" Mr. Furly complained that Limborch failed to mention 
that he had obtained the original Codex from him. 

" This," continues TJffenbach, " seemed the more strange 
to me as it would have added to the value of Limborch's 
edition if he had made mention where the original of this 
curious work could be seen, as the Catholics, in time, would 
throw doubt upon the facts, as it was a thorn in their eyes 
and a bitter conviction of their spiritual tyranny. As we 
began to touch upon this subject, Furly complained that 
the same spiritual tyranny was also still in vogue among the 
Protestant denominations. 

" When I reminded him that in Holland religious liberty 
prevailed, he denied emphatically that this assumption was 
true, and he became quite excited over the procedure of the 
local magistrates against the so-called English New-prophets. 

" He admitted that he not only harbored their tenets and 
had printed their writings with a preface of his own, but 
had defended them as well before the Magistrates, and en- 
deavored to shield and protect them, yet, notwithstanding 
all his efforts, these innocent people had been expelled from 
the country. 

" He related all that had happened to these people, here as 
well as at the Hague. This he did not only in a general 
way, but he read to us, word for word, a long relation of 
the facts, that he had just written to Herr Gronovium. 
This lasted for over two hours. 

" I thought that I should die from impatience, and although 
I repeatedly referred to the subject of his books, and begged 
him to show us some of the rarest and most curious of the 
collection, the man was so excited that he failed to notice 
my request. 

" Thus he continued to complain, over and over again, 
how badly these people were treated, especially Herr Facio, 
whom he characterized not only as a devout man, endowed 
with many gifts of the Spirit, but also as a learned man 
and an excellent mathematician. 

" He declared that they were pious and innocent persons ; 
against whom no accusations could be truly brought, except 



Benjamin Furly. 21 

that their prophecy of a personal return of Christ at a 
specified time had not been fulfilled. 

" He stated that the clericals had used the following quo- 
tations of Scripture, viz. : Deuteronomy xviii., v. 21, 22, 
against them, and had attempted to convict them as false 
prophets and deceivers. 

" We were astounded that this man, a merchant, should 
be so well versed in Latin, Hebrew, &c., the more so as he 
formerly had no means at his disposal, and had only ac- 
quired them here of late. We complained that on account 
of his extended discourse we had failed to obtain an insight 
to his literary treasures, but even this hint failed and proved 
of no avail. 

" As we were leaving, the honest patriarch led us into a 
kind of a Cabinet, that gave us an unsurpassed view of the 
river Maas. 

" In his personal appearance," continues Uffenbach, " Ben- 
jamin Furly is, as we had pictured him to be, an old, tall, 
lean, serious man who, although it was already cold and chilly, 
went about in a thin, threadbare gray coat; around his head 
he wore a band of black velvet, as he stated for the purpose 
of keeping his hairs from coming in his face when writing." 

After the death of Benjamin Furly, his great library was 
catalogued and sold at auction October 22, 1714. The fol- 
lowing is the title of the catalogue : 

"Bibliotheca Furliana sive Catalogus Librorum, Hon- 
oratiss. & Doctriss. Viri Benjamin Furly, inter quos excel- 
lunt Bibliorum Editiones Mystici, Libri proprii cujuscumque 
Sectae Christianas, & Manuscriptii Membranei. Auctio fiet 
die 22 Octobris 1714, in ^dibus Defuncti in Platea Vulgo 
dicta. Haringvliet. Roterodami, Apud Fritsch et Bohm. 
8vo, 1714." 

Benjamin Furly's two elder sons succeeded their father 
after his death as merchants and shippers at Rotterdam, 
and also for a time pressed claims for lands in Pennsyl- 
vania.^ Benjohan, the eldest son, married Martha Wrieht, 

' " Pennsylvania Archives," Second Series, Vol. XIX. ; also " The 
German Pietists of Provincial Pennsylvania," Vol. I. 



22 Benjamin Furly. 

a young woman from London, who died in 1713. She was 
buried September 18 ; a few weeks later, October 9, her 
babe was laid by her side. Twenty-five years afterwards, 
August 7, 1738, Benjohan Furly was buried in the family 
vault in the St. Laurentian Kerk, beside his wife, child, and 
parents. Of John Furly nothing is known, except that he 
became a leading merchant of Rotterdam and London, and 
left a family. 

Arent Furly, the youngest son, who was a great favorite 
of Locke and Lord Shaftesbury, entered the military service 
of England, and went with Charles, Earl of Peterborough, 
to the West Indies in 1702-03, and in 1705 as his secretary 
to Spain, where his patron was General and Commander-in- 
Chief of Her Majesty's forces. Several of the orders dated 
in the camp before Barcelona in 1705 are countersigned 
by Arent Furly, According to a letter from Lord Shaftes- 
bury to Benjamin Furly, he died early in the year 1712.^ 
He was unmarried. 

Benjamin Furly 's daughter Dorothy, born July, 1710, 
married Thomas Forster, of Walthamstow, England, and it 
was his grandson Thomas Ignatius Maria Forster who 
published the volume of letters of Locke, Sidney, and 
Shaftesbury, so frequently quoted in this sketch. 

There are but few of the hundreds of American tourists 
that annually visit the Groote Kerk in Rotterdam, and 
wander through its broad aisles, who know that in the centre 
aisle in the nave rest the remains of Benjamin Furly and 
his kin, the man who was so instrumental in bringing about 
the first German immigration to America and in securing 
for the immigrants equal rights and privileges. 

1 " Original Letters," etc., p. 205. 



Benjamin Furly. 23 



For the Security of forreigners who may incline to pur- 
chase Land in Pennsylvania, but may dy before they 
themselvs come their to inhabit. 

[The following paper, in the handwriting of Benjamin Furly, is 
among the " Penn Papers" in possession of the Historical Society of 
Pennsylvania. It is endorsed " B F. Abridgm' out of Holland and 
Germany. Laws of Gov' Pense." It contains a series of criticisms 
called forth by a comparison of the " Frame of Government Signed by 
Penn April 25 1682, together with The Laws Agreed upon in England 
May 5. 1682," and a paper called "The Fundamentall Constitutions of 
Pennsylvania," a copy of which is also among the " Penn Papers." 
This last is a form of government that Penn, after considerable delib- 
eration, had decided upon as a suitable one for the government of his 
province, but which was abandoned for what we know as the " Frame 
of Government" This action does not appear to have been approved 
of by Furly, and hence his criticisms. As Furly's comments were made 
upon the "Frame of Government" as finally published, it cannot be 
claimed that Penn was influenced by Furly in drafting his "Frame," 
unless it was through a correspondence of an earlier date. There is, how- 
ever, little doubt that the 21st section of the " Frame of Government," 
included in the act of settlement passed at Philadelphia, March 1, 1683, 
which provides for the protection of the estates of aliens, was the result 
of Furly's suggestion, and a further examination of that instrument, 
with Furly's criticisms, might indicate an influence in other sections. 
The paper is interesting as showing how widely and earnestly Penn 
sought assistance in drafting the fundamental laws for his province, and 
the attention that was given to the subject. — F. D. S.] 

I. 

If the forfeitures of forreigners Land do there fall to the Governor, as 
in England to the King, Let an Article be added to the frame, by w^h 
the Governour binds himself, Heirs & Assigns, that in Such cases he will 
not take any advantage thereat, but freely, & at his charge restore the 
said Lands to the heirs of the deceased forreigners fro[m] time to time 

for ever 

or II. 

If it will stand in Law, Let a Law be made, declaring every man 
naturally, by virtue of his purchased, Provided he send one to inhabit 
there, with full power to subscribe to the fundamentals of the Govern- 
ment. 

As it is in the Carolina Constitutions that every one who dos there in 
person, subscribe shal be thereby naturalized. 



24 Benjamin Furly. 

One, or both these, must be, or else persons dying after purchase 
before they can get over with their families to be Denizon'd or Natural- 
iz'd, their heirs may have their land forfeit to the King. 

Or III. 
A lease for 1 or 2000 years must be made them of their Lands, w'h 
promise of renewing it at any time to the heirs that may be forreigners. 

Or IV. 

If neither of these Ways will secure the Lands payd for, to their 
heirs, Then there seems to me no other way, but for the Governo' to 
give bond for the paying to their heirs so much mony, as the said 
Land shall be Valued at, at w' time Soever it shall be declared forfeit for 

want of naturalization 

V. 

That a Law be made, as in the first draught of the Governor, Art : — 
on declaring all children to have an equal share in the estates of their 
parents, dying without will. 

VL 

That all wils be so far regulated by Law That the children may not 
for meer will & plesure, & w'hout sufficient reason, be disinherited on 
the One side, nor the Parents deprived on the other side of a power of 
countenancing & rewarding Vertue, obedience & sweetnes, and dis- 
countenancing Vice & refractorynes in their children. 

In order wherunto Let the father have the full dispose of the one 
half of the childrens f parts of the state to dispose of in Legacies, & to 
such of his children as shal have bin most deserving. And the other 
half let be firmly establisht upon the children equally, as their Legit- 
ime portion. 

VIL 

ffor the more speedy peopling of the cuntry & drawing both Eich & 
Poor thither, w*h is the indisputable Interest both of the Governor & 
free-holders Let a Law be made by w^h the Estates of Executors & 
Guardians for minors, shal be bound for to al intents & purposes for their 
tru & faithful administration of the Estates of minors & Orphans, till 
they have passed their acco*s & are legally discharged. 

Let no man be permitted to refuse this so necessary charge in a Com- 
monwelth, except as in Holland, he can shew that he hath 7 children 
to take care of, or be alredy Executor to 3 wills, or hath persons nearer 
related to him, who in all probability will impose that charge upon him. 

This care for preserving the estates of Orphans has bin a great means 
to draw rich men into Holland. 

But they have bin defective in one thing, w^h much impaires the 
Validity of their Registers, Viz, that they have not Registred therein 



Benjamin Furly. 25 

as well the names of all Executors as of all mortgages, w'h should have 
bin, seing all the Lands of such Executors are by this Law really- 
mortgaged or bound to make good the Estates of Orphans & minors, 
whosoever has bought and payd for them, during such minority & Ad- 
ministration — 

That purchasers may be secured or at lest warned let the names of all 
Executors be registred in that book, where their Lands stand enregis- 
tred, as a Legall charge upon their Lands. 

And when they have accounted & are Legally discharged, Let them 
be, upon the Register, duly discharged. 

And because a due provision made for the Education of youth freely, 
iu all arts, that may tend to the good of the Commonwelth, & for Aged 
& disabled persons, & orphans, that there may not be a beggar 
amongst, wil be an incouragement to both rich & Poore. 

VIII. 

Let a certain part of every mans gain, whether husband man, trades 
man, handy crafts man, marchant or by whatsoever name distinguisht 
be set apart, and brought into a common Tresury, whether ^, ^ or 
^V'^ part of their gain.' I say gain. That so the laborios husband man 
may not, (as in that oppression of Tithes) be compelled to pay, where he 
reaps not, sufficient to pay for his seed & Labor &c. — 

Let this be set apart for these uses. 1. for erecting & maintaining of 
free schools. 2. for erecting & maintaining of hospitals for aged & dis- 
abled men & women, & orphans. 

And becaus men whose minds are corrupted by covetousnes may 
defraud the publick, and bring the charge to ly onely upon y* Con- 
scientios. 

Let every man that corns there to inhabit engage to the observing of 
this Law, by a solemn subscription in open Court, upon penalty of 
being looked upon as a false man never to be reed, as a witness, much 
less admitted to any place of trust or proffit & the Eepublick, if it shall 
ever be made appear that he hath defrauded y® public. And to forfeit 
four times so much (^ to y' publick Treasury & J to the discoverer) as 
he had saved, or intended to save to himself, by this vile and false 
Action. 

Thus both rich & poore will see a morall certainty, that, into w' state 
soever they or their posterity shall come, they shall not want for being 
well provided for, & their children bred up to learning if capable & 
thereunto inclined. This fund may be employed for the transporting of 
poor families, that gladly would transport themselves, (but cannot for 
want of means) if any would but furnish them w'h so much as is neces- 
sary to their transportation & settlement, upon their bonds to repay 

1 Marginal Note.— And as the Cuntry encreases let y« be kept in each county 

where it arises. 



26 Benjamin Furly. 

them again, \v*h a reasonable interest & allowance for their monyes & 
risico, as they should be able or could agree. 

Nor would this any way diminish the stock, but increase it by imploy- 
ing it upon interest & proffit for the risico, in a way that should bring 
advantage to the whole Province, & particularly to this fund for the use 
above mention'd. 

And for the Incouragement of any that may be willing to advance 
mony immediately towards bringing over such honest & industrious 
families this fund might be ingaged to them as a corroborativ security 
to the bonds made w'h the persons that they should so contract with. 

IX. 

CONCERNING JURIES. 

Especially where life will be concerned, as in murther & Treason, 
where the Governor has no Power to pardon. 

Let God rather then men be intrusted with that affaire in the first place, 
that all corruption in packing of Juries to hurry men out of y" world 
w*hout just cause may be prevented. 

To w°h purpose let the names of all the free-holders or such as are 
capable of serving, be written in papers, & let 48 draw, w°h done let the 
Prisoner have his liberty still to except giving sufficient Eeasons to the 
Court that so things may go squarely on both sides. 

Onely in cases that will touch life, let no man that scruples to pass 
upon life in any case, be imposed upon — As I myself, & many more to me 
known do. 



That all causes be first heard in the precinct or provinciall court where 
the defendant resides except he be found within that of y* Plaintiff, & 
be there summoned to answer. And let not any cause be removed 
thence to any superior court till sentence be past, And that by way of 
appeal, putting in security for the charges of y* suit. 

XL 

That if any man will finally appeal from y® last court in the province, 
to the king, he first deposits in court the sum w'h he is condemed to pay, 
and give security to pay treble dammages in case he loses his cause be- 
fore the king. 

XII. 

FOR THE AVOYDING OF NUMEROUS SUITS. 

If 2 men dealing together be indebted to each other, upon bills, bonds, 
bargains or whatsoever it be, provided they be of the same nature clear- 



Benjamin Fuiiy. 27 

nes & Liquidity.^ Let the defendant in his answer acknowledge the debt, 
w°h the plaintiff demands by bill, bond &c — defalking what the plaintiff 
ia owing to him upon like bill, bond &c. — That so he that is willing to 
pay what he ows, to one that is unwilling to do the same to him, may be 
allowed to defalk w' the plaintiff ows him, & pay him the rest, when the 
Jurie hath examined both their pretences, & found them of one nature. 
For what reason in the world is there that if I ow a man £500 upon a 
bond expired 8 days since — And he ows me £300 upon a bond expired 

— since w^h being demanded he has refused to pay ; in case he sue me 

w 

for y" £500 I ow him, that I shall at same time have my case tryed 

w'hout making an other suit of Law of it ? 

Much less is there reason, if he ow me £500 upon a bill, & I him but 
£300 — That because he begins to sue me first having arrested me, I 
shal be Comdemed to pay my £300 — And be to seek him when I can find 
him, to arrest him — for y® £500 he ows me, y* was due before my bond ? 

This brings to my mind to desire that every man, as in holland shal 
be bound to appear upon summons left at his dwelling, that so no man 
by skulking may prevent Justice. As I suppose it is here. 

Consider further that there are many Christians in holland & Ger- 
many that look upon it as uulawfull to sue any man at y* Law, as to 
fight w'h armes These then having no other fence but their prudence 
in intrusting none but honst men. If they should prove mistaken, 
shal be made by a knave to pay £300 when in reality they ought to 
receive £200. w^h, if they might in their defence be allowed to alledge 
by way of answer, they might receive. Or at lest they would be freed 
from being molested for payment of their bond ; because the same Jury 
would determine, as well for them, as for their party. 

That away be establisht for making sentences passed by Arbitrators as 
valid as any other in the cuntry, as in Holland, Thus. The partyes 
having signed to submitt their matters to such men, Let the compromise 
be sent to y® superior court & their ratification of that act be confirmed 
by them 

CONCERNING PAYING DEBTS. 

XIII. 

Let all Lands & goods be lyable to sale for payments of debts, this is 
just & honest the keeping any part free (as in y'' li"" Law) tends to en- 
courage vile knavery. 

XIV. 

Seven yeers possessions, is too short a time to give an unquestionable 
right — as in y* 15 [16] Law. 

1 Marginal Note. — That bills, bonds & other specialties bo assignable from one to 
another. But he that receivs such ought first to require of y« debtor whether he hath 
not as liquid, & adjusted a debt to stop, upon the bill, bond &c. that should be trans- 
ferred to him— 



28 Benjamin Furly. 

XV. 

That the term Contenements in y® IS''' Law be explayned. 

XVI. 

That care be taken that, if deeds sent over to be registred be lost, the 
persons shall not lose their lands, w'h must be, by a Register here. Or 
Copies Notarial! sent, or kept here must be admitted. 

XVII. 

That in case of murder (L : rs) y' f of y* state go rather to y® next of 
kin to the sufferer (w'h may be a poore widdow w"* many fatherless chil- 
dren) & but J to y® kindred of the Criminall — If any difference — But half 
to each seems as equall — & In case of Treason J to y* kindred, & J to 
y' publick Treasury. 

XIX. 

The 26"' [36] Law enjoyning all to abstain from Labour on y' first day 
may prove a vile snare to y* conscience of many in this day, who do not 
look upon that day as of any other then human institution, & may be 
pressed in spirit (whether right or wrong is not the question) sometimes 
to work upon that day, to testify agt that superstitious conceit that it is 
of divine institution, & is the Christian sabbath. 

Onely thus far there may a service be in Setting Servants at liberty 
from the oppressions of grinding, covetos masters &c — that it be declared 
that no master shall compell his servant to labor on that day because its 
fit y' y* very body of man & beast should have some rest from their con- 
tinuall labor 

XX. 

That no publick Tax be for longer then a year, w^h will make y* 
Assembly always necessary. And consequently keep ministers in aw. 

XXL 

That if any man arrest another going out of y* Province he be ready 
w'h his declaration & evidence the next day & that he put in security — 
for y* charges & dammages sustayned by that stop, if he be found in 
the wrong. 

XXII. 

That a forme of a deed be agreed upon, thats short & plain that we 
be not bound to the tricks of y^ Lawyers of England. 

And let possession be given & taken as in holl* in open court, by the 
persons themselves or their atturneys. 

In holland the mode is thus. The seller takes his hat, & turning y* 



Benjamin Furly. 29 

crown downwards holds it by 2 fingers & his thumb. The buyer like- 
wise takes hold of it, & the seller says that he thereby surrenders to him 
all his right & title leaving y® hat in y" hand of the buyer, who after- 
wards givs it him and there's an end 

XXIII. 

Let no blacks be brought in directly. And if any come out of Vir- 
ginia, Maryld. or olcowhor o in families that have formerly bought them 
else where Let them be declared (as in y' west jersey constitutions) free 
at 8 years end.' 

XXIV. 

That the Royalties being not in the deeds expressed be added to the 
frame as an article, & the liberty of hunting, fowling, fishing exprest 
in plain terms. And afterwards in the Register. Things securing mens 
rights & properties cannot be writ too plain. 

That w'h I have now further to add is that I far prefer thy first draught 
to this last, as being most equall, most faire, & most agreeing with the just 

' This passage is very interesting if, as the language seems to imply, 
it proposed, at that early day, the prohibition of negro slavery in Penn- 
sylvania. Unfortunately, Furly has failed to express himself clearly, 
and his handwriting adds to the obscurity of the passage. The words 
in and directly a.re separate, but it looks as if they were intended to form 
the one word " indirectly." His habit of leaving spaces between sylla- 
bles of words of the entirety of which there can be no doubt supports 
this theory. The importance of the difference between in directly and 
indirectly will be seen at once. If no blacks were to be brought directly 
in, and if those coming from Virginia and Maryland in families that had 
owned them before removing to Pennsylvania were to be free in eight 
years, the provision was clearly an anti-slavery one. But if the passage 
means "Let no blacks be brought indirectly," — that is, let none be 
brought in but those coming direct from Africa and sold into slavery, 
and if those from the neighboring provinces of Virginia and Maryland 
were to be free in eight years, — then the provision was simply one reg- 
ulating the importation of slaves, and was in the interest of parties 
engaged in the African slave-trade. This was always a favorite occu- 
pation of the Dutch, but Furly's character would not lead us to suppose 
that he engaged in it. The erasure of the two words " or elsewhere" 
after Virginia and Maryland seems to imply that it was not Furly's 
intention to prohibit entirely the importation of slaves ; or it is possible 
that they were struck out to avoid tautology, as they appear again in the 
next line. 

The provision referred to in the West Jersey constitution is at present 
unknown to us, and if discovered may throw some light on Furly's 
intentions. — F. D. S. 



30 Benjamin Furly. 

wise, & prudent constitutions of our Ancestors. And most likely to 
keep us in a good, & fair Correspondence w*li y^ Nation, w°h, & y* In- 
terest thereof will stand, when that of a few corrupt & guilty Courtiers 
— will sink, &c 

Indeed I wonder who should put thee upon altering them for these. 
And as much how thou couldst ever yield to such a thing. Especially 
after thou wert so much satisfyed in them as to charge all thy children, 
& theirs, to love & preserve them as being y® establishmt. of thee 
their father & Ancestor, as the discharge of thy conscience to God the 
giver of this cuntry to thee & them, & as they hope to keep it & his 
blessing upon it. 

As much do I wonder that any of the free holders that had subscribed 
ym ^t]j much clearness & satisfaction as the Ground & Rule of All future 
Laws, & Goverment, promising everyone for himself that, by Gods as- 
sistance they would remember love & preserve y™ to the uttermost of their 
power, as fundamentals, inviolably, charging their posterity to do the 
same, as they hope to enjoy what they should leave them, & the blessing of 
God with it. 

Who has turned you aside from these good beginnings o establish 
things unsavory & unjust; as fundamentals to w°h all Generations to 
come should be bound ? 

The 3*^ Constitution, w'h gives the Assembly the power of making & 
abolishing all Laws, & whatsoever is the privilege of an English house 
of Commons, the power of determining how long, within their yeer to 
sit, Is more fair, & equall then the 29'*' [19] of y* new frame, w^h de- 
prives them of both. 

The 5"' constitution that provides agt. any deputyes betraying his 
trust in Voting agt. his principals, or Electors, by obliging him to bring 
instructions. Is in the new, without ground in my judgmt left out. 

The 8"^ Constitution w'h lodges but a consultative faculty in the 
Councill of 48. [upon] the bills & proposals of y^ Assembly, & then to 
propose their deliberations by way of conference to the Assembly. 

Is much more faire & equall, in my mind, then the 5 & T*** of y® new 
frame w*h take from y^ Gen : Assembly, the whole faculty of proposing 
any bills, & lodges it solely in y* provinciall Councill. w^h seems to be a 
divesting of the peoples representatives (in time to come) of y® greatest 
right they have. & will lay morally a certain foundation for dissension 
amongst our successors. And render the patronizers of this new frame 
Obnoxious to future parliaments. For the people of England can 
never, by any prescription of time be dispossessed of that naturall right 
of propounding Laws to be made: by their representatives. Let us 
then in settling foundations avoid such precipices. 

And let the Generall Assembly be restored to those powers & priviledges 
w^h thy first constitutions do give it, & the Provinciall Councill whether 
of 48. or 72, brought to its place, there allotted to it. 



Benjamin Furly. 31 

And if upon conference they cannot agree — Let those matters, w°h 
can never be many, be reserved to y® judgment of god, by Lott or, by 
the f of the numbers of y® provinciall Councill & Generall Assembly. 

However I would not be misunderstood, as if I judged it absolutely 
necessary that now, at y® beginning there should be an Assembly of 
200, & a councill of 72. For I know not but 72, may be a very compe- 
tent number of Representatives for such a body of people as may be 
upon the place in our day. And consequently if y^ people did — once a 
yeare chuse 72 persons as their representatives after y® first yeare (where 
all freeman may conveniently appear & vote for themselves) it might 
be enough. 

But what I speak is with reference to future ages, when y* very frame 
supposes it may be needfull to have 500 representatives ; unto w"h 
times this frame shal be as binding, as it is at this day, & whatsoever 
inconvenience may then [be] found in it, at that day, cannot be removed, 
without the consent of y* Governor, who 500 yeare hence may be such a 
man, as y* present Govern'' if he could help, would not allow the 
meanest office of Trust in the Goverm*. 

My earnest intreaty then is that these foundations be n«t layd as un- 
alterable, as they are, but onely to continue for a tearm of years or for y* 
life of y* present governor : 

And then be alterable by f of y® 2 assemblys as above mentioned. 

For to have a great nation bound up to have no laws but w* two 
thirds of 72 men shall think fit to propound. Whereof but 24 shall be 
yearly chosen, & sit 3 years to be corrupted by a Governor who hath 3 
Voyces, that is -^ of y® Quorum is not consistent w'h the publick safety 
w'h is, & always will remain, the supreme Law, & bring to certain 
distruction all y* go about to make it Void. 

I should like it much better that they were chosen every 3 months by 
the Generall Assembly or by the people, y' so they might not be so 
liable to be corrupted by an ill minded, ambitios Governor, for such 
opportunities do present for mischief in 3 years that do not in 3/m. at 
lest their designs are not so easily brought to perfection in 3/m. as in 
3/years. 

Concerning Nomination of Judges &c 

Let y^ nomination of 2 be by the Gen. Assembly : & election of one 
by the Prov. Councill. w^h is y^ safer way, then to hang the finall elec- 
tion upon one man w"'h if not good & vertuous may make an ill use of 
it and attract to himself bribers & flatterers w^h I would never expose 
my posterity to — 

Concerning y^ committees. 

Let them all be subjected to the animadversions of y^ Gen. Assembly, 
especially those of Justice, & y* treasury. 

Finally, if this frame be continued, I desire at lest. That to y' 6'" 
Article be added the word Onely, & ye words No Negatives. To prevent 



32 Benjamin Furly. 

that most absurd interpretation of that Article, That because the Gov- 
ernor, has not in terminis renounced a right to a Negative Voice, or not 
said Onely a treble Voice, Therefore he has, to help him at a dead lift 
right to use a Negative when his treble Voice will not do. 

That y® Generall assembly have a right of proposing as well as y* 
provinciall councill. 

That to y® 9"^ [19] Article be added these words (instead of as may be) 
as they shall judg needfull to Impeach such criminalls as they shall judge 
fit. 

That they have right to adjourn or prorogue themselves. And y® 
Prov : Councill of calling them sooner, if need be. 

That y« 23. & 24 Articles of y'' frame & 1st & 3'^ Laws— for ratification 
of them may be expunged. Because it binds our posterity forever, & 
gives the Governor a Negative Voice in these 2 grand cases of y® provin- 
ciall & Generall Assembly (tho' some that have read y™ could not beleeve 
it) — 1 And to secure liberty of conscience, 2 balletting in elections & 
Eesolutions, 3 y* way of tryalls, 4 gavelkind for succession of estates 
reall & personall, 5 marriages, 6 y® Registry, 7 speedy justice, 8 Law in 
English, 9 property &c — may be establisht as fundamentals; w*h should 
be delivered to y^ supreme assembly to be onely conservators of, & y' 
utmost penalty upon any that at any time in any councill should move 
for y^ alteration of any of them w'^h will be all the security we can have, 
or desire