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Letter from Governour Penn to Governour Eden



Philadelphia, May 16, 1774.

SIR: On the receipt of your Excellency' s letter of the 31st of January last, I resolved, in compliance with your request, to delay the issuing a Proclamation for the exercise of the jurisdiction of this Province up to the lines run and marked by the Commissioners under the Proprietary agreements as the boundaries between Maryland and Pennsylvania, and the three Lower Counties, till it was known whether the guardians of Mr˙ Harford would sign the Commissioners' Return, and instruct you to join in such Proclamation. I am now to inform you sir, that that point is reduced to a certainty, Mr˙ Wilmot, our solicitor, having lately advised me that the guardians have expressly refused an application made to them for that purpose, conceiving it to be a matter in which, from the nature of their trust, they cannot legally intermeddle. Although I have always been advised that the running and marking the divisional lines under the Proprietary Agreements, enforced by the decrees in chancery, and ratified by his Majesty in Council, on the joint petition of both Proprietors, is of itself final and conclusive on all parties, and that nothing is essentially wanting to substantiate these proceedings, yet I should have been glad your Excellency could have thought yourself justified in joining with me in a Proclamation to extend the jurisdiction of both Provinces, according to the lines thus settled; as it would leave without excuse those who might be disposed to give opposition to the measure on either side. But as it is now evident that Mr Harford' s guardians will give you no instructions on this head, I cannot, consistent with the justice due to the people settled on our side of those lines, who have been, and yet are, in a great measure, in a lawless state, any longer defer affording to them that protection they have so repeatedly applied for, and which they have a right to claim from this Government. I have, therefore, come to a resolution, by the advice of my Council, to issue the Proclamation ex-parte, and hope your Excellency, before you embark for England, will take such measures on the occasion as you may judge most proper to prevent the peace of the two Provinces from being again disturbed, and those valuable purposes from being defeated that induced the respective Proprietaries to enter into the agreement for settling their boundaries, and which, in their execution, have been attended with an immense expense to them. I sincerely wish you a happy voyage, and am, with great respect, your Excellency' s obedient humble servant,


His Excellency Robert Eden, Esquire.