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The 17th Century - A Period Of Growth And Change

Examining the 17th century through the documents of the Delaware Public Archives

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1683 - Instructions from William Penn to Justices at New Castle

Letter dated July 9, 1683 from William Penn to the Justices at New Castle instructing them to meet with anyone who came from Maryland about the boundary of Penn's grant with "Quietness & Circumspection" and not with violence and urging them to ask such a person for a description of the boundary of Maryland which he was sure they would not and could not give.


Kind Frds 

Yours came just now to hand, I am sensible of yr Love, Care & Prudence in my Affairs, for wch you will not be forgotten by me  My advice is, yt if he comes to yt Town or into ye County, yt you Desire to know, at wt termes; If you learn he cometh to invade my Right, protest most openly & solemly in ye King's Name agt his Proceedings, & warn ye Inhabitants to keep their Faith & solemn Engagements, & not fear, for he dare not use violence & ye King must be Judge.  If he cometh civily, receive him so; but if he hath so marked the Trees in Darby's Land, I see not how he can come civilly into yr Town; & ye high Sheriff should have gone wth some of ye Country, & have protested in ye King's Name aft it.  My Intentions Quietness & Circumspection; for he must not more be Judge of his own Interest yr I of mine  Besides, he cannot come near Delaware River for 40- since he is by Patent to find it on ye Bay, & if there be no such Latitude to be found There, he cannot have any North Bounds upon Delaware:  Mind this well; & if there be occasion, ask for ye Description of ye Bounds of Maryland, & this will strike him back.  I add no more, but pray yt God may keep you, & yt you would be of good heart, & believe yt I am, & hope shall ever have reason to be

                                                          Your affectionate

                                                          True frd



Philadelphia ye 9th 7br 1683

For Justice Walliam & Justice

  White at NewCastle

       wth speed  


  leteer    298

To Justice Wall[iam?]

& Juste White at

   New Castle          


 RG 0000.003 Proprietary Papers, 1683.