An Early Pennsylvania Land Deal
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William Penn’s agents approve a land transfer from Thomas Lloyd, represented through power of attorney by Richard Hill, to Samuel Finney. [WILLIAM PENN].
Document Signed in the name and authority of William Penn, by Edward Shippen, Griffith Owen, Thomas Story, and James Logan. December 8, 1702. 1 page, with two filing memoranda on verso, with large seal (3 ¾” diam.) of William Penn.
“William Penn true Absolute Proprietary & Governor in Chief of the Province of Pensilvania and Territories … To all to whom these presents shall come sendeth greeting. Whereas Thomas Lloyd late of Philadelphia Gentl and Patience his wife by their Deed … dated the twenty fourth day of the ffourth month in the year one thousand six hundred & ninety three, for ye consideration therein mentioned, granted bargained & sold unto Mordecai Lloyd late of Philadelphia aforesaid Merchant a certain messuage Tenement or Plantation called Euhaker … scituate near Frankford in the County of Philadelphia … contains two hundred and fifty acres…. It is further Witnessed that the said Richard Hill by virtue of the said Letter of Attorney [acting for Thomas Lloyd, residing in London, to whom the property had reverted on Mordecai’s death] … for the consideration of one hundred pounds sterling money of England to be paid to the said Thomas Lloyd or order in London and of two hundred and fifteen pounds currant silver money of Pensilvania payd to the said Richard Hill granted bargained … unto the said Samuel Finney all of the said Messuage or Tenement and Plantation … eighth day of December in the first year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lady Queen Ann of England and the two and twentieth of my Government … 1702.”
Signed “Edwd: Shippen, Griffith Owen, Tho: Story, James Logan”
Though William Penn did not maintain political control of Pennsylvania after his return to England in 1685, he did exercise control over the disposition of lands. Because Pennsylvania was a proprietary colony, the right of soil for any lands originated in Penn, and Penn utilized agents, most notably James Logan, to defend that right and to continue to extract profits from sales and leases. Theoretically at least, Penn and his agents reserved the right to collect quit-rents (an early form of land tax), but this proved troublesome.
James Logan (1674-1751) was an English-born Quaker and longtime secretary and proprietary agent in Pennsylvania, acting first for William Penn and then for his son, Thomas Penn. Logan came to Pennsylvania in 1699 and quickly joined the colonial political elite, serving in such offices as commissioner of property, receiver general, Mayor of Philadelphia, Chief Justice, and member of the Provincial Council. He was also an amateur scientist, bibliophile, land speculator, and fur trader, and one of the wealthiest men in the colonies at the time of his death. With Thomas Penn, he engineered the infamous “Walking Purchase” of 1737, defrauding Delaware Indians of thousands of acres on the upper Delaware River.