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[141] under their own supervision the loan-office of paper
chap. VI.} 1754.

The laws established for Pennsylvania complete enfranchisement in the domain of thought. Its able press developed the principles of civil rights; its principal city cherished science; and, by private munificence, a ship, at the instance of Franklin, had attempted to discover the Northwestern passage.1 A library, too, was endowed, and an academy chartered, giving the promise of intellectual activity and independence. No oaths or tests barred the avenue to public posts. The Church of England, unaided by law, competed with all forms of dissent. The Presbyterians, who were willing to fight for their liberties, began to balance the enthusiasts, who were ready to suffer for them. Yet the Quakers, humblest amongst plebeian sects, and boldest of them all,—disjoined from the Middle Age without even a shred or a mark of its bonds,—abolishing not the aristocracy of the sword only, but all war,—not prelacy and priestcraft only, but outward symbols and ordinances, external sacraments and forms,—pure spiritualists, and apostles of the power and the freedom of mind,—still swayed legislation and public opinion. Ever restless of authority, they were jealous of the new generation of proprietaries who had fallen off from their society, regulated the government with a view to their own personal profit, shunned taxation of their colonial estates, and would not answer as equals to the plain, untitled names, which alone the usages of the Society of Friends allowed.2

1 Ms. Letter of B. Franklin, Philadelphia, 28 Feb. 1753.

2 Letters of T. & J. Penn to the Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania.

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