Luther and the Reformation: eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 145 pages of information about Luther and the Reformation:.


[34] See sketch of the plan of Gustavus Adolphus for his colony, page 143, and the instructions given to Governor Printz in 1642.


What is called Penn’s particular policy toward the Indians, and the means of his successes in that regard, existed in practical force scores of years before he arrived.  His celebrated treaties with them, as far as they were fact, were but continuations and repetitions between them and the English, which had long before been made between them and the Swedes, who did more for these barbarian peoples than he, and who helped him in the matter more than he helped himself.

We are not fully informed respecting all the first instructions given to Governor Minuit when he came hither with Pennsylvania’s original colony in 1637-38, but there is every reason to infer that they strictly corresponded to those given to his successor, Governor Printz, five years afterward, on his appointment in 1642, about which there can be no question.  Minuit entered into negotiations with the Indians the very first thing on his landing, and purchased from them, as the rightful proprietors, all the land on the western side of the river from Henlopen to Trenton Falls; a deed for which was regularly drawn up, to which the Indians subscribed their hands and marks.  Posts were also driven into the ground as landmarks of this treaty, which were still visible in their places sixty years afterward.

In the appointment and commission of Governor Printz it was commanded him to “bear in mind the articles of contract entered into with the wild inhabitants of the country as its rightful lords.”  “The wild nations bordering on all other sides the governor shall understand how to treat with all humanity and respect, that no violence, or wrong be done them; but he shall rather at every opportunity exert himself that the same wild people may gradually be instructed in the truths and worship of the Christian religion, and in other ways brought to civilization and good government, and in this manner properly guided.  Especially shall he seek to gain their confidence, and impress upon their minds that neither he, the governor, nor his people and subordinates, are come into those parts to do them any wrong or injury.”

This policy was not a thing of mere coincidence.  It was the express stipulation and command of the throne of Sweden, August 15, 1642, which was two years before William Penn was born; and “this policy was steadily pursued and adhered to by the Swedes during the whole time of their continuance in America, as the governors of the territory of which they had thus acquired the possession; and the consequences were of the most satisfactory character.  They lived in peace with the Indians, and received no injuries from them.  The Indians respected them, and long after the Swedish power had disappeared from the shores of the Delaware they continued to cherish its memory and speak of it with confidence and affection."[35]

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Luther and the Reformation: from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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