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CALEB PUSEY'S ACCOUNT OF PENNSYLVANIA Edited by Henry J. Cadbury* The oldest printed histories of Pennsylvania report that from the early days of that province the Quakers had provided for written records to be compiled and augmented. And they indicate what individuals in successive generations had the custody of the accumulated materials. Robert Proud in The History of Pennsylvania, printed in 1797 but "written principally between the years 1776 and 1780," says in his preface: Among the first collectors of these materials appears to have been Caleb Pusey, one of the early settlers of Pennsylvania from about London in 1682. He lived many years; was well acquainted with the public affairs and saw great improvements in the province. His papers after his decease, in 1725, were delivered to David Lloyd and Isaac Norris; and afterwards to James Logan about the year 1732. From these persons, who made such additions as came within their observation, they afterwards passed to John Kinsey, who, in conjunction with several others his friends revised them; and they remained in his possession till his death in the year 1 750. . . . But the person who took the most pains to adjust and reduce these materials into such order as might be proper for the public view before that of the present publication, was Samuel Smith of Burlington, New Jersey, author of the history of that province; whose manuscript (which contained only the space of about forty years) after his decease, in 1776, being thought by diverse sensible and judicious persons, among his friends to be capable of further improvement and useful alterations or additions, the present history therefore is published not only in a form, different from that of S. Smith's manuscript, but also diverse particulars therein are here much abbreviated . . . and considerable additions are made . . .* In spite of the apparent disappearance of the material as organized by Samuel Smith and all his predecessors back to Caleb Pusey, it has long been known that many years after Proud's publication, the MS history of Pennsylvania by Samuel Smith was partially printed *In 1970 Willman Spawn of the American Philosophical Society Library discovered and identified the Pusey MS. It was transcribed by Henry J. Cadbury and the transcript was checked by Willman and Carol Spawn. The introduction and notes were supplied by Henry J. Cadbury and J. William Frost. 1. Robert Proud, The History of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1797), I, pp. 4-5. 37 38QUAKER HISTORY in installments in Samuel Hazard's Register of Pennsylvania, beginning in September 1830.2 Herewith is published for the first time one of the earliest of the lost several contributions to the history of Pennsylvania as indicated in the summary given above. This document has been long extant in the manuscript papers stored in Philadelphia in the Yearly Meeting archives. It is without title or author's name but is in the handwriting of Caleb Pusey, the associate of William Penn. According to the records of the Yearly Meeting some of Caleb Pusey's manuscripts were transferred to the care of that meeting after his death in 1725. The minutes of the Yearly Meeting held at Burlington in 7th month 1728 make the following reference: "The papers brought into this meeting last year, left by our deceased Friend, Caleb Pusey, came under consideration being an essay or preparation for a history of the first settlement of Friends in these countries, and many Friends appearing desirous to have such a history carried on, this meeting orders the papers to be delivered to David Lloyd who offered himself to that service, who with Isaac Norris are deserved to view and consider thm and make what progerss they can therein. Friends who have any memorials or collections to the purpose are desired to furnish those Friends therewith as expeditiously as may be."3 The document here printed suits the description just quoted. Its emphasis in detail on the Keithian division was suitable to the role which Caleb Pusey played in that controversy. Some of its allusions to individual Friends although anonymous exactly suit him as author, and indeed, Robert Proud in telling the report of an Indian alarm, found in this manuscript, says that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 37-57
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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