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BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTES117 ton Friends both toward the pastoral system and, ultimately, away from it. George Selleck's research has been thorough and his documentation careful . Where his sources leave gaps which can be filled only by thoughtful inference, he takes pains to use such phrases as "it is likely. . ." to mark diem clearly. Despite the thoroughness of his scholarship, however, his style is never pedantic or inaccessible to the general Quaker reader. Finally, the publishers, Friends Meeting at Cambridge, have produced a handsomely printed and illustrated volume, wordiy of an excellent history of a fascinating area and its Meetings. New York CityGordon Browne The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania, in the time of William Penn, Volume I, 1680-1700. Compiled by Gail McKnight Beckman. New York: Vantage Press, 1976. 250 pages. $17.50. It is a pleasure to welcome Volume I of the Statutes at Large, nearly a century after the Commonwealth approved the compilation and publication of the statutes of colonial Pennsylvania. The General Assembly authorized the project in 1887, and Volume II and subsequent volumes appeared, beginning in 1896, but scholars were never sure that all of the laws enacted in the first two decades had been discovered, and publication of Volume I was postponed repeatedly. Among others, professors Roy F. Nichols and LeĆ³nidas Dodson worked on the project in cooperation with the American Philosophical Society in recent years, but Gail McKnight Beckman deserves great credit for bringing the project to its completion. For many years scholars have had to depend upon the book edited by Staughton George and others, Charter to William Penn, and Laws of the Province of Pennsylvania . . .(Harrisburg, 1879), despite its weaknesses. Over the decades additional manuscript copies of early laws came to light, scholars have studied and interpreted both the laws and the early legislatures, and much new material related to William Penn has appeared. Dr. Beckman has incorporated this new information in her volume. The contemporary texts begin with the Duke of York's Laws which were in effect before Penn received his charter in March, 1681. The Charter from the Crown, the deed issued by the Duke of York in August, 1682, and the two documents prepared by Penn in England in 1682: the First Frame of Government, and the Laws Agreed upon in England, are also reproduced. The editor then turns to variant copies of the laws enacted at Chester in December, 1682, which mark a new beginning of Pennsylvania's statutes. The laws continued to accumulate until the Crown seized Pennsylvania in 1692, and Governor Benjamin Fletcher arrived as Royal Governor the following year. While he set aside all previous laws, in practice he allowed many of them to be reenacted under his authority. The collection of statutes concludes with the laws enacted under Markham's Frame of 1696. Apparently the laws passed in Fletcher's period were continued, augmented by statutes passed in the years 1696-1700. William Penn returned to the province at 118QUAKER HISTORY the end of 1699, and Volume II begins with the new enrollment of laws prepared under his guidance in October and November, 1700. The fifty page historical introduction makes this volume more useful than the later ones which lack such supplementary material. Dr. Beckman has carefully annotated this essay, and assembled a helpful index at its conclusion. She has placed the statutes in their historical context and also provided an analysis of the types of laws passed. The laws enacted in the first two decades reflected Quaker concepts of society and justice more fully than the statutes written in the eighteenth century, for the Friendly influence in the province was overwhelming in those years. The emphasis upon freedom of conscience, the reflections of the peace testimony, and the mildness of the criminal code all reflect this influence Persons wishing to understand the social and political attitudes of seventeenth century Friends, on either side of the Atlantic, should find this volume an important resource. It stands on its own, as a collection of seventeenth century laws and as a product of the "Holy Experiment," in addition to filling a gap in the statutes of colonial Pennsylvania. It is unfortunate that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 117-118
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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