79: [William Penn’s Plan of Union] - Donald S. Lutz, Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History 
Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History, ed. Donald S. Lutz (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund 1998).
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- Introductory Essay
- New Hampshire: 1: [agreement of the Settlers At Exeter In New Hampshire]
- 2: General Laws and Liberties of New Hampshire
- Massachusetts: 3: [agreement Between the Settlers At New Plymouth] (the Mayflower Compact)
- 4: [plymouth Oath of Allegiance and Fidelity]
- 5: [the Salem Covenant of 1629]
- 6: [agreement of the Massachusetts Bay Company At Cambridge, England]
- 7: [the Watertown Covenant of July 30, 1630]
- 8: [massachusetts Election Agreement]
- 9: The Oath of a Freeman, Or of a Man to Be Made Free
- 10: [the Massachusetts Agreement On the Legislature]
- 11: [cambridge Agreement]
- 12: [dorchester Agreement]
- 13: [cambridge Agreement On a Town Council]
- 14: [massachusetts Agreement On the Legislature]
- 15: The Oath of a Freeman
- 16: [salem Oath For Residents]
- 17: [watertown Agreement On Civil Officers]
- 18: [the Enlarged Salem Covenant of 1636]
- 19: [plymouth Agreement]
- 20: [pilgrim Code of Law]
- 21: [dedham Covenant]
- 22: [the Massachusetts Body of Liberties]
- 23: [the Combination of the Inhabitants Upon the Piscataqua River For Government]
- 24: [massachusetts Bicameral Ordinance]
- 25: [massachusetts Ordinance On the Legislature]
- 26: The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts
- 27: [massachusetts Ordinance On Legislative Procedure]
- 28: [towns of Wells, Gorgiana, and Piscataqua Form an Independent Government]
- 29: [the Cambridge Agreement of October 4, 1652]
- 30: [puritan] Laws and Liberties
- 31: [an Act of the General Court]
- Rhode Island: 32: [providence Agreement]
- 33: [government of Pocasset]
- 34: [newport Agreement]
- 35: [the Government of Portsmouth]
- 36: Plantation Agreement At Providence
- 37: [organization of the Government of Rhode Island]
- 38: [warwick Agreement]
- 39: Acts and Orders of 1647
- 40: Charter of Providence
- 41: [general Assembly of Rhode Island Is Divided Into Two Houses]
- Connecticut: 42: Plantation Covenant At Quinnipiack
- 43: Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
- 44: Guilford Covenant
- 45: Structure of Town Governments
- 46: Fundamental Articles of New Haven
- 47: [connecticut Oath of Fidelity]
- 48: Capitall Lawes of Connecticut, Established By the Generall Court the First of December, 1642
- 49: The Government of Guilford
- 50: New Haven Fundamentals
- 51: [majority Vote of Deputies and Magistrates Required For the Passage of Laws In Connecticut]
- 52: Connecticut Code of Laws
- 53: Preface to the General Laws and Liberties of Connecticut Colony Revised and Published By Order of the General Court Held At Hartford In October 1672
- 54: [division of the Connecticut General Assembly Into Two Houses]
- New York: 55: [a Letter From Governor Richard Nicolls to the Inhabitants of Long Island]
- 56: Charter of Liberties and Privileges
- New Jersey: 57: Fundamentals of West New Jersey
- Pennsylvania: 58: Concessions to the Province of Pennsylvania
- 59: Charter of Liberties and Frame of Government of the Province of Pennsylvania In America
- 60: An Act For Freedom of Conscience
- 61: [pennsylvania Charter of Liberties]
- Maryland: 62: Orders Devised and Published By the House of Assembly to Be Observed During the Assembly
- 63: Act For Establishing the House of Assembly and the Laws to Be Made Therein
- 64: An Act For Church Liberties
- 65: An Act For Swearing Allegeance
- 66: An Act What Persons Shall Be Called to Every General Assembly and an Act Concerning the Calling of General Assemblies
- 67: An Act For the Liberties of the People
- 68: [maryland Toleration Act]
- Virginia: 69: Articles, Laws, and Orders, Divine, Politic, and Martial For the Colony In Virginia
- 70: [laws Enacted By the First General Assembly of Virginia]
- 71: Constitution For the Council and Assembly In Virginia
- 72: [laws and Orders Concluded By the Virginia General Assembly]
- 73: Act Relating to the Biennial and Other Assemblies and Regulating Elections and Members In North Carolina
- South Carolina: 74: Act to Ascertain the Manner and Form of Electing Members to Represent the Province
- Georgia: 75: Act to Ascertain the Manner and Form of Electing Members to Represent the Inhabitants of This Province In the Commons House of Assembly
- Confederations: 76: [the New England Confederation]
- 77: [the Albany Plan of Union]
- 78: The Articles of Confederation
- 79: [william Penn’s Plan of Union]
- 80: [joseph Galloway’s Plan of Union]
[William Penn’s Plan of Union]
The calendar in use during the seventeenth century designated February as the twelfth month of the year, so this document is often reproduced with the date as “1696.” The text is reproduced from Marianne S. Wokeck et al., eds., The Papers of William Penn: Volume Three, 1685–1700 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986), 482–83.
February 8, 1697
Penn’s Plan lists only nine colonies, but these nine encompass the existing settled seaboard. As of 1697 New Hampshire is claimed by Massachusetts, (here identified idiosyncratically as “Boston”); Delaware is included as one of “the Jerseys” (so implicitly there are ten colonies); Carolina has not yet been differentiated into north and south, and Georgia is not yet chartered. The emphasis in this proposal is on resolving intercolonial disputes.
a briefe and plaine scheam
How the English Colonies in the North parts of America Viz: Boston, Connecticut, Road Island, New York, New Jerseys, Pensilvania, Maryland, Virginia and Carolina may be made more usefull to the Crowne, and one anothers peace and safty with an universall concurrence.
1st. That the severall Collonies before mentioned, do meet once a year, and oftener if need be, dureing the Warr, and at least once in two yeares in times of Peace, by their Stated and Appointed Deputies, to Debate and Resolve if such Measures, as are most adviseable for their better understanding, and their Public Tranquility and Safety.
2dly That in Order to [effect] it two persons, well Qualified, for Sence Sobriety and Substance, be appointed by each Province, as their Representatives or Deputies; which in the whole make the Congresse to Consist of Twenty persons.
3dly That the Kings Commander, for that purpose specially appointed, shall have the Chaire, and Preside in the said Congresse.
4thly That they shall meet as neer as Conveniently may be, to the most Centrall Colony for ease of the Deputies.
5thly Since that may, in all Probability, be New Yorke, both because it is neer the Center of the Collonys, and for that it is a Fronteir, and in the Kings Nomination, the Governour of that Colony may therefore also be the Kings high Commander during the Session, after the manner of Scotland.
6thly That their businesse shall be [to] hear and Adjust all matters of Complaint or difference Between Province and Province; as 1st where Persons quit their own province and go to another, that they may avoid their Just debts. Tho’ able to Pay them. 2dly where Offenders fly Justice, or Justice cannot well be had upon such offenders in the Provinces that entertaine them. 3dly to prevent or cure Injuries in point of Commerce. 4thly To consider of wayes and meanes to support the Union and safety of these Provinces against the Publick Enemies; In which Congress the Quota’s of Men and Charges will be much easier, and more equally sett, then it is Possible for any Establishment made here to do: for the Provinces knowing their own Condition and one anothers, can debate that matter with more freedome and satisfaction, and better adjust and ballance their affaires in all respects for their Common safety.
7thly That in times of War the Kings high Commander shall be Genll or Cheife Commander of the severall Quota’s upon service against the Common Enemy, as he shall be advised, for the good and benefitt of the whole.