University of Pennsylvania, Charter

Excerpt:

Whereas the well being of a society depends on the education of their youth, as well as, in great measure, the eternal welfare of every individual, by impressing on their tender minds principles of morality and religion, instructing them in the several duties they owe to the society in which they live, and one towards another, giving them the knowledge of languages, and other parts of useful learning necessary thereto, in order to render them serviceable in the several publick stations to which they may be called. And whereas, it hath been represented to us by […] gentlemen, that for the erecting, establishing, and maintaining an academy within our said city as well to instruct youth for reward, as poor children whose indigent and helpless circumstances demand the charity of the opulent part of mankind ; several benevolent and charitable persons have generously paid, and by subscriptions promised hereafter to pay into their hands as trustees, for the use of the said academy divers sums of money ; which sums already paid, they, the said trustees, have expended in the purchase of lands well situated, and a building commodious for the uses aforesaid, within our said city in maintaining an academy – there as well for the instruction of poor children on charity, as others whose circumstances have enabled them to pay for their learning, for some time past, and in furnishing the said academy with books, maps, mathematical instruments, and other necessaries of general use therein, according to the intentions of the donors.”

CHARTER to Thomas Lawrence and others, to be trustees of the academy and charitable school in the province of Pennsylvania.

THOMAS PENN and Richard Penn, true and absolute proprietaries and governors in chief of the province of Pennsylvania and counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, To all persons to whom these presents shall come, greeting: Whereas the well being of a society depends on the education of their youth, as well as, in great measure, the eternal welfare of every individual, by impressing on their tender minds principles of morality and religion, instructing them in the several duties they owe to the society in which they live, and one towards another, giving them the knowledge of languages, and other parts of useful learning necessary thereto, in order to render them serviceable in the several publick stations to which they may be called. And whereas, it hath been represented to us by Thomas Lawrence, William Allen, John Inglis, Tench Francis, William Masters, Lloyd Zachary, Samuel McCall, junior, Joseph Turner, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Leech, William Shippen, Robert Strettell, Philip Syng, Charles Willing, Phineas Bond, Richard Peters, Abraham Taylor, Thomas Bond, Joshua Maddox, William Plumstead, Thomas White, William Coleman, Isaac Norris, and Thomas Cadwalader, of our city of Philadelphia, gentlemen, that for the erecting, establishing, and maintaining an academy within our said city as well to instruct youth for reward, as poor children whose indigent and helpless circumstances demand the charity of the opulent part of mankind ; several benevolent and charitable persons have generously paid, and by subscriptions promised hereafter to pay into their hands as trustees, for the use of the said academy divers sums of money ; which sums already paid, they, the said trustees, have expended in the purchase of lands well situated, and a building commodious for the uses aforesaid, within our said city in maintaining an academy – there as well for the instruction of poor children on charity, as others whose circumstances have enabled them to pay for their learning, for some time past, and in furnishing the said academy with books, maps, mathematical instruments, and other necessaries of general use therein, according to the intentions of the donors. And whereas, the said trustees to facilitate the progress of so good a work, and to perfect and perpetuate the same, have humbly besought us to incorporate them and their successors.
Now know ye, That we favouring such pious, useful, generous, and charitable designs, hoping through the favour of Almighty God, this academy may prove a nursery of virtue and wisdom, and that it will produce men of dispositions and capacities beneficial to mankind in the various occupations of life ; but more particularly suited to the infant state of North America in general, and for other causes and considerations us hereto specially moving, have granted, ordained, declared, constituted, and appointed, and by these presents we do, for us, our heirs, and successors grant, ordain, declare, constitute, and appoint, That the said Thomas Lawrence, William Allen, John Inglis, Tench Francis, ‘William Masters, Lloyd Zachary, Samuel McCall, junior, Joseph Turner, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Leech, William Shippen, Robert Strettell, Philip Syng, Charles Willing, Phineas Bond, Richard Peters, Abraham Taylor, Thomas Bond, Joshua Maddox, William Plumsted, Thomas White, William Coleman, Isaac Norris, and Thomas Cadwalader and such others, as shall be from time to time chosen, nominated, or elected in their place and stead, shall be one community, corporation, and body politick, to have continuance for ever, by the name of The Trustees of the Academy and Charitable School in the province of Pennsylvania, and that by the same name, they shall have perpetual succession, and that they and their successors by that name, shall be able and capable in law to purchase, have, take, receive, and enjoy to them and their successors in fee and in perpetuity, or for any other or lesser estate or estates, any manors, lands, tenements, rents, annuities, pensions, or other hereditaments within the said province of Pennsylvania or three lower counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, by the gift, grant, bargain, sale, alienation, enfeoffment, release, confirmation, or device of any person or persons, bodies politick or corporate, capable to make the same. And further, that they may take and receive any sum or sums of money, or any kind, manner, or portion of goods or chattels that shall to them be given, granted, or bequeathed by ally person or persons, bodies politick or corporate, capable to make a gift, grant, or bequest thereof ; and therewith to erect, set up, maintain, and support an academy or any other kind of seminary of learning in any place within the said province of Pennsylvania, where they shall judge the same to be most necessary and convenient for the instruction, improvement, and education of youth in any kind of literature, erudition, arts, and sciences, which they shall think fitting and proper to be taught. And we do hereby grant and ordain, That the said trustees and their successors by the name aforesaid, shall be able in law to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded in any court or courts, before any judge, judges, or justices within the said province of Pennsylvania, the three lower counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, and elsewhere ; in all and all manner of suits, complaints, pleas, causes, matters, and demands of whatsoever kind, nature, or form they be ; and all and every other matters and things therein to do in as full, ample, and effectual a manner, as any other person or persons, bodies politick or corporate within that part of the kingdom of Great Britain called England, or within the said province of Pennsylvania, or three lower counties in the like cases may or can do. And we do hereby give and grant unto the said trustees and their successors, full power and authority to make, have, and use a common seal with such stamp and inscription as they shall think proper ; and the same to change, break, alter, and renew, at their pleasure. And further, in order to continue and perpetuate this community and corporation, We do grant, ordain, and declare, That when any one or more of the present or future trustees of this academy and school, shall remove his or their habitation or habitations, and shall dwell at the distance of five miles from the seat of the said academy at that time, or shall go and reside out of the province of Pennsylvania, although at a place nearer to the said academy than five miles, or shall happen to die or be otherwise disabled from performing the office and duty of a trustee or trustees, the other trustees shall, as soon after as they conveniently can, proceed to elect and choose one or more fit person or persons, then residing within five miles of the said academy, and within the said province, to fill the place or places of such absenting, deceased, or disabled person or persons. And we do also, for us, our heirs, and successors, give and grant to the ‘said trustees and corporation, and their successors, full power and authority in all time and times coming, to make, ordain, and enact all such rules, ordinances, laws, and statutes, and from time to time to alter and amend the same as they shall judge most convenient, reasonable, and needful for the good government of the said community, the management of the affairs thereof, and the effectual promotion of the good ends hereby intended ; provided always, That the said rules, ordinances, laws, and statutes, be not repugnant to the laws and statutes then in force in the kingdom of Great Britain, or to the laws then in force in our said province of Pennsylvania. And lastly, We do, for us and our successors, grant, declare, and ordain, That these our letters patent and charter, and every clause, sentence, and article herein contained shall be in all things firm, valid, sufficient, and effectual in the law unto the said trustees, community, and corporation and their successors, according to the purport and tenor hereof, without any further grant or toleration from us, our heirs, or successors, to be procured or obtained. In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters, to be made patent ; witness, James Hamilton, esq., lieutenant governor and commander in chief, in and over the said province of Pennsylvania, at the city of Philadelphia, the thirteenth day of July, in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of our sovereign lord George the second, who now is king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, &c., and in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-three.


JAMES HAMILTON, (L. S.)


Recorded 16th July, 1753.
I, WILLIAM PARR, esq., master of the rolls, in and for the province of Pennsylvania do hereby certify the foregoing charter to be an exemplification or true copy of a record remaining in my office, in Como. Book A. vol. 2d, page 150, &c.

SEAL.

In faith and testimony of which, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of said office to be hereunto affixed this 2d day of August, A. D. 1769.


WILLIAM PARR, master of the rolls.

Source Citation:

Thomas Penn and Richard Penn. 1753. Charter of the University of Pennsylvania by James Hamilton. Charter. University of Pennsylvania University Archives and Records Center. https://archives.upenn.edu/digitized-resources/docs-pubs/charters/1753-charter

Cite this page:

Hamilton, James. 1753. "University of Pennsylvania, Charter." History of Higher Education. https://higheredhistory.gmu.edu/primary-sources/charter-of-the-university-of-pennsylvania/