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Kilty's Land-Holder's Assistant, and Land-Office Guide
Volume 73, Page 255   View pdf image (33K)
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LAND-HOLDER'S ASSISTANT. 255

rents and alienation fines reserved upon them; for, with
regard to the condition of purchase, it is to be observed that,
although this consisted at first, has been stated, in the mere
act of emigration for the purpose of inhabiting, &c. other
terms were subsequently imposed, and various prices, in
money or commodities from time to time assigned, for the lands
that yet remained vacant. The provisions made by acts of
assembly, in aid of those sources of revenue, for the support
of the proprietary, are matters belonging rather to the
general history of the province than to that of the land office
establishment:I shall therefore notice them only so far as
they stand connected with the subject of the rents and fines
abovementioned, and in regard to the inherent land revenue,
as it may be called, of the proprietary, it is not so material
to ascertain all the minute branches of which it might
consist as to describe the system of collection, and the
connection of that system with the operations of the land office.

I must however mention, again, that the interpretation of
the charter, as it respected lord Baltimore's absolute
ownership of the province in the light of a private estate, was not
free from question, but that his theory and pretensions were
on many occasions opposed, as involving a power to defeat
the main end of the grant, and the just expectations of the
original settlers, in withholding those facilities and
encouragements which might be requisite towards the growth and
improvement of the colony. There is no doubt that the
founder of the province of Maryland fulfilled very
faithfuly and honourably every intention of his grant; but the
privilege of raising at his pleasure the conditions of plantation,
or the price of land, was not fully acquiesced in by the
colonists, especially during the periods of trouble and
interruption of the proprietary government. An instance of the
disposition of the people to dispute the proprietary's construction
of his grant has been shewn in the act concerning " rights of
land."
Many other documents, and passages in the records
concur to prove that there never was, at least in the early
times of the province, a perfect understanding on this
subject, but, that while lord Baltimore altered and raised the
terms of his grants of land by instructions to his chief
officers, as any common land proprietor might, by direction to
his steward or other agent, the government generally viewed
the conditions of plantation, and instructions relative to land
affairs, as matters of public and political concern, which
ought not only to be universally known, but to be more fixed
and permanent than they actually were. Accordingly, the
chief agent was not only called upon, as has been seen, to
certify the existing instructions, but, was required also to
produce a correct copy of the charter: that these instruments





 
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Kilty's Land-Holder's Assistant, and Land-Office Guide
Volume 73, Page 255   View pdf image (33K)
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