Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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HOLME, Thomas, civil engineer, born in Water-ford, Ireland, in 1625; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1695. He was commissioned, 18 April, 1682, by William Penn to be surveyor-general of Pennsylvania, being designated in the commission as " my loving friend, Captain Thomas Holme." From this mention it is inferred that Holme had served in the land or naval forces of England, and possibly under Penn's father, the admiral. He sailed for Pennsylvania in the ship " Amity" four days after his appointment, and immediately on his arrival in the province entered on the duties of his office, in the performance of which he engaged until his death. His map of the " Province of Pennsylvania," together with his "Portraiture of the City of Philadelphia," published extensively in Europe in 1683-'4, has made his name familiar to every student of American history. On Penn's arrival in the province, 28 October, 1682, he appointed Holme to be one of his councillors, and Holme sat with the lord proprietor in his first court, held 3 November, 1682, at New Castle; in his first legislative assembly, held on 7 December, at Chester; and in the first council that was held at Philadelphia, 10 March, 1683. He continued a member of the council, and, by virtue of this office, a member of each legislature that met up to the time of his death, and served on many important committees, among which were a committee "to prepare the charter," in 1683; a committee "to Looke into the Actions of ye Lord Baltimore, and to draw up a Declaration to hinder his Illegal proceedings," in 1684; and a committee "to draw up a charter for Philadelphia to be made a Burrough," in 1684. As president of the council he was frequently in 1685 acting governor of the province. In 1682 he was one of those who, in Penn's behalf, treated with the Indians "about land and a firm league of peace." He read to the Indians, through an interpreter, Penn's second letter to them; and, according to a recent authority, "the actual treaty for the lands of the present Philadelphia and adjacent country, out to the Susquehanna, was made in the year 1685 by Thomas Holme, as president of the council in the absence of William Penn, who had gone to England."
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