Abbildungen der Seite

should have been an inhabitant of the town he is chosen *782« to represent, one year at least next preceding his election. "When, the propriety of his election was inquired into by the house, a majority determined in favor of it; upon the flimsy plea, that he transacted business in Boston though he slept at Cambridge, and removed with an intention of becoming an inhabitant, in time to have completed that inhabitancy which the constitution requires i and that his stopping at Cambridge to secure the health of one of his family, whose life must have been endangered by her spending the summer in Boston, was occasioned by an act of God. The same cause which secured his election, secured his seat, viz. 2n avowed and violent opposition to every moderate measure in favor of the parties who, by the provisional articles, were to be the objects of the congressional recommendation.

By a paragraph in a bill, which was before the house (during this their first session) and afterward passed into a law, cafes were submitted to the sole judgment of two justices of peace, that ought to have been left to the determination of a jury. But certain members protested against it, assigning the following reasons for their so doing—" i. Because we apprehend other provision might have been made, consistent with the constitution, and at the same time more effectual for the purpose of preventing the return of persons who have left this state and joined the enemies of the United States, than that provided in the paragraph aforesaid. Such constitutional and more effectual provision was moved and urged by the dissentients and others, as a substitute in place of the said paragraph, and is as follows, Viz. "Provided nevertheless,

*783- thelefs, that if any person committed as aforesaid, shall, before the warrant is made out by the governor to fend him out of the state, petition the governor, he shall, .with advice of council, appoint three justices of the county, quorum unus, where such person stands committed, to issue their precept for a jury to be drawn out of the superior court box and summoned to appear at a certain time and place, and to inquire on oath whether the person so committed is within the act aforesaid; and if the jury shall return their verdict, that such person is not within said act, then he shall he discharged and not be transported: but such person shall not be liberated from his confinement until a verdict is so given in his favor. And in every such case the justices shall appoint some meet person to act as council on behalf of . government, at the expence of the commonwealth.

k And the person petitioning for such trial shall pay all the cost thereof in the same manner as other persons are obliged to do, in bringing forward a suit at law.— "2. Because by the said paragraph, that essential right of freemen, a trial by jury, is taken away, and every subject of this commonwealth exposed to be deprived of his liberty, property and rights of citizenship, and to the infamous punijhment of banishment, by the sole judgment of two justices of the peace.—" 3. Because it is a flagrant and direct violation of the principles and fririt of the constitution, and the letter of the declara

A. *

tion of rights, art. xii. which provides that, "No subject shall be arrested, imprisoned, despoiled, or deprived of his property, immunities or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, exileo\or deprived of his life, liberty or estate, but by the judgment of his peers, or


the law of the land. And the legislature shall not make '783* any law> that shall subject any person to a capital or infamous punishment, excepting for the government of the army and navy, without trial by jury";— 4. Because it furnishes a precedent of a tendency, most dangerous and fatal to the security of the lives, liberties and property of the subjects of this commonwealth." The protest was subscribed by William Phillips, Nathaniel Appleton, Caleb Davis, Thomas Dawes, all of die Boston board; by Thomas Clarke, James Swan-, Solomon Lovell, Ebenezer Warrenj John Choate, Nathan Dane, Bailey Bartlett, James Bancroft, John Burke, Samuel Loring, James Perry, John H. Bartlet, Peter Penniman> Jacob Ludwig, Theodore Sedgwick, William King, Thompson J. Skinner, John Bacon, William Bodman, Timothy Childs, and Nathaniel Wyman.

When the recommendation from congress of last 17^1 January the 14th, was received, various methods were practised to prevent the good effects of it. It was roundly asserted by some of the popular leaders, that Mr. John Adams did not wish that the same should be regarded. To counteract such reports, Mr. Adams's letter of September the 16th (page 350) was commu

'nicated to certain gentlemen of the senate and house, who copied the same themselves, the more fully to defeat such assertions. But even Mr. J. Adams's express declaration in favor of the tories could not influence the general court to the exercise of a becoming moderation.

As to Mr. Marbois' letter (p. 333) he has privately pronounced it to be offitial; which he asserts exempts

'him from ail obligation to acknowledge it: this accounts Vol. IV.* Dd for

•1784. for his having disowned it to a certain gentleman who has made a conspicuous figure in congress.

The peace has afforded me the opportunity of gaining further information as to certain particulars relating to the war, which it may be proper to mention. 1781-' When lieutenant colonel Tarleton approached Charlotte-ville, he dispatched a troop of horse under captain M'Leod, three miles further to Mr. Jefferson's * house, with the double object os taking him and the two speakers of the senate and delegates, prisoners; and of remaining there in vidette, as the house had a commanding view of half a score counties round about. Tarleton gave strict orders to the captain to suffer nothing to be injured. The troop failed in their design of making prisoners: notwithstanding which, M'Leod preserved every thing with sacred care during his tarriance there <' of about eighteen hours. Colonel Tarleton was just as long at Charlotte-ville; when he was hurried from thence by the news of the rising of the militia, and by a sudden fall of rain which threatened to swell the river, and intercept his return. In general he did little injury to the inhabitants on that short and hasty excursion, which was about 60 miles from the main army, then in Spotsylvania. Lord Cornwallis afterward proceeded to the Point of Fork, and encamped his army from thence all along the main James river to a feat of Mr. Jefferson's, called F.lkhill; and made it his head quarters for the ten days of his remaining in that position. Mr. Jefferson hap• pily had time to remove most of his effects out of the house. His stocks of cattle, sheep and hogs, together with what corn was wanted, wefe used for the sustenance

* Now the American plenipotentiary at the court of Ver/aUks.

of the army; and all his horses, capable of service, were '78l. Carried off. This was no other than Mr. Jefferson expected. But the throats of the horses too young for' service were cut; his growing crops of corn and tobacco were burned, together with his barns, containing the fame articles of the preceding year, and all the fences on the plantation, so as to leave it an absolute waste. These things were perpetrated under lord Cornwallis's eye; the situation of the house, in which he was, commanding a view. of every part of the plantation. The rest of the neighbourhood was treated in somewhat the same stile $ but not with that spirit of total extermination which' seemed to rage over Jefferson's possessions. Wherever the army under his lordship went, the dwelling houses were plundered of every thing which could be carried off. Hundreds of eye witnesses can prove, that his lordship's table was served with plate thus pillaged from private houses; though his lordship's character in Great Britain will forbid the belief of his sharing in the plunder. By an estimate made at the time, on the best information that could be collected, the state of Virginia lost, during Cornwallis's attempts to reduce it, 30,000 slaves; about 27,000 of whom died of the small-pox and camp fever: the rest are thought to have been partly sent to the West Indies, and partly to New York, andfrom thence, before the evacuation, to Nova Scotia andelsewhere. The whole devastations occasioned by the British army, during the six months previous to theirsurrender at York Town, are supposed to amount to about three millions sterling.

"The ..loss of men-sustained by the town os New Haven, out of the- continental line, from among the

D d 2 militia,.

« ZurückWeiter »