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day of

in the year of our lord at which time the sd murders & devastations were begun, a petty jury shall be summoned & charged according to the forms of the law to try in presence of the said court the fact so alledged ; and if it be found against the defendant, execution of this act shall be done as before directed.

And that the good people of this commonwealth may not in the mean-time be subject to the unrestrained hostilities of the said insurgents, be it further enacted that from and after the passing

"2. That the whole of the quotations from Tucker, Randolph and Henry, be struck out, and instead of the text beginning page 92 l. 12, with the words bills of attainder, &c.,' to the words ‘so often merited,' page 95 I. 4, be inserted the following, to-wit :

"• This was passed on the following occasion. A certain Joshua Philips, laborer of the parish of Lynhaven, in the county of Princess Anne, a man of daring and ferocious disposition, associating with other individuals of a similar cast, spread terror and desolation through the lower country, committing murders, burning houses, wasting farms, and perpetrating other enormities, at the bare mention of which humanity shudders. Every effort to apprehend him proved abortive. Strong in the number of his ruffian associates, or where force would have failed resorting to stratagem and ambush, striking the deadly blow or applying the fatal torch at the midnight hour, and in those places which their insulated situation left almost unprotected, he retired with impunity to his secret haunts, reeking with blood and loaded with plunder. [So far the text of Mr. Girardin is preserved.] The inhabitants of the counties which were the theatre of his crimes, never secure a moment by day or by night, in their fields or their beds, sent representations of their distresses to the governor, claiming the public protection. He consulted with some members of the legislature then sitting, on the best method of proceeding against the atrocious offender. Too powerful to be arrested by the sheriff and his posse comitatus, it was not doubted but an armed force might be sent to hunt and destroy him and his accomplices in their morasses and fastness wherever found. But the proceeding concluded to be most consonant with the forms and principles of our government, was that the legislature should pass an act giving him a reasonable but limited day to surrender himself to justice, and to submit to a trial by his peers. According to the laws of the land, to consider a refusal as a confession of guilt, and divesting him as an outlaw of the character of citizen, to pass on him the sentence prescribed by the law; and the public officer being defied, to make every one his deputy, and especially those whose safety hourly depended on his destruction. The case was laid before the legislature, the proofs were ample, his outrages as notorious as those of the public enemy, and well known to the members of both houses from those counties.

of this act it shall be lawful for any person with or without orders, to pursue and slay the said Josiah Philips and any others who have been his associates or confederates at any time after the sd day of aforesaid and shall not have previously rendered him or themselves to any of the officers civil or military before described, or otherwise to take and deliver them to justice to be dealt with according to law.

Provided that the person so slain be in arms at the time or endeavoring to escape being taken.

No one pretended then that the perpetrator of crimes who could successfully resist the officers of justice, should be protected in the continuance of them, by the privileges of his citizenship, and that baffling ordinary process, nothing extraordinary could be rightfully adopted to protect the citizens against him. No one doubted that society had a right to erase from the role of its members any one who rendered his own existence inconsistent with theirs ; to withdraw from him the protection of their laws, and to remove him from among them by exile, or even by death if necessary. An enemy in lawful war, putting to death in cold blood the prisoner he has taken, authorizes retaliation, which would be inflicted with peculiar justice on the individual guilty of the deed, were it to happen that he should be taken. And could the murders and robberies of a pirate or outlaw entitle him to more tenderness? They passed the law, therefore, and without opposition. He did not come in before the day prescribed ; continued his lawless outrages; was afterwards taken in arms, but delivered over to the ordinary justice of the county. The Attorney-General for the commonwealth, the immediate agent of the government, waiving all appeal to the act of attainder, indicted him at the common law as a murderer and robber. He was arraigned on that indictment in the usual forms, before a jury of his vicinage, and no use whatever made of the act of attainder in any part of the proceedings. He pleaded that he was a British subject, authorized to bear arms by a commission from Lord Dunmore; that he was therefore a mere prisoner of war, and under the protection of the law of nations. The court being of opinion that a commission from an enemy could not protect a citizen in deeds of murder and robbery, over-ruled his plea ; he was found guilty by his jury, sentenced by the court, and executed by the ordinary officer of justice, and all according to the forms and rules of the common law.'

I recommend an examination of the records for ascertaining the facts of this case, for although my memory assures me of the leading ones, I am not so cer. tain in my recollection of the details. I am not sure of the character of the particular crimes committed by Philips, or charged in his indictment, whether his plea of alien enemy was formally put in and over-ruled, what were the specific provisions of the act of attainder, the urgency which caused it to be read three times in one day, if the fact were, &c., &c.


WILLIAMSBURG, June 5, 1778. Dear Sir,- I am now to acknowledge the receipt of two of your favors, during the session of Assembly, but there being little to communicate to you, and that, being a busy time with me, has prevented my doing it sooner. The Assembly rose on Monday last their only act which can shortly aid our army, was one for raising a regiment of horse, which, I think, will be raised as fast as it can be accoutred. Another act they passed, will also produce aid to our army, I hope, but it will be some [delay ?] first; it was for giving great encouragement to soldiers, and appointing recruiting officers all over the country, to attend all publick places. By a third act, they foolishly repeated the experiment of raising volunteers ; the first attempt was pardonable, because its ill-success could not be foreseen; the second is worse than ridiculous, because it may deceive our friends ; I am satisfied there will not be a company raised. I wish Congress would commute a good part of the infantry required from us, for an equivalent force in horse. This service opens us a new fund of young men, who have not yet stepped forth ; I mean those whose indolence or education, has unfitted them for foot service; this may be worth your thinking of. We passed the bill of pardon, recommended by Congress, but the Senate rejected it. Your letter, about enlarging your powers over the confederation, was not proceeded on, because the nature of the enlargement was not chalked

From Lee's Life of R. H. Lee, II, 187.

out by you so intelligibly as enabled the house to do anything, unless they had given a carteblanche. Indeed, I believe, that, had the alterations proposed been specified unless they had been mere form indeed, it might have been difficult to obtain their consent. A Frenchman arrived here a week ago, with a vast cargo of woolens, made and unmade, stockings, shoes, &c. fit for the army, fifty thousand weight of powder, and other articles; the master had once sold the whole cargo, to the governor and council, for 5s 3P the livre, first cost; but, on suggestions from some of our forestallers, and those from Maryland, he flew off. Our bay is clear of the enemy. Nothing new here. I set out for Albemarle, within a day or two. Mr. Harvie will be with you in about three weeks. My complements to your brethren of the delegation, and am, dear sir, Your friend and servant,

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WILLIAMSBURG IN VIRGINIA, June 8, 1778. SIR,-Your letter of Sep. 15. 1777 from Paris comes safe to hand. We have not however had the pleasure of seeing Mr. De Cenis, the bearer of it in this country, as he joined the army in Pennsylvania as soon as he arrived. I should have taken particular pleasure in serving him on your recommendation. From the kind anxiety expressed in your letter as well as from other sources of information we discover that our enemies have filled Europe with Thrasonic accounts of victories they had never won and conquests they were fated never to make. While these accounts alarmed our friends in Europe they afforded us diversion. We have long been out of all fear for the event of the war. I enclose you a list of the killed, wounded, and captives of the enemy from the commencement of hostilities at Lexington in April, 1775, until November, 1777, since which there has been no event of any consequence. This is the best history of the war which can be brought within the compass of a letter. I believe the account to be near the truth, tho' it is difficult to get at the numbers lost by an enemy with absolute precision. Many of the articles have been communicated to us from England as taken from the official returns made by their General. I wish it were in my power to send you as just an account of our loss. But this cannot be done without an application to the war office which being in another county is at this time out of my reach.

I think that upon the whole it has been about one half the number lost by them, in some instances more, but in others less. This difference is ascribed to our superiority in taking aim when we fire ; every soldier in our army having been intimate with his gun from his infancy. If there could have been a doubt before as to the event of the war it is now totally removed by the interposition of France, & the generous alliance she has entered into

Tho' much of my time is employed in the councils of America I have yet a little leisure to indulge my fondness for philosophical studies. I could wish to correspond with you on subjects of that kind. It might not be unacceptable to you to be in

with us.

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