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person, even amongst the Whigs, looked upon his possession of the post as a most fortunate circumstance.

Roberts's offence was of a nature equally trifling, His house in the country lay without the British lines, whence, being apprehensive of being taken, and probably murdered, by a party from Washington's army, who were continually spreading havock through his neighbourhood, he had made his escape into the city, leaving his wife and children behind. Some weeks after his arrival in the city, a foraging party went out into the township where his house was situated. Anxious to see his family, who had been, in the mean time, exposed to the insults and violence of the rebels, be eagerly availed himself of the protection of the foraging party, with whom he went out and returned, bringing in his family with him. Qut of this circumstance, in which, one would have thought, malicę itself could find nothing to blame, the Whigs trumped up an accusation against him, as a man who had volunteered his services as a spy and guide to the British army!

Yet, on charges so frivolous were these two respectable and inoffensive men dragged before the Supreme Court at Philadelphia, in which M-Kean and B: yan sat as Judges, and of which the Revolų. tionary Tribunal of Robespierre was so striking an imitation, that, ever since the proceedings of the

Tribunal have been heard of in America, M.Kean ' has been honoured with the name of Fouquier Tin

ville. It was well known at the time, and has since been openly avowed by the Whigs themselves, that the putting of these men to death was a mere stroke of policy : a measure solely intended to terrify the Tories, and to commit the wavering Whigs beyond the possibility of receding. The voice of justice and of mercy had long been silenced; but they

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were again heard on this memorable occasion. The intention of the leading Whigs to take away the lives of Roberts and Carlisle was no less manifest than was the injustice of the act itself. The great mass of the people once more resumed their natural feelings, and the President of the Executive Council, Reid, together with the whole Council, and

the Judges seemed to fear that, if they succeeded · in procuring a condemnation, a rescue would be

effected. Every measure was therefore taken to prevent the failure of their sanguinary project; but, notwithstanding the jury was packed for the purpose, notwithstanding no counsel of eminence was found bold enough to defend the prisoners, notwithstanding the number of witnesses that were suborned, notwithstanding the partiality and violence of the judges, it has ever been believed that the jury would have refused to find them guilty, had it not been for fear of being murdered thenselves, an apprehension which was artfully excited by the appearance and the dreadful menaces of a set of miscreants who had been prepared for the purpose, and who came into the court just as the jury were retiring. Care was taken, in the mean time, to draw forth all the staunchest of the Whigs under arms. The city had the bayonet placed to its throat, and while every man was in hourly dread of being murdered himself, he thought less of the judicial murder that was about to be committed. It is said, that, at last, Reid hesitated to sign the death warrant, and that even M'Kean faultered; but Bryan declared, that, should an executioner be wanting, he would descend froin the Bench, and perform the office himself! While the city was in this state of confusion and dismay, the death warrant was signed the prisoners were carried to the place of execution, where Claypole, the sheriff, himself became hangman, and put the last hand

to

to one of the most atrocious deeds recorded in the annals of Whiggism. ,

Yet; Sir, did all these severities, all these acts of robbery and murder, and all the apprehensions and terrors they were calculated to excite, totally, fail in making the Quakers forego those principles which they had professed at the beginning of the contest, and the adhering to which had been the sole cause of a series of such unheard-of persecution. They still remained resolute in their refusal to contribute, either directly or indirectly, to the carrying on of war, and not less resolute in their rejection of every test, whereby they were to abjure their allegiance to their King, or to acknowledge the sovereignty or the independence of the States.

That the Whigs could number amongst them some persons, who were Quakers before the rebellion, I acknowledge'; but, the moment any one of their society took up arms, they not only expressed their disapprobation of his conduct, but actually read him out of their meeting, that is to say, excommunicated him. In their excommunication of Mifflin, the person whose conduct you have cited as an instance of their inconsistency, they furnished the most satisfactory proof of their consistency and loyalty. This man's apostacy had rendered him extremely popular ; he was formed by nature for a demagogue, and was far from being deficient in bravery ; he was rising high in command, and was, perhaps, the most to be dreaded of any man in the state of Pennsylvania. Yer did they set their mark of reprobation on him, and expel him from the society in which he had been born and educated, and which, for several generations, had counted his ancestors amongst its most respectable members : nor have they ever, either during or since the rebellion, restored to their society, without a previous acknowledgement of his fault, any one of

those

those whom they expelled for espousing the rebel cause. A singular proof of this fact exists in the city of Philadelphia, where the excommunicated Quakers, at the close of the war, petitioned the Legislature to pass a law, to take part, at least, of the meeting-houses and other property belonging to the society, from the Tory Quakers, and to transfer it to themselves, seeing that they were joint owners thereof. The petition was plausible ;' and whatever the proposition might want in point of law and of strict justice, they, naturally enough, supposed would be supplied by the inclination of the minds of the legislators, with whom they had been engaged in a common cause, who had shared with them in persecuting those against whom they now presented their petition. But the days of violence and injustice were passing away. The legislature heard the cause pleaded before them, and, to their great horour, they decided in favour of the defendants. The Quakers who had abjured their allegiance to the King, not thinking it seemly to live without God in the world, formed themselves into a society, under the denomination of the Free Quakers, which, by the unanimous concurrence of their neighbours, has been very aptly and sarcastically exchanged for that of Fighting Quakers. This excommunicated crew did, with some difficulty, raise funds to build a meeting-house ; but, as mankind in general are not over anxious to ally themselves with outcasts of any description, and, as the expulsion of Quakers does not extend to their children, a regular and rapid decline has been experienced in this new fangled society, the members of which have the mortification to see their numbers daily diminish, their sons and daughters walking in the paths from which they themselves have strayed, while their miserable meeting-house seems to have been erected as a monument of their

apostacy apostacy and rebellion, and of the faithfulness and loyalty of the followers of Penn.

Here, Sir, I conclude this very long letter, which I submit to your disposal ; hoping, indeed, that it will appear in your next number ; but assuring you, at the same time, that, whether it appears or not, I shall still remain, what I esteem it an honour to be thought,

Your sincere friend, and
most humble Servant,

W. COBBETT.

OBBETT.

FAREWELL ADVERTISEMENT I sailed from New York, on iny return to England, on the 1st of June, 1800, having ordered a farewell advertisement to be inserted in the public papers the day before. Soon after I began to publish the Porcupine in London, an American wrote to me, complaining of my indiscriminating attacks on his countrymen ; to this complaint I published the following answer :

SIR, I shall preface my answer to your remonstrance with an extract from my farewell address to your countrymen, which address it is probable you inay not have seen. ? " You will, doubtless, be astonished, that after “ having had such a smack of the sweets of liberty, * I should think of rising thus abruptly from the “ feast ; but this astonishment will cease, when " you consider, that, under a general term, things “diametrically opposite in their natures are frequently included, and that flavours are not more

o various

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