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[383] rustic patriot possessed a good reputation and a con-
Chap XLVI.} 1770. Dec.
siderable estate, and was charged with no illegal act whatever; yet he was voted a disturber of the public peace; on the twentieth of December was expelled the House;1 and against the opinion of the Council, and notwithstanding the want of evidence,2 that he had been even an accessory to the riots at Hillsborough, Tryon seized him under a warrant concerted with the Chief Justice,3 and kept him in prison without bail.4

The Presbyterian party was the strongest in the House;5 to conciliate its power, a law was passed for endowing Queen's College in the town of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County;6 a deceitful act of tolerance, which was sure to be annulled by the King in Council. But the great object of Tryon was the riot Act, by which it was declared a felony for more than ten men to remain assembled after being required to disperse. For a riot committed before or after the publication of the Act, persons might be tried in any Superior Court, no matter how distant from their homes, and if within sixty days they did not make their appearance, whether with or without notice, they were to be proclaimed outlaws, and to forfeit their lives with all their property.7 Such was the sanguinary

1 Gov. Tryon to Sec. Hillsborough, 31 Jan. 1771.

2 ‘No testimony being present to prove him an accessory to the riots at Hillsborough.’ Tryon to the Sec. 31 Jan. 1771.

3 Tryon to Hillsborough, 31 Jan. 1771. Letter from Newbern, N. C. 5 Oct. 1770. Letter from a Gentleman in N. C. to his friend in New Jersey respecting the Regulators in North Carolina; in Pennsylvania Journal of 3 Oct. 1771, and in Boston Gazette, of 21 Oct. 1771.

4 Judge Martin, II. 269. ‘Husbands remained several days in jail before he could procure bail.’ Worse than that; several weeks, and was not bailed at all.

5 Tryon to Hillsborough, with the laws of the session.

6 See Acts of the Session. Caruther's Life of Caldwell, 77.

7 Martin's History of North Carolina, II. 269, 270.

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