(A line by line historical analysis of the accusations of the Declaration of Independence.)
XV. For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states.
In 1768, a dispute occurred between some soldiers and citizens of Annapolis, in Maryland, and two of the Litter were killed by the former. As they were marines, belonging to an armed vessel lying near, they were arraigned before the court of admiralty for murder, on the complaint of some of the citizens. The whole affair assumed the character of a solemn farce, so far as justice was concerned; and, as might have been expected, the miscreants were acquitted.
In 1771, a band of patriots, called the "Regulators," in North Carolina, became so formidable, and were so efficacious in stirring the people to rebellion, that Governor Tryon of that state, determined to destroy or disperse them. Having learned that they had gathered in considerable force upon the Alamance river, he proceeded thither with quite a large body of regulars and militia. They met near the banks of that stream, and a parley ensued. The "Regulators," asking only for redress of grievances, sought to negotiate, but Tryon peremptorily ordered them to disperse. This they refused to do, and some of his men, thirsting forblood, fired upon them and killed several. These soldiers were afterward arraigned for murder, through the clamorous demands of the people ; but, after a mock trial had been acted, they were acquitted, and thus they were "protected from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states."
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