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(A line by line historical analysis of the accusations of the Declaration of Independence.)

XVIII. For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury.

When the British ministry perceived that their scheme for taxing the colonies without their consent, met with determined opposition, and the Commissioners of Customs, in 1768, were obliged to flee for personal safety from Boston to Castle William, they so modified the Court of Admiralty in America, as to make them powerful aids to these Commissioners, and a strong right arm of oppression An act was passed, in which it was ordained that whenever offences should be committed in the colonies against particular acts, imposing various duties and restrictions upon trade, the prosecutor might bring his action for penalties in the Courts of Admiralty;" by which means the subject lost the advantage of being tried by an honest, uninfluenced jury of the vicinage, and was subjected to the sad necessity of being judged by a single man, a creature of the crown, and according to the course of law, which exempted the prosecutor from the trouble of proving his accusation, and obliged the defender either to evince his innocence, or suffer."1



1 Address of the first continental congress, to the people of Great Britain.


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