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two years after he had left the state, and had actually taken refuge under the arnis of the King. This fact was well established ; it was also proved, that no act or deed could be imputed to him, whereby he ever, either directly or indirectly, acknowledged allegiance to the rebel state: yet, had the American Commissioners the effrontery to prefer to this evidence, the bare assertion, not of any person or persons, but of that very act of attainder, which created the legal impediment, on which the claim was so justly founded! This was literally producing the evidence of a robber to prove that the person he had robbed ought not to deprive him of the property he had stolen. Our readers will readily believe that the majority of the Board rejected, with disdain, such evidence as this. The American Coinmissioners did, however, persist in their opposition, declaring, that they would never allow the evidence of their legislative acts to be called in on their sponge for the whole score ; for there was scarcely a single debt, the legal impediment to the recovery of which was not some legislative act. We shall, now quote Mr. M ́Donald's statement of the opinion of the majority of the Board on this subject.
is Claim, for losses, arising from the non-recovery of debts due to the claimant, being a subject of His Britannic Majesty, through the operation of an act of attainder and confiscation, passed against him as a subject of Pennsylvania, by “the repre66 sentatives of the freeinen of the commonwealth " of Penusylvania,” on the 6th day of March, 1778; for the crime of high treason, in having,
contrary to the allegiance wliich he owed to the “i said state, joined and adhered to the army of the
King of Great Britain,” the said act of attainder and confiscation being a lawful impediment, which operated against the fourth article of the
treaty of peace, and within the meaning of the sixth article of the treaty of amity.
Objection, stated on the part of the United States, as the first ground of defence" before the Board ;-that, as the claimant was an inhabitant of the state of Pennsylvania at the date of the declaration of Independence, he was a subject of that state ; for that, “ in fact, the United States were “independent so early as 1775, and, on the ever “ glorious and memorable 4th of July, 1776, they “solemnly and formally declared to the world, " that they were independent:"-" that the “ formal acknowledgment of his Britannic Majesty " added nothing to their real independence, and if “ the treaty of peace had never been made, the " United States would have actually continued an “independent nation, though at war with Great 66 Britain to this moment.". -And that, “ though << Andrew Allen, after being a subject of Pennsyl
vaniu, joined the British forces in December, “ 1776, and returned to his natural allegiance, this « did not dissolve the right of Pennsylvania to hold
subject, and as its subject to punish “him;'
concluding, that he was not entitled to the benefit of the fourth article of the treaty of peace, or sixth article of the treaty of amnity.
“ The Board finding that the objection, in limine, thus taken and argued before them, precluded all further investigation, took up. tion so far only as it was necessary to the determination of the claimant's national character, and right to claim-And, after full argument and discussion, and with reference to opinions which had been solemnly delivered by the Judges of the United States, a majority of the Board proposed a resolution, stating, among other things, that “ the “ only difference between the question in this case, “ and that which is stated in the preceding resolu.
is him as a
"tión, consisted in the different words of descrip-
meaning and operation of the said article ; "-that at the peace, there was no unconditional submission on the part of Great Britain, “ to all that bad "been done" under the independence of the United States, and the authority they had exercised ; but, " a recognition by solemn treaty, containing reci
procal stipulations, as the price of peace, and for “the mutual benefit of both countries ;" by the fourth article whereot, in favour of creditors on “ either side,” it was expressly, or in effect, stipulated, " that no act which had been, or should * thereafter be done, or passed, by, or under the "authority of the said United States, or any of * thein, whatever might be its form or import, what
ever the terms therein employed, whatever the ex“ tent of power thereby assumed, or declared, what* ever the character thereby ascribed to the individual
against whoin it was directed, should be suffered
to operate as a lawful impediment to the recovery “ of debts, theretofore contracted,' to a creditor
on the side of his Britannic Majesty, at the date “ of the said treaty"--concluding also in these words that if the claimant could be said, to “ have at any time made his election' in favour of “the United States, under the declaration of In. « dependence, and so departed for a time, subse
quent to that event, from his native allegiance "(the contrary of which appears to have been the " case) his return to, and having been on the side " of his said native allegiance at the peace, would s have secured to him the benefit of the said fourth “ article of the treaty :—that accordingly, having " been on the side of his Britannic Majesty at the * date of the treaty of peace, and being a natural s born subject of his said Majesty, not barred by " the acceptance of citizenship, from the right of "complaining against the United States, the * claimant is entitled, under the treaty of amity, X to complain to this Board of the said act of at-“ tainder and confiscation before recited, as being “ a lawful impediment within the description of the *** fourth article of the treaty of peace, and the sixth “ article of the treaty of amity, to the recovery of « such debts as he shall prove, to the satisfaction 36 of the Board, within the meaning of the said *** treaties." I""! Our readers will also observe, that the claimant produced abundant proof, that persons, who left the state of Pennsylvania long after he left it, and who had been attainted in like manner, had been tried, in courts of Pennsylvania, for treason, and had been acquitted, notwithstanding the evidence of the act of attainder, on the ground of their being British subjects, and not citizens of the State. It was, indeed, notorious, that this act of attainder had long been universally exploded as a tissue of abonyinable falsehoods, and it was only resorted to -as evidence on this occasion, because no other more plausible subterfuge was to be found.
“ It appears that a great number of claims were rejected, and always with the cordial concurrence of American Commissioners. In one 'solitary, instance they did also give their assent to a favourable and final award !!! The claim amounted, indeed,
to no more than the trifling sum of 3701. ; but, ng matter, an award was made, and Mr. M‘Donald shall now inform us of the curious evasion, by which the honest government undid what their too liberal Commissioners had done.
“ The Board having unanimously agreed, as already stated; that an award should be given in favour of the claimants, and of course that the case was within the description of the treaty, an order was made on the General Agent for claimants, tộ make up an account of the debt; and on the Agent for the United States, to prepare the draft for such an assignment of the debt, as he would propose to have executed in their favour.
66 The Attorney-General having, however, thought it his duty to instruct the Agent for the United States, not to comply with the order ; in sisting, that he was not bound to make such drafts ; the Board, who had made that arrangement on the principle that the agent of the party, for whose benefit a deed was -- to be executed, should prepare the draft; and for the purpose also of preventing little controversies, or objections, which might otherwise be stated to any draft that could be proposed, were afterwards induced, (though against their opinion of propriety) to order the General Agent for claimants to make the draft.--A draft was accordingly made by him,-it was objected to by the Agent for the United States ;-the award was thereby delayed; and while the whole Board still concurred in the opinion, that the claimants should have an award, none in fact was ever given.
* And thus, after having exhausted the sources of quibbling and procrastination, after seceding and returning, and seceding and returning again, for twenty times ; after rejecting claim upon claim, without completing a single award, the American