1777 British Act - Crime of High Treason. Four pages, 7.75" x 12", London, 1777. Printed by "Charles Eyre and William Strahan, Printers to the King's most Excellent Majesty. 1777." "An Act to Impower his Majesty to Secure and Detain Persons charged with, or Suspected of, the Crime of Treason, committed in any of His Majesty's Colonies or Plantations in America...". This is a very important Revolutionary War Act of Parliament following the Declaration of Independence. It declares America to be in a state of "Rebellion and War", and allows the prosecution of High Treason Charges, without trial, upon Americans participating in the Resistance. The preamble of the act reads in part: "Whereas a Rebellion and War have been openly and traitorously levied and carried on in certain of his Majesty's Colonies and Plantations in America, and Acts of Treason and Piracy have been committed on the High Seas, and upon the Ships and Goods of His Majesty's Subjects..." The act goes on to allow for the prosecution of those " any of his Majesty's Colonies or Plantations in America, or on the high Seas, who are or shall be charged with or suspected of the Crime of High Treason, committed in any of the said Colonies..." One of the most important and historic British Acts, directly related to the conduct of the British throughout the Revolutionary War and their treatment pf American prisoners. Many Americans were imprisoned in England without benefit of trial, and many others rotted in hulls of British ships anchored in American harbors, due to the cruelty of this Act's subsequent prosecutions. John Adams wrote of his own personal concern: "As their Act of Parliament would authorize them to try me in England for Treason, and proceed to execution too, I had no doubt they would go to the extent of their power, and practice upon me all the Cruelties of their punishment of Treason." The document is in very fine condition, very clean and fine, with a few small tears present where it was disbound.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
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