Primary Resource

An act to revive and amend an act entitled 'An act for giving farther powers to the governour and council' (October 1780)

With this act, passed in October 1780, the General Assembly instituted a draft and outlined pubishments for riotous troops and civilians.

Transcription from Original

WHEREAS the act passed last session of assembly entitled "An act for giving farther powers to the governour and council," has expired, and it is expedient and necessary that the same should be again revived and amended, Be it therefore enacted, That the said recited act is, and stands hereby revived, and shall continue and be in force from and after the passing hereof, until the end of the next session of general assembly. And whereas by the arts of the enemy joined by disaffected persons, riots have taken place in some counties injurious to the peace and dignity of government; to prevent such pernicious practices in future, and in order to aid the civil power in the due and effectual execution of the laws, Be it enacted, That wherever the governour shall have satisfactory information that any persons within this commonwealth shall be inclined to mutiny or riot, or in any manner to resist the execution of the act "For recruiting this state's quota of troops to serve in the continental army," he is hereby empowered to order one or more troop or troops of horse to be raised and embodied in any county where such persons shall so resist or assemble together with an intention to resist. And the governour with the advice of his council, shall have power to appoint the necessary officers to command, who together with the privates whilst on duty, shall be entitled to such pay and rations as are allowed in the continental line, and to be discharged when the governour and council shall think proper. The offices and privates of each troop or troops, shall furnish their own horses, arms, and accoutrements, which shall be paid for by the publick in case they are lost or destroyed in the service, without the neglect of the owner. Provided nevertheless, That all such horses, arms, and accoutrements, shall be valued by two respectable freeholders upon oath, at the time of entering into the said service. Power of governor to call out force to suppress mutiny, or resistance to the laws for recruiting this state's quota of troops, for the continental army.

And be it farther enacted, That in case of any invasion or insurrection within this commonwealth, it shall be lawful for the governour with advice of the council of state, by commission of oyer and terminer, to be made out either during the said invasion or insurrection, or after the same, and to be directed to the judges of the general court, to authorize the said judges or any three of them, to meet at such time and place within the commonwealth, as shall be limited within the commission, to hear and determine all treasons and misprisions of treason, and also all offences against an act of general assembly, passed in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty, entitled "An act affixing penalties to certain crimes injurious to the independence of America but less than treason, and repealing the act for punishment of certain offences alledged to have been committed during the said invasion or insurrection;" the said judges shall enquire of such offences by a grand jury of the county where the court shall sit, and upon every indictment for any such offence, the same process, rule, and order, shall be issued, pursued, and observed, as is by law directed in cases triable before the said general court, at their ordinary sessions, and the trial of such offences if denied by the offender, shall be had by twelve lawful men, inhabitants of the county where the offender was apprehended, and such as shall be convicted of any such offence shall suffer such pains, losses of lands, goods, and chattels, as if they had been attainted and convicted of such offence before the said general court. The said judges may adjourn from time to time at their will until final determination, and shall be attended by the attorney general, the clerk and sheriff of the general court, which sheriff shall summon and impannel all juries for enquiring into and trial of such offences, misprision of treason, and other offences, and shall execute the judgments of such courts, and make return thereof to the said clerk, by him to be recorded, together with all the proceedings. Provided nevertheless, That if the said court be directed to sit in any place westward of the blue ridge of mountains, it shall be lawful for the governour with advice of the council of state, to direct the said commission to any three or more persons learned in the law, and to procure the attendance of any other attorney on behalf of the commonwealth, in which cases the said court shall be attended by the clerk and sheriff of the county wherein their session shall be held, which sheriff shall execute their judgment and make return thereof to the said clerk, by him to be recorded, together with all the proceedings, and the same to be transmitted to the clerk of the general court, to be safely kept among the records of his office. Every juror summoned as aforesaid and failing to attend such court, unless for good cause shewn to be adjudged of by the court, shall be fined two hundred pounds of tobacco, and unless the same or the value thereof in money, at the rate settled by the grand jury at the preceding general court, shall be paid before the final adjournment of such court; the said fine shall be levied by such sheriff on the goods and chattels of the delinquent, to be applied towards defraying the expenses of holding such courts.

And whereas by an act passed at the last session of assembly, entitled "An act to continue and amend the act entitled "An act for establishing the county of Illinois and for the more effectual protection and defence of the same, and for other purposes," It is enacted, That the governour with advice of the council, may settle and adjust all accounts with the several commandants, Indian agents, agents of trade, and other officers in the Illinois department, and for their respective services, to make such reasonable allowance as to him shall seem just, which has been found not only to call the attention of the executive from more important objects, but to occasion confusion in the publick accounts; for remedy whereof Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That from and after the passing of this act, all the above-mentioned accounts, shall be adjusted and settled by the auditors of publick accounts; any thing in the said first recited act to the contrary notwithstanding.

And for defence of the western frontier against the invasions of the Indian or British enemy, Be it enacted, That the governour with advice of council, shall have full and ample power to cause to be recruited and fully compleated, upon the best terms possible, the regiment under colonel George Rodgers Clarke's command, and that they be allowed the same pay and rations with other officers and privates on continental establishment, and be ordered into service whenever the governour with advice of council shall think proper.

And be it farther enacted, That the governour with advice of council, shall have power to authorize the raising and embodying any number of volunteers, in case of an invasion by the British enemy, and shall officer and regiment the same, as to him with advice of council shall seem best, which may be ordered into service or discharged when occasion may require, and be allowed such pay and rations as military are entitled to.