Page:United States Reports, Volume 1.djvu/45

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34
CASES ruled and adjudged in a


1778.

dence could be given of a man's fentiments ; but that the intention expreffed by any words offered in evidence, muft relate immediately to the overt act laid and proved on the indictment : that indictment ; that although an adherence to the Britiʃh troops was treafon, yet, an adherence to American troops, even under a fuppofition that they were Britiʃh, did no amount to that crime ; and that the opinion, that words joined with actions made treafon, however ingeniousfly fupported, failed in point of Law. See 3 Crs. 332.

The Attorney General, on the other hand, admitted that words alone do not amount to treafon ; but, he infifted, that they were proper evidence to explain the Defendant's actions on a trial for that crime. I Hawk. 39. Faft. 202. For, though barely being within the enemy's camp might be innocent ; yet if it could be fhewn, that the intention of going thither was to join and adhere to them, the evidence ought to be received.

by the court:–No evidence of words relative to the miftake of the American troops, can be admitted ; for any adherence to them, though contrary to the defign of the party, cannot poffibly come within the idea of treafon.

But, as it appears, that the prifoner was actually with the enemy at another time, words indicating his intention to join them, are proper teftimony to explain the motives, upon which the intention was afterwards carried into effect.


The Attorney General then called a witnefs to prove that the Defendant was feen parading with the enemy's light horfe in the city of Philadelphia.

But to this, alfo, his counfel objected : For, they urged, that every criminal act muft be tried in the county in which it is committed. Cro. C. 947. 4. Bl. C. 301. 3 Inft. 48. 49. 80. And that the circumftance of merely joining the enemy's army, being neither treafon, nor mifprifion of treafon, unlefs done with a traiterous intention, no overt act had been proved in Cheʃter, which was a prerequifite to any evidence being heard of an overt act committed in any country. To evince that this was, likewife, the fenfe of the Legiflative, the Defendant's counfel read the act of Affembly giving the Supreme Court a fpecial power to try offenders in Lancaʃter, for crimes comitted in the counties of Cheʃter and Philadelphia.


The Attorney General anfwered, that when an overt act is proved in the county where the trial is held, corroborative evidence may be given of overt acts committed in any other county. Foƒt. 9. 2. Hawk. 436 And that having eftablifhed the prifoner's prefence with the Britiƒh army, nothing, but the proof of actual force, and its continuance, could excufe him from the charge of adhering to the enemies of the Commonwealth. Foʃt. ıı. For, joining the army of as enemy has always been held prima ƒacie evidence of an overt act.

And