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Today in legal history...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

President Adams pardoned participants of Pennsylvania rebellion
Zachariah Rivenbark at 12:00 AM ET

On May 21, 1800, US President John Adams issued a pardon to the participants in the 1799 Fries' Rebellion that occurred in southeastern Pennsylvania. The rebellion, motivated by citizen disdain over a federal property tax, resulted in protestors descending on Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in March 1799 to free individuals that had been arrested for attacking federal tax collectors. Though the federal government initially charged 45 rebels with treason, only rebellion leader John Fries and three other individuals were found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. President Adams' May 21 pardon extended to all individuals involved with the rebellion, except for Fries. President Adams later pardoned Fries on May 23, the date of his execution.

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