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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Did The Founding Fathers Execute Homosexuals?

What a paradox it would be if the framers executed homosexuals, given that today, the people want to legalize it. I have no doubt our people would persecute Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and the other framers for their views on homosexual sin. The answer is yes, the framers did execute at least one person for homosexuality. It was done in Pennsylvania, December, 1785. Guess who was President of Pennsylvania? Benjamin Franklin. Although Franklin wasn't present that day, his VP, Charles Biddell and Founding Father Peter Muhlenburg were there, and offered no pardon.

This narrative must start at the definition of terms; buggery, sodomy, and rape. All three terms were used in 18th century America. All three are defined by Webster's 1828, yet, buggery and sodomy were interchangable terms, and buggery included bestiality. Yet Sodomy and Buggery clearly referred to man on man, while rape referred to a woman.

Regarding this subject, expert John Murrin indicates Bestiality was basically non-existent due to the horror of the crime. Bestiality was synonimous to witchcraft, especially among women. Prior to the Revolution, no one was executed for bestiality in New England, mainly from lack of evidence. Bestiality is clearly from the 17th century, and not part of the founding milieu.

The Founding Fathers did execute one man for bestiality; Connecticut hanged Gideon Washburn the third friday, in January, 1800.

As to States, the Framers in Virginia, kept the Death Penalty for Buggery:
That if any do commit the detestable and abominable vice of Buggery, with man or beast, he or she so offending, shall be adjudged a felon, and shall suffer death, in the case of felony, without the benefit of Clergy.
-A Collection of All Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia 1802, (Richmond:Pleasance and Price, 1803), page 179, ch. C [50], enacted Dec. 10, 1792.

The other states emphasized the Biblical laws contained in the Common Law of England:
The first reported sodomy case in Maryland also was the first known reported case in the United States. In 1810, the Court of Appeals decided Davis v. State. By a vote of 4-1, the Court upheld an indictment that charged that Davis, "not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil, on &c. with forms and arms at, &c. in and upon one W C, a youth of the age of 19 years, in the peace of God, and the state of Maryland, then and there being, did make an assault, and him the said W C, then and there did beat, would, and ill-treat, with an intent that most horrid and detestable crime (among christians not to be named,) called Sodomy, with him the said W C, and against the order of nature, then and there feloniously, wickedly and devilishly, to commit and do, to the great displeasure of Almighty God, contrary to the act of assembly in such case made and provided, and against the peace, government, and dignity of the state." [Emphasis the Court’s].
The word Buggery was eventually forgotten, "sodomy" took its place, evidence that the issue of buggery in the 18th century, unless specifically enumerated, was homosexuality. Furthermore, besides Gideon Washburn, there were no bestiality crimes in the founding generation, thus the execution of Joseph Ross of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, had to be for homosexuality, approved by Benamin Franklin. The history of buggery sentences show the other partner was also punished; usually whipped.


johnsunol said...

In todays society we are going back to the Pagan days of lust and homosexuality. This was rife in the days of the Roman Empirere especialy Nero.
What did God think of them, he put them to death and they will go to punishment in eternity of Hell.
Homosexuality is sin and nothing else, and all sin seperates us from god

Our Founding Truth said...

I agree with what you wrote. The Biblical pattern does show when homosexuality becomes prevalent, God's judgment comes.

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Well, you know Benjamin Franklin also tried to reduce the pain for homosexuality, from death to castration. That says something about him.

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Our Founding Truth said...

In the early 19th c. Sodomy and rape of men was interchangeable.