Monday, July 9, 2012

The Oath of Fidelity - Civilian Patriots

In this record three generations of the Trail family are shown to have signed the "Oath of Fidelity or Allegiance."  David Trail Sr., David Trail Jr., and Basil Trail acted as Civilian Patriots during the Revolutionary War.  It is recorded that David Trail Jr. aided the military by donating wheat.

"The Oath of Fidelity was instituted by Laws of Maryland 1777, Chapter 20, An Act for the Better Security of Government.  Every free male 18 years and older was required to subscribe to an oath renouncing the King of England and to pledge allegiance to the revolutionary government of Maryland.  Those already engaged in military service were assumed to be loyal.  Quakers, Mennonites, and Dunkards were permitted to affirm.  There were several penalties associated with failure to obey the instructions of the ACT.  Magistrates neglecting to keep books and transmit them to the Governor were to be fined 500 pounds.  Persons expected to take the oath who did not do so were required, for the rest of their lives, to pay triple the ordinary tax on real and personal property.  They were forbidden to exercise and practice the trade of merchandise or to practice the law, physic or surgery, or the art of an apothecary, or to preach or teach the gospel, or to teach in public or private schools, or to hold or exercise within this state, any office of profit or trust, civil or military, or to vote at any election of electors or senators, or of delegates to the house of delegates.  Oaths were to be administered by the magistrates of each county before March 1, 1778." 

24. David Trail Jr.
27. Basil Trail
47. David Trail, Sr.

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