Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic
biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biographyplease
submit a rewritten biography in text form.
If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century
Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor
Virtual American Biographies
Over 30,000 personalities
with thousands of 19th Century illustrations, signatures, and exceptional life
welcomes editing and additions to the
biographies. To become this site's editor or a contributor
or e-mail Virtualology here.
FRIES, John, insurgent, born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, about. 1764; died in Philadelphia about 1825. He was of German descent, and was brought up on a farm, though his tastes seem to have led him to local politics era military life. Contemporaneous writers describe him as a tall, handsome young man, who rode about the village of Lower Milford with a feather in his hat and a sword at his side. In the spring of 1799 the collection of what was known as the "house or window tax" was forcibly resisted in Northampton and the adjoining counties of Bucks and Montgomery. When government officers came to measure the houses, armed companies of citizens seized and imprisoned them.
Fries was the captain of one of these regiments, and, pistol in hand, rode at the head of the insurrectionists, capturing officials and subjecting them to punishment whenever any attempt was made to enforce the law. In February; 1798, a public meeting was held at the house of John Kline, of the township of Lower Milford, and a paper drawn up and signed by fifty-two persons, in which each signer bound himself to resist the "window tax" at any cost. John Fries assisted in drawing up the paper, and pledged himself to raise 700 men to support the cause. At the head of this company of armed men he went to Quakertown, arrested the assessors, and liberated several prisoners whom the sheriff had in charge. The next day he set out for Northampton, and was on his way to Bethlehem with his troop when a deputation from the U. S. marshal met him, urging him to return. This he refused to do till the marshal should consent to release what prisoners he had in charge, and urged his men to fire on the deputation if the marshal should refuse. The prisoners were finally given up when resistance seemed futile, and Fries's troop dispersed amid the huzzas of the insurgents and their sympathizers.
After this, the militia was called out, and Fries was arrested and put on trial for high treason, in May 1799. He was pronounced guilty, and a new trial was held in April 1800, with the same result. Fries was re-sentenced to be hanged, but, against the advice of every member of his cabinet, President Adams pardoned him, and issued a general amnesty for all the offenders. Fries subsequently opened a tin ware shop in Philadelphia, and became rich and respectable.
This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected,
associated with or authorized by the individual, family,
friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or
the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated
sites that are related to this subject will be hyper
linked below upon submission
and Evisum, Inc. review.
Please join us in our mission to incorporate The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The
People. Click Here