the possession of the Wyoming Valley had been settled by a legal decision soon after the Revolution, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed an act in 1787 organizing the valley as a part of Pennsylvania. A meeting of the Connecticut settlers in the valley was called to decide whether they should accept the act. There were two parties among them, one in favor of the act, the other against it, and in the heated discussion of the meeting they came to blows. After the first blow was struck each party rushed, not for their guns, but for sticks, which they cut from the neighboring trees, and for a time there was a very savage contest; but not a single shot was fired nor was there a single blow given with a knife, and after a while they came together again and passed a resolution accepting the act. Yet they were all frontiersmen, accustomed to the almost daily use of rifles and hunting knives.
About the time of the Revolution there were riots in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, and much property was destroyed; but in only one, the riot in Philadelphia over the depreciation of the Continental currency, were lives taken. The same characteristics prevailed in Shays's Rebellion in Massachusetts.
The first riots in which an intense desire to use firearms and kill was shown were the Catholic riots of 1844, which were begun by foreigners firing into a meeting of native Americans. From this we have gone steadily on, until we now have more rioting, bloodshed, and murder in a single year, or even in six months, than can be found in a hundred years of our previous history, and in almost every instance it can be traced to the alien element in our population.
Washington, in writing on the subject of immigration, said:
On another occasion he wrote:
Jefferson, though belonging to the party opposed to Washington, had very much the same opinion: