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of soldiers; but, for want of a sufficient supply of arms, as, though a search had been made in the houses at Reikevig the day after Count Tramp's deposition, only twenty or thirty old fowling-pieces, most of them useless, and a few swords and pistols had been found, the number of those engaged was necessarily restricted to eight men, who, dressed in green uniforms, armed with swords and pistols, and mounted on good ponies, scoured the country in various directions, intimidating the Danes, and making themselves highly useful to the new governor in securing the goods and property that were to be confiscated. As a farther act of authority, and to shew the clemency intended to be pursued, four prisoners confined in the Tught-huus, or house of correction, one of the most considerable buildings belonging to the town, were released, and the place itself converted into barracks for the soldiers. Some of the troop were soon employed in seizing the persons of two of the civil officers, the Landfogued, Mr. Frydensberg, and Assessor Einersen*,
* See journal, vol. i. page 89, for a farther account of this transaction.
who were kept in confinement, the former for one night, the latter for eight or ten days, both upon a charge of being at the head of a conspiracy to raise a number of men, who were, after securing the English in the town, to have attacked the Margaret and Anne and made prisoners of her crew. The shops and warehouses in Reikevig belonging to Danes not resident in Iceland were from the first day put under guard, and the goods confiscated, and persons were sent to the distant towns to execute the same errand.
Mr. Jorgensen, having now fixed himself in the possession of supreme power, with the title of His Excellency, the Protector of Iceland, Commander in Chief by Sea and Land, posted up, on the 11th of July, another proclamation *, in which it was declared in the first article, " We Jorgen Jorgensen have taken upon ourselves the government of the country until a regular constitution can be established, with power to make war and conclude peace with foreign potentates;" in the second it is stated that
* See Appendix B., No. 5.
the soldiery (consisting as just mentioned of eight natives) had chosen him to be their leader, and to conduct the whole military department: by the third article a new flag is appointed for Iceland, the honor of which Mr. Jorgensen promises to defend with his life and blood: the fourth abolishes the ancient seal of the country and determines that his own private one is to be used until the representatives of the people shall have fixed upon a new one: in the fifth the time granted to the civil officers for declaring their obedience or resignation is prolonged to ten days for the nearest, and four weeks for the most distant parts of the country, after the expiration of which period all who have not given in their declarations are to be suspended from their employments: the sixth article announces that all officers who shall resign are to repair to Westmannoe (Westman's Isles), until an opportunity is found to convey them to Copenhagen: the seventh promises to that part of the clergy who are willing to declare themselves in his favor, that their circumstances shall be bettered: the eighth repeats the intention of placing the island in a state of defence: the ninth announces the design of sending an ambassador to his British Majesty to conclude peace: the tenth contains something relative to the duties and rights of British subjects living in Iceland: the eleventh states that none but Icelanders are qualified to fill public employments: the twelfth shews that Mr. Jorgensen intends continuing in his office until a regular constitution is established: the thirteenth again declares the confiscation of Danish property, which, by the fourteenth, the Amptmend are enjoined to execute: by the fifteenth we learn that some civil officers, in order to secure themselves against the displeasure of the king, their master, had expressed a wish that they might be compelled to exercise their public functions: the sixteenth article has for its object the upholding of the new governor by forbidding all irreverence towards his person: in the seventeenth and last it is observed that the laws and regulations shall remain as before until the new constitution is established, except * that it is permitted
* This exception does not at all meet the approbation of Count Tramp, who observes, "that it is very favorable for malefactors and suspicious persons." But the for every Icelander to proceed from place to place, and to trade wherever and in whatever manner he pleases, without having passports from Amptmend or other authorities; and it is decreed that all sentences and acts of condemnation must be signed by Mr. Jorgensen, before they can be put in execution, .,- ..
The Icelandic colors* ordained by this proclamation, containing the representation
Etatsroefl goes farther, and says that, "the permission granted to ramble without a passport along the country is a circumstance unheard of in other places, and affords very good opportunity to robbers, murderers, troops of thieves, and criminals of all sorts to commit mischiefs and crimes unpunished!" Mr. Jorgensen, however, considers it a just and necessary clause, for, according to the old laws, no person could remove from one district to another without a written permission from an officer; in consequence of which it frequently happened that this officer would not grant a passport, without the peasant promised to buy the necessary supplies for his family from some particular factor, by which he perhaps might be compelled to pay double what would be asked by others.
* The true and old ensign of Iceland is a slit cod or stock-fish, environed by an oval garland.