An Elector.

A Review and Exposition, of the Falsehoods and Misrepresentations, of a Pamphlet Addressed to the Republicans of the County of Saratoga, Signed, A Citizen online

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Produced by Curtis A. Weyant, Project Manager, Keith M. Eckrich,
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_March 1816_.



The pamphlet signed "A Citizen," and entitled "A defence," &c.
generally known by the name of "The Book," has at length made its
appearance; and as was expected, this last effort of an expiring
faction, has excited no other emotions in the mind of an enlightened
public, than those of contempt and pity - Contempt for the miserable
arts of condign despair, and pity like that excited by an object in the
agonies of dissolution, or a maniac dancing in his chains. This
production should have been left to the oblivion which inevitably
awaits it, nor should my pen have been employed in its detection and
exposure, had it not been characterized by the lowest attempts at
concealment and treachery, falsehood and detraction. - Like _Iago_ in
the play, a wretched abandonment of character, a destitution of
principle, and a fiend-like thirst for _revenge_, accompany the author
thro' the whole of his progress, and appear to acquire additional
force, as he approaches the period of his downfall. That it is a
tissue, however, which it requires no strength to burst, will appear by
the examination of a single point on which the whole of the story is
made to rest. If the ridiculous charge made against two or three
individuals that they had cheated Mr. Young out of his nomination,
turns out to be the mere phantom of a disordered imagination, instead
of a logical deduction of truth, if the facts which have been urged in
support of this charge, are the mere creatures of misrepresentation,
prevarication and falsehood; this alone will settle the controversy,
and fix the imputation, upon its unprincipled authors. The loop on
which this absurd tale is made to hang, is the _frail and feeble_
certificate of Ketcham, Gardner and Cowles. That I should be authorised
to apply an epithet more severe than that of frail and feeble, I take
it upon me to prove in the first place by the certificate itself,
compared with one which the same men issued last spring: And in the
next place by a plain statement of facts, given under the solemnity of
an oath, leaving it at present for _atheists_ and blasphemers, (for I
am sure none others will) to ascribe greater moral certainty to a
certificate carrying on the face of it miserable evasion, than to a
history sanctioned by an appeal to the Christians God.

That this certificate is both suspicious and evasive, I appeal to the
pamphlet page 27. Why do they not tell their fellow-citizens, that
_they did not collectively or individually during that session charge
Young with ill-treatment towards them_? Would not this have been
perfectly easy if true? Why do they blink the question, and tell a long
story about a conversation which they held with Mr. Bunce, which
whether it was true or untrue, is totally immaterial? What do they mean
in a later stage of their certificate, by the _unsuspecting and_
_unguarded conversation_, they had held with Mr. Bunce, and which they
were afraid he would make mischief of? Do they call the conversation
which they detail an unguarded one? Or was it some other conversation
and conversations which shall be proved upon them? Instead of saying
that they expressed no opinion to Bunce that "Young ought not _again_
to be nominated," why do they not tell us, whether they or either of
them expressed any opinion to Bunce, or any other person, against his
nomination _the then next spring_? In Mr. Kasson's letter (p. 33) it
appears they told him that "_Bunce and another gentleman_" called on
them, with whom they held a conversation; whereas the one given in
their recent certificate is confined exclusively to Bunce. Read also
the following certificate of these men, which they gave to the public
last spring; in which they admit some other conversation which they
call _a free and unreserved conversation_, and protest against the
"treacherous perversion" of it.

"_To the Citizens of the county of Saratoga_."

"Having heard that a private conversation of ours has been represented
to our Fellow Citizens in a light unfavorable to the character of
Samuel Young, Esq. and has been used to his prejudice, in the
estimation of his constituents. - We discharge a duty grateful to our
individual feelings, due to the feelings and character of a highly
useful, able, faithful and industrious Member of Assembly, and due to
our county, to express our _pointed indignation_ against the
_treacherous perversion_ of the spirit of a free and unreserved
conversation by stating to our fellow citizens, that we have always
lived in the most perfect harmony with Mr. Young, have had with him on
all legislative business the most cordial co-operation and concert:
that his uniform deportment towards us has been friendly and decorous,
and that we never gave an intimation of any wish or opinion against his
renomination to the Assembly. - HOWEL GARDNER, RICHARD KETCHUM, BENJAMIN
COWLES. _Albany, April 17, 1815_."[1]

Whatever name these gentlemen, may have given to their conversations,
some times calling them _unsuspecting and unguarded_, and sometimes
_free and unreserved_, in order to determine their nature and place
them in a clear light, I shall now go on to shew the public what they
did say, and not stop to quarrel about names so long as I am sure that
public will be content with the things themselves. I challenge
incredulity itself after reading the following affidavits and
statements, to doubt one moment on the subject.

"Isaiah Bunce & Thomas Palmer being duly sworn, say, that
they were at Albany in the early part of the late session of
the Legislature, and put up at the house where the Delegates
of the county of Saratoga quartered. That they and three of
the Delegates from said county, viz. Messrs. Ketcham, Gardner
and Cowles, conversed freely with each other on various
political subjects, and in one conversation they had with
these said Members, they told these Deponents, that they had
not been well treated by their colleague Mr. Young - spoke
freely of their unpleasant situation, owing to that
treatment, mentioning a number of instances illustrating the
same, both in the fall session and the then session of the

"And these deponents further say, that they the said Ketcham,
Gardner and Cowles, did in that conversation, decidedly
express their opinion that the said Young ought not to
represent this county again in the next session - at the same
time signifying that they had no wish, that the talents of
Mr. Young should be lost to the county, but believed it would
be for his benefit, should he not be elected the ensuing
session - or language to that import.

"And these deponents further say, that this conversation took
place while it was generally believed and expected, and so
expressed by the said Ketcham, Cowles and Gardner in
particular, that Mr. Young would in a day or two, be
appointed Secretary of the State of New-York. - ISAIAH BUNCE,
THOMAS PALMER. _Sworn the 5th day of May, in the Year 1815,
before me SAMUEL COOK, Master in Chancery_."

"John Dunning being sworn saith, That in March last, He went
to Albany and there saw Benjamin Cowles Esq. one of the
Delegates from Saratoga, who told this deponent, that Samuel
Young Esq. had treated the Members of this county with
neglect, that their situation owing to the treatment they had
received from him was very disagreeable, or words to that
amount - mentioning instances of that neglect &c.

"And this deponent further saith, That on his return from
Albany, he overtook Richard Ketchum Esq. then going to visit
his family in Stillwater - that he conversed with the said
Ketchum, on the subject of Mr. Young's treatment to them, who
informed this deponent the same as Mr. Cowles had done, and
related several circumstances confirming the same. - JOHN
DUNNING. Subscribed and sworn before me, Philo T. Beebe, one
of the Justices of the Peace in Malta, County of Saratoga,
the 4th day of May 1815_. PHILO T. BEEBE, _Justice of the

"Amos Allcott being sworn saith, that Messrs. Ketchum,
Gardner and Cowles, three of the Delegates from the county of
Saratoga, some time in March last, when at Albany, told this
Deponent, that they had been ill-treated, or not well treated
by Samuel Young Esq. their colleague - and expressed their
opinion and wishes fully, that some other person than he,
should the next session represent this county in Assembly.
Mr. Ketchum in presence of the other two, said he had made up
his mind fully in favor of George Palmer, Esq. or Esek Cowen
Esq. being the man, to which the other two appeared to
assent. - Mr. Gardner however remarked, that _some said_ Mr.
Young might be sufficiently, mortified by not being appointed
Secretary of State. - AMOS ALLCOTT. _Sworn the 5th day of May,
in the Year 1815, before me SAMUEL COOK Master in Chancery_."

"Lewis B. Edwards being sworn saith, That a few days after
Mr. Bunce and Palmer returned from Albany - Mr. Gardner Member
of Assembly, called at the office of the _Saratoga Journal_,
on his way home to see his family, and told Mr. Bunce among
other things, that Mr. Young had lost the Office of Secretary
of State, and that Mr. Porter was appointed. And further
remarked, 'it may be best to suspend the thing we talked of,
his loosing that may humble him enough, pride will have a
all' - or words to that import.

"And this Deponent further saith, That about a fortnight
after this, Mr. Cowles one of the other Members of Assembly,
called at the Office on his return from Hadley to the
Legislature, and on Mr. Bunce, asking him whether Mr. Young
had treated them any better since his disappointment, he
replied he had not - and that Mr. Young had never yet even
asked them to walk to the House with him or words to that
effect. On the said Bunces enquiry whether he had mentioned
the subject to any of his friends while at home - he replied
that he intended to have done so to Esq. Rockwell, but he had
missed of him returning from Albany. Mr. Rockwell, as
appeared having gone to Albany while Mr. Cowles was going to
Hadley. - LEWIS B. EDWARDS. _Sworn the fifth day of May, in
the year 1815, before me SAMUEL COOK, Master in Chancery_."

It is here proper to remark, that on the 18th of April, the day of the
McBain meeting; Judge Child, recommended that no publication he made on
either side, and that after election a meeting should take place
between the members and Messrs. Bunce and Palmer, and endeavor to come
to an amicable explanation. Mr. Stillwell, will well remember, that two
days afterwards he called on Mr. Palmer, with a message from Judge
Child, requesting him, "by all means not to publish any thing during
the election, relative to the conversation with the members," to which
Mr. Palmer readily assented. Notwithstanding which, the next day the
certificate of the members, were brought to the Federal Printing
Office, and several hundred copies struck off, with the knowledge of
Mr. Stillwell, who then kept his office within a few rods of the
Federal Press. Yet no contrary statements were published during the
election, nor until after two or three weeks had expired after the time
set by Mr. Cowles, for the members to meet Messrs. Bunce and Palmer.
The members were requested by several Republicans to meet; they were
finally publicly invited in the Journal, but contrary to the
expectations and wishes of a great portion of the Republicans of the
County, they did not come forward; and the above affidavits were
published. And here the controversy on this point might have ended; but
it seems the members, or rather the 'Citizen,' was not satisfied, and
he procures _another_ certificate from them, which may be seen in page
27 28 and 29 of that pamphlet. Compare their _two_ statements - examine
the above affidavits again - read the following certificates, and judge
for yourselves.

"I hereby certify, that I met Benjamin Cowles, Esq. at Jones'
Inn in Halfmoon, _on his return home from the Legislature_,
on the 20th of April last, two days after the McBain meeting,
and we there conversed together on the subject of the
conversation he Messrs. Ketchum and Gardner, had with Messrs.
Bunce and Palmer, in Albany, (where it was alleged that they
Ketchum, Cowles and Gardner, had complained of vanity,
neglect and ill-treatment of Mr. Young.) That I expressed my
surplice to Mr. Cowles, that he, (Cowles) Ketchum and Gardner
should lend their names to an instrument denying the
conversation above alluded to, when he Cowles, Ketchum and
Gardner, knew they had not only complained to Bunce and
Palmer, but to myself and others. To which he answered, that
the certificate given by them was not given meaning to deny
any thing that had been said as respected ill-treatment, &c.
of Mr. Young, but only to re-but other things which the
gentlemen who called for the certificate, (among whom were
James Thompson, Esq.) represented to have been said. On which
I suggested the propriety of his calling on Bunce and Palmer,
at the Springs; and immediately getting his colleagues to
meet them, and have the thing explained, and prevent improper
use being made of their certificate; to which preposition he,
after expressing his regret that it had become public,
cordially acceded. I then parted with him on my way to
New-York. - AMOS ALLCOTT, _Ballston Spa, March 1816_."

"I certify, that Mr. Cowles did on that day, (20th April)
call on Mr. Bunce as mentioned in the above certificate of
Mr. Allcott he had agreed to do, and after some conversation
on the subject, in which he admitted that he, Gardner and
Ketchum, had complained of Young's ill treatment and
haughtiness to them, and their expressing their opinion
against his being nominated as a candidate for that election
&c. he strongly solicited Mr. Bunce to have nothing published
in his paper on the subject, till he could go and see his
colleagues, Mr. Gardner and Ketchum, and get them to meet and
have the affair explained and reconciled, which he said he
would at all events endeavor to do before the next paper
should come out, [this being _Thursday_, and the paper not to
appear before the next _Wednesday_,] that he was then in a
great hurry, and must get home that night, but he would make
it his business to immediately attend to it; to which
proposition Mr. Bunce readily agreed, and promised Mr. Cowles
accordingly. This conversation was in the office of the
Saratoga Journal, in the room in which I was at work. The
next day however, information was brought to Mr. Bunce in the
office, that the certificate of the said Cowles, Gardner and
Ketchum, denying the conversation relative to Mr. Young, was
then striking off at Mr. Comstock's Office in this place, and
shortly after a _printed copy_ was brought into the office. -
LEWIS B. EDWARDS. _Ballston Spa, March 1816_."

"I certify, that shortly after the rising of the Legislature,
I saw Benjamin Cowles, Esq. in the village of Ballston Spa,
on his way home; And in a conversation with him relative to
the reports respecting Mr. Young, I asked him whether he had
not told Mr. Bunce and Palmer, 'that Mr. Young had treated
his colleagues with neglect, and that his treatment towards
them was haughty and reserved,' to which Mr. Cowles answered
in the affirmative. I further asked him if he did not tell
Mr. Palmer and Bunce, 'that he was convinced of Mr. Young's
vanity, previous to his being in the Legislature with him,'
and state as an example 'that while they were Supervisors,
they were appointed a committee to arrange or make out an
account, for the board of Supervisors, and that he the said
Benjamin Cowles, Esq. made out the account himself and
delivered it to Mr. Y. who copied and presented it to the
board of Supervisors, and claimed the credit of it himself.'
To all of which Mr. Cowles answered in the affirmative, and
expressed a wish that Mr. B. and P. would not publish any
thing concerning the conversation, as he was anxious to see
Messrs. Gardner and Ketchum, and have the affair reconciled.
He further stated that he did not think that the certificate
given by Mr. Ketchum, Gardner and himself, to Jas. Thompson;
Esq. did deny the conversation with Bunce and Palmer. - A.W.
ODELL. _Ballston Spa, March, 1816_."

"I certify that some time in the month of February 1815,
Benjamin Cowles, Esq. came home from the Legislature on a
visit, that I saw Mr. Cowles at Ensign's Inn, in the town of
Hadley, in which town we both reside; and that we then and
there entered into a conversation concerning Mr. Young, and
that Mr. Cowles intimated to me that Mr. Young's treatment
was haughty towards the members, and said that he was
disappointed in his expectations in the treatment he received
from Mr. Young, and he further told me that he thought it
would be as well to send some _other_ man to the Legislature
the then ensuing year.

"I further certify, that some time in the fall of 1815, I had
another conversation with the said Benjamin Cowles, Esq. on
the subject of the affidavits that had been published,
relative to the conversation said to have passed between
Isaiah Bunce and Thomas Palmer, and the members in Albany;
and that during that conversation he did not contradict the
statements published, but gave me to understand that the same
were true, and intimated that he had inconsiderately signed
the certificate published during the election.

"I further certify, that Mr. Cowles was the first person, who
informed me of the ill-treatment the members had received
from Mr. Young, and that it would be as well to send some
other person to the Legislature the ensuing year. - BARRY
FENTON. _Hadley, March 1816_."

"I, Jacob Thorn, of Galway, in the county of Saratoga; do
certify, that shortly after the affidavits of Messrs. Bunce,
Palmer, Allcott, Dunning and Edwards, were published,
relative to the conversation they had with Messrs. Ketcham,
Gardner and Cowles in Albany; I had a conversation with Mr.
Ketcham in Stillwater, relative to the affidavits published.
I told him if the affidavits were not true, he ought to
contradict them. He replied, that his _friends advised him to
say nothing about it_. I enquired of him the meaning of those
affidavits - -and whether the facts therein stated were
true - to which the said Ketcham answered, that _they were
true_ - but said he did not expect it would have been made
public. - JACOB THORN."

"I certify, that some time in the month of March 1815, I went
to Albany on business, and called at the house where the
members of this county resided; found Messrs. Gardner,
Ketcham and Cowles, and made my business known. Mr. Cowles
said he would call and see me at my lodgings. Accordingly he
did; told me it was not according to his wish, that what I
had to offer in the business could not be complied with. I
then asked where Mr. Young quartered? He said he would tell
me; on the way, Mr. Cowles said there had been _a coldness
between the Speaker of the House, and the members from this
County, since he became speaker and expected to be Secretary
of State_, and on that account _declined going_. - JONATHAN
KELLOGG. _Northumberland, April 8th 1816_."

"I hereby solemnly certify, that some time in the month of
February, 1815, (and I believe in the early part of it,) in a
conversation Col. John Prior had with me just after his
return from Albany, on the subject of candidates for the then
approaching election; he the said Prior remarked, that 'Mr.
Young was not so popular as he had been.' On my asking him
why, he replied, 'for his ill treatment to his colleagues,
having grown haughty, &c.' This I understood him to have
received directly from the said members, Messrs. Gardner,
Cowles and Ketcham. In the spring of the same year, after
Messrs. Palmer and Bunce had made known similar complaints,
that the said three members had made to them of Young's
treatment, I had another conversation with the said Prior on
the subject, in which he the said Prior intimated, 'he did
not believe the said members had told the said Palmer and
Bunce what they had pretended.' I then asked him, if the
members were not as likely to tell them of it, as himself,
and repeated to the said Prior what he had told me in the
winter, of the members having made the same complaint to him,
which the said Prior did not pretend to deny as having heard
from the members, nor having told me the same. - JOSEPH
MITCHEL. _Dated, Greenfield, March 15, 1815_."

"I hereby certify, that in the early part of the winter past,
I had a conversation with Isaac Myers of Stillwater, relative
to the conduct of Richard Ketcham, late a member of the
Legislature; when he the said Myers told me that _he knew_
the said Ketcham had _contradicted himself_, relative to what
he had said of Mr. Young; that _previous_ to the McBain
meeting, Ketcham had _denied_ to him, ever saying any thing
_against_ Young, or complaining of his treatment; but that
_afterwards_ he had _owned to several in his presence, that
he had spoken against_ Young, &c. - ASA B. JEWEL. _Saratoga,
March 25th 1816_."

Other affidavits and statements might be produced to the same effect
but twelve or fourteen different conversations, at different times,
and, in presence of different men are already proved upon them, all
importing explicitly that Mr. Young had ill-treated or neglected
them - and shewing a desire on their part that Mr. Young should not be
sent to the Legislature the ensuing year. If then Mr. Young had an
undoubted right to a seat in the legislature, which would perhaps be
questionable upon republican ground, and was deprived of that right by
"management and fraud," with whom did this system of corruption
commence! and to whose account ought it to be placed? To that of his
colleagues, or other men whom their misstatements and falsehoods had
seduced? It may however, be very well to enquire whether these
declarations were ever made use of to any purpose, and whether Mr.
Young must have succeeded in his nomination, had these _free_ and
_unreserved_ conversations of his colleagues, been kept entirely out of
view; whether Palmer and Bunce, were alone in singling out the
candidate who was nominated, or whether some other person or persons
had not tho't of him even _before_ Palmer and Bunce went to Albany.

Among the names which ornament the pages of "_The Citizen_," I observe

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Online LibraryAn ElectorA Review and Exposition, of the Falsehoods and Misrepresentations, of a Pamphlet Addressed to the Republicans of the County of Saratoga, Signed, A Citizen → online text (page 1 of 5)