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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that of a _recent_ convert to the doctrine of "_Falsehood, Fraud & Co_"
viz: William Stillwell, late a Judge, and now Clerk of this county.
This political _Proteus_, together with a number of his, friends was I
believe, among the first to start Mr. Cowen as a candidate, before the
county convention, and was from time to time very importunate with him,
to consent that his name should be made use of for this purpose. From
the early part of February 1815, until he had got the Clerk's office,
be appears to have been Mr. Cowen's indefatigable supporter. At the
McBain meeting however, he was as active and diligent to get rid of
that nomination, as he had before been to effect it. Thomas Palmer,
Esq. the secretary of that meeting, together with. Judge Stillwell,
were chosen two of the committee to draw up the proceedings, and were
unquestionably in all respects the proper organ for that purpose.
Sensible of this, Judge Stillwell, the evening after the meeting,
_invited Mr. Palmer to his house_, where _they_ deliberately, and
without any _disagreement_ drew up the statement, published p. 24 and
25, of their pamphlet. They _jointly reviewed_ this statement the _next
morning - agreed_ in its correctness, and ordered it to be printed.
Shortly after, without the knowledge of Mr. Palmer or Mr. Cowen,
Stillwell _secretly withdraws_ this statement from the printing office,
and adopts and signs _another_ drawn up by Mr. Thompson, _differing in
many respects from the first_. This last statement the secretary
refused to sign, and his name was inserted as you will see by the
statement itself, p. 16, without his knowledge or authority. Having
thus boxed the compass and settled down upon _point no point_, it is
not surprising that when Stillwell lends his name to "_The Citizen_"
and appears in his Book, as the flaming advocate for "fair and open
conduct," and the zealous _detector_ of "fraud and duplicity," that he
should hypocritically _skulk behind the scene_, and keep himself as
much out of view as possible, in the strange and opposite parts which
he had acted. The singular course which this man (Stillwell) had
pursued both in and out of "the book," and especially his attempt to
shew that "Mr. Cowen's nomination was procured by fraud, &c." drew the
following sentiments from Doctor Clark, (who was one of the convention
which nominated Mr. Cowen) expressed in a letter to Thomas Palmer,
Esq. -

"_Moreau, March 12th 1816_.

Dear Sir,

Having seen and examined a publication signed "A Citizen,"
purporting to be an apology and justification of the
gentlemen who composed the McBain meeting. In that
publication I observe a studied and systematic attempt to fix
on you and Mr. Bunce, the blame of having started Esek Cowen
Esq. as a candidate for assembly, and of having procured his
nomination by _fraud_ and _intrigue_. In consequence of
seeing Wm. Stillwell's name affixed to the proceedings of
that meeting, and being well informed that the said Stillwell
hath gone great length to justify the conduct of the said
meeting, in making void the nomination made by the county
convention, I feel myself constrained by a sense of justice
to declare, that some time on or about the 11th day of
February 1815, being in company with Esek Cowen, at the house
of Wm. Stillwell Esq., he the said Stillwell did then and
there introduce the subject of the then next election, by
saying, that himself and a number of others had conversed on
the subject, and agreed that Mr. Cowen ought to be a
candidate - That Mr. Cowen made objections, and mentioned to
him the names of several other gentlemen as being proper
candidates in preference to himself; to which Mr. Stillwell
objected, and urged Mr. Cowen with apparent zeal to suffer
his name to be made use of as a candidate. Sir, you are at
liberty to make such use of the above statement of facts, as
in your judgment you shall think proper.

Yours, Respectfully, B.J. Clark.

Hon. T. Palmer Esq."

It will also appear _amongst other things_, by the following letter
written by John R. Mott,[2] who I believe is the second certifier in
"the book," that Judge Stillwell entertained sentiments opposed to Mr.
Young's nomination, as late as the _sixth_ of _April_.

"_Saratoga, April 6, 1815_.

Dear sir,

It was late when I returned from Ballston, which prevented my
calling on you I had conversations with _several gentlemen_
on the subject of the nomination, particularly with _Judge
Stillwell_, capt. Odell and Mr. Bunce, by whom I learned the
sentiments of Mr. Palmer, and find the whole to be opposed to
Mr. Young. I also saw Mr. Lee and Kasson. They were in favor
of Mr. Young on the principle of _what they called
sacrificing_ Mr. Young, if he was not nominated. The Milton
committee are Thomas Palmer, Joel Keeler and Daniel Couch,
junior Esquires.

From yours, with esteem,

Esek Cowen, Esq."

JOHN R. MOTT.


Mr. Mott, one of the delegation from Saratoga, informs Mr. Cowen
another of the delegation from that town, that Stillwell and others are
opposed to Young. This presumption in Judge Stillwell, it seems could
not be endured, and he in common with others was marked out as a
victim. His name was originally connected with that of Palmer and
Bunce, in the letter of Kasson, dated the 12th April, p. 33, as being
concerned with them in "this _black business_" as he calls it, until by
making his peace, this _crow_ is suddenly changed into a _swan_, and
his name erased from the letter.

If farther proof is wanting that the loss of Mr. Young's nomination did
not depend on any thing which fell from his colleagues, or any
individual exertion made against it, you may have it by calling on the
following gentlemen, who acted on the county convention, to wit:

Avery Starkweather, John Pettit, Eli Smith, Joel Keeler,
Isaac Rice, Nathan Raymond, Jessup Raymond, Richard Dunning,
James Clark, Isaac Andrus, Solomon Parks, Nicholas W. Angle,
Billy J. Clark, Potter Johnson, Benjamin Burton, Joseph
Mitchell, William Taylor, Samuel Cook, Nathan Pardee, Joshua
Finch, John Brown, Samuel S. Barker, Isaac Brewster, &c.

You will find among them many of the most respectable names in the
county. By them it will also appear how far Mr. Young's failure
depended on Palmer and Bunce, and how far it was regulated by public
sentiment. But, it is presumed that what Doctor Clark very properly
calls a _systematic attempt_, to fix a course of fraud upon two or
three individuals, and ascribe the result of that convention to them,
must appear as absurd and ridiculous in the eyes of the public, as it
did to Doctor Clark and his associates on the committee.

But why spend a moments time in refuting so base a calumny; by
searching for argument and demonstration while it must be rendered
useless by conviction. Another year has rolled away; another convention
have met - have made a nomination for Congress and Assembly - They were
unanimous - Mr. Young is not nominated, nor even named for the year
1816. This too was not till the blood-hounds of imaginary fraud had
yelled their notes thro' the county, the quivers of malice had been
exhausted of their poisoned arrows, and "the book," that great gun of a
falling faction which they had been loading during the whole Summer
past, had gone off with a harmless explosion.

It may not be amiss however, to examine the behaviour of these famous
pretenders to fair and open conduct, and see how far they practice what
they preach. In doing this, permit me to call your attention to the
following certificates.

"I notice in the pamphlet signed 'A Citizen' lately
published, an assertion that the committee in the town of
_Milton_ in the Spring of 1815, 'was procured by management,
fraud and falsehood.' I attended the meeting in this town,
according to previous notice in the Journal for that purpose,
at which I saw Mr. T. Palmer and Mr. Bunce, but saw nothing
in them like either fraud or management. I voted in that
committee for Mess. Palmer, Keeler and Couch, but not from
any solicitations of either Mr. Bunce or Mr. Palmer, but
because I believed them the best men; nor had any one of
these, or any one else, then told me that the three members
had complained of Mr. Young.

"James Thompson, Esq. was a candidate for the same committee,
and his partner, Alpheus Goodrich, Esq. wrote votes for the
said James Thompson; but I refused to vote for him, not,
however, from any thing I had ever heard either the said
Palmer or Bunce say against him. There was a large majority
for the three above named committee, but I saw no unusual
exertions, or any thing that looked like unfair proceedings,
in any one at the meeting who appeared to be voting the
ticket which I did. - EBENEZER DIBBLE. _Milton, March, 1816_."

"I also was present at the above mentioned meeting for the
purpose of choosing delegates to the county convention. The
meeting was notified in the Journal, at Gregory & Hawkins',
on the day some of the town officers met there. The meeting
proceeded to organize by choosing Joel Keeler, Esq. chairman,
and Thomas Palmer secretary, and then without opposition,
voted to choose the committee by ballot. The candidates for
whom ballots were wrote, were, on one ticket, James Thompson,
Archy Kasson and Elias Benedict - On the other, Daniel Couch
jun, Joel Keeler and Thomas Palmer. Mr. Bunce was there; and
in the room, wrote votes for the latter three gentlemen, for
whom I voted, but not from the insinuations or persuasions of
any one. And I saw no intrigue, management or improper
electioneering in either the said Palmer or Bunce, or any one
else for that ticket; but believe every thing was conducted
fairly.

"I had on that day, before I came there, heard of reports
against Mr. Young, but not from either Mr. Palmer or Mr.
Bunce; but to the best of my recollection from _Elihu Roe_ in
a conversation between him and _Deacon Stillwell_. I had
before heard no intimation of the same from any one. - EZRA
NASH. _Milton, March 1816_."

"I was present at the republican meeting in Milton, in the
Spring of 1815, for the purpose of choosing a committee to
meet the general committee to make a nomination. I saw no
deception or intrigue on the part of either Mr. Palmer or Mr.
Bunce, nor any particular exertion of either of them to
procure the committee that were elected. Some time _before_
the said meeting, I had understood that James Thompson, Esq.
of said town, had _expressed a wish_ to be one of the
committee, and at the above mentioned meeting Alpheus
Goodrich, Esq. _his partner_ took a very active part to get
him appointed - wrote votes and endeavored to get others to
take them and vote for the said Thompson, his name being on
the same ticket with Archy Kasson and Elias Benedict; but
they received at the meeting, which consisted of about
thirty, but very few votes, the other ticket, which I voted,
obtaining a large majority. And I hereby further certify,
that neither the said Palmer nor Bunce, both being present at
the meeting, had ever informed me, or given me an intimation
that there was any complaint against Mr. Young, nor did I
ever hear of any complaints against Young, from any one until
some time afterwards; and from the best of my recollection,
_Joel Lee_ was the first who informed me of these complaints
against the said Young. - DAVID DERRICK. _Milton, March
1816_."

It appears that in the town of Milton Mr. Archy Kasson, Elias Benedict
and James Thompson Esq. were candidates at the meeting in that town for
the choice of delegates in 1815. - That Alpheus Goodrich Esq. Thompson's
partner, in particular, acted decidedly in favor of "_Master Jimmy_" as
he calls him, perhaps with a good deal of propriety, and peddled
tickets with Mr. Kasson and his master's name on them. Now Mr. Thompson
whose situation in point of _popularity_ especially in his _own town_
is not to be questioned, was very naturally surprised at his failure,
and could not in his own mind attribute it to any thing short of
"_fraud and management_." He had failed in despite of the combined
efforts of his partner and Mr. Kasson. Finding how poor doctor Child
had been cheated into a vote for three gentlemen whom Thompson
considered mere tools compared to himself, it leaves him no doubt on
the subject, and he can no longer avoid bristling with astonishment and
rage. Tho' several days before the convention met, a hue and cry was
immediately raised, and he repairs to court with almost the whole of
the McBain meeting at his heels - The convention till this year (1816)
had regularly met on the second day of April court.

The evil of this practice had been long felt and deplored by the
advocates for freedom of deliberation in this body, without being able
to attain a remedy. The scenes of this day however have for a while
suspended, and I trust forever abolished the pernicious and degrading
practice of _court_ conventions. Tuesday gave them leisure to organize
their forces and reconnoiter the points of attack. On Wednesday these
veteran lobby members of a county convention each knew his post, and
each was prepared with his story. The members of the convention, living
scattered in different directions, some near and some in the more
remote towns, arrive in small parties of one, two, and three in
succession, which gives full leisure to the court hangers on to see and
discourse with them in detail, and the astonished members of the
convention the moment they arrive were thus assailed on all hands with
a universal cry of Young, Young, Young for the candidate. No scheme was
left untried, no pretence neglected, no argument overlooked, no path
unexplored to entrap, to drive, to persuade and to lead the convention
contrary to their old established practice, to nominate Mr. Young a
_third_ time as a candidate. Still despairing of success, Thompson and
his associates (I trust in God but few of them) change their ground and
become the _black and unmanly assassins_ of individual character. The
story of the pretended fraud attempted by Mr. Palmer, Mr. Bunce and
others, was administered in profusion, and crammed down with epithets;
not more than two or three of the convention having ever heard the
account given of Mr Young by his worthy colleagues, and its reaching
them thus for the first time thro' his huffing friends, it sounded
truly like "a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying
nothing." Their pride was alarmed, and their sympathies excited, by
being told that Judge Spencer had first cheated Mr. Young out of the
Secretary's office, and that his wrath now burnt after him into the
county of Saratoga, and what was passing strange - pitiful and wondrous
pitiful was, that the Judge had thrust his hand so far into this dish
of woes as to employ in his service the press and Editor of the
Saratoga Journal. - Kasson's letter which appears in "the book," tho'
now altered by striking out Stillwell's name, arrives by _express from
Albany_, in season to make up for this dish, its last ingredient - But
Alas! to no purpose; the people's delegates nominate Mr. Cowen.

I boldly and solemnly appeal to that convention whether they or the
most of them were not individually called upon, by Thompson or some of
those acting under him, and urged to support Mr. Young upon part or all
of the pretences above mentioned. In order to render assurance doubly
sure, these strong and noisy opposers of fraud, these high minded and
honest politicians discover another circumstance of which they quickly
avail themselves. One of the towns had neglected to choose a committee.
The ceremony of packing was immediately resorted to, and three men who
were ready to go all lengths with these upright gentry, presented and
palmed themselves upon the convention, as legitimate members. Thus
having been belabored incessantly for two-thirds of an April day, the
convention retire to their duty, and as usual ballot for the
candidates. After balloting and before the votes were canvassed, they
unanimously resolve, that the lawyer having the greatest number of
votes shall be considered the candidate, and the other rejected. After
canvassing and finding that Mr. Cowen had two votes more than Mr.
Young, it was again unanimously resolved that he be considered the
candidate.

This _arrogance_ and _presumption_ in the delegates of the people, was
not tamely to be endured by the _court party_; and these high-minded
advocates of _Republican purity_ immediately cast about for the means
of correcting the evil. And what more easy and certain mode of doing
this, than to solicit and procure the friendly interference of
_federalism_, whose doctrine by this time appears to be in perfect co
incidence with their own? They could abhor coalition, management and
intrigue in the ranks of Republicans; - nay the intrigue which owed its
birth and maturity to their heated imaginations alone, was odious and
abominable in its fancied perpetrators; while they themselves were
basely courting the embraces of Federalism in secret; and building
their hopes of success on the vile basis of a _political bargain_ with
that party; - like a drunken clergyman who enters the pulpit heated with
his bottle, and excites your disgust by a long discourse on the follies
of intemperance. The high pretensions of these men to chastity and
plain dealing, will be better tested by reading the following
certificates; - the reader being first reminded that Mr. Elihu Roe and
James Thompson, Esq. are holden forth both in _the book_, and in these
statements, as twin leaders - a sort of _Castor_ and _Pollux_ or
_du_-umvirate in the tribe; and for this reason they are resorted to,
as furnishing together with a few subordinate officers, a clue to the
immaculate character which they and their friends so loudly claim.

"I certify, that I heard Elihu Roe declare, to Jonathan
Minor, at the store of Epenetus White, that James Thompson
Esq. had at the last election, made overtures to the
federalists to support Samuel Young Esq as a member of
Assembly. - BURR WAKEMAN. _March 1816_."

"Thereby certify, that I had a conversation with Mr. Elihu
Roe, in the store of Epenetus White, in the presence of Mr.
Burr Wakeman, in which Mr. Roe declared that James Thompson
Esq. did propose to the federalists, to support a federal
candidate for member of Assembly, if the federalists would
support Samuel Young, Esq. as a candidate for member of
Assembly at the election of 1815. - JONATHAN MINOR. _Ballston,
March 28th 1816_."

"I, Gideon Goodrich, late of the town of Milton, in the
county of Saratoga, do hereby certify to my fellow-citizens;
that on the first day of election of 1815 in said town, where
I then resided, at St. John's Inn, where the polls of
election were that day held, in a conversation on the subject
of supporting Samuel Young, contrary to the general
nomination; Archy Kasson, a leading friend of Young admitted
in presence of a number of persons, that he had said that he
had rather have three federalists go to the legislature from
this county with Young, than not to have Young elected. On my
expressing surprise at such sentiments, from a man professing
to be a republican, he added he still felt or thought so. Mr.
James Thompson who was present, then replied, that he would
say he had rather have _seven_ federalist go with Young, than
not to have him elected - or any number that would not give a
federal majority,[3] or words to that import.

"Having removed from this county, but now on a visit at my
old residence in Milton, and being called upon by those who
feel themselves abused in the support of the cause of their
country, no one will consider it officiousness in me, to thus
repeat what was expressed in so public a manner on that
occasion. - GIDEON GOODRICH. _Milton, April 19th 1816_."

"I hereby certify, that shortly after the last spring's
election, but before the official returns of election in the
state were received, I was at the office of James Thompson,
Esq. in Milton, and remarked to him, that I was afraid the
legislature would be federal, to which the said Thompson
replied, that he was afraid it would _not be federal_, or
that he began to be afraid there would not be _a federal_
house. I also certify, that during the election then just
past, I was by several of Mr. Young's friends in said town,
strongly urged to vote for a federalist, if by that I could
get a federalist to vote for Mr. Young; which I believe many
of them did, as I heard those friends of his repeatedly say
_they would barter_ in that way, if they could by it obtain
votes for the said Young. - BENJAMIN BENNETT. _Milton, March
1816_."

"I hereby certify, that previous to the meeting of the
committee to make a nomination for members of Assembly, in
the spring of 1815 - I saw Archy Kasson in the village of
Ballston Spa, who commenced a conversation with me on the
subject of the then approaching nomination; and he solicited
me with much zeal to vote for Mr. Young in the
convention - And among other things, he declared, that he
would be better satisfied to have Mr. Young on the nomination
with three federalists, than to have four republicans without
him - And gave me distinctly to understand that if Young was
not nominated, he would not support the nomination. - ISAAC
RICE. _Ballston, March 1816_."

"I, Simeon P. Allcott, of the town of Milton and county of
Saratoga, do certify; That I attended the election in the
spring of 1815, at D. Thomas' inn, in said town, at which
place I saw James Merrill of said town, and heard him declare
in the presence and hearing of a number of republican and
federal electors, 'that some people very fearful that a
_federalist_ would be elected from this county, but for his
part, he said that there would be no _harm in it_ - it would
be a _good thing to have federals elected_ - and that if Mr.
Young could be elected, he did not care _how many federals_
were elected.'

"I further certify, that I attended the election the
following day at Goodrich's inn, in the said town, and the
said James Merrill then and there made similar declarations
in the presence and hearing of a number of republicans and
federals; and the said James Merrill and others who were
advocating the election of Mr. Young, appeared to act in
unison with _the federalists_; and I saw a number of
_federalists have Mr. Young's name on their ticket_, and who
told me they voted that ticket. - SIMEON P. ALLCOTT. _Milton,
April 1816_."

"I hereby certify, that a leading federalist, being as I
understood, one of the _federal_ convention from the town of
Northumberland, who met at the Court-House on the 14th of
April last, to make the federal nomination for members of
Assembly, &c. - informed me on his return home from that
convention, that James Merril, Esq. urged some of that
convention to place Samuel Young Esq. on their ticket, and
offered one hundred _dollars_ if they would _go halves_ with
Young's friends in the _ticket_ they should run at the then
next election, for the purpose of defraying the expences of
the election; and that the said Merrill took from his pocket
the _hundred, dollars_, and laid it on the table for that
purpose, as I understood it. - HENRY STAFFORD. _Saratoga
Springs, March 1816_."

"I, Joseph Ogden, of Malta in the county of Saratoga, do
hereby certify; that I was at the inn of James Jones in
Halfmoon, a few days after the election of 1815, and Aaron
Morehouse of Ballston, and a leading federalist of Halfmoon
were there, conversing together on the late election. Mr.
Morehouse said he voted for Mr. Hamilton, the federal


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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 2 of 5)