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

. (page 4 of 5)
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 4 of 5)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

in _fairness_, _high mindedness_, _openness_ and _candor_ - nor with Mr.
Linnendoll in belleslettres - and that he would not make so good a
_dancing master_ as Mr James Merrill[6] and leave the public to judge
whether coming short of these qualifications, he can be any way
tolerable in his person or polished in his conversation.

But 'tis said again, that he has presented some of our citizens "in the
ludicrous attitude of being in chase of one of the wheels of a
_political hack_." This plain farmer-like simile has given great
offence, and perhaps justly, to the high and refined notions of certain
book gentry; who have been too much in the habit of _hunting_ an
_office_, or _chasing_ a _dollar_, to believe that the idea of so
ordinary an occupation, could ever have been connected with that of
such _great men_ as themselves.

It may not be amiss to here remark, that Mr. Bunce was admitted an
Attorney of the Supreme Court in 1804; he settled in the village of
Salina in the county of Onondaga; shortly afterwards it was made a post
town, and he was appointed Post-Master[7] by the general government,
and continued in that office until he removed from that place. Soon
after his removal to Bridgewater, Oneida County, he was appointed
Post-Master at that place, and continued in that office until he
resigned on his removal to the county of Saratoga. During his residence
in the Western District, he attended with industry and fidelity to the
profession in which he was educated.

Soon after the declaration of war he concluded to quit the practice of
law, and purchased the establishment of the Republican press of this
county, and became the editor of the Journal.

Mr. Bunce has been a faithful, able, zealous and indefatigable
supporter and defender of our republican institutions, and of the
measures of our general and state government; and I confidently ask,
who ever accused him till this faction commenced their operations.
During the memorable campaign of 1814, he was not only vigilant and
faithful to our rights as an editor; but when danger threatened from
all quarters, he hired, equipped, and sent a common soldier into the
field for the defence of New-York.

Several who were active in introducing Mr. Bunce to the republicans of
this county, after finding him too independent to bend to their
"_particular_" views, and after he had rejected with disdain their
proffers to surrender to them his rights as an editor, they formed
themselves into a court of Inquisition, and ushered forth their courtly
mandates "Bunce must be sacrificed" "the Journal shall go down," even
this proscription extended to his family, and to his fireside; and so
eager were certain of these factionists, that they formed a plan to
break up his establishment by _force_, and actually threatened _to
scatter his types_. This fact is too susceptible of proof to be denied.

The republicans for a long time were silent spectators, while viewing
the persecution of their editor, and attack upon their own rights and
privileges; they fondly hoped, that time would cure the evil, and sober
reflection convince them of their error; but in this hope they were
disappointed, their persecutions encreased; and to them more certainly
to effect their object, and encouraged by the smiles of federalists,
they secretly brought a new printing press into the county - it was then
the designs of these men were more apparent - it was then the
republicans proclaimed their rights, and spoke to these "conspirators"
in language too loud not to be heard - too emphatic not to be
understood. And as long as these "conspirators" continue their press to
war against the rights and privileges of the people, Mr. Bunce as a
faithful centinel, will remain firm at his post. What though a gang of
office-holders should "in the mild spirit of Christian humility" (see
page 7 of the book) fulminate their maledictions against him; the
people will not be frightened into submission, nor the editor from his

But the Editor of the Journal has abused some of us, say they - Does the
_truth_ abuse them? does the _exposition_ of the _foulest combination_
that ever disgraced this or any other county, _constitute abuse_? Is
there such terrible majesty surrounding an _office_? No matter of what
_misrepresentations_ they are the authors of - No matter how _basely_
and _shamefully_ they have _belied and slandered their neighbors_ - No
matter of what deception, hypocrisy and intrigue, they are guilty - No
matter how long they have conspired against the rights and privileges
of the people - No matter how unbecoming, gross and absurd their conduct
may have been; if an independent Editor, in vindicating the rights of
the people, and those of his own, questions the propriety of their
conduct; they immediately skulk behind their offices, and impudently
exclaim, "_touch us not - we are privileged_." 'Pigmies are Pigmies
still tho' perch'd on Alps.'

While I would not refrain from censuring the improper conduct of these
office _leaders_, I shall ever be ready to extend the hand of
fellowship to such as have been deluded by them - Nay, I would go
farther, let _them_ exhibit signs of repentance - let them evince a
determination to support our republican rights - -let them cease to war
against the people, their editor, and individuals - let them remove
their _pensioned_ press - then shall they have my voice and my heart, to
intercede for them with an insulted and abused community.

But faint indeed is the hope of a reformation in _that_ man who
violates all honor, truth and decency. Who but the author[8] of that
book would charge the Milton committee, of being the tools of "fraud
and management?" Who but him would affix the charge of "miscreants" to
the republicans of Galway, Milton, Greenfield, Saratoga, Malta and
Ballston? Who but him would have the unblushing effrontery to publish,
"_that the general committee in nominating Mr. Cowen, instead of Mr.
Young, committed an OUTRAGE on the feelings and wishes of their
constituents_?" [see page 8. of that pamphlet.] Who but the author of
that pamphlet would - but I beg pardon - read the pamphlet itself, and
you have abundant evidence of the authors views, his principles, his
heart and his designs.

But the vengeful serpents of malice and persecution have not confined
their labors to _the book_, Early last spring, a thrust was made at the
Editor of the Journal, on the authority _it was said_ of Mr. Hackley,
late a member from Herkimer, who _(so Thompson said)_ had authorised
him to tell the people, that Mr. Bunce was unworthy of
confidence: - nay, to make use of a number of debasing epithets, - such
as would quadrate with the palate of Roe or Thompson, much better than
that of a gentleman like Mr. Hackley. But as this gentleman has
declined appearing in the book, and certainly never did, and never
would authorize Thompson to use his name for the vile purpose in which
he employed it, I barely glance at this circumstance as one article,
which would otherwise have been pressed into the Pandoras box which has
been so industriously served up for the public.

Instead of atoning by a mild, moderate and conciliatory course of
conduct, for the injuries attempted, not only against an individual,
but the public, in endeavoring to put down and destroy a free press;
the project is set on foot of introducing and palming upon the county
another press; - a child of their own; - a copartner in all their labors,
their joys and sorrows. It is however, _one thing_ to introduce a
press, and _another_ to get the _people_ to support it. While a few
malicious imps, hungering for revenge, were "_grinning horrible a
ghastly smile, to hear their famine should be filled_;" the people in a
number of different towns assembled, and freely expressed their
sentiments on the fatal tendency of such measures; and animadverted
with freedom and spirit on the motives which prompted them; - for which
the book printed by the printer of their paper, stigmatizes them with
the epithet of _miscreants_; and treats the whole of their labors as
mere _cant and slang_; I suppose it must mean compared with its own
dignified and masterly pages. _The majesty of the people_ is truly a
_monstrous Deity_ in the eye of venal and sell-created consequence. It
is merely for repeating _some of the sentiments expressed at these
meetings_, that the editor of the Journal is assailed as the
arch-disturber of our political repose.

_The Citizen_, in one place storms furiously at the allegation, that
the _Albany committee_ had advised them to remove their press. That
committee was appointed to inquire into the difficulties which agitated
the republican family in this county, and devise if possible the means
of removing them. Thompson as _chief cook_ of his own party, appeared
before them, with the book in his hand and Judge Child at his elbow _as
usual_; and I do believe the citizen from my very soul, when he says
they gave him no such advice. The committee were composed of _sensible_
men; and after listening to his incoherent display of folly and
nonsense on that occasion, it would be literally casting pearl before
_swine_, to have given them any advice on the subject.

Having established and considered some extraneous facts, for which I am
aware certain _gentlemen_ will not thank me especially as it may
disorder the thread of their own reasoning a little; I shall now
proceed briefly to consider the charge of FRAUD, FALSEHOOD, DUPLICITY
and CORRUPTION, as it appears in the book itself, on their own proof,
independent of the foregoing _memorandums_, leaving the memory of Mr.
Young's _colleagues_ and others at full leisure to be refreshed by

That charge it will be recollected, is the turning point of the
controversy; - the _vox et preterea nihil_, which _boils, and foams, and
wheels_ thro' _the book_, like a torrent thro' the _Augean_ stable,
collecting in its course accretions of foulness and impurity. For this
purpose, Mr. _Bunce_ and Mr. _Palmer_ are represented as a political
_Archimedes_, controlling at their will the destinies of the
county; - dictating the number and sort and deliberations of the county
delegates, prostrating the Speaker of the house of assembly; and
dealing _havoc, spoil_ and _ruin_ around them. Mr. Cowen is represented
as their associate, aiming at his own elevation thro' the lowest arts
of cunning and duplicity. But fortunately for the cause of common
sense, the touch-stone of these mighty maggots of the brain are the
_facts_ on which they are founded. And here let us for a moment take
them as they stand among the certificate gentry, and examine their
actual bearings; - in doing which I shall still have occasion to mention
names, who, if they have finally not much cause for self gratulation,
must thank their good friend _the Citizen_ for bringing them before the

The Motts[9] say, that on or about the 21st of March, Mr. _Cowen_ told
them that _Young_ was becoming _unpopular_; - that he had behaved
haughtily and disrespectfully towards his colleagues; and that a few
days before, he had been informed of this fact by several gentlemen to
whom they were referred. Now it will be recollected that Mr. Cowen and
John R. Mott were two of the _delegates_ from Saratoga, and as such
mutually bound to discuss with freedom the _allegation for and against_
Mr Young, or any other person who would be a candidate before the
general committee; and Mr. Cowen at this time _at least_, had no reason
to doubt the truth of what Young's colleagues had asserted. He also
mentioned it to James Mott, who was spoken of as a substitute in the
event of his brother's absence. It seems he also conversed freely with
these men on the subject of _his_ having consented to be considered a
candidate, and (so James Mott says) examined the probability of his
success, by calculating the favorable state of the delegation. But it
seems that communications to these _leaky gentlemen_ on the subject of
candidates are not to be made under any circumstances with impunity;
and Mr. Cowen is to be censured as _criminal_ for giving that
information, which it would have been _criminal_ to withhold. The only
way to make his act in this respect _criminal_ is by saying, "he ought
to have known that Young's colleagues had _lied_." But it will be
recollected that this was impossible, for the public did not know them
_then_ as well as it does _now_; nor had Mr. Cowen yet seen their
_certificate_ which is herewith published, by which they acknowledge
_what the book_ is so anxious for Mr. Cowen to have assumed. He did
afterwards see it, and then (so say the certificates) bore public
testimony to his opinion of the merits of Mr. Young, as well as
afterwards by letter to judge Child.

Thus does the charge of duplicity, made against Mr. Cowen, resolve
itself into a base attempt to fix upon him, what so snugly suits the
shoulders of others. It seems he finally bestows that justice upon a
_political adversary_, which the baseness and treachery of his
_colleagues_ and pretended friends had withheld. Am I acting the part
of an accuser towards those men? No. They have accused themselves. Why
are they again before the public? Had they hopes of skulking into
obscurity among the _motley_ multitude of certificates which throng the
folio of _the book_? or have they like one of the moral personages in
_Hudibras_, "_catch'd the itch on purpose to be scratch'd_?" It now
requires an eye less keen than that of a ministering spirit to pierce
the cob web veil which shields them from detection.

But in the process of this investigation, we are led to the
consideration of a subject "_too awful for irony_." The interested
certificates of these men are ushered to a Christian public, and a
higher sanction demanded for them, by the author, than he is willing to
allow to facts attested under the _solemnity_ of _an oath_. One could
hardly have anticipated this _atheistical_ appeal to the credulity of
the public, even tho' human nature were as vile and monstrous in
_others_, as it appears to be in _that author_. But perhaps there was a
necessity for it, in order to preserve the _dark_ uniformity of his
production. If, as has been asserted more than _one_ of his prominent
certifiers (among whom I would by no means rank these men) are
themselves _atheists_, what could he swear them upon? - Upon the
evangelists think you? - He might as well swear them on Payn's age of
reason, or his own vile book itself. Where they "believe that their
miserable bodies must take eternal refuge in the grave, and the last
puff of their nostrils will send their souls to annihilation, they
laugh at the solemnity of an oath and tell you that the grave into
which they sink as a log, forms an intrenchment against the throne of
God, and the vengeance of exasperated justice!" Such is the character
which the writer fixes upon _himself_. - Such is the character which
several of his _disciples_ sustain in public.

True, the falsity of an extra-judicial oath, carries with it no
_temporal_ punishment; but the _moral obligation_ remains to give it
validity. That _eternal reward or punishment_ which the _Citizen_ has
taken so much pains to blot out from the mind of his readers, will
still continue the delight and terror of the Christian, the eternal
fountain of his hopes and fears; - with him a sufficient motive to
truth, without the artificial and imperfect aid of _national law_. The
affidavits of four or five _credible witnesses_ were already before the
public, that Mr. Young's Colleagues did make a charge against him; but
it seems that every moral sanction must be trampled upon or trifled
with by the _Citizen_, to secure a triumph for his false and infidel
principles. He skips, like a grasshopper, over facts and premises and
propositions, and perches upon his pitiful assertions, which he wishes
the public to pervert into conclusions. Why did he not give these
affidavits lo the public? - He cannot surely complain that he forgot
them, for they appear to haunt his guilty imagination through the whole
of his progress; nor can he complain of wanting room. But the answer is
easy. He knew it would make his bait so very bad that even his own
gulls would not nibble. -

He was afraid of injuring his credit as an author even among his _own
sort_ - for these affidavits prove conclusively and indubitably, that
not one jot nor tittle more was uttered against Mr. Young, than what
emanated from his own colleagues, in the course of the winter of 1814
and 1815.

It is still more remarkable so far forth as the charge of fraud is
concerned, with what logical precision _the Citizen_ pursues his
inquiry. - One is naturally led to expect from his _positive rant_,
nothing short of _point blank demonstration_ at least, that the fraud,
(which if there was any originated with Mr. Young's colleagues) had
produced the desired effect. That the attempt to cheat the people out
of this _mammoth legislator_, - this _sine qua non_ to their political
salvation, should have at least produced some influence with the men
upon whom it was exerted. Is there no _lost and wandering sheep_ ready
to return to the fold, and certify the delusions practised upon him by
these wolves in sheeps clothing? Even Mr. Thompson, whose attention is
apt to be otherwise directed, the moment he falls in conversation with
Palmer and Bunce, scents out the fraud with all the instinctive
keenness of a blood hound - Mr. Kasson on the same track, hardly the
length of a nose behind, and unwilling to be outdone in sagacity,
echoes the howlings of his leader. Judge Stillwell, tho' it seems the
dullest of the pack, follows hard and completes the choir; or in other
words Thompson and Kasson make a certificate that they _were not
deceived_, and Stillwell _endorses_ to give it a proper currency.

Even Mr. Roe lays claim to the same spirit of discernment, tho' his
title to that claim might be questionable on another _ground_. He is
readily led into a conclusion that Mr. Wilkins must have visited the
Northern towns to procure Mr. Cowen's nomination; when it happens that
the committees in those towns had been chosen before his name had been
mentioned in them as a candidate, and before he had consented to be
considered one. Mr. Roe had much better have satisfied himself by
consulting the northern delegation on this subject. He is remarkably
_alert_ to detect a _fraud_ where there is none, but is willing to take
any thing upon _tick_ which accommodates his good friend the _Citizen_.
He certifies that he could not be deceived by the poor stories of
Palmer and Bunce; - But believing the public to be greater numbsculls
than himself, imagines that he can trick them into a belief, that the
gentlemen who composed the northern delegation (among whom are many of
the most respectable names in the county) are the mere creatures of
another's will. It is perhaps fortunate that this man is an exception
to the general law of nature, that _like_ produces _like_, or he might
have made _tools_ of the whole county convention.

Who then was defrauded? - The Molts are by no means willing to admit
that this was the case with them. The Citizen cannot produce even one
poor certificate from any _one_ of the _county convention_, that they
were deceived or misled - neither Mr. Deake nor judge Child were of the
committee, and if they had been, they are both so good as to tell us
they were not gulled in that instance _at least_. John R. Mott, one of
the delegation from the town of Saratoga, according to his own
certificate had gone to New-York and sent Mr Olmstead who, with Mr.
_Cowen's consent_ (for it must have been by his consent that he acted
as a substitute) sat in convention, and voted for Mr. Young. Thus
ingeniously does the citizen rummage the chain of cause and effect, to
eke out his favorite conclusion.

But stop, I confess I had like to have forgotten the certificate of Dr.
Child (Increase W. Child) a son of judge Child, one of the most
distinguished among the _dramatis personæ_ who figure in the book! - He
does go the length of saying, that he voted on the strength of Mr.
Bunce's representation. Voted for whom? For Mr. Cowen? O no. - But he
voted for a _committee_, who were to meet a _committee_, to make out
the _county nomination_! - And shocking to relate, poor Dr. Child was
galled into a vote for three of the most respectable men in the town of
Milton!! - viz: Daniel Couch jun. Esq. Joel Keeler Esq. late a member of
the legislature, and Thomas Palmer Esq!!! - It is derogatory to no man
in that town, to say that a more respectable delegation could not have
been procured. And what is more shameful still, one of those gentlemen,
viz: Daniel Couch jun Esq. whom the Doctor had thus honestly sent _to
vote for Mr. Cowen_, actually deceived his constituent, and _voted for
Mr. Young_!!!! - Doctor Guild's certificate is very happily illustrated
by the burlesque syllogism; _that Moses was the meekest man: - Solomon
was the wisest man; - And therefore St. Paul was ship wrecked_. The
conclusion of a fraudulent nomination, follows about as direct upon Dr.
Child's premises, as the shipwreck of St. Paul did upon the meekness of
Moses or the wisdom of Solomon. We should be almost led to suspect from
this specimen, that the Doctor is a greater _infant in politics_, than
in _dissection_.

This famous pamphleteer is by no means more fortunate, when he
approaches the topic of the McBain meeting. The materials of which this
meeting was composed are now known as far as the book, which has kindly
given their names to the public. It consisted of one _first judge_. One
_Sheriff_ and one _Clerk_, appointed under the administration of
_Samuel Young_ Esq. - _George Palmer_ Esq. Master in Chancery, As't.
Justice, Justice of the peace, Post Master, &c, and whom _the book_
holds out as the _expectant_ of the _Surrogates office_ - _Roe_ deputy
Sheriff and _ci-devant_ constable - _James Mutt_ - _James Thompson_ Esq.
who had kindly volunteered, as early as the 1st of April, to take the
interests of the county under his charge as _public prosecutor_ and
_States evidence_ - _Alpheus Goodrich Esq. his partner_ - Doctor _Nathan
Thompson_ his brother - Mr _Elias Benedict_ his client; - the one willing
to _receive_, and the other to _pay_ in certificates of the most
current stamp - _A justice or justices_ from Ballston, who knew their
political God-father - Dr. _Samuel Pitkin_, who acted as minister
plenipotentiary from _Milton_ to _Saratoga_, making thirteen, who it is
admitted, were from all the different towns enumerated in the caption
of the meeting viz: Ballston, Stillwater, Galway, Saratoga, Greenfield
and Milton. Add to these some others of minor note, and you make, as
the Citizen would have it, the number of 21 _or more_. The Citizen too
tells us he was there; but whether in the character of - - - - or
- - we are left to grope in the gloom of conjecture.

Such was the formidable _Areopagus_ convened to purify the _body
politic_; to correct the poor misguided county convention; - and guard
the people against _being their own worst enemies_; such was the
assembly presented to the public as a _numerous and respectable_
meeting from 6 towns out of 14 (judge Child and Dr. Thompson kindly
representing the towns of _Greenfield_ and _Galway_.)

No sooner had this _numerous meeting_ assembled, than it was tho't
necessary to divide them into the proper committees; - This being more
_genteel_ and _parliamentary_ than to act in a body; - Accordingly
_Stillwell, Thompson and Palmer_ were created a committee to draw up
the proceedings of the meeting; _Child_ and _Stillwell_, a committee of
_Logic_ and _Rhetoric_, to call on _absent friends_ and get them to
consent that he _should resign. Mott_ and _Child acted_ as a _committee
of vigilance_ to pick up and report scraps of conversations and letters
from Mr. Gowen after the meeting was over. _Mott, Thompson, Kasson,
Stillwell, Roe,_ &c acted as a committee to report to the county, the
fraud which had deprived _Mr Young_ of his undoubted right to go to the
Legislature, whether the people were _willing_ or _not_. Mr. Elias
Benedict to draw up the proceedings of _Mr. Wilkins_ and _possibly_ to
enforce the statute for the suppression of Vice and Immorality; - and
committee of the whole to tell the county they had been there; and do
away the strange reports which had gone abroad, that they were a little
self-created body, without _precedent, authority or premises_,
resembling what saucy people would call a _faction_.

All might yet have gone well, had not _Stillwell_ been such a miserable
_slouch_ at telling a story. It appears that Stillwell and Palmer had

1 2 4

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 4 of 5)