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Maine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. online

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act of Congress approved April 20, 1818, entitled '• An act in addition to
the act foi' the punishment of certain crimes agaijist the United States,"
&c. has been grossly violated, both in its letter and spirit, by many of the
most respectable and influential citizens of this State and city. During
my absence from the State in October last, several public meetings were
held in this city for the avowed purpose of raising men and money to suc-
cor the insurgents of Texas ; and a company of 30 men was actually
equipped and despatched from this city, and are now in arms in Texas
against the Government '• de facto." I am at a loss to determine whether
your instructions should be apjilied to the cases that have passed ; vshcthcr
they should be retrospectively obeyed; or whether this last proposition is
not negative<i by the concluding paragraph of your letter, which reads thus:
" You are therefore earnestly enjoined, should this contest begin, to be at-
tentive to all movements of a hostile character against either party, &c.;
and to prosecute, without discrimination, all violations of those laws of
the United States which have been enacted for the pi-escrvation of peace,"
&c. In this state of doubt, I resjjectrully rerjuest furthei* instructions in
regard to the j)ast oficnces against t!ie law, atid submit whether it would
not be expedient to give notice within this district that offenders under
this law would be j)rosecuted for the saroe.

It is hardly necessary to add, tliat if any new case should arise under
the law and treaty in question, the ofTonders shall be promptly prosecuted,
and every effort made upon my part to bi-ing tiiem to justice and a sense of
their obligations and duties t(' the Guvoinment.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant.


Hon. John For.svTii,

Secretary of State,

396 [ House Doc. No. 74. ]

Mr. Carkton to Mr. Forsyth.

New Orleans, /fln?/ary 21, 1836.

Siu: Tliere have bfcii so many contiadictoty newspaper accounts con-
cei'uiiig certain expeditions and arnuitnents said to have been fitted out at
this city in aid of the Texans, in tiieir struggle with Mexico, that I have
thought it iticuniherit on me to place the subject, through you, in its proper
light before tiie ['resident.

On ihe 26tii ultinjo I received the comniunication, a printed copy of
which is annexed, and marked A. Some of the signers are officers of in-
surance companies in this city, and the others members of the principal
commercial houses engaged in the Mexican ti-ade. My reply is contained
in the paper marked B.

On the 3 1st ultimo, the jiiece marked C appeared in the Union, an
obscure papei- jjrinted in this j)lace. Upon an intei-view with the collector,
it was thought best to institute proceedings against the schooner Brutus,
mentioned in document A. Accordingly, on the 4th instant, I caused
nearly all the signei's of the document, as also the editor of the Uni(m and
and author of the paper C, to be summoned before Mr. Justice Preval ;
whereupon twenty witnesses weie examined, without obtaining a syllable
of information touching the matters alleged. Every thing stated by them
resolved itself into hear-say oi- common report. The examination took a
wide range, and continued two days, i-eferriog to other armaments said to
have been fitted out, as well as that under consideration.

Since these proceedings, nothing further has been said on the subject of
such armaments, either in the j)apers or among the citizens.

Enclosed ai-e coj)ies of tlie depositions of the w itnesses ; from which it
will ajjpear that the examination was thorough and rigid, and that iii-
foi-mation was sought especially from those who were most interested in
obtaining it.

The paper D contains a notice of the issue of the examinations.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Hon. JoUN FoilSYTH,

Secretanj of State, Washington City.


New Orleans, December 26, 1835.


United States District Jittorney:

Being informed that the schooner Brutus has been puichased, and is now
fitting out, armed with six cannon, and one large one on a pivot, for the
pur|)ose of capturing Mrxican ves-sels, which, with their cargoes, arcprin-
cijially ensured hy tin' underwriters of this city : and as our country is at
peace with Mexic o; we. tlu' undersigned, i'e(|uest that immediate measures
may be taken to prevent said vessel IVom leaving this port.

John A. Merle &. Co.

Messrs. Cuculla, Lapeyre ^ Co.


S. T. Hobs(Mi ^ Co.

[ House Doc. No. 74. ] 397

Western Marine and Fire Insurance Co., by L. Matthews, president,

Atlantic Iii'^nranre Company, by G. W. White Lee.

GodfiTv, Blossom, & Co.

J. K. West, president of Louisiana State Marine and Fire Insurance

Thomas Urfiuliart, president New Orleans Insurance Company.
Merchants' Insur-ance Company, hy M. Morgan, president.
M. de Legardi & Co.

F. Gillit & Co.
Kohn, Daron, & Co.
Harrison, Brown, & Co.
J. W. Zacharie At Co.
Herman & Co.
Gasquet, Parish, & Co.

G. Vance and R. Gamble.
A. 8c R. Dennistoiin & Co.
J. Pratt & Son.

A. M. Miranda & Co.
J. M. Caballero.
Francisco Tio.
John Crosby.
R. & J. Curell.


The Courier, New Orleans, Tuesday Evening, December 29, 1835.

New Orleans, December 28, 1855.

Gentlemen : This acknowledges the recei|)t of your communication
of the 26th instant, in wiiich y(»u state that you are informed the schooner
Brutus is now fitting out, and armed with cannon, for the purpose of cap-
turing Mexican vessels, and request that immediate measures may be
taken to prevent her departui-e from this port.

I regret, gentlemen, that you had not at the same time furnished me
with proper affidavits, or the names of witnesses, who could set out specif-
ically the facts upon which Judicial proceedings might be based.

Mr. Curell, who delivered your letter, informed me that efforts were
then making to procure such atiidavits, and ihat the result would be made
known to me. In the mean while I have had an interview with the col-
lector, who will promptly act, as far as lie is warranted, upon the informa-
tion imparted to him.

The law wisely and justly forbids any outfit of vessels in our ports,
with intent to commit hostilities upon any people at peace with the United
States ; and though my duty requires that I should prosecute for violations
of that law, yet it does not require me to institute proceedings upon the
testimony of mere common report. Notwithstanding it is currently said
that such armaments have been fitted out at New Orleans, and soldiers
enlisted, with intent to commit hostilities upon the Mexicans, nevertheless
no person can be found in this entire population to make an atlidavit of
the facts, or indicate a single witness who can establish them. Allow me,
therefore, gentlemen, to state distinctly to yourselves, and all those who

398 [ House Doc. No. 74. ]

mav conceive that th<' oHicors of the Goveniiiutit ai-e remiss in their ihity,
that tiiesi- are the only k'^iliniate grounds iij)oii whii'li |)iosccutioij can be
insti'uted mid inaiiitained, aiiil to assure you liiat, wlienever they ace fur-
iiishcd lo me, my efJ'orts sliall not be wanting lo enforce the penalties of
the law.

I have the honor to be. gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedi -nt


To Messrs. Cucili.a, Lvpeyke & Co., Ch alauon, S. T. Hobson &

Co., and others.


We undei'stand that an inquiry has been made before Mr. Justice Pre-
val, at the recjnest of the colK-ctor of this port, by the district attorney of
the United States, in'o a chai-ge against Mr. Allen, of having armed and
fitted out the Anierican schootier Brutus, with the intention to commit
hostilities uj)un Mexican commerce. A large niimhei* of witnesses were
examined. Ain(Mig them were the gentlemen who addressed a communi-
cation to Mr. Cai'leton, j)ubli^hed in the papers ot" this city a few days
ago ; the editor of the Union ; and several other persons, who, it was said,
could give information on the su!)ject.

No evidence, however, was elicited sufficient to justify any process
against Mr. Allen. The testimony of his agent, and otliers, left no doubt
that it was the intention of Mr. Allerj to employ the 13iutus as a regular
trader between this cit) and '1 exas, and that all charges of an illegal in-
tention on his pai't were unfounded, and to be traced only to general ruukor.
Tlie judge, after a careful examination of all the witnesses, unhesitatingly
rpfus«*d to issue any criminal process against Mr. Allen.

Mr. Justice Preval, associate Justice oj the city court,

TuE United States, ^

versus V

A. C. Alle.v. 5

Information having been cmnmunicatcd to me by the collector of this
port, that a certain American schooner, called the Rrutus, has been fitted
out in New Orleans, wheic she now is, and armed wil!> intent to commit
hostilities and cruise against Mexic an vessels, wili you have the goodness
to issue subpuitias foi- the following witnesses, wiio have been indicated to
me as having a knowledge of the necessary facts upon which proceedings
can be had against Mr. Allen ?

Very respectfully,


M. S. Cnculla, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he knows
nothing about the schooner Brutus, except what he has seen in the public

[ House Doc. No 74. ] 399

papers of tliis city, li;iving I»ecn al)seiit since tin- 24tli of December last,
on a voyage to Mobile and I'ensacola.

Swoin to and snbsrribt'd beioie me,

New OiiLKxyis, Jniiuanj 4, 1836.

James Rtmage, being duly sworn, de[)i)ses and says tbat it is to his
knowledge that the schooner Bnitus has been under rej)airs on the right
side of the Mississippi ; that she is now on this side of the river, and is
armed ; tliat she has on boivrd a pivot gun ; and, furt!ier, she has \mvt-
holes and two otiier guns : last time witness saw those guns was Satuiday
last, 2d January instant.

JAMES ramagb:.

Sworn to and subscribed before me,

New Orleans, JmiunrijA, 1836.

Janjcs Curell, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he knows noth-
ing from his own personal knowledge lelative to the schooner Bi'utus ;
that what he knows about this matter, he knows it by infor uatiin fro n
otlier persons.

Sworn to and subscribed before me,

Ne>v Orleans, January 4, 1836.

Augustus S. Martin, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he knows
nothing about the schoo;ier Brutus and Mr. AHen, except what he has
learned by a letter of Mr. Alien, published in tlie newspaj)e:\s of this city •
which letter is no\\ annexed to his declaration.

Sworn to and subscribed before me,

New Orleans, JiflJiitarJ/ 4, 1836.

John F. Carter, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he knows
nothing about the An»erican schooner Bi-utus, excejjt wliat he has heard
from public rej)ort ; that he is the editor of the Union, (a newspaper pub-
lished in this city.) Witness being asked for th^ sources of his information
upon which lie wrote and pnblishcl a piece in the ''Union," of the 31st of
December last, he refused to give the sources of information upon which
he made the said publication. Witness says that there ate no details men-
tioned in his publication ; the said piece is an editorial one ; he kti'iws the
facts mentioned in the said piece, both by himself and public leport. Being
asked whetiier the fitting out and armaments, in sight of the custom-house,
is a fact which has come to his personal knowledge, or from report, he says
he cannot call to mind which way. nor can he state the name of any particu-
lar vessel; but he is under the impression that it was either tiie Columbus
or the vessel that General Mehia went in. He thinks that it is possible
that he saw the vessel, but cannot state which vessel it was. He does not
recollect of having seen any arms on board, nor where the vessel was ly-

400 [ House Doc. No. 74. ]

ing at the time, unv how long ago it \va*<. Witness knows nothing about
Mr. AMen. Hcing asked what are the names of the many respectalile cit-
izens (alhided to in his publication) who might give information I'elative
to the armaments of vessels in this port, he answers that he cannot now
state their names, but will give a list of them to Mr. Carleton, the district
attorney of the United States. The collector of the port, Mr. Breedlove,
wrote a le'ter, addressed to witness, asking inforniation about the said pub-
licatiott, and an answer has been returned to the collector.


Sworn to and subscribed before me,


New Orleans, January 4, 1836.

Thomas Urquhai t, being duly sworn, deposes ard says that he knows
nothing frouj his own personal knowledge about the American schooner
Brutus being fitted out to go and cruise against Mexican vessels ; he knows
it only from jjublic report ; he knows of no fact which could lead to the dis-
covery of the matter, nor does he know the name of any witness. Witness
is the president of the New Orleans Insurance Company : he says that the
pa|)er attached to his deposition is the copy of the original, which he signed
liimself, and which was sent to the district attornev of the United States.


Sworn to and subsciibed before me,


New Orleans, January 4, 1836.

John Martial Lapeyre, being duly sworti, says that he is one of the sub-
scribers to the petition or letter (of which the foregoing is a copy) ad-
dressed to Henry Carleton, Esfj., as district attorney of the United States.
He knows nothing about the facts contained in it ; but having seen it sign-
ed by many respectable citizens, and having leason to believe that they
knew the facts alleged in the petition, and, further, having a direct interest
in the matter, these considerations induced hi(n to sign the said petition or


Sworn to and subscribed before me,

Nem' Orleans, January 4, 1836.

John Garnier, being duly sworn, says that he knows nothing fr(>m his
personal knowledge of the schooner Brutus, nor of Mr. Allen. He knows
only by i)nl)lic rejxiit that the said scliooner Brutus was fitting out in this
port to g:o and cruise against Mexican vessels.

Swoi-n to and subscribed before me,

New Orleans, Janiu/rj/ 4. I836.

Jolin A. Meile, I)eing (Inly sworn, deposes and says that he knows
nothing from liis |»erson;il knowledge of the schooner lirutus, nor of Mr.
Allni I l)nt having heard by jiiiljlic report that that vessel was aiming and
fitting out in this [>ort with the purpose of cruising against Mexican ves-

[ House Doc. No. 74. | ^101

scls, and being much interested in the roinmcrci;!! trade on the coast
of Mexico, he thought projjer to sign ;\n address to the disti-iet attorney (»!'
the United Stairs, t(» rccouiinend him to tiiUc some n;casures mi ihat snh-
ject. He does not know of any person who can attest the facts by personal


Sworn to and subscribed befoie me,

New Orleans, Januarit 4, 18S6.

William Christy, being duly sworn, deposes anil says that he knows
nothing about Mr. Allen, exce()t this: tliat about t\\o weeks ago Mr.
Allen came to his otlice, with some other gentlemen, and proj)osed to wit-
ness to sell him two tracts of land iti Texas. Tnat he (witness) and five
or six other persons, bought the said tracts of land from Mr. Allen, in the
sum of ten thousand dollars, for w hicli sum they furnished their notes ;
that Mr. Allen put Liis j)rice low for said land, because he wished, as he
stated at the tin»e, to purchase a vessel. He knows nothing about the
schooner Brutus being armed, or having been purchased by Mr. Allen.


Sworn to and subscribed before me,


New Orleans, January 4, 1836.

John K. West, on his aflirmation, declares and says that he knows no-
thing about the schooner, nor about Mr. Allen ; that he is president of tiie
State Insurance Company : that he was informed by Mr. Stockton, the in-
spector of said company, that said schoorier was fitting out and arm-
ing on the other side of the river. He stated that the current rumor was,
that she was arming for the purpose of cruising against Mexican vessels;
that he wrote, himself, the letter or petition addressed to the district at-
torney of the United States, to recommend him to take the necessary
stej)s to stop the armament in question. Witness requested the insj)ector
of the State Insurance Company to try to find out some persons who could
make an affidavit on that subject, but he could not find any witness.
Knew that the district attorney could not act without an alfidavit, and told
so to several merchants with whom he conversed on that subject. Mr.
Pechier, the partner of John A. Merle and Co., stated to witness that he
knew of some ])ersons who could give information ; that Mr. Pechier told
witness afterwards that he had asked the pei'son in question to come out
and make his affidavit, but that he declined doing it.


Affirme^l and subscribed before me,


New Orleans, January 4, 18S6.

R. M. Carter, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he has no posi-
tive information of the fitting out of the Brutus, excej>t what is hereafter
stated. That, in common with others, he believed that expeditions have
been fitting out at this port of a hostile character to Mexico; that he be-
lieved, after reading the advertisement by certain merchants of New Or-
leans in regard to the object of the Brutus, that whe was to be engaged in

402 [ House Doc. No. 74. ]

sucli an fxpoililioii ; imjie es|)ecially believing lliat tiie ex[)C(lition of Gen-
eral Miliia was oiienly fitted out at the levee; tliat Mf. T. Toby inlorm-
ed de|)onent that vessels of war were fitting out at this j)ui't against Mexi-
co ; lliat, after iieaiing of the Brutus, he cunsidered tliat she was one of
the armed vessels alluded to by Mr, Toby; that, having irujuired what
persons may give some positive information on tiiis subject, de|)oncntan-
Hwers that he thinks tliat H. Lockett, A. Hodge, junior, and T. 'I'oby, may
be able to give some positive testimony ; that the conversation alluded to with
Mr. 'I'oby took jjlace on the morning of the couiinencement of the trial of
Captain Thomjison in the United States district court. Mr. Carter be-
ing asked what wailike |)reparations were making in siglit of the custom-
house, he says that he always thought that the arcade, and the vessel that
(jeneral Mehia went away in, were in tiie sight of the custom-house: but
he considers that this question has nothing to do with this case, aiid that if
{\ie Brutus was fitted out with hostile intent against Mexico, it was in the
sight of the custom-house. Witness has no positive pei'sonal knowledge
that the Brutus has been fitted out and armed against Mexico. Witness
does not know of what warlike jireparations are spoken of in the Union
of the 3 1st December last, under the editorial head. Witness does not
know of any resjjectable jiersons, except tliose already mentioned, who>
can give information about the Brutus.


Sworn to and subscribed before me,


New Orleans, January 4, 1836.

Edward Hall, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he knows that
the American schooner Brutus is now in this port, and is armed. She
was advertised to go to Texas. In consequence of her being armed, wit-
ness shi|)ped some goo<Js on board. Witness does not know that Mr. Al-
len has any commlssi(»n as captain of an armed vessel. Witness j)ut on
board of said vessel some j)rovisions and arms as cargo — the arms consist-
ing of four guns of six-poundei'. He does not know that Mr. Allen has
any inteRtion to cruise against Mexican vessels, nor that he has on board
any marine or soldier in his service, other than his crew. That he has
seen the instructions given to Captain Hurd, who commands the said
8chooner, to proceed on hisjvoyage (piietly to Texas, as any merchant ves-
sel. Witness has no know ledge how that vessel was employed heretofore.
She was bought in this port by Mr. Allen. The passengers who are
about to (le|)art on board of her told witness that they are going on board
of that vessel on account of her being armed and able to protect tlienu
Witness says that some three weeks ago there was a rumor that that ves-
sel was to be fitted out to go to sea to cruise against Mexican vessels.

Cross-examination by ]\fr. Iliuit.

'Ihe general opinion among the merchants of this city is, that vessels
going to Texas may experience some depredations on their passage, and it
is on that account that vessels going to that place have taken arms on board.

Sworn to and subscribed before me,

New Oulkans, Januanj 5, 183G.

[ House Doc. No. 74. J 40'S

Thomas Toby, on his alHinuition, dcjioscs and says that he knows no-
thing about the schooner Urutus being lilted out and armed in tliis port,
nor of any vessel. He recollects the conversalion which he had with iVlr.
Carter, in the district court of tiie United States, in whicii he sp^ke of
armed vessels ; but he did not at the time allude to any vessels of this |tort,
nor to the Brutus — he meant a vessel fitted out at IJaltimore, with the in-
tent of going on the coast of Mexico to protect commerce.


Aftirmed and signed before me,


New Orleans, January 5, 1836.

Charles Bishop, being duly sworn, deposes and says, that about two or
three weeks ago he had a conversation with R. M. Carter, Esq., at his
olRce, relative to a vessel which was fitting out in this port at that time.
He does not know the name of that vessel ; he did not know that the ves-
sel was intended to cruise against Mexican vessels, or oidy to protect her-
self in her trade to Texas. The vessel he spoke of was the vessel now
owned by Mr. Allen. At the time that he had the said conversation with
Mr. Carter, he communicated to him what he had heard from public report.
He knew nothing, of himself, of the armament of said vessel.


Sworn to and subscribed before me,

New Orleans, January 5, 1836.

Henry Lockett, being dul> sworn, deposes and says that he has no
knowledge of any vessel fittitig out in this port \\ith the intent of cruising
against Mexican vessels. He never heard of the Brutus until he saw the
communication addressed to Mr Carleton, and signed by many (nerchants
of this city. He knows notiiing about said vessel, except what he has
heard from public report. He never spoke to Mr. Carter in his life about
the Brutus, to the best of his recolleclioii.


Sworn to and subscribed before me,


New Orleans, January 5, 1836.

William Bryan, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he knows
nothing about tlie schooner Brutus being fitted out in this port to cruise
against Mexican vessels. He kfiows, on the contrary, as the agent of Mr.
Allen, and from the instructions he received from him respecting the said
vessel, that she was bought by Mr. Allen with the intention of sending her
on a regular trade from here to Texas ; that she was advertised according-
ly in the newspapers. The instructions which he received remain annexed,
to his declaration.


Sworn to and subscribed before me,


New Orleans, January 5, 1836.

James W. Breedlove, the collector of this j)ort, being duly sworn, de^
poses ami says that this examination of witnesses has taken place at his

404 [ House Doc. No. 74. ]

roqiicst : tlrat ha\i?ig been informcl that tlie scljooner Brutus was arrived,
he first tli(nie;lil tliat he woiiIjI cleai- her, in taking bojul, as the law direcls,
lor double ol" tiie amount of her cargo. But liaviiig seen, in the pul)-
lic ])aj)PTs III' (his city, that vessels were fitting out and aiming in tlie sight
of the cnslom house, witii an intent to ci'uise and romniit liiistilities against
Mexican vessels, he reluscd to clear out the said schooner Bi-utus, until
some steps shouM be taken to ascertain whether thei'e was any just ground
to justify the publication which appeared in the iiews])apers ; and he then
wrote a letter to Henry Carleton, Es(j., district attoiney of the United

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 52 of 56)