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

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diately submitted, has directed me to reply that he perceives, with great
satisfaction, that you are duly sensible, not only of the wishes ami feel-
ings of this Government in i-elation to the unfortunate state of things oii
tlie frontiers of the United Stales, but of the general disjiosition of tiie
j)eoplc and autiioiities of tiiis country to cultivate and extend that benefi-
cial intercourse with Great Britain so well adapted to strengthen the ex-
isting bonds of national affection and friendship between the two nations.

You have already seen, i:i the public journals, the efforts that have been
made, and are now' making, both by the General and State G(»vernmeiit.s,
to j)revent any of our misguided citizens from inteilei ing in the disturb-
ances of tlie neighboiiiig territory of the Canadas. I have had the honor,
also, to make you ac(piainted with other measures which are in progress
to the same effect, founded upon the informalion received from the officers
of the United States who were sent to the frontiers to prevent violations of
our laws ; and 1 now repeat to you, formally, foi* the satisfaction of your
Go\ernment, and to relieve the anxieties of the authorities of Upper Can-
ada, that all the constitutional power vested in the Executive \\\\\ be
excited to maintain the stijncmacy of those laws which were passed to
fullil the obligations of llie United States to all friendly nations who may
be uidortunatcly engaged in foreign or domestic war.

Assui'ances to that eff'ct to the authorities of Upper Canada may be
given in the strongest terms j and the I'rcsidrnt does not doubt that this
object, so desirable in the present crisis to both Govei-nments, will be ac-
complished, if insurmountable obstacles are not thrown in the way by tliC
rashness of |iersoiis within the dominions of her Biitannic xMiijesty, who,
in tlieir icscnlment or apprehensions, may think themselves author-

[ House "Doc. No. 74. ] 413

ized to make aggn ssioiis upon llic United States for ii)jinies committed
by individuals svlio are \ iolatofs of oui- laws, and wIid escape jn-oseeiitiun
ami punislinient uadei- a temporal, y excitement jji-oiluced by the events
on the frontitT, and by the menaces directed against our own people by
some of her Majesty's in)prudcnt stdjjects.

With great respect and consideration, I have the honor to he vour obe-
dient servant,

tl. S. Fox, Esq., &c.

Mt . Forsyth to Mr. JCellogg.

Department of State,

irashijiglou, December 7, 1837.

Sir : In tlie course of the contest which has commenced in a jwrtion of
the territory of Great Britain, beivvecn |)ortions of the pujiulation and the
Governtiicnt, some of onr citizens may, from their connexion with the
settlers, and from their love of enterj)risc and desire of change, be in-
duced to forget theii' duty to tlieii- own Government, and its obligations to
foreign I'owers. It is the fixed detei mination of tlie President laithftilly
to dis( harge, so fai as his power extends, all the obligations of this Gov-
ernment: and that obligation, especially, which rKjuircs that we shall ab-
stain, under every temptation, from intermeddling with the domestic dis-
putes of othei- nations. You are, therefore, earntstly enjoined to be atten-
tive to all movements (»f a hostile chai-acter, contemi)late(l or attempted,
within youi- district ; and to prosecute, without discrimination, all violators
of those laws of the United States which bave been enacted to preset've
j)eace with foreign Powers, and to fulfil all the obligations of our tieaties
with them.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Daniel Kellogg, Esq.

United States attorney, Rockinghamf Vermont.

[The same to the district attorneys for the northern district of New
Yerk and Michigan district.]

Mr. Forsyth to Governor Marcy.

Department of State,

Washington, December 7, 1837.
Sir : A contest having commenced in a territory of Great Britain ad-
joining the United States, between portions of the population and Govern-
ment, during which attempts may be made to violate the laws of the United
States passed to preserve the relations of amity with foreign Powers, and
to fulfil the obligations of our treaties with them, by the directions of the
President I have the honor to request the attention of your excellency to

414 [ House Doc. No. 74. ]

any movements of that cliaiactor that may be contemplated in the State
ol New York, and ytuii- prompt interleience to arrest the parties concern-
ed, if any j)iepaiations arc made of a hostile nature against any foreign
Power in amity \Nith the United States.

I iiave the iionor to be, sir, voui* obedient servant,

Ui8 Excellency "William L. Marcy,

Governor oj the Slate of A''ew York.

[The 8ame to the Governors of Vermont and Michigan.]

Mr. Trowbyndore to Mr. Fillmore.


BufFALo, December 12, 1837.

My deau Sir : You will no doubt have seen by the papers that there
has been an outbreak among tiie Canadians at Toronto. Tlie patriots or
rebels imbndied to the number of thi-ee or foui- hundred, and made an attack
on the city, but were defeated by the loyalists. 1 cannot learn that the
patriots are assembled in force at any on - point at this time. I'he loyal-
ists are under arms along the lines, and the several ferries guarded. Mc-
Kenzie and Dr. Rolfe, the leaders of the patriots, are in this city, and I
undeistand their object is to solicit aid in some shape j either men, nunii-
tions of war, or both. They are to have a meeting to-night in the theatre.
I'here have already been held three popular meetings in favor of the
patriots, \ery numerously attended. There is a strong feeling in our place
in their favor. I am a|)prchensivc that this feeling will lead to the or-
ganization of a force for the purpose of aiding them. I feel as though our
situation is somewhat critical, and that the imprudent and ardent zeal of
some individuals among us may urge the j)(>j)ulace into measures which may
co..imit the country, and disturb the good ujiderstanding which exists be-
tween this Government and that of (Jreat Britain.

You aie at liberty to submit this letter to the President or the Secretary
of War, if you deem it proper to do so.

I am, sir, with great respect, yours,


Mr. Trowhridsre to the President.

Buffalo City, Mayor's Office,

December 14, 1837.

Your Excellency : Recent occurrences in this city, and upon this
frontier, appear to me to recpiire that the attention of tiie Executive of the
General Government should be called to them, or we shall be seriously
C')iri|)»-omis(d with the English Govei-nment.

A shnrt time since, a meeting was called in this city by some young men,
from mere sport, and without any snious intentions. Jt a|)]i(ai-s, how-
ever, that a greater excitement existed than they had anticipated : and

f House Doc. No. 74. ] 415

meeting after meeting has been held, cacli mure niinicrous than the other,
until the evening of the IGth instant, when there was colk'cted thi; largest
assemblage ever known in this citv. >\ . L. iMcKeny^ie, a Canadian re-
foi-mei, was present and addressed the meeting, and avowi-d that he wish-
ed to obtain aims, anununition, and voliinteeis, to assist the reformers in

Yesterday (13th) men were actively engaged in collecting arms and
ammunition, and enrolling names, for the openly exjiressed purpose of
invading Canada. A handbill was posted up towaids evening, calling
upon the volunteers for Canada to meet in front of the theatre, for the
l)urposc of taking up thrir line of march. A numbei- met, armed and
equipped. A large assemblage soon after gathered around the Eagle
tavern, which had been the depot for arms through the day. A general
was duly appointed to take command of the invading army. About nine
o'clock the people generally dispersed. The volunteers, with theii- friends
and abettors, marched, w ith their arms and colors, out of the city, as was
supposed for the night; about one o'clock this morning a portion of them
returned, and enteied the couit-house, atid forcibly took from the sheiiff
two hundred stand of aims belonging to the State arsenal at Batavia.
Tliey also took from the gun-houses two field-pieces, and then marched to
Black liock, w here they are now quartered.

These ])roceedings create great excitement on the other side of the river,
and the Government is at great expense to guard their frontier: two hun-
dred j)rovincial militia are in arms at Fort Erie and Waterloo.

The civil authorities have no adequate force to control these men, and,
unless the General Government should interfere, there is no way to pre-
vent serious disturbances ; and I have considered these transactions of too
much importance to pass w ithout apprizing you of the facts.

Trusting that your excellency will cause such measures to be taken as
will put a speedy end to these outrages, and ensure the punishment of the

I have the honor to be, your excellency's obedient servant,


Governor Jenison to Mr. Forsyth.

Executive Office,

Sfwreham, Vermorit, December 16, 1837.

Sir : I yesterday received a communication from the Department of
State of the United States, stating «Mhat during the contest at present
existing in the neighboring Province of Lower Canada, attempts might be
made to violate the laws of the United States, &c. ; and requesting the
attention of the authorities of this State to any movements of that charac-
ter, and a prompt interference to arrest the parties concerned, if anv prep-
arations of a hostile nature are made against any foreign Power in amity
with the United States."

From representations made to me, I had felt that the emergency of the
case called for the interference of the public authorities, and had, two days
before receiving your communication, by proclamation called the attention
of my fellow-citizens to the subject.

416 [ House Doc. No. 74. ]

On (lie I4t!i instant, a (Icj)iitatio!i Crorn a ronimittec raised at public
meetings of tlie inhabitants of Swantoii and St. Aiban's, called upon ine
witli a ref|ue^;t that I would cause arms and munitions of war to be distrib-
uted ainoni; the fi'ontier iidiabitants of this State. riierc aic none at tlic
disjio-ition of the Exeruiive of this Stale. I enclose a jiaper containing
the proceodings of those meetings, which will show the feelings existing
in that neighborhood.

The General (Tovernmeiit must judge of the j)i-opiiety and expediency
of placing a detachinerit ol troops in tliat neighborhood, to allay the fears
of the inhabitants.

Should theie be another rising in the Lower Province, such circum-
stances as that at Swanton and St. Aiban's on the 6th will be very likely
to occur again.

I am, sir, &c.

Hon. J. Forsyth,

Secretary of State of the United States.


Mr. Wright to Mr. Forsyth.

Washington', Decenxber 16, 1837.
My dear Siu : The enclosed letter from tiie collectoi* of the customs
for the district of Burlington, in the State of Vermojit, came to me this
morning, and 1 consider it to be my duty to trajismit it to you. I pre-
sume, from a notice I have seen in the public papers of your communica-
tions to the Governors of the States boidering upon the Canadas, that any
steps which the information might call for from this Government have
been anticipated. Still, as I iloubt not the letter was written with the
intention that it should be laid before the propei- Department here, 1 com-
municate it. Colonel Hyde is well Icnown to me, and is a faithful, patri-
otic, and worthy officer, and would communicate nothing of which he was
not well informed.

I am, w ith liigli respect, your obedient servant,

Hon. John Forsyth,

Secretary of State.

Mr. Hyde to Mr. Wright.

Burlington, Vermont, December 11, 1837.
Dear Sir : Since the commencement of liostilities among our neigh-
bors, the Canadians, some things have taken j)lacc on this frontier, and
on this side of the line, whidi it may bo impoitant to the Governn»ent to
know, in order that our own citizens may be informed, by pi'oclamation or
otherwise, what line of conduct they ai*c to pursue to kee[) themselves
w ithin the laws of Congress and treaty stipulations. Of the propriety of

[ House Doc. No. 74, ] 4i7

giving it this iiiroi'ination. I sliail not umloi-take to .judge ; 1 li'avc that
t-ntiiTly to }<)iM-s('ir. Ail I sliali altiMiipt to do is, to give you llic facts.

After tiic hattleof Si. Cliaries, many of the patriots, wlio iled IVoni tliat
and other places in Canada, congregated theniseives in Swantoii and Iligii-
gate, ahjiig tiie line, in tlie county of Franklin, in this State ; there hiing
there, as well as all through this section «if country, a very slnuig feeling
in their favor. Oui* citizens soon {urnishcd thcni with tiire*^ pieces of can-
non, some small-aj-ms, powder, lead, ami other munitions of wai". Thus
furnished, the paliiots, on Wednesday last, made a descent IVom this point
inti> Canada, ami had not proceeded far wiien they were met by a pai-ty of
loyalists, who routed them and took two pieces of Iheii* cannon, killed
some of their pai'ty, took others, and the remainder returned to Swanton,
where they now are. Tlie royalists lost, as it is said, in this aflair, hut
one n)an, a Ca|)tain ISIooie, kille<l. As these facts must he as well known
at Quehec as here, ami, from the excited state of public feeling, others of
a like character may take place, out of which collisions may grow which
Would be deprecated by the Government, 1 have thouglit {iroper to give
you this information.

With much respect and esteem, vour obedient servant.


Hon. S. W RIGHT, Jun. ,

U. S. Senate, JFushington, D. C.

Mr. Forsijth to Mr. Wright.

Department ot- State,

jrashington, December 18, 1837.
Dear Sir : Your letter of the 16th instant lias been received, enclosing
a communication addressed to you by Colonel Hyde, resjjecting occurren-
ces upon our ■N'oi-iherii frontier.

It is the determination of the President that the law which forbids the
interference of our citizens in coniests between parties witli which the
United States are at peace, shall be, in every instance, strictly executed ;
and precautionary measures have been accordingly taken to secure its
ligid enforcement in reference to the war now waging in Catiada.
I am, dear sii-, vei-y respeclfullv, 6cc.

Hon. Silas Wkigut, Ji., U. S. Senete.

Mr. Benton to Mr. Forsyth.

United States District Attorney's Office,

Little Fulls, December 18, 1837.

Sir: 1 have the hotior to ban'.! you, for the information of tlie

President of the United States, a coj)y of a letter which was received by

me last evening, IVom the honoiable J. Ti-ow hrif'ge, mayor of the city of

Bufldlo, and a C(»py of a letter wi-itten by mc to the Governor of tlie State,



[ House Doc. No. 74. ]

enclosing a cojn' of the letter from the mayor : a copy of a letter this day
received by nu' from 1'. A. Harkcr, Esc]., collector of the port of IJuffalo
creek ; and also copies of letters this day i-eceived from Governor Marcy.
From llu'se letters, it will be perceived that an armed force has been
collected within the territory of the United States for the pnrpose of in-
vadin"- Canada. I have taken all stejis within my j)ower to have the of-
fenders arrested, or snch of thenj as can be found. I will |)rocee(l to Buf-
falo in person, if it is deemed advisable to do so ; but 1 would suggest that
1 should be authoiizcd to employ some disci'eet and j)i'opei' person, a resi-
dent of the city of Buflalo, to aid me in collecting information, atid in de-
tecting and ai-resting the offenders. I reside about two hurnired miles
trom Hutfalo, and the district judge and marshal about one bundled and
thirtv njiles. 'I'he State oHicers ami magistrates are not, 1 apprehend,
bound to act in aid of the United States ollicers, although they are, by acts
of Congress, authorized to do so.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

United States vlttorney.

Hon John Foustth,

Secretary of State, JVrshington.


Trowbridge to Mr. Benton.

Buffalo City, Mayor's Office,

December 14, 183r.

Sir : Recent movements in this city and on the frontier render it of the
utmost importance that some United States oUicer should be hei-c forth-
with, prepai'e(l with the necessary papers to make ari-ests for a violation
of the law in lelation to arming, &c., against a foreign Tower.

A band of armed men are now at Black Rock, with the avowed i)iten.
tion of invading Canada, and they arc constantly collecting arms and

It is of the utmost importance to the whole country that you or the
marshal, perhaps both, should cou)e here immediately.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


N. S. Benton, Esq.

Mr. Benton to Governor Marcy.

United States District Attounev's Ofiice,

Link Falls, December 18, 1837.
Siu : I iiaml you herewith a copy of a letter which I last evening re-
ceived bv mail frttni the mayor of the city of Buffalo, from which it will
he seen that an ai-med force is rollccliiig within the territory of the Urn-
ted States, and within tlie iurisdiclion of this State, with tlie avowed in-
tention of committing hostilities against a I'ower with whom the United
States are at peace. The marshal of (he district has been recpicstcd by

[ House Doc. No. 74. ] 419

me to repair to the spot ami make arrests of all oircnders against the lawH
of the United States ; and whether he will be able to do so, without the
aid of a nnlitary force, may peihaj)s be «|tiestionable ; Imt it is lo be
hoped no \ ioicnce will br used against the aothority of our laws.
1 am, w ith great respect, your obedient servant,

N. s. bp:nton,

U. *S'. Jiitorney.
His Excellency AVm. L. Makcy,

Governor^ Ǥ-c.

Mr. Barker to Mr. Benton.

Collector's Office,

Buffalo, JJcccviber 15, 1337.
Sir: Yours of the 12tli instant has been received. In answer, I h;ivc
to observe that there is no doubt tiie law you refer me to has hcen viohitcd.
It would be diJlicult for me to give you all the jiarticulais in a letter, I
will, Itowevor, state that meetings have been held in order to excite the
pcojile against the Canadians ; men have been raised, say to the number of
one hundred or more ; arms and ammunition have been fuinished them ;
a committee has been appointed to receive (h)nati()iis foi- the patriots, such
as arms and accoutrements, &c.; arms have been lurcibly taken ; some of
our citizens have been threatened with violence ; colors have been raised,
and men have been n)arched through the sti-eets, under the commatsd of a
man by the name of Soutlierlatid ; oflicers have been appointed to take
command ; and a force has actually marclied Irotn this city. We have
been in a great state of alai-m and excitement for the last few days. I think,
liowcver, the ci-isis is passed, and we have notliing more to fear. You were
addressed yesterday, by oi-der of the common council, of which 1 am a
member. Some gentlemen hcie think that it is your duty to come here and
investigate the whole affair, and prosecute the offenders ; others are opposed,
thinking that, if any arrest should be made, the feeling here is so sti-onff
in favor of the i)atriots. tliat it would lead to \ iolence and bloodslied.
Your own judgment on tliis important subject must be youi- guide. Should
you come to Buffalo, every assistance would be affoi-ded you by the good
citizens of tliis place to sustain you, and to furnish all the infoi-mation in
their power. I iiave ordered a jjortion of your letter jjublishcd, in order
to deter any further violation of the laws ; also to satisfy the inhabitants
of Canada that such acts aie not countenanced by our Government. I
shall be happy to execute any command you may wish to make u|ioii me.
I have just learned that McKenzie has left. the city with his force of about
one hundred men, to join the j)atriots, who have got possession of an island
in the Niagara river, said to be about three bundled strong.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,


N. S. Bentox, Esq.,

U. S. Attorney.

420 [ House Doc. No. 71. ]

Governor Marcy to Mr, Benton.

Albany, December 17, 1857.
Tlie eiRlt)sc(l was received tliis innniing, posttnaiked at Burlington.
1 have tlioiiglit that llie |)i'()[)ei- (lispDsitimi lor ine to make of it, was to send
it lo you. 1 have mo knowledge of Mr. L., and have taken no pains to in-
ijiiiic of the gentleman to whom he iias referi-ed nic. 1 have however writ-
ten to him that I should send his coinmnnication to you. 1 have also writ-
ten to » m. b'. Waile, at Plattsburg, the first judge of Clinton county,
naming the persons at that place charged in the letter with ollences against
the laws of the United States.

Yours, &c.

N. S. Benton. Esq.,

U. S. District Attorney.

Mr. Lyman to Governor Marcy.

BuuiiiNGTON, Vt., December 14, 1837.

In addressing youi- excellency, the undersigned begs to state that he is
a merchant, residing in Montreal. Heaiing much said about warlike piep-
aratiojis on the frontier, within the United States, for the alleged purpose
of assisting the insurgents of Lower Canada, and having some commer-
cial transactions in this country, the wiiter was induced to leave Montreal
on the 6th instant with a view to satisfy himself regarding any infraction
of the laws of neutrality.

He was the moic anxious on this subject, having invariably given his
opinion (as an American) that a .strict neutrality would be ])iactically ob-
served. But, after- a residence of two days at IMattsburg, the uiulei-signed
is forced to the conclusion tiiat the laws of the United States, so corifionant
with sou!id pidicy, so specilically inculcated by the lirst Pi-esident of
these States, and so clearly lecognised by the present distinguished incum-
bent, have been, and are, ojjenly violated.

At IMattsburg a company has been formed, consisting of from 28 to 40
men ; arms are i)i'epare(I, and private drilling is the businessof each night.

'I'he iii-st day, the wiiter heard the subject simken of publicly, oj)enly,
and without tlic least disguise. And he cei-tainly was sliocked to see the
ajjatliy exhibited by the moie respectable class of tin* community. 'I'hosc
persons say : "'lis nothing but a ])arcel of boys." »» Persons of no I'c-
sp(( tability.'' '• Tiiey w ill nevi-r go to Canada." ]jut your excellency
will perceive, that these boys, these irresponsible in(Ii\ iduals, are the on-
ly pei-sons to be feared. A village baiber is oj)enly and constantly (when
unemployed at his trade) matmfacturing balls; and, without the least re-
serve, assured th<* undersigned that these bullets weie to kill the tories
ol' Canada ; and that one ball would do the business ui' a man woi-lh
£2.(J00 a year. Youi- excellency will j)lease excuse this detail, as the ob-
jj'Ct is to afford a clew to facts rather than to give legal testimony. A
Mr. Siunborn, a student at law, is the caj)tain of the company : a Mr.
I'aliner figures as a subaltern : th<' thii-d ollicer is not recollected. In
engaging in this enterprise, the volunteers were requircil to subscribe to

[ House Doc. No. 74. ] 421

a paper cngagiiiG; to march (o Canada wlioiicver tlieir services mic^lit be
rc((uii'e(I ; and tlie ailixiiig tlic si^naltire to this p;i|n'i' sliould have all the
mental ohligation of an oath : so said an inlonnaiit who was present, and
a man of go.nl eharacti-r. This appfMJ to yoni- cvtielli'iicy is entirely
j)r-oni|)trd hy the nocessity of tlie case : the nrnh-rsignt'd has no anthority
from tlie Government of Cajntda, Jior is In* an agent : an<l he writes IVaring
your excellency may not he apprized ol facts, ami that incorrect inlorma-
tion may reach yc.nr excellency's ear. For instame. Colonel McNeil was
lately at St. John's, ami was told there hy the celehrated Capt. Mairyatt,
of the royal navy, tliat a company of 28 men had been firmt'd at Pialts-
burg : this the colonel stoutly denied, notiiavitig heard of tin', fact. Hut, to
nse the colonel's own wcn-ds : «' When I returned, I found it all true, and
felt excessively nn)rtifjed." !t is now untli^v discussion to form a cam;) at
Chateangay, near tlie lines, to imhody all refugees and volunteers. Hut
this will probably drop since the general adhesion of the Lower Canadians
to the Government. One thing more should l)e mentioned. Yestej-day a
letter was received at tliis post ollice, postmarked Oswego, 10th instant,

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 54 of 56)