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

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])urporting to be in accordance with a meeting iield at ti.at place to arrest
the Lower Canada patriots; a»nl at which meeting 150 vcdunteeis came
forward, and wei-c ready to inarch umli^v ('aptain Jnlm IL SniitJ!. The
letter is signed W. H. Eagle and J. B. Weils, committee. This commit-
tee inquire if there is a jerulezvous at Rurlingfon, ami any recruiting
ollicei-, (as they have been inforuied,) and if tliei-e is any money? If re-
quired, Caj)tain Smith will mai-ch immediately. This letter has all the
marks of authenticity, though tiie address is concealed, fur obvious rea-
sons. The same letter also nu'iitions tiiat many men are eidisting at
Hochester ; "but these will pi-obably march to Upper Canada." In co?i-
clusion, let me assure your excellency that I am somewhat ap[)rensive that
it will refpiiie unusual emM-gy to enforce the act of neutrality ; such is the
sympathy for the poor deluded Canadians. If, however, the people of this
country were fully informed as to the points at issue, their sympathies
would be in favor of the entii'C mass of their counti-ymen '-esiding in L'lwer
Canada, including that populous district of country called the Kasiern
Townsiiips. From these hints your excellency may glean sometliing that
may serve the cause of justice and humanity. As to the standing and
character of the underhigned, your excellency will please to impiirc of
Mr. Benedict, hardware merchant ; Messrs. Russell, dye and drug deal-
ers ; or the Rev. Mr. Kish, should that gentleman ha\e retui'ned fro:n
Europe. Should youi* excellency require fi-om the undersigned any in-
formation, his addi'css will be Montreal ; and begs to subscribe himselt"
Your excellency's obedient, humble servant,

To his Excellency William L. Maucy,

Governor of the State of New York.

Mr. Kelly to Mr. Forsylh.

Burlington'. Vkhmont,

liecembcr 20. 1837.
Sir : On tiie 14th I had the honor to receive your letter of the 7th
itjstaiit, relative to the contest then going on between the Govern-

422 [ House Doc. No. 74. ]

iDiMit of Caiinda ;ii!(l a jxirtioii of tlie people of that tcriitorv. ajid
directing me to bu attentive to all niuveiiients of a liostile charticter
within this distriit. On the same day I received such iid'oiniation through
the Canadian ])apers. and the papers npon onr Noiiherii frontier, as in-
duced the belief tliat the wai- in Canada was bi-ought to a close; and not
having heard the sliglitest intimation of any interference on the ])art of
the citizens of this State in that contest, I was not aware that it could be
necessary for me to take any measnies upon the subject. On the
iGth instant 1 was infoi-med by the ])ublic jiapers that large meetings
of tiie citizens had been holden at St. Alban's and Swantori, in this
State, at which r'es<dutions had been passed, indicating a high degree of
excitement, and milking a call u|;on the Governor of this State for a sup-
ply of arms. At llie same time 1 received the proclamation of the Gov-
ernor of the State, in which he says •« that it has been represented to
him that, in some few instances, hostile forces have been oiganized in
this State." 1 then deemed it my duty, without delay, to rejiaii- to the
frontiei-, with a view to ascertain, if j)i'acticable, whether any thing had
been, or was likely to be, done on the j)art of our citizens, or by others
within this State, in violation of the laws of the United States enacted
for the preservation of ])eace with foreign Powers. I, at the same time,
addressed a letter to the Governor', reijuesting him to communicate to
me any evidence in his possesion tending to show tire or-ganization of
hostile for-ces in this State, an answer to which lias not yet been

i arrived at St. Alban's on the 18th, and visited Swanton on the 19th.
I found a high <!egree of excitement pr-evailing among the citizens of
those towns, arrd throughout the country gener-ally, arising partly from
sympatiiy for the sufler-ing Canadians who had fle<l from their own
country and taken refuge among (hem, and partly from tlie imprudent
conduct of a few jiervsons on eacli side of the line, tliereby causing an
apprehension among the inhabitants upon (he frontier- that (hey wer-e
insecure in (lieir* persons and j)r-oper'ty. But I am happy (o state that I
have beerr unable to obtaiir any definite itd'ormatiorr (hat any ci{iz,ens of
the United Slates within this State have been guilty id' a violatiorr of
any of those laws enacted by the United States to preserve jieace with
foi'eign Powers. It <loes, however, appear*, that on tlie G(h instant a
par'(y of Fr';-nchnien, to the number- of sixty or seventy, came from the
ProNinceof Lower- Canada into Swanton, and were there stijiplied w itli
ai-ms. which had been previously jnocui-ed by (heir coirntryn:en : (hat
thev imniciiiatelv r-ecrossed the line into Canada, wher-e a slisjht ensra^e-
ment took jdace ; that (hey were deleated and driven hack into Swan-
ton, when the civil autlK>r'i(y of the town, as I am informed, imme-
diately took fi-oin them their- ar-ms, and they disj)ersed ; some of them
redirning (o their own contitry. and other's going (o diirer-ent parts ni' this
coiintiy. I am not apprzied of (lie riauies(d' the individuals (jius eng.iged
in the \ iolation of the laws of our- country, or- w here they are to lie found.

The iMlcliigence (Voin Canada rcci'ived yester-day at the lines, induces
the Ijelit-f that the contest (her-e is at an end ; tiie Government tr-oops hav-
ing defeated and disper-sed the patriots in ever-y part of the I'r-ovince.

The excitement j)revailirig among our- citizens is fast subsiding, and I
have ever-y r-eason to believe that perfect traiHiuillity will be immediately
rcstor'cd to the irdiabitants upon this frontier.

[ House Doc. No. 74. ] 423

Belicvitie; tliat my Ioiis;e;' rontiiiuaiirc in this vicinity is enfiri'ly un-
necessary, I shall inunediately letuin Id my residence at Ilockingljain,
where 1 sliall be happy lo receive your further commaiuls.
t have the honor lo be your obedient servant,

JUtomey U. ti.y Vcnnont IJistrict.

Hon. J. F((K.SYTII,

Stcr clary of State, f Fashing Ion.

Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Kellogg.

Detartment of State,

TVasliinglon, Deccmbir 20, 1837.

Sill : Information has been received, fron> a source which entitles it
to attention, that, after the battle of St. Charles, which took i)Iace some
time since, niasiy of the insurgents, wlio lied from that and otiicr places in
Canada, collected at Ssvanton and Ilighgate, in the State of Vermont,
and that citizens of the United Slates furnished them with tliiec pieces of
cannon, son)e small-arms, powder, lead, and other munitions of war; and
that, having been thus furnisliod, tlie insurgents, on the 6th of the present
month, made a descent into Canada, where they were met by a party of
loyalists, and routed, w ith the loss of two ])ieces of catmon, one of the
party being killed and others wounded, and that the remainder returned to
Swanton. The President directs that you institute an immediate inquiry
into the facts thus stated ; and, if they should be found to be coriect, ami
susceptible of proof, that you commence legal proceedings against all
such persons as appear to luive been conceriied in violating the law for tho
])rescrvation of the neutral relations of the United States.

You are also directed to exercise constant vigilance during the pending
contest, and to take all proper steps to j)revent the recurrence of acts sim-
ilar to those into which you are now called upon to examine.
1 am, sir, your ubedient servant,


Daniel Kellogg, Esq.

United States District Attorney^ Rockingham^ Vermont.

P. S. A circular letter, of which a copy is enclosed, has been ad-
dressed by the Secretary of the Treasury to each of the collectors of the
customs of the United States bordci-ing on the Canadian frontiers, i-equi-
ring them and their ollicers to co-opeiate with the disti-ict attorneys and
other United Slates oQicers in all legal modes for the j)reservation of the
neutrality of the Goverjiment and people of this countiy during the dis-
turbances in Canada.

Mr. Fillmore to Mr. Poinsett.

House of Representivks,

December 21, 1837.
Sir : I have the honor to enclose herewitli a letter froin Doctor Scott,
one of our must respectable citizens, at Buffalo, showing, in addition to

424 [ House Doc. No. 74. ]

the mayor's letter, wliicli I lir.iuled you yesterday, tlie state of feeling

I have tlic Imiioi- to be, voiii- most ohedient scr-vaiit.


Hon. JoKL R. Poinsett.

P. S. I iiavc criiscd certr.in names, as desired by Doctor Scott.

M?'. Scott to Mr. Fillmore.

Buffalo, December 13, 1857.

Dear Siu : His honor the mayor informed me to-day that he yestenhiy
wi-ote voti on the subject of the excitement whicli at this time pi-evails it!
BuRaio with relaiion io the Canada war. At his rerjuest I aihi a few lines.

McKenzie and Dr. Rolfe are here, and attended a large meeting of our
citizens held last evening at tlic theatre. Many exciting and inilamma-
Tory speeches weie made, ufitil the rabble wero rife for any thing. After
ihe' meeting they patrolled liie sti-eets jiearly all night, accompanied with
shouting, military music, &c. Men are openly and publicly solicited to
take ])art with the liberals, and arms and ammunition jiublic procured
and dep(»sited at the Kagle tavern. It is said that quite a number of our
citizens have agreed to put themselves under McKenzie's command, and
mai-ch for Canada to-night. The Eagle is now crowded to overllowing,
and a multitude around it wiio cannot get in. You know that our popula-
tion is com))osed of excitable materials ; and they are generally excited —
I mean the rabble. Few of our respectable men have taken any active
j)art. 1 must however exce|)t * * * *. They have addressed these
meetings, and have done much towards producing the present excitement.

1 have fears, and am not alone in that resjject, that some act may be
done to imj)Iicate the Government, and eventually lead to a war with
England : and am desirous that some step should be taken to prevent the
jtossibility of such an occui'rence. I have, therefore, just brieily stated
these facts : and if they siiould be thought of any importance, you are at
liberty t(» lay this communication before the President or Secretary of
War, at ycMir discretion. It might, in that case, be proper to erase the
m\mes of our ?ieighbors which I iiave given ; as they, i)erhai)S, would not
be willing to ha\e (juite so much publicity given to their acts.
I an», sir, very respeclfullv, vours,

V> . K. SCOTT.

Hon. M. I^'lLLMOKE.

Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Benton.

Devakt.ment of State,

Jl'ashington, December 21, 1837.
Siu: Information has been )ccpi\ed, from a sourre entitling it to atten-
tion, that McKenzie and Uoll'c, leadei-s of (he insurgents in Uppi'i- Canada,
were in llie ( ity of linll'alo on the \2{U of ilie present month, with the

[ House Doc. No. 74. "j 425

object, it was uiulorstood, of soluiliii}; aid in (Iio .sliajjc of men aiul muni-
tions of war ; that ihvy wore tliat nij^lit to have a meeting in the. theatre,
that three popular meetings, in favor of the insurgents, had already been
held, wliich were numerously attended ; and that tiierc was a stiong
feeling favorable to them in that place, which, it was apprehendeil, would
lead to the organization of a foice, for the purpose of rendering them assist-
anre. The I'resitlent direc ts that you institute an immediate in(|iiiry into
the fads thus stated, and the subsequent movements connected therewith.
Should these have been in violation of the law, and susce|)tible of proof,
you will commence legal proceedings against all such persons as apjjear
to have bee?i concerned. You are also directed to exercise constant vi-
gilance during the jjending contest, and to take all |)roper steps to prevent
the recurrence of acts similar to those into which >ou arc now called upon
to examine.

I am, sir, your obedient servant.

Nathakiel S. Benton, Esq.,

U. S'. Attorney for the Northern District of New York.

P. S. Since the above was written, a letter has been rceived by the
President from the mayor of Buffalo, containing information which" calls
for immediate attention. You will, therefore, proceed with the marshal
of the district, immediately, to Buffalo; and institute legal ])roceediiigs
against all such persons as shall appear to have violated the laws of the
United States.

Mr. TVoodbiiri/ to Mr. Forsyth.

Treasury Department, December 21, 183r.
Sir: In comjiliancc with directions given by the President in his ref-
erence to this Department of a letter addressed to you by N. S. Benton,
Esq., United States attorney for the northern district of New York, u{)on
the subject of the affairs of Canada, circular instructions have been issued
to the collectors of the customs in the districts borderirig on the (rontiers
of the Caiiadas, copies of which I have the honor to transmit heiewith, for
your infoi-iriation.

i^lr. Benton's letter has been sent to the War Department, in accordance
with the directions contained in the I'l-esident's refei-ence.

I have the honor to be, \eiy respectfully, your ohedient servant.

Secretary of the 'Treasury.
Hon. John Forsyth,

Secretary of State, TVashington.

Circular to Collectors of the Customs of the United States in the Dis-
tricts bordering on the Canadian frontiers.

Treasury Department, December \ 9, 1887.
Sir: In conspqiiencc of the disturbed cotnlition of affairs at present
existing in the British Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, and with

426 [ House Doc. jVo. 74. ]

llie view of onsiiiing due coinplianre with i\w acts of Congress, and the
ii-('ji)y slipulatioiis in foice hi'twi-cn (iit'at liiitaiii and the United States,
anil thereby preset-N ing a stiict iii-ntrality oi: tlie jiart of the Government
and the people of this counfry, orders, by directioii of the Pi-esident, have
already been given to the respective district attorneys, to have all citi-
zens c)r other inhabitants of the United States prosecuted, who may be
concerned, in any manner, in violating those Jaws or tieaties.

By a similar direction, you and }{)ijr ollicers are required to co-operate
with the district attorneys, and other United States officers, in all legal
modes, to assist them in the accomplishment of the objects before stated.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of the Treasury,
Collector of .

Governor Mason to Mr. Forsyth.

Detroit December 21, 1837.
Siu: 1 have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the
8th instant. I have no idea that any attempt will be made by the citizens
of Michigan to interfere in the conti-oversy now pending between the Gov-
erinnent of Great Britain and a j)ortion of the people of the Canadas.
Should, however, the contingency cotitemjjlated by the President arise,
he has my assurance that 1 will useevei'y exertion to prevent any violation
of the act of Congress for the i)reservation of the relations of amity wit!i
foreign Powers and the Government of the United States.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

Hon. John Forsyth.

Mr. Barker to tlie President.

Buffalo, December 23, 18S7.
Slit: I have to inl'orm yon that Mr. Gari-ow, the marshal for this dis-
trict, is now in this city, in oider to make arrests for all vi(daiions of the
laws that have been passed to j)reserve the neutrality between this Gov-
ei-nntent and (ireat Britain. I have been called upon by many of the
leading men in the Province to know w hat our Government intended to do.
1 have assured them that nothing woidd be wanting, on the part of the
Picsident, to enfoi-ce and pi-osecut<'. all violations ; and 1 can assure you
that the civil authorities here will do all they can to aid Mr. Gartow in
the execution cd" his duties. There lias been great excitement here. 1 tliitik,
however, the crisis past. The patriots have left the neighborhood, and
are sti-ongly fortilied on a IJiitish island in the Niagara river, to the
am<iunt of six or seven hundred men, with ten or twelve ]»ieces of canjion,
sldcn from different parts of the country. Balls have been cast at a foutidry


[ House Doc. No. 74. ]


in tills city, wliic li is now .stoj)j)e(I. Mm jut fluckine; in from all (|iiatter.s
to join the jjati-iots on the island, under (iencral Van Rensselaer, viz :
TJulfalo, IJatavia, Ilochester, Lockpott, <V(".

With great i-espect, 1 am voiir obedient scivant,

M. Van Buren,

President of the United States.

Mr. Benton to Mr, Forsyth.

U. S. District Attorney's Office,

Little Fulls, December 26, 1 837.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of tlic
21st instant this day, enclosing a coi)y of the letter fioin the mayor of
Buffalo to the President of the United States, and shall start for Buffalo
to-rnori'ow ; although you will perceive, fi-om copies of the enclosed let-
ters, I cannot hope or expect to accomplish any thing. I now have the
honor to hand you, fbi* the infoi-mation of the President, copies of two
letters from the marshal of the district, of two from the collectoi* of JJul-
falo, of two from the collector at Rochester, and of one from the collector
at Lewiston.

Immediately after the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant, I wrote
to the several United States collectors in this district, stating to them the
nature of my instructions, and re(|ue.sted them to aid me in enforcing the
laws of the United States. On the 18tli instant I wrote to the Depart-
ment, enclosing sundry comnniriications which had heen received hy me,
which had not j)iobably heen received at the Department at the date of the
ahove this day leceived by me. After the promulgation of Governor
Marcy's jjroclamation, calling on the State ofliccj-s anil magistrates of this
Stale to aid the United States oOiceis in ])reservirig inviolate the laws of
the United States, I wrote to the se\ei'al State <listrict attorneys and first
ji;dges of counties along the whole frontier, earnestly soliciting their co-
operation in arresting all violators (d" the laws of the United States jiassed
to preserve our neutral lelations with other Powers ; and at the same time
I sent to these oflicers, as well as to the postmasters and United States
collectors, a pi-inted j)aper, one of wliich I now have the honor to enclose.

It is now, I believe, pietty well a>certaine(l that six oi- seven liundred
stand (if aims, belon£;in£f to this State, have been taken, bv foi-ce or othei -
wise, at Buffalo and Batavia ; and that all the artillery pieces and car-
riages in tlie county of Niagaj-a, also belonging to the State, have been
taken, ajid, with the small-arms above mentiojied, carried to Navy island,
the headquarters of the fitrces collecting, and destined to act against the
colonial authorities of Urjper Canada. I have this day written to the
President of the United States, suggesting to him the })ropiiety of order-
ing an armed force to Fort Niagara. The state of jiopular feeling along
the whole frontier, and far into the intei-ior. is such as to induce a sti'ong
belief that the foj-ces cnilecred at Navy island, or othei's, may seize the
United State.s ar-mamcnt at Fort Niagara, slujuld the same be supjiosed of
any use in the contest with the royal foi-ces in Canada. The immediate
occupation of this fortress by a company or more of good troops, under

428 [ House Doc. No. 74. ]

tlic commaml of a prudent and cautious olTlcor, is suggested as a measure
of jnccaution. 1 lia\e, since tlie receipt of your leitei- of tlie 7tli instant,
taktu ('\(iy step williin my power' to arrest the violators of the laws, and
to prevent their violation. On (he IStli instant I wrote to the marshal,
and u'lpiested him to repair immediately to Untrulo, and appoint two or
more deputies at this jdace ; and desired the colircloi- to put one of his
trusty inspectors to the duty nf collecting information which could enable
me to procure process from the district judge to arrest the oO'enilers, in
case the State magistrates should refuse lo issue j)rocess, which 1 had rea-
son to fear they would do. The state of things at Rochester, you will per-
ceive, is nearly oi- cpiite as bad as at Buffalo. The civil arm will no donht
he found too weak to contend with the present state of feeling. Tlie |)ress
will denounce all ai'rests, and eObi-ts he made to |)ievent the due adminis-
tration of justice. If, on my way to Rochester, I should meet the miu-shal
of the district, and. on consultation with him, we should be of oj)inion that
my presence at Buftalo would pi-oduce excitement and distuibances, (as it
seems to be the oj)inion expressed by Mr. Barker, in his letter of 2Sd in-
stant,) I shall ventuie to exercise a discretion in this respect, and shall
hope it will meet with the approbation of tlie President of the United States.
The district attorney assures the President he lias made every eliort iji his
power to pi-event the unfortunate and illegal occurrences which have taken
place at Bulfalo, and other jjlaces on the frontiers, and will not allow any
opportunity to jiass of arresting and brir.ging to liial all (ilTenders against
the laws of the latid.

1 am, with great respect, your obedient servant.

N. S. BENTON, V. S. Morney.

Hon. Joiis FousiTH,

Secretary of Slate, Washington.

Mr. Barker to Mr. Benton.

Buffalo, December 25, 1837.
Sir : I have to inform you that Mr. Garrow is now in this city. The
civil authorities here will do all they can to aid him, and to prevent any
fur-ther vi(d:itions of the law.

The island in the possession of tlie patriots is a British island. It is
strongly fortified. They now. I understand, number about 800 men :
liave stolen and got in theii' possession ten oi- tuehe pieces of cannon ;
are well supplied with provisions from this city and the adjoining places,
viz : Loekport, Rochester, kc. All is quiet here at present. The Cana-
dians arc leaving Canada in great numbers. Our mayor resigned his
office last evening.

Truly yours,

N. S. Brxton, Esq., U. S. Jittitrncy.

Mr. Barker to Mr. Benton.


Buffalo, Bccemher 23, 1S37.
J^ru: I am in receipt of yours of the 'COth instant, in relation to the
casting of (anuon-balls. in this, I have to say that I understand they

[ House Doc. No. 74. ] 429

have been cast at llu* liii-nare oT Jolm Wilkinson (Sc Co., at the ("tirnare of
Isaac W. SkiiiniT, aiicl at llic liiniacc »[' (icneral I'eicr IJ. I'oi'ti-i', at
Black Hock.

I liavi' onij)loyc«l a tiiisty <l('|)iity to collect tin- inritr-tnation you drsiir,
vi'/ : names, k.r.. ; and uill roinnnmicate the inloi-niation nnIkmi oI)fainc(|.

llens.seiaer Van Rensschiei* is the naiiie of liic genei-al on Navy inland.
Tlie name of the colonel, who has liguied the most in this business, is
Thomas J. Sonlherland. On consulting with the marshal and <listrict
attorne}', we have come to llie conchision t») advise you to delay making a
journey !iei-e at this time; lliinkiiii::, perintps, llmt it would only tend to
increase the present excitement. Mo ace of o|)inioii the a|)i)eaiance, of the
marshal on this frontier will have the eircct to put down any furlhei- viola-
tions of the idw.

Wilkinson was called upon this morning by.iis, in company witli Mr.
G. He acknowledged that he had cast balls at his furnace; and that he
did not know^ that he was violating any statute, and jiledged himself that
he would desist. Volunteers ai-e constantly pouiing in fronj the cuuntry
to Navy island.

Truly von IS,

riERRE A. BARKER, Collector.

N. S. Benton, U. S. Jlttorney.

Mr. Gould io Mr. Benton.

Rochester, December 22, 1837.
Sir : The marshal left here this morning for BufTalo. He wishes me
to say he will e.\i>ect to see yoxi here or there in a short time. Things
about as }estei-(lay. I saw Mr. Eaton, of Locki)oi-t. to-d;»y. He savs
the State pieces of artillery in Niagara county ai-e taken to Navy island,
as is supposed, without let or hindrance. Rather a had state of things;
however, peojjle will soon come to their senses, I hope. 1 will be glad to
see you here.

In haste, vours,

J. GOULD, Collector.
Hon. N. S. Bentox.

M?\ Gat'^'ow to Mr. Benton.

AuHUHN, December 21, 1837.
Dkau Sir : Both of your communications of yesterday have been duly
receiveil. 1 start to-i!n)rrow morning lor UtiHalo. There have heeli

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 55 of 56)