Page images

and it never was exhibited by the British | by the American general, as necessary to
government, or any of its officers, as mat- his military operations; but as soon as the
ter of complaint; until it was asserted in American government heard of it, instruc-
the address of the governor in chief to tions, dated the 6th of January, 1814,
the provincial parliament of Canada, on were given by the department of war, to
the 24th of January, 1815, "that as a major general Wilkinson, "to disavow the
just retribution, the proud capitol at conduct of the officer who committed it,
Washington, has experienced a similar and to transmit to governor Provost a copy
fate to that inflicted by an American force of the order, under colour of which that
on the seat of government in Upper Ca- officer had acted." This disavowal was
nada." This assertion, having led to an accordingly communicated, and on the
inquiry, I am enabled, from official do- 10th Feb. 1814, governor Provost an-
cuments, and general information, to state swered, "that it had been with great satis-
the following facts of the case, for the in-faction he had received the assurance,
formation of the committee. The town that the perpetration of the burning of the
of York, in Upper Canada, was taken by town of Newark, was both unauthorised
the American army under the command by the American government, and abhor-
of General Dearborn, on the 27th of rent to every American feeling; that if any
April, 1813, and it was evacuated on the outrages had ensued the wanton and un-
succeeding 1st of May; although it was justifiable destruction of Newark, passing
again visited for a day, by an American the bounds of just retaliation, they were
squadron under the command of Commo-to be attributed to the influence of irri-
dore Chauncey, on the 4th of August. At tated passions, on the part of the unfor-
the time of the capture, the British troops tunate sufferers by that event, which, in
on their retreat set fire to their magazine, a state of active warfare, it had not been
and great injury was done by the explo- possible altogether to restrain, and that it
sion, to property as well as to persons was as little congenial to the disposition of
within the range of its effects. At the his majesty's government, at it was to that
time of the capture, as well as at the time of the government of the United States, de-
of Commodore Chauncey's visit, the pub- liberately to adopt any plan of policy,
lic stores were seized, and the public which had for its object the devastation
store houses were destroyed; but the of private property." But the disavow-
destruction of public edifices for civil uses, al of the American government was not
or of private property, was not only un- the only expiation of the unauthorized of-
authorised, but positively forbidden by fence committed by its officer; for the Bri-
the American commanders; and it is un-tish government undertook itself, to redress
derstood that no private house was de- the wrong. A few days after the burning
stroyed by the American troops. It has of Newark the British and Indian troops
recently, however, appeared, that a pub-crossed the Niagara for this purpose; they
lic building, of little value, called the surprized and seized fort Niagara; they
Parliament House (not the Government burnt the villages of Lewistown, Manches-
House) in which it is said that an Ameri- ter, Tuscarora, Buffalo, and Black Rock,
can scalp was found, as a part of the de- desolating the whole of the Niagara fron-
coration of the speaker's chair, had been tier, and dispersing the inhabitants, in the
burnt; whether it was so, and if it was, extremity of the winter. Sir George Pre-
whether it was an accidental consequence vost himself appears to have been satisfied
of the confusion in which the explosion of with the vengeance that had been inflicted;
the magazine involved the town, or the and, in his proclamation of the 12th of
unauthorised act of some exasperated in- January, 1814, he expressly declared,
dividual, has not been ascertained. The that for the burning of Newark,
"the op-
silence of the military and civil officers of portunity of punishment had occurred;
the provincial government of Canada, that a full measure of retaliation had taken
seem to indicate that the transaction was place, and that it was not his intention to
not deemed, when it occurred, a cause, pursue further a system of warfare, so re-
either for retaliation or reproach. volting to his own feelings, and so little
-2d. The burning of Newark, adjacent congenial to the British character, unless
to fort George, occurred on the 10th De- the future measures of the enemy should
cember, 1813. The act was vindicated compel him again to resort to it." With

[ocr errors]



his answer to Major-General Wilkinson, Extract of a letter from Commodore Isaac which has been already noticed, he trans- Chauncey, to the Secretary of the Navy, mitted a copy of the proclamation, dated expressive of the determination as to his future line of conduct," and added, "that he was happy to learn, that there was no probability, that any measures, on the part of the American government, would oblige him to depart from it."-3d. The places usually called the Moravian towns, were mere collections of Indian huts and cabins, on the river Retrench or Thames, not probably worth, in the whole, one thousand dollars. The Indians who inhabit them, among whom were some notoriously hostile to the United States, had made incursions the most cruel into their territory. When, therefore, the Ameri-Scott, can army under General Harrison invaded Canada on the of 1813, the huts and cabins of the hostile Indians


were destroyed. But this species of war fare has been invariably pursued by every nation engaged in war with the Indians of the American Continent. However it may be regretted on the score of humanity, it appears to be the necessary means of averting the still greater calamities of savage hostility; and it is believed, that the occurrence would never have been made the subject of a charge against the American troops, if the fact had not been misrepresented or misunderstood. Many people at home, and most people abroad, have been led to suppose, that the Moravian towns were the peaceable settlements of a religious sect of Christians, and not the abode of a hostile tribe of savages.I have the honour to be, &c.


Navy Department, February 18, 1815. SIR-In compliance with the request of the committee of the senate, communicated to by me by your note of the 14th, current, I have the honor to transmit to you, herewith, extracts from the letters of commodore Chauncey to the secretary of the navy, on the subject of destroying the public storehouses and stores at York, in Upper Canada, and which is all the information in this department on that subject. I have the honour to be, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,


Off York, U. C. April, 20, 1813. "The enemy set fire to some of the principal stores, containing large quanti ties of naval and military stores, as well as a large ship upon the stocks, nearly finished."

Hon. Wm. W. Bibb,
Chairman of a Committee of the Senate.

From the same to the same, dated
Off Niagara, Aug. 14, 1815.

"In the evening of the 30th ult. we weighed and stood for York, arrived and anchored in that harbour, at about 3, P. M. on the 31st; ran the schooners into

the upper harbour, landed the marines and soldiers, under the command of Col. without opposition; found several hundred barrels of flour and provisions in the public storehouses, five pieces of cannon, eleven boats, and a quantity of shot, shells, and other stores; all which was either destroyed or brought away. On the 1st inst. after having received on board all that the vessels could take, I directed the barracks and public store houses to be burned; we then re-embarked the men, and proceeded to this place, where we arrived yesterday."

Boston, October 17, 1814. DEAR SIR.-In reply to your letter of the 11th instant. I assure you in the most explicit manner, that no public or private buildings were burned or destroyed by the troops under my command, at York, in Upper Canada, excepting two blockhouses, and one or two sheds belong

To the Hon. Wm, W. Bibb.

Chairman of the Committee on foreign to the navy yard.—I placed a strong

guard in the town with positive orders to prevent any plunder or depredation on the inhabitants; and when leaving the place, a letter was received from Judge Scott, chief justice of the superior court, in which he expressed his thanks for the humane treatment the inhabitants had experienced from our troops, and for my particular attention to the safety of their persons and Property. A frigate, on the stocks, and a large storehouse, containing their naval stores, were set on fire by the enemy, subSequent to their offer of surrendering the troops and public property. Several of the most valuable public buildings, con

Letter from General Henry Dearborn to the Hon. Joseph B. Varnum, a member of the Senate.

nected with their principal military posi-
tions, were destroyed by the explosion of
their magazine, which proved so fatal to
our troops; and although there were
strong provocations for burning and
stroying the town, nothing of the kind
took place, more than I have already men-
tioned, either by the army or navy. Yours'
with respectful esteem,

Hon. Joseph B. Varnum.

passion for the many who first called for the war, and who would still call for it, if they thought it for their interest. For such men as these I feel no regret; they de-merit all the calamities they have endured; they are the victims of their own folly and avarice; they are justly punished for their cupidity.-What measures may be necessary to induce the legislature to lend a willing ear to the petitions against the threatened war, it is not for me to say; but after the way in which the petitions against the Corn Bill were received, I do not expect a favorable result, even although nine-tenths of our population were to remonstrate against the measure. The country has supplied the means of commencing, at least, the war. Those now possessing these means, have given pretty good proofs that they are not of disposing minds for peace. It is useless, therefore, to talk to them on that subject. Have all those, who are now petitioning against the war, been careful not to contribute to its support? How can they expect, after opening their purses, and willingly paying their quota of war taxes, that they should have any thing else but war?-It is the taxes that occasions all the mischief. It is the taxes, the soul and sinews of war, which have involved the country in its present distress. Until, therefore, measures are adopted, and constitutional measures there are, to bring these taxes within moderate bounds, war we must have, war we shall have, and war will sooner or later involve the country in irrecoverable ruin.


The example of the Livery of London has not been followed by the Citizens of Nottingham alone. In the City of Westminster, and in the Borough, petitions have been voted by the electors against involving the country in all the horrors of a new war with France. These, I am afraid, will have little effect, if the Allies, as is pretended, are bent on renewing the work of slaughter. These are not the times when the people are to expect that their voice will be heard, even by their representatives. But who have they to blame for this? Why, none but themselves. It is they who have all along willingly contributed to carry on the war. It is they, many of them, who now make the greatest noise about the pernicious consequences of the last war, that were the first to call for it. Poor drivellers! do they suppose that after investing corruption with the vast power they have done; after giving it the unlimited controul of the national purse; after submitting the neck to that yoke; do these credulous dupes of a crafty system expect, that the noisy lamentations they now set up to procure attention will be met with any thing but a deaf ear. No, no; it is not the way to tame the jackal to feed him with human flesh; it is not the way to eradicate corruption to pour plenty into the lap of the corrupt. Those who have all along been sincere in their desire for peace have been but few in number. They are entitled, and have a legitimate claim, to be heard, but I have little com

TRIUMPH OF WESTMINSTER, AND PURITY OF ELECTION.-The friends of freedom will, I am persuaded, be gratified to learn, that the eighth anniversary of Sir Francis Burdett's election to represent the city of Westminster, is to be held in the Crown and Anchor Tavern, on Tuesday the 23d instaut; and that Sir Francis is to be in the Chair.

Printed and Published by G. HOUSTON, No. 192, Strand; where all Communications addressed to the Editor, are requested to be forwarded.

VOL. XXVII. No. 21.] LONDON, SATURDAY, MAY 27, 1815. [Price 1s.




Botley, near Southampton, 20th May, 1815.

may be addressed to me at Botley, near
Southampton, and be put, at once, into any
post-office in this country.-The hirelings,
who conduct nine-tenths of the newspa-

I have, within these few days, had ten-pers in London, have all possible facilities dered to me, through the Post, a small in receiving American newspapers. But, parcel from America, with "newspapers" they publish from them that only which written on it. This parcel had, as ap- suits their purpose. Their object is to pears by the Post-mark, been sent from mislead the people here; or, to keep them Liverpool to London, and from London in the dark; and, they cull out every pasto Botley. The charge on it was nine sage calculated to answer this end. Beshillings and six-pence sterling; that is to sides, there are very few papers (the Nasay, however, in our paper money, being tional Intelligencer excepted), which are about, at this time, a dollar and a half. sent to England, except the papers called I did not take the parcel, of course, much Federal. The persons who send these as I wished to see its contents. From papers, if not English by birth, are Engthis account, it will be perceived, that, lish by connection. Thus we see only one unless parcels of newspapers, coming from side of the picture; and hence it was, that America, be actually conveyed by the malignant and beastly as is the Editor of bearer of them either to me at Botley our Times newspaper, for instance, the fel(which can seldom happen), or to London, low really might be deceived himself by the object in sending them must be de- the cookoo clamour of the Aristocratical feated; for, a file of daily papers, for only American newspapers; but, hence, though one month, sent to me by post from any I could get a sight of none but the same out-port, would cost, at least, the price of sort of papers, I was not deceived, because a good large fat hog. I remember one I had had that experience, which enabled parcel, which came to me, charged with me to put a proper value upon what I saw nine pounds some odd shillings of postage, in these papers. It is of great consewhich is now the price of a hog of seven- quence to the cause of truth and freedom, teen score weight. As I am very de- that the Republican papers should come to sirous to receive, frequently, papers from us from America, and that other RepubliAmerica, and as the papers in that coun- can works should also reach us; for, it is try are not, as ours are, loaded with a tax from this Island that opinions and facts go equal to more than one half of their retail forth to produce impression on the mind price, I will point out the manner in which of the world. Bound up as our press is, they may be sent to me.-The parcel we, by one means or another, contrive to should be addressed to me by name, "to get a great deal into circulation. We are "the care of the Publisher of Cobbett's nearer the grand scenes of action than you "Weekly Political Register, London." are; and, if you wish your principles and But, it ought, if the vessel go to London, your example to have their due and speedy to be carried by the master, or mate, or by effect, we must be the principal vehicle of some careful person; and, if the vessel them.-Some one at Philadelphia has rearrive at some out-port, the parcel, with cently sent me a parcel of American pathe same direction on it, should be carried pers, received at Philadelphia from other to some office, whence a London Coach places, from which I perceive, that my departs. There it should be delivered, Letters to Lord Liverpool have been reand the bearer should see it booked, as we published in all parts of the Republic, from call it. By these means American papers Boston to Savannah, from Philadelphia to will reach me with very little trouble, and Pittsburgh. Flattering as this is to my at an expence of which I should think no- self-love, it is much more gratifying to me thing. All single letters from America as a proof of the powers of the press, and

power is, from the causes above stated, of
comparatively little service.--I take this
opportunity of expressing my best thanks
to MR. MATHEW CAREY, of Philadelphia,
for a very excellent pamphlet, which he
has had the goodness to send me, entitled,
"A Calm Address to the People of the
"Eastern States, on the Subject of the
Representation of Slaves; the Repre
sentation in the Senate; and the Hosti
lity to Commerce, ascribed to the
Southern States.”—I should be obliged
to some one to send me any work, or
works, giving an account of the Expences.
of the Government, and State Govern-
ments of America; also of her shipping..
commerce, debts, taxes, &c. &c. And, if
Mr. CAREY, or some other person equally
capable, would spend a few hours in giving.
me an account of the prices of provisions
and labour, I should deem it a particular
favour. These may have changed since I
left America.


as the foundation of a rational hope, that
the day is not distant, when tyranny,
wherever it may exist, will fall beneath
those powers. Letter VI. to the Earl of
Liverpool, I wrote, I remember, in a room
in a farm-house, one morning when I was
detained by rain. I might have thought
it; but, certainly I had not then the most
distant idea, that what I was then writing,"
would so quickly come back to me, in"
another print, after having been read on
the banks of the Ohio and those of the
Mississippi. This single fact; the sight of
only one such print, is to me more than a
compensation for all that I have suffered in
the cause of Truth and Freedom. But, it
is of far greater importance as a stimulant
to future exertion, and as suggesting addi-
tional care in planning and executing.
But, why should not the friends of Free-
dom co-operate? We see how firmly
bound together its enemies are; how they,
for the furtherance of their grand object,
mutually sacrifice all their prejudices and
even their petty conflicting interests. You
have heard the Saints of Hertford rejoice
at the restoration of the Pope. The Holy

P. S. Since writing the above, I have
(22d May) received, from some friend in
Philadelphia, a small file of Auroras,
containing the "EXPOSITION of the

Father has embraced the Dey of Algiers," CAUSES and CHARACTER of the
who calls him a Christian Dog.-Why
should not we aid each other? You are
better off than we are. You have free
presses in every sea-port; your sea-ports
are numerous; your masters of vessels
have a direct communication with you;
you can easily come at all that we publish.
While your continent, and all its presses
and literary productions, are shut from us
by hundreds of obstacles of which you

War." This paper, it appears, is offi
cial, and was ready for official promulga-
tion, just at the time when the news of the
Peace arrived. I never read so able a pa-
per; never one calculated to produce so
great an impression. It is an invaluable
document for history; a noble monument
of the power of the human mind. If our
government have received this paper, and
if they will but read it carefully, they

have no idea, our enemies have their re-will, I am sure, clearly see, that any atgular correspondences, their communica- tempt either to delude, subdue, or check tions always open; they know here all the rise of America, must fail of success.that is passing in your country; while we The paper would fill about four whole Reare wholly in the dark; while we are de- gisters, perhaps. But, though I cannot prived of the use of all those powerful insert it; it will be of great use to me; weapons, which your unrestrained press and I beg the sender to accept of my best would put into our hands.-I hope that thanks.

these considerations will be sufficient to induce some one of you, at least, to forward to me, in the manner above pointed out, such papers and other publications, as are likely to be of benefit to the cause of Truth and Freedom, and of which you can want no assurance of my will, at any rate, to make the best possible use.'America now begins to make a great figure in the world; but, her example, which, if made universally known, would be of more weight than her military or naval


On the hope of success, in a War against
France, which hope is founded on the
discontents said to exist in that country,
MY LORD,-I learn, through the TIMES
newspaper, that these letters of mine, ad-
dressed to you, are regularly re-published
in France; so that we are in a fair way of

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »