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buildings, extensive settlements, etc., I am reduced to the most pitiful necessities, in bad health, which render life doubtful in existing circumstances; my friends are not admitted to visit me; I cannot any longer obtain subsistence money. To submit to exist on the rations and clothes of a prison, my soul recoils." After asserting that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Police and his predecessor in office had reported that they knew nothing against him, he declared: united efforts of my friends are not sufficient to regain that liberty which I have often risked my life for. Under these afflicting circumstances, and being one of the oldest and tried republicans in existence, makes the idea of dying in a solitary prison more painful to a man of spirit and sensibility than death itself. I therefore demand a speedy decision in such way and manner as may be consistent with the Constitution and laws of this republic."
In a few days after this demand was presented he was released, the order being signed by President Sieyes of the Directory, and Fouche, Minister of Police. His papers were restored, and he was given a card of safety, permitting him to stay in France during his pleasure. The only reason given for his imprisonment was his voyage to England, and Allen remarks: "At this time, perhaps, no nations on earth had ever been more exasperated against each other than the French and English."
After his release from prison his health was in such a precarious condition that he was compelled to remain. under the care of a physician for a considerable period. Meanwhile he was able to secure documents for which
he came to France, certifying that he had purchased arms from the French Government, the documents being signed by Talleyrand and other officials. For more than two years he had not heard from his family nor had they received any message from him, and reports were in circulation in Vermont that he was dead. When Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth arrived in Paris, as member of a diplomatic mission, he brought letters for General Allen which contained part of the Dutch securities he had previously purchased. This paper was exchanged for specie, which enabled him to pay his debts and have funds for expenses.
As soon as his health had improved, General Allen proceeded to Calais, intending to go to London, but his experiences in passing from one belligerent country to another had been such that he considered it safer to remain on French soil, and he sent the documents he had secured to London by a ship captain, returning to Paris the latter part of July, 1800.
In October, 1800, General Allen left Paris for the United States. On his arrival at Philadelphia, in 1801. he went to Washington and paid his respects to President Adams and Secretary of State Pickering, thanking them for their attention to his cause.
The case dragged along slowly. In December, 1803. James Madison wrote to James Monroe that the delay in General Allen's case amounted almost to "a refusal of justice." In an appeal for fair treatment Allen said: "Will the Government of the United States see an old soldier robbed, plundered and injured, both in Europe and America, without any proofs against him, except
that in his youth he dared both in the field and in the cabinet to support the just rights of his native country?"
Finally, in 1804, he secured a verdict in his favor, but was taxed with his captors' costs, freight and master's expenses. The arms had been shipped to America and sold, but the firm which had handled the business had been declared in bankruptcy, and no money could be obtained. He instructed his attorneys to demand of the British Government two hundred thousand pounds as compensation for the immense losses he had sustained, and the evils he had experienced, but no records show that anything substantial resulted therefrom.
Ira Allen returned to Vermont to find himself a ruined man. It is reported that during the time he was imprisoned in France, certain persons who had been speculating in false titles to his lands, in order to protect themselves offered Mrs. Allen repeatedly one hundred thousand dollars if she would give up all his deeds and papers to them, claiming that that sum with the town of Irasburg, which she held in her own right, having been given as a dowry by her husband, was enough for her and her family.
Much of his great estate had been sold for taxes during the five and a half years that he had been absent. Numerous suits had been brought, and attempts were made to ruin his reputation. He asserted that the property he held on his departure for Europe was worth. more than five hundred thousand dollars on his return to America. When he reached Vermont he caused advertisements to be printed in newspapers, protesting against the acts of Silas Hathaway of St. Albans, in
securing "secretly" a deed to the town of Highgate. General Allen's health was so poor that it was necessary for him to avoid cold weather, and for that purpose he went to Washington and Richmond to await the coming of spring. While in Washington, and again in Boston, he was arrested, as he says "on papers respecting lands clandestinely obtained." In the advertisement published concerning his case he declared that when he sailed for Europe in 1795 he held legal or equitable titles "to the whole or a great part of the lands in Alburg, Lutterloh (Albany), Coventry, Duncansborough (Newport), Barton, Middlesex and St. Andrews (Plainfield).” References are made elsewhere to suits against Silas Hathaway for the recovery of lands which he claimed in the towns of Shelburne, Burlington, Colchester, Essex, Georgia, Swanton and Highgate.
The controversy with Hathaway grew out of his action in deeding property to General Hull of Boston in order to raise money for his European trip. Many of the bills of exchange were protested and the lands, which were to have been held for redemption, were sold. Some of General Allen's property was appraised at a very low rate and was sold at auction for taxes, Šilas Hathaway securing much of it.
On October 16, 1801, Ira Allen petitioned the Governor and Council, apparently from Chittenden county jail, asking for the passage of a law, releasing him from prison, protecting him from all arrests in civil processes for a term of two years and granting him for the same period a suspension without costs of all suits in law or equity, that he might have time to adjust his business
and procure proofs for use in English courts. In this petition he rehearses his troubles in Europe and says that he has been deprived of the avails of the cargo of arms he purchased abroad, which would have been sold for more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. During his long detention in Europe he claims that illegal and unreasonable judgments had been rendered against him, as neither his family nor his counsel had the means for defending these suits. Ever since his arrival from Europe he had been harassed by suits brought at Washington, Boston and more recently an action in Burlington for more than eighty thousand dollars. The Legislature granted him exemption for one year instead of two, as he had asked, from all arrests and imprisonments from any suits of a civil nature.
As soon as the year of exemption had expired new suits were brought, and General Allen was obliged to go to prison as a debtor. Finally he arranged to sell what remained of his property in order to secure bail, pay certain "honorary debts" and have some money for necessary travelling expenses. The sum of three hundred dollars was all he could leave his family. One of his letters is dated at Lexington, Ky., and an allusion is made to Eddyville, which leads to the belief that he may have visited Col. Matthew Lyon. A little later he took refuge in Philadelphia, where he struggled with poverty and disease, hoping and striving all the time to retrieve his fortune. In July, 1810, he petitioned the Governor and Council again, asking for the passage of a law that would secure his person from arrest on civil suits for a term of three years, that he might be "enabled