Page images

Pearle Esq High Sheriff of the County of Chittenden for the purpose of Attending a Town Meeting then & there to be holden-That the sa Wood told me he had a Writ of Attachment to serve upon One Patrick Conroy of Alburgh af and was apprehensive he should be obstructed in the execution of his office and wished me to go with him to the house of him the sd Conroy which accordingly I did on the day following-The Deponent further saith that the sd Wood proceeded to serve the s Writ of Attachment and levied the same upon a Number of Cattle to wit three Oxen three Cows one bull one heiffer two calves & one horse supposed to be the property of the sd Conroy, they being about his house-that after the s service by the sd Wood, One Michael Youmin who was there at the house of the sd Conroy called to the people of the house for his Pistils and said Mr. Wood should not take the Cattle away from Mr Conroy, upon which Mr. Wood commanded Nathaniel Wood of Georgia & this deponent who were then present to aid & assist him in taking the sd Michael & in driving the s Cattle to the North Hero aforesaid That afterwards the sd Michael being very humble promising not to hinder the sd Wood from doing his duty but engaging to procure some person to give a receipt for the sd Cattle was released by the sd Wood--the Deponent further saith that no receipt being given the sd Enos [Wood] together with Capt Nathan Hutchins Jun the s Nathaniel & himself proceeded to drive the s Cattle off and had got as far as the West part of the Tongue [Alburgh] when they were overtaken by the said Michael accompanied by a Number of British officers & soldiers under Arms one of whom immediately presented to the breast of this deponent a Couple of Pistils & ordered him not to proceed one step or if he did he should fire him through-that he see one other of the above officers or soldiers present a firelock to the breast of the sd Enos and commanded him to desist from driving those cattle away or he would Kill him-that those British officers & soldiers then took from them their cattle and took & imprisoned the sd Nathaniel the s Enos & the deponent and carried them to Point au fair & after that to St Johns where they were confined in the Gard house for nearly two days and then released & further your deponent saith not.


North Hero June the 14th 1792 Personally appeared Benjamin Butler the signer of the above deposition and swore that the matters by him in the above related are the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


I Benjamin Marvin of Alburgh in the State of Vermont of Lawfull Age testify and say that on the 12th day of this present Month at my own house in said Alburgh employed in my own personal & private business, was beset by an Armed British force from Point au Fair conducted by one Patrick Conroy of Alburgh aforesaid, who Questioned me with regard to my conduct as a Civil Magistrate under the Appointment of the State of Vermont (which I had the honor to hold) Viz: Whether I had Issued any precept against him. Answer No. Whether

I had against any other person Answer yes that day and for that that I had his Excellency Gov Chittendens Instructions to Officiate_in that Office that I considered myself an Inhabitant of the State of Vermont and in Duty bound to follow the Steps & Duties of my Office.

The aforesaid Conroy then immediately ordered me into the custody of the aforesaid force which was accordingly done, and after some importunity was permitted to remain long enough to shift my Dress, and then conducted to the house of Sam' Mott Esq' of Alburgh aforesaid which was a Mile or there about from my house, on my arrival at Motts found

Cap Des Chambault Commanding Officer of the aforesaid Point au Fair, who received me with Civility & Politeness although as a prisoner and inform'd that he should take me to Point au Fair & from thence should send me to Quebeck after which we all proceeded on toward the aforesaid Patrick Conroys near which were their Boats in which they came, on the road before we came to Conroys Lived one Joseph Mott who had been appointed by the Authority of the State of Vermont as Constable, was Legally Qualified and had Officiated under that appointment, at a little distance from which heard the aforesaid Conroy observe to the commanding officer that it might be proper to attend to the matter they had before convers'd on. accordingly they made a halt and sent on

three of his Men under arms with directions to take two horses which were the property of the aforesaid Constable out of his Pasture which was accordingly done and the horses taken to Point Au Fair, soon after arrived at Conroys where I was detained some hours in the course of which time we conversed much on my Official Conduct which I inform'd him of very particularly and likewise my Instructions from his Excellency Govr Chittenden, he requested that I would shew him those Instructions which I accordingly did, he took and examined them then replyed that he must forward them to his Excellency Gov Clark at Quebeck. I desired him to return them to me as I considered them my right but he possitively refused but offered me a Coppy which was taken & Attested as a true one by the commanding Officer and delivered me the Officer then informed me that Instead of taking me to the Point as before observ'd he was willing to take my Parole for the term of 12 days with directions not to Officiate till then in my Office which was accordingly done and I permitted to return to my own house and he then told me that he had positive Orders to warn me & Sam' Mott Esq" to leve that Place in the course of two Months-The Day following having occation to go up the Lake cal'd on the Commanding Officer at Point Au Fair (which I considered myself under obligation to do in consequence of my Parole) notified him of my wish which he consented to, and then Shew'd me his orders directing him to oppose & take into Custody any Officer Acting under any other Power than that of Great Briton within those Limits which are now known & distinguised by the Name of Alburgh.

nant saith not.

Question put to the Deponent-Who were those Orders to the Cap from Answer, as he told me from his Col: And farther the DepoBENJN MARVIN. State of Vermont County of Chittenden June 15th 1792— Personally appeared Benjamin Marvin Sign to the foregoing Deposition and made Solemn Oath that the relation there is the Truth the whole Truth & nothing but the Truth before me;

JOHN LAW Jus. Peace

Captain Timothy Allen of South Hero in Chittenden County of Lawful age Testifies & says that on the 12th day of June instant he being on his way down the lake in a boat in company with a Number of Others was hailed by the Maria,' examined & permitted to pass on; that he called at Wind Mill point-and from thence an express was sent, for Esq Samuel Mott & Esq. Renja Marvin of Alburgh to come to the point afores that the express returned & told them at the point that he found the house of Esq. Mott surrounded by a Strong guard of British Troops, & that he was informed a British guard had gone after Esq MarvinAll which Esq Mott & Esq Marvin a little afterwards afirmed to them

The British armed vessel.

on the point-And Esq. Marvin further said that he was a prisoner and at liberty upon parol-That he (this deponent) being on his return up the lake was hailed by the Maria, examined and permitted to pass-that he called at point Afair and was conducted by a Corporal to Captain De Chambault's Room-That the Captain observed to him & Company that he wished them to acquaint his Excellency the Governor of Vermont & Other Gentlemen that being a british Officer he had positive Orders to protect the people within these posts, meaning Point a fair & Alburgh, and that if he could not do it by pacific means, he must do it with the force of arms-That this deponent, on his departure from point a fair, was hailed again by the Maria, bro't back, and after examination had, permitted to pass on-and farther the deponent saith not-Burlington June 15th 1792 TIMO ALLEN State of Vermont Burlington June 15th 1792 Chittenden ss- Personally appeared Capt Timothy Allen signer of the within affidavit and made solemn oath the same is the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth-before


Major Jacob Smith of South Hero also deposed in all particulars to the facts stated by Capt. Allen.

The deposition of [Rev.] Reuben Garlick of Alburg of Lawful age Tistify & say that the Writs for the Election of a Member in the County of Bedford in Lore Canaday for a member to their Legislature were sent to the Province Line & I have been informed the Person that Brought them was directed not to summons any Person south of the Province Line nor have I heard of any Persons being summonsed in Alburg The Deponent further saith that the Laws of Vermont are in fourse in Alburg and the sivel officers of Government have met with no opisition from any Person under Pretext of British Government since the Departure of Partrick Conroy & John Savage in June last. REUBEN GARLICK County of Swanton July 31st 1792. Chittenden Personally Appeared the Reverend Mr Reuben Garlick & made solum Oath to the Truth of the above Deposition. THOS BUTTERFIELD Just. Peace.


I Benjamin Marvin of lawfull age testify and say that in the month of June 1787 I went to live at albergh otherwise then Called Caldwells Manor about five miles from the Garison at point au fair & South of the line commonly called the province line or latitude 45 about three miles at which place I have ever since lived at which time there was no kind of civil or military government exercised among the people of the place except what was derived from ourselves by rules adopted by us in meetings of our own vicinity by which we banished theives and other criminal offenders and enforsed by other rules compliance to awards of arbitrators in civil disputes and when persons were banished from the province of Canada and were brought to the line and Suffered to come into our vicinity we drove them from us Some years had elapsed from the Settlement of the place when Mr. Caldwell came amongst us and Gave militia commissions to captains conroy & Savage and Subalterns for two militia companies in that place now called Albergh with a promise that the british civil government should be put in force among us and we protected as british Subjects; and patrick Conroy who then lived north of the line of latitude 45 and was in Commission of a Justice of the peace in canada not long after moved South of the line amongst us

and isued some few precepts and took some affidavits but if a trial was had before him he went north of the line afors to hold his courts but the inhabitants still kept up their old mode of government as derived from our own resolves as abovesaid without regard to m Conroy til we volluntarily organized and choose our officers by order of the Governor and under the laws of the State of Vermont: and the militia officers above named never did act under the authority of their commissions except in one instance Viz in febuary or march in the year 1791 Captain conroy ordered his company to meet together South of the line and in consequence of his orders issued for that purpose they in part convend and I think about one third part of them embodied by his order when some matters took place which occasioned Capt Conroy to Step into a Sleigh and ride off north of the line without dismissing his company or giving them any orders at which time Some of our people advertised him as a runaway from his company and offered as a reward for his return one peck of potatoes and no other orders or after orders under the british government has been heard of amongst us except the taking of our persons and property by the british forces at point aufair in June last past-and I the deponent further say that in my opinion the nearest part of land in Albergh is about two miles and one halt from the garison at point au fair and the deponent saith that Civil government under Vermont is now executed without any resistance and also that the late writs for warning the people in the county of bedford north of the line and adjoining Albergh were not Served in Albergh nor any of the people in albergh was ever warned to attend their Elections that I ever heard of and further this deponent Saith not- BENJN MARVIN. State of Vermont october 18th day 1792 Benjamin Marvin the above named deponent personally appeared and made aforegoing deposition by him Signed is the truth nothing but the truth-before me

Rutland ss

Solemn oath that the the whole truth and

EBEN MARVIN Councillor



The Committee to whom were referred the communications of his Excellency the Governor, respecting the Disturbances at Alburgh, in June last, beg leave to state the following facts, to wit,

That Alburgh is a tongue of land connected with the eastern shore of Lake-Champlain, and lies on the south side of this and the United States. The British had, at the time of the late peace, and still have a post at point Au-Fer, on the western side of Lake-Champlain, some miles south of the line of the United States. The nearest distance from this post to Alburgh, is two miles and one quarter; and the greatest distance is from ten to twelve miles. The British have another post at a place called Dutchman's-Point, on Grand Isle [North Hero.] about half a mile south of Alburgh. The garrison at point Au-Fer, have never prevented the civil officers of the State of New-York from exercising their offices, but have uniformly declared, that they had nothing to do with the inhabitants, except within three hundred yards of the garrison. The garrison at Dutchman's-Point have never interfered, in any way, with the inhabitants, or done anything beside keeping their own centries. The people of Alburgh, from the first settlement of the place, until June last, have been without the exercise of any govern

1 From the printed Assembly Journal, Oct. 29 1792, pp. 39, 40.

ment, either civil or military-when they met in town-meeting, and organized themselves, and chose town-officers under the authority and laws of Vermont; when the inhabitants of the town generally took the freeman's oath, and the officers took the oath of allegiance, and government has since been regularly administered, except in the instance mentioned in the communications of his Excellency, on the eighth day of June last-and from that time until the twelfth day of the same June, the British officers of the garrison at point Au-Fer, interrupted the officers of this State, in the execution of their offices, by imprisoning them, taking from them property which they had taken by virtue of writs issued by the authority of this State, and taking their writs from them, as stated in the several affidavits communicated by his Excellency the Governor.

Wherefore we beg leave to report, as our opinion, That his Excellency the Governor of this State, in his communications with his Excellency Governor Clarke, and with the President of the United States of America, has conducted with that degree of spirit and propriety which ought to mark the conduct of the Chief Magistrate of a free and independent State. It further appears to us, that the letters written by Mr. Jefferson, to his Excellency the Governor of this State, must have been founded on a mistaking of facts, which must have been received from Canada.

Wherefore it is our opinion, that the Legislature recommend to his Excellency the Governor of this State, to procure affidavits sufficient to prove that Alburgh is not occupied by the British troops, nor under their protection, and send them to the President of the United States, to evince [to or convince] him that the Government of Vermont have not wantonly attempted to disturb the peace of the union, or to interrupt any negociation between the United States and any other power-All which is humbly submitted.


October 20, 1792.

EEENEZER MARVIN, for Committee.

The above report was read, accepted, and, Ordered, To be entered, at large, on the Journals.


The British posts in the United States were steadily maintained, to the annoyance of our government and people, but the discussion between the U. S. Secretary of State and the British minister was temperate until 1794. In Vermont, the statu quo was maintained on both sides without any serious difficulty until the same year; the British troops holding their posts, and Alburgh going on peaceably as an organized Vermont town. But the two nations were drifting rapidly to a dangerous point. On the 10th of February 1794, Lord Dorchester, then Governor General of Canada, publicly declared that he would not be surprised if there should be war with the United States in the course of that year; and the movements of British troops in Canada and events in the United States both favored this opinion. On the 16th of April, in a message to the Senate nominating John Jay as envoy extraordinary to Great Britain, President Washington said the aspect of affairs was serious, and that such a mission, "while it corresponds with the solem

« PreviousContinue »