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Full text of "The mysterious stranger, or, Memoirs of the noted Henry More Smith [microform] : containing a correct account of his extraordinary conduct during the thirteen months of his confinement in the jail of Kings County, province of New Brunswick, where he was convicted of horse stealing, and under sentence of death, and finally pardoned and set at liberty, also a sketch of his life and character ... to which is added a history of his career up to 1841 ... selected from the most authentic sources, both public and private"

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I I ippww^mp 






^ OR, 

Henry More Smith. 


A correct account of his Extraordinai y conduct dut'ing tke 
Thirte&n Months of his Confinement Jnthe Jail of Kings County y 
Province of New JJrunswick, where he was convicted of Horse- 
Stealing, and under sentence of deathy and finally pardoned 
and set at liberty. * 


^ M^UcUU 0f Ms %iU mxA G^UixxncUx. 

From his first appearance at Windsor, in Nova Scotia, in the 
year 1812, <o the time of his apyrehenssion and Confinement- 



Up to 1841, embraeing an aeeount of his 


Selected from the most Authentic sources, both Public and private, 




4 s^ 



i ■ 


Most persons after r^^ading llle marvellous achieve- 
ments recorded in thos6 Memoirs, would at once pro- 
nounce them fabrictttioiis and imposibilities. But 
rtiarvellous and wonderful as they undoubtedly are, 
they are nevertheless strictly true records of actual 
facts that undoubtely happened. « 

Sheriff Bates was a man of unimpeachable charac- 
ter, and well known by a very largo number of per- 
sons at homo and abroad ; aud, therefore, it is not at 
all likely, that such a man would publish a tissue of 
lies to ruin his character and standing, for the sake 
of a few paltry doHors, by the e<ale of the Memoirs of 
such a low character as Henry More Smith the horse- J^ 
stealer. It is an old eaymg " that you will gain Do- 
tting by wrestling with a Chimney Sweep, but dirt." 

So it is self-evident, that Sheriff Bates would not 
publi^h^anythiiig but what he believed, and knew, to 
be true in every particular. But Smith's actions 
and accomplishments were 80 maiTellous and, appa- 
rently, superhuman, tha* he wished others to know 
them ; and there is an abundence of evidence to con- 
firm the tnith of Mr. Bate's narratives. 

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A Correct acronnt of his Extraordinary conduct during thr 
Thirteen Montlts of tils Confinement in the Jail of Kini^s 
County, Province of New Brunswick, where he was con- 
victed of Horse stealing, and under sentence of death. 


!^ Slictclx jof Mb %iU nn& .mxiivncUx. 

Wrom talA lirmt u]»i»earnn«e at '%Vin«lNor, lulVova Scotia, ln< 
tbe y«»r AHl'i^ U»tH» tiiue of Ul» uppr«Ii«^n«iuu 
aiMl confln«n:ient. 



Up to 1§41, embraciug an acconnt of Iii» 

laiprisonmeiits aod Escapes, 

Sclecicil From the most Aullientic sources, kl'a Public snil prirak. 




SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick. 

Orioinam^y Prlnted by G^)kge W. Day, 4, MARiiEX Siiijii.i. 


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I:N11Y more smith, the noted individual Who 
formiiithe subject of this Narrative, made his first 
appearance amongst us in the year 1812. Previous 
to this, wo have no inibnnation oonccrning him. : 
Some tiine in the month of July, in this year, ho ajj- 
poared at Windsor, ia Nova-Scotia, looking for em- 
])loynicnt, and pretended to have emigrated lately 
from Enj^Iand. On being asked what his ocruipation 
was, he stated that ho was a Tailor; but could 
turn his hand to any kind of mochani(;al business or 
cotintry enipoyment lie was decently clothed, gen- 
teel in his appearance, and prepossessing in hi» 
manner, and seemed to understand himself very well. 

Althongh an entire stranoer, he seemed to be vtr" 
qnainted with every part of the Province, but studi- 
ously avoided to enter into close intimacy with any 
person; associated with few, and carefully concealed 
all knowledge of the means by which ho came to the 
"ountry, and also of his origin and connections, keep- 
ing his previous life and history in entire obscurity. 

Pindinor no better employment, he engaged tn tho 
service of Mr. Bond, a respectable farmer in the vil- 
lage of Rawden, who agreed with him for a month- 
on trial, during which time ho conducted himself 
with much propriety and honesty; was industrious, 
careful. ai?d useful, to the entire satisfaction of Mi\ 


Viji^d, iuripin])loyor, and oven I'oyonO his i^xpoctation. 
1! wnyi porltictly inonbnsivc, jiciitic, ond obIi^in<T: 
I'nd no iiitoxicutinerJiiiiiovH, n^fVaiucd IVoiu .idle oon- 
Vii>f»tron and «l! inipropor Iany:uap:e, and waw ap- 
pircuri) iivo iroin every ovil habit. Jjein<!: enj^aged 
lor iconic tiuio in workintr on n new road with aconi- 
pany of men, whoso lodging was in a caiii[); rather 
than Hnbjcet liiniHcJl' to the pain of their loose con- 
versation in the camp, lie chose to retire t^ .sonie 
neighboring bain, aK he pretended. to8leej)in quiet, 
and wan always early at work in the niornino" ; but 
as th() sequel will show, ho wat* very ditrcrenily en- 

A ri'eady conformity to Mr. Bond's religious princi- 
ples, who waf^ a very religious niah of the Baptist 
persuation, formed an easy yet successful means of 
further ingratiatiiig himself into the favor of Mr. 
Bond and his faniily : his attendance ou morning and 
evening prayers was always marked with regularity 
and seriousness; and, in tin* absence of Mr. Bond, ho 
would himself ofliciato in the most solemn and de- 
vout manner. TLis weJl directed aim of his hypo- 
crisy secuied for lihn all ho could wish or expect from 
this famil} ; Ive not only abtained the. full confidence 
of Mr; Bond himself, but gained most cfroctually the 
affections of Iiis favorite daughter, who was unable 
, to conceal the , i^trength of her attachment to liim, 
and formed a resolution to give her Jiand to him in 
marriage. Application was made to Mr. Bond for 
bis concuiehcc, and, although a refusal was the con- 
sequence, yet so strong'w as the attachment, and eo 
firmly were tliey determined to consummate their 
wishe&i that noilitoj? the advice, the entreaties, nov 


IIk.nuv 31ouk Smith. 

the roinoiirit ranees of her fricuds, \voro of tiiiv avail. 
Sho wont with him from her father's house to AViml- 
sor, nn<l inithH' Iho name of Frederick ilonrv More, 
he ther(^ ni?irrir(l hor on the I'ith of Aiarcli, 18K5, 
liei- name iiavinj^ been Elizabeth P. 

While Jie reir.aind at Kawden, althou'^Iilic professed 
to 1)0 a 'i\iih)r, he did not pursue hifi ])UKinesH : but "was 
chirlly eiicra;2:ed in farming or country o(?('upations. 
After his lemoval to AVindsor, and liis marriage to 
Miss ]?ond, he ontered on a now line of business, unitr 
inji' that ol' the Taih)r and pedhu* tog^ether. In this 
ch'iracter he made frerpient visits to [Jalifox, aKyaya 

Ibrinpfin;; with him a quantity of goods, of various des- 
rnptions. At onetime he was known to brinj^: home 

|a eonsiderable sum of money, and upon being asked 
liowhe procured it and all tliese articles and goods ho 

|l)r()ught home, he replied that a friend by the name of 
Wilson supplied Iiim with any tiling he wanted as a 
Viilor. It is remarka]>le, however, that in all liis 
;ri|)s to Halifax, he uniformly set out in the afternoon 
Knd returned the next morning. A certain gentlenmn, 
speaking of him as a tailor, remarked that ho cOuld 
ut very Vvell and make up any article of clothing in a 
mj>erior manner. In fact, hir> genius was extraordi" 
fiary, and execute any thing well that he turned his at- 
tention to. A young man having apj)Iied to him for 
new coat; he accordingly took his me/isnre, and pro- 
mised to bnng the cloth with him the first time he 
went to Halifax. Very soon after, hemade his jour- 

[iiey to Halifax, and on his return, happening to meet 
with the younirman. 1)6 showed him, from his port- 
nianteani, the cloth, which was of a superior quality, 
0^1 f ruwiJ^Jid to have it made up on a certain day^ 


Aftu'iiinond Doi.NiiSoy 



which ho punctually porformctl to the ontrre fiatisfao- 
tioiiofhiH employer, who paid him his price and car- 
iicd ofr tlie coat. 

About tliiri tine a number of unaccountable aud 
mvsteiious thol't8 were conunitted in Halifax Arli- 
clesof plate were inis«iiig from gcntlenien'sj houses; 
silver watches and manv other va.uable articles were 
tak(^n from silversinitirH shops, and all done in so 
mysterious a nuinner, that no nuirks of the robber's 
Jiands were to be seen. Three volumes of the late acts 
of Parliauunit, relating to the Court ot* Ad'iilralty, 
Tvere missinf^ from the ollice of Chief Justice fc^trange 
about the frame ttme : ho olTercd a reward of three 
guineas to any person who would restore them, with 
an assuiance that no cpiestions should le asked, lu 
a few d«ys after, Mr. More produced the volumes, 
which ho said he had purchased from :i stranger, and 
received the three guineas reward without having to 
answer any enquiries. This atl'air laid the foundation 
for strong suspicions that Mr More nujst have been 
the individual who conunitted th'>se secret and myslc- 
rious thefts which produced so nnjch astonishment in 
various quarters; and just at this crisis, these suspi- 
cions received not on Iv stronjj corroboration, but were 
decidedly conlinned by the following remarkable fact. 
AVhile the. youno- man whom he had furnished with 
the new coat, as was previously noticed, was j)assing 
through the streets of Halifax with the coat on his back, 
he wus arrested by a gentleman w^ho claimed the coat 
as his own, aibrmingthat it had been stoleni from him 
some time since. This singular aflair, which to the 
young man was extremely n ortifyiug and afliictivey 
t;hrew imniediato light upon all thoiie secret and an- 

llENRt More S>aTrt, 

) b-atisfao- 
antl cur- 
able aud 
X. Arli- 
i houses; 
L-Ies were 
ne in so 
' robber's 
? late acts 
? K^traiigo 

"ked. Id 


nger, and 

laving: to 


lavo been 

id niystc- 

iniient in 

pse su«|ii« 

])ut were 

able i'aet. 

ihed with 

s j)aiisin£j 

his back, 

the coat 

from him 

ch to the 


t and uiL- 

accountable robberies. A special warrant was imire- 
diately issued for the apprehension of More : however, 
before the warrant reached Kawdcn, he had made his 
escape, and was next heard of as travelling; on horse- 
lK)ck, with a portmanteau well filled with articles 
which he offered for sale, ais he proceeded on his way 
by tJie river Philip; and early in the month of July, 
1814, he made his appearance in St. John, New Brun- 
swick, by the name of Hkvry More Smith. He did 
not. however, enter the city with his horse, bui put up, 
and took lodging>i at the house ot one Mr. Stackhouse, 
who resided in a bye-place within a mile of the City, 
and came into the town upon foot. He found means 
to become acquainted with the olllcers of the OUth 
llogimeiit, who, finding him something' of a military 
character, and well acquainted with horsemanship, 
showed him the stud of l)e longing U) the regiment. 
Smith, perceiving that the pair ef horses which the 
Colonel in his carriage did not match, they being of 
drlferent colors, and one of them black, observed to the 
Colonel, that he knew of an excellent black horse in 
Cumberland, that would match his black one perfect- 
Iv. The Colonel replied, that if he were as good as 
his own, ho would give him fifty pounds for him. 
Smith then proposed, that if he, the Colonel, would 
af^vance him fifteen, pounds^ he would leave his owij\ 
horse in pledge, and take his [wissage in a sloop bouud 
for Ciunberland, and l)rinjr him the black horse. To> 
this the Colonel readily consented, and paid him 
down the fifteen pounds. This opened the way to 
Smith for a most flattering speculation; he had ol)- 
served a valuable mnre feedintj: on the marsh coti^u- 
ouft to the ])lace whore he had taken his lodgings, and 
Cjist hi* eve uj[)Qn f^ Hue saddle and bridle t)elonging 



1 I 

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Mystkiuous Doings ov 

to Major King, which ho coulilptit hin Jiand on in iho 
ni'^ht. With these facililies in view. Sr.iith entered 
on liis 8ccine;he himself in j)osset?sion of the sjuh.Ue 
and* bridle, (letenniud to rfteal the muie he saw feed- 
ing on the marsh, ride Iier to Nova Scotia, and there 
sell her, then steal the black horse ironi OaMd)eriand, 
bring him to the Colonel, receive his $2^)0 00, and 
without loss of time transport himself within the 
boundaries of the United States. . , , 

This scheme, so deeply l.iid. and so well concerted, 
failed, however, of execution, and proved the jneans 
of his future apprehension. Already in possession of 
sddle and bridle, he spent most of the night in fruit- 
less efforts to take the mare, which was running at 
large irt the pasture. A))andoning this part of his 
plan as hopeless, and turning his borse-stcaling geni- 
us in a different direction, he recollected to have seen 
a fine horse feedinir in a fiehl near the hiohwav as he 
passed through the Parish ofTvorton, about 30 miles 
on, on his journey. Upon this fresh scheme, he set 
off on foot, with the bridle and saddle in the form of a 
pack on his back, passing along all the succeeding dav 
in the charactt-r of a ]iedlar. Night came on, and put 
Iiim in possession of a fine black horse, whicli ho 
mounted and rode on in prosecution of Ids design,^ 
which he looked upon now as already accomplished. 
J]ut with all the certainty of success, his object prov- 
ed a failure, and that through means which all his vi- 
gilance could neither foresee nor prevent. From the 
WMUt of sleep the preceding night, and the fatigue of 
travelling in tlie day, he became drowsy nnd exhaust- 
ed, and stopped in a ])arn belonging tc William Faypr- 
«\'eatber, at the bridcre that crosses the Mill-stream, to 


]!i;\!iY MoiiR S.Miin. 


take 1 short sloop, and start aaain h\ the uiLlit, so as 
to pass the viilafio before dav light. I'ut, as f";itc would 
have il. he overslept: and his horso uas dicjoovered on 
tiie ])arn liooi" in the mofiiinci-, aiul he was seen cross- 
ing the ])ridti-e hy daylifrfit. J lad he siieeeeded in 
erossinu' in the nifdit. lie would in all ]»i<'ba))}litv liave 
carried his design ; ibr it >\as not till the afte-uioeji of 
the same daA% t!»at Mr. Knox, the (,\\i;er()f the horse, 
missed hiin from the pasture. Pursuit was innnedi- 
ately made in quest of the hors?, aad theeircunistance 
of the iH)>tber's ]iavin<xput him up at the barn proved 
the means of rostoiing the horsf"! to his owner, and 
committinpr the robl)er toeijskuly; for there, at Mr. 
Faverweathers, iufonnatitj was £riven wnieli dircet(Ml 
the I Tiisuit in the ri<iht track. ]Mj\ Knox, throu^;!) 
means of obtain in p- fresh horses on the way,, j.'ursucd 
liim, williout Ios« of time, throuoJi the- Province of Tso- 
va-?eotia, as far as Pictou, a distance of one hundred 
and seventy miles, which the thief had perfosuted 
with tlie stolen Ivorse in the space of thiee days. 
There on the 24th July, the horse having- been stolen 
on the 2()th, Knox had him apprehended by tjjo De- 
puty Sheriff, John Parsons, Esq., and taken before the 
County Justices in Court then sittinc: l^esides the 
Iiorse, there were a watch and lifteen lOfuineas found 
with the prisoner; and a warrant was issued by the 
Court for his c<mvevaneo thw>u<xh the several Count' 
i s. to the paol of Kino-'s County, Province, of iSew 
Rrimswick, there to take his trial. — Mr. Kaox stales, 
that lie. the prisoner, assumed different nanu^s, and 
connnltted several robberies ])v the wav; that a watch 
and j>iece of India cotton were found with him and re- 
turned to the owners; that on tlie way to Kinfjston 
</aol he had made several attem[)ts to cscepe from 



I I 


the Shoriff, and but for bib own vi<^ilanco he i^ever 
would have boon able to rcaf^h the piifcsou with him, 
ob«i'rviiig; at the t^aiue tin e, that uuiens he were well 
taken caie of and siecured, ho would ceitainiy make 
his esca|<e. Ho was received inlo prison for examin- 
ation on iho warrant of cenve^aiiee witiiout a regular 

The ]>rij*)ner liad rude a!I day in the rain, and hav- 
ing had no opportunity of ehangina: his ciothoH, which 
by this time had become very wet, it wa-* thought ne- 
cessary, least he shoukl nustain injury, to put him into 
the debtor's room, hand cufled, where lie could have 
an opportunity of warming and drying him&eif at tho 
lire; the stuve having been out of repair in the cri ii- 
iiiaFs i*oom. The day following he was removed into 
tho crimhiaTs room, where irons were considered un- 
necessary"; and as he appeared to be quite peaceable, 
his hand-cud's were taken oU", and being furnished 
with a comfortable berth, he seemed iticoncilcd to 
his situalion. 

On tho I3th of August, T received the following 
Letter from the Clerk of the €ircuit Court : — 

Dkau Sir : — Mr. KnovhaH k>fl with ni«^ the evamiiiatioM, &c. 
rolniiiig lo More Smidu (he liorsc-stealor, now in yonr K'lol; 
thrive sti'c all taken in the Pioeinre o^Nov:i-Sl^)tla, Uiforu Mngis- 
irates tla're, and i Mould rci'oiiiiuriKi that liw be-hrought up Uk 
foi* thu .Vkii»istrtos in your Coi'nty, and examined, aad the exaiu- 
inati. Ml ("OMiniilh'd to writing. I tio not know under what war- 
rant he i«! in your euxto ly, hut I think it wouM be us W'-ll f()l' tho 
same Mai/isirate.s to make out o niitiuiu»< alter the exainiiiatioii^ 
n.*i it Would he niwe arciidinjr to form. 

1 reuiaiu, dear sir, vours, 


Aflor pro ' iiotic»o, Judges Pickett, Mr. Jusiico 

TItNui MoBB Smith. 


Kclchum, and Mr. Kiiox, all attonclod hi»? examina- 
tion; h\ the course ut" wliioli, ho said his name wua 
Jlonry More t^mith, twenty soars of age, caiuo from 
JOnixiarid on account ol* the war, had been in America 
a out a year and a half, that he was born in Jhigh- 
ton, that his father and mother wore iiving there now, 
and that he expected them unt to Halifax the ensu- 
in<^ Spring ; that he pnreehased a farm for them on 
the Hivcr Philip, and had written for them to come. 
He also stati^d that he c<iine to St. John on Ijusiness, 
where he fell in with Colonel Daniel, of the iJiith 
Kof^intent, who proposed to give him two hundred 
dobavs if he would brin^; him a black horsey within a 
fortniglit, that would Sj»an with his own of the fc^ame 
colour; that ho toid the Colonel ho knew one that 
would match his pcrtV^ctly, and that if he would lend 
him fifteen guineas, he would leave his own maro in 
pledge until he would brinif the horsi^, as ho knew 
there was a vessel then in St. John, bpund to Cum- 
b^>rlaud, where the horse was. To this proposal hp 
said the Colonel aijreed, and havinj? received the liio- 
ney and left the mare, went to his lodgings ; but be- 
fore he could return, tlio vessel left him; and havinir 
110 other conveyance by water, he was obliged to set 
out on loot ; and having a long journey tu travel, and 
but short time to perform it in ; he travelled all ni<4ht, 
and at davliiiht was overtnken bv a stranijer with a 
large horse and a small mare, which he oifered for 
Kale, and that he being weary with walking all night, 
oifered him ten pounds for tlie mrire, which he accept- 
ed. Tliat they continued their journey some time, 
xiw\ began to find that the mare would not answer his 
purpose; the horse being a good looking one, vriiicb be 
miijjit tioU n^ain for the nionej;, hftbaotered the t^trang- 


Tub My f.Rious Doixiis of 

or Tor a swip, wliicli wan ellected hy jiiving the mare 
mid lifteon poiiiul-i in oxcjliaiige for the horse, saddle 
and bridhv lie thou- prod u/U'd a receipt whioh he said 
tlie str.'inLjer uave iiiin, to the followiiiii' ellect ;— . 

Ueeciviu], July 2')ai, IRU, of Henry More Siiitli. fifloon 
poiuids, ill !?\v;!p ol'n liisrso, hotwtena siiinti iiiiire and a larj^e 
horse I let him havi', witli a p<Uir, si\. or soveii vcnrs old. 

, . ., ., ,. .. ,, JA>LES CHUllMAN., 

Jle then stated tliMt ho pi-oceodcd on to Cuinl»er- 
land, and bargained for the black horse which was the 
object of Iiis pursuit; and not having money cnoiigh 
to pay for him, without sellinp; the one ho rode, and 
lioaring that Ca]>tain Dixon, of Truro, wanted to pur- 
chase such a horse, and iinding that Mr. Dixon had 
gone o^ to Pictou, forty miles fhrther, to att^^nd ^ 
Court, ho was obiifred to follow him with all sj)eed. 
That the next d ly being Sunday, he was ^obliged to 
wait till Monday to sell his horse, and was there ap- 
])rehended by Mr. Knox, and chai^ged with stealiiitr 
his horse; that he was taken before the Court, and 
had all his mono ^% his watch, and his horse, taken 
from him, and was sent back to King's Cciunty gaol 
to take his trial ; and complained that as ho was an 
entire stranger, and had no one to speak for hhn, un- 
less the man were taken who sold him the horse, his 
case might be desperate, for he had neither friends 
nor monov, nor anyone who knew him to take his 
part. He complained also of having been badly used 
by Mr. Knox on the way, : . • : w. 

Having been asked by Mr. Knox, in the course of 
his examination, ^Miat occuj)ation he followed in this 

" d, '' IS^o one i 



Kuox then hastily %sked him how he got his living 

liKNHY MoHK Smith. 


Ho replied, with great firiimes'; nnd self- possession 
.-''.Hymy Iion^esty, feir." Alter t'lis culmination, a 
roLjular co'miiitmont was made out, and he wturued 
to prison, lie submitted to his confinement without a 
murmer, and with much seeming rv signation ;bnt com- 
])lained of a severe pain in, his side occasioned by cold 
he had roeeived He seeniod anxious for an opi)ortii- 
nity to send tor Iiis portmanteau, which h^said Jie had 
left witli some other articles in the care of Mr. Stack- 
honse near St. John. The portmanteau, ho said, con- 
tained his clothes, vhicli he would I'C oljliged to sell to 
raise money for the purpose of procuring necessaries 
and engriging a lawyer, repeatino- ai;aiii, that as he was 
a stranger and had no friends to helj) him, there would 
be but little chance for hiin, though innocont, exce]»t 
tliii thi^f who gtole the horse wore taken and brouj^ht 
to justice. ■'■'■'' 

It so happeried, an the day following, that I had oc- 
casion to go to the City of Saint John hi company with 
Ih". Adino Paddock, senr. when, on onr Avay, he had 
occasion to etll at Mr. T\athaniel (jolding's tavern, in 
Hampton; and while placing our horses under hi« 
shed, we perceived a man mountinf]^ a horse in great 
haste, tiifit WIS standing at the steps" of the door, who 
immediately rode off with all ])ossibre speed, as tJibugh 
he were in fear of boing overtaken. On inquiring who 
he was, w^e w'ei^o informed by Mrs. Goldnig that Jie 
was a i^h-anorer who had c.dled tlleVe once or twice be- 
fore, and that she believed his nanie was Chuinan or 
Cliurmnn. I observed tO the Doctor, that that was 
the name of the man from whom the ]>risonnr, Siniih, 
s^id he purohaaed the Jiorse ; upon which Mrs. Golding 
said .that she could ascertain that by inquiring iu tlio 




otiior room, w.'iich siv) was rcqucfctotl to do an<I tr.'ta 
:nisw Tcd ill liio rtlliini.'itivL^ • . ' 

Wo mule fr '(|iiont iiiquiiics ])y thf> wny, as wo pio- 
<*,OfHli^tl towinis St. John, hut rouJfl ;iscertaiii notliin^ 
fiirt!i(M* of the striii'jicr Ikv t!)it iKniio. After mv rc^- 
turn from Ir^t. John f inforinod tho prisoner iSniith of 
wiijit iiaj)|K?m(l Ijy the way; ho fn>poared excoed- 
in*;jly olatod \vit!i t!io idea of hisbein;^: Ifjo man that 
had sold him the horse, and said if he had money or 
friends ho <;oiHd have him taken and brought to jus- 
tice, and wouhl koou be restored to liberty a rr.i in him- 
self; but that if ho were suflfered to make his CBca])o 
out of tho country, his own case \\ou!d bo deplorabJo 
indeed, though he was innocent. Ho again roitt+rat( d 
his complaint, that he was dortitute of money and 
friends, in a strange country, altliough anxious to em- 
ploy a lawyer, he did not know of any to whom ho 
could ipply for advice. Ho was recomnundod to 
Charles J. Peters, Esq , /\ttorney in St. John, with 
tho assurance, tliat if there were any ])08^ibility in tlio 
case, of getting him clear, ]Mr. Peters would exert 
himself ni his behalf most faithfully. Tho first op- 
portunity that offered, he sent an order to Mr. Stack- 
iiouso for his portmanteau, with instriicions to apply 
the proceeds of certain articles, which ho had loft 
with him for sale, if disposed of, in retaining Mr. Pet- 
ers as his Attorney. Tho return brouglit ahandsomo 
portmanteau and a pair of boots, lea\ing a small sum 
in tho hands of ^h\ Peters^ as part of his retairtery 
which was to bo inereas'd to five guinv»as before tho 
sitting of tlio Court. This arrangement soomod lo 
be prodctivo of much satisfaction to tho prisoner, and 
for tbo purpos> oT fuliiling the. engigenoMit witJi ^r. 

Hknky Moek Smitu. 


PoUts, lio cxproKBOfl a (IfHiro to ilispofto of t'lo con- ' 
tents of his portnianfonu, as far as n?c'^ssarv for 
makinfj np t'lo Huni. H*^ give nir fiis key, \u\h w'nc'i 
I opcntfl his portinnnteaii, and foiiud it well fill d 
with various articles of valuaWt^ clothinjr; *2 or throe, 
trentoel mats, with vests and pantnloons. of the first 
quality nnd cut : a superior top cont, of the latest 
fashion, faced with black silk; with silk stockings and 
C^loves, and a variety of books, consi.^tinir of a neat 
pocket-lJiblo and Prayer-book, a London Gazetteer, 
a Ready-Reckoner, and several other useful books. 
Ho had also a day and night spy-^la^is of the best kind, 
and a small magnifying glares in a tortoise-sliell cabo. 
with many other useful ^'articles. Siisjncions of bin 
not having come honeijtly by t jo contents of his port- 
manteau was not the impression that was made; but 
rather that ho had been handsomely anci res])ectably 
fitt»^d out by careful affectionate parents, anxious for 
bis comfort and happiness, and that he was, in all 
probability, innocent of the charge allodged against 
him. Ho soon commencetl selling off his little stock, 
and for the purpose of affording him a faciiitv, per- 
sons, wishing to purchase from liim, were permitted 
to come to the wicket door, through which he could 
make his bargain, and dispose of his things. He nf'- 
ver failed to endeavor to exite ii^ ]niy of those who 
came to visit him by representing his deplorable sit/- 
uation, ill being reduced to the necessity of selling 
his clothing to raise the means of defending his inno- 
cence in a strange country from the unfortunate 
charge preferred against him Nor did he fail of his 
purpose, for many, from pure sympathy for ilia un- 
fortunate situation, purchased from him, and paid4ib* 
wallyv Amojig those who c«'ime to seohiinf tli^^e wi« 





TiiK Mv.srMiiiOoS DoiMis of 

Is ' 

a yoiiii*r iii'iii, who K'i'u] lio IkuI Lnowii the j)risonor in 
St; Joliii, iind |>rofi*H8o«! to visit liinitVoin motivcH of 
IVir'Uflsliip ; Jit' lind {rccks to him through the giatrs ol' 
of tho window, .ind koiiic of the [>lnK« being broken, 
ho conhl hoJd fro" conVLTHMtion thrc»u<i:li tho gratt'8. 
Tho I'VHt time h(; canio ho cairicMl oil tho iiij^ht and 
day «j;ia88 for debt, whicii ho said ho owed hini whilo 
in l?^t Jolui ; but tho ]irobability was that he had giv- 
en him a watcli in exciiangtj. . . • ■ ^ ,. ; ), 

The prison was tlion kept by Mr. Dibble, a man 
of learin'mr and talents, who for several years liad 
been jililicted with a j»ainful disease, so that for a 
^rcat part of Iiis time, iio was conJined to tlie. house, 
and frequently to his room, in tiie County Court 
House, where lio tau^htasc'iool, by whica ineans. to- 
gether with the i'ees 'jnd perquisites of t!je jaij and 
courthouse, alloi'ded him a comfortable livinu* for 
himself and family, (M)nsist!njj: of his wile and vlangh- 
ter, and one sun named John, about nnieteen years 
.of age, who constantly attended his father. ^ It may 
bo also neces&ayr to mention, that Mi . Dibble was 
one of tho principle members of the Masonic Lodge 
licld at Kinf^ston, and was in hi<^h esteem anionic 
them; besides, he Was regarded by all wiio knew Jiim 
as a man of li nesty and integrity, and well worthy 
to till any situation of responsibility < r trust. 1 am 
induced to advert to those particulars of Mr. isib- 
blv3's character bocauso I am indebted to iiiui for 
many of the particulars relative to th-^ jjrisonv-V, and 
because, having iiad a person who cquM hp relied on^ 
thero were the less necessity for my visiting the pri- 
soner. very frequenfly, which did iiA exct'cd once in 
d week generally, except upon special occasions.' 

. H 


IIenrt Morb Smith. 



J ------- - r , . ; 

Shortly nftcr tho coiiuiiitincnt of the prisoner lie 
was visiud by Lieutenant liaxter, an oflicer in the 
New IJruiisvvick lie ginient, llieii recruiting at Kings- 
ton. This officer proj)08efl to the jirisoner to enlist 
him, as a means by which he might be released from 
his confinement. This idea he spurned with coiv- 
temj)t, and chose rather to await the issue of his trial, 
depending < n his profct-sed innocence of tho cnmo 
lor which he stood comnnttcd. He was, however, 
prevailed on to write to his Attorney on tho subject, 
and received for his answer, that such a nicasuro was 
inadmissible, and advised hi^ii to content himself and 
await the issue of his trial. He appeared much dis- 
pleased with tho abruptness of his Attorney's answer, 
and seemed rather tp look uj)on this short and sum- 
mary reply, as an indication of his dis[)leasuro with 
him, and as an omen that he, his Attorney, would not 
interest himself much in his behalf. " ' - '' 

About this time, Sept. 7th, I received a letter from 
the Clerk of the County Court enclosing a Precept to 
summon a Court of Oyer and Terminer and General 
(jaol Delivery, to be held at Kingston on Tuesday tho 
*27th of September. On the approach of the period 
for his trial, he was encouraged by his friends to rely 
with full confidence on his Attorney, with repeated 
assurances, that he would give his case all possible 
attention; but with all his professed ignorance of tho 
law, (and this ignoranct> he had often declared with 
much apparent simplicity,) tlie prisoner knew too 
much of it to resign himself with conlidence to the is- 
sue of a cause which coukl promise hhn nothing but 
conviction and conhini his guilt. He therefore, upon 
his profefcsed dissatisfaction with his Attorney, ap- 

1 1 


Mystkriois l)oiN(;s op 

! I 


1 1 1 


]K'aiv(l to think no more about iiiiii, nor to renew his 
enquiries conccrninfj Iiim, hut set about a more sum- 
mary method ofextricatiufT himself from the [lower 
of the law. He turned his attention to the Hible, and 
perused it with an aii* of mu(!i seriousness, as thoujrh 
the concerns of the unseen worhl engrossed all his 
thouL^its : iio bi'haved himself, in every respect, with 
becoming propriety, .'uid his whob^ demeanor wns 
sucli as to i^maoe niucli inti'rcst in his behalf. 

About this time he discovered syptoms of a severe 
cold, being troubled with a hollow sounding cough, 
and complained of a pain in the side, l)ut still submit- 
ed to his confmement without a murmur or com- 
plaint. He would frequently .adv(^rt to the ill usitjo 
which he said he had received by the way from Pic- 
tou, after he was made prisoner, particularly of a blow 
in the side with a pistol, given by Mr. Knox, which 
felled him to the ground, as he expresswl it, like a 
dead man ; that when he hd recovered his respira- 
tion which had for some time been suspended, ho rais- 
ed blood, and continued to raise blood occasionally 
by the way for two or tliree days ; that the pain never 
left him since, and was now greatly increased in con- 
sequence of the cold he had received, and that the 
wound was, as he believed, approaching a gathering 
in the inside, which he feared would finnlly prove fat- 
al to him. He showed a bruised spot on his side 
which was swelled and much discolored, and appar- 
ently very painful. All t!iis was accompanied with 
loss of a|)petite and increased feebleness of body ; but 
he still discovered a remarkable resignation to his 
fate. Hij^ situation was suc'i as to excite sympathy 
and feeling, so that an endeavor was made to render 
him ftp comfortnble as possible, by keeping his apirt- 



llbNBY Mo\{ii, SmJIU. 



nioiit properly tempered wilh heat, aiitl proviiliiif^ 
liiiii with such food as was adapted to tlio delicacy of 
his eoMstitutloii. « it t j'm " ... « • •.; » • w.» 

His diseases, Iiowevor, continued to increase, and 
Iiis sjtrenjiitli to di'cline, with all the syniptoins of ap- 
proachini* diissolution ; |)ain in the head and eyes, diz- 
ziness with sickness at the stoniacli, fieqnent raisinf;^ 
of hlood, and of increased jiainfidneHs of the eontn- 
sioJi on his side. It was now considered liioh time to 
apply to a |»hysician, and on the 1 1th of Septend)er 
sent for a doctor, who examined his side, and the gen- 
eral stJite of his diseases, and g'lve him some medi- 
cine. On t!io 12th, appeared a little better, KJth at 
eveninus <»rew worse. Fourteenth, unable to walk, — 
V(M'y hi<^h fever, witli frequent ehills of aouc. Fif-. ; 
teenth, vomitin*; and rai.sin<i: blood more frequently. .•■ 
Sivti'entli, the Kev. ^Ir. Scovil visited him in the - 
niorniu!^, found him very ill, and sent him toast and 
wine and some other cordials. Same day the doctor 
attended him at ',) o'clock, and fjave him medicine, i 
At .o'clock, no better, and voniitiniLj whatever ho 
took J^jighteentii,i(ppo:n"ed still to grow worse; vas y, 
visited by Judge Pickett and several other neighbors; i 
and being asked whither he wanted anything, or wliat : 
he could take, answered '' nothing, except an orange 
or a lemon." IJsineteenth, appeared to decline very 
fast : at 2 o'clock, was visited by the Doctor, who, 
said the man must be removed out of that room, that . 
he w;is too ill to be kept there, and that it wtis of no ^? 
use to give him medicine in so dnmp a place. Tweii- ' 
tieth, in the morning, found him still declining; at 10 
o'cl(x;k, Mr Thaddeus Scribner and others went in to .■ 
see him, insj)ecting the room, but found no dampness /' 
Ihat could injuraevcD a ^ickiuan takinjx medicine rj 


TiiK Mysteuiolh Doing of 





Tlio Rev. Mr. Scovil visited Liiiii in the nftcru on, 
find introduced tlio subjocl of bin npiuo^tehing end. 
TJie priNoner convf i>ed IVeely (n tlie sul ject. .'nid ex- 
pressed his eonvic'tion that thoie was little or nolioj e 
of his reeoverv. lie stated to Mr. Yeovil thnt he wan 
lorn in Knghind tlint his parents uere formerly at^ 
taehed to tlie Chnrdi of Kn*»land. ])nt had lately join- 
ed the Metiiodlsts; that lie '^janie from England on 
acronnt of the war, and that he expeetrd his ])a rents 
to come to this ronntiy next hj>ring, which last cir- 
cun stance seemed to exite in him strong en otions. 
Twenty-first, the Rev. Mr bcovil witii < thers of tho 
neighborhood visited him in the morning; no favor- 
able syn ptoms. Twenty- second, the prisoner very 
low : violent fever, accompanied with chills and ajiue. 
Inllantmation of the bowels, with evacuations of blood 
for the last two days; [extremities cold, and strength 
jrreatly reduced, insomuch that he could only just 
articulate above his breath. Was understood to say, 
that he should die for wint of medical assistance, as 
the Doctor had refused to attend him any n ore iu 
that ])Iace, and the ^'herifl' rcfused^to remove him. 
His situation had by this time excited general s\m- 
pathy and ])ity; his seeming simplicity, passiveness, 
and resignation, greatly contributed to produce the 
ellect. At fi o'clock, the Rev. Mr. Scovil and a great 
number of the neighbors came and sat with him till 
10 o'clock, and then left him with the impression 
that he would not live till morning. Friday 23d, went 
to the gaol early in the morning, and found the pri- 
soner lying on the floor, naked, and seemingly in 
great distress : said he had fallen, through pain and 
weakness, and could not get up again. He was taken 
\jp and carried to his bed; ap[»eared as though ho 

IIkmu Mouk S.mjtu. 


would instantly exjjiio; cor.tinncd in alow nud ainioift 
lilolcsH stat;Mill 5 o'r'lot'k in llio nftc riicoii, win-n he 
npjK'nrcd to all proscMit to bo really dyinji;. lUv Mr 
Scovil ^Ir. IVrkiiiH, ^I. (i. KaMiiond, all near noi<ili- 
hors, and Mr. I'Mdy, IVom St. John, who haj)pcnd to 
1)(^ in Kingston at tho tinio, all sii]»poscd him to 1)C in 
tlio a<^onios of doath. Ho foIJ into a state f)f insonrsi- 
bility, and continind so until a pidal of hartshorn was 
brouizht from an adjoining; room, the application of 
which seemed to revive Jiim a iittle. After sonio 
time he recovered so far as to be able to speak, and 
upon its heinjx observed to him that ho had had a tit, 
he replied that ho was sensible of it, and that it was 
liis /f/;;//7// inffrmifij, and that many of his connexions 
Iiad died in the same way; and furUior remarked, that 
he did not think that he could survive another, which 
would proba]>ly, come njion him about the same tinjo 
the next day; that he was sensibh^ he should not re- 
cover; but that (jod would have him. Ho then asked 
Mr. Scovil to pray with Jiim; his desire was com- 
plied with, and prayer was offered np in tlu? most so- 
lenm and devout manner : the occasion was deeply 
ntTectinLT, and all <V^parted with tlu; full conviction 
that the patient would not liu'^er till the morning*. 

Previous to this, no regular watchers had attended 

him : but it now considered hijj»hly necessary tliat 

some ])erson should sit wit!i him till the morninu', and 

consequentiv John Dildilce and Charles Cam])reau 

wore appointed ])y t!ie ShcrilTto watch him through 

the night. 

Tsext morninj^ the followino: letter was dis] atched 
to ]\rr. Peter.<, the prisoner's Attorney : — 







Mtsti;u:ol's Doincjs of' 

DbAR Sir : — I fear we shall be (lisappointed iti our ovpncln- 
tioiisof the trial (.i" the i)ri,soiier, More Smith, at the approatrh- 
iiij^ ConiM, as I presume, Iroiu appearances, he will be removed 
by death before that time, lie is: dviajr in eoiisequenee of a blow 
that h(! received, as he says, iiom Mr. Knox, ^^ ith a pistol, which 
he has regulaly com])laiiied of siiico he has been in gaol, and is 
now considered past rec^ovoi*}. As it will be matter of enquiry, 
and new toiue, 1 will tliank you to let me konw by the bearef 
what would he the necessary steps for uie tu take; and not fail, 
us I have but little hopes of his coniinuinj; till morning. 

iours&c. WALTER BAlKS. 

Tho rctuini of the bearer brought tlie following 
an swcr : — 

St. John, Se])t. 24th,— Dear Sir, — Vour favor of yesterday I 
received this morninjjf, and I am sorry to hear so despoiidin;^ an 
atrcount of the unfortunate man in vour custody. It will be vour 
duty, 1 conceive, to have a Corouer's Inquest on the body, and 
then have it decently interred. With respect to the cause of 
death, that is a circiunstance that injist rest wholly on facts. If 
any ph>sician should attend him, Jet him be particular in takinj^ 
down in writin«f what the man savs in his last moments, as to 
the circumstance ; and if a Justict! should bo then present, it 
would not be amiss. In haste, yours, sincerelv. 


Saturday, 24th. — The watchers reported that ho 
had passed a very restless night, and but just surviv- 
ed the morning; that he complained of want of medi- 
cal assistance The following note v>as tlien sent to 
the Doctor wlio had attended him : — 

Kingston, Sept. 24th 1814. — Dear Doctor :— Smith, the pri- 
soner, sa>s that he is suffering fnr wan' of medical assistance, 
and that you will not attend him unless he is reuioved into anot- 
her room, which cannot be jiermitted : he must take his fut<^ 
where he uoav is, and if he dies in jail, ati enquiry will take place 
which may prove to your disadvantage. 1 must therefore re- 
quest your attendance, I am trtily yours. Sec. 
jjVDR.'A. Paddock, Jr. ' WALTER RATI-.S. 

Henry More Smith. 


lie Jipj)i-oach- 

hv Jenio\ etl 

nee of ji blrnv 

[>is\ol, wliicli 

yjio], ;iiid is 
V ol" c'iiqnirv, 
JJ tlie Ijearti' 

aii(J not luii, 


3S|)o/i<Jinr. an 
wiil he voiir 
le Imdy/imd 
the ciuiso of 
on fact!;:. If 
-u- ill taking 
nietits, fi8 to 
present, it 

At this tunc the sympathy and compassion of tho 
wlioh^ neiiihborlioofl was excited to the hif^hestdetrree. 
Tho tarn ily of the Rev. Mr. iScovil, especially, mani- 
fested deep concern for him, and sent him every thing 
that thev thought wonhl either comfort or relieve him, 
as did also the family of Mr. Perkins, and thit of Mr. 
Raymond; all thise having been in the immediate 
nci^^hhorhood, Hnt the })risoner nsed little or none 
of their coi-dials or delicacies. Mr. Perkins visited 
liim about 10 o'lock, a. m., and kindly ju'oposed to 
watch with him tho ensning niiiht, for which lie dis- 
covered much thankfulness. In the course of tho 
dav the Doctor came, and j:iavc him some medicine; 
he found iiim so weak, that ho required to bo lifted 
and supported while he was receiving it. The Doctor 
acknowlcdired his low state, but did not think him so 
near his end as to die before morning, unless he 
would gooff in a lit. This, the patient said, was what 
he had reason to fear would be his fate before moiri- 
ing, and therefore wished to make his Will 

All his clothes, at his death, he willed to John Dib- 
bJee; and his money — about three pounds, which he 
always kept by him in his ])erth, ho bequeathed to the 
Jailor, for his kind attention to him in his sickness. 
The money Mr. Dibblee proposed to take chargp of; 
but Smith said it was safe where it was for the pre- 

Mr. T^. Perkins having had occasion to call that day 
on Mr. W. M. Lyon, was enquired of by Iiim concern- 
in<r the state of the prisoner. Mr. Perkins tnfornied 
him that he was alive when he left him; but thouolit 
he would be dead ])efore night. This information ]Mr 
Lyon coiiniunicaled the sumo evening to a numbei of 


Mysterious 1)oimjs of 

persons who wore ass(^irililetl at the hoiKse of 'Slv. 
Scribncr; and addiMl, ho was dead, for tliat vvhik> 
on his way to Mr. Scrlbnci-'rt. (it h.jvinji- h(^on in tliu 
dusk of tho evening), ho had scon Smith's Ghost pass 
by him at a short distance off, without touchino the 
ground. This singular report, as it came from a quar- 
ter that couhl not be well disputed, very nuich alarm- 
ed the whole company, and formed the subject of their 
conversation for the evening. 

But to return to our narrative. After the prisoner 
had made his Will, he was, for a short time, left alone, 
with the probability that he would shortly be seized 
by another lit, which he was not ex}>ectod to survive. 
About G o'clock in the evening, the llev. iNlr. Scovil 
oljserved to his family, that it was then about the 
same hour of the dav at whi(di Smith had had his fit 
on tho preceding day ; that he thought he would die 
suddenly; he would therefore walk over to the Court 
House, and he ready there at the time, as it must be 
unpleasant for Mr. Dibblee to be alone. This so 
much awakened tlie sensibilities of Mrs, Scovil, that 
she could not bear the reflection, that a child of pa- 
rents that were perhaps respectable, should lie so near 
her, in a strange country, sick and dying, on a bed of 
straw. She therefore called Amy, her wench, ''here," 
said she, '' take this feather bed, and carry it to the 
gaol, and tell Mr. Dibblee that! have sent it for Smith 
to die on." Mr. Scovil had been in tho house, and 
seated with Mr. Dibblee, but a very short time, when 
anise was heard from Smith in the jail. John Dib- 
blee, who constantly attended on him, ran in haste, 
unlocked the prison door, and found him in the ac^o- 
jioicsof a fit, and almost expiring. He made an cff-rt 

JFtNRY Moke S>iitii. 


to f?|)eak, and boiuoil oT John to run and hoat a l)iick 
that was uoar, and apply it to his foot, to givo him 
one moment's rolioi* whilo iio ^v.'^s dyini, for that hi.s 
leot and Iv^h wonvilroady cold and dead to hijs kneos. 
John, willlng^to alibrd what volief he (ould to the dy- 
ings man, ran in orcat fiaste frojn tlio jail through tho 
passage round the stairway that led to the kitchen, 
wiiere was a large fire of coals ir»to which he east tlie 
bri(;k, waited Imt a few wiinutes, and returned with 
t!ie heated brick to the prison; ])Ut to his indesciih- 
able astonishment, and almost unwiilinjx to believe 
the evidenct? of his senses, the dyinii man had disap- 
})eared, and could not i)e found !! ,lolm ran with the 
tidiuf/s to his father and the Ttev. Mr. Scovil, who 
were sitting in a room whicJi the prison(?r must have 
j)assed in makiiif]^ his escape, i'hey weie entirely 
incredulous to the report of an affair so unparalleled, 
and would not vield their belief until they searched 
every corner of the apartment themselves, and found 
that Smith had not only effected his escape, but had 
also carried his money, his boots, and every article; of 
his clothing away with !! 

Tt is impojssible to conceive or describe the fcolincrs 
of astonishment with which everyone about the house 
was filled, when thev found that the man, who liad 


been frroaninio: and agonizino: under the pain of an ac- 
cumulation of diseases, which, night after night, seem- 
ed to have been wast-ng his strength, and bringing 
him nearer to the close of his unhappy life — had» in 
a moment, and at the very moment which was thought 
to be his last, seized the opportunity of his prison 
door ])eing open, and rushed from his confinen^ent, 
leaving; not a vestige of his movables behind him. As 



Tnv, MYsriiiiioLs i)oiN( s of 

f^oon as a SGi'irch through the prison confirmorl the 
fact of his olo[K'inoiit, the inmates hastened outside, 
and continued Iheir search around the premises At 
this moment, Amy, the wench, made her appearance, 
(arryin*!: the leather bed : and seeing the people a- 
round the house, she said to thorn, " blisses send this 
bed for Smit to die on" Her master told her to take 
it home, and tell her mistress that Smith was jxone. 
Amy ran home and told her mistress that massa say 
Smit dead and gone — he no Avant im ))ed ! '* Ah I" 
exclaimed her mistress, '• poor man, is he dead ? 
Then, Amv, vou mav run and carry this shirt and 

ft'' ^ •> ft- «/ 

Avindinir-sheet to lay Smith out in." Amy instantly 

ft ft' ft' 

obeyed, and told iiei* master accordingly. " You may 
take them baok," said he, •' Smith is gone " '' where 
he gone, massa.?" '' I don't know," said he. " except 
the devil has taken liim oH." Amy hastened back to 
her mistress, and told her that '' massa say Smit Ijo 
dead and orone, and the devil has taken him away !" 

O ■ , -ft' 

So much was tlie mind of every one prepared to hear 
of his death, that the expression, '' Smith is gone!" 
served to convey no other idea. The Sheriff himself, 
who had not ])een f)resent, and did not hear of tlio 
affair immediatelv, gave the sentence tlie same in- 
terpretation. A messenger having ])een dispatciied 
to him with the tidings, met him on his way to the jail, 
expecting to witness the last nmments of the patient - 
On being informed by the messenger that '- Smith 
Avas gone," " Ah ! poor fellow, ' he exclaimed, '^ 1 ex- 
pected it. What time did ho die '/" '' Ihit he is gone 
o{f clear. " It is inijiossible." rejoined the Sheril*, 
'• that he can he far from his sick bed." ''Why." 
replied the messenger, '"they were all about the jail 
looking for him, and no one couhl tell which way ho 

Hi;\RY MuuE S.MiTrr. 

:■■ V- 

had gone." '' Uiiparalloled and aboniinable* decep- 
tion !" replied the Sherill', *• how did ho y:et out of 
jail'/" He believed John Dibblee left the door opt>n 
while he ran to heat a brick, and then Smith made 

' I i > n i 

liis escape. 

This was to us tlic first dovolopnient of the true char- 
acter of Henry 3Iore Smith, and thus, by means of a 
counterfeit illness, vvhicJi melted the feelings and 
drew the sympathies of the whole neighborhood; 
wliich ba/lled every power of detection, and imposed 
even lipon'the j)hysician himself, did tliisaocomplislied 
villain etfect his release, and was now again running 
at large, glorying in the issue of his scheme. But 
before we pursue his history in his succeeding adven- 
tures, it, may be necessary, i'or those who are unac- 
quainted with the local situation of the gaol, from 
which he escaped, to give a short description of it. 
Kingston is situated on a neck or tongue of land* 
formed by the Kiver Saint John and llellisle Uay, 
running north-east and south-west on the western side 
of the neck, and by the river Kennebeckacis running 
the same course on the eastern side, leaving a tract 
of land between the two rivers about five miles in 
breadth and tliirty miles in length 

'rhc winter road from Fredericton, the seat of Gov- 
ernment, to the City of St John, crosses the land at 
Kingston to the Kenncbeckasis, and this road is inha- 
bited on both sides The road is intersected in the 
centre of KinjTston bv another road runnin": north'* 
easterly to the head of Jk'llisle Bay, and is also inha- 
bited on both sides. At the intersection of tJiese 
roads, on an eminence, stands the Court house, (uu- 
der which is the prison,) and Church, facing each 




ThK 3.'vST, RIOLS lyOlNtiS «JF 


oIIhu', cast and wost, at the, (.liftmen of about eljiht 
rodrt. At a distiui'/o oriihcut toil rods froiw tlio jail 
Htand."* the liouso of Mr. 1'. N. l*or!iiii?», to tlio north, 
and ail equal distaiKM' to the soistji tlu^ hoiiso of tho 
Kov E. Scovil is situated, with various oth^'r houses 
iiidifFeroiit diro lions; the laud clear all around to a 
coiiHidernl)lo distance, afiordiivj no hiding placo. 
From a prison thus situated, and surnsunded ^vith 
dwollin<x houses, did our Iiero escape, without any eyo 
liavingseen hiu», and leaviiinr no mark nor track be- 
hind which could direct in the pursuit of him. Find- 
in<j ourselves i}na))le to pursue in any ("ertain direc- 
tion, our conclusions were that he must either have 
taken t'lo road to St. John or that leadiu'j to Kova- 
Sootia, tho way bv which he came, and tho only road 
ho was known to 1)0 acquainted with. ALV'nrdinfjly 
men wore desputched in pursuit of liini on the St John 
road, and others sent to the dilVerent ferri>>s, while I 
myself, with Mr. Moses Foster, the l)e]>nty ShorKf, 
took the road to Nova Scotia, with all speed, in the 
nijxht, and rode on until we benan to think that we 
must have surely passed him. Havinqr arrived at a 
house which he could not well pass without ])eiui!; 
seen, wo stationed watchers there : and also set watch- 
ers in other stations, and Uiaintaiiied a close look-out 
the whole night, but to no purpose. At daylight I 
furnished Mr. Foster with money, and sent him on, 
uf)on the same road, with directions to proeeed as far 
as Mr. McLeod's tavern — distant 40 miles, and in 
ease of hearing nothing of him, to discontinue the 
])ursait and return. At the same time I returned to 
King.^on myself, wliere I was informr'd, towards ev- 
ening, that a man, who answered his description, 
Jjiad crossed t'lc ferry over the Bcllislc Bay the cv 

Urnuy Mo«k S.Mrrn. 





tl to 




cnln^ before in groat Iiasto, i-tatino; that ho was go- 
incf on an oxpross to Frcdeiicton, and inust i^e there 
h\ ten o'clock the next niorniny;. This account com- 
pared with Mr. Lyon's story, which the re?iucr wiil 
recollect, of having- seen ^miih'n f/hoct or apparition 
the same evening in the twiligiit, contirnied the opin- 
ion that we had now got upon the direction of our 
run-away. And when we renieinljer further, that the 
apparUion was pastsinc without touchirKj the fjround, 
we will have some idea of the rapidity with wliich our 
self-re]ea!!ied hero was scudding along as he carried 
his neck from the halter. It was now h^unday even- 
ing, and he had twenty-four hours of a start, leaving . 
little hopes of his l>eing overtaken by me. As my only 
alternative, T forwarded advertisements, and popos- 
ed a reward of $20 for his apprehension and re-com- 
mitment to custody; but with very little prospect of 
success, knowing that ho was escaping for his life, 
and would succeed in getting out of the country bo- 
fore he could be overtaken. 

Monday morning the 26th, Moses Foster returned 
from his route, and by this time many unfavourable 
reports concerning the prisoner's escape had begun 
to bo circulated. The Court at which he was to re- 
ceive his trial was now to meet on the Tuesday fol- 
lowing, and a jury summoned from different parts of 
the county for the express purpose of tr}ing the horse 
stealer. . . 

My whole time and attention were now required to 
make the necessary preparations for the Court, and 
T felt myself not a little chagrined on rejecting on 
the circumstancrs in which T was placed. This ie^aX^ 



TliK ]\IvSTi:i{IOLS DulMaj OF 

iiiii' ]j('C:imc Iu'ii»liteiK'<l loa most |>ninrul (1( jiTre when I 
cjiiiic to uiuliMsta'.Kl, 1)^- K. .loin's, that t!io villain, inf^loaii 
ol'L'sca[>i(iL» I'or liis liCi-, and gottiiio- out ol' ni) rcacli with 
all possible haste, jiad only travollod about ten niilos the 
Jirst niLiht, and was soon l)in^oii sonic straw boloro llio 
harn of Air. Kohort iiaiios, tho no\t niorniiHi, on the road 
towards (iai'ctown, havinn- lain tlioro till twolvo o'cl oek 
in tho (lav. Hnt Sniitli did not lio on his hod of straw 
i'or rost nioroiv; v\c\\ tiioro ho was projoclinu Irosh seho- 
nios ot" villany, wuitinL: lor an opportunity to carry away 
soino l;()oty Ironi tho. honsoid A r. JJailos; and it so h.ap- 
])onod tliat ho did not miss his aim, for Air. and Mrs. 
IJailos had occasion to loav(,' tho houso to ao to S(>nio dis- 
tanco. leaving- tiio door nnlockod, v\lion the rohljor enlor- 
od, |}r(dv0 opon a trunk, and carried otla silver watch, ^"8 
in money, a ])air of ni^w velvet ])antaloons, and a pocket 
hook, with soveial other articles, lie then m alkod lei- 
i^uroly on his wa}, stoppinjj; at tho next house, and to all 
tho houses tinit wore contiunons to tho road, so that he 
<lid not make more tlnm throe or four miles before dark. 
When Mr. IJailes returned to his house and found it had 
1)oen rohbed. ho immediately iixed his suspicion on the. 
man who luid lain before th<' bai-n door, from havin«x seen 
tho print of u boot Ijoel. which was thoujilit to be Ins, and 
l»ave the alar?n to hi«s uoi«jhbors. '] hey immediately set 
out in pursuit of him, and havinii- heard that he had been 
seen on the road at no preat distance before them, they 
followed on in hioh spirits, expoctinn- shortly to seize 
liim; but in this they were disappointed, for the rol)ber 
warily turned aside from the road, leaving liis pursuers 
to exorcise a tedious and dilii>ent search, without bein<r 
able to ascertain which which way he had oone. liavinii' 
followed as far as fiaoetow n, they posted up advertise- 
ments, descriptive of his person, and also of the watch, ; 
and sent some of th^Mu on to l^^redericton. 

Late on 8unday nioht, a man called at the house of Mr. 
Groen, wdio resided on an island at the nioutli of the Wuf- 




IIkxrv Vouk S>iitii. 




Imdemoflc LuIvp. lie kumJ lie was a J'^niicliniaii, on liii^ 
way to Frodcrii'lon about land, and calli'd for tho purpose 
oCciujuirino- tl»e way. Mr. (jicrii InfornR'd him that ho 
uas on an ishind, and that l;o had hotter stay until i\nt 
niorninu, and tliat lie uoidd then direct him on ids jour- 
ney. He made on u Iuri»e fire, hv \>hicli lie exanuued his 
pocket hook, and was observe. I to east several piipers into 
the fire, and llnully he threw in the poekct book also. Mr. 
(Jreen on seeini;' this, had an immediate' impression that 
the man must be somi? impro]»ei' cliaracter, which idea 
Mas streniithenM by the circumstance of its bein^- a time 
< f war, III the morning- therefore he took him in his ca- 
noe, and carried him directly to Justice Colwell, a neii>h- 
borinii" jMaulstrate, that he inijiht aive an account of him- 
self. (Jn liis oxaniiiiation, he answered with so much ap- 
parant simplicity, that the .Jnstic<> could find nojnst ground 
for detainino- him, and con^e(|nently disndssed him. llo 
then made his way to un Indian camp, and lured an In- 
dian, as he said, to yjilot him to J'^redericton ; and crossing 
the river, he wont to Vail's tavern, oji Orimrosw neck, 
where he ordered breakfast for himself and his Indian, 
and had his boots cleanc d. At this moment, Mr. Bailes, 
whom lie had ro])be I the day precedino", was jjettinof 
breakfjist at Mr. Vail's, and writin«v advertisnients in 
quest of the roliber. About II o'clock, he, Mith Ins Indi- 
an, started aj^ain, leavin',*" Mr. Vail's unknown and unde- 
tected; but not without takino' Avith him a set of silver 

tca'^poons from a side closet in the parlor. 

. ■■ .. , ., .,'.". 

Tlie time was now come for the sittino- of the Court, 
and about II o'lock on Tuesday mornino, the Attorney 
General arrived from Fredericton, Avith very uufayoral»Ie 
impressions on his mind, hrinoini*- informati(m that the 
rol)ber Avas still traversing the country, stealinijj and rol> 
binfr wlierever he came, Avithont sufficient eflort being 
inadc for his apprehension. The Jury a'so Avere collecting 
from the different Parishes of the County, bringing a\ ith 


'Yup. >!:s l)oiN(is or 

thoni iinravor.iblo ulcus. Proni the iO{;()rts iii ciri'^IoH 
('oiicriniuLi Iii^ i'S('U[)o, Ainoiijir t!io maiiy (jpinioiiis tliut 
wen' loriMf*<l oil fho s(il>jo/t, oti(^ p.irliciilarly, uns vory 
iu:l;istrio:isiv circulat'Ml. r!i(» |»r.M)inr mhsu I'lCiMJia- 
Hou, hikI it \^iil 1)1' r'i'()il<*cl«nl ihil .Mr. l)il)!)ic(', the jailer, 
was stated in « forniei- jiart oft he iiarrah\(' to l)0 a Kn*t> 
mason also, ami tliat iUvAc \uis a Frceujason Lodj^o held 
at Kiivjston. 'J lie pul lie mind was shoii^ly i>i'«*jiuliced 
aoaijist us, iijiwilliiig- to Relieve the real eiieuinstanco of 
liis e'oneineiit : ami lliev assembled under the slrosiiiesl 
iinj)re>si(His that his eseu|K' \»asconiv<sl at. The Honor- 
nhlcJudjro ('hii)nian |)resi<led on the ocrusion 

The Court was now ready »or business, l>ut no p^i^OIlo^ : 
vet hiiih exiKM'tations were cherished that every hour 
would briiiL> tidiuiis oi' his appreheiisiou, as he was pur- 
sued in evi rv direction. Tiie (irand Jurv was euipanuell- 
cd. and the ('(lurt adjourned till next day at H o'eloek, 
waitino* anxiously Jor the j)roceeds ot" tl»o internjediate 
time, And to render the means for his apprehension as 
en'ectual as possible, .Mr. Henjandn jMirnald, >\ ith a l:oat 
well manned, was des|)atched in the pursuit with direc- 
tions to I'ollow on as lar as ho could «ret any account of 

Wednesday, the Court ajrain met and commenced oth. 
er business: but nothin": of tSmitli ^vJ. In the i fernoon, 
.Mr. John Pearson, witness au'ainst him, arrived from 
Novu-k*'cotin, a distance of 280 miles. Toward eveiiiejjf 
conclusions were bec»innini>- to be drawn that he had rind- 
ed all his pnrsners, and was maling his wack back to ^o 
va Scotia, and the conjecture ahuost ann unted to a cer- 
tainty by the circumstance that of a man bein'.r seen cross- 
inu: the NVashademoac and makiuL'' towards Iiellisle Bay. 

Nothing more was heard till Thursday mornino early- 
when Mv. 15. Fnrnald n^turned, and reported tluit he 
had f<Hind his course and ])ursucd him tlirou<>h A'auuei- 
ville : that the »i^:h* before bo (.Mr. l\) leacl.ed Manjjcr*' 


T^ TtTi^j^n 

JDiN&f iMuRE Smixu. 


yillo, the robber liud lodocd at Afr Solomon Pcrle^'s, and 
stole a pair of ii«w boot>», uud bud oflcrcd the silver (eu- 
8|)()ons lor Hidt^ tbat he had Htoleii ut Mr. YujI'h. That he 
then walked up hh far as Mr. ]5ttilcy'b tavern, whore lie 
Htopped K)iiie tinje, and that lie Mas aflerwads eccn to- 
wards < ho eveulii;^ under a hridjre, counting- hiH money. 
This was the last tbat coidd be heard of him in this place; 
it was now believed lliat he had taken an Indian to pilot 
him, and had <^(>ne by way of the Washademoae and head 
of J3elllele, for Nova Scotia. This was in aec((rdance with 
the idea enlertaiued at Kingston before Mr. Furnald's 

' At 10 o'Cit ck Thursday morninjr, the Court met accord- 
iiifr to adjournment, to brinj^ the business then before 
them to a close, wilhoul mueh hope of hearing^ anything 
farther of the horse stealer at this time; when about three 
in the afternoon, a servant of Mr. Knox's, (who it will be 
remend)ered \ias the Plaintiff in the cjiuse.) came direct 
to the Court with information to his master, that his oth- 
er hoiTSe was missing out of tjic pasture; that ho had been 
known to be in the pasture at one o'clock at night, and 
was g-ono in the moming; and tliat a strange Jndian had 
been seen about the place. This extraordinary news pro- 
duced much exitement in the Court; and the coincidence 
of the Indian crossing the country with tlic robber, with 
the Indian seen at Mr. Knox's confirmed the opinion that 
Smith had made himself owner of Mr. Knox's other horse 
also !!! Mr. Knox, on hearing tliis news, became exceed-" 
ingly Hgitated, and had no doubt that Smith was the thief 
again — wonldn't listen to the Slicrilf, who was not just 
willing to credit the report of the horse being stolen, and 
aflirmcd that his life was in danger if Smith was suffered 
to run at large. His Honor the Judge expressed his opi- 
nion thatJgTeat remissness of duty appeared. 

A general Warrant was issued by the Court, directed 
to all the Sheriffs aud ministers of Justice throughont tlve 
Province, commanding tl.em to apprehend the said More 




Mysti rious Doings op 


■ I 

Smith and bring him to justice. In the mean time, men 
were appointed to commence a fresh search in tpicst of 
him, to go in diiferent direction!?. JWr. Knox', witii Henry 
Lyon and Isaiah Smith, took the road to ISoyn Srotia; 
, and Moses Foster and Nathan Deforest, directed their 
course towards Fredericton,' by tlie head < f Bellisle Bay, 
with orders to continue their search as far as they conld 
get information ol him, or the Amtrican settlement. The 
Sheriff then wrote advertisements i'or the public papers, 
offering a reward of $40 for his apprehension ; and the 
Attorney General iucreased the sum to $80. Indictments 
were prepared, and the Grand Jury found a Bill against 
the Sheriff and Jailer, for negligence in suffering the pri- 
soner to escupe. 'i'hey were then he'd to Bail to appear 
at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer to traverse the 
indictments. The bushicss of the Court being at the close, 
the Sheriff paid the witness, Mr. Pearson, from Nova- 
Scotia, for his travel and attendance, amounting to $100, 
after which the Court finally adjourned. ,. ,;,., 

Ncthino* was heard of our adventurer till after the re- 
turn of Mr. Knox with his party from a fruitless seai'ch 
of ten days in Nova Scotia, and as far as Richibucto. The 
day following, Mr. Foster and Deforest returned from 
their chase, and reported that after they had proceeded 
to within three miles of Fredericton they heard of a 
stranger, answering to his description, having lodged all 
night at a private house; but had gone on the road toward 
Woodstock. They continued their pursuit, and found 
that he had stopped at Mr. Ingraham's tavern the night 
following, — slept late in the morning - being fatigued, 
paid his bill and went off; but not without giving another 
serious proof of his characteristic villany. He broke open 
a trunk, which was in the room adjoining the one he slept 
in, and carried off a full suit of clothes belonging to Mr. 
Itigraham, valued at $40, and a silk cloak,fwith other nrtl- 
' f ies, which ho Qohccaled so as not to b<^ discovered. Thig 

.'. ,i'v 

'^;t' , 



Henry Mohu Smith. 


niforinotion gave his pursuers sufficient proof that he was 
indeed the noted horse-steulor. Jiut Mr Inirraham iiot 
having niissinji- his clothes iminediutely, the robber truT- 
cUeJ on uninole^ted, and the next day went only as far as 
Mrs. Kobertson's, where he found a collection of young 
people and played the fiddle for them, and reinnincd the 
next day and night. lie then proceeded towards Wood-* 
stoclv, leaving the spoons with Mrs. Robertson in exchange 
for a shirt, and taking passage in a canoe, happened to fall 
in company with another canoe that had been at Freder-* 
icton, in which the Rev. Mr. Dibblee, Missionary at Wood- 
stock, was passenger, Avitli a young man poling the canoe. 
The young man had seen Mr. Bailees advertisement at 
Fredcricton, describing the man and watch, which had a 
singular steel chain ; and observed to Mr- Dibblee, that 
they both answered to the appearance of the stranger^ 
Mr. Dib])lee remarked to the young man that he might 
be mistaken, and asked t!. stranger to let him sec tho 
watch. The stranger handed him the watch with all 
willingness, and it was found so exactly to answer to the 
murks of Mr. Baile's watch that Mr. Dibblee challenged 
it as the property of Mr. J3ailes, Smith very gravely re* 
plied, that it was a favorite watch that he had owned for 
a long time; but that he had hoard of one like it having 
been stolen, he had no objection to leave it with him till 
he returned, which would be in about two weeks. Mr. D, 
repliol that tlie suspicion was so stronif, that lie thought 
he would detain him also, until he ccndd hear from Fre- 
derlcton. Smith rejoned that lie was on important busi-« 
nessaud could not be detained : but if he would pay his 

expenses and nuike himself rcsponsilde for the damage 

incurred by his detention, he would have no objection to 

stop till ho could send to Frcdericton. Otherwise, he 

would leave the watch, as he proposed before, and would 

return in tc:i or twelve days, during which time Mr. D, 

might satisfy himself as to the watch. lie appeared sq 



The MrsiEBious Toinq 6f 


perfectly at case, without discovering the slightest 
indications of guilt, that on these conditions they suf- 
icred him to pat^s on. He continued his march thro- 
ugh Woodstock until he came to the road that load- 
to the American setth»mcnt, and as it drew towards 
evening he enquired of a resident by the way concersn 
ing the road to the American side ; but wes asked by 
the man to tarry till morning, as it was then near 
night and the settlement twelve miles distant. Ho 
did not choose to comply with the invitation, and ad- 
vanced, as an apology, that two men had gone on be- 
fore him, and he feared they would leave him in the 
morning if ho did not proceed. It happened in a very 
short time after, that two young men arrived there 
from the settlement, and being asked whither they 
had met two men on the road, they answered in the 
negative. It was then concluded that ^mith was a 
deserter, and they turned about and followed him to 
the American settlement, but found nothing of him. 
The day following, Foster and DcForicst arrived at 
Woodstock, and linding themselves still on the track 
of him, they pursued on to the American lines, but 
could hear nothing concerning him. They then in- 
formed the inhabitants of Smith's character, and pro- 
posed a reward of $80 for his apprehension. Tho 
people seemed well disposed and promised to do their 
utmost. , 

Messrs. F. & D. then made their way lack to the 
river St. John, and there, most unexpectedly, came 
across the path of our adventurer again. They found 
that he had crossed tho river, stopped at several hou- 
ses for refreshment, and called himself Bond. That 
h c had assumed the character of a pursuant in quest 




11 '■■' 


UisNRr MoKB, Smith. 




■ t^' 


ol'tho thief who had broken out of Kingston jail; and 
Haid that he was a notorious villain, and would cer- 
tainly bo hung if takon, and appeared to be extreme- 
ly anxious that he should bo ajjpreh ended. Tiiey tra- 
ced him down to tho river where the Indians wero 
encamped, and foimd that he had agieed witli an In- 
dian to conduct him through tho woods to the United 
States, by tlio way of Eel River, a route not unfre- 
quently travelled; and hence had baffled all the eff- 
orts of his pmsnertj, and finally esca[>ed Messrs. P. 
<fe D. t'tiought it was now time to return and make, 
tiieir report. It afterwards appeared that the Indian, 
after having gone about two days on the route, began 
to bo weary of his task, and discovered that Smith 
carrif d a pistol, which he did not like very much, re- 
fusetl to guide him any longer, gave him back part of 
his money and returned. This turned the scale with 
our adventurer, and Ft)rtime, that had hitherto smiled 
on his enterprise, refused, like the Indian, to con- 
duct him much further. Unable to pursue his joiu*- 
noy alone, ho was obliged to return, aiid'had now no 
nltcrnative butto try his chance by the known road. 
It was now the 10th of October, and he re-apj»eared 
on the old groimd, wanting refreshment, and in quest 
ofadssortcr. While his breakfast was pi'opanng, 
information of his presence was circulated among tho 
inhabitants, and Dr. E'Cc}, who was a princij>al char- 
acter in the place, effected his approlmsion, and had 
him secm'cd. 

Tho clothes he had stolen from Mr. In<rra]iam ho 
had on, excepting the pantaloons, wliich he had ex- 
changed for a pistol. He said ho had jmrchased the 
cloilies very cheap from a man who ho believed was 
a y.'mkec, Ho was then taken in charge by A. Put- 




pi ; 



nam, and Watson, who sot out with their prisoner for 
Fredericton. On thoir way they stoj)pod at the At- 
torney General's, three miles from Fredericton, and 
then proceeded into town, where the Supreme Court 
was then sitting. The prisoner was brought before 
the Court in the presence of a large number of spec- 
tators. The Hon. Judge Saunders asked him his 
name, and ho unhesitatingly answeied, '' Smith " 
*' Are you the man that escaped from the jail at 
Kingston f " Yes." On being asked how he effect- 
ed his escape, he said the Jailor opened the door and 
the Priest prayed him out. He was then ordered to 
prison for the night, and the next day he was remand- 
ed to Kingston jail, Putnam and Watson set out with 
him in an Indian canoe, one at each end, and the pri- 
soner, handcuffed nnd pinioned, and tied to the bar 
of the canoe, in the centre. They were obliged to 
watch him the first night at the place where they 
lodged, and the next day they reached the house of 
Mr. Bailee, opposite Sj oon Island, where he had stol- 
en the watch and money, &c. It wns near night, and 
the passage to Kingston rather difficult ; and they be- 
ing strangers, Mr. Bailes proposed that if they would 
stop with him till morning, he would conduct them 
to Kingston himself. Tliey willingly complied, and 
they having been up all the preceding night, Mr. B. 
proposed that if tliey would retire and take some rest, 
he with his family would keep wutch of the prisoner. 
After they had retired, the prisoner enquired the 
way to St. John, and whither there were any ferries 
on this side the river. He then xiskcd for a blanket 
and leave to lie down. Mrs. Bailes made him a bed 
On the floor ; but before he would lie down, he said ho 
bad occasion to go to tjie door, Mr. ^ailo» awaken- 

Henry More Smith, 


cd W'.itgon, who got up to attend him to the door. 
Smith said to him that if he had any apprehensions, 
he had bettor tie a rope to his arm, which he accord- 
in^rlv did, fastening it above the handcuffs, with the 
other end wound round his own hand. In this situ- 
ation they went out of doors; but in an unguarded 
moment, Smith watching his opportunity, knocked 
him down with his handcuffs, leaving the rope in the 
hands of his keeper, having slipped the other end over 
his hand without untieing the knot. 

Thus, handcuffed and pinioned, and bound with a 
rope, the ingenious horse stealer, by anotlier effort of 
unfailing ingenuity, akin to his mock sickness in the 
jail, had effected a second escape from his keepers, 
leaving it a matter of choice, whither to institue a 
hopeless search for him in the darkness of night, or 
sit down in snllen consultation on what plan they had 
best pursue in the morning. Nothing could exceed 
the chagrin of Putnam and Watson on finding them- 
selves robbed of their prisoner, except the confusion 
which filled myself and the Jailor on the knowledge 
ofhi"^ unexampled noted eseape from the jail. To 
pursue him in the night, which was unusually dark, 
and rainy besides, was ])ot]i hopeless and vain; it was 
therefore thought best to inform the Slieriff in the 
morning of what had taken place, and receive his ad- 
vice as to future proceedings. In the morning accord- 
ingly, Mr. Putnam proceeded to Kingston, and on 
Communicating the news to the Sheriff, received a 
sujjply of money, with orders to pursue the road to 
St John, while the Sheriff, with two men, proceeded 
to Mr. Bailes There they received information that 
Smith had chincred his course, and crossing the Oak- 
nabockL^ko in the night, was directhig his course to- 




wards Frcderckon again ! It will bo remembored 
that previous to his escape, while a prisoner at Mr. 
Bailes, he made particular enquiries whither there 
were any ferries i]i the w.'iy to St. John, on this skle 
tho river. At this time it would seem that he had 
looked upon his pK-hcmo as succt'ssful, and evidently 
irectv^d those enquiries concerning tho road with a 
view to mislead, while it was his policy to return u- 
pon the courso which would bo judged the most un^ 
likely of all he should take. But to return toourstory. 
He came to the lake tho same eveninjj ho had j^ot 
clear of Watson and the rope, and there urged as a 
reason of his haste in crossing the lake in the night, 
that he was on his way to Eredericton to purchase 
land, and that he 'had arranged with Putnam and 
Watson, who had gone to Kingston with the thief, to 
take him up in their canoe on their return, and was 
to meet tliem at tho intervale above, earlv the next 
morning. This well rarnisliv^d and characteristic 
story procured for him a speedy passage for him 
over the lake ; and now our adventurer is'ln undisput- 
ed possession of the country, at liberty to cbooso 
which way he should turn his face. 

On being put in possession of these particulars, wo 
immediately and naturally supposed that ho was 
wisely and prudently directing his course to the Un 
ited States, by the way of the Oromocto ; and so we 
followed up his retreat accordingly; but in thatdireo 
tion no intelligence could be obtained, and we remain- 
ed in total ignorance of his proceedings and- history 
up to the 2Gth of October. At this date, when it was 
supposed that he had trausported himself to tho Unit- 
ed States, to our utter astonishment and surprise we 



IhsHf xMouK Smith. 


find him af^ain in tho prosecution of usual business in 
the immediate vicinity of Fredcricton. His first ap- 
pearance there again, was in a bye place, at a small 
houso not then occupied as a dwelling. It was draw- 
ing towards night, and the day being rainy, ho came 
to ths house wet and cold. An old man by the name 
of Wicks, with liis eon, was engaged in repairing the 
house, in which they hid some potatoes. There was 
also a quantity of dry wood in the house, but as the 
old man was about quiting work for the day, ho had 
allowed the fire to bum down. The stranger was 
anxious to lodge in their him.»blc habitation for the 
night, but the man said that they did not lodge there of 
night, and gave him an invitation to the next house, 
where they could accommodate him better. He did 
not accept the invitation, but said that ho must go ou 
eight or ten mil'3s that night, and so ho departed. 

The old man and his son. secured the door and re- 
tired to their lotlgings; but when the mornin|roamo 
it was found that Smith had returned to the old hoase, 
spent the night, burned up all the wood, regaled him- 
self on roasted potatoes, and again took his depart- 
ure. The following night he paid a sweeping visit 
at the house of Mr. Wilniot, seven miles from Fred- 
ericton. Finding a large quantity of linens, sprinkled 
and ready for ironing, ho made a full seizure of the 
whole, together with a newcont belonging to a young 
man of the house. The plunderer finding his booty 
rather burdensome- took a saddle and bridle, which 
he happened to discover, put them on a small black 
poney, which was feeding in the pasture, and thus 
rode with his luggage till he came within two miles of 
Fredoricton. There he found a hovel, or barrack fi^kd 


Tub MysTEKiouiS l)oi.\(;s of 

with hay belonfring (o Jack Patterson, a mulatto^ 
which presented a convenient retreat where he could 
feed his horse and conceal his plunder. Here ho re- 
mained some days undisturbed ; wouid turn his horso 
out to feed on tiie common in the day, concealing 
himself in the hay, and would catch him again in the 
nisi^ht, ride into town, make what plunder ho could, 
return to his retreat, and conceal it m the hay. 

Our adventurer thought it was now hiyh time to 
pay liis respects to the Attorney General himself, who 
lived about three miles distant. Here he was not al- 
together unacquainted, having ii^ade a previous call 
on his passage as a prisoner from Woodstock to Fre- 
dericton. He arrived on the spot about nine o'clock 
in the evening, retaining, no doubt, an accurate re- 
membrance of the entrance to tlie house; and every 
thing proved propitious to the object of his visit : for 
it happened that there was much company at the 
Attorney General's ou the same evening, who's over- 
coats, cloaks, tippets, comforters, etc. etc., were all sus- 
pended in the hall. He did not obtrude himself upon 
the notice of the company; but he paid his respects to 
their loose garments, making one sweep of the whole, 
consisting of 5 topcoats, 3 plaid cloaks, a numher of 
tippets, comforters, and other wearing articles ! Hav- 
ing been more successful than perhaps he expected, 
he rode back through the town to the place of con- 
cealment, deposited his booty, and gave his hoise a 
generous allowance of ha v. This generosity to his 
horso led to his delection, for Patterson happening to 
see that his hay was lying in an unusual manner out 
of tb© window of his barrack, imnicdiately formed an 
upittion, that some per^;on had taken up his iodgingg 


IlENnr MoHK Smith. 


h the Iiay, and in this ho was not mistakon; for on 
coining to Ihe «pot, he found Smith lying in the hay, 
with a white comforter ahout his nock. On perceiv- 
ing him to be a stranger, he asked him where ho had 
come from, and was answered that he came from 
the Kcnnebeckacis, was after land, and gottin:^- belat- 
ed had taken up his lodgings in the hay, and hoped 
it was no harm. 

After Patterson had gone into his house be per- 
ceived that the traveller had retired from the barrack 
by the window and was making towards the woods. 
Upon seeing this, the idea of he being a deserter in- 
stantly presented itself to his mind, and calling for 
assistance, he soon made the stranger a prisoner, 
which was easily effected, as he did nut make much 
effort to escape. It was soon discovered that their pri- 
soner was no less a person than the Air famed, and 
notorious horse-stealer, Henry More Smith, and no 
time was lost in cominitting him to Fredericton jail. 

Patterson, not seeing tlie comforter with him which 
he wore round his neck in the hay, was induced to ex- 
amine the hay if perhaps he might iind it. Tiiis led 
to the discovery of his entire^ deposit : for he not only 
found the com brter, but alsd all the articles previ- 
ously mentioned, with many more, which were all 
restored to the owners respectively. > 

Upon the examination of the prisouer, ho gave no 
proper satisfaction concerning the articles found in 
the hay ; he said they were brought there by a soldier, 
who rode a little poney, and went off, leaving the sad- 
dle and bridle He was then ordered to be taken by 
the Sheriff of York County and safely delivered iQ 



tho Shciift* of KingV County in his prison Acronl- 
ingly, the SherilF prepared for his Haib conveyance an 
inm collar, made of a Hat bar of iron, an inch and a 
half wide, with a hinfro and clapip, fastened ^vith a 
padlock. To the collar, whicli was round his neck, 
was fastened an iron ehain, ton feet long; thus pre- 
pared, and his hands bound toorother with a pair of 
strong handcuffs, aftor examining: his j>erson least ho 
should have saws or otlic^r instrnnteuls concealed 
about him, ho was put on board a sloop for his old ro- 
sidenoo in Kingston. They started with a fair wind, 
and with Patterson holdin;^ the chain, they arrived 
witli their prisoner at Kingston, a distance of sixty 
miles, about 12 oVlock in the night of the 30th of Oc- 
tober, which was a little over one month from the timo 
of his triumphant escape through means of his pre- 
tended indisposition. On his reapperance in the old 
spot and among those who had ministered so feeling- 
ly to his comfort during the whole period of his af- 
fected illness, and whom he had so ettcctually hoaxed, 
it might have been expected that he would have be- 
trayed some feeling or emotion ; or that a transient 
blush of shame, at least, would have pissed over his 
<?ountenanco; but ah ! no : his conscience had long 
since become scared, and there was' no sensibility 
within, strong enough to give the slightest tint to hid 
shame-proof countenance. He appeared perfectly 
composed, and as indifferent and insensible to all 
around him as though he wore a statue of marble. 

On the ensuing morning he was conducted to the 
jail, whioh he entered without hesitation or seeming 
regret. After his former escape, it had been cleared 
out of every thing, and carefully s^vopt aioleoarohod. 






IIbnbt More SAiirn. 



In tlio course of the search there were found aeveral 
broken parts of a watch, and among the rent, the lx)x 
which (x)ntained the mainspring. This convinced u» 
tliat the watch, (which ho received from the young 
man before his escape, in exchange for the spy-glass,) 
wa« intended to furnish him with the materials for 
making a saw, in case all other plans failed. Mo 
found a large dinner knife cut iu two, which was sup- 
posed to have been done with a saw made of the 
mainspring, as a trial of its utility. 

Having by this time, by painful experience, become 
a little acquainted with tlie ckjpth of his genius, we 
thought it not not impossible nor unlikely that be still 
might have the saw concealed alxmt his person^ al- 
though Mr. Burton, the Sherill* of York County, had 
searched him before his removal from Fredericton 
jail. We were, however, determined to examine him 
more closely, for which end we took off his handcuffs, 
and then ordered him to take off his clothes. With- 
out hesitation or reluctance he divested himself of 
his clothes, all to his shirt : we then searched every 
part of his dress — the sieves, wrist-bands, collar of 
his shirt, and even the hair of his head ; but found no- 
thing. We suffered hnu to put on hia clothes again, 
and we carried out of the jail, his hat and shoes, and 
every article he brought with him. 

The prison in which he was confined was 22 x IG. 
feet; stone and lime walls three feet thick on three 
sides, the fourth side having been the partition wall 
between the prison rooms. The partition was of tim- 
ber, 12 inches thick, lathed and plastered. The door 
was of 2 inch plank, doubled and lined with sheet 
iron, with 3 iron bar hinges, 3 inches wide, clasped 


TiiK Mtsxkhioi's Doim.o op 

uvoi* 8taplo« in the opposite jwsts, anrl secured by 3 
strong padlocks; and having also a small iron wicket 
door Hccured with a padlock. 'J'hero was one window 
tlirongh the stone wall, grated within and without, 
and enclosed with glass on the ontside, so that no 
conimunication could be luid with the interior undis- 
covered. The passage that leads to the prison door 
is 20 feet in lejigtlj and three feet in breadth, secured 
at the entrance by a padlock on the door ; the out- 
side door was (dso kept hacked, so that no conimuni- 
cation could be had tlnough the passace, without 
passing through three scciirtly locked doors, the keys 
of which were always kept by INlr. Dibbloe, the jailor, 
who from his in'fii'm state of health, never left the 
house by day or night. 

Having learned a lesson by former expcriance, wo 
maintained the most unbending strictness, ^utroring 
no intercourse with the prisoner wliatever In this 
manner secured, we put on his right leg an iron 
shackle, with an iron chain no more than long enough 
to allow him to reach the necessary, and take hi.s 
provisions at the wicket door The end of the chain 
was fastened in the timber of the floor ])y a strong sta- 
ple near the partition wall, so that he could not reach 
the grated window by 5 or G feet. He was provided 
with a bunk, straw, and blankets, as a bed; and his 
wrists being much swelled by the handcuffs, I con- 
sidered it unnecessary to keep tbem on, especially as 
he was so thoroughly secured in other respects. In 
this situation I left him, with instructions to the jailor 
to look to him frequently, to see that he remained so- 
enro, intending to visit him occasionally myself. 

The jailor eamc to k^ok at him frequently at the 


IJiiNRi Murk Smith. 





wicket door, as directed, and always found him quiet 
and poaccaMo, either sittinjr np readin^:, or lying 
(h)wn in his berth ; he never uttered any complaint.-, 
bu cared resigned io his confinement. 1 visited 
hii*. once or twice a week to see that his irons re- 
mained secure; and always finding him tis yet, in the 
snme state of security in which 1 had left him ; T made 
up my mind that we sliouhl be able to keep him with- 
out any additional trouble. He manifested good na- 
ture as well as rep-i;^nation, for he always cnme up to 
the wicket door when 1 wished to see that his irons 
were in order, with the greatest seeming willingness. 

On the 12th day of his confinement, I was inform- 
ed ♦ ,t Mr. Newman Perkins had heard an unusual 
no 1 the night, which induced hhn to think that 
Smitn had been at work at the grates. Or making 
more particular enquiry, I learned from Mrs. I'erkins 
that she had hewrd a noise like rubbing or filing, late 
in the night ; and by liolding her head out of the win- 
dow, she considered /he sound to proceed from the 
jail. Knowing the situation of the prisoner, chained, 
that he could not reach the grates by 5 or 6 feet; and 
knowing also, that after the search we had made, it 
was impossible that he could have retained about 
his person any thing by which h© cculd operate oa 
the grates, we judged ii more than improbable tha^ 
the sound could have proceeded from him. Never- 
theless, we did not treat the information with disre- 
gard or neglect. I went immediately to the prison, 
accompanied by Moses Foster, Geo. Raymond, Allen 
Basen, and Mr. Dibblee, the jailor, with several othersv 
It was then the evening, and we carried with us two 
or throe candles On opening the door, we found biiii 


The Mtsterious Doings of 

. * 

f i 

Jvin^ in his berth, chained, just as 1 had left him. I said 
to him, " Smith, you have uot got out yot;" ho answered, 
" no, not quite." 1 tlien examined every bur of the grates 
«s closely as possible, as also c'id every one prcfient, again 
and again, until wc "wore nil satisHed that the cuuso (tf the 
alarm was only iniagiuary. Smith all the while lying 
quiet, answering readily any and every question that was 
pat 10 him, 

Mr. Hasten had yet continued scratchinij and examininK 
the inner gTates, when it was discovered that a small chip 
lying on the flat bar of the outer grate, which was suppos- 
ed to have .een there act* lentally. Mr. Jiasten, how- 
over, being fully satisfied that the inner grate remained 
secure, was led to reach through his hand, and take up 
V: chip that lay on the bar of the outer grate; on doing 
t? r^, he thought he could, percoirc that the bar was in- 
clined to hang in a small degree. Tliis led to further ex- 
amination ; and to the utter astonishment of all present, we 
found that the bar was cut one-third off, and artfully con- 
cer^'v\d with the feather edge of the chip. Our astonish- 
ment was increased by the fact, that it was impossible to 
reach the outer grate without first removing the inner. 
jThis gave th(; hint for a yet more effectual examiiiation, 
when it was found that he had cut one of the inner bars 
so neatly, that he could easily remove and replace it at 
pleasure, having contrivCvi to conceal the incisions in such 
H manner as almost topreclud© the possibility of detection. 
There is little or no doubt that in in two or three nights 
raoi'O, he would haver effected his second escape, had not 
his worlvs been discovered, through the very means which 
he cnployod to conceal them. On being asked what in- 
strument he used in euiting the grate, he answered with 
perfect indifference, " With tliis saw and fib ;" and with- 
out hesitation, handed nie from hi*' berth, a case knifo, the 
blade neatly cut in lino teeth, and a common hand-saw 
file. I then afalved him how he got to the grates, or whi- 
ther ho had slipped the shacivles off his feet P He answer- 
ed me> no; but that ho had cut the chain ; and then shois*- 

Kkkuy More Smith. 




ed me very calmly wliere he had cut the clmin m the 
joint ct' t!i )liiiks, a part where the cut could not be seeu 
very readily 

On beino asked where ho got his tools, he answered 
that he left them in the jail when he went away, and that 
those he had crive?i me was all the tools he had left. But 
perceiving- from the shape oftheknile, (it being much 
thicker on the back tlian the edge,) that the bars could 
never have been cut eo neatly throught with that instru- 
ment, we were induced to make stricter search, and we 
found in a broken part of lime wall, near the grates, a 
very neat watch spring saw, having a cord tied at one 
end. I then asked him who gave hira these tools; to 
which he replied with great lirmness: — '* Von need not 
ask me again, for I will never tell you." After I had fin- 
ished these enquiries, I searched his bed and his clothes, 
and rencAved the chain again to his leg, fastening it firmly 
to the floor with a staple; and putting on a pair of strong 
handcuirs of J bolt. We then left him, it being about 11 
o'clock on Saturday night. On the next Snnday at 4 p m. 
I visited the jail, when the jailor informed me that the 
prisoner was lying in his berth with «11 his irons on, and 
had been inquiring of him if the Sheriff was not coming 
to examine his chains About 12 o'clock the same night 
I was alarmed by a man sent by the jailor, that Smith had 
oot loose from all his irons, and havino; worked his wuv 
through the inner- lorate, Avas cutting the outer grate, and. 
had nearly escaped ! lierei at the dead hour of midnight, 
when it might be expected that every eye would be sunk 
in the stillness of sleep, through the vigilence of tlie jailor, 
this astonishing beino-, who set handcuffs, shackles, and 
chains at defiance, had nearly efiected another escape. 
Mr. Dibblee, on finding him to be at work at the grates, 
was determined, if possible, to take him in the act; and 
by fastening a candle to the end of a stick tliree feet in 
length, ana shoving tlio light through the wicket gate, he 
itoF enabled to discoyer bun at work before he could haver 


: ' , 


Mtstfbiocs Domes 0¥ 

time to refroat to his berth. Mr. Dibblec, on pcrcoiTing 
liow ho was employed, ordered him to leave everything 
he hud, and take to his berth; he iiKStantly obeyed, but as 
suddenly returned to the grates again, placing himself in 
a position in which he could not bes^en by the jailor. Re- 
maining here but a moment, he went quickly to the ne- 
cessary, and threw something down which was distinctly 
heard, and linally retired to his berth. Mr. Dibbleo main- 
tained a close watch until 1 arrived at the jail, which we 
immediately entered, and to onr amazement found him 
extricated from all his irons. He had cut his wav througfh 
the inner grate, and liad all his clothes collected, and 
with him ready to elope, and had cut the bar of the outer 
grate S off, which,' no doubt, he would have completed 
long before morning, and made his escape, I said to him, 
** Smith, you keep at work yet;" he answered that he had 
done work now, that all his tools were dowu the necess- 
ary. The truth of this, however, we proved by letting 
down a candle by which we could clearly see the bottom; 
but no tools were to be seen there. His return to the 
necessary and dropping, or pretending to drop something 
down, was, no doubt, an artifice, by which he attempted 
to divert our attention from the real spot wliere his tools 
were concealed. But in this also, with all his cunning, 
he overshot the mark, by his over egerness to tell us 
where he had cast his tools, instead of allowinsr us rather 
to draw the conclusion ourselves, from his return to the 
place, and dropping something down. We next proceed- 
ed to strip off and examine his clothing; carefully search- 
ing every hem and seam. His berth was knocked all to 
pieces, examining every joint and split ; we swept out and 
searched every part of the prison, knoAving (hat he must 
have his instruments in some pai't of it; but all to no pur- 
pose — nothing could we discover. Wo next replaced all 
his chains with padlocks ; put on him a pair of screw 
handcuffs, which confined his hands close tofljether, and 
t)xns left him about 4 o'clock on Monday morninc^. On. 







tho d/iy followmg-, Mr. JaiTiP, the blackbinitH, haring ro, 
paired the grutc)?. came to put them hi, when we found 
Smith lying on the floor appareutlj as we left him; but, 
on cxuuiiiiiug the now handcufrs v/e found them separated 
iu such a inamicr that he coukl put them off and on when 
he pleased. On being asked why he destroyed those Tul* 
uable handcuffs, lie replied, " because they are so stiff 
that nobody can wear them.-' 

No doubt then remnined that he must hare his fiaws 
concealed about his body, and having been ordered to 
talvc off his clothes, ne cou)[)lied with iiis ir^ual readiness. 
On taking off his fairt, which had not been done at unv 
time previous in r ir searches about his body, Ur.A. Pad- 
dock discovered a small muslin cord about the thigh, cluso 
to his body, and drawn so close that it could not be felt by 
the hand passing over it, ^Aitbthe shirt between. Thisi 
small cord was found to conceal on the inside of his left, 
thigh, a fine steel saw plate, 2 inches broad and 10 inches^ 
long, th? teeth neatly cut on b( th edoey, no donbt of his 
own work. After this discovery we piit on him light 
himdcuffs, secured his chains with padlocks again, and set 
four men to watch him the whole niglit. The next day 
we secured the inner gi'ate, filling the squares with hard 
brick?, lime Mud sand, leaving a spnce at the upper corner 
of only four by five inches, in Avhieh was inserted a pane 
of glass i?i the centre of tlif wall. This small opening in 
a wall three feet thick, a:lmitted litfle or no light, so that 
the room was rendered almost a dungeon, which prevent- 
ed the prisoner Irom being seen at any time from the door 
without tlie ligl't of a candle. J.^Vom this time we never 
entered the priiaon Mithout candles and two or three 

On the 13th of November, T addressed a h;ttcr to Jud<»e 
Chipman, to which I received the following answer : — 

•' JilAlNT JoHX, November 14, 1814.— Dear Sh-,— I received 
yow lottcr of yesterday relathig to the new attetiipts of Siuilb 




Tns Mtsteriocs Doinq ov 

to csrnpe. I Inive furwrn ded the Game to Fredcrictoii, nnd prc- 
piinie that a Court will Le ordered for liis trial ns booh iis may 
be wnvoliciiule lor the slfite oltiio travelling, j.'fid tlie necessity 
of proouriiit; tiie witness from Nova Srotia; Uioiij^li 1 should 
KUpi>LSe liOt [)rol>iibly before the ice iiiukes. In llio lueau time tl.e 
utiiiosl vigilance and }ireci»utioM ninst be made use of to aecuve 
itirn ; und}ou will be justified in Jiny measures of severity that 
you may huu it necessary to adopt lor this purpose. 

I nm, Dear Sir, taithfully yours, W. CHII^MAX." 
W. Bates, Esquire. 

Wednesday the ICth, wc entered his prison nnd found 
that he had been ein|>luyed in brenking the pla^^ter off' tlie 
partition wall with his chains, and Ijroken one of the pad- 
locks, and appeared to have been loose; and seemed very 
▼icious, and saidJi^ would burn and destroy the building 
— would make it smoke before he left it ; and that we 
"would see it smoke. I then prepared a pair of steel fef- 
ters, case hardened, about 10 inches long, w liich we ))ut 
on his legs, w itli a chain from the middle, seven feet long, 
wrhich we stapled to the floor; we also put an iron collar 
about Ills neck, with a cliain about 8 feeth)ng, stapled also 
to the floor in a direction opposite to the other, and also 
a chain from his fetters to his neck collar, with handcuffs 
bolted to the middle of his chain in such a manner as to 
prevent his hands from reachiug his head and feet when 
standing, leaving it just possible for him to feed himself 
when sitting. All these irons and chaius he received 
without discovering the leastconcern or regard. When the 
blacksmith had finished riveting the whole. I said to him, 
" Now Smith, I would advise you to be quiet after this, 
for if you are not you w ill next have an iron land put 
round your body and stapled fast dow n to the floor." lie 
very calmly replied, " Old man, if you are not satisfled, 
you may put it on now. I do not regard it, if yon will let 
me have my hands loose you may put on as iiiuch iron as 
you please. I c^ire not for all your irons." In this situa- 
tion wo left him, loaded with irons, the enrire weight w an 

1 1 


Hkniii Mouk Smith. 




4GIbs, and without aintliing to sit or lie upon but the na- 
ked floor. Althoufili he was thus situated and in an en- 
tire dungeon, he appeared not in the least humbled ; but 
became more troubleyoino and noisy, and exceedinly vici- 
ous ajyainst the jniior. JJcspair und madne?^s seemed now 
to seize him, and raving- and roaring would unite with the 
uttci'ance ofpra3e:s and portions of the Scriptures. W ith 
a tremenduous voice he would cry out, *< O you cruel de- 
vils — you murderers — you manslayers — you tormentors 
of man I How 1 burn to be revenged; help, help, help 
me; Lord help m« to be revenged of these devils; help 
me thnt 1 moy tear up this place, th«t I may turn it up- 
side down, that there may not be one stick or stone of it 
left. My hair shall not be shorn, nor my nails cut, till I 
grow as strong as Samson, then will I be revenged of all 
my enemies. Help, help, O Lord help mc to destroy these 
tormentors, murderei"s of mon, tormenting me in chains 
and darkness; darkness, darkness, O darkness, — no light 
to read the AVord of God, not one word of comfort from 
any. All h — you rogue, you fhief, you villain — you de- 
serve to be hanged. No pity, not one word of consolation 
— all darkness, all trouble;" singing, *' trouble,!trouble, 
trouble; i) God help mc, and have mercy upon mc — I 
fear there is no mercy for me; yes, there is mercy, it is in 
Jesus, whose arms stands open to receive : but how shall 
\ dare to look at him whom 1 have offended !" Then he 
would call upon his parents, and deprecate his wicked 
life; then rave again, " murderers, tormentors, consider 
you have souls to save, consider you have souls to lose, as 
M ell OS T, a poor prisoner; consider you have children that 
may be brought to trouble as well as I ; conaider T have 
paren ts as well a'^ they. O ! if my parents knew my situ- 
ation, it would kill them. My wife, be gone|from my sight; 
why will you torment me ! It is for you that I nuffer all 
my sorrow^ — it is for you my heurt bleeds. Noi a friend 
comes to sec me — nothing before mc but pain ami sorrow, 
<5hninfi and darkness, misery and death. O ! wretched me. 


3fT87>.ftIOU8 DoiNn^ 01* 

how long ^m I to suffer in this place of torincht t Am 1 
to linger a life of ])aiii and sorrow in chains and nubory F 
No, 1 will cut the thread of life and be relieved fi*oin tliis 
place of darkness and trouble;" singing, trouble, trouble, 
trouble, " a thousand times repeated. In this manner he 
continued raving till he bacame very hoarse and exhaust- 
ed, — would take no notice of anything that was said to 
him, and finally left off speaking entir^y. 

The weather having become very cold, he was allowed 
his berth again, with a comfortable bed of straw and blan- 
kets; but the blankets had to taken away from him again, 
on account of hip having attempted to hung himself with 
one of them made into a rope. He next tried to starve 
himself, but this he gave over, after having fasted three 
or four days Up now dropped into a state of tpiietness, 
and lay in his bed the most of the time, day as well as 
night; but on the 16th of December wc found, on exam- 
inmg his prison, that he had broken tl»e iron collar from 
his neck, and drawn ihe staple from the timber; but re- 
placed it again so as to prevent detection. 

On the 17tb, we put a chain about his neck, and stapl- 
ed it to the floor in such a manner that he could not reach 
cither of the staples. In this situation he remained se- 
cure and rather more quiet, yet with occasional shouting 
and screaming until the 15th of January. The weather 
having become very cold, and no fire allowed him, fears 
were entertained that he might freeze : to prevent which 
it became necessary to remove his irons, which, with the 
exception of his fetters and his handcuffs, w ere according- 
ly taken off.. For this relief he showed no signs of thank- 
fulness, but became more noisy and troublesome, especi. 
ally in the night, disturbing all within reach of his voice, 
with screeching and howling, and all manner of hideous 
noises, entirely unlike the human voice, and tremendous- 
ly loud, even beyond conception. In this manner he oon- 
liriued for five n^ouths, occasionally committing violence 



Hbnbt Morv S^ith. 


ii]K)n himself and brealiing IiIb chains, during "which peri- 
od he could nerer be surprised into the utterance of one 
single word or articulate sound, and took no notice of 
any person or thing, or of what was said to him, no more 
than if he had been a dumb, senseless auimal; yet per- 
forming many curious and astonishing actions, as will bo 
related hereafter. ^ ^ 

In the New Testament, whirh he always kept by him, a 
leaf was found to bo turned down, under whicli was found 
the following : "And T, brcthcrn, could not speak unta 
you, &c."— 1 Corinth. IIL 

The weather now being intensely cold, and all through- 
out January, and he liaving had no fire, great fears were 
entertained that he jniglit perish; but astonishing to re- 
late, hfe hands and feet were always found to be warm, 
and oven his chains ! In February, when the weather 
began to moderate a little, he becajue more troublesome^- 
beoan to tear off the plaster and lathing from the partiti- 
on, and break everything he could reach. A strong iron . 
hooped bucket that contained his drink he broke all to 
pieces; the hoops he broke up into pieces three inches, 
fono-, and would throw tlie pieces with sueli dexterity, 
although handcuffed, as to put out the candle when the - 
jailor would bring the light to the wicket door to examine 
what he was doing. 

As the weather moderated he became more noisy and 
vicious, as will appear by the following letter which I re- 
ceived from the jailor on the 10th February : — 

** Dear Sir, — There must be something done with Smith — 
he is determined ts let n»e know what he is if no one else does, — 
he sleeps in the clay time, and when I go to tell him to keep still 
at night, he yells so as not to hear what I sJiy to him. Instead oi 
thanks for taking off his irons, lie nuikes all the noise he can by 
yelling and screaming all night, smd knockin[>- very loud all night 
with some part of his irons. I wish you would come up early 
iMid advise what is best to be cbuo. W^ DIBBLKE." 


Mysterious Doings or 

h 1: 

I came to the jail accordingly, and found tho irons un- 
injured, and to prevent Iiim from usinsr his liands 8o free- 
ly, locked a chain from his fetters to liis hundcuffs, and left 

On Sunday, two gentlemen from Nova Scotia, at the 
request of Smith's wife, came to make iiKjqiry after liim. 
I went with thcjn to f he jail to see if lie would speak or 
take any notice of them, or of Avliat tJicy woukl i^ay to him 
from his wife. They told liim that his wife wished to 
know if he would have her come to see him, and what she 
would do with the colt he left; that she would sell it for 
$100, and have the money sent to him. ]}ut all they said 
to him had no more eftect than if he was a lift loss statue, • 
which convinced us all that he would go to the gallows 
without speaking a word or changing hiscountcufyice. 

The next week lit! became more restless and vicious, 
and on Sunday, on going into the jail with Mr. Kulofson, 
from Hampton, and Mr. Griffith, from AVoodstock, found 
he had broken up part of his berth, had broken his chain 
from his handcuffs, leaving one link to the staple, tho part- 
ed links concealed; tore np part of his bedding and stop- 
ped the funnel of the necessary. It had appeared also, 
that he had been at the grates; but how he got there was 
a mystery, for the ch;iin by Avhich his legs were bound, 
was unbroken, and the staple fast in the timber. We then 
raised the staple and again pnt on the chain to the hand- 
cuffs, fastening the staple to another place, more out of 
his reach. . 

The next day I found he had again broken the chain 
from his handcuffs and torn off a large portion of th© 

flastering and lath fi*om the middle wall. Finding thisr 
determined to confine him more closely that ever, and so 
ut a chain from his feet round his neck, stapled to' the 
ocr, securing the handcuffs to the middle of this chaiii. 
He had already given such mysterious and astonishing 
;}proofeof his strength and inrention, that I feared ho 

■iPpiP"P^"l?P!»Pf*:..!J'P!!'l'''|jil»l4''* |I"«»KJI1*'«"."' "■ :,'!P 

KiNiiT More Smith. 




gtaplo iVoMi tlie timber, wus a lout thai filled every 
with uondcr. The collar wufl made of a Hat 1 ar ol ii 

vould baffle nil my uij>inuity to prevent bis escape. Tli« 
twiatinir of tlic iron collar from bin i^eck and drawing flie 


1 J inch wide, with tbe edges rounded. 'J'bis he twisted 
as if it were a piece of leatbcr, and broke it into two ]uirts, 
which no man of common strength could hayo done with 
<me end of the bar fa tened in a smitii's yise. The broken 
vullar was kept a long time and shewn to many a wonder- 
er. As might be expected, his wrists were frequently 
much swelled and very sore from his exertions to break 
und get loose from his chains; yet he appeared as insensi- 
ble and as regardless of his sitution as if he had in reality 
been u furious maniac 

Notwithstanding the sceminw insanity Avhich character- 
iscd these works of his in the prison, yet other parts of 
his performance there indicated the most astonishing 
genius and invention, perhaps in a manner and degree 
unequalled in the memory of man. On the 1st of March, 
on entering his prison in the evening, we found him walk- 
ing in front of an e^igy or likeness of his wifa^ which ho 
had made and placed fairly against the wall as large as 
life. When the light was thrown upon this scene, which 
he had prepared and got up in the dark, it not only filled 
us with amazement, but drew out all the sensibilities of 
the heart with the magic of a tragedy, not so much imag- 
inary as real. This effigy he intended to represent his 
wife, visiting his wretched abode, and manifestirg signs of 
disconsolation, anguish, and despair, on beholding her 
wretched husband movinfj: before her in chains and let- 
ters, with dejected mien, and misery and despair depicted 
in his countenance. The effigy was formed out of hiji 
bedding and the clothes and shirt he tore off his body, 
together with a trough three or four feet in length, wliich 
was used in the jail to contain water for his drink. Hough 
as the moter'als were, yet he divSjjlayed such ingenuity in 


The Mystekioi-s Doikus of 

ha fornmtion, and conducted the eccno in a inttoi-cr fo af- 
fecting, that the clfect it produced when vioved uith the 
lijrht of the caudles, "wus rcully astonisliiug, and hud rt 
Tiind of magical ])owcr in drawing out tlie Hympathics of 
every one who AvitncKscd it. 

He continued noisy and troublesome till March the 5th, 
when we took his irons off, and caused him to wash him- 
self and comb his hair, whicli liad not been cut since Jie 
was put in jail; neither had his beard been shaved. On 
receiving a pierc ot soap for washinp-, he ate a part, and 
used tlie rest. AVe then gave him a clean shirt, A\hich 
he put on. himself with the rest of his clothes, alter ^Ulich 
we replaced his irons, Mhich he received in the same man- 
ner as an ox would his yoke, or u horse his harness. 

The term of trie Court of Common Pleas was now com- 
ing on, which recpiired much of my nttention for the ne- 
cessary preparations; and Mr. Dibbiee, the jailor, being* 
jd)out to remove to Sussex Vale, to take charoe of the 
Aeademy there, my situation begun to look rather ackward 
jjnd unpleasant. Accordingly the jailor moved away on 
the 11th of March, after the sitting ol the Court, and from 
the extraordinary tnmble which the ]7risoner was known 
to have oiren, I had little hope of linding any one who 
would be williuQ: to take the charge. However, I prevail- 
ed on one Mr. Jnmes Reid (a nuui in whom I could con- 
fide,) to undertake tluf charge of him; who, with his fam- 
ily, moved into the house the following day. 

After this. Smith appeared more cheerful, and became 
rather more quiet, until the 24lh of March, when 1 was 
called on by the juilor, and informed that Smith was at- 
tempting to break through the partition where the stove- 
pipe passed through into the debtor's rooms^. On entering 
the jail we found him loose from all his irons, — his neck- 
dmin ^vas broken into three pieces; the chain from his, 

«w»»«ti, .h<ta»m.i,jni» iTmtMmM\mitimHm»^tu*Aiifi!m,^jf:- 

IIknrt MoTtK Smith. 


neck ti) his foet into three pieces; his screw httiidcufl's in 
four pieces, and nil hanjiing on nails Hi- llie partition. JIi» 
great coat wus torn into tuo purts, throui-h the hack, and 
then rent into small strips, one of which lie used jis a ht'lt, 
and supported with it a wooilon sword which he had 
funned \mi of a lath, and by which ho ajnnst d himself by 
going through the * sword exercise,' whieh he appeared 
to understand very well. The chains from his legs wore 
disingaged from the staplos, and tied together with a 
strip of the torn coat. His hands, his feet, and his c^fthcs, 
were all bloody; and liis appearance presented that of an 
infuriated njadman. Tiicre were present on this occasion, 
Messrs. Daniel Micheau, Aloses Foster, George Kaynltond, 
Walker Tisdale, James lieid, the jailor, and some others. 
1 then raised the staple, secured him by the leg chain, put 
on a pair of stiff liandcuH*s, and added a chain to his neck, 
stapled to the floor. Tn this siluation wejefthim until 
the 28tli, when I was again called by the jailor, who said, 
he believed thnt he was loose again and about some mis- 
chief. On entering the jail, 1 accordingly found ]»im 
loose, — the chain from hi.^ neck in three part; be had 
beaten the plaster off the wall with a piece of his chain 
three feet long. We left him for the purj)ose of getting 
his chains repaired : at night we added a new chain from 
his fetters to his neck, and stapled him to the floor with a 
ahain about four feet long; we secured his handcuffs to the 
chain between his neck and i'eeU so that when standing, 
he could not reach in any direction. In this situation ho 
I'cmained until the 3lst, spending the time singing and 
hallooing occasionally. I was then again called by the 
jailor, who on opening the wieket door, found a piece of 
chain hanging on the inside. 1 went immediately to the 
gaol and found that he had separated all his chains — had 
»tied his feet chain to the staple again, and was lying' in 
his bed as unconcerned as if nothing had happened, hav- 
ing a piece of chain about his neck. We then took his 
tmuk bed^stead from him, and remoed everything cut Of 



TiiK Mtktkuidus ])oIN'(^S 01* 

I i 

birt rench, but could not cliscover bv what uietmH he 
KCparato Im chains; no link in hif< dinins fippoarecl to 
bo t\^istc'tl, nor woro thcro .'uiy broken links to bn 
Hccn, from this we inferred that he Ktiil must have 
some niean8 of cutting his chainp. At tliis nirment, 
however, it occurred to us that ho niiofht have tho 
broken links concealed in tho privy. Wo accordinfily 
lot down a caudle, by which wo could sec tho bottom, 
nndiivith an iron hook wo brought up a bunch of bro- 
ken links which he hnd tied up in a piece of his shirt, 
toother with a piece of his neck chain a foot lonor. — 
Tnis convinced us that ho did not destroy his chains 
by cutting them, but by the application of some un- 
known niysteriousi^power. T then determined to break 
the enchantment, if stroUj^i'th of chain would do it, 
and added to his fetters a laroe timber chain, which 
liad been used as the bunk-chain of a bob-sled, by 
which four or five logs were usuiilly hauled to tho 
mill at once, the chain wo had previously used wore 
of a size between that of a common ox chain and a 
large horse trace-chain. 

Secured in this manner we left, and on tho 5th of 
April found his neck-chain parted again. I then re- 
placed it with a strong ox chain about seven feet long, 
firmly stapled to the timber. The next morning the 
jailor informed me that from tho uncommon noise he 
made in the night, he was convinced ho must be loose 
from some of his irons or chains I then concluded 
that he must have broken his steel fetters, as I judged 
it impos.sible for human strength or invention, in hie 
situation, to break cither of ox chains, but to my ut- 
ter astonishment, I found the ox chain parted and 
tied with a string to the staple; l^is handcufFs; fetterft. 




; j.:jw, ijiit'ji^.Tiprxy , 

ilKNRT MoRK Smith. 


arid log chain having roinainod uninjured. We fa«t- 
onod tho ox chain to his nock again, by driving the 
Btapio into another link. After this, ho remained 
more quiet, his wrists h iving been much galK d and 
HWeHed by his irons, and bruised and rendered 8ore 
by his exertions to free himself from them. 

At this time I received a letter from tho Clerk of 
tho Circuit, of which the following is a copy ; — 

Saint John, March 1-.— Dear Sir : — At lenglli I enclose you 
the precept fur 811 tnnioning a Court ol" Oyer nnd Terminer and 
JHJl Delivery in yoiir Comity, on Thursday tlic 20lh of April, for 
Ui« trial of the heri?e-stoak-r— I also enclose a letter from Major 
King, for hiiJ saddle slolen from Iitni at the same time. 

Yours &c. WAKD CAIPMAN. 

To Walter Batks, Esq., High Sheriff. 

After this our prisoner remained for some time 
rather more peacca])!e, and amused hiinself with 
braiding f^traw, which he did in a curious manner, 
and made a kind of straw basket which he hung on 
the partition to contain his bread. Some times he 
would make the likeness of a man, and some times 
that of a woman, and place them in postures singular- 
ly striking; discovering much curious ingenuity. At 
til' ' Id amuse himself in the day; but spent tho 

iiouting and hallooing, and beating tbo fioor 
ill: aains. 

On entering the jail, we discovered tho image or 
1 imess of a woman, intended to represent his wife. 
He had itplacc( i a sitting posture, at the head of 
his bed, with th ^«ew Testament open before her, a» 
though rcadinj^ him, while he sat in the attitude of 
hearing with sei ^us attention. I was induced to look 


V'. ! 




TaK MrsTEaioLS 1>oinuo op 

into the New Tcstamont, and found it open at Luke 
XII, and the leaf lurnned down at verse 58, which 
roads : — " When thou (joest with thine adversary lo the 
Afatjistrate, as thou art in the icay^ r/ive diligence that thou 
7nayest be de liver cd from him.: hast he hale thee to thi' 
judge and tJmfndge deliver time to the officer, and the offi* 
cer cast thee into prison''^ It would serni as though 
ho had intended to represent her as reproaching him 
for iiis escape Iromthe constables on his way to King- 
ston, while he would defend his eonduct by referring 
to tlie above portion of Scripture. JJe produced many 
other likenesses, which he would place in different 
postures, manifesting the most remarkable inoenui- 
ty and invention. I 

A special Court for his trial had been summoned 
to meet i\t Kingston on the 20th of x\pril ; but it waa 
})osponed until tlie 4tb of May, on account of the ice 
Iiaving remained unusually late in the river, as will 
appear by the following letters : — 

S.VINT John, 5tli April 181:"). — Dear Sir — T have received your 
loiter detailing the very extraordinary coudiiet of the culprit in 
your custody. There is certainly a mystery iu this m.aii's means 
and charjwternhich is unlathoinable, and I tear there will be 
<^ousideral)le dilKculty with him on the 'trial. Your vijrilaHce 
and exertions of cou?'sc cannot be relaxed. As the best thing 
to be done, I despatched yonr letter, wthoul delay, to the Attor- 
ney General, that they might adopt, at HokI Quarters, any such 
measures as they ini^ht think expedient for the further safe- 
jfuard and security of the prisouor. Very respectfully }ours. 

To Walter Batks,Esq. / ' W. CIllPMAN 

Sunday, 16(h April, 181,-. — Dear Sir,— I have jnsf received 
by express from Frodcricltm, a letter from the Attorney Geuei*- 
»1. stating, that from the state of the river, it will be inipraclica- 
t)lc frti* hull to bo at Kingston by the 20tb. and as bohashitlierto 



IlBxut MoR« Smith. 


t'lken tlio -whole liurden of the trial tipoii himself, it cvuiiiot go on 
without him. From this circimist{m(;e. therel'urc, and fts tho 
present state of the travelling would j:ioluu)ly render it daiiger- 
0118 to my futlier's liealth, (who is not now very well), to hold the 
Conrt thisweek,,he has determined to put it oH' till Tliursday iho 
4th of May, for which day he wishes you to summon your jury, 
and to proclaim the holding ol the Couit. lie regrets much ia 
givingyou tJiJF additioiial trouble ; but it nujst he attributed to the 
extraordinary backwardnses of the season, which wa8 not fore- 
seen when it was recommended to hold the Court en April 20th. 
1 have not time to forv/ard a new precept by Ihl? conveyance, but 
1 will forward one in time, or the one you have may be then al- 
tered. This can be easily arranged when we go up to the Court. 

Yonr's truly, S:c. 
To Walter Bates, Ksq. 


Tho Court was accordingly proclaimed, and at the 
sani' time I wrote a letter, enclosing the proclama- 
tion, to Mr. Dibblee, the former jailor, to which T re- 
caived the following answer : — 

Dear Sir — I yesterday received your letter, enclo!^i;lg tho 
proclamation of the Circuit Court, for the trial of Smith, the 
horse-stealer. I shall he sorry if Judge Chipman's health should 
be such as to prevent his attending the trial. If the Attorney 
General attempt to prosecute on recofpii;!ance for the escape, I 
think his (the Judge's) influence at Court would prevent it, I am 
quite of your opinion, that it will be the most difficult case that 
has yet come before any conrt, for trial in this country. As for 
liis behaving much better after 1 left the jail, it w;is vVhat T ox- 
I tcted he would do, to put Keid off his guard. Those parts of 
his chains that were hanging in cenvenient situations, were pow- 
erfnll weapons; and had Keid camo into the jail alone, or weak- 
handed, I think he would have felt the weight of them. It is re- 
markable that the villain, with all his art and cunning, should 
manage it so ill ; and it seems altogether providential, that iVoni 
tho beginning, (except his sickness,) he has either delayed too 
long, or has been too h'.sty, which lias prevented hi& escape be- 
fore, and 1 hope and trust will be the j-ame with you, I am very 
Horry for the trouble you must have with him, ai.d confident ly 
hopcand trust he will not evade ^-oiir ylgilaucr*.. You are too 





well acquainted with liis eoutltutt to need my advice. I inu«t 
claim from you the pHrticiiiars of his coiiduci at the tri:il, 

I Reu.iiiii your's truly, W. DJBBLEE.. 

To Walter Bates, Esq. 

On tho 30th of April, I went into the joil and found 
Smith lying quietly with all his irons and chains un- 
injured J and told him tluit on Thursday next, the 4th 
of May, he must have his trial before tho Court for 
his life or death ; and that Mr. Pearson, the Deputy 
Sh'ijritf who np[)rchonded hii^i at Pictoii, had come to 
witness against him ; but he paid no attention to what 
I said. The second day Mr. Pearson came to see 
him, and told that his (Smith's) wife was coming to 
800 him ; but he took no notice of him, no more than 
if he could neither see nor hear, and set at defiance 
all attemjjts to extort one single expression, as though 
he were destitute of every sense. i 

Tho third day we found that he had leen at the^ 
stone wall, his face bruised and bloody. I renewed 
mv attemps to eJicit something from him, by telling 
him that the next day he would be brought before the 
Coiirt for his trial; but all was in vain- Ho gave me 
tho most decided indications of conhrmed insanity ^ 
patted his hands, hallooed, sang without articulating, 
and contiimed to sing and beat the floor with liis, 
chains the most of the nic^ht. 

Tiie 4th of May, the day appointed for the trial, 
being now come, the Court began to assemble early 
in the morning, About 11 o'clock his Honour Judge 
Saunders, and the Attorney General arrived from 
Fredericton. About 1 o'clock the whole Court mbv^ 
ed in procession to the Court House, which was uuu- 

Hknuy 3foRK Smitu. 



eually crowded with si>cctators. After the opening 
of tJie Court in the usual form, the prisoner was call- 
ed to the bar. The jailor and four constables brought 
him and placed him in the criminaFs box. He made 
uo resistance, nor took any notice of the Court, and, 
as usual, acted the fool or madman, snapping his fin- 
gers and patting his hands : he hcm'd and ha'd, took 
off his slwes and socks, and tore his shirt. Every eye 
was fixed on him with wonder and astonishment. Af- 
ter the Attorney General had read his Indictment^ 
the Judge asked him how he pleaded to that Indict- 
ment, guilty, or not guilty? He stood heedless and 
silent, witliout regarding what was said to him. The 
Judge then remonstrated with him, and warned hink 
tJiat if he stood mute out of obstinacy, his trial would 
go on, and he would be deprived of the opportimity 
of putting himself on his country for defence; and 
that sentence would be given against him : he there- 
fore advised him to plead not guilty. He still contin- 
ued mute, and acting tlie fool without betraying the 
slightest emotion. The Judge then directed the Sher- 
iff to empaunel a Jury of twelve men, to inquire whi- 
ther the prisoner at the bar stood nuito wilfully and 
obstinately, or by the visitation of God. From the ev- 
idence brought before the Jury on this inquiry, it ap- 
peared tliat lie had been in the same state for three 
months preceding, during wliich time he could not 
be sur])riscd into the utterance of one word. The 
Jury consequently returned their verdict that the |Mi- 
soner tood mute by the visitation of God. 

The Judge then directed the Attorney General to 
enter the plea of not guilty, and Counsel for the pri- 
eoner was admitted. The Court then adjourned till 
10 o^clock the next morning. The morning, Friday ^^ 


Mystfrious Doings op 

I i 


the Court assoinblcd accordingly, and the prisoner 
was again brought to the bar, nnd placed in the crim- 
inal's box. He sat down quietly, and maintained his 
usual silence and inattention. The most profound 
silence reigned in the Court, which was still crowded 
with spectators, and every eye was fixed on the pri- 
soner with the most caner attention. The Judore 
then arose and observed that the prisoner appeared 
more calm this morning, and directed the Attorney 
General to proceed with his trial. - 

After the Jury had been cmpannelled and had tak- 
en their seats, and the witnesses brouffht before the 
Court, the prisoner was ordered to stand uj) for his 
defence, iioki up his hand, and hear the evidence; 
but he still maintained the same disregard and indif- 
ference, giving no attention to anything that was said 
to him. The constables were then directed to hold 
up his hand ; but to this he offered the most determi- 
ned resistence, and fought and struggled with them 
so furiously, that they were unable to manage him. 
They then procured a cord and pinioned his arms ; but 
this was of no avail ; he would flounce and clear him- 
self from them all, as though he had the strength of 
some furious animal. . . s;^ .; 

They then procured a rope and lashed hi arms back 
to the railing of the box ; but he still continued his 
struggling, and reaching the railings before him he 
would break them out like pipe stems. They then 
procured another rope and bound his hands together, 
and secured them to the railing in opposite dii'ections. 
Finding himself overpowered in hands, he immediate- 
ly availed himself of his feet, with which he kicked 
most lustily, and soon demolished all the railing in 



Henry More Smith. 


front of tlio box, notwithstanding all the efforts of the 
constablots to prevent him. Another rope was then- 
procured, and his feet bound each way from the posts 
of the box, so that ho was rendered incapable of fiir- 
ther mischief. After securinj^ him in this manner, all 
tlie constables boing in readiness for his movements, 
while he sat as unconcerned as though nothing had 
happened; the Attorney General proceeded to read 
his Indictment, in which the prisoner stood charged 
with having feloniously stolon a certain bay horse, the 
property of Frederick Willis Knox, Esq., of the value 
of thirty-five pounds. Mr. Knox having been swoin^ 
stated the manner of his pursuit after the prisoner^ 
with all the circumstances, until he came to Truro, 
as has already been detailed. At Truro he engaged 
Mr Penrson, Deputy Sheriff, to pursue on to Pictou, 
whither he was informed the prisoner had gone to 
sell the horse. 

Mr. Peters, Counsel for the pjisoner, on the cross- 
examination of Mr. Knox, asked him how^ he wrote his 
christian name, — ' Willis,' or ' Wills.' He answered, 
"lam christened and named after my god-father. 
Lord North, the Earl of Willsborough, and I never 
^vrite my name Willis." Mr. Peters then produced 
authorities to show whore one letter omitted or in- 
sorted in a man's name had quashed an Indictment, 

M'ul moved tlitit the prisoner be discliHrgcd froin tliis in- 
dictiiieiit, This move was overruled by the Judge; but 
was reserved for u question iu ti.e Court above. 

The witness Pearson having been SAvorn, deposed and 
said, that lie pursued after the prisoner the whole night, 
and early the next morning was shown the prisoner, and 
arrested hiin on suspicion of having stolen the horse, and 
told him that tlie owner of the horsQ would soon be pre-. 





■Vi^T'A^M'l'f ' 


The MrsTERious Doing of 

tent. He soei'ued but little surprised, aud only replied 
that he came bontstly by the horse. 'J he m itnes^s further 
stated, that he then asked the prisoner where the horse 
was, >vho unhesitatingly pointed lo the house where wit- 
ness soon after found him. AVitness went on to state that 
he took the prisoner before a Justice for examination, and 
thenee to the caol in Pictou. That he then went to the 
house which the prisoner had pointed out to him, and 
there found the horse; that he returned homewards with 
the horse about ten miles, and met Mr. Knox, who imme- 
diately knew the horse, and called his name " lirittoin." 
That theyf then returned to Picton, where the prisoner 
remained in jail, and on examination was found to have in 
his possession a watch, and about fifteen guineas, with a 
number of watch seals and other articles, some of which 
it appeared he had stolen on his way as he escaped with 
the horse. That he was committed to the charge of u 
constable and Mr. Knox, to be conreyed by a warrant 
from NoTa Scotia to the jail at Kings County, in New 
Eruswick. That before he Avas tuken from the gaol at 
Pictou he had cut the bolt of his handcuffs nearly throngh, 
and had artfully concealed it, which was fortunately dis- 
covered, and new handcuffs provided, otherw ise he^must 
certainly have escaped from nis keepers before his arri- 
val at Kingston. 

The circumstances against the prisoner were, that he 
gave contradictory statements as to the way in Avhicli he 
came by the horse; at one time asserting that he bought 
him from a pedlar, at another, from a Frenchman; again, 
that he swapped for him: and at Amherst produced a re- 

,■■•;/' - _, 1 ■ - .• ,■.;■■ 

ceipt for money paid in exchange. 

The Counsel for the prisoner, in cioss-exMniniug, asked 
Mr. Knox, did you ever see the prisoner in pcssef si( n of 
the horse F " No; but he acknowledged it.*' " Pid you 
ever heal' him ucLncwledpe that he w as in posgeseion of 


IIsNBY More Smith. 


tlio horse ill any other way,, than by paying he caiijd hon- 
estly by hini P" " No." — Mr. I'eareon was cross-exam- 
ined ill tlie same manner, and answered lo the same ell'ect. 

Mr. Peterp, in defence of the prisoner, produced (lu- 
thoritioj* to show that by the evidence the prisoner was 
not taken in the manner as stated in the declaration, and 
that it was suificient lor liim to prove, in a f>encral way, 
how he came in possession of the horse, which he Was a- 
hie to do by a receipt he produced for the money paid in 
exchange, the best general evidence that can be given, as 
such is the rouimon way of dealing in horses. He acknow- 
ledged that if the prisoner had been taken on the back of 
the horse ho would then have been taken in the manner 
us stated by the Attorney General, and consequently 
bound to prove hou he came in possession; but in the 
present case, he himself, or any one present, might have 
been in this unlortunate prisoners situation; dragged to 
the prison, to Court, and to the gallows, because he could 
not produce the person who actnally sold him the horse^ 
The prosecntor had not produced any evidence ot the 
horse ever having been hi the possession of the prisoner, 
any other way tlian by his own confes^sion ; and he trusted 
that the Jury would not hesitate to find, that the prisoner 
was not taken in the manner stated in the dechiration, 
but would pronounce him, by their verdict, ' Not Guilty.' 

The Judge, in his charge to the Jury, overruled the 
plea, by stating to the Jury that his having been taken in 
the manner, was proved by the various accounts he gave 
of his getting possession of the horse, thus renderln(i( him- 
self liable to prove how he came by hini!, or to stand guil- 
ty of having feloniously taken him, as stated in the Indic- 
tment. That they had heard the witnesses, and if from 
the evidence and circumstances before tliem they were 
fully satisfied that the prisoner at the bar had taken the 
horse feloniously. Jis stated in the Indictment, tliey would 
find him Guilty; but if they had any doubts, that leaning 
to morcy, they would find him Not Guilty. 

T^+1«Tf ]f 



Mysterious Doings op 

While the Jury was out, the Sheriff invited the Court 
Hnd other gentlemou to visit the jail, where they were 
shown the irons and chains, and the situation in which the 
prisoner had been placed. The Judge observed that it 
was fortunate the prisoner had been sent to Kingston Jail, 
as no other jail in the Province would have kept him. 

The Jury, after an absence of about two hours, return- 
ed with a Verdict of Guilty. The Judge then proceed- 
ed to pass upon him the awful sentence of the law, — 
Death, without the benefit of Clergy; but the criminal re- 
mained unmoved and unaflected, and continued shouting 
and hallooing. The Couit asked the Counsel for the pri- 
soner whither he had anything to otter in arrest of judg- 
ment, or why the sentence of Death should not be execu- 
ted upon him. Mr. Peters then rose and produced au- 
thorities to show' that the present law that took away 
" the ]}encfit of Clergy " for horse-stealing, was not in 
force in this Colony, and that it could not be construed to 
be in force, and must be a question <o be decided in the 
Higher Court, which he hoped to have the honour of dis- 
cussing it. The Judge admitted the plea; but gave his 
opinion against him. 

The business being ended, the prisoner was returned 
to his cell, where he received his chains with willingness 
and apparent satisfaction ; and the Court adjourned with- 
out delay. The Attorney General, however, gave me to 
understand, that the prisoner would not be executed im- 
mediately ; and requested that I would observe his beha- 
vior, and inlorm him by letter the particlars of his con- 
duct. The next morninp- 1 visited him and observed to 
him that he was now under sentence of death, and that ho 
would be allowed only one pound of bread every day, with 
water, during the short time he had to live. That as soon 
as bis death warrant was signed by the Judge, he wonld 
bo executed, and that a short time only was left him to 
prepare for the dreadful event. Bat he paid no attention ; 
patting his hands, sang and acted the fool as usual. Ono 

'(IJk ) Wli" 

I. ^< '^'■'^■jfM^iipnvpiii 

Henry Morb Smitb. 




of his visitors being much surprised at his insensibility, 
observed to him, " Sinitli, it is too lute lor } ou to deceive 
uny more; your fate is tixed now, and you hud better oni- 
))loy your little time in inakiiio- your peace with God, than 
act the fool any longer." On our nxet visit to the jaij, 
which was soon after, we found his Testament open, and 
a leaf turned down on the following* ])asfeaj»e — " If any 
man among you seemed to bo wise, let him become a fool,^ 
that he may be wise.** From this it would appear, that 
he either founded his pretended insanity on Scripture 
precept, or afFccted to do so; yet it cannot bo supposed 
that ho intended us to know what nse he made of the 
Scripture, as he must have known that our conclusion 
would bo thut he was " more rogue than foo!.'* 

I kept him nine days on bread and water, during which 
time he manifested no sign of hunger, more than when 
fed with four times his allowance. He tore off every par- 
ticle of his clothing, leaving himself entirely naked. After 
this time I allowed him other provisions, and his subse- 
quent behaviour was briefly stated in a letter to the At- 
torney General, and afterwards published in the Koyal 
Gazette. The following is a true cOpy of the letlcr, as it 
appeared in the paper, July 11,1815. 

Kingston, June 26th 1815. — Having henrd nothing from you 
since the late Gaol DeUveryat King*s County, I beg leave tu 
state to you some circumstances of the criminal, Henry More 
Smitb, since bis trial and sentence. After securin« him with 
strong chains to bis neck and legs, and with handcnffs, he conti- 
nued beating the floor, hallooing dny and night with little inter- 
mission, ninldng different sounds; sometimes with jinking bis 
cbains, and som<times without, apparantly in different pai'ts of 
the jail, insomuch that tbe jailor frequently sent for nie, suppos- 
ing that b must be loose from all bis cbains, which I conc^eived 
an I fre(|uently observed was impossible, being far beyond the 
power of human strength or invention, in bis situation. But on 
the 24th of May, going into the jail early in the morning, (after 
having examined h's chains at 2 p. rU't the day before,) I found 


MrsTRBiots Doixus of 

^three links of hits Iioiiviest chain iirokon and I}'ing on tbe floor, 
being piirt of tlio chain without tlic staple. He continued in tbe 
Ranio way until the 2iid of Jiiao wht^n we Ibinid the largest chuirt 
parted about the utiddio and tiovl with a striii;^, which clearly 
proven tint irons and chains are no sotuirity for him. I then 
put on him a light chain, with whicli he ha«i been ever since. I 
never discovered him at any work at aj»y time, but he frequently , 
=l)rotluced eftij^ies or likenesses, very striking, representing his 
wife. II) ujw praduoed an elhgy of a mau in perfect sliripo, with 
his features painted, and joints to all his limbs, and dressed him 
in clothes that he had made in good shape and fashion out of tbe 
clothes he had lorn off himself, (being now naked,) which was 
admired for its ingeiuiity. This he would put sometimes in one 
position and sometimes in another^ .'uid seemed to amuse him> 
self with it, without taking the least notice of anything else ; con- 
tinuing in his old way hallooing, without any alteration, tnitil the 
13th, when the jailer informed me that he refused to eat, and no 
doubt wais sick. 1 wont to see iiim every day — found he did not 
eat — all the bread and other provisions conveyed to him he gave 
to his eflfigy, strung on a string, ajid put in his hands. He lay 
perfectly still day and night, and took uo notice of anythitig — 
would drink tea or milk, which I gave him twice every four or 
five days, he then refused to drink anything for two days, which 
made seven days that he eat nothing. In that time he began to 
ppeak — would ask question, but would hold no conversation. But 
most extraordinary, the most wonderfnl and mysterious of all is, 
that in this time he prepared, undiscovered, .and at once exhibit- 
».ed the most striking picture of genius, art, taste, and invcution, 
H that ever was, and 1 presume ever will be produced by aay hu- 
man being placed in his situation, in a dark room, chained and 
handcuffed, under senteace of death, without so much as a iiaii 
, or any kind of thing to work witli but his hands, and naked. Tlie 
exhibition is far beyond my power to describe. To give you some 
faint idea, permit me to ya}', that it tonsisls of ten characters — 
men, women, and children, —all raa'le and painted in the most 
. expressive manner, with all the limbs find joints of man's fi'anic 
— each performing different parts ; 'heir features, shape, and 
form, all express their different offices and characters ; their 
- dress is of different fashions, and suitable to the stations in.which 
-theyare. To view them in their stations, they appear tis per- 
-fect as though alive, with all the air and gaity of actors on the 
- Hstage* Smith sits in his bed ; tlie exhibition begins about a foot 

i " 


lIiiNRT More Smith. 


from the floor, and c.onipjissies tho whole spncc to tho coiling. Tlie 
uppcnnovt isa man whom he calls his liiiuhunriiie phijer, or 
sometimes Dr. lUunt. siaiuling with nil tho pride aiul iippoar- 
nnce of a master musician ; his left iiand ukimbo, liiis ri^dit hand 
on his tambourine, dressed in Kiiiltible unif.trm. Next hini« bc> 
low. is a lady gentecllv divssed, {gracefully Hitting in it handsomn 
swing } at her left hand ^tniids a man, ucntly dressed, in the 
character of a servant, holding tho sido of the swing with hia 
Tight, his left hnnd on bis hip, in an easy posture, Maitinj^ the 
lady's motion. On her right hand stands a man genteelly dress- 
ed, in the character of a gallant, in a graceful posture for danc- 
ing. Beneath these three figuies, sit a yonng man and a young 
girl, (apparently about fourleen,^ in a posture of tilling, at each 
eii'u of a board, deaceully drchsed. Directly under these stands 
one wlioin he calls Buonaparte, or s^mietimes the father of his 
family ; he stauds erect, his features are prominent, his cheecks 
red ; his teeth white, set in order ; his gunis and lips red; his 
nose shaded black, representing the nostrils; his dress is that of 
the harlequin. In one hand he holds an iufont, with Iho other 
he jdays or heats music ; before him stand two cJiildren, ni)i>ar- 
cntly three or four years old, holding each other by tho hand, in 
the act of playing or dancing, which, M'ith a man dressed in fash- 
Jon, who appears in the character of a steward, soaietimcs in 
one situation, and sometimes in another, makes up tho shov\-, all 
of which you have at one vie w. Then commences the perform- 

The first operation is from the tambourine player, or master, 
who gives two or three single strokes on his tambourine, that 
may be heard in any part of the house w ithont moving his body. 
He then dances gracefully a few steps, without touching his tam- 
bourine ; the lady is then swung two oj* three times by the stew- 
ard ; then the gallant takes a few steps ; t'len the two below tilt 
a few times in the most easy, pleasant ujannor ; then the two chil- 
dren dance a little, holdingeach other by the hand ; after this, 
Smith begins to sing or whistle a time, to which they are to dance. 
Jit which the tiimhourinc strikes, and every one dances to the 
tune, with motion, case, and exactness not to be described. Ma- 
ny have been tho observations of apectators; amoiigst them, aji. 
old German observed, that «* when he was starving tho seven 
'days, ho was making a league with tho devils and that he helped 
u:„, •> ^n acknowledge with rite, that it exceeds anything they 


ever saw or imagined. His whoio conduct from the first had 



b«on, and is, oaf coiiliiiucd scene of mastery. He has i;cvor 
elioM'it nil}' Uoa or kiiuwlod^o of liin trial or present situutiou ; 
lie Heeiij{»hiij>py ; his iioiiH aiid trhains ure nonppurcnt inconveni- 
e;ico ; couteatcd like >i do^ or ninukoy hroUc tu l:is chain ; Hho\vt> 
no more idoa of anytliing (inst, than if he had no recoiled ion. 
He, ill short, is a mysterious charatttrr, poHscsHinj^ the nrt of in- 
vention heyoiid c.imiuon cap.ioity. Iain alnioHt aslianicd to for- 
Marl yoso long a letter on the Biihiect, and ho n.dnleliigihle ; I 
think, if I conld have don'3 justice in doH(M'ihin:,r the cvhiirition, 
it wonid liavca worth}' placu in ihe Jtoyal O.v/.vMc, and lii'tter 
worth the attention of the pul/lie tli:ni all the wavwork of every 
exhibition in this Province. 

I am, with all dnc respeet, dear Sir, 

Your very hnmble servant, WALTiiH Bati:s. 
To Thomas Wet more, Attorney General. 

P, S. — Wednefeiiay, the 28th. — This moriiin;,' I ionnd ho had 
added to his works a drummer, placed at the Iclt of his tnmhoui- 
inc player, eijuai in appearance, and exceeding in iJerformanc© ; 
beats tUe drum with either liaiid, or holh <fOci:ssioually, in con- 
cert willi the taml)onrrnc, kecpin}^ time witli perfect exactness; 
somstimcs sitting, at others siunding or danchig. Ue liud also, 
in a most striking manner, changed the positions. Tlio lady 
ahovedosri.'jed to l)e sitting so tjraccl'nlly in hi'r swinj^, with so 
many attendants and admirers, is now rcprcsetned sitting in a 
dejected posture with a yoing infant iii iier arms ; her gallant 
lias left her and is taking the young girl hcfore described, about 
14, by the liand, with an air of great gall.intri, leading lier, and 
(lancing to tOe with perfect exactne 8, repi-esonl more than 
can be described. On vii^wing this, an old iScotchman observed, 
'* Some say he is mad, others, ho is a fool ; but I say he is the 
sharpest man Ihave ever seen; his [)eriorm since exctids all I 
have ever met with, and I dj not believe he was ever eqUMJied by 
man," This eveniiig, a gMtlemau from Boston, having heard 
the above description, cane to see tiie porlormau'^e, and declar- 
ed he could say as llio Queen of 8!ieba did tiie " half liad not 
been told him." 

To this the Editor of tbe Gazette adds the following 
renmrks : — 

I."'.^' 'WJI 

Hknry Mork Smith. 



" Wo hftvo given :iii ciilii-o copy of the uhove letter, wlilih hi\» 
excited our aHtoniHiiiiient, and will, prubably, tlitit oi every otii* 
er person wlio liiiHint Hceu the exhioiiioii luid perlorur iice dt- 
Hcrihed in it, Those who iire ucqtiainled with tlie Shoiii)', know 
hi:n incupal)lc ofntuting ralueboods, or attempting in any way to 
j)iactice a deception, and will of couitse ^ive credit to the titnte- 
ment of facts, wonderful us they may appear to Le, which he hns 

The Suprome Conrf, m July, being about to bo held ut 
Fredericton, uud froling unxioun to know the fate of the 
prisoner, I attenicd for tiiin purp)so; and liaviu<» ascer- 
tained I'roni the Attorney General iliat his distiuy would 
not be fatal, I returned u<ri\in to Kingston, when the jailor 
informed ine that the first night 1 left for Kinj'ston, Smith 
hud drawn the staple of tiie cliain that was about his neck, 
and had so concealed ^l^em both that they could not be 
found; and the gla^s in the brick wall was broken at the 
same time; but that the chain could not have gone through 
that way, as the outside glass in the window Mas whole; 
that the room uud every pait of tbc jail hud been thor- 
oughly searched; but neither the chain nor the staple 
could be found ;.neither could it be imagined how he broke 
the glass, as it was far beyond the i each of his Chains. 
On my entering the jail, Smith said to me, " The devil 
told my drummer, if 1 did not put that chain out of the 
May, you would certainly put it about my neck again;'* 
that he hated it, and hatl murdered it, and put it under 
the dirt; but he feared he should haye no peace until ho 
raised it again. I then told him he must raise it again, 
and if he behaved himself well I would not put it about 
his nock again. The next morning the chain was se^n ly- 
ing on the iloor; but where or by what means he conceal- 
ed it, could never be found out. I then took off his hand- 
cuffs, and gave him water to Avash himself, I also gave- 
him a clean shirt and jacket, and a young man who was 
present gave him a black handkerchief, M'hich he put a- 
bout his neck and seemed much pleaded; and said if he 







had a fiddle, or any instrnmcht of inu.«ic, he could play for 
his* family to da.^Ge; if he hud a sot of bagpipes, lio could 
j>lay on tlioiii \cr/ well, and that if wc gave liini M'ood 
and Ipfithor, ho would inaKo a set. lie was offt^'red a fife, 
•which ho handled in a chinisy way • but he said he believ- 
<»d he could learn to pi i/ on it. He paid the boy for it, 
and then took tlic fife, and w )u!<l j)Iay any tune either 
rin-iit or loft handed. I then tt.ld him if he behaved well 
T would not put his handciirt: on thnt day. He replied 
that he \Aoiil(i then have his tainily in L'ood order for my 
iJAiJi. Hut lu observed that when he put his hfind to any 
thins", the other would follow as tliouirh tlu^ haudculi'^ 
were on We gave him some materials (hat he wanted, 
and then left hiuA; ilus was the ITtli of July. On tlie 18, 
"we fojmd him busily emphjyed with his family, makmg 
improvements for the hall, 1 gave him p( n, ink, and paint 
and many articles for clothing-, &c. , , ; 

Ml his fi.'iures were for. -nod of straAV from his heddinj;-, 
cnriously entwmed and interwoven. The collouring ho 
liad used hefore was his own blood, and coal ^vliich ho got 
from a pfecc of hurnt timber in the jail; and their first 
clothing was n>ade from his own torn clothes. He ndw 
1)egan to talk more coherently, and accomitcd for the bro- 
ken glass. Ife said to me, '' My drummer c- icd out for 
more air*" ids familv stood so thick about him, *^ Well," 
said T, '* toll me how to s[ct more air and I will fro work 
at it. H( told I'ue to make a sironi^- wisp of straw, long 
enru;oh to reaoi; the glass and break it, which I did, and 
thoi after undoing the y:i>\) ]n\t the straw in my ]jed a- 
gain." li^ continued i nproving his family, by dressing 
and painting- thom all anew, aid by adding to their num- 
b:'r. lie said there whs a irontie;nrin and lady oorainff 
from Franco to attend his ball, and all of them must per- 
foi ;U well. Witli the money he received from visitors, 
many of whom I lla^e known to give him ^\. for one ex- 
hibitio), Iw pn?*c]iased calico enough for a curtain or 

JIrnry M^yRB SviiTn. 








led a- 




le ex- 

Fcrccn. In front of the ])artition stood all his family, 
which he continued to iniproTe and increase, until he wiid 
they were all present that were coming to the ball; and 
about the lOth of Anoui-t completed hi^ 8how for exhihl- 
tion. The whole consisted <»1 24 characters, nifde and fo- 
mnle, G of which beat music in concert Mith the fiddle, 
while 10 danced to tlie tune; the other 2 were pni>iiists; 
JJuonaparte with his sword, fighting an Irish ninu witli his 
shillelah. liis nnisicijMis were dressed in their proper 
uniform, some were drummers, some were tand)ourine 
players, atid some were l)ell- lingers In the centre stood 
bis dancing master, with hat, boots, and gloves on. lu 
un adTaiiced station stood an < Id soldier iii Scotch uni- 
form, acting as sentinel wlule Smith himself sat before 
them, his feet u.ider the curtain, playing a tuue (m the 
fiddle, to which tliey would all dance or beat in perfect 
harmony with the music. The one-half on the right to 
one part of the tune, and the other iialf on tlie left to the 
other part, then all together as regular and ns natural as 
life- The dancing master with his right hand and foot 
with one part, and his left hand and foot Avitli the other; 
and theu with the Avhole together with the most perfect 
ease to any tuue that was ]>layed. So ingenins, and I may 
say, so V* ondcrful was tliis exhibition, that it is impossible 
to do justice to its description; and numbers of persons 
from difterent parts cwme to indulge^ their curiosity by 
witnessing the performance, and all exjiressed their asto- 
nishment in terms the most unqualified. Doctor Prior, 
a gentleman from I^'nnsylvania, was among the number 
of his visitors; he told me that he had spent most of his 
time in Foreion parts, travelliui> for oeneral and litorwv 
information, and had made it a ])(;int to examine all curi- 
osities, botli natural an df^ artificial, find ^hat havino- heard 
much of an rxlraordinar} person 1 had in prison, he came 
for ihe express purpose of seeing his exhibition. Hav- 
ing viowed his pejso?i and every part of his pcafovmaneej 
he w OS pleased to say tliat he had travelled through 11 





th(! continent of America, and a groat part of Euro] e, Imt 
liud nercr met unythinir tlio equal of what he there Riw 
performed, and that he certainly shouki not fail to insert 
a notice of it in tde journal of his travels and observations. 
Another centleman, Doctor C'ouglyn, from Ireland, 
who haJ been Surge ni in His Vlajesty's service, both y)y 
land and sea. came also to visit our prisoner, and sec his 
extraordinary e\hib;ti(m, and after havin<>' viewed it occa- 
ssionally for several d.'iys w Idle he renniined at Kingston, 
declared that he had lived in I'jUgland, Irelond^ and Scot- 
land: had been >n France and lloll.tnd, and throuuh a 
great p.irt of bhirope;had been at ]Iand)urg^ and olher 
places famous for numerous exhibitions of various hinds; 
but had never met with any that in all repects equalled 
what he there p*aw exhibited. Tiie Doctor then belon«r- 
ino- to the Garrison at St Andrew*^, haviui)- heard, w bile 
at Head Quarters, from the Attorney General, ,iii account 
of this e\traordinary character, took his tour from Fred- 
ericton, by way of Kingst»m, for the express purpose of 
satisfying- his curiosity by seeing- for himself. When <m 
entering- the prison, Smith seeing- the Doctor in regimen- 
tals — said to himwitli much good humour, " I suppose 
you are come here looking- for deserters; there is my old 
drummer, perhaps he Ims deserted from some regiment; 
all the rest are my family." He seemed very much plea- 
sed witli his new visitor, and readily exiiibited every part 
of his performance, to the full satisfaction of the Doctor, 
who expressed his astonishment in the most nnqualifiod 
terms, and ackuowledued that it far exceeded his antici- 

August 13, — At evening- we found that he h»id improv- 
e I his Scotch se«itinel, by giviiig- him a curved wooden 
head, finished Mitli the naturni features of a bold High- 
lander. This was the first of his carved work. He had 
also much improved his ])ugili<ts, Euonapjirte, by some 
unluckv stroke, had killed the IrsishmMn,' and taken off 
hu' head and hui;g it up at hlti right hand A brawny 


IIknry yUmn Smith. 


bold ^cotohniaii had taken the Iiisluiian's ]uace, and was 
♦»ivin<r the Corsican a hard time of it, Ivnocking him dow n 
as often as he got ii]). 

Next day at noon 1 called to pee him : he had been fid- 
diing reniarhahly well, and siiioino- very merrily; bnt on 
enterino- T found him busily enf>aocd at carvino- a head 
which was to take Buona]uirtc's plaee, for that bold Scot- 
chman Avonl'l overpower him soon, lie obser/ctl that car- 
vinu" was a trade in England, and that he did not expect 
.. to do so well at it before he made the trial; and further 
remarked that man did not know m hat he could do until 
he sot about it; and that he had neycr failed in accom- 
. plishinsf anvthin«' he umlertook. lie said lu; had never 
seen any such show in England, as that he was n(»w work- 
-in o- at : tliJit he had only dreamed of his family, and had 
- the impression that he must ' go to work," and make 
. them all; that if he did, it would be better Avith him, and 
, if he did not it would be bad with him. That he had 
.... ' worked ever since, by night and by day, and had not 
,^^ quite completed tliem yet; that there were a shoemaker 
• and a tail«"r hat had not come yet for want of room ; that 
' he should nmke room if he did not go away; that he had 
; been here until he had become perfectly contented; and 
*' contentment," he said, " Avasthe brightest jewel in his 
life;" and that he never enjoyed himself better than he 
. did at present with his family. 

In the evenings T went to see him again ; and as my cu- 
riosity to know the orioin of so sinoular a cliaracter was 
g-reatly excited, I hoped that the present woidd have pro- 
ved a favourable opportunity to draw some information 
from him; but he cautiously and studiously avoided ans- 
wering aiiy questions relative to his yirevious life, and af- 
fected not to understand what I said to him. 

Sometimes he would talk yerj freely, and in a kind af 
prophetic strain, f hia future destinies. Ife said he knew 
he was going from home, and that he should find enemie«-; 
that every one who know him would I e afraid of him, 


: ' 


': , 













The My8ti<:r:ol!$ Doixus of 

aiid Jook upon liini*^ itli distrust and horror. That occa- 
ssioiially he was distrcssod in his sleep with all kinds of 
creatures coming about him. Great l-.ogs and all kinds of 
cattle and crcepinjis things : snakes and adders, iVojrs and 
toads, and every hateiul thing. That lie would start up 
iVoni sleep and walk about the prison, then lie do\\n and 
get asleep, and he anoyed Avitli them again. 'Iluit he 
would sit up and talk to his family, and sometimes- take 
hi:^ fiddle and play to anuise himseir, and driv(> a\^ ay these 
dreary hoars of night, He said those snakes and adders 
he could rca<l verv well: that he hnew what they all 
meant; and could understand soiwethiuo- concerning the 
others: but that these froiis and toads comiuQ- together 
he could not understand : only thai, liv- k;u-\v lie was to 
leave the place'and go on the water; and tliat he could 
nee as clearly as he waw me standing befor.) him, that he 
should find enemies, and every body would be afraid of 
lum ; but Ik- would hurt no one. That he should find trou- 
ble, and have irons on hir»i, but tliat t]iey would come otf 
again That the cricke.'s came and would pet upon his 
children andwould sinjj;- amono- them, that he liked to 
hear the crickets; that his mother told him he must not 
hurt them, Ihey were harmless, and that he nnist not hurt 
any body. 

His mother, he continued to sav, always aave him o-ood 
advice; but he had done rhat which he ought not to have 
done, aiid suftered for it; but he forgavi3 all Ids enennes, 
The Lord snys that if vou ask foruivene-s of him, forgive 
thy brother also,. We cannot cx))ect forgiveness exce})t 
w-e repent and forgive our (iiemirs. The Word of God is 
plain: except you forgive your brother his tresspasses, 
neither will your heavenly father forgive your trcFspasses 
when you a-^k him All men are sinners hefbre G(d; — 
watch therefore and pray that ye enter not into temptati' 
on. I watch here and pray with my f^unily night and 
day ; they cjinniiot for themselves. But 1 shall mrt 

stay long. Rq co» go to sea as supercargo of some 

1 .'•)) 

Hb!^rt Mobb Sum, 


▼ef<8oI; or bo couid got hid living with hi8 family^ a^ a 
show in amy country but England, and ho hod never 
eoen such a show in England ; that he had never en- 
joyed himself better than with hiy family at present. 
He did not care for himself so that his family looked 
well; ho would be willing to die, and he said should 
like to die hore, rather than go among his enemies; 
but he believed he had one friend in England, — old 
WilUo, if ho is yet alive ; he was always his friend, and 
he should like to go and see him. And he had one 
sister, ho said, in England, that he wanted to see- 
She played well on tiie pianoforte, and he himself 
could play on it toc'» She was marrietl to a lieuten- 
ant in the army ; but ho was promoted to be captain 
now. If ho could he ivould go to see her in England, 
where he Jiad friends. 

- f'l.-' 

He also said that he had an uncle in Liverpool, a 
merchant; tiien looking earnestly upon me, he said,. 
" My name is not Smith, — my name is Henry J. Moon : 
I was educated at Cambridge College, England. I 
understand English, French, and Latin well, and can, 

, speak and write live different languages." He also ^ 
said that he could write any hand as hantlsome or as 
bad as 1 ever saw. He said he had five hundred, 
pounds in the Bank of England, which was in the care 
of Mr. Turner, and that he wished to have his wife 
get it, as he did not know whero he might go; but ho- 

. knew he should meet with trouble; yet he did not fear- 
what man could do to him, for he could but kill him, . 
and he would like to die here. After barkening to 
these incoherent observations for a length of time, 
without being al)le to obtain an answer to any ques*-- 
tiou I put to him, I loft him for thai tiincv 



T — ■' 'i • J a 






•I ■: ". 

Tho next morning, whon the jnilor went to see him, 
Smith said lie Iiad boon fishing and had caught a 
Jargo fish. Tho jailor, percoived Iho chain which 
Smith Jiad formerly wore about hin neck, and had been 
missing a long time; but never could find out where 
or by what means 'ho concealed it. After this ho 
commenced a new scene of mvstory — that of fortune 
telling; in which, if he did not possess tho power of 
divination, ho was, at least, wonderfully successful. 

'The jailor carried him his breakfiist, with lea; Smith 
observed to him that he could toll him anything, past 
or to como. Tho jailor then asked him to toil bini 
something that had happened to him Smith replied, 
" Some timoagoyou rode a great way on my account, 
and carried letters and papers about mo and others 
too. Again you went after a man, and you had to go 
on the water before you found him, and I am not 
sure but that you found him on the water. While 
you were after him, you saw a man working in or on 
the highway, and you enquired of him for the man 
you wanted. He told you what you asked. You then 
.a,sked him if there were any water near, that you 

V could drink. He told you of a place where he bad 
drunk ; and you went to it, but found tho water so bad 

. that you did not drink it." The jailer was greatly 

. astonished at this, knowing the whole affair to be true 
just as he had stated, and had no recollection of ever 
having mentioned the circumstances to any person. 
Perhaps all this may be attempted to bo explained 
away in some manner, or may bo attributed merely 
to his imagination, or the hazard of an opinion; but would be a coincidence not to bo expected, and 
very unlikely to hanpen. Besides, ho often hit upon 
ja dovelopemont of facts, which could not be account- 


IIknbi Mobk Smitb. 


• oil for but upon the supposition of some myetorious 
*• Knowlcflo^o of things beyond the reach of common 
<!onc(^pticn, as the following particulars will show. 

The next morning, August 13, ho tohl his own for- 
tune out of his toa-cup. After looking into the cup 
for some time, he kissed it, and loJd the jailor ho was 
going away from this ]>ljice, that he was going over 
the water, and must have a box to put his family in ; 
that he saw throe papers that were written and sent 
about him, and that one of them was larger than the 
other two, and contained something for him that ho 
did not imdei*stand, but he would soon know. 

The next morning, August 14, he looked in hig 
cup again, and told the jailor that these three papers 
were on their way coming, and would be here this 
day at 4 o'clock, and he would soon know what they 
contained al)out him. Accordingly I received papers 
from Fredericton, containing his Pardon, and two 
letters just as ho had predicted ! ! 

~ Tn addition to this, the following must be regarded 
as a very singular and remarkable prediction, which, 
in depcndentiy of some unknown mysterious means, 
cannot bo accounted for. Early in the morning he 
remarked to the jailor in his usual manner — " The 
man over the way has a son who has gone to sea, and 
is at soa now ; but he will be hero this night, and you 
$hall see that I will affront him." Now mark the se- 
quel. It so happened that a frt'sh breeze springing 
up to the southward, with a strong Hood tide, the ves- 
sel which contained the young man was alongside in 
the dock in St. John, on the same day alwut 2 o'clock. 
He waa there informed that his sister lay danger- 
otHly ill at Kingston, and that i>r. Smith was just go- 




! i 



i ■! 

* H" 



t m\ 

'«> jH 


! : 
. t 

» B 

t H 



TnB MrsTBHioTj« LMiKo or 

ing up to visit her Tii© young man hired a horfto, 
and ill company with the doctor arrived at his father's 
about the time that wo usually visit the prisoner in 
the evening. I called at Mr. Porkin's, and found that 
the doctor and young Perkins had just arrived. Tho 
Doctor said to nie that he liad hoard much of mv ex- 
traordinary prisoner, andiflhadno objection, he 
certainly should be much pleased to see him and his 
show which he had heard so much about, and of his 
great performance. Young Perkins said that he also 
would like to see the show, and all went with him into 
the jail, and found Smith lying on his bed ; but with- 
out appearing to take notice of any one present. Mr. 
Perkins, like every one else, was much astonished at 
the appearance uf his show as it was exhibited on tho 
wall, and had a great desire to see the perfornmce. 
He put dow'U 25 cents by Smith, and said to him that 
he would give it to him if he would make his puppets 
dance; but Smith would not take any notice of him, 
and young Perkins continued to urge him to the por- 
formanoc, but without efi'ect, until be was qiiite out 
of patience, and finally took up his money and left 
the jail in quite an ill humour. After Perkins liaclleft 
the jail, Smith said, " now if any of you want to see 
my family dance, you may see them and welcome ;" 
and took up his fiddle and went through the perform- 
ance to the entire satisfaction of all present. 

Now the reader may account fov this mysterious 
prediction and its fulfilment upon whatever grounds 
he pleases ; but the arrival of the young man from 
sea that day, his coming to Kingston, and his being 
j^rontedtby Smith in the jail, are facts which camjiot 
1)0 ditfputi&cl. The writer is aware that ho may injcui* 


llKXRt Mottu S^riTH. 





the imputation of weakness for narrating some thiugn 
rulutive to the prisoner, which may seem unimport- 
ant, 8tiil thoy are all characteristic of liim in a high 
degree, anr^ when all luiitctl, set him forth l^efore the 
world as a character, euiiiiuiar and unpreccdeiited; 
ho considered that every jjart of his sayings and do- 
ings had their interest, and were necessary to be nar- 
rated. After closing the exhibition of his family for 
this time, he wont on to siy, that he had told his for- 
tune from his tea cup, and that it canio always alike; 
that he could leil a great deal by dreams. The deyil 
helped fortune telling, but dreams were the inspira- 
tion of God. Wiien the hogs came to him by nighty 
he could tell a great deal by them. '' Your neigh- 
bor," he said to me, " Jiad a black sow that had pigs, 
some black; and some all white, and one with red 
spots before and behind." By them he could tell 
much. T was aware that Mr. Perkins has a sow with 
yoimg pigs, and I had the curiosity to look at them, 
but they did not answer to his description, and I con- 
sequently allowed these ren?arks of his to pass for no- 
thing. However, in the evening, as I was leaving 
t!ie jail, Smith said to me (and without a word hav- 
ing been said about my looking at the pigs,) " The 
pigs I told you are not those you examined, they were 
six months old." I made the reply, knowing that Mr. 
Scovii had a sow with pigs, answering to his descrip- 
tion in every particular. .; t , . ; 

' On Saturday morning. Smith said to the jailor, 
" Your neighbor over the way there, has a sow that 
has gone away into the vvgods, and she has pigs, some 
all black, some all white and some black and white, 
and she will come home before night, and when she 
comes, she will have but one pig, axid that will be a 


i I 


MYrticRioua IloiN<»B or 

plump black pig, and they will never know what \>&- 
camo of the others." Accordingly, the sow, about 4 
o'clock, camo liomo with ono black pi<^, and was im- 
niediatoly drivou back into tho woods bylho way which 
they had supposed she had conic ; but according to 
tho precise terms of Sjnith's prediction, the others 
wore never found ! » - . .;, 

The next evening after I had received liis pardon 
from Frcdcricton, I went to see him, and found him 
in bod, and said he could not eat; he nsked me for 
now pot'itoes, and remarked that the jailor's wife Iiad 
now potatoes yesterdav. He did not appear in his 
usual good humour; although he would both talk and 
act, at times, rationally, yet he had never jecovercd 
from his pretended insanity, nor even until his re- 
lease from niy custody ; thus carrying out his scheme, 
in perfect wisdom to t!ie last. But now, with the 
pardon in my hand, I hoped to make some impress- 
ion upon him, and if possible, bring him t^ some 
sense of his situation, by comi»assionately proposing 
my assistance to get him out of the Province. I then 
informed him that I had received his Pardon, that 
his Attorney had proved his friend, and had petition- 
ed tho President and Court, stating that he was a 
young man, and this having been the first instenco of 
a case for horse-stealing before the Court in this Pro- 
vince, prayed that mercy might be extended and his 
life spared ; and that the President and Council had 
been graciously pleased to withdraw tho sentence 
and grant his Pardon ; and that T was now authorizc^l 
toi release him on his entering into rooognisance to 
Appear in tho Supreme Court and plead his pard( n 
iraon oallcd upon. The only reply ho maclo was, ''I 

Uenvt Morb Smitb. 


wish you would bring nic some now potutoos when 
you conio again." 

1 proceedotl to tiay that as soon as ho was roatly, 
and would lot inc know where he wished to go, I 
would give him clothing, and would give him time to 
put his tnmily in order, and a box to put them up in; 
observing tiiat they might bo a means of getting him 
a living until he could find better employment, with- 
out being driven to the necessity of stealing, lie re- 
plied, •' Have you not got boys and girls that wish to- 
see my family dance ? \\v\\v^ all your family to see- 
them; I will show tliem as much as you please, but 
others must pay." I remained with him nearly an 
hour afterwards without saying any more on the sub- 
joot of hispAFi DON': during which time he continued 
talking incoherently afl he had done the evening be- 
fore. That we must watch and i)ray loist we enter 
into tcmplMtion ; that he i)r*xyed with his family, they 
could not pray foi* themselves. That we must be spi- 
ually minded, for to be spiritually minded was life; 
but to bo carnally minded was death ; and much more 
of this kind, rcpeatinsr largo portions from the Now 
Testament — nc:irly whole chapters. Ho observed, 
** Now you see T can road as well to you without the 
book as others can witli the book. I can read to you 
almost all of any other chapter in the Hible you will 
name, either in the Old or New Testament, it mikes 
not muchidinbrenco — in the dark as vvell as in the 
light. My wife is a good little woman; she would 
read in the }>ii)!e on Sunday and siy to mc, ' Henry, 
como sit down and hear me read the Bible; but T 
would laugh and tell her I fcould read better witnout 
the lK)ok tha-n she could witl^; a.ud would go out aud 












|50 "^ 
lis Ih 

^ 1^ 



U ill 1.6 










WEBSTER, NY. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 



MlM<tfkioir*' Doii««8 OF 

I \ 


look after my. horso, or do any thing on Sundays. I 
liave been a bad fellow; when I was in England I 
gave all my time to i-eading the Bible, and became a 
great Methodist, and wont to all the Methodist meet- 
ings ; and wo^ld pray and exhort amongst them, and 
finally became a Preacher, and preached in Brighton, 
Korthampton, and in London ; and great numbers 
came to hear me. I was sometimes astonished to 
gee how many followed to hear me preach the Scrip- 
tures, wh'jn I knew they wei*e deceived. But I did 
not follow preaching long in London." He went oa 
to state his reasons for giving up preaching, or rather 
the reasons that prevented his continuing to preach — 
be had given himself up to the company of lewd wo- 
men, and had Contracted the disease common to 
6uoh assosiations. , 

A course like this could not remain long conceal- 
jed, and the issue was that ho was prevented from 
preaching, and was eventually obliged to leave En* 
gland, and come to this countrj'. He went on to say 
- — " I have been a bad young man I am young now, 
-only 23 years — not 24 yet; and did not know but ho 
would preach again; he could easely find converts; 
-mapy would like to hear him preach. When he wis 
a preacher, ho was spiritually minded, and all was 
peace and heaven for him ; but over since, all was trou- 
ble, trouble, and misery to him. Ho never^ntended 
to leave this place ; he was contented aud willing to 
ctay here untill ho died ; ho was better oflT here thaa 
anywhere else, and never wished to go Into the world 
again unless ho was a preacher. 

:k&vt hearing hitti talk in-this manner some t^o> 

liKN&r Mq&k Shitb. 


I left hiin till the Dcxt day at noon, when I wont into 
the jail again, and gave him a gooddmnor, and rend 
bis Pardon to him. When he saw the paper, Jio said, 
** that looks liko tho paper which I dreamed I Haw 
with two angels and a ship on it, with something tiiat 
looked like snakes " When I read his Pardon, he 
paid not the least attention to the nature of it, but 
asked questions as foreign to the nature of the sub- 
ject as possible ; only ho said, he wished I wouid give 
him that paper; ho dreamed it was coming. I told 
him tiiat as soon as I would got him some clothes 
made, I would give him the paper ; and that I would 
help him away with his Show in a box, that he might 
not be driven to the necessity of stealing; and in 
the evening I w. A with a tailor to take l^is measuro 
for a coat. Who.: ' su*v the tailor with-his measure, 
he said, " I wish you wotxld give me that ribbon in 
yonr hand." — " It is no ribbon," said the tailor, " but a 
measure to measure you for a new coat : stand up."' 
♦* W^hat !" said he, " do you think you are tailor en- 
ough to make a coat for me ?" " Yes " " But you 
do not look like it ; let me look at your hands and iiQ- 
ors;" and upon seeing them, added, " you are no tai- 
lor, you look more like a blacksmith ; you shall never 
nmke a coat for me ;" and would not bo measured- 
But he said lie would make it bettor himself, and Wish- 
ed I would give him a caudle to work by, and he 
would make himself a waistcoat. 

He said I need not be afraid of his doing any harm 
with the candle; he would put it in tho middle of the 
floor, and take care tiiat his straw and chips did not 
take fire and burn up his family, which he eould not 
live without, as he could not labour for his living. Bo- 








sides, ho said, if ho wcro so diHposed, he coiUd burn ^ 
up tho hoiwo without a candle; for, said he, I can 
make fire ia one hour at any time. " When I was a 
boy, every one took liOtice of me as a very ibrward 
boy, and I obtained a licence for sliooting when I was 
but 15. One day when shooting, I killed a rabbit on 
a farmer's iand where I had no riifhl;. The old farm- 
er came after me, and 1 told bini if ho came near me 
I would knock him down; bnt he caught me, and tied 
mo fast to a large stack of fiiggots, and went for a cor.- 
stable. While ho was gone, I made fire, and burned 
up the whole stack, and got off' clear; but the old far- 
mer never knew how his fajjaots took (ire. You do 
not use faggots in this country ; they are little sticks 
tied up in bundles, and sold to boil the tea-kettle with; 
and if I would give him a caudle, he would make firo 
to light it." Accordingly I provided materials for 
his clothes and a lighted candle to work by. He con- 
tinued to sew by the light of the candle but a short 
time, and put it away from him, and said he could 
Koe better without it; and he completed his waistcoat 
in thonoatent manner, and occassionally attended to 
the improvement of his family. 

August 29, at evening," many persons came to see 
the performanoe, as was usual, and wheu they were 
all gone out, he told me that he had carved a new 
figure of Buonaparte ; that the first he had made af- 
ter his own imatre and likeness, for he was the man 
after his own heart : but he had fallen. Uod. he said, 
made man out of the dust of the earth; but he had 
made uum ont of tho wood of the earth. 

He had now been in my custody more than a year, 
(H|d alniojit every day developed some new foaturo oi 

L'.'t 1 

IIbnrt Mors Smitil 


hifi churucter, or producod some frc^li effort of his genius 
1 httd luuch trouble wiih hi)n;uucl, my patience often t<e- 
▼ercly tried; but now [ viewed liiju rntljer us mi object ot* 
cominisserutioii, and could not think of turniu<^- liiin out ai 
jai\y naked^ destitute, and friendless, in such a situation 
he must either starve or steal; so that his pardon and le- 
Icttso would becojne rather a curse thin a liles^ing-. I re- 
presented these things us feelin^l) us 1 could to him ; and 
gave him a box to put his family in, and told him he nmst 
bo ready to leave the l*rovinco on Tuesday morning, and 
J|would procure him a passage either to }iora 8cotia or 
the United States. To all this he gave no attention, but 
asked some frivolourt questions abont. Mohawks and snakes, 
and acted the fool : so that I began to conclude that I 
would now have more trouble to get him out of jail, than 
1 formerly had to keep him in it 

The next day Judge Pickett and Judge Michoau attend- 
ed at the Court llouse, to take the recognl/ance required 
of him, to ap])ear and ple^d his pardon when ciille(l up<»n 
to do so, After divesting him of his irons, and furnish- 
ing him with decent clothing, it was with much diiliculty 
1 could prevail on him to leave the jail. However, he fin- 
ally took one of his family in one hand, and a pair ofsissors 
in the other, and with much elfort wo got him up into one 
of the Jury rooms, when Judge Miclieau read his pardon 
to hirn, and explained all the circumstances w hich united 
to produce it; to which, as usual, he gave no attention; 
but looked about the room, and talked of soujcthing else. 
Judge Picket t tiien required his recognizance, and in- 
formed him that if he did not leave the Province immed- 
iately, he would be taken and tried on two fndicmeutfi 
pending against him in the County of York. Ife took no 
notice of what was said, hut talked and danced about the 
room — told the J^idge he looked like a tailor, and asked 
him to give him his shoe-string. His pardon lying on the 
table, ho oonglit hold of it, and before it could be reCov- 
^•ed from him, he clip|)cd off the sc:al with Ida siss^nn ho 


Tub Mystkbiol'k Doi}((»« of 


I t 

Baid he u'M.'itpd the nhip thtit wu^ on it to curry him awaj- 
ivith his family, lie tore the coUnr oil' his his cout, nud 
cut it to picccri witii the sissors. Finding that nothiug 
elgo Could hi! done Avith him^ I returned him again into 
prison; wlicn he said to hi*, that for onr using him so well, 
he would, for one shilliu^, shew us all his performance 
with his faaiily. Upon whidi, Judge Miclieau gave hiiu 
half a dullar, and told him to re! urn a quarter'bf a dollar 
ohangc, and then he would have more than a shilling, lie 
took it, and said it was a nice pieco of money, and put it 
in his pocket; but tlie Judge could not make him under* 
stand the 'Meaniu"- of chaniye. 

He then performed tlie exhibition in fine stylo, hut 
when we were leaving him lie seemed out of humor with 
Judge IMckett,^ and told him tliat he had thrown stones 
at him, that he would burn his house, and that this place 
would bo in ilamcs before momiiig. He could make a 
fire in half an liour, and wanted a fire, and should have 
fire, and 1 would see that he could make fire. We then 
left him, without apprehending any thing from his threats 
more than usual. 15ut the next day, the 29tli, when en* 
toring the jail for the purpose of preparing for his remov- 
af, I perceive J that t'lere was mucU smoke in the hall, 
wliicit I supposed had come from the jailor's room } hat 
ho fiaid that no smoke had been caused tliat morning, but 
that it proceeded from the prison door. I imnicduitoly 
opened the door, and found Smith sitting quite uncon- 
riernod before a fire which he had made with the chips of 
his carved wotk, and other materials. He observed t«» 
me that fire was very comfortable, that he had not seen 
any before f«)r long timt^, that he had made the lire with 
his own hands, and that ho could juake it again in ton mi- 
nutt!s; that he could not do without inc. I immediately 
extinguished the fireand shut him npinsflffoCHtingsmokfy 
which di;l not seem to give him the least inctnivcnience. 
The account of his having maf]e fire, had excited Miefcai* 
of the neighb .rs, who came in to see the feat. I^ptdocM 

5., M 



biiii to pat his family into his boTc iiiimoilmtel} ; he (uoK 
no notice of my orders. I huHiiiy took down one of thcin, 
und laid it in his hox, at ^hich he geeind piciif^rd, and 
said he would put them all in that hox, and hooari to take 
therw^own very actively, observing that ho did not want 
ae»sistance from any one, but leave hiin with the ligrht, and 
he would have them all ready in half an hour. We left 
him with the candle, and returnino- in about half an hour, 
found him walkin«jr the floor, and evcrythino- he had pack- 
ed up in the box very neatly. It wus remarkable to Kee 
with what skill and ingenntty he had packed them up. I 
gave him a pali* of new phoes, and with the' box on his 
b'houlders he inarched o(f to the Iwat I had prepared tor 
his conveyance, and with tliree men in the Iwat we set 
out with him for the City of 8t. John. On th-? way ho told 
the jailor, thatJf he would ^ive him $1, he wonld teach 
him the way to make fire at anv time; it would be very 
convenient for him to know how to make lire on any oc- 
casion. Beceivinjr no reply from the jailor, ho commen- 
ced preaching, praying, and wnoing hymns, and some- 
times acting as if crazy, during the passage down. We 
made no stop by the way, and reached St. John about 8 
o'clock in the evening. 

On his perceiving the moon as she mnde her appear- 
ance between two clouds, he observed that there was u re- 
lation of his that he was glad to see; that lie had not seen 
one ofhis name for a longtime. On our arrival at the 
prison in St. John, he said he must have a hot supper with 
tea, and then wished to be locked up in a strong room, 
where he might have all his family out jo ttdxe the air to- 
night, else they would nil die in that box befoi-e morning. 
However, we found all the rooms in the prison occupied, 
or under repair?;, so that there was no place to confine him. 
I dire cted the jailor to provide him his supper, while T 

would call upon the Sheriff to know what would bo don** 
with hiqi for the night, und how ho would be disiposed of 




m tho inoriiinu'. I iirKlcrsfood from the SherilTtliat there 
WHS no vefisstt thut woiil<.l kjiiI for tlie States before soitie 
days, ttutl tlierefore iruKio ii|> my mhid that I should scud 
him to Nova ^colia. ^Vhen I returned to the jail I iotiud 
Smitli at his supper; Aviien he hud finished his tea, he 
looked into his cup imd remarked that lie must not di»^ 
.turb his family to-night; that ho saw the vessel, then ly- 
ing at the wharf, that Mould carry hiuj to his wife — i«id 
there Avould bo crying-. AViiile in confinement, the fol- 
lowing letter was received from his wife : — 

♦• Dbau HirwRANi),— I received your letter of Uie 22nd OtUk . 
1815 ; you 8j»y 3011 have scMit ycvcmi letters, if you have, 1 never 
received theat. You Mjsh me to oonie v.iul see vou, which I 
WQuld have dope, ii 1 had got the letteiB in time; but I did not 
know whither you were at Kmgslon oruor. My dear, do wot 
think hard of lae that I do not conie to see you, — if you write 
back to me I will come ininiediately. My dear, as soon as you 
receive this letter send uie an answer, thai 1 nmy ^know what la 
do, so no more at present, but that I reniniu y^ur loving and al- 
feclionate wife. ELIZABETH P. M. S. 

H.F. M.S., Kingston 

The jailor, by the direction of tho Sheriff, cleared out 
a small room up stairs, w ith an iron grated window, 
wliere we confined him, wilh his family, for the night. Ou 
tho next morning, the 30t]i of August, fmding that there 
w us no ves.^el bound for the States, 1 determined to send 
him to Nova Scofia. And happening to meet with my 
friend, Mr. Daniel Scovil, he info?niedme that he had a 
vessel then lying at the wharf, w hieh would sail for Wind- 
sor, Nova Scotia, ui half an hour I accordingly prevail- 
ed with him to take Smith on bonrd, which was done 
without loss of time, an<l at high water the vessel hatiled 
oil' from the wharf, to my great satisfaction and relief- 
While tho vessel y\as getting under weigh. Smith was 
in the cabin alone, and smng a great number of chain tra- 
66*g lying on tho cabin floor, Tie took them Qp aud threw 

Hknuy MoRtt Smitd. 


them \ill out of the window ! '* Bt^caupc,'* fu'uI J»e, •* they 
would get ulout iny ucck ngain." During the pus^u^e, ho 
ttppeared very active; lie pluyetl nn lii« iife, und wuk quite 
an Hgreeuble pussenjicr. But on the vespcl's arrival at 
"Windsor, he left her ininiediately A^ithout any ceremony; 
and notwitliHtnndinojthe very strong regard which he hud 
always possessed for his family, us he called them, he left 
them also, and every thing else that he had brought with 
hini^ He was soon only a very short time in Windsor 
before he entirely disappeared, and never was Known to 
be there afterwards, but was seen at some distance from 
Windsor, and in several other places, and recpgnized by 
ninny, but always carefully evaded being spoken to. 

After having made his appt^rnnce indifferent parts of 
Nova Scotia, he culled at a certain house one moriung, 
on a bye road, and ordered breakfast, and asked for i tow- 
el also, and a piece of soap, that he might wasdi at a small 
brook that wtis near the house. The wojnan of the house 
and a maid, were the ouly persons in the house at the 
time; and Smith left a large bundle on a chist, and went 
out to wash, Th<^- bundle presented a rather singular ap- 
pearace. and attracted the young w oman's notice, so that 
she Kaid to the other, " I wonder what is in that bundle: 
if you will keep watch at the window, while he is washing 
at the brook, I will open and see wha! is in it." They did 
so, and found a great number of watches, of which they 
counted 15, with many other valuable articles. 

They tied up the bundle again, and placed it whero he 
had left it, and said, " this man has stolen these watches." 
When he came in, he handed the tow el to the young wo- 
xnan, and said, " there were just lifleen watches, were 
there/* and with such expression of countenance, that she 
tould not refrain from answering " Yes." " J3ut you were 
mistaken about my stealing them, for I came honestly by 
tliem.'* Upon which the yonng woman instantly reog^ 
nixed him to bo Henry Itf pre Smith ; and concluded that 


Tnn MrsTt^RtoLS Doinus op 

I < 


he vru>( c<Mlcctiiig his hidden tr<)nHore, wkich ho had de- 
posited while he wa« in Kawdon . 

This ini<)rmution I revived Iroiii Mrs. llccrkwith , a r^ 
pectublo hidy i'roiii Nora Scotia, m ho resitlcd at tho tiiuo 
in that nfiijrhborliood, who also ^ai(I it wan not known that 
he had eyer seen his wife ut that tiiutt, tVoui the (inie of 
his roleaso from confinement. The next account J heartl 
of him stated that he had been petn on board of a plaster 
vessel at iilastptrt^ but he was not known to have been 
MJiore durinj»- the time she roinaiacd there. He employ- 
ed Jumyclf while on board cvpgrayinjj^ a nnnibcr of small 
articlep, some of whicli he made presents of to yoijng la- 
dios who chanced to coin* on board. 

lie wdS next foniHl at l*orlJand, bj a genlleman w ho 
had known, jihn at Kini^ston; nothing, Iwweyer, transpir- 
ed hero concerninuf him, only tliat he was (ravellintr with 
♦•onsidcrable weight of baogage, through tho State of 
Maine, which gave rise to the following ludicrous (story, 
which I saw published rtt Eastport, of a mysterious 
stranger travelling in a stage. One cold n»id ^t()^m'y 
night, the bur room of a hotel was tilled with sturdy farm- 
ers surronnding a cheerlul fire, and discussing the afijiini 
of State over a mug of flip. The night having been tre- 
meudously stormy ami wet, tho wind whistling all ronnd 
the honse, and making etery door ond window rattle, the 
landlord ex))ressod much tear for the safety of the stage* 
cf»ach; but suddenly the sound of a distant stage horn an- 
nounced the appronch of tlje coach, aud removed the land- 
lord's anxieties. He replenislied the fire, that the aj)- 
proaching travellers miglit buve as warm a retreat as pos- 
uible from the nnusual inelemencv of the nio'ht. SoraO 
time passed, and yet the expected coach did not came up. 
The landlord's fears got up anew, and with an espressiua 
of concern, put the question around, " Did not some «!* 
you hear a horn ?" and adden, '* I have expected the stage 
iji long time, and I thought tliMt a few minutes aijo, i. 
heard tho horn near ut hand; but I fear that g^nnethjng 

i: I 



Hbnry Mork Smith. 



liucl hapi>eiie(l in the g-alo that caused it <o Lo thus belut- 
od." " 1 thought I heard the stage-horn soiuc^tiuie ago," 
answered }oiiny farmer Hopkins; " but then you must 
know that ghosts and witches are very busy on such 
nights US this, am\ what kind of pranks they may cut up 
we cannot tell. Vou knyw the okl adage, busy as the 
devil in a gale of uiiid. Now who knows but they may 
liavc r"' — llere he was interrupted l)y the sudden opening 
of the door, accompanied by a viok^nt gust of wind and 
the dashing- of rain, when in rushed from the fury of the 
storm, drenched w ilh wet from head to- foot, a tall stran- 
ger dressed in a fur cap and shaggy great coat. l^Vom the 
impulse of politeness and respect, not unmingled with 
fear, all arose on his enterance, — the expression, '* The 
iJevil in a gale of wind," rushed upon their mind, with n 
signification to which a profound silence gave expressive- 
utterance. TJie stranger noticed their reserved, yet vol- 
untary respect with a slight nod, and proceeded to dis- 
encumber himself of his wet clothes, and warm his fin- 
gers by the fire. J]y this time the driver entered, bear- 
ing- the baggage of his passeenger. " The worst storm 
I was ever troubled with, blowing- rlg-Iit in my teeth, and 
I ouess the oentleman there found it the same." llere 
a low whisper ensued between the driver and landlord, 
from which an unconnecled word or phrase dropped upon 
the ear of the inmates. ' Don't know, — came in the, — 
as rich tis a mine." ttc. l[po»i this information the land- 
lord im.'nediately took his wet garments and hung them 
earefully before the lire. " 1 hope that your wetting will 
i.ot injure your health, sir " " L liardly think it will my 
good friend; I am no child to catch cold J'rom a ducking." 
" Shall 1 shoAv you a room, sir P" said the landlord : we 
can let you have as good a loom and as comfortable a 
supper as in the country." The stranger was immediate- 
ly conducted into a handsome parlor in Aviiich blazed a 
cheerful fire , and, in a short time, a smoking supper was^ 
placed on the board. After supper was over, he called- 









i- ii-l 
i ' 

the landlorcl into his room, and sent for his trunk. '<*^ 1 
liko your tfcconiinodutions, and if yon like my proposalfl 
equally well, I shall be your guest for some time, though 
I know not how long. Nay, J shall stay at any price yoii 
may please — but remember I must liave my rooms to 
myself, aud they must not be entered without my leaye; 
and whatever I do, no questions to be asked. Do you 
consent to those terms f* '' I do, sir; and you shall not 
have cause to complain of your treatment." " Very well, 
then the agreement is completed; yon may go now." 
" Yes. sir," replied the landlord, '* but what may I call 
your name, sir ?" " Beware, you have broken the bar- 
gain already; I forgive you for this once only, — my name 
is Maitland; now ask no more questions, or you will cer- 
tainly drive me from your house." After this, the land- 
lord returned to his bar-room, from w hich the merry far- 
mers had not yet withdrawn, but were endeavoring to pe- 
netrate the mystery that hung around the stranger. 
'* Well, landlord," said Hopkins, '' what do you make him 
out to be P" " That is a question I can hardly answer. 
He is a gentleman, for ho does not grudge his money." "I 
would not think he should," replied Hopkins, shaking his 
head mysteriously. " And why not," exclaimed several 
of the company; " Ay, just as I thought." returned .Hop- 
kins, with another shake of the head and significant look 
at the landlord. " What in the name of all that is silly, 
is the matter with you, Hopkins .P" exclaimed the land- 
lord. What upon earth can you know ?" " I know Avhat 
I know." was his reply. " Rather doubtful tliat," replied 
the landlord. " You doubt it," returned Hopkins, rather 
warmly : " then I will tell you what I think him to be, 
and what T know him to be; he is nothing more or less 
than a Pirate, and you will all be murdered in your beds. 
Smith, (which was the landlord's name,) you and your 
whole family, before morning. Now what think you of 
your guest ?" All the company stood aghast, and stared . 
.at each other in silence for some time, until the landlord 



Hrnry Mork Smith. 




interrupted the Kilencc by asking Hopkins, " How do you 
know ull that r" Hopkins answered, in n rather silly 
niuiiner, " I guessed ut it;" which did away with the ertect 
which was produced by his previous assertions; and the 
landlord, dismissing his fears, exclaimed, " as long as he 
pays well, be he man or devil, lie shall stay here" " A 
praiseworthy conclusion," proceeded from a voice at the 
back part of the'room, and at that instant the mysterious 
stranger stood before them. All started to their feet, 
seized their hats, and and went home and told their wives 
of Sjuith's guest, and Hopkins opinion of his character. 
Every woman fastened her door that night with suspici- 
ous care, and the mysterious stranger, and the delineation 
of his real character, by Hopkins, became a subject of ge- 
neral conversation and comment, throughout the village, 
and £>radnally became the received opinion among all the 
settlers; so that they set down the mysterious stranger 
for what Hopkins guessed him to be, and concluded that 
the articles whicli composed his baggage could not have 
been obtained lioncsfly. 

The stranger finding how the conversation turned upon 
him, did not think it prudent to protraet his stay in this 
piece, and proceeding to Boston in the coach, was never 
known from that time by the name of Maitland. He 
reached Boston about the 1st of November, where it was 
supposed he must have, in some way, disposed of much of 
his treasures. From thence he proceeded for New York, 
on the 7th of November arrived at New Haven in the 
Boston stage coach, iy the way of New London, with a 
large trunk full ofcTotliing, a siiiall portable desk, and 
money in his pockets. He was dressed in a handsome 
frockcottt, with breeches, and a pair of top boots ; and re- 
mained at the steamboat hotel several days. While he 
remained hero, he always eat his meals alone ; and pre- 
ferred being alone in different parts of the hotel at differ- 
ent times; every part of which he had an opportunity of 
becoming acquainted with, while he remained waiting far 





The Mysterious Doing of 

the urrival of the steamer from New York. ^ 

The hotel was then kept hy Henry Jiutler, and as it 
alto r wards appeared, the traveller found his way, by 
means of keys, into Mr. Butler's desk and sideboards, as 
well as every part of the house. Jie left New JIaven in 
the steamboat at 5, a. m., on the lOth" November, 181.5. 
After his departure from New Haven, Mv. Butler's ser- 
vants discovered that their whole quantity of silver 
spoons, to the nuitdjcr of lour or five dozen, which had 
b( en carefully put away in a sideboard, was missing, and 
not to be fuond on the premises; and it was found upon 
fijrther seuurch.thata watch and several other articles, 
witii money from the desk, had gone with the spoons. 
Mr. Butler imagined that the theft nuist be cliargeable on 
some lodger in the hotel, and immediately fixed his sus- 
pjcions u})on Smith, whose appearance and movements 
about the house furnished symptoms too strong to pass 
unnoticed! Mr. Butler, without lo^s of time, set out for 
New York, and arriviuG: there before the boat that had 
carried his adventurer, he furnished himself with proper 
anthority, and boarded the boat in the sream. After Air. 
Butler had made some enquiries of Captain Bunker, who 
could not identify the traveller among ull his passengers, 
Smith made his appearanee frou^somc part of the engine 
room and was immediately ordered by Mr, Butler to open 
his trunk, with which he complied unhesitatingly ; but 
the trunk did not disclose thQ expected booty. There \rds, 
however, in the trunk a very neat portaJjle writing desk, 
Avhich he refused to open, and Mv. Butler could not find 
out how it wa.^ fastened. He calle(]*for an axe to split it 
open, upon which vSmith said, '^ I will show you," and, 
touching a spring, the lid flew open. Tho desk contained 
a set of neat enjiravino- tools, with old silver rini>s and 
jewcUry; amongst Avhich Mr. Butler perceived a small 
car-ring, which he supposed to belong to a yonng lady that 
had slept in his house, and had laid her ear-rings on a 
stand at the head ofhcr bed, which were missing the next 


|P»»!( ! ""HB 


IIkxry ^Fore Smith. 


inonuii«». After her departure one of the rings was found 
at the door of the botel. Up(m the eyidendc of this tsinji^le 
et/r-ring, he was arrested and put into the Bridewell iu 
the City of New York.- The keeper of tlie Bridewell at 
that time was Archimial Allen, an old friend of mine, and 
a man of respectable charaoter. On my visit to New 
York afterwards, 1 called upon Mr. Allen, and enquired 
the particulars concerning- W. H. Newman, (this was the 
name he had assumed tlien), while in his custody, lie 
informed me that when he was put in, he behaved for 
some time very well; that he otfered him a book, but he 
could neither read nor write a word. He soon beG;an to 
complain of beinjx sick from confinement, raised blood, 
and seemed so ill that a doctor atlended him; but could 
out tell what was the matter with him. However, he 
kept up the farse of being ill until he was removed from 
Bridewell to New Haven, thereto take his trial at the 
Supreme Court iu January. 

Ifis chaujnfe of situation had the effect, as it would seem, 
of restorino- his health, which broujrht alon<r with it that 
display of his ingenuity Avliich the peculiarity of his new 
^itnation seemed to call forth. During this period of his 
conlinemct at New Haven, he amused himself by carving 
two inmges — one representing himrelf, and the other 
Butler, in the attitude of fightinir. And so remarkable, 
and mechanically, had he adjusted this ]iroductIon of his 
genius, that he would actually cause them to fight, and 
make the image representing himself knock down that of 
Butler, to the wonder and amnsemeut of nmny that came 
to see him. By his insinuating maimer and captivating- 
address, he not only drew^ forth the sym])athies of those 
who came to visit him, but even gained f>o far upon their 

. credulity as to induce the belief tliat he was innocent of 
the crime -witli which he was charged. 

The la])se of a few days, however, made impressions of 
a very different nature; tlie January Court term drew 

- near, at which our prisoner was to receive his trial, but 



r I 

i ■!!; 


Mystekious DoiN'ns op 

on the vcrj eve of his trial and after the Court had l^een. 
euinmoneU, he, by tlie power of a mind which seldom 
failed him in the hour of emergency, contrived and ellect- 
ed his escape in the following curious and singular man- 
ner. And here it will be necessary, to give some descrip- 
tion of the prison, with the situation of the apartments^ 
which the writer was himself bv the kindess of the Keep- 
er permitted to examine. There was a wide hall leading: 
from the front to the County House, and from this hall, 
two seperate prisons were entered by their respective 
doors; between these doors, a timber partition crossed the 
hall, having in it a door also, to allow an entrance to the 
inner prison. The object in having this partition, was to 
prevent any intercourse between the two prison doors, 
and it was so placed as to loave a distance of about two. 
feet on eacl^ side, between it and the prison doors respec- 
tively. Newman [Smith] was confined in the inner pri- 
son. The doors of the prison opened inwards, and when 
shut were secured by two strono* bolts which entered inta 
stone posts, with clasps lapped over a staple, to which 
were fixed strong padlocks. These padlocks, our prison- 
or, by some means, managed to open or remove, so that 
he could open the doors at pleasure, and fix the padlocks 
again ingeniously, that could not be detected from their 
appearance, Un the night of the 12th of January, at the 
usual time of feeding tb.e prisoners, Newman availinghim- 
self of these adjustiuojits. (»])ejiod his door, came out, and 
replacing the locks, took his stand behind the door of the 
partition, which, when open, would conceal him from ob- 
servation The prisoners in the other apartments re- 
ceived their supply first, and the instant when the servant 
was proceeding from their door to go and bring Newman 
his suppei*, he stepped through the partition door, which 
had been first opened, and not shut again, and followed 
the servant softly througli the hall to the front door, and 
walked away undiscovered ! AVhcn the servant returned 
with his supper to the wicket, she called him, bnt rcceiv- 



Uenrt Mobe 8311111. 


ad lieen. 

id ell'ect- 
ur luan- 
e Keep- 

lis Lall; 
ssed the 
to the 
, was to 
Jut two 

iier pri- 
d wheu 
red into: 

prison - 
so that 
ri their 
, at the 
lit, and 
• of the 
'oin ob- 
ints re- 

)r, and 

ing no answer, placed his supper inside the wicket, say- 
ing, " you may take it or leave it; 1 am not going to wait 
here ail night." She then secured the outer door, and 
so the matter rested till the morning. 

The next morning, finding that the prisoner had not 
taken his supper, the servant observed to the keeper, that 
she feared New man was dead, for he had not taken his 
supper; and she called him, but could not hear or see 
auythinjy of him. Upon tliis, the keeper came with his keys 
to unloelv the door, and found, to his utter astonishment, 
bothjocks broken, and the prison empty ! ! The keeper 
made known the nuitter to the Sheritf, and on 13th, the 
day subsequent to Jiis escape, the following notice was in- 
serted in tlie Connecticut Joiirmil: — 

" BiiWARE OF A ViLLTAN ! — die of the most accomplished vii- 
hiiiisj that di.s,a"aee our country, broke from the jail in thia City 
Oil Friday evening last, between the hours of five and six o'clock, 
and succeeded in inakiuf^ his escape. The fellow calls himself 
Newman, and was bound over for trial at tlie sitting of the next 
Supreme Court, on the charge of burglary, having robbed the 
hou'^e of Mr. 11. Butler, of plate, moiiey, &c. He is supposed to 
be an Englislui<an, and is undoubtedly a most profound adept in 
the arts of knavery and deception. Hesj)eaksthe English and 
French languages fluently, and can plav off the air of a genteel 
Frenchman with the most imposing gravity. He is of middling 
sttiture, slender and active, and appears to possess an astonish- 
ing variety of genius. He is sick or well, grave or gay, silent or 
loquacious ; and can fence, box, fight, run, sing, dance, play, talk, 
whistle, ns occasion suits. He amused himself while in prison, 
by making and managing a Puppet Show, which he performed 
apparently wilh such means as to excite the wonderof the credu- 
lous, having a ];iece of old horse-shoe, whetted on the wall of his 
dungeon, as the only instrument of his mechanism; and com- 
plaining only of the scarcity of timber to complete his group- 
He had the address, by an irresistuble flow of good humour and 
cheerfulness, to make some believe, that he was quite an inno- 
cent and harmless man ; and excited sympalhy enough in tboso 
who had the curiosity to see him, to obtain several gratifications 
which prisoners do not usually enjoy. Vet the depth of bts cun- 
uing was evince I in.acconiplisliing his means of egi'ape,.which he 


t * 



Mysterious Doings of 

efTccted by sawing a hole i» his prison door, which is several in- 
ches thick,, so neatly, that the block could be taken out and re- 
placed witjiout any marks of violence. Throujjh this hole he 
could tlinrst his arm, and by wrenching oflF strong padlocks, and 
shoving back the bolts, at the hour of supper, when ihG person 
who waited on the prisoners was giving them their food, fonnd a 
free passage to the hall of the Counting House, aud thence to the 

The s.'iw that be iisc(3 in cutting the door of the prison, 
is suppesed to have been the one which ho stole on 
board the steamboat Fultox, on his passage from 
IS^ew York to New Haven; and so artfully did ho con- 
ceal the saw, though repeatedly searched both befoio 
and after his confinement, at the suggestion of Ca})t. 
Bunker, that he retained it about his person luitil by 
its means he, eflfected his escape. 

About the time that Newman made his elopement, 
Mr. ]3utler happened to be in New York, and on his 
return by land, he met Newman travellintr leisurely 
along, a few miles distant from the City. Mr. Butler 
readily recognized him, and immediately instituted 
a pursuit; but he iTaffled his attempt to apprehend 
him, and made his retreat into the woods Upon this, 
Mr. Butler engaged a party of men, with dogs and 
lire-arms, to ferret him out if possible ; but had vigi- 
lence enough to elude all their efforts to take him. 

The next morning after the chase, he made his ap- 
pearance at a certain house, where he found the ta- 
ble placed for the family breakfast, and without invi- 
ation or ceremony, sat down at the table and began 
o oat. While ho was eating, he observf»d to the 
family, that he w '' not let them take him yester- 
day ; referring to o pursuers. *' Was it you they 
were after ?" eiKjnired some of the family. " Yes, 



•Wwr ftfrnt 

ITenry MoiiK Smith. 


but I would not lot them find inc." i' How eanio yon 
from New Haven r" was next enquired. '' 1 staid a 
grcijt while' but they did not iind anything ngainst 
me; only a yonng woman pretended to p-ay that 1 
an ear-rino: of her's whioh belong:ed to my wile, whieh 
viaH not worth waitiri<:r for, and so I came away." 
Here, however, he waw apprehended, and yent again 
to Bridewell; but when he came there, he denied 
being the man; and so altered his appearance and 
dress, that no one knew him, until Sir. Allen, the 
keeper of the prison at New Haven, came and recog- 
nized him. He'tookhim in charge at Hridewell, and 
returned with him to New Haven in the steamboat. 
On his arrival at th« County House, the Sheriff had 
tim closely searched, to see that ho had no saws, or 
any other instruments, by which he might effect an- 
other escape. After the search he was confined in 
the criminal's roem, handcuffed, with a shackle abont 
one of his leji^s, to which was attached a lono iron 
chain, firmly stapled to the floor, and in company 
with two negro boys who were confined for stealing 

In this situation he was left at evening; the next 
morning, when the keeper came to the door of his 
prison, he fotfnd him walkhig the room, smoking his 
pipe, with the chain on his shonlder. and the hand- 
cuffs in his hand, which he presented to the keeper, 
saying, " you may take these, they may be of use to 
you ; but they are of no use to me." The keeper on 
attempting to open the door, found that he had not 
only drawn the staple, but had raised the floor also, 
which was of strong plank, firmly fastened to the 
sleepers with spikes The heads of some of the spikes 
were drawn thronoh the pkmks which he had taken 





! , 


« « 

up, and wilh which ho had so barricaded tho door, 
the keeper attoiiiptod in vain to enter, Uix)n this, ne 
called upon tho Sheriff, who came and ordered the 
prisoner to open the door ; to which ho replied from 
within, '' My house is my castle, and none shall enter 
hero without my leave.', Tho SluM-iff then ordered 
the two colored boys (who stood treniblino: from fear,) 
to come and remove tho fastening from tho door; but 
the prisoner told him that death would be their por- 
tion if they attempted it. 

The Sherifl' finding him determined not to open the 
door, and having attempted in vain to get in by other, 
means, sent for a mason and ordered him to break 
an opening through the brick partition which divided 
the iow^r room. \Vhen tln^ mason comni'^nccd opera- 
tions on the i^'all, T^ewman said to tho Sheriff, *• It is 
no use to make a hole through that wall, for I could 
kill every vagabond as fast as they put their heads in ; 
but if the Sheriff will bring no one but gentlemen, I 
will open iho door for him." The door was then op- 
ened and the Sheriff went in and seciii^ed him ; and 
soon after, more strongly, with additional irons and 
'chains. Finding himself now over[)owored, and ano- 
ther escape rather hopele8s, he had resourse of yell- 
ing and screamia'i milike the human vofhe, and seem- 
ingly in every part of tho house. This he kept up 
all night, until the whole tr»\vn was greatly alarmed. 
A Special Court was therfore imm"diately called, 
and in a few days ho was brought to trial 

After I arrived at New JJaven, where I was put in 
possession of these particulars concerning hiin, no 
person was known in the United States who could 
jiorf'T'ctly identify him to be the noted Henry More 
Smith, but myself, 1 was consequently requested 

Hknut Mohk Smith. 


for the f^ratificatioh of the public, to go to the Sims- 
bury Mines i^ see him. I had the curiosity to see 
how he conducted himself at New Gato,*aiKl proceed- 
ed to Simsbury, about 50 juilcs, for the purpose. On 
my arrival at Simsbury, I enquired of Captain Wash- 
burn, the keeper of the prison, how Newman conduc- 
ted himself He answered that he behaved very well ; 
that he had heard that he was a very bad fellow> but 
he had so many that was worse he did not think any 
thing bad in Newman. I further enqnired what ac- 
count he gave of himself, and what he acknowledged 
to have be^^n his accupation. His answer to these en- 
quiries were, that he professed to be a tailor, if any 
thing, but that he had not been accustomed to nmch 
hard work, as he always been subject to fits; that his 
fits were frightful, and that in his agony and distress 
he would turn round on his head and shoulders like a 
top, and he was so chafed and bruised with his irons 
in his convulsive agonies, that he had taken the shac- 
kles oirhis leirs, so that now he onlv had one on ono 
leg. This was as convincing to me as possible that 
he was my old friend Henry ^Iork Smith. The Cap- 
tmn asked me if T had a wish to liberate him, I re- 
plied, my object was to asc i^rtain whither he were a 
prisoner I had hnA in my custody more than twelve 
months, and that if he were, he would know me im- 
mediately, but would not profess to know me. Ac- 
cordingly, when he was brought into my presence in 
the Captain's room, he mahitained a perfect indiffer- 
ence, and took no notice of me whatever. I said to 
him, '' Newman, what have you been doing that has 
brought you here f " Nothing, only I had an ear- 
ring with me that belonged to my wife, .and a young 
lady claimed it and swore that it belonged to herj^ 


~ ,'•,(" . .' "— ■ 



Tub MvsTKRioLS Doixos of 

and I had no friend to speak in favor of mo, and tlu^y 
Kont me tt prison." I then asked him whither ho had 
overseen me before. He looked earne-stly upon mo 
and said, I do not know that I have m^n you at New 
Haven, there were many men at Court." " Where 
did you come from ?" " I came from Canada." "What 
rouutryman are yon F" " A Frenchman, born in 
Franco." Hi? had been in London and Liverpool, 
but never at Bri^fhton. '^ Was you ever at Kinn:ston, 
Newbrunsvvick ?" *' No," he did not Imow wh(To 
that was, with a countenance unmoved as if he had 
spoken in all the contidence of truth. 

He appeared rather more fleshy than when at King- 
ston ; but still remained the same subtile mysterious 
being. I understand that he was the first that ever 
effected an exemption from labour in that prison by 
or on any pretence whatever. He kept himself clean 
and deacent, and atnong: the wretched victims who 
were daily brought from the horrid pit in chains and 
fetters to their dailyjlabour of making nails William 
Newman appeared quite a distinguished character. — 
So obtuse was he that he could not be taught to make 
a nail, and yet so ingenious w^as he, that he made a 
jews-harp to the greatest perfection without being 
discovered at work and without its being known un- 
till he was playing on it. 

It was in the city of New Haven that the .author, 
published the First Edition of these Memoirs, being 
awar-3 that here, where his character and unprece- 
dented actions were perfectly known throughout the 
country, the publication of his doings at Kingston, 
and his career throusfhtout the Province of New 

'^ J-: t'jbt ' utf. ' '."'- - 

,a iMHiMi i'"P'*i^(^' 

IIknut Moke Sjirin. 


Brunswick and Nova Scotia would not only be desira- 
ble and acceptable; but wontd also be received with 
less Hcrnpulousness, when brought, as it were, in 
contact with facts of a similar nature publicly kuown 
and believed. 

While these papers were being prepared for the 
press, a gentleman from Washington, M:ijor McDani- 
cl, on return from Boston, boarded for some time in 
the same house with me — that of Joseph Tsichols, 
and having heard some details from me of his unpre- 
cedented character and actions in New Brunswick, 
and having become acquainted with the facts relating 
to his imprisonments and escapes, <fec, in that place, 
could not repress his curiosity in going to see him, 
and requested me to ac'company him at his own ex- 
pense. He observed that it would be a high gratifi- 
cation to him, on his return to Washington, that he 
woidd not only have oue of jny books with him, but 
would also bd able to say that he had personally seen 
the Sheriff from New Brunswick that had written the 
book, and had seen the remarkable character in the 
prison in New Gate that constituted the subject of 
the book, and ihe prison in New Haven from which 
he escaped. Accordingly we set out for New Gate, 
and my friend had the satisfaction of seeing the not- 
ed Honry More Smith, now William Newman. On 
our leaving hijri, I said to him, '' Now Smith, if you 
have any thing to eomnuinicate to your wife, I will 
lei her know it." He looked at me and said. " Sir, are 
you going to the Jerseys ?" Why do you think your 
wife is there ? " I hope so, I left her there," was his 
reply, and ihat with as nuich firmness and seeming 
earnestness as if he had never before seen my face. 



I !: 




1 ' 




TiiH Mystkuiolis; Doinoo op 

Artorl hu\ left biiri ami rotnrnod to Now Haven, aiiM 
furnished thi; printer with this atlditional sketch, 
and hud thvi Moirioirs completed, one of the books 
wore fc;h(Mvn to him, vvhich h(; ])erused with much at- 
tention, and replied with seeming indiffertMic^, that 
Home Qontlomin travelling in the Unittul States had 
run whcrt of jiioiiyy, and invented that book to defray 
his expenses. 

Immediately after he had read the Memoirs of his 
own nnparalleled life and actions, «nd pronounced 
the whole a fiction, as if to outdo anything before re- 
lated of him, or attributed to him, he added the re- 
markable feat to the list, already so full, of his singu- 
lar and nnpr(^cedented actions. In the presence of 
a numb'?r of young persons, and when there was a 
fine fire burning on hearth, ho affected to be sudden- 
ly seized w ith a violent convulsive fit, falling down 
on the floor and bounding and writhing about, as if 
in the most agonizing snflerings And what consti- 
tuted the wonder of the masterpiece of afiectation 
was, that in his spasmodic contortions his feet came 
in contact with the fire, ajid was litterally beginning 
to bo roasted, without his appearing to feel any pahi 
from the burning. This circumstance confirmed the 
bolif^f in the bystanders, that the fit was a reality; 
and he did not miss his aim in shew ing off his spas- 
modic attack, which was indeed done to the life. Ho 
w^as consequently exempted from hard labour, and 
was permitted to employ himself in any t riffling ap- 
plicalion he choose, or in making jews- harps, pen- 
knives, knives of various descriptions, and rings, in 
the mechanism of which he manifested much talent 
and ingenuity. Many persons from mere curiosity, 

■Ti^iiiniYvVi "-;;-7ji 



Hknry Mork Smith. 


piir(^hasod from him several iirticIeR of \m handi- 
work. From among the re Hi may bo uistaneed tho 
case of two young men, who very much admired his 
small penknives, and proposed purchasing two of 
them on condition of his engraving his name on th(; 
handles ofthcm. He immediately engraved, and with 
perfect neatn-.^ss, '" Heniy More Smith," on the sido 
ofoneofthem, " William Newman,'' on th'? other 
side, and on the other knife ho engraved, " Mysteri- 
ous Stranger.*' These knives wsre kept by their 
owners as a curiosity, and many persons were nuich 
gratified by seeing them. One ofthcm was sometime 
after broua^ht to Kingston, and I had the uratificatiou 
of seeing the name of my old Domestic, engraved on 
the handle very neatly. 

Under the indulgent treatment he received in New 
Gate, he becamu perfectly reconciled tohis situafion, 
manifesting no desire to leave it. " Contentment," 
he said, *' is the brightest jewel in this life, and I was 
never more contented in my life." He consequently 
never attempted any means of escape. 

After the period of his imprisonment was up and 
ho ha*d received his discharge, ho left with the keep- 
er of the prison,'a highly finished pocket knife, mod- 
erate size, the handle of wliich contained a w^atch 
complete in all its parts, keeping time regularly. 
And what excited much wonder in reference to this 
ingenious and singularly curious piece of mechanism, 
w^as the fact, that he had never been found at work 
on any part of the watch or knife, and yet there was 
no doubt on the minds of those who saw it, that it was 
in reality the production of his own genius , and the 
work of his owji hands. . For this information I am 

iv^i'iwwi". 'i''n<rw<!»' 



TiiH MvHriauoiM l)uiNnii of 




' : 


«m1 ill tlu>' noi^iih >rIii)tMK mmJ who stMlcd tlint iio luiil 
N(MMi tho KnifiMuu) wntrli, and (hit it wnn rt^.irdod hy 
•ill MM a vri'v cxtraordiinrv pioro ul' iii^cmiily 

ll>< h^fl Simslmry diM'ondy nppMi'ali-'d, willi >.(uiio ino- 
uoy in his pocKot, mid in puMsrswion orsomo nrlirlcM 
of his own liMndiworK. Ho diroilnl hi-"! conrx* omnI- 
>v«U'd, nn 1 Nv.'H MptMi in Hoston ; hut For Honio sJuM't 
tinu\ nolhinii' pii'Hcnijir urslriKinn' wiis honni of him. 
*V\\o first thinii" (MMi(ornin'4' him, th«H took lh(» pnhli^ 
ottontion, WHS pnhlishi*;! in thc^ itostnn /ftiffrtm, and 
which cMino nndnr my own (\vo ; '• Howjiiu* ol' picKpi)- 
k>»ts ! A NtM<»o coach dost inod for this citv, nnd full 
of passi^np: MN, a r»*w « NiMiinj^s >inM^ whiMi ono oftho 
pMssrn^tM'N i*un»4' tht> hell, and cried ont to the tirivcr 
to stop his horses, as liis pocKrt had hiMMi piciviMl of a 
Iai'y,'o sum of money sinct> h(> tMitci'ed the coMrh ; and 
at the same tim«> r(M|Mo>t m1 the drivi^r wonid \\o\ h^t 
any oftlio pissMio-ei's !>' »t out oftho cijach, it htMnfjf 
<hn'K, mitil lu\ th(» afort'SMiil passt^noor, should hrin^ 
a li»iht, in onhu' to hivt^ a ocuvral s(>ai'ch. ThiscanK- 
od a ij[on(MMl rocrmjL!;' (^f pock(^(s amonn- th(^ pass(>necrs, 
whtMi am^thcr pa5?stMii»'(*r vriiMt out that his pjickct 
l)t>ok htid also h(HMi sti>l(»n. The driyor diil as ho \\i\h 
directed, nntil tlu> li'tMHliMnan w h«» had first spokiMi 
should hav(> tinuM'o proeun* a lamp; but whither ho 
ftuiud it t>r not rtMuains (piite uiKnu'tiin. Hut no (Umbt 
he (o)uid th(» liii'ht he inl(Mid(»d should aiiHwiu* his pui*- 
pose, as he luul not sju^wn his app^^arance in 'iny otlicr 
li>»ht. llowtntM*, tho p:is>uMiu:(n* w!u> iv^allv lost his 
]>ockot b.>ok, whicli althouu:h it did not contain but a 
small amount ot*mon(\v, thinks he shall luMnNifter un- 
dei stand what is meant when a man in ii stMuo cojk h 


( ? 

i!i « > i ' ?!ft' i' J > .«- l 

.'j i' llw i Lj ! ji|. i ' ! j|i ) i i ni.ww <i' - «-. ii.nmir 


■*»■ •^ ■•%. m 


JIhnky AIokh Smith. 


rallri out Micir, mid tlmt lieu ill piTft't* (larKiirHN rather 
(liaii liulil, il't^vrr hucli an oil joKtt \h <tll(«i'('(i to liu jila^tHl 
wit It liiiii ai*aiu. ' •• 

Ah Ii(« whh (Mintiniiallv ^llall^ill^ IiIm iiauu^ an v>o\\ an IiIk 
pla(M>, wan iin))OHHil)lo al>va\Hto iil(*iitil) IiIh prfNOii, («h|hi« 
ciall) aw to>\ |>(M'Hoiih in tlio lliiitrd Stah^K wiho pn'Mtiially 
ao(|iiaiiit(Ml with him. Thr diniciiltj of nu*o^iii/iii|i[ him 
WHH not a littlo iii(M'(MiH(Ml also hy tho ('iiciimNtaiict^m ol' hin 
coiitimiallv rhaiij^iipj; his (^xtfi'iuii aniKMiraiicts ami tlu^ in- 

iiiiiitioiiH iiKMiiiN h\ \vhi<*h Ik^ roiihl ohtaiii iiiomw and 
chani**^ oi'apparid, alwa>N ali'ordrd him a iM^i'loct (acility 
oraHHumiui; a dillomil' ap|)«*nrum*(v In addition to (Ik^m) 
cinMiniNtancoK also, an a loalnrt^orchanu'trr which no Icnh 
oontrihutrd to tho (]illi(*ully td' idonlir>iii^ him, miiHt ho 
takon into aiU'onnt hin mnM|nall«Ml an<l inimitahio (mino in 
ad'octinu dilhTrnt and various clwuiu'triH, and Iun porloct 
and umMuhai'i'nHM'd comptiHuiM^ in tlu^ niont difiirnlt and 
poplcxinu riirumHlancoH. To tho idiMitity an<l rcccntrici- 
ty thoro(oi'(>, (d'hin actionn, ratluM* than to our Knowl(MljLro 
(d'tlu^ identity ol' his pci'Non and nanu*, wo muHt <lopond, 
in our Tuturo attiMnptn to trace hin ioolsteps and nnirk 
their charact(M'iHtic printn. 

On tluH uround, tlxM't^l'ore, tlic^n* is not the nhadow ofa 
douht that the rohhery c(nnmilt(Ml in tin* Klaj;i* coach, and 
tluH>ri«>inal:ty oftlKMneauK h) which lie c/irvied oiriilH 
l)ooty, pointed with certainty to tlu^ note<l charactcM* of 
our narrative, Altc»r this (l»»pre(latioii in the coaeli, with 
which he cann* oil" KuceeciHrnl, it >v«>nhl appiMir that ho 
luMidtMl his conrne in tlisonise thnniiih tin? Staten of (Con- 
necticut and New York, assumini* dillerent charactei'H, 
and committint» many rohherieH undiHcovered and ev(!ii 
uiiKUpected lor a lenyth of time, and allerwards mad(^ hin 
appearnnciMn Upper Canada, in the chnn»cter of a y;vni- 
leinan merchant IVom N(»w IJrnnHW ick, with a laijio <(iia- 

ntity of Smnjioled (r -mIs from New Vorkj which ho Haid 
wan coining on after luin in waiioiiK; theHo, lio said, ho in- 






i hHM 



: !!!! i 

liji ; 


!l) ' 
u I 



i if' 



Mystfrious Doin«s of 

tended to dispose of on very moderate terms, so as to suit 
purcliusera ^ 

Here he called upon my l)rotlier, Aiiir-ustus I5ates, 
Deputy Postmaster, at Wellington Square, head of Lake 
Ontario, and informed the family that he was well acqua- 
inted with Sheriff Bates, at Kingston, and that he called 
to let them know that he and his family were well. He 
regretted very much that he had not found Mr. iJates at 
home, and stated that he was upon urgent aud important 
hnsiness, and could not tarry with them for the nigh(, 
but would leave a letter for him. This he accordingly 
did, properly addressed, and in a good handwriting; Imt 
when it was opened, and its contents examined, no one in 
the place could make out the name of the writer, or road 
any part of the letter ! It appeared to have been written 
in the characters of some foreign language, but it could 
not be decipliered. This was another of his characteris- 
tic eccentricities, but his intention remains a mystery. 

lie did not appear desirous to make himself known to 
the family, nor to cultivate any further acquaintance 
with tliem, but proceeded thence to the princi[)al board- 
inn house in the town, a!id enQfaoed entertainment for 
himself and thirteen other persons, who, he said, were 
enijfao'ed in brinuincf on waoons, loaded with smugufled 
good< Having thus llxcd upon a residence for himself 
and 'lis gang of waggoners, lie then called upon all the 
])rlno pal merchant- in the town, on pretence of entering 
into contracts for stormg large packages of goods, and 
promising to give great bargains to purchasers on their 
arrival, and in some instances actually received money 
as earnest on some packages of saleable goods, or the sale 
of which he entered into contracts. It maybe remarked, 
by the way, that he w rote in an unknown and unintelligi- 
ble hand, to the celebra'ed 1 'aptain Brani, the same as ho 
had written to Mr, Bates, but with what view was equally 
^uyseidous and ■fuaccountable. 

1 I: 

IIkxry Mork Smith. 



as he 

Notwithstimding his i»^eiitccl and respectable appear- 
ance, there was a siiiyjularity in his manner and conduct 
which with a!l his tact and experience, he could not alto- 
gether conceal; and hence arose some suspicions as to the 
reality of his pretentions. These suspicions received con- 
tirmation, and Avere soon matured into the reality of his 
benii)- a genteel impostor, from the ftict that time for the 
arrival of his waggons was now elapsed, and they were 
not making thier appearance. At this juncture, when 
public opinion and observation were directed to the stran- 
ger to observe whicli way the balance would turn, an indi- 
vidnal named Brown, who had formerly resided in New 
Brunswick, and had moved with his family to Canada, 
coniino' into contact with the gentleman, recognized him, 
from a certain mark he carried on his face, to be the far 
famed ll'^nry More Smith, whom he had known and seen 
when in the jail at Kingston ! . ., 

This report passing immediately into circulation, gave 
the impostor a timely signal to depart, without waiting 
for the arrival of his wao"t»ous and baorrajre, and without 
loss of time he took his departure from Canada, by way 
of Lake Erie, tlirough the Michigan territory, and down 
the Ohio to the Southern States. With his proceedings, 
durininf this course of his travels, we are entirely unacquai- 
nted; therefore the reader must be left to his own reflect- 
ions us to his probable adventures, as he travelled through 
this immense tract of country. There is no reason for 
doubt, however, that hs had by this time, and even long 
before, b 5)00 me so confirms I in his iniqnitious courses, 
ihat he would let no occasion pass unimproved, that he 
thought ufforded hiin an opportunity of indulging in the 

predominent propensity of a mind which seemed to glory 
in prosei^ution of robberies and plunder, a$ well as in the 
variety of means by Avhich he eifectcd his unheard of and 

unprecedented escapes. 


Tub Mysterious Doimj of 

After he arrived in the Southern States, wc aro 
again able to glean something of his life and history. 
While Iw was yet in the jail in King's Connty, it will 
l)(5 rt^meiiibored, that he said he had been a preacher, 
and that ho should preach again, and would gain 
proselytes; and now his prediction is brought about; 
for undor a now name, thatof Hexrv Hopkins, he 
a})poared in tlio character of a preacher in the Sou- 
tliorn States ! And what wonder,? For Satan him- 
self is transformed into an anael of liy^ht. — Here ev- 
en in this character, he was not without success; for 
he got many to follow' and admire him; yet deep as 
his hypocrisy was, he seemed to l^e fully sensible of it, 
although his conscience had become seared, and was 
proof against any proper sense of wronir. He acknow- 
ledged that he had been shocked to see so many fol- 
low him to bear him preach, and even to be affected 
under his ^preaching. Our source of information 
dees not furnish us with many of the particulars that 
marked his conduct, while itin*^rating through the 
South in his newly assumed character ; yet general 
accoimts w^ent to say, that he had, for length of time, 
so conducted himself, that he gained much populari- 
ty in his ministerial calling, and had a cansiderable 
number of adherents. However, this might have 
been the case for a length of time, yet as the assum- 
ption of this new character could not bo attributable 
to any supernatural impulse, but was merely anoth- 
er feature of a character already so singularly diver- 
sified — intended as a cloak, under which he might, 
with less liability to suspicion, indulge the prevailing 
and all-controling propensities of his vitiated mind. 
It was not to be expected, with all the ingenuity he 
was capable of exercising, that he would long bo ea- 


Hkxry More Smith. 


pablo of concealing his real character. Accordingly, 
some high misdemeanour which we have not been 
nblo to trace,a t hngth disclosed the hypocrisy of his 
character, and placed him before his deluded follow- 
ers in his true light. 

It would appear, whatever might have been th'^ 
nature of his crime, that legal means were adopted 
for his apprehension ; and that in order to expedite 
his escape from the hands of justice, he had seized 
upon a certain gentleman's coach and horses, and 
was travelling in the character of a gentleman in 
state, when he was overtaken and apprehended in 
the State of Maryland. — Here he was tried and con- 
victed, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment 
in the State prison in Baltimor^^, which, from the na- 
ture of the climate, was generally believe(^ would 
terminate his career. The particulars of this adven- 
ture I received in the city of New York, m 1827, 
where T took nnieh pains to obtain all possible in- 
formation concerning his procedings in the Southern 
States, while acting under the character of a preach- 

In the year 1833, it so happened that I had occa- 
sion to visit the city of IScw Y^rk again, when I re- 
newed my enquiries concerning him, but to no effect ; 
no sourcr>s of information to which I had access, 
yielded any account of him, and the most rational 
conjecture was, that he either terminated his course 
in the state prison at Baltimore, or that one day, if 
he outlived the period of his confinement, and be a- 
gain let loose upon the peace of society, some fr<^sli 
developcMuent of his character would point out the 
fi^^enc of his renewed depredations. 



Mysterious Doixcjs op 

'•:. 1 

I: I 

In this painful state of oLscurity I was relurtantly 
obliged to leave the hero of our narrative, on my re- 
turn from New York. 

Another year had nearly ylapsed before any addi- 
tioal light was thrown upon his history; but in an 
unexpected moment, when the supposition ofhishav 
ino' ended his career in the prison at Baltimore was 
becoming fixed, I received, by a friend, a hie of the 
** New York Times," one of the nninbers contained 
the following article, bringing our adventurer again 
into full view, in his usual characteristic style : — 


*' Poll««^ Oflic*',— Ilol»l»ei*, an<1 Siicedy Arrewt.— 

A French {,'entlenian from the South, so ropre«-euto(l hy liiniself, 
uho has, for a few weeks past, under tlie name of H(Miry iJond, 
been running n[) a hill, and runnintr down the fare, rit tlie Fiank- 
iin House, was, tl)is afternoon, arrested at the estahlisliment, on 
ihe ungentlemaniy charge of pillaginiL; tlie trunks of hdgers. Since 
hig sojourn, a variety of articles had disappeared from the 
chambers of the Hotel; and amongst the rest about two hundred 
dollars from the trui'k of (»ne g( ntleman. >^o one, however, had 
thought of susp( rting the Fiench gentjeniaii, ^Ulo w, » also a h d- 
er, until this morning, whc n mifortunat^ ly for him, his face was 
recognized by a gentleman vho knew him to hav»' leen in tlie 
state prison at Baltimore. However, on seaiching him, whicli 
he readily complied with, not one cent of tlie money colud he 
f Mmd either in his baggage or upon his pei S( n: hut in lieu there- 
of, they tound him jiossessed of a hiiye nnniher of small keys, 
through Avhich, no donht, he fauid means (;f disposing of any sur- 
plusage of circulating inedinin: whereupon his quarters were 
changed to JJridewell, until the ensnir.g term of General Sessi- 

Here he remained in confinement until the period 
of his trial came round; ;^vhen, for want of sutlicient 
evidenc^^ to commit him to the state prison, he was 
thence discharged, and the next account we hear of 
him, brings him befort? our view luider the name of 
Henrv Pr^'ston, arrested in the act of atteinntinc to 

Henry More Smith. 



rob the Northern Mail Coach, as will appoar by the 
following article, uxtracted from the " Times :" 

" PoLiCK Office. Monday, Fkbru. 22c1 183o.— Just as this 
ollicu uas closing on Salurdiiy eveiiin*,', ;i vci*} g-Mitleiiuiiily louk- 
ii.^ iij;iii, decenlly dressed, CMllin<> hiiiiself Henry Preston, was 
Ijioiiglit up ill tile custody oltlie driver and yjuard oi'tlie North- 
ern Mud Stuge, nho ch.irj^'ed iiiui with an Jiitompt to rob the 
Mali. Tiie actMisejs testitied tliut witliin a sliort distance of 
l'ecl\skill, they discovered tlie prisoner ahout a Ijundred yards 
ahead oi" the stage, atid on approachhig nearer, tliey siiw him 
jump over a fence, evidently to avoid notice. Tliis, of course, 
e\ciled llieir suspicion, aftd they kept aii ey(; to mad, which was 
iloposiled in the hool. In the course of ;i short time, the guard 
discovered ihe rat nibbling at the I ait; J desired the driver not 
to stop the speed of his horses, i quietly le( myself down, and 
fonnil tlie [jrisoner actively emitloud loosening tlie strap whicli 
«*ontines the Mtil Bay. He was instantly arrested, placed in the 
coach, and c-ji-iicd to town I'l't^e of expense, 

Havi.ii' nothinii to oiler in extenuutioiuof his offenee, Henry 
J'reston was committed to liridewell imtii Mondav, for further 



" I'oMci': OrriCK, Monday Muiimnu. — This morning, Henry 
I'resion, committed lor atleiiipting to rob the Northern Mail, 
was brought u]< belore the silling Magistrates, « hen the High 
Sheriff ol Orange County ajipeaicd and demanded the jtrisom-r, 
wnose real name was Jleniv G.bnev, as a fujiitive i'vimi justi«'e. 

He stated, that on Friilay hist, the piisouer was to have been 
tried for (jrand Jiurceny, and w.ts lodged in the House of Deten- 
tion, at Xewlmrgli, on Tiinisday, umiej-cnie of two p(;rsons, that 
in the course of night he contrived t^) elude the vigileiice of his 
keepers, — escaped from conlinenienl, and crossed the river on 
the ice and had got down as far as iNeKskilJ, wllere^he says, ho 
attempted to gel on the top of the stage coach, tliat lie mightget 
into New Yoi'k as soon as possihle." 

Jiy Gi'dof of the Jiidues, the prisoner \va« dt'liv^rpcl 
to the Hlhn-iir of (]ran<j,e (>onnty, to b«* roc onized 
th'M-e for his trial for th(» oil'ence with which he was. 
oriiiina!lvchjir^e(J, at the next General ^'etiHicny of" 


Mysterious Doings of 


I , 

the Supreme Court. But IxTor^ th*; time came rouml, 
he had, as upon most form r ^'ocasions, coutrived t^ 
make his escape, iuid drfected his course towards 
Upper Canada ! 

Of the particular manner of his escape, and his ad- 
ventures on his way to Canada, we can static nothing 
with certainty ; but like all his pevious movcmonts, 
we may suppose that they w'ere such as wonhl do 
the usual honour to his wretched profession. Y^t 
vnth all his tact, he could not always escap.^ the 
hands of justice; and his course is not unfrequently 
interrupted, and his progress impeded by the mis- 
fortunes of the prison. It was owing to this circum- 
stance that we are enabled to keep pace w^ith him in 
Upper Canada, where we find him confined in the 
jail of Toronto, under the charge of burglary. 

For this information, the writer is indebted to his 
brother, Augustus Bates, residing in Upper Canada, 
from wdiose letter, dated 4th of August, 1835, w^e 
make the following extract, which w ill point out the 
circumstances which have guided us in endeavouring 
to follow up the history of the Mysterious Stranger 
to the present time. 

" Dear Brother. — I now sit down to acknowledge the receipt 
of a number of your letters, especially your last by Mr. Samuel 
Nichols, in which you mentioned that you were writino^ a new 
edition of Henry More Smith. T have to request that you will 
suspend publication until you hear from me again. There 'is a 
man now confined in Toronto jail, who bears the desrciption of 
More Smith, and is supposed to be the same. Many thinj/s are 
toldofhlni wh'ch no other person could perform. I will not at- 
tempt to repeat them as I cannot vouch for their truth. 

" From current reports, I was induced to write to the Sheriff, 
who had him iu charge, requesting him to give me a correct ac. 

liKNRY MouK Smith. 


couutjof lii/11. I have iiot heard from the Sheriff since 1 wrote ; 
perhaps he is waiting to see in what maimer he iri to be disposed 
of. Kcport says that the man is condemned to be execnted for 
sh()|)-breaking — he wishes the Sheriff to do his duty ; that he liad 
much ratber be hanged than sent to the Penitentiary. Many 
are the curious stories told of him, which, as I said before, I will 
not vouch for, — Sliould the Sheriff write to me, his information 
may be relied on." 

Several eomnninicat ions from Upper Canada have 
reached ns between the date of the letter from which 
the above extract is made, and the present time ; but 
none of them contained the desired information as to 
the particular fate of the prisoner, and the manner 
in which he w^as disposed of, until the 18th of Sep- 
tember last, (183G) 

]]y a letter from Mr. Augustus Bates, bearing the 
above date, it would appear that the prisoner hud not 
been exocuted, but had been sentenced to one year's 
confinement in the Penitentiary. We make the fol- 
lowing extract : — 

'* I give you all the information that 1 can obtiin respecting 
the prisoner enquired after. The Jailer, who is also the Depu- 
ty Sheriff, that had him in charge, says that he could learn no- 
thing from him. — said he called his name Smith, — that be was 
55 years old, but denies he ever was in Kingston, New liruns- 
wick. The jailer had one of your books and s'howed it to him, 
but be denied any knowledge of it, and would not give him any 
satisfacliun to the enquiries he made to him. 

" The Sheriff says he believes the person the same Mysterious 
Stranger ; that he was condemned and sentenced to the Peni- 
tentiary for one year. The crime was burglary. 




TilK ^[TS^Kl:lUL■^^ DoiNi.K OF 

CoDcluding Remarks. 


It would havc! afforded the vvritor of tlios-? Mcimo'in 
groMt satisfaction, and no doubt an oqufd Fjilisfactiou 
to the reader, liad it been in Ids power to have paid 
n visit to Upper Canada, that he niiyht bt^ able to 
y'ate from his own cei'tain and p(U'son;d knowiedffo 
of the j)risoi](^r in Toronto, tliat he was, indeed, iho 
r(dfsanuMioted individual that was in his own vUs- 
todv 22 years aj^o : jiikI whom he had the uratillration 
cf seeln<j and recomd/inii" ^u1)^(Mplentl^^ at tl.e hims- 
])ury Mine-^, uhere ho ])layed off his affeetvd 1 ts with 
such art and coiiS(Mpient advan1ag(\ 

But alth')ui!;h'it i;^ not in the writer's pow(M' to close 
up his INIeinoifs witli so im])orlant and satisfactory a 
discovery — yet, kee])inc!: in view 1 h(^ cl arcteristic fea- 
tures of tJH^ man — his ])i"()fesse(l iauurance of \iii\(r - 
toil, in New ]5runswi(k — his denial cf ever having 
seen thi^ first e.ition of the Memoirs, ar.d thi^. care 
which he took to k<'ep hiniseli' enveloped in mysti'ry, 
by utierly declininjn' to give any satisfactory informa- 
tion conc(U'ning himself; all these circumstances uni- 
ted, fonu a cond)ination of features so marked, as to 
carry conviction to the mind of the reader wlio has 



lIliN'RV MoUli S-MITir. 


Irarotl him through this narralivo, that lie is no ot!.- 
er thnii the saiin; inysteious Henry More b^inith. 

There is another feature ia th(^ prisoner at Toron- 
to, that seems strongly cormbrativo of what we are 
desirous to establish ; that is, his afrc. He acknow- 
letlired to bo 55 v(\'irs of a<xe ; and althoucih this wouhl 
make him somewhat older than his real age, yet it 
iixes this'point — that tlie prisoner at Toronto is well 
advanced in years, ajid so must the subject of our 
^Memoirs be also. 

From information whicli we have obtained it seems 
that he hiis undergone his trial, and was eommitted 
to the Ponitentiarylfor a year's continejiiont. Whi- 
ther he found any ineans of effectii^g- an (\\emption 
from labour in the Penitenti arv and then reeoncilinu; 
himself toliisconiinement, or whither he accomplish- 
( d one of Jiis ingenious depMrtures, we are unable to 
determine ( ne thing, howevt r, is highly probable 
— that he is auain uoinu ui) and do\An in tlie earth, 
in the practice of his villauy, except a i\)wer from 

Hi<j:h hiisdin cted the arrow of conviction to his heart; 
for no inferior impulse would be ca} able of giving a 
new direction to the life and actions of a num. whose 
habits of iniquity have been ripened into maturity, 
and obtained an inimov(;able aseenden y by the \ rac- 
tioe of so ni'iny successivu year-j. 

It iiHist be acknow.'edged th- 1 th'^re is an un|re- 




I !l 

coilontod (lo^rree of cleverness in all his ndveiitiiretji, 
which casts a kind of illusive and momentary cover- 
in<x over the real character of his actions, and would 
seem to engage an interest in his favour, {and this is 
an en'or to which the human mind seems remarkably pre- 
disposed when viee presents itself bqf ore it in all its ckve^r- 
iiess)y yet who can read the history of his miserable 
career, without feeling pained at the melancholy pic- 
ture of depravity it presents ? Who wonld have su|)- 
posed that after condemnation and sentence to death 
at Kingston, and his life, by an act of mercy, had 
been given him, he would not have hastened to his 
w ife, and WMth tears of compiuiction mingled with 
those of joy, cast himself upon her neck, and resolved 
by a course of future rectitude and honesty, to make 
her as happy as his previous disgraceful and sinful 
career had made her miserable ? 

]}ut ah ! no, his release was followed by no such 
effect ; rendered nnsuscoptible of every natural and 
tender impression, and yet under the full dominion 
of the god of this vAorld, he abandoned the wif'3 of his 
bosom, and set out single handed in the fresh pursuit 
of crime. 

There is, however, one redeeming feature which 
stande out among the general deformities of his 
character ; in all his adventures which the history of 
his course presents to our view, we arc not called 

Henry Moub JSmitu. 


upon to record any iiinrkB of viulenco and blood; and 
it is perhaps owing to the absence of this repnlsivo 
trait of character, thatve do not behold him in a 

more relentless light. 

Hi«H Sheriff of Kixci's County, New Brunswi'^k. 


ii i 





I i 














Whou Henry More Sniifh was arrested in Pictou^ 
by John Pearson, he was committed to the custody 
of John W- Harris, E^sq.. then Doputy Sheriff of the 
District of Pictou. Oh his arrival he had taken up 
quai^tfers in James Pattersou's barn; he went totonw 
and in ten minutes returned with curry comb and 
brush, which he stole from the stables of Alexander 
Thfliin, to trim his horse, 

On the first day ho. was examined before George 
Smith and Dr. Burton, Esqrs., Justices of the Pcaee, 
who remanded him till the following day, when he 
was again examined before Edward Mortimer, Esqr., 
and Colonel Pearson, father of Sheriff Pearson, who 
granted a warrant for his remoral to Cumberland 
County jail and through to St. John. Whilst he was 
un^lergoing his examinatiorf in Pictou, Murdoch- 
St'vwart of Mount Thorn, came to town, and accnsed 
him of having stolen two watches. 

It appears that Smith, on coming to Pictou, called 
at Stewart's, and priced them and gone bact and 
stplen them. The prisoner affected great simplicity 
and innocence, and asked how could ho have stojenr 
the watches, as he wns at Patterson's bam the even- 

« "m 




mg previous, ancl also early in the morning f The 
fact was, he had gone back at night to Mount 1 horn 
and stolen them. He was very highly clad in Nan- 
keen, and we searched him minutely in vain, but ho 
had previously offered a w^atch seal for sale, and it 
answered Stewart's descrfption, and he had watches 

in his pocket when he came here, and no trace of 
them could be found, and he stated that he had sold 
them to a sailor through the window. 

He was confined in the lower room, the floor was 
of an inch and half thick strongly spiked to the sleep- 
ers on the ground, and sometime afterwards there 
was occasion to remove the floar in order to clear 
the drain, and George McKenzie, (known at whistling 
Geordie) carpenter, then found the two watches and 
seal on the ground under the floor. Mr. McKenzie 
and I carefully examined to see how the watches 
trero deposited, but could not contrive how Smith 
could possibly have done it. The watches wore re- 
turned to Stewart, and he gave the gold seal a pro- 
sent to Mr. McKenzie. 

"When the prisoner came to Pictou with tho horse, 
he enquired for Colonel Adamson as he wanted the 
Colonel to buy the horse, but as the Colonel was in 
Merigomish, attending a muster of militia, Smith 
had to wait for his return, and w^hilst so waiting ho 
was arrested by Mr. Pearson. 

' The description given by Walter Bates is correctr 
and I would only add that he affected gre^it iniiioccncer 


rffTTinawgyrilinaai, w^-^ — -^ 



and simplicity of demeanor. When first searclied, 
ho had fourteen pounds in cash which Mr. Knox toot 
from him. Though thoroughly searched before leav- 
ing Pictou, when in Trnro on his way to jaM, ho 410- 
cidentally dropped two guineas on the floor. On his 
-way to Truro, his handcuffs were separated by a bar 
•of icon which appearing to be a little bent, was ex- 
amined and broke off easily, as it had almost been 
^ cut through and the cut lilled up, but no one conld 
tell how or when he did it. 

One night whilst I was keeping guard over' Smith, 
one ^ason, a servant of mine, went to the dungeon 
window and said in my hearing, " Smith, tell us 
where the watches are and I will let you out, I have 
the keys." 

Smith said ^^ Can you let'me out ?" '^ Yes, T have 
the kys." 

Smith reflected a little and then said, ^' Ah, you 
•d— ' — d scoundrel,! will have you punished to-gior- 


row." The night was very dark and Smith did not 

know T^ason, nor did he know I was there. Next 

day at the trial, when fJ^ason came into Court, Smith 

said to Mr. .Mortimer *' there is the mau who offered 

to let me outlast night.'" 

T cannot imagine how Smith knew Nason. 


John McKinlai. 
Picteu,23rd February, 185t. 





When Henry More Smith camo over Mount Thohi 
with the horse, he tool*' dinner at my house on a Eri- 
ilay ; he Kaw the watches on a nail near the window 
and wanted to buy the silver one. He oflfored me 
seven pounds, but I wanted eight. On Monday morn« 
5ngl missed the watches, and cQ.n» town as I sus- 
pected him. I accused him and he denied it. I heard 
part of the examination of Smith by the Justices, 
and on Squire Mortimer remarking that he pitied 
his case. Smith said it was not as bad as thai of the 
man who offered to let him ont of the jail if he would 
give up Stewart's watches. Ho did n6t pay his bill, 
but offered a Doubloon which was clipped, but want- 
ed the full value, but we did not take it. He had a 
bottle of wine for his dinner On his return from 
Pictoii m custody, he wished the Sheriff's officers to 
pay the bill, but it was not paid, and never has been 
|)aid. My watches were found under the jail floor 
about eleven years afterwards. Smith had attached 
a gold seal to one of them. The seal was not min« 
and George McKenzie of Pictou got k. McKenzie 
tooli^upthe floor, assisted by* Carriboo man then in 
jail. It was this man that found the watches when 
levelling the the ground, and I gave him thirty diil- 
lings. The steel works of the watches were destroy- 
ed by rust, and although I got them repaired they cost 
more than they were worth. Richard Masters re- 
paired them in Pictou. The horse stolen was a very 
feie one with a beautiful saddle. I groomed hie 

, V'l f " 

1 1 









hors«, and all the pay T got was the loss of my watch- 
es. I heard afterwards that Smith paid all:his bills 
by oflFering the clipped Doubloon at full value, and 
stating he had n o change. 



John MoKinlay. 
Pictou, 10th March, 1^57. 

Dear Sir, — In response to your enquiry regarding 
apersoliwho, some years ago was distinguished in 
*he Province, under the name of HenBy More Smith, 
jt may state that some time about the year 1816, (I 
cannot give the exact date,) while myself and ail 
elder brother were at play in a field, where my fath- 
er's men were ploughing, at Cornwallis, a handsome 
well-dressed young man jumped over the fence and 
accosted us by saying, *'Here, my good fellows, I 
tiave lately seen your brother at Woodstock." The 
stranger had a large bundle in his hand, and imme- 
diately joined in our sports. In aJl these he beat us 
with the greatest ease ; and he made us acquaitited 
with several tricks we had not known before. We 
were so well pleased with him that we invited him 
home, and he took tea with the familv. He convers- 
«d with my father in German, and read French rap- 
idly. He played the violin and flute and delighted 
us lads with his fun and anecdotes. But he did not, 
it seemed, like my father, and although we offered e- 
-yory kindness xind hospitality, .he would not be per- 





suadcd to remain all night; but went to the house, of 
Thomas Mee and asked for lodgings. Ho was kindly 
received, and during the evening he opened h is bun- 
" ?clle and displayed a number of gold and silver watch- 
es, much to the surprise of our kind hearted neigh: 
boT^ Next morning he called at my father's housq 
to take leave, and from the hour of his departure, 
my mother never could account for the loss of a large 
«ilvor spoon. "We next heard of our visiter at the re- 
sidence of the Jate worthy Holmes Chipman, whore 
ho had hired as a blacksmith. He gave every satis- 
faction in fbo bushiess ; he could shoo a horse, or 
make a fox trap, or anything el^e ; but it was observe 
od that he would work after hours, to make, as he 
said, some Jittle things for his own private use. Eve- 
ry person was pleased w5th the stranger, whose man- 
ners were very polite and agreeable- Afters fort- 
night of hard labor, he left Mr. Chipman very sud- 
denly in the evening, The night following he stole 
the best horse from the stable of the late Hon. C. E. 
Prescott, anfl not being able to find a saddle, he 
^trapped the gig cushions upon the horse's back and 
started. He was next heard of at Annapolis; but be- 
fore his pursuers could overtake him he had sold the 
horse and departed for New Brunswick. The person 
gave his name as Henry More Smith. He was a 
gentleman in his addres^s, he was a scholar anS an . 
Artist. Now, the a*est of thd fects of this man, ade 






8 bun- 
5 houso 
a large 
the re- 
r satis- 
cse, or 
as he 
). Evo- 
36 man- 
• JBb fort- 
•y eiid- 
Q Stole 
). C> Si' 
ile, he 
ck and 
but bc- 
lold the 
was a 
ani an 
in, ffite 




they not written in a pamphalet published years ago 
in the Province of New Brunswick, whore he pep- 
formed many extraordinary exploits. 

Yours truly, 

James M. Eoss, Esq., 
Halifax, June 1st, 1863.