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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 King's County, province of New Brunswick, where he was convicted of horse stealing, and under sentence of death, also, a sketch of his life and character ... a history of his career up to the present time, embracing an account of his imprisonments and escapes, selected from the most authentic sources, both public and private"

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«• « 












MemoitB of tfje Notelr 



A correct account of his extraordinary conduct during the Thir- 
teen Months of his confinement in the Jail of King's Coun- 
ty, Province of New-Brunswick, where he was convic- 
ted of horse stealing, and under sentence of death. 


A Sketch of his Life and Character, from his first appearance at 
Winds'^A in Nova-Scotia, in the year 1812, to the time 

of his apprehension and confinement i 

, -A 

To to.Aeh is added — A History of his Career up to the preseaU time, 
^ enAracing an AcamiU of his Imprisonments and Escapes. 



f J 


Bmsed, Enlarged, and Improved, — by Walter Bates, Author 
of tlu First and Second Editions. 


Bt WIIililAin li. XVMUV, 



ym)w»— *> ! ■ I " I ■ ' < ■ " wi ' m ' p.. .. I . I ■r'w T i ' i M i' « » i P " '^^ SfSSri 


. >v. 


f. <• 

Upwards of twenty years have now elapsed since the first 
Edition of the "Mtsierious Sthanoek" was published. In 
the course of this time, I have had occasion to visit the United 
States at four different periods, which ^ave me frequent oppor- 
tunities of enquiring after the notorious individual who forms 
the subject of the following narrative, and of becoming acquaint- 
ed with many of the prominent features of his conduct and ca- 
reer, from the time of his banishment from this Province, and 
during his subsequent travels through Nova-Scotia, the States 
of Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New-York, Maryland, 
• and Upper Canada. " 

As I pursued my enquiries, the facts relating to his ^xtraor* 
dinary career became increasingly interesting and astonkiiybing. 
insomuch that I considered it my duty to the world to publish 
them, that all might, in some measure, be prepared to guard, ad* 
much as possible, against the approaches of so artful and design- 
ing a villain, who, from a life spent in the practice of depreda- 
tions, thefls, and robberies, has become so accomplished in his 
diabolical profession as to set mankind at defiance. 

My resolution to publish this Third Edition of his Memoirs 
ill also in compliance with repeated solicitations from Boston, 
New- York, Connecticut, and various other parts of the United 
States, as well as from many persons in New-Brunswick, Nova* 
•Scotia, and Upper Canada. And to render the Work as com- 
plete, interesting, and acceptable as possible, it begins with a 
«ihort sketch of his life and character, from the time of his first 
appearance at Windsor, in Nova-Scotia, in the year 1812, to thet 
time of his apprehension and confinement in my custody. It 
presents, also, a full account of his astonishing behaviour during 
the period of his imprisonment under my keeping in the years 
1914 and '15, with his remarkable escape from prison, and his 




e the first 
ished. la 
he United 
jnt oppor- 
irho forms 
; acquaint- 
ict and ca- 
^ince, and 
the States 

is i^xtraor 

ve-apprtthension and commitment to confinement again ; his trial, 
sentence of death and pardon, and his banishment from the Pro- 

I have traced his subsequent career throughout the United 
States and other parts, up to the present period ; and from the 
*best information I could obtain, — from pubRc prints and pri- 
vate correspondence, and by all possible means have collected 
and narrated all the principal facts connected with his remark- 
able history for upwards of twenty years ; have detailed particu- 
larly his various imprisonments and escapes, until the narrative 
naturally closes with the report of his confinement in the gaol of 
Toronto, Upper Canada. 

As I have deemed it necessary also, to give the public a de- 
scription of his person, I have chosen to give it a place in tliia 
part of the Work, that the chain of the narrative may be preser- 
ved unbroken, as much as possible. 

At the time of his banishment from this Province, he was about 
twenty-two years of age : five feet, nine or ten inches high,— ^ 
straight limbs, and well proportioned ; large bones, and close 
jointed wrists, — fingers large and unusually long, — his complex- 
ion light, but a little of the sallow cast; — his hair of a dark brown, 
liandsomely shaded, and naturally curled iu front;— his eyes of 
a light grey, quick ani piercing, — his noso rather more promi- 
nent than ordinary, and his visage thin, with a small scar on the 
jjeft side of his chin, and a slight one on the- right cheek near his 
«ar, which he received, as he said, in using the small-sword : he 
Avas astonishingly quick and active in his movements, and uni- 
formly clean and neat in his dress. To this description of his 
person may be added, that he was exceedingly addicted to snlo^ 
king, could sing and whistle remarkably well, and play on any 
instrument of music. He could speak several foreign languages, 
and perform all kind of mechanical business or common labour, 
and seemed to have in his arm the strength and power of a lion, 
i^d a mind filled with subtlety, invention, and depth of Satan. 


Kingston, (NeuhBrunstoick,) 

n, and his 



Heniit More Smith, tlie noted individual who forms the sub-» 
ject of this Narrative, made hii^ first appearance amongst us in 
the y^ar 1812. Previous to this, we have no information con' 
corning him* Some time in the month of July, in this year, he 
appeared at Windsor, in Nova-Scotib, looking for employment, 
and pretended to have emigrated lately from England. On be- 
ing asked vrhat his occupation was, he stated that he was a Tai- 
lor; but could turn his hand to any kind of mechanical businew 
or country employment. He was decently clothed, genteel in 
his appearance, and prepossessing in his manner, aiid seemed to 
understand himself very well. 

Although an entire stranger, he seemed to be aoquainteil with 
every part of the Province, but studiously avoided to enteeinto 
close intimacy with any person, associated with few, and Careful- 
ly concealed all knowledge of the means by which he oqiUhb to 
to the country, and also of his orij^in and connexions, ke^^g 
his previous life and history in entire obscurity. 

Fmding no better employment, he engaged in the service of 
Mr. Bond, a respectable farmer in the village of Rawden, who 
agreed with him for a month on trial, during w^hich time he con- 
ducted himself with much propriety and honesty ; was iintueH 
trious, careful, and useful, to the entire satisfaction of Mr. Bondy 
^■jhis employer, and even beyond his expectation. He was per- 
,^«HGe<idj^ii^offensive, gentle, and obliging; used no intoxicating li- 
quori^^r^^ained from idle conversation and all improper lon- 
/^ut^eytnid was apparently free from every evil habits Being 
^DilStB^^®'^ some tune in working on a new road with a cpm- 

gaQy^/pf men, whose lodging was in a camp ; rather than snbject 
iihself to tiie pain of their loose conversation in the camp, be 
ehose to retire to some neighbouring barn, as he pretended, to 
. . 4eep in quiet, and was always early at work in the morqing ; llttt 
as the sequel will discover, he was very differently eiigagecl^f 

A ready conformity to Mr. Bond's religious princmlet, mto 
was a very religious man of the Baptist persnasiott, ranned loi 
^ easy yet successful means for further ingratiating hin^ielftiito 
the favour of Mr. Bond and his family: his attendance on morn- 
ing and evening prayers was always marked with regularity teid 




18 the flub-> 
tgst us in 
ition coTi' 
» year, he 
On bo' 
OS a Tai- 
eateel in 
3eined to 

ted with 

crtee into 


BOl^ to 


?icriousncs3 ; nnrl, in the absence of Mr. Bond, he would him' 
uelflJlRlciate in the niont soloiun and devout manner. This well 
directed aim of his hypocrisy secured for him almost all he could 
wish or expect from thia (iimily ; he not only obtained the full 
confidence of 3!f. T'ond himself, but gained most effectually, tb^ 
affections of his favorifo daughter, who was unable to conceal' 
the strength of her attichment to him, and formed a resolution 
to give h 'r hand to hi in in marriage. Application was made to 
Mr. Bond for his cnncurrenco, and, although a refusal was the 
consequence, yet so sUong was the attachment, and so firmly 
were they detorniiuecl to consummate ll)eir wishes, that neither 
the advice, the entreaties, nor the remonstrances of her friends, 
were of any avail. 8ho went with him from lier father's house 
n VVindsor, aud under the name of Frederick Henry Mora, be 
tijere married her on the l"2lh of March, ldl3, her name having 
l)een Elizabeth P. , ,.. 

While he rliMiined at Rawden, although he professed to be a 
Tailor, he did not purtiue his business ; but was chiefly engaged 
in farming or country occupations. After his removal to Wind- 
sor, and his marriage to Miss Bond, he entered on a new line of 
business, uniting that of the tailor and pedlar together. In this 
character he made frequent visits to Halifax, always bringing 
with him a quantity of goods, of variou-* descriptions. At one 
time he was known to bring home a considerable sum of money, 
and upon being asked how he procured it and all those articles 
and goods he brought home, he replied that a friend by the name 
of Wilson supplied him witi> any thing he wanted as a pedlar 
nnd tailor. It i::! remarkable, however, that in all his trips to Ha- 
lifa&, he uniformly set out in the afternoon and returned the next 
morning. A certain gentleman, speaking of him as a tailor, re- 
marked, that he could cut very well and make up any article of 
clothing in a superior manner. In fact, his genius was extraor- 
dinary, and he could execute any thing well that he turned his 
attention to. A young man having applied to him for j^^e 
coat, he according'y took his measure, and promised to h ■"*"'" 
cloth with him the first time he went to Halifax. V^^i^iti 
aAer, he made his journey to Halifax, and on his returi^aj^b^ilr'^ 
ing to meet with the young man, he shewed J|iim, from tiiS.nt>H-'^ 
manteau, the cloth, which was of a superior quahty, and pi^niis- 
«d to have it made up ou a certain day, which he punctually per- 
formed to the entire satisfaction of his employer, who paid nim 
his price and carried off the coat. 

About Ihis^titne a number of unaccountable and mysterioud 
tbeAs were ct^ri^itted in Halifax. Articles of plate were mis- 
sing frotin. gentlemen's houses ; silver watches and many other 
valual>l^;artic(e# were taken iVoni Silversmith's shops, and all' 
done in 90 i^ysterious a manner, that no maizes of the robber's 




hands wero to -b^een. Three volumes of Inte nets of Parlin- 
ment, relating to the Court of Admiralty, vvoro mitaiiig froui iUc 
office of Chief Justice Strange about tho same titnft : ho ofrerod 
n reward of throe guineas to any person who would restore them, 
with an assurance that no questions should he asked. In .'ifj-w 
days after, Mr. More produced the vohimes, whi<iji ho said he 
Jiad purcha.^ed from a stranger, and received the fliree guinea . 
reward without havinatto answer any enquiries. This affair laid 
the foundation for strong suspicions that Mr. More must havt 
been the individual who committed those secret and mysterious 
thefts which produced so much astonishment in various quarters ; 
and just at this crisis, these suspicions received not only sti^ong 
corroboration, but were decidedly confirmed by the following 
remarkable fact. While the young man whom he had furnished 
with the new coat, as was previously noticed, ms passing.thro' 
the streets of Halifax with the coat on hifback, 'he was arr^ed 
by a gentleman who claimed the coat asrlK pvvjgujpffiningi^that 
It had been stolen from him some time since. 'Ttmb ^gular af- 
fair, which to the young man was extremely mortitymg and af- 
flictivfl. threw immediate light upon all those secret and unac- 
eountable robberies. A special warrant was immediately issued 
for the apprehension of More : however, before the Warrant 
reached Rawden, he had made his escape, and was next )Rard 
of as travelling on horseback, with a portmanteau well filled with ' 
articles which he offered for sale, as he proceeded on his^Way by 
the River Philip : and early in the month of July, 1814, he made 
his appearance in Saint John, New-Brunswick, by the name of 
Hbitiit More Smith. He did not, however, enter the City with 
his horse : but put bin) up, and took lodgings at the house of 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 officers of the 99th Regiment, who, 
finding him something of a military character, and well acquain- 
ted with horsemanship, showed him the stud of horses belonging 
to the regiment. Smith, pen^iving that the pair of horses which 
the Colonel drove in hia ciHrriage did not match, they being of dif- 
ferent colours; 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 perfectly. The Colonel replied, that 
if he were as good as his own, he would give fiftjr ^pounds for 
him. Smith then proposed, that if he, thd' CoTonel* would ad- 
vance him fifleen pounds, he would leave his own horse in 
pledge, and take his passage in a sloop bound -for Cua|ft>erland, 
and bring him the black horse. To this the Colonel readiljr;0ono 
sented, and paid him down the fifteen pounds. This opened the 
way to Smith for a most flattering speculation : he had observed, 
a valuable mare feeding on the marah contiguous to the place 





of Pailiff. 

^' frOui 111,. 

In finnv 
«aid h(« 
'e ffuinen ; 
nffair laid 
'lU'it have 
qunrters ; 



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Mny by ^ 
»e made 
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wheru he had taken Ma lodgings, and cast hjjfely e upon a fine 
saddle and bridle belonging to Major King, #nch ho could pia 
hid hand on in the night. With these facilities in ^ lew, Smith 
entered on him scheme : he put himself in possession of the sad- 
dle and bridle, determined to steal the mare ho saw feeding on 
the inari<h, rido her to Nova-Scoti«, and there sell her; then steal 
the blacU horse from Cumberland, bring him to the Colonel, re- 
ceive hit) two hmidred, and without Io<)s of time transport 
hiiiiijelf within the boundaries of the United States. 

This scheme, so deeply laid, and so well concerted, failed, 
however, in the execution, and proved the moans of his future 
upprehet)sion. Already in possesHion of the naddlo and bridle, 
ho spent the most of the night in fruitless edbrts to take the maro, 
which was running at large in the pasture. Abandoning this 
p&tX p( lus AJMlS hopelcsi^, and turning his horse-stealing genius 
H\ a cli0'MMHmctiQ^J|[e recollected to havo seen a fine horse 
feeding VHAjd nffjfff^ liigh way as he passed through the Pa- 
rish of,J|lpPintHoutthirty miles on, on hia journey. Upon thi» 
fresh scneme, he set off on foot, with the bridle and saddle in the 
ibrm of a pack on his back, passing along all the succeeding day 
in the character of a pedlar. Night came on, and put him in 
possesion of a fine black horse, which he mounted and rode on 
in i)rosecution of his design, which he looked upon now as al- 
ready accomplished. But with all this certainty of success, his 
object proved a failure, and that through means which all his vi- 
gilance could neither foresee nor prevent. From the want of 
i<leep the preceding night, and the fatigue of travelling in the 
day, he became drowsy and exhausted, and stopjped- in a barn 
i>elonging to William Fayerweather, atthebridge that crossetr the 
Mill-stream, to take a short sleep, and start again in the night, so 
us to pass the village before daylight. But, as fate would have it, 
he overslept ; and his horue was discovered on the bam floor ia 
the morning , and he was seen crossing the bridge bjr daylight. 
Had he succeeded in crossing in the nighty he would in oil pro- 
bability have carried his design ; for it was not till the afkernoon 
<if the same day, that Mr. Knox, the owner of the horse, missed 
him from the pasture. Pursuit was immediately made in quest 
of the horse, and the circumstance of the robber's having put Wm 
up at the barn proved the means of restoring the horse to hia 
owner, and committing the robber to cnstody : for there at Mr. 
Fayerweather's, information was given which directed the pur* 
suit in the direct track. Mr. Knox, through means of obtaining 
fresh Ipbrses on the way, pursued him, without loss of time,> 
. tlirongh the Provin< of Nova Scotia, as far as Pictou, a distance 
<6f oi^e hundred and seventy miles; which the thief had performed 
v^yitiithe stolen horse in the space of three days. There on the 
^!^%Mj» the hBtae having ueen stolen on the 2Qth, Mr. Jiaox 


■ ( 



had him ft]yprehW|dcd by the Deputy Sheriff, John Tni'ions, E§q. 
uad taken before mo County Jui^iticoR in Court then sitting. Do- 
Hides the horse, there were a watch and fifteen culneas found 
with the prisoner; nnd a warrant was i.4sued by tlio Court, fur 
Ilia conveyance through the Boveral Counties, to the gaol of 
King'rt County, Province of New-Brunswick, there to take hin 
trial. — Mr. Knox states, that ho, the prisoner, a>)sutn6d different 
names ar^d cotnmittod several robberies} by the way ; that a wutch 
and a piece of India ciitton were found with him, and returned 
to the owners : that on the way to Kingston gaol he iiad made 
several attempts to escape from the Sheriff*, and that but for hi« 
own vigilance they never would have been able to reaob the pri- 
Hon with him, observing at the same time, that unless he were 

make his es- 
tji the war- 

fiad no 
d be- 

well taken care of and secured, he would certai 
cape. He was received into prison fur examin 
rant of conveyance without a regular comubneh 

Tlie prisoner had rode oil day in the nKKrtini 
opportunity of changing his clothes, which by ti 
come very wet, it was thought necessary, lest he should sustain 
injury, to put him into the debtor's room, hand cuffed, where he 
couldbar^^fl);) opportunity of warming and drying himself at the 
fire; tne stove having been out of repair in the criminal's room. 
The da^ ft»liawiag he was removed into the criminal's room, 
where irons were considered unnecessary : and as he appeared 
to be quite peaceable, his hand-cuflfs were taken off, and bein|; 
furnished with a comfortable berth he seemed reconciled to h;^ 

On the ]3th of August, I received the following Letter from 
the Clerk of the Circuit Court: — Dear Sir, Mr. Knox has left 
with me the examinations, &c. relating to More Smith, the horse- 
stealer, now in your jail; these are all taken in the Province of 
Nova Scotia, before Magistrates there, and I would recommend 
that he be brought up before the Magistrates in your Countv, 
and examined, and the examination committed to writing. I 60 
not know under what warrant he is in your custody ; but I think 
it would be as well for the same Magistrates to make out a Mit- 
timus afler the examination, as it wenld be more acoordtng to 
forin. I remain, dear Sir, your's, 

Ward Chipman." 

After proper notice. Judge Pickett, Mr. Justice Ketchum, and 
Mr. Knox, all attended his examination; in the course of whic!), 
lie said his name was Henry More Smith, twenty years of a^e, 
came from England on account of the war^ had been in Attienca 
about a year and a half, that he was born in Brighton, that liis fa- 
ther and mother were living there now, and that he expected 
them out to Halifax the ensuing Spring ; that he purchased a farm 
for them on the River Philip, ana had written for them to come. 



»»»9, Rsq. 
>I. Bo- 
n* /blind 
nirt, for 
gaol of 
tHko ilii, 


" inadfl 
for iiM 

the pri- 

e w«re 

his es- 




De alio itQted that he came to Saint John on bniineM, 
where he fell in with Colonel Daniel, of the 09th Regiment, who 
proposed to give him two hundred dollars if he would brine him 
a black horae, within a fortnight, that would span with hLi 
own of the aame colour; that he told the Colonel ne knew ono 
that would riiatch hia perfectly, and that if he would lend him 
iifteen guineas, he would leave his own mare in pledge' until Im 
would bring the horse, as he knew there was a vessel then in St. 
«fohn, bound to Cumberland, where the horse was. To this pro- 
posal he said the Colonel agreed, and having received he mo- 
ney and left the nliare, wettt to his lodgings ; but before he could 
return, the vessel had left him ; and having no other conveyance 
by water, he was obliged to set out on foot ; and having a Ions 
journey to travel, and but short time to perform it in, he travelled 
all the night, and at davlight was overtaken by a stranger with a 
larxe horse and a small mare, which he oiTered for sale, and that 
he oeing weary with walking all night, offered him ten pounds 
for the mare, which he accepted. That they continued their 
journey some time, and began to find that the mare would not 
answer his purpose ; and the horse being a food looking one, 
which he might sell again for the money, he bantered the stran- 
ger for a swap, which was effected by giving the mare and fifteen 
pounds to boot in exchange for the horse, saddle, and bridle. 
He then produced a receipt which he said the stranger gave him, 
to the following effect:—" Received, July 20th, 1814, of Henry 
More Smith, fifteen pounds, inswap of a horse, between a small 
more and a large horse I let him have, with a star, six or seven 
years old.— James Chuhma!*." 

He then stated, that he proceeded onto Cumberlatid, and bar- 
gained for the black horse which was the object of his pursuit; 
but not having money enough to pay fbr him, without selling 
the one he rode, and hearing that Captain Dixon, of Truro, 
wanted to purchase such a horse, and finding that he. Captain 
Dixon, had gone on to Pictou, forty miles farther, to attend 
Court, he was obliged to follow him with all speed. That the 
next day being ^ufld»y, he was obliged to wait till Monday to 
sell his horse, and was there apprehended by Mr. Knox, and 
charged with stealing his horse ; that he was taken before the 
Court, and had all his money, his watch, and his horse, token 
from him, and was sent back to King's County gaol to take his 
trial ; and complained, that as he was an entire stranger, and had 
no one to speak for him, unless the man were token who sold him 
the horse, his case might be desperate, for he hod neither friends 
nor money, nor any one who knew him to take his port. He 
complained also of having been badly used by Mr. Knox on the 

Having been asked by Mr. Knox, in the course of his exami- 






s :>u 


nation, what loccupation he followed in this country, he replied) 
"" No one in particular." Mr. Knox then hastily asked him how 
he ^ot his living. He replied, with great firmness and self-pos- 
session, " By my honesty, Sir."— After this examination, a regu- 
lar commitment was made out, and he returned to prison. He 
submitted to his confinement without a murmur, and with much 
seeming resignation; but complained of a severe pain in his 
side, occasioned by cold he had received. He seemed anxious 
for an opportunity to send for his portmanteau, which he !M|id 
he had leit with some other articles in the care of Mr. Stackhottse 
near Saint John. Tlxe portmanteau, he said, contained lim 
clothes, which he would be obliged to sell to raise money for the 
purpose of procuring necessaries and engaging a lawyeis repeat* 
mg again, that, as he was a stranger and had no friends t5 help 
him, the'e would be but little chance for him, though innocent, 
except the thief who stole the horse were taken and brought to 

It so happened, on the day following, that I had occasion to go 
to the City of Sayit John in company with Dr. Adino Paddock, 
senr. when, on our way, he had occasion to call at Mr. Nathaniel 
Goldine's tavern, in Hampton ; and while placing our horses 
under his shed, we perceived a man mounting a horse in great 
haste, that was standm^ at the steps of the door, who immediately 
rode ofifwith all possible speed, as though he were in fear of 
being overtaken. On inquiring who he was, we were informed 
by Mrs. Golding that he was a stranger who had called there once 
or twice before, and that she believed his name was Chumah, or 
Churman. I observed to the Doctor, that that was the name of 
the man from whom the prisoner Smith said he purchased the 
horse ; upon which Mr?. Golding said that she could ascertain that 
by inquiring in the other room, which she was requested to do., 
and was answered in the atiirmative. 

We made frequent inquiries by the way, as we proceeded to- 
wards St. John, but could ascertain nothing further of the stran- 
ger by that name. Af\er my return from St. John, I informed 
the prisoner Smith of what had happened by the way; he appear- 
ed exceedingly elated witli the idea of his being the man that had 
sold him the horse, and said if he had money or friends he could 
have him taken and brought to justice, and would soon be resto- 
red to liberty again himself; bnt that if he were sufiered to make 
his escape out of the country, his own case would be deplorable 
indeed, though he was innocent. He again reiterated his com- 
plaint, that he was destitute of money aud friends, in a strange 
country, and although anxious to employ a lawyer, he did «iot 
know of any to whom he could apply for advice. He was re- 
commended to Charles J. Peters, Esq., Attorney in Saint John, 
with the assurance, that if there were any possibility in the case. 





of gettinff him clear, Mr. Peters would exert himself in his behalf 
most faithfally. The first opportonity that offered, be sent ao 
order to Mr. Stackhouse for his portmanteau, with instructions 
to apply the proceeds of certain articles, which he had left with 
him for sale, if disposed of, in retaining Mr. Peters as his Attor- 
ney. The return brousht a handsome portmanteau and a pair 
of boots, leaving a small sum in the hands of Mr. Peters, as part 
of his retainer, which was to be increased to five guineas before 
the sitting of the Court. This arrangement seemed to be pro- 
ductive of much satisfaction to the prisoner, and for the purpose 
of fulfilling the engagement with Mr. Peters, he expressed a de- 
sire to dispose of the contents of his portmanteau, as far a^ was 
necessary, for making up the sum. He gave me his key, witK 
which I opened his portmanteau, and found it well filled with 
various articles of valuable clothing; two or three genteel coats, 
with vests and pantaloons, of the first quality and cut ; a snpedor 
top-coat, of the latest fashion, faced with blacIL ulk ; with silk 
stockings and gloves, and a variety of books, eonsistingof a n«at 
pocket-Bible and Prayer-Book, a London Gazeteer, a Ileady. 
Reckoner, and several other useful books. He had also a night 
and day spy-glass of the best kind, and a small magnifyin^-glass: 
in a tortoise shell ease, with many other useful articles. Suspi- 
cion of his not having come honestly by the contents of his port- 
manteau was not tlie impression that was made ; but rather that 
he had been handsomely and respectably fitted out by careful and, 
affectionate parents, anxious for his comfort and happiness, and 
that be was, in all probability, innocent of the charge alleged 
against him. He soon commenced selling off his little stock, and 
for the purpose of affording him a facility, persons, wishing to 
purchase from him, were permitted to come to the wicket door, 
through which he could make his bargain, and dispose of his 
things. He never failed to endeavour to excite the pity of those 
who came to visit him, by representing his deplorable sitnation, 
in being reduced to the necessity of selling his clothing to raise 
the means of defending his innocence in a strange country from 
the unfortunate charge preferred against him. Nor did he fait 
of his purpose, for many, from pure sympathy for his unfortu- 
nate situation, purchased from nim, and paid him liberally. — 
Among those who came to see him, there was a yoonj^ man, 
who said he had known the prisoner in St. John, and professed 
to visit him from motives of friendship ; he had access to him 
through the grates of the window, and some of the glfVi being 
broken, he could hold free conversati<>n through the gems. The 
last time he came ho carried off the night and day glaai^r debt, 
which he said he owed him while in St. John ; but the probability 
rather was that he had given him a watch in exchange. 
The prison was then kept by Mr. Walter Dibblee, a man fUtk 



learning and talents, who for several years had boen afflicted 
with a painful disease, so that for it great part of his time, he 
was confined to the house, and frequently to his room, in the 
County court house, where he taught a school, by which means,, 
together with the fees and perquisites of the jail and courthouse, 
afforded him a comfortable living for himself and family, consist- 
ing of his wife and daughter, and one son named John, about 
nineteen years of age, who constantly attended his'father. It 
may ako be necessary to mention, that Mr. Dibblee was one of 
the principal members of the Masonic Lodge held at Kingston, 
and was in high esteem among them; besides, he was regarded 
by all who knew him as a man of honesty and integrity, and well 
worthy to fill any situation of responsibility or trust. I am in- 
duced to advert to these particulars of Mr. Dibblee'is character 
because I am indebted to him for many of the particulars rela- 
tive to the pris^er, and because, having had a person who 
could be relied on, there was the less necessity for my visiting 
the prisoner very frequently, which did not exceed once in a 
' weelc generally, except upon special occasions. 

Shortly after the commitment of the prisonbr he was visited 

by Lieutenant Baxter, an officer in the New-Brunswick Regi- 

<?% ment, then recruiting at Kingston. This officer proposed to the 

->' prisoner to enlist him, as a means by which he might be released 

from his confinement. This idea he spurned with contempt, 

and chose rather to await the issue of his trial, depending on his 

Srofessed innocence of the crime for which he stood committed, 
[e was however prevailed on to write to his Attorney on the 
subject, and received for his answer, that such a measure was 
entirely inadmissible, aiid advised him to content himself and 
await the issue of the trial. He appeared much displeased with 
the abruptness of his Attorney's answer, and seemed rather to 
look upon this short and summary reply, as an indication of his 
displeasure 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 Circuit Court, enclosing a Precept to summon a Court 
of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery, to be held at 
Kingston on Tuesday the 27th of September. On the approach 
of the period for his trial, he was encouraged by his friends to 
refy with full confidence on his Attorney, with repeated assu- 
rances, that he would give his case all possible attention ; but with 
uU his professed ignorance^f the law. (and this ignorance he had 
often declared with much apparent simplicity,) the prisoner knew 
too much of it to resign himself with confidence to the issue of a 
cause which could promise him nothing but conviction, and con- 
' j^rm his guilt. He therefore, upon his professed dissatisfaction 
with his Attorney, appeared to think no more about bim,. nor t» 





venew his inquiries concerning him, but set about a more sum- 
mary method of pxtricating himself from the power of the law. 
He turned his aUentioa to his Bible, and perused it with an air 
of much seriousness, as though the concerns of the unseen world 
engrossed all hisihonghts: he behaved himself, in every respect, 
with becomiug propriety; and his whole demeanor was such as 
to engage much intere.'l in his behalf. 

r About this time he discovered symptoms of a severe cold, be- 
ing troubled with n hollow sounding cough, and complaining of 
a pain in his side : but still submitted to his confinement without 
a murmur or complaint. He would frequently advert to the ill 
usage which he said he had received by the way from Pictou, , 
after he was made a prisoner, particularly of a blow on the side 
with a pistol, given him by Mr. Knox, which felled him to the 
ground, as he expressed it, like a dead man; that when he had 
recovered his respiration, which had been for some time sus- 
pended, he raised blood, and continued to raise blood occasion- 
ally by the way for two or three days ; that the pain had never left 
him since, and was now greatly increased in consequence of the 
cold he had received, and that die wound was, as he believed, 
approaching to a gathering in the inside, which he feared would 
finally prove fatal to hiui. He showed the bruised part on his 
side, which was swelled and much discolored, and apparently 
■very painful. All this was accompanied with loss of appetite 
and increased feebleness of body: but he still discovered a re- 
markable resignation to his fate. His siiuation was such as to 
excite sympathy and feeling, so that an endeavour was made to 
render him as comfortable a^ possible, by keeping his apartment 
properly tempered with heat, and providing for liim sucnfood as 
was adapted to the delicacy of his constitution. 

His diseases, however, continued to increase, and his strength 
to decline, with ail ihe symptoms of apjiioachiug dissolution: 

})ainin the head and eyes, dizziness with sickness at the stomach, 
requent rising of blood, and increased painfuliiess of the contu- 
sion on his side. It was now considered high time to apply to a 
Physician, and on the 11th of September sent for a doctor, who 
examined his side and the general state of his diseases, and gave 
him some raediciue. On the 12th, ap^^eared a little better, — 
thirteenth, at eveiiiti"', grew worse. Fourteenth, unable to walk, 
—very high fever with frequent chills of ague. Fifteenth, vo- 
miting and rising blr)od more frequently. Sixteenth, the Rev. 
Mr. Scovil visited him in the morning, found him very ill, and 
sent him toast and wiuc ;md some other cordials. Same day the 
Doctor attended him at 3 o'clock, and gave him medicine. At 6 
o'clock, no better, ansl vomiting whatever he took. Eighteenth, 
appearel still to grow worse; was visited by Judge Pickett and 
Mveral other neighbours ; and being asked whether he wanted 






any thing, or what he could take, answered, " nothing, except 
an orange or a lemon." Nineteenth, 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 was too ill to be 
kept there, and that it was of no use to give him medicine in so 
damp a place. Twentieth, in the morning, found him still de- 
dining : at 10 o'clock, Mr. Thaddeus Scribner and others went 
in to see him, inspecting the room, but found no dampness that 
could injure even a sick man taking medicine. 

The Rev. Mr. Scovil visited him in the afternoon, and intro- 
duced the subject of his approaching end. The prisoner con- 
versed freely on the subject, and expressed his conviction that 
there was little or no hope of his recovery. He stated to Mr. 
Scovil that he was born m England, that his parents were for- 
merly attached to the Church of England, but had lately joined 
the Methodists ; that he came from England on account of the war, 
Biid that he expected his parents to come to this country next 
Spring, which last circumstance seemed to excite in him strong 
emotions. Twenty-first, the Rev. Mr. S . with others of the neigh- 
bourhood visited him in the morning : no favourable symptoms. 
Twenty-second, the prisoner very low : violent fever, accompa- 
nied with chills and ague. Inflammation of the bowels, with eva- 
cuations of blood for the last two days ; extremities cold, and 
strength greatly reduced, inson^ch that he could only just arti 
culate above his breath. Was ttnderstood to say, that he should 
die for want of medical assistance, as the doctor had refused to 
attend him any more in that place, and the SheriiT refused to re- 
move him. His situation had by this time excited general sym- 
pathy and pity ; his seeming simplicity, passiveuess, and resigna- 
tion, greatly contributing to produce tne effect. At 6 o'clock, 
the Rev. Mr. Scovil and a great number of the neighbours came 
and sat with him till 10 o'clock, and then left him with the im" 
pression that he would not live till morning. Friday, 23d, went 
to the jaU early in the morning, found the prisoner lying on the 
Roor, naked, and seemingly in great distress ; said he had fallen, 
through pain and weakness, and could not get up again. He 
was taken up and curried to his bed ; appeared as though he 
would instantly expire ; continued in a low and almost lifeless 
Btate till 5 o'clock in the afternoon, when he appeared to all pre- 
sent to be really dyin^. Rev. Mr. Scovil, Mr. Perkins, Mr. G. 
Raymond, all near neighbours, and Mr. Eddy, from Saint John, 
who happened to be in Kingston at the time, all supposed him 
to be in the agonies of death. He fell into a state of insensibi- 
lity, and continued so until a phial of hartshorn was brought from 
an adjoining room, the application of which seemed to revive 
him a little. After some time he recovered so far as to be able 
to articulate, and upon its being observed to him that he had had 



)n the 


h be 


1 pre- 

r. G. 


hi in 

a fit, he replied that he was sensible of it, that it was his family 
infirmity, and that many of his connexions had died in the same 
way ; and further remarked, that he did not think he could sur- 
vive another, which would probably come upon him about the 
same time the next d.ay : that he was sensible he should not reco- 
ver : but that God toould have him. He then asked Mr. Scovil to 
pray with him ; his desire was complied with, and prayer was 
offered up in the most solemn and devout manner : the occasion 
was deeply airectin<;, and all departed with the full conviction 
that the patient would not linger till the morning. 

Previous to this, no regular watchers had attended him ; but 
it was now considered highly necessary that some persons should 
sit with him till the morning : and consequently John Dibblee 
and Charles Cambreau were appointed by the Sheriff to watch 
him through the night. 

The next morning the following letter was dispatched to Mr. 
Peters, the prisoner's Attorney : 

" Dear Sir, — I fear we shall be disappointed in our expectati- 
ons of the trial of the prisoner, More Smith, at the approaching 
Court, as I presume, from appearance, he will be removed by 
death before that time. He is dyiag in consequence of a blow 
that he received, as he says, from Mr. Knox, with a pistol, which 
he has regularly complained of smce he has been in jail, and is 
now considered past recovery. As it will be matter of enquiry, 
and new to me, I will thank you to let me know by the bearer 
what would be the necessary steps for me to take : and natfUil 
as I have but little hopes of his continuing till niorntng. ' « 
" Your's, &c. " Walter Bixii^^Jt^ 

The return of the bearer brought the following answor:-- 

" St. John, September 24fft. 
" Dear Sir, — Your favor of yesterday I received this morning, 
and I am sorry to hear so desponding an account of the unfortu- 
nate man in your custody. It will be your duty I conceive to 
have a Coroner's inquest on the body, and then have it decently 
interred. With respect to the cause of the death, thait is a cir- 
cumstance which must rest wholly on facts ; if any physician 
shall attend him, let him be particular in taking down in writing 
what the man says in his last moments, as to the circumstances ; 
and if ii Justice should be then present, it would not be ami«r. 

"In haste, your's sincerely, " C. J. Peters. 

"Walter Bates, Esquire." 

Saturday, 24th. — The watchers reported that he had passed a 
very restless night, and but just survived the morning ; that he 
complained for want of medical assistance. — ^The following note 
was then sent to the Doctor who had attended him ; ^ 



>•' *' Kingston, September 2ith, 1814. 

" Dear Doctor. — Smith, the prisoner, says that he is suiferini^ 
for want of medical assistance, and that yon will not attend him 
unless he is removed into another room, which cannot be per- 
mitted ; he must take his fate where he now U, and if he dies in 
jail, an inquiry will take place, which may prove to your disad- 
vantage. I must therefore request your attention. 

" I am, truly your's, &c. " Walter Bat£s. 

" Dr. A. Paddock, Jun." 

At this time the sympathy and compassion of the whole neigh- 
bourhood was excited to the highest degree. The famik of the 
Rev. Mr. ."-covil, especially, manifested deep concern for him. 
and sent him every thing thai they thought would either comfort 
or relieve him : as did also the family of Mr. Perkins, and that 
of Mr. Raymond ; all these having been in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood. But the prisoner used little or none of their cordials 
or delicacies. Mr. Perkins visited him about 10 o'clock, a. m., 
and kindly proposed to watch with him the ensuing night, for 
which he discovered much thankfulness. In the course of the 
day tfajlKj^ijpctor came, and gave him some medicine ; but found 
him al-^ak, that he required to be lifted and supported while he 
was recei^g it. The Doctor acknowledged his low state, but 
did not think him so near his end as to die before morning, un- 
less he should go off in a fit. This, the patient said, was what he 
had reason to fear would be his fate before morning, and there- 
fore wished to make his Will. 

All his Clothes, at his death, he willed to John Dibblee ; and his 
money, about three pounds, which he always kept by him in his 
berth, he bequeathed to the Jailer for his kind attention to him in 
Ida sickness. The money Mr. Dibblee proposed to take charge 
of; but Smith said it was safe where it was for the present. 

Mr. N. Perkins having had occasion to call that day on Mr. W. 
H. Lyon, was enquired of by him concerning the state of the pri- 
soner. Mr. Perkins informed him that he was alive when he 
left him ; but thought he would be dead before night. This in- 
formation Mr. Lyon communicated the same evening to a num- 
llir of persons who w?re assembled at the house of Mr. Scribner ; 
«nd added, that he was dead, for that while he was on his way ta 
Mr. Scribner's, (it having been in the dusk of the evening), he 
had seen SmUh^s Ghost pass by him at a short distance off, with- 
out touching the ground. This singular report, as it came from 
a quarter that could not be well disputed, very much alarmed the 
whole company, and formed the subject of tlielr cohversatien far 
the evening. 



But to return to our narr!iti>^. Af:or the prisoner had made 
h\s Will, he wan, for a short tiino, Icfr. eiIosu;, with tho probability 
that he would shortly bo seized by iinothor fit, which ho was not 
expected to snrvivo. About 6 o'clock in tho fn'eiiiii<», the Rev. 
Mr. Scovil observed to his fmn'Iy, thit it vv'i ^ tlxui iv!)out tho same 
hour of the day at wliich Qiu\lh hu\ had his fit on the, day pre- 
ceding: that ho t'.ioM'iht ho would die siuhlenly ; ho would there- 
fore walk over to the (/ourt fl<;!i-;e, atul be ready there at the 
time, as it must be uai)lousa:itf''or Mr. OJbbleo to be alojie. T-liis 
BO much awaivoiiod the He!isi')iiitu!s of Mr:''. Ccovil,that ^iho could 
not bear the roll'jr.tioi,, acliild. ol" parents that were perhaps 
respectable, Khould lie so near her, in a sfrango country, sick 
and dyinir, on a bed of straw. Ghe I'lorelbra called Amy, her 
wench ; ''her;!," said siie, " take litis feallier bed, and carry it to 
the gaol, and toil Mr. Dibbles; tiiat I lave sent it for BiivAh to die 
on." Mr. Seovil had bee:i in tiie noase, and seated v/ith Mr. 
Dibblee but a v<'ry shori: time, when a noise wa.^ lier.rd from 
Smith in th" jail. John Dibblee, wlio constantly attended on 
him, ran in haste, unlocked tii;; pris!)n do')r, rintl fo'uif! him in 
the agonies of a fit, aud ahno?^ cxpirinir. He niad^ an ciibrt to 
speak, and be<2;2;ed of-Iohn to run and heat a brick thatwa? near, 
and apply it t(» his feet. to ^"ive hnn one inom.'iit's reiiaf whilehe 
was dying, for that his feet and lo'^s were already coid and dead 
to the knees. Jo!m, willin;*- to alford what lelief ho could to the 
dying man, ran in great li;r<;'5 fVoiu the jail thro!i,f^!i tiie passage 
round the stairway that led f.o the kilchcn. wliere wa;; a large fire 
of coals, into v/hi(!h ho ea-t. ih ; liriek, waited but a i'eW minutes, 
and returned with the Iieaied I)vick to the prison; b tt to liis in- 
describable astfinislii-jon^ an;! alino.-t unwilling to hnlieve tho 
evidence of his senses, the <';;'ii'Jf mm had iH-utppsarcfL, and coidd 
not be found ! ! Jo'.iU ran \v'\Va the ti,lin-!,s to his (hther and the 
Rev. Mr. Seovil, who weresii; nr in a room which the prisoner 
mu,st have passed in ma'.in ;; iii.t e^eape. They were entirely in- 
credulous to the ref)')rt of -ui alfiir .-^o unparalleled, and would 
not yield their btdiei' uiitil t'.iey searched every corner of the 
apartment theinsolvea, and .^<MiHd that Smith hiid not only eSil^t- 
ed his escape, l)'it iiad ,i!:;o cairied his menoy, his boots, and eveJry 
article of his clothing av/ \y with him ! ! 

It is impnssiifle to conceive or to describe the feelings of aston- 
ishment with whicti evi^ry one a!)out tlie h()n-:o wa'V filled, when 
they found that the man. wlio had been groaning and agonizing 
under the pain ol'au at; vnnalation of diseases, which, nightfa^r 
night, seemed to have i)'»en wa-ting hisv'treugth, and'brifi)^hg 
him nearer to the close of hi:i unhappy liftM-ljad. in a mqinent, 
and at the very nv^utenl which was thought to be his la.^^t, seized 
the opportunity of hia prison door being open, and rushed from 
bis confinement, leaving not a vestige oHiis moveables behind him. 




As 8oon as a search through the prison confirmed the fact of hi.< 
elo])e[nput, the inmates hastened outside, and continued their 
search nrouud the premises. At this moment, Amy, the wench, 
made her appearance, carrying the foalher bed : and seeitig the 
people around the house, she said to them, " Misses send this brd 
for Smit to die on." Her master told her to taiie it home, and 
tell her mistress that Smith was gone. Amy ran homo and told 
her raiatross that massa say Smit dead and gone — he no imnl im 
hcdl *' Ah!" exclainied her mistress, "poor man, is ho dead f — 
Tiien, Amy, you may run and cari'j) this shirt and winding-s/teet, to 
lay Smith out in." Amy instantly obeyed, and told her master 
accordingly. "You mny lake them back," said he, " Smith is 
gone!" '^ IV herd he gone, massn?" "I don't know," Baid ho, 
"except tlie devil has taken him off." Amy hastened back to her 
mistrcs!?, and told her that "massa say Smitbc dead and gone, and 
t/»« dehil take him aicay !" — So much was the 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 been present, and did not hear of the affair immediately, 
^ave the sentence the same interpretation. A messenger having 
been despatched to him with the tidings, met him on his way to 
the jail, expecting to witness the last moments of the patient. — 
On being informed by the messenger that " Smith was gone," 
"Ah! poor fellow," he exclaimed, " I expected it. What time 
did he die?" "But he is gone off clear " " It is impossible," 
rejoined the Sheriff "that he can be far from his sick bed." — 
"Why," replied the messenger, "they were all about the jail 
looking for nim, and no one could tell which way he had gone." 
"Unparalleled' and abominable deception!" replied the Sheriff, 
"how did he get out of gaol?" He believed John Dibblee left 
the door open while he ran to heat a brick, and then Smith made 
liis escape. 

This was to us the first developement of the true character of 
Henry More Smith, and thus, by means of a counterfeit iUness, 
which melted the feehngs and drew out the sympathies of the 
whole neighbourhood ; which baffled every power of detection, 
and imposed even upon the physician himself, did this accom- 

{/lished villain effect his release, and was now again running at 
arge, glorying in the issue of his scheme. But before we pur- 
sue his history in his succeeding adventures, it may be necessary, 
for tiiQse who are unacquainted with the local situation of the 
gaol, from which he escaped, to give a short description of it. 
Kingston i'^ situated on a neck or tongue of land, formed by the 
river Saint John and Bellisle Bay, running north-east and south- 
west on the western side of the neck, and by the river Kenne- 
beckacis running the same course on the eastern side, leaving a 
tract of land between the two rivers about five miles ix) breadth 



Ct of llM 

ed their 
eirig the 
* this brd 
ne, aixi 
and told 
iMnl im 
had ?— 
s/teet, to 
Smith is 
mid ho, 
i. to hvr 
one, and 
^ry one 
hnith is 
elf, who 
way to 
tient. — 
■ gone," 
at time 
the jail 
lee left 
ti made 

cter of 
of the 
ling at 
e pur- 
of the 
of it. 
yy the 



nnd thirty miles in l»5n,«?th. The winter road from Fredcricton, 
tlic seat of Government, to the City of Saint John, crosscH the 
i:ind at Kingston to the Konncbcckasis, and this road ia inhabited 
on both Hides. The road is intersected in the centre of Kingston 
by another road running nortii-easteriy to the head of Collisle 
Bay, and is also inhabited on both side.s. At the intersection of 
these roads, on an eminence, stand the Court house, (under 
whioh is the prison,) and Church, facing each other, east and 
west, at the distance of about eight rods. At the distance of 
about ten rods from the jail stands the house of Mr. F. N. Perkins 
to the norih, and an equal distance to the south the house of the 
Itev. K. Scovil is situated, with various other houses in different 
directions; the land clear all around to a considerable distance, 
artordinnf no hiding place. From a prison thus situated, and 
surrounded with dwelling houses, did our hero escape, without 
any eye haviiig seen him, and leaving no mark nor track behind 
which could direct in the pursuit of him. Finding ourselves un- 
able to pursue in any certain direction, our conclusions wore 
that he must either have taken the road to Saint John or that 
leading to Nova Scotaia, the way by which he caiae, and the 
only road he was known to be acquainted with. Accordingly 
i/ien wore despatched in pursuit of him on the St. John road, 
and others sent to the different ferries, while I myself, with Mr. 
Moses Foster, the Deputy Sheriff, took the roadtowards Nova 
Scotia, with all speed, in the night, and Vode on until we began 
to think that we must have passed him. Having arrived at n 
house which he could not well pass without being seen, we sta- 
tioned watchers there, and also set watchers in other stations, 
and maintained a close look-out the whole night, but to no pnr< 
pose. At daylight I furnished Mr. Foster with money and setit 
him on, upon the same road, with directions to proceed as far 
as Mr. M'Leod's tavern, distant forty miles, and in case of hear- 
ing nothing of him, to discontinue the pursuit and return. At 
the same time I returned to Kingston myself, where I was in- 
formed, towards evening, that a man, who answered his des- 
cription, had crossed the ferry over the BelHsle Bay the evening 
before in great haste, stating that he was going on an express to 
Frederictoq, and must be there by ten o'clock the next morning . 
This account compared with Mr. Lyon's story, which the reader 
will recollect, of having seen Smith's ghost or apparition the 
same evening in the twilight, confirmed the opinion that we had 
now got upon the direction of our runaway. And when we 
remember further, that the amarition was passing along without 
-'touekingtlie ground," we will have some idea of the rapidity 
with which our self-released hero was scudding along as he car- 
ried his neck from the halter. It was now Sunday evening, nnd- 
be had twenty-four hours of a start, leaving little hopes of his 



Ki ' 

ho'mg overtaken by me. As my only niternntive, I forwarded 
ndvertii-ein'jnts, aiid |)r()po>od a ivr.vurd of twenty dollars for his 
apprehension and ro-cosninitmuiit to cnstody; but with very lit- 
tle prospect of »n(:(;(Vv'i. k-iovviii^ tliat h(5 wa.s escapin<; for his 
life, and wonid s.iccoed in gottiii^' ont of the country before ho 
could be overta!c<?n. 

Monday niornin? t!io 'i'jtli instant, Mr. Mose.^ Foster rctnrncd 
-from bis route, an. I by this lime many nnfavorable reports con- 
cerning the prisoner's escape had be^nin to be circnlated. The 
Court at which h') 'vas to rei^eivo his trial was now to meet on 
the Tnesday followi?!;:. and a Jury summoned from didorent parts 
of the county for the express purpose of trying tliehorjo stealer. 

My wliole time and iitioiition were now required to make tho 
necessary preparations Ibr the Court, and I felt myself not a lit- 
tle chagrined on retlectinjjj on tlie ciremnstances in which I was 
placed. This .'(.'(.-lina l)eoame hei.ihtened to a nmst painful de- 

{;ree when I came lo untler.^, by Mr. E. Jones, that the vil- 
ain, instead of esr-apir.^r for iiis life, and getting out of my reach 
with all possihle liusio, had on!/ t/nvollod a!}0ut ten miles the 
first night, and wiis seen lyin.;' on sonio ytraw before the barn of 
Mr. Robert Bailf.M, the next morning, on tlie road towards! Cage- 
town, having la",:i lUrve t;ll twelve o'clock in the day. But 
Smith did not lie on his bo<! of straw for rest merely ; even there 
he was projot-tin? frcs!j schemes of villany, walling for an op- 
' portunity to carry away some booty from the house of Mr. 
Bailes: and it .-o happened that he did not miss his aim, for Mr. 
nnd Mrs. Caiic:^ had occas:ion to leave the house to go soino dis- 
tance, leavin;^ tlie door nnloelced. when the rol)bcir entered, 
broke open a i-uk':, and carried otf a silver watch, eight dollars 
iji money, a pair of new velvet pantaloons, and a pocket book, 
"with several othiM- ai ti.-.'iles. He then walked leisurely on his way, 
stopping at the n". A l!on-<e and at al! the houses that were conti- 
guous to the re i.l, to that l>a did not make more than three or 
four fniles bef^n' nnvk. When Mr. Bailes returned to his house 
and found it had bctui rolibcd. lie immeiliately fixed his suspicion 
on the man wiio Iain belbie the barn door, from having ob- 
fierved the prii'f of a i)oot-hf:ci, which was thought to be his, and 
gave the alana toiiis noi//h!>onis. They inmiediately set out in 
pursuit of him, and Iviving heard that he had been seen on the 
road at no greai distaiioe bnfore them, they foMowed on in high 
spirits, expectiu',' shordy to t-t-'r/.G him; bnt in this they were dis- 
appointed, for t!ie rol)!)er warily turned ai«ide from the road, 
leaving his pnv^,Mors to exercise a painful and diligent search, 
without beini :;b!e to Oi-ee) ;ain which way he had gone. Having 
followed as far as Gugetown, they posted up advertisements, 
descriptive of his pervon, and also of the watch; and sent some 
of them oa to 1' ledericion. 

Jl'ars lor hia 
tnh very lit. 
V"f? for hia 
uo/bre ho 

k fetiirncd 
[porU con- 
F^d. The 
f) meef on 
'**eiit parts 
^9 stea/er. 
make tiio 
.""ot aiii. 
'c'» I was 
^"ifiil (Je.. 
It tJje viJ. 
'•'y reach 
niiioa tho 

' 'jarn of 

J^ tia^e- 

('^ Bat 

en there 

1" an on- 
of Mr. 
for Mr. 

>»io dis- 


t book, 

'3 way, 

roe or 



'» and 
•nt in 
I) the 



Late on Sunday nij»ht, nman called at the house of Mr. Green, 
who resided on an island at the mouth of the Washademoae 
Lake. He said he was a Frenchman, on his way to Fredericton 
about land, and called for \hi purpose of enquiring the way. 
Mr. Green informed him that he was on an iHlund, and that he 
had better stay till the morning, and that he would then direct 
him on his jourrey. He made on a large fire, by which.the 
man examined his pocket book, and was observed to cast seve- 
ral papers into the fire, and finally he threw in the pocket book 
also. Mr. Green on seeing this, had an immediate impression 
that the man must be some improper character, which idea was 
strengthened by the circtiinstance of its being a time of war. In 
the morning therefore he took him in his canoe, and carried him 
directly to Justice Colwell. a neighbouring Magistrate, that he 
might give an account of himself On his examination, he an- 
swered with so much apparent simplicity, that the Justice conid 
find no just ground for detaining him, and consequently dismis- 
sed him. He then made his way to an Indian camp, and hired an 
Indian, as he said, to carry him to Fredericton : and, crossing the 
rirer, went to Vail's tavern, on Griinrossneck, where he ordered 
breakfast for himself and his Indian, and had his boots cleaned. 
At this moment, Mr. Bailes, whom he had robbed the day pre- 
ceding, was getting breakfast at Mr. Vail's, and writing adver- 
tisements in quest of the robber. About eleven o'clock, he, with 
his Indian, started again, leaving Mr. Vail's unknown and unde- 
tected ; but not without taking with him a set of silver teaspoons 
from a side closet in the parlour. 

The time was now come for the sitting of the Court, and 
about eleven o'clock on Tuesday morning, the Attorney Gene- 
ral arrived from Fredericton, with very unfavoinable impres- 
sions on his mind, bringing iufurmation that the robber was still 
traversing the country, stealing and robbing wherever he came, 
without sufficient eft'ori being made for his apprehension. The 
Jury also were collecting from the diftiMGut Parishes of tho 
County, bringing with them unfavourable idoas, from the reports 
in circulation concerning his escape. AniDug the many opinions 
that were formed on the subject, one, particularly, was very in- 
dustriously circulated. The prisoner \v:rj a Freemason, and it 
will be recollected that Mr. Dibblee, the jailer, was stated in a 
former part of the narrative to be a FreemTson also, and tlmt 
there was a Freemason Lodge held at KiUj'^ston. The public 
mind was strongly prejudiced against us, unwilling to believe 
the real circumstances of his elopement; and the Court assem- 
bled under the strongest impressions that his escape was conni-^ 
ved au The Honorable Judge Chipman presided on the occa- 

The Court was now ready for business, hnt no^trisoncr ; yet high 




expectations were chorished that every hour would bring tidings 
of nis nnpiehension, aa ho was pursued in every direction. The 
Grand Jury was empannelled, and the Court adjourned till the 
next day at eleven o'clock, waiting anxiously for the proceeds 
of the intermediate time. And to render the means for his ap- 
prehension as effectual as possible, Mr. Benjamin Furnald, with 
a boat well manned, was despatched in the pursuit with direc- 
tions to follow on as far as he could get any account of him. 

Wednesday, the Court again met and commenced other basi* 
ness ; but nothing of Smith yet. In the afternoon, Mr. John 
Pearson, witness against him, arrived from Nova Scotia, a dis- 
tance of two hundred and eighty miles. Towards evening con- 
clusions were beginning to be drawn that he had eluded all his 
pursuers and was making his way back to Nova Scotia, and this 
conjecture was almost converted into a certainly by the circum- 
stance of a man having been seen crossing the Wai-hademoac 
and making towards Bcllisle Boy. 

Nothing more was heard till Thursday morning earl^, when 
Mr. B. Furnald returned, and reported that he had found his 
oourse and pursued him through Maugerville : that the night 
before he (Mr. F.) reached Maugerville, the robber had lodged 
at Mr. Solomon Perley's, and stole a pair of new boots, and had 
offered the silver teaspoons for sale, that he. had stolen at Mr. 
Vail's. That he then walked up as far as Mr. Bailey's tavern, 
where he stopped some time, and that he was afterwards seen 
towards evening under a bridge counting his money. This was 
the last that could be heard of him in this place, and it was now 
believed that he had taken an Indian to pilot him, and had gono 
by way of the Washademoac and head of Bellisle, for Nova 
Scotia. This was in accordance with the idea entertained at 
Kingston before Mr. Furnald'^ return. 

At ten o'clock on Thursday morning the Court met according 
to adjournment, to bring the business then before them to a 
close, without much hope of hearing any thing further of the 
horso-stealer at this time ; when about three in the afternoon, a ser- 
vant of Mr. Knox's, (who it will be remembered was the Plain* 
tiffin the cause,) came direct to'^the Court with information to 
his master, that his other horse was mis^ng out of the pasture; 
that he had been known to be in the pasture at one o'clock at 
night, and was gone in the morning ; and that a strange Indian 
had been seen about the place. This extraordinary news pro- 
duced much excitement in the Court ; and the coincidence of the 
Indian crossing the country with the robber, with the Indian seen 
at Mr. Knox's, confirmed the opinion, that Smith had made him- 
self owner of Mr. Knox's other horse also!!! Mr. Knox, on 
bearing this niews, became exceedingly agitated, had no doubt 
that Smith was the thief again, would not listen to the Sheriii' 



bring tidings 
>ction. The 
iruod till the 
he proceedR 
a for his ap. 
urnald, with 

with direc- 

of him. 
i other bnsi. 
i» Mr. John 
'cotia, a dis- 
vening con- 
luded all his 
tin, and thini 
the circiim- 

arljr, when 
d U)und his 
' the night 
had lodged 
>ts, and had 
5len at Mr. 
sy's tavern, 
wards seen 

This was 
I was now 
I had gone 

for Nova 
irtained at 

them to a 
her of the 
^on, a ser- 
the Plain, 
oiation to 
pasture ; 
clock at 
?e Indian 
lews pro- 
ice of the 
lian seen 
ade him- 
^nox, on « 
10 doubt 
3 Sheriff 



who was not just willing to credit the report of the hnrae being 
stolen, and atiirmed that his life was in danger if Bifidli was suf- 
fered to run at large. Mis Honor the Judge expressed his opi' 
niou that groat remissness of duty appeared. 

A General Warrant was issued by the Court, directed to all 
the SheritT:) and Ministers of Justice throughout the Province, 
commanding them to apprehend the said More Smith and bring 
him to justice. In the mean time, men were appointed to com- 
mence a fresh march in quest of him, to go in dincrnnt directions. 
Mr. Knox, with Henry Lyon and Isaiah Smith, took the road to 
Nova Scotia; and Moses Foster, the Deputy Sheriff, und Na- 
than Deforest, directed their course towards Frodericton, by the 
head of Bellisle Bay, with orders to continue their search as far 
as they could get information of him, or to the American settle- 
ment. The Sheriff then wrote advertisements for the public pa- 
pers, offering a reward of forty dollars for his apprehension ; 
and the Attorney General increased the sum to eighty dollars. 
Indictments were prepared, and the Grand Jury found a BUI 
against the Sheriff and Jailer, for negligence in suffering the pri- 
soner to escape. They were held to Bail to appear at the next 
Court of Oyer and Terminer to traverse the iHuictments. The 
business of the Court being at the close, the Sheriff paid the wit- 
ness, Mr. Pearson, from Nova Scotia, for his travel and attend- 
ance, amounting to one hundred dollars, afler which the Court 
finally adjourned. 

Nothing was heard of our adventurer till after tlie return of 
Mr. Knox with his party from a fruitless search of ten days in 
the I'rovince of Nova Scotia, and as far as Richibucto. The day 
rullovving, Mr. Foster and Mr. Deforrest returned from theiV 
rhase, and reported that afler 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 towards Woodstock. They continued the 
pursuit, and found that he had stopped at Mr. Ingrahim'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. Ho broke open a trunk, 
which was in the room adjoining the one he had slept in, and 
carried off a full suit of clothes belonging to Mr. Ingraham, that 
cost him forty dollars, and a silk cloak, with other articles, which 
he concealed so as not to be discovered. This information gave 
his pursuers suthcieut proof that he was indeed the noted horse- 
steeuer. But Mr. Ingraham not having missed his clothes imme- 
diately, the robber travelled on unmolested, and the next day 
went only as far as Mrs. Robertson's, where he found a collection 

f young people, played the fiddle for them, and remained the 

ext day and night. He then proceeded towards Woodstock, 



leaving tho spoons with AFin. Ilnberijon in exchange for a shirt, 
and taking pai^sai^e in a f?.»u(>(*, lianticMjed lofi^l in company with 
another canon that had Ijoeii at I r.ilcrictou, in which tho Rev. 
Atr. Dibblee, Missionary tit \V oodsiuck, was passenger, with a 
younsf man poling th;i caiiot!. Tin; young man had seen Mr. 
Bailes' advciiisriinent at Fredei'iatoii, describing the man and 
watch, whicli liad a singidar steid chain; and observed to Mr. 
Dibblee, that t!iey both answered to tlie appearance ofthestran- 

^ ger. Mr. D. remarked ta the young man that he might be mis- 
taken, and as]\(.(l tho strau;^er to let him see the watch. The 
8 ranger handed the watcli with a'l willingness, and it was found 
so exactly to answer to the matk-f of Mr. Bailcs^ tcatch that Mr. D. 
challenged it as the property of Mr. Bailes. Smith very gravely 

^ replied, that it was nfacouritc loatr.h that he had owned for a 

" ibng time ; bnt that if he had heard of one like it having been 
stolen, he had no objection to leave it with him until he returned, 
which would be in about two weeks. Mr. D. replied that the 
Huspicion was so strong, iuit he thought he would detain him 
also, until he couid hear from Fredericton. Smith rejoined that 
,ho was on imporlrsnt business and could not be detained ; but if 
he would pay his expense- and iii»ke himself responsible for the 
damage incurred by his detention, he would have no objection 
to stop till he could send to Fredericton. Otherwise, he would 
leave the watch, as he proposed belore, and would return in ten 
or twelve tiays, during which iitne Mr. D. might satisfy himself 
OS to the watch. He appeared so perfectly at ease, without dis- 
covering the slightest indications of guilt, that on these couditiona 
they suffered him to pass on. He continued his march through 
Woodstock until he came to the road that leads to the American 
settlemeni, and a~ it drew towards evening he enquired of a re- 
sident by the way coiR'ornin? the road to the American side ; 
but was asked by t :e man to tarry till morning, as it was then 
near night and ihe .•jelilcniont yet twelve miles dii^nt. He did 
not choose to comply - .ilh the invitation, and affianced, as an 
apology, that two iueu liad gfue on before him, and he feared 
tliey would leave hiin in the morning ifhe did not proceed. It 
happened in a very rtliort time after, that two young men arrived 
Uiere from the settle. nen', a.-id b;3ing asked whether they had met 
two men on the read, the y ausweied in the negative. It was 
tlien concluded that Smith w;u- a deserter, and they turned about 
and tbllowed him to t.he American settlement, but found nothing 
of him. The day foliowiiij. Mr. Foster and Mr. Deforrest arri- 

. ved at Woodstock, and tiudiu'i tliemselves still on the track of 
him, they pur-fuod oi: to t.'ie / nierican lines, but could hear no- 
lliing concornin!:r him. Thin then informed the inhabitants of 
Smith's character; aud proposed a reward of titenty pounds for 
his apprehension. The people seemed well disposed and pro- 
iniKed to do tlieir utmost. 



ge fot a shirt, 
iornpany with 

lich the Rev. 
enger, with a 
had seen Mr. 
the man and 
erved to Mr. 

of the stran- 

light be miB- 
»[atch. The 

it waa found 
h that Mr. D. 
very gravely 
owned for a 
having been 
he returned, 
►lied that the 
[ detain hinj 
[■ejoined that 
inod ; but i£ 
sibJe for the 
10 objection 
3, he would 
etiirn in ten 
'■^s^y himself 
without dis- 
» conditions 
rch through 
3 American 
red of a re- 
iican side ; 
t was then 
. He did 
CRd, as an 
1 he feared 
•ceed. It 
en arrived 
iy had met 
•• It was 
ned about 
d nothing 
rrest arri- 
3 track of 
I hear no- 
bitanta of 
ounds for ^ 
and pro- w 

Rfessrs. F. &, D. then made their way back to the River Saint 
J^ohn, and tliere, most unexpectedly, came across tlio path of 
our adventurer again. They found that he had crossed the river, 
stopped at several houses for refreshment, and called himself 
Bund. That he had assumed the character of a pursuant in quest 
of the thief viho had broken into Kingston jail : said that he was 
a notorious villain, and would certainly be hung if taken, and 
appeared to be extremely anxious that lie should be apprehended. 
They traced him down to the river where the Indians were eu- 
camped, and found that he had agreed with an Indian to conduct 
him through the woods to the United States, by the way of Kd 
River, a route not unfrequently travelled; and hence had baflled 
uU the efforts of his pursuers and finally escaped. Messrs. F. 
<& D. thought it was now time to return and make their report. 
It afterwards appeared, that the Indian, his conductor, af\er hav- 
ing gone about two days on the route, began to be weary of his 
job. (perhaps finding that it might not be productive ofmucii 
profit,) and discovered that Smith carried a pistol, which he did 
uot like very much, refused to guide him any longer, gave him 
back part of his money and returned. This materially turueil 
the scale with our adventurer, and Fortune, that had hitherto 
smiled on his eiiterprize, refused, like the Indian, to conduct 
itfiu much further. Unable to pursue his journey alone, he was, 
of course, obliged to return, aud he had now no alternative but 
lo try his chance by the known road. It was now the 10th of 
October, and he re-appeared on tlie old ground, wanting re- 
freshment, and in quest, as he said, of a deserter. While hiss 
i)reakrast was preparing, information of his presence was circu- 
lated among the inhabitants, and Dr. Rice, who was a principal 
character in tiie place, eOected his apprehension and had hiiu 

The clolhgs he had stolen from Mr. Ingraham he had on, ex- 
cepting the' pautaloons, which he had exchanged for a pistol. 
lie said he had purchased the clothes very cheap from a man 
who he believed was a Yankee. He was then taken in charge 
by 31 r. A. Putnam and 3fr. Watson, vv'ho set out wilJi their pri- 
soner for Fredericton. On their way they stopped at the Attor- 
ney General's, throe miles from Fredericton, and then proceeded 
juto town, where the Supreme Court \vas then sitting. Tht? 
prisoner was brought before the Court in the presence of alarj^e 
number of spectators. The Hon. Judge Saunders asked hiui 
iiis name, and he unhesitatingly an.-:\vered, " Smith." " Ar*t 
you the man that escaped from the jail at Kingston?" " Yes." 
On being asked how he effected his escape, he said, the Jailer 
Mteitcd tlie door and the Priest prayed him out. He was then or- 
dered to prison for the night, and the next day he was remandcil 
to Kingston jail. Putnam aud Wati-on set out wilh him iu an 




Indian canoe, one at each end, and the prisonef, hntadcuffed 
and pinioned, and tied to a bar of the cnnoe. in the centre. 
They wete obliged to watch him the first night at the place where 
thcy^ lodged, and the next day they reached Hie house of Mr. 
Bailea, opposite Spoon Island, wtiei-e he had stolen the watch 
and the money, &,c. It wa» near night, and the passage to 
Kingston rather difficult ; and thHy being strangers, Mr. B. pro- 
posed that if they would stop with him till morning, he wonld 
conduct them to Kingston himself. The3r willingly complied, 
and they having been up all the preceding night, Mr. B.{)ropo8e(l 
that if they would retire and take some rest, he with his ramily 
wotild keep watch of the prisoner. After they had retired, the 
prisdner enquired the way to Saint John, and whether there 
were any fiirries on this side the river. He then asked for a 
lilanket and'leave to lie down. Mrs. B. made him a bed on the 
floor ; but before he would lie down, he said he had occasion to 
go to the door. Mr. B. awakened Mr. Watson, who got up t(r 
attend him to the door. Smith suid to him that if he had any 
apprehensions, he had better tie a rope to his arm, which he ac- 
cordingly did, fastening it abo-;e the handcuffs, with the other 
^nd wound round his own hand. In this situation they went 
out of doors; but in an unguarded moment^ Smith watching hiH 
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 nntieing the knot. 

Thus, handcuffed and pinioned, and bound with a rope, the 
ingenums horse-steider, by another effort of his unfailing ingenu- 
i^, akin to his mock sickness in the jail, had effected a second 
escape from his keepers, leaving it as a matter of choice, whether 
to institute a hopeless search for him in the darkness of night, or 
sit down in sullen consultation on what plan they had best pur- 
axie in the morning. Nothing could exceed the chagrin of JPut» 
nam and Watson on finding themselves robbed of their prisoner, 
except the confusion wl: ch filled myself and the Jailer on the 
knowledge of his unexuinpled and noted escape from the jail. — 
To pursue him in the night, which was unusnall} dark, and 
rainy besides, was both hopeles and vain ; it was therefore thought 
test to inform the Sheriff" in the mornin|^ of what had taken 
]ilace, and receive his advice as to their future proceedings. In 
the morning, accordingly, Mr. Putnam proceeded to Kingston, 
and on communicating the news to the Sheriff, received a sup- 
ply of money, with orders to pursue the road to Saint John, 
while the Shcrifl*, with two men, proceeded to Mr, Bailes*. 
There they received information that Smith had changed liis 
course, and crossing the Oaknabock Lake in the night, was di> 
rcr.ttnf his course towards Fredericton again ! It will be remem- 
he/ed that previous to his escape, while a prisoner at Mr. BailM\ 



ho cniide particular enquiries whether there were any ferrias in 
the way to Saint John, on this side the river. At this time it 
would seem that he had looked upon hU schenx) as siicces-^ful, and 
evidently directed those inquiries concerning the road with a 
view to mislead, while it wa.s his policy tn return upon the course 
which would he judged the most unlikely of all he should take. 
But to return to our story. Me catiie to the hike the same even-, 
ing ho had got clear of Mr. Watson and the rope, and there ur- 
ged as a reason for hishnste in cro^s n:^ the lake \n the ni<;ht, that 
He was on his Way to Fredericton to purchase land, and that he 
had arranged it with Putnam and Watson, who had gone to 
Kingston with the Thikp, to take him up in tiieir canoe on their 
return, and was to meet them at the in ervale altnve, etuply tbe 
next morning. This well varnished and rhamcttrUtie st<trff pro- 
cured him a speedy passage over the lake, and now our adv«i|- 
turer is in undisputed po-^session of the country, at Itbeity to 
choose which way he should turn his face. 

On being put in possession of these particulars, we immedi- 
ately and naturally supposed that he was msety axid pritdendff 
directing his course to the United States, by the way ot the Uro> 
mocto ; and so we followed up his retreat accordingly ; hut in 
that direction no intelligence could be obtained, and we remained 
in total ignorance of his proceedings and history up to the S)6Ui 
of October. At tiiis date, when it was supposed that he liad 
transported himself into the United States, to our utter a^'toninb- 
meut and surprise we find him again in the pro.seciition of his 
usual business in the immediate vicinity of Fredericton. Him Rnt 
appearance there again, was in a bye place, at a small house not 
then occupied 9s a dwelling. It was drawing towards night, and 
the day having been rainy, he came to the house wet and cold. 
An old man by the name of Wicks, wit!i his son, was engaged 
in repairing the house, in which they h;id some potatoes. There 
was also a quantity of dry wood in the house ; but as the old 
man was about quitting work for the day, he bad suflfered the 
fire to burn down . ^„.T he stranger was at'ixions to lodge in their 
humble habiUition<i|p^ the night, but the old man observed to 
him, that they did not lodge Uiere at night, and gave him an in- 
vitation to the next house, where he could acoouimodate him 
better. He did not accept tlie invitation, but said thut be must 
go on eight or ten miles that night, and so he departMi. 
. The old man and his son racured the door and retired to their 
lodgings; but when the morning came it was fonnd that Smith 
had returned to the old house, spent the night, bnrned op all the 
wood, regaled himself on roasted potatoes, and again took his 
departure. The following night, he paid a sweepin;; visit at ^ 
house of Mr. Wilmot, seven miles from Fredericton. Finding 
• large quantity of Linens, gprinkled and ready for ironing, be 





made a full seizure of the whole, together with a new coat b<f' 
longing to a young man belonging to the house. The plunderer, 
Hnding his booty rather burthensonie, took a saddle and bridle, 
which he happened to discover, put them on a small black pouoy 
which was feeding in the pasture, and thus rode with his luggajje 
till he came within two miles of Fredericton. There he found 
a barrack or hovel, filled with hay, belonging to Jack Patterson 
i mullatto, which presented a convenient retreat where he could 
feed his horse and conceal his plunder. Here he remained 
for some days undisturbed ; would turn his horse out to feed on 
the common in the day, concealing himself in the hay, and would 
ratch him again at night, ride into town, make what plunder he 
could, return to his retreat, and conceal it in the hay. 

Our adventurer thought it was now high time to pay his ret?' 
pccts to the Attorney General himself, who lived about three 
• miles distant. Here he was not altogether unacquainted, having 
made a previous call on his piissage as a prisoner from Wood- 
stock to Fredericton. He arrived on the spot about nine o'clock 
in the evening, retaining, no doubt, an accurate remembrance 
of the entrance to the 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 on the same evening, whose 
am-coats, cloaks, tippets, comforters, Sfc. Sfc. were all suspended 
in the hall. He did not obtrude hiojself upon the notice of tha 
company ; but he paid his respects to theiir loose garments, mak- 
ing one sweep of the whole, consisting of Jice top-coats, three 
plaid cloaks, a number of tippets, comforters, andotlier wearing ar- 
ticles ! Having been even more successful than perhaps he ex- 
pected, he rode back through the town to the place of his con 
ccalment, deposited his booty, and gave his horse, after this tra- 
vel, a generous allowance of hay. This generosity to his horse 
led to his detection, for Patterson happening to peiceive ihat hi* 
hay was lying in an unusual manner out of the window of hii« 
barrack, immediately formed an opinion that some person had 
taken up lodgings in the hay, and in this he was not mistaken ; 
for on coming to the spot, he found SinitMHjjj^g in the hay, with 
a white comforter about his neck. On perceiving him to be :i 
stranger, he asked him where he had come from, and was an- 
swered that he came from the Kennebeckacis, was after land, 
and getting belated had taken up his lodging in the hay, and 
hoped it was no harm. 

Afler Patterson had gone into his house he perceived that the 
traveller had retired from the barrack by the windovv and wati 
making towards the woods. Upon perceiving this^ the idea of 
his being a deserter instantly presented itself to his mind, a;nd cal- 
ling for assistance, he soon made tlie stranger n })risoner, which 
was easily effected, as he didnotmnke much effort to escape. 


the: mysterious stranger. 


w coat bd' 
und bridle, 
ack potic/ 
lis luggage 

be ibuiid 

to feed on 
and would 
►binder he 

ay his res- 
out three 
id, having 
m Wood- 
ne o'clock 
kvas much 
ig, whose 
ice of tha 
nts, mak- 
'ats, three 
aring ar- 
ps he ex- 
bis con- 
• this tra- 
his horse 
e Ihat hi» 
•w of his* 
rson had 
istaken ; 
ay, with 
to be it 
was an- 
er land, 
ay, and 

Ihat the 
nd was 
idea of 
(Md cal- 


It was Roon discovered that their prisoner was no loss a person 
than thu far famed Henry More Smith, a«d no lime wa? lost in 
committing him to Fredericton jail. 

Patterson, not seeing the comforter with him which he wora 
round his neck in the hay, wa3 induced to examine the hay it' 
perhaps he might find it. This led to the discovery of his entir^j 
deposit: for, he not only found the immediate object of his searcli. 
but alHo all the articles previously mentioned, with many more 
which were all re.storcd to the owners respectively. 

Upon the examination of the prisoner, he gave no proper sa- 
tisfaction concerniu!i the articles found in the hay: he said tlicv 
were brought there by a soldier, who rode a little poney, and 
went off, leaving the saddle and bridle. He was then ordered 
to be taken by the Sherift' of York County and safely delivered 
to the Sheriif of King's County, in his prison. Accordmgly, th*? 
Sheriff prepared for his safe conveyance an iron collar, made of 
n flat bar of iron, an inch and a half wide, with ahingeandcla^p, 
lastened with a padlock. To the collar, whichwas put round hi"< 
neck, was fastened an iron chain, ten feet in length: thus pre- 
pared, and his hands bound together with a pair of strong hand- 
cufls, after examining his person lest he should have saws or 
other instruments concealed about him, he was put on board ;t 
sloop for his old resi/laice in Kingston. They started with a fair 
wind, and with Patterson, the mulatto, holding the chain by the 
ond, they arrived with their prisoner at Kingston, a distance of 
sixty miles, about 12 o'clock in the night of the 30th of October, 
which was better than one month from the time of his triumphant 
escape t'iroua;h means of his pretended indisposition. On his re- 
appearance in the old spot and among those w'.o had ministered 
BO feelingly to hU comfort during the whole period of his affected 
illness, and whom he had so effectually hoaxed, it might hav^ 
boeu expected that he would have betrayed some feeling or emo- 
tion; or a trati:jient blush of shame, at least, would have 
passed over his countenance; but ah! no: his conscience had 
long since become seared, and there was no sensibility within, 
strong enough to gjflftifie slightest tint to his shame-proof couii- 
fenance. He app^rod perfectly composed, and as indifl^ercnt 
and inr'ensible to all around him as though he were a statue of 

On the ensuing morning he was conducted to the jail, which 
he entered without hesitation or seeming regret. After his for- 
mer escape it had been cleared out of every thing, and carefully 
swept and searched,, In the course of the search there were 
found several broken parts of a watch, and among the rest, the 
box which contained the mainspring. This convinced us that 
the watch, (which he received from the young man before his 
escape, in exchange for the spy-glass,) was intended to furnish 



him with the materials for making a saw, in case all other plana 
he mi/;ht adopt to accomplish his release, should fail to suOeeed. 
Wtt found u large dinner knife cat in two, which we supposed 
tu have huen done with a saw made of the mainspring, as a trial 
or experiment of its utility. 

Havin/2; hy this time, from painful experience, become a little 
acquainted with the depth of his genius, we thought it not impos- 
possihle nor unlikely, that he might still have the saw concealed 
about his persoti. although Mr. Burton, the Sheriff of York Coun- 
ty, had Hearrhed him before his removal from Fredericton jail. 
VVe were, however, de ermin3d to examine him more closely, 
(or which end we took off his hnndcuiTd, and then ordered him 
tu take off his clothes. Without hesitation or reluctance he di- 
AcHted himself of l\k clotheii, &11 to his shirt: we then searched 
every part of his dress,— the sleeves, wrist-bands, collar of his 
whirt, and even the hair of his head ; but found nothing. We then 
KuHered him to put on his 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 twenty two feet by 
Mxteen ; stone und lime walls three feet thick on three sides, the 
fourth side having been the partition wall between the prison 
rooms. Tliis partition was or timber, twelve inches thick, lathed 
iind plai stored. The door was uf two inch plank, doubled and 
lined with sheet iron, with three iron bar hinges, three inches 
wide, clasped over staples in the oppo.oite posts, and secured 
with three strong padlocks ; and having also a small iron wicket 
door secured with a padlock. There was one window thrQii|h 
the stone wall, grated witliin and without, and enclosed With 
glass on the outride, so that no comunmication could be had with 
the interior undiscovered. The passage that leads to the prison 
door is twenty feet in length and tliree feet in breadth, secured 
at the entrance by a padlock on the door ; the outside door wan 
also kept locked, 'so tliat no communication could be had through 
the passage, without parsing through three securely locked doors, 
the keys of which were always kept by Mr. Dibblee, the jailer, 
who from his infirm state of health, nevMJ^ the bouse by daj 
or nig4u. ^^ 

Having learned a lesson hy former experience, we maintained 
the most unbending strictness, suffering no intercourse with the 
prison whatever. 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 his provision at tbe 
wicket door. The end of tlie chain was fastened to the timber 
of the floor by a strong stapkt. near tlie partition wall, eo that ho 
could not reach the grated window hy five or six feet He was 
prorided with a bunk, Mtraw. and blankets, as a bed ; and hia 
wriala having been much swelled with the bandco^ I coa«Mcr< 




other plaoi 

to Muticeed. 

m supposed 

ig, as a trial 

some a little 
not impoH- 
V concealed 
3ricton jail. 
)re closely, 
rdered him 
ince he di- 
n searched 
ollar of his 

We then 
ried out of 
' with him. 
wo feet by 
) sides, the 
the prison 
iek, lathed 
ubied and 
ree inches 
d secured 
»n wicket 
r through 
Med with 
I had with 
lie prison 
, secured 
door wait 

ed doon, 
le jailer, 
e by da J 

with the 
his right 
• thai he 
He waa 

c.d it unnecessary to keep them on, especi illy as he was so tho- 
rflu<;hly s'icured in other respectn. Im this situation I lefl him, 
with directions to the jniler to look to him frequently through the 
wicket door, to soe that he letnaiued secure, intending at the 
name tlm3 to visii him occasiourily inyHolf. 

Tha jailer came to look at him frequently at the wicket door, 
as <lirected, and always foiind him quiet and peaceable, either Bit- 
ting up readin:;, or lying down in hi^t berth; he never uttered 
any complaints, but appeared resigned to his confinenient. I 
visitel him once or twice in the week to see, for myself, that his 
irons remained secure ; and always finding him as yet, in the 
same st.ate of secirity in which I had left him, I made up my 
mind that we i^honld be able tn keep him without any aditional 
trouble. He manifested good nature as well a.« resignation, for 
ho always came up to the wicket d;)or when I wished to see that 
his irons wprj in order, with the greatest seeming willingness. 

On the twelfth day of his confinement, I was informed that 
Mr. Newman Perkins had heard an unusual noise in the night, 
which induced him to think that Smith had been at work at the 
grates. On making more particular enquiry, I learned from 
Mrs. Perkins, that she had heard a noise like rubbing or filing, 
late in the night ; and by holding her head out of the window, 
.'he considered the s«)nnd to proceed from the jail. Knowing 
the situation of the prisoner, chained, that he could imt reach tho 
jrates by five or six feet; and knowing also, that after the search 
had made, it was impossible that he could have retained about 
' person any thing by which he could operate on the grates, we 
7 '^ ^^^ ^''^" improbable that the sound could have pro- 
13 fr(|ffi him Nevertheless, we did not treat the iuforma- 
with i^repard or neglect. I went immediately to the pri- 
son, accompanied by lMo«es Foster, George Raymond, Allen 
Basten, and Mr. Dibblee, the jailer, with several others. It waii 
then the evening, and we carried with us two or three candles. 
On opening the door, we found him lying in his berth, chained, 
just as I had left him. I said to him, " Smith, you have not got 
out yet ;" he answered, " no, not quite." I then examined every 
bar of the grates as closely as possible, as also did every one pre- 
sent, again and again, until we were all satisfied that the cause of 
the alarw; was only imaginary. Smith all the while lying quiet, 
.answeric^ readily any and every question that was put to him. 

Mr. Basten had yet continued scratching and examining the 
inner grates, when it was discovered by all present that there 
was a small chip lying on the flat bar of the outer grate, which 
was supposed to have been there accidentally. Mr. Basten, 
however, beini fully >-atisfied that th ? inner grate remained se- 
cure, was led, rather by curiosity, to reach through his hand, and 
take up the chip that lay on the bar of the outer grate; on doing 





this, ho thouglit he could perceive that the bar was inclined to 
hang in a smnil degree. This led to further examination; and to 
the utter astonishment of all that were present, it was found that 
the bar was cut one-third off, and artfully concealed with ihfi 
feather edge of the chip. Our astonishment was increased bjr 
die fact, that it was impossil)le to reach the outer grate without 
first removing the inner. This gave the hint for a yet more ef- 
fectual examination, when it was found that he had cut one of 
the inner bars so neatly, that he could remove and replace it at 
pleasure, having contrived to conceal the incisions in such a 
manner as almost to preclude the possibility of detection. There 
Is little or no doubt that in two or three nights more, he would 
have effected his second escape, had not his works been disco- 
vered, through the very means which, artful as he was, he em- 
^ ployed to conceal them. On beingasked what instnnnent he used 

in cutting the grjitc. he answered with perfect indiflerence, " With 
this saw and tile ;" and without hesitation, handed me from his 
berth, a case knife, steel bhde, neatly cut in fine teeth, and a 
common hand-saw file. I then asked him how begot to the 
grates, or whether ho had slipped the shackles off his feet ? he 
answered me, no ; biit that he had cut the chain : and then showed 
ine very calmly where he had cut the chain in the joint of the 
links, a part where the cut could not very readily be discovered. 

On being asked where iie got his tools, he answered that " 
had left th nn in the jail when he went away, and that those in 
had given me were all the tools he had left. But perceiving 
the shape of t' e knife, (it having been much thicker on the 
than the edge,) that the bars could never have been 
through with that instrument, we were induced to 
er search, and found, in a broken part of the lime 
grates, a very neat watch-ppring saw, having a cor 
end. I then asked him who gave him those tools ; 
replied with great firmness, " You need not ask me again, fi)r I 
never will tell you." After I had finished these enquirie|| I 
searched his bed and his clothes, and lenewed the chain agai|^t« 
his leg, fastening it firmly to the floor with a staple ; an putllhg 
on a pair of strong hand-cuffs of J bt)lt. We then left him, itbe- 
ing about 11 o'clock on Saturday night. On the next Sunday, 
at 4 o'clock, I revisited the jail, when the jailer informed me that 
the prisoner was lying in his berth with all his irons on, and had 
been enquiring of him if the Sheriff were not coming to examine 
his chains. About 12 o'clock the same night I was alarmed by 
V a man sent by the jailer to inform me that Smith had got loose 
from all his irons, and having worked his w>iy through the inner 
grate, was cutting the outer grate, and had nearly escaped ! Here, 
at the dead hour of midnight, when it might be expected that 
«very eye would be sunk iii the stillness of sleep, through tba 



ed at one 
to which he 

tll£ ftiVSTEttiOUS STRANOEtt. 

Vigilant attention of Mr. Dibblee, the jailer, this astonishing be- 
ing, who set haudcufiV, and shackles, and chains at defiance, had ■ 
all but eflected 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 n stick three 
feot in length, and shoving a light through the wicket gate, he 
was enabled to discover him at work before he could have time 
to retreat to his berth. Mr. Dibblee, on perceiving how he wai 
employed, ordered him to leave every thing he had, and take to 
his berth : he instantly obeyed, but as suddenly returned to the 
grates again, placing himself in a position in which he could not 
bo seen by tlie jailer. Remaining here but a moment, he went 
quickly to the necensary^ and threw something down, which was 
distinctly heard, and finally retired to his berth. Mr. Dibblee 
maintained a close watch until I arrived at the jail, which we im- 
mediately entered, and to our amazement found him extricated 
from all his irons. He had cut his way through the inner grate, 
and had all his clothes collected, and with him, ready to elope^ 
and had cut the bar of the outer grate two-thirds 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 
down the^iiecessary. The truth of this, however, we proved by 
letting do^^^candle, by which we could clearly see the bottom ; 
but no tanfjlf^elre to be seen there. His return to the necessary 
and droppmg. or pretending to drop something down, was, no 
<lw>t, an artifice by which he attempted to divert our attention 
[^the real spot where his tools weie concealed. But in lhi.i 
, _^. with aH his cunning, he overshot the mark, by his over- 
cag^ness to tell us where he had cast his tools, instead of allows 
ing us rather to draw the conclusion ourselves, from his return 
to the place, and dro])ping something down. We next proceed- 
ed to strip off and examine his clothing, carefully searching every 
horn and seam. His berth we knocked all to pieces, examining 
every joint and split ; we swept out and searched every part of 
the pri-on, knowing that he must have his instruments m some 
part of it ; but all to no purpose, — nothing could we discover. 
Wo next replaced ail his chains with padlocks; put oh htm a 
pair of screw hviiid-cufTs, which confined his hands close together, 
and thus left him about 4 o'clock on Monday morning. On the 
day following, Mr. Jarvis, the blacksmith, having repaired the 
grates, came to put them in, whelkwe found Smith lymg on the 
floor, apparently as we left him ; but, on examining the new 
handcuffs, which screwed his hands close together when pat CMi» 
wo found them separated in suoh a manner, that he could piUt 
them off and on when he pleased. On being asked why he de- 
stroyed those valuable handcuffs, " because," stiid he, " they art 
no stiff that Qobody can wear them." 




No doubt then reniainnd thiit he mast have his saws concealed 
•bout his body, uiid having been ordered lo take olf his clothes, 
he eomplied wiili his usiiul reudinetts. On taking otf his shirt, 
which hud not been done tit tiny time previuns in our searches 
•bout his body, Dr. A. Paddock, wiio wu.-i pre^tHut, and nuipiov- 
•d ill tlie search, discovered a small niu^hn cord about his thigh, 
close to his body, and drawn so tight th:U it could not be felt by 
the hand passing over it, with the shirt between. This small cord 
was found to conceal on the inside of his left thigh, a fine steel 
smopttUe, two mr:hes broad and ten inches long, tiie teoth neatly 
cut on both the edges, no doubt of his own woirk. After ihis dis* 
eovery, we put on him light handcutfs, secured his chains with 
padlocks again, and set four men to watch him the whole night 
The next day we secured the inner grate, filling the squares with 
hard bricks, lime, and t>and ; leaving a space a\ the upper corner 
of only four by Hve inches, in which was inserted a pane of glass 
in the centre of the wall. This small opening in a wall three 
feet thick, admitted little or no light, so that the room was ren- 
dered almost a dungetui, which prevented the prisoner from be- 
ing seen at any time from the door without the light of a candle. 
From this time we never entered the prison witliout cau'^e^and 
two or three men. 

Ou the 13ih of November, I addressed a letter to Judge Chip- 
man, to which I received the following answer: 

'^' Saint John, November 14, 1814. 
" Dear Sir, — I received your letter of yesterday relating t^the 
new attempts of H. M. Suyth to escape. I have forward<i 
fame to Fredericton, ii,wi presume that a Court wilt he oi 
for bis trial as soon as may be practicable for the state of the ttkvei 
|iug, and the necessity of procuring the witness from Nova Sco- 
tia;^ though I should suppose not probably before the ice makcfl. 
in pe mean time the utmost vigilance and precaution nmst bo 
ibade use of to secure him : and you will be justified in any niea- 
■ures of severity that you may find it necessary to adopt lor this 
purpose. I am, dear Sir, faithfully yours, 

W, Bates, Esq. W. Chipmaw." 

Wsdnesday the 16th, we entered his prison and found that he 
had been employed in beating the plaister off the partition wall 
whh bis chains, bad broken one of the padlocks, and appeared 
to b«Te been loose ; seemed verv vicious, and said he " would burn 
and destroy the building, ipSwild make it smoke before he left 
it," and that we should see it smoke. I then prepared a pair of 
steel fetters, case hardened, about ten inches long, which we put 
on his legs, with a chain from the middle, seven feet long, which 
we stapled to the floor : we also put un iron collar about his neck, 
with a chain about eight feet long, stapled also to the fioor in a 

to the 
in sue 
and ftJ 
on ail 
lie u 
i ton 














[a clothea, 
hia shift, 
r ouiplov. 
Ilia thigh, 
■ felt by 
lall cord 
^ne steel 
th nciitly 
f this di»< 
liiM with 
le night, 
ares with 
>r corner 
« of glass 
all three 
was ren- 
froni be- 
I candle. 
('.Ilea and 

?e Chip. 














t'Ji Sco- 


tiust bo 

y uiea- 


br thin 




hat he 


n waii 



le left 

air of 




rill a 


direction opposite to the other : and also a chain from hia fetters 
to thK n ck collar, with hiiiidcutfs bolted to the middle of hia chain 
in Niich a iiiitinifr ih to pr(>vent his hands from reaching his head 
and ftMit when Htaiidin!,', luaving it jiiHt possible for him to feed 
himHelf when sittintr. All theme iron^ and chains he received 
withotit discovering the least concern or r(?gard. When the 
blacksmith had finished riveriiig the wliolo, I said to him. "Now, 
Smith, I woiilfl advise you to h • quiet after this, for if you are 
not you will next h;\ve iin iron band put round your body and 
stapled fast d«>wn to tlie floor." He very calmly replied, •* Old 
man, if you are not satisfied, you may put it on now. I do not 
regard it, if you will let me have my hands loose you may put 
on as much iron a^i you please. I care not for all your iron." 
In this situation we left him, loaded with irons, the entire weight 
of which was forty-six pounds, and withoiU anv thing to sit or 
he upon but the naked floor. Although he was thus situated and 
in an entire dungeon, he appeared not in the least humbled; but 
became more troublesome and, and exceedingly vicious 
against the jailer. Despair and madness seemed now to seize 
him, and ravinir and roniing would unite with the utterance of 
prayers and portions of the Scriptures. With a tremendous 
voice he would cry out, " O you cruel devils — you nmrderers — 
you man-slayers— you tormentors of man I Ho'v I burn to be re- 
venged; help, help, help me; Lord holp me to be revenged of 
those devils; help me, that I may tear up this place, that I may 
turn it upside down, that there may not be one stick nor stone 
of it left. My hair shall not be shorn, nor my nails cut, till I 
grow as strong as Sampson, then will I be revenge'l of all my 
enemies Hulp, help, O Lord help me to destroy these tormen- 
tors, murderers of man, tormeniin^i me iuchainsand darkness:" 
shouting, " darkness, darkness, O darkness, — not light to read 
the Word of God, — not one word of comfort from any. All is, 
— ^you rogue, you ihief you villain, — you deserve to be hanced. 
No pity, not one word of consolation, — ail darkness, all trouble:" 
singing "trouble, trouble, tiouble; O God help me, and have 
mercy upon me, — I fear there is no mercy for me; — yes, thero 
Is mercy, it is in .lesus, whose arms stand open lo receive; but 
how shall I dare to look at him whom I 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 well as I. a poor 
prisoner; consider you have children that may be brought to 
trouble as well as I ; consider I have parents as well as they. O ! 
if my parents knew my situation, it would kill them. My wife! 
begone from my sight; why will you torment me ! It is for vou 
that I suffer all ray sorrow, — it is for you my heart bleeds. Not 
a friend comes to see me,— nothing before me but pain and Mr- 




row, cliains and darknesfi, niiHory and death. Oh ! wretched me, 
how long am I toHiifTer in this place of torment! Am I to linger 
ulifeofpain and sorrow in chains and miHery? No, I will cut the 
thread of life and be relieved I'roin thin place of darknes^s and 
trouble:" singing "trouble, trouble, trouble," a thousand tinieH 
rcpoated. In this manner he continued raving till ho became 
very hoarse and exhausted, would take no notice ofanything thut 
was Haid to him, and finally left otTspcaking entirely. 

The weather having become very cold, he was allowed hin 
berth a^aiii, with u comfortable bed of straw and blunkots ; but 
the blankets had to betaken away from him again, on account of 
his having attempted tn hanir himself with one of them made into 
a ropo. lie next attempted to starve himself, but this he gave 
over, after having fasted throe or four days. He now dropped 
into a state of quietness, and lay in his bed the most of the tiuu>, 
day as well as night; but on the 16th of December we found, on 
oxaiitining his prison, that he had broken the iron collar from hiw 
neck, and drawn the staple from the timber ; but replaced it again 
•0 as to pi event d(>tection. 

On the ITtli, wn put a chain about his neck, and stapled it to 
the floor in such a manner that he could not reach cither of the 
staples. In this situation he remained secure and rather more 
quiet, yet with occasional shouting and screaming until the lOtU 
of January. The weather having now become very cold, and no 
tiro 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 handcuffs, wore accordingly 
taken ol*'. For this relief ho discovered no sign of thankfulness, 
but borame more noisy and troublesome, especially in the night, 
,r.o:.:r-'''.:g ::!1 within the reach of his voice, with screeching and 
howling, and all manner of hideous noises, entirely unlike tlie 
human voice, and tremendously loud, even beyond conceplion. 
In this manner he continued for five moiilhs, occasionally com- 
mitting violent^e upon himself and breaking his chains, during 
which period he never could 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 htm, no more than if he 
had been a dumb, senseless animal ; yet perlbrming many cu- 
rious and aj^tonishing actions, as will be related liereafier. 

In the New Testament, which he always kepi by him, a leaf 
was ohsLMvod to bo turned down, under which, upon examina- 
tion. WIS found the following Scripture, in the I'd chapter of Ist 
Corinthians. "And I, brethren, could not speak unto yon," &<*. 

The weather having been intensely cold throughout'the month 
of January, and ho having had no Hre, great fears were enter- 
tained that he must perish from cold : but astonishing to relate, 
his hands and feet were always found to be warm, and even hi* 

ched me, 
Uo linger 
Iness and 
I'id tiiiieA 

Ihitig thut 

ked hin 
lofs ; but 
[count of 
i«de int(» 

he tinu!, 
'iind, on 
'Voju f„„ 

^t again 



i^haiiu ! In February, when t)' > weather began to moderate a 
little, he became more troubit ome; beean to tear off the lime 
wall and lathins from the partition, and break every thins he 
could reach. A strong iron-hooped bucket that contained his 
drink he broke all to pieces ; the hoops he broke up into pieces 
not exceeding three Inches long, and would throw the pieces with 
such dexterity, though hand'^suflfed, as to put out the candle when 
the jailer 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 received from the 
jailer on the 10th February : 

" Dear Sir, — There must be something done with Smith — he 
is determined to let me know what he is if no one else does,— 
he sleeps in the day time, and when I go to tell him to keep still 
at night, he yells so as not to hear what I say to him. Instead 
of thanks for taking off his irons, he makes all the noises he can 
by yelling and screamins all night, and knocking very loud all 
night with some part of his irons. I wish you would come up 
early and advise what is best to be done. W. Dibblxk." 

I came to the jail accordingly, and found his irons uninjured, 
and to prevent liim from using his hands so freely, locked a chain 
from his fetters to his hand-cufis, and left him. 

On Sunday, two gentlemen from Nova-Scotia, at the request 
of Smith's wife, came to make enquiry af\er him. I went with 
them to the jail to see if he wOuld speak or take any notice of 
them, or of what they would say to him from his wife. They 
told him that his wife wished to know if he would have her come 
to see him, and what she should do with the colt he left ; that she 
would sell it for two hundred dollars, and have the money sent 
to him. But all they said had no effect on him, any more than 
if he had been a lifeless statue, which convinced us all that he 
would go to the gallows without speaking a word or changing 
his countenance. 

The next week he became more restless and vicious, and on 
Sunday, on going into the jail with Mr. Rulofson, from Hamp- 
ton, and Mr. Griffith, from Woodstock, found he had broken up 
part of his berth, had broken his chain from the handcufib, leav- 
ing one link to the staple, the parted links concealed ; tore up 
part of his bedding aud stopped up the funnel of the necessary. 
It appeared also that he had been at the grates; but how he got 
there was a mystery, for the chain, by which his legs wexe bound, 
was unbroken, and the staple fast in the timber. We then rais- 
ed the staple and again, put on the chain to bis handcuffs, fasten- 
ing the staple in another place more out of his reach. 

Thu next day, I found ne had again bioken the chain from his 



handcuffs and torn off a large portion of lathing and plastering^ 
irom the middle wall. Finding this, I determined to confine him 
more closely than ever, and so put a chain from his feet around 
his neck, stapled to the floor, securing his handcuffs to the mid' 
die of this chain. He had already given such mysterious and 
astonishing proofs of his strength and invention, that I feared he 
would finally baffle all my ingenuity to prevent his escape. The 
twisting of the iron collar from his neck and drawing the staple 
from the timber, was a feat that filled every one with wonder. 
The collar was made of a fiat bair 6f iron, an inch and a half 
wide, with the edges rounded. This he twisted as if it were a 
piece of leather, and broke it into two parts, which no man of 
common sense could have done with one end of the bar fastened 
in a smith's vice. The broken collar was kept a long time and 
shewn to many a wonderer. As might be expected, his wrists 
were frequently much swelled and very sore from his exertions 
to break and get loose from his irons ; yet he appeared as iqsen' 
sible and as regardless of his situation as if he had in reality been 
a furious maniac. 

Notwithstanding the seeming insanity which characterized 
these ^orks of his in the prison, yet other parts of his perform- 
ances there indicated ^he 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 even- 
ing, we found him walking in fron'i of an effigy or likeness of his 
wtfe, which he had made and placed before him 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 fiUpd 
us with amazement, but drew out all the sensibilities of the heart 
with the magic of a tragedy, not so much imaginary as real. 
This effigy he intended to represent his wife, visiting his wretch- 
ed abode, and manifesting signs of disconsolation, anguish, 
and despair, on beholding her wretched husband moving before 
htr in chains and fetters, with dejected mein, and misery and 
despair depicted in his countenance. The effigy was formed out 
of his bedding and the clothes and shirt which he tore off hi» 
body, together with a trough three or four feet in length, which 
was used in the jail to contain water for his drink. Rough as 
the materials were, yet he displayed such ingenuity in its forma- 
tion, and conducted the scene in a manner so affecting, that the 
effect it produced when viewed with the light of the candles, was 
i^ally astonishing, and had a kind of magical power in drawing 
out the sympathies of every one who witnessed it. 

He continued noisy and troublesome till the 5th of March, 
when we took his irons off, and caused him to wash himself and 
comb his hair, which had not been cut since he was put in jail ; 
neither had bis beard been shaved. On receiving a piece of 



le him 
e mid' 
'us and 
ired he 
a half 
ere a 
man of 
ne and 
I iusen- 
Y been 

ntion ; 
lory of 
! even- 
' of his 
e wall 
' filled • 
3 real, 
d out 
^h as 

ail ; 

^ of * 

isoap for washing, he ate a part of it, and used the rest. We 
then gave him a clean shirt, which he put on himself with the 
rest of his clothing, after which we replaced his irons, which he 
receive'] in the same manner as an ox would his yoke, or a horse 
his harness. 

The term of the Court of Common Pleas was now coming 
on, which required much of my attention for the necessary pre- 
parations ; and Mr. Dibblee, the jailer, being about to remove 
to Sussex Vale, to take charge of the Academy there, my situa- 
tion began to look I'ather awkward and unpleasant. According- 
ly, the jailer moved away on the 11th of March, after the sitting 
of the Court, and from the extraordinary trouble which the pri- 
soner was known to have given, I had little hope of finding any 
one who would be willing Intake the charge. However, I pre- 
vailed with Mr. James Reid (a man in whom I could confide), 
to undertake the charge of him ; who, with his family, moved 
into the house the day following. 

After this. Smith appeared more cheerful, and became rather 
more quiet, until the 24th of March, when I was called on by the 
jailer, and informed that Smith was attempting to breakthrough 
the partition where the stove-pipe passed through into the debt- 
ors' room. On entering the jail we found him loose from all his 
irons, — his neck-chain was broken into three pieces ; the chain 
from his neck to his feet into three pieces ; his screw hand-cufis 
in four pieces, and all hanging on nails in the partition. His 
great coat was torn into two parts^ through the back, and then 
rent into small strips, one of which he used as a belt, and su))- 
ported with it a woode" iv/ord which he had formed out of a 
lath, and with which he amused himself by goin<^^ through the 
' sword exercise,' which he appeared to understand very well. 
The chains from his legs were disengaged from the staples, and 
tied together with a strip of the torn coat. His hands, his feet, 
and his clothes, were all bloody ; and his whole appearance pre- 
sented that of an infuriated madman. There were present on 
this occasion, Messrs. Daniel Micheau, Moses Foster, George 
Rayraond, Walker Tisdale, the Jailer, and some others. I then 
raised thy staple, secured him by the leg chain, put on a pair of 
stiff haud-cutfs, and added a chain to his neck, stapled to the floor. 
In this situation we lefl him until the 28th, when I was again call- 
ed by the jailer, who said, he believed that he was loose again, 
and about some mischief. On entering the jail, I accordingly 
found him loose, — the chain from his neck in three parts ; he 
had beaten the lime off the wall with a piece of his chain three 
feet long. We lefl him for the purpose of netting his chains re-^ 
paired : at night we added a new chain from his fetters to his' 
neck, and stapled him to the floor with a chair, ubout four feet 
Jong ; we secured his hand->cuj9s to the chain between his neck 



and feet, eo that when standing, he could not reach in any direct 
tion. In this situation he remained until the Slst, spending the 
time in singing and halloing occasionally. I was then again call- 
ed hy the jailer, who on opening the wicket door, found a piece 
of his chain hanging on the inside. I went immediately to the 
jail 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 uncon- 
cerned as if nothing had happened, having a piece of chain about 
his neck. We then took his bunk bedstead from him, and remov- 
ed every thing out of his reach, but could not discover by what 
means he could separate his chains. No links in the chain ap- 
peared to be twisted, nor were there any broken links to be seen, 
from which we inferred that he still must have some means of 
cutting his chains. At this moment, however, it occurred to us 
that he might have the broken Hnks concealed in the privy. We 
accordingly let down a candle, by which we could see the bot- 
tom, and with an iron hookpre{)aTed for the purpose, we brought 
up a bunch of broken links which he had tied up in a piece of 
his shirt, together with a piece of his neck-chain a foot long. — 
This convinced us that he had not destroyed his chains by means 
of cutting them, but by the application of some unknoton myste- 
rious power. I then determined to break the enchantment, if 
strength of chain would do it, and added to his fetters a large 
timber chain, which had been used as the bunk-chain of a bob- 
sled, by which four or five logs were usually hauled to the mill 
at once. The chains we had previously used were of a size be- 
tween that of a common ox*chain and a large horse tracC'Chain. 

Secured in this manner we left him, and on the 6th of April 
found his neck-chain parted again. I then replaced it with a 
strung ox-chain about seven feet long, firmly stapled to the tim- 
ber. The next morning the jailer informed me that from the 
uncommon noise he had made in the night, he was convinced he 
must be loose from some of his irons or chains. I then conclu- 
ded that he must have broken his steel fetters, as I judged it im- 
possible for humau strength or invention, in his situation, to break 
either of the ox-ehains ; but to my utter astonishment, I found 
the ox-chain parted and tied with a string to the staple, his hand- 
cuffs, fetters, and log chain having remained uninjured. We 
fastened the ox-chain to his neck again, by driving the staple 
into another link. After this, he remained more quiet, hiswnsts 
having been much galled and swelled by his irons, and bruised 
and rendered sore by his exertions to free himself from them. 

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

" Saint John, March 15. 

" Dear Sir, — ^At length I enclose you the precept for summon- 
ing a Court Of O^er and Tkrmintfr and Gaol Delivery iti your 

A^-v — ■ ..i ■ f rarr! L t ^?^ ; L : " ' ;j"! ^!!:;rr:!::a- i:.- ' j.- .~itr: 


%. • 



County, on Thursday the 20th April, for the trisij of the horse 
8teaIer.>-I also enclose a letter from Major King for his saddle 
stolen from him at the same time. 

"Your's, &c. " Ward Chipman. 

"To Walter Bates, Esq. High Sheriff." 

After this our prisoner remained for some time rather more 
peaceable, and amused himself with braiding straw, which he did 
in a curious manner, and made a kind of straw basket which he 
hung on the partition to contain his bread. Sometimes he would 
make the likeness of a man, and sometimes that of a woman, 
and place them in postures singularly stiking ; discovering much 
curious ingenuity. At this he would amuse himself in the day ; 
but spent the night in shouting and hallooing, and beating the 
floor with his chains. 

On entering the jail, we discovered the image or likeness of a 
woman, intended to represent his wife. He had it placed in a 
sitting posture, at the head of his bed, with the New Testament 
open before her, as though reading to him, while he sat in the 
attitude of hearing with serious attention. I was induced to look 
into the New Testament, and found it open at the 12th chapter 
of St. Luke, and the leaf turned down on the 58th verse, which 
reads as follows: "When thou goest with thine adversary to the 
Magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest 
be delivered from him ; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the 
judge deliver thee to the officei, and the officer cast thee into pri- 
son." It would seem as though he had intended tu represent 
her as reproaching him for his escape from the constables on his 
way to Kingston, while he would defend his conduct by refer- 
ring to the above portion of Scripture. He produced many 
other likenesses, which he« would place in different significant 
postures, manifesting the most remarkable ingenuity and inven- 

A special Court for his trial had been summoned to meet at 
Kin rston on the 20th of April ; but it was postponed until the 
4th if May, on account of the ice having remained unusually 
late n the river, as will appear by the following letters : 

- *♦ Saint John, 5th AprU, 1815. 

"Dear Sir, — ^I have received your letter detailing the very ex- 
traordinary conduct of the culprit in your custody. There is 
certainly a mystery in this man's means and character Mt^ich is 
unfathomable, and I fear there will be considerable di^cultif with 
him on the tria]L Your vigilance and exertions, of course cannot 
be relaxed. As the best thing to be done, I dispatched your let- 
ter, without delay, to the Attorney General, tfacdytt^ might 




adopt, at Head duarters, any such measures as they might think 
expedient for the further safeguard and security of the prisoner. 

" Very respectfully your's, ■ "W. Chipmak. 

" W. Bates, Esq." 

" Sunday, 16th April, 1815. 
" Dear Sir, — I have just received, by express from Frederio- 
ton, a letter from the Attorney General, stating, that from the 
state of the river, it will be impracticable for him to be at King- 
ston by the 20th, and as he has hitherto taken the whole burthen 
of the trial upon himself, it cannot go on without him. From 
this circumstance, therefore, and as the present state of the tra- 
velling would probably render it dangerous to my father's health, 
(who IS not now very well), to hold the Court this week, he has 
determined to put it off till Thursday the 4th May, for which day 
he wishes you to summon your jury, and to proclaim the hom- 
ing of the Court. He regrets much giving you this additional 
trouble ; but it must be attributed to the extraordinary backward- 
ness of the season, which was not probably foreseen when it was 
recommended to hold the Court on the 20th of April. I have 
not time to forward a new precept by this conveyance ; but I 
will forward one in time, or the one you have may be then alter- 
ed. This can be easily arranged when we go up to the Court. 

" Your's truly, " VV. Chipman. 

" W. Bates, Esquire." 

The Court was accordingly proclaimed, and at the same time 
I wrote a letter, inclosing the proclamation, to Mr. Dibblee, the 
former jailer, to which I received the following answer : — 

" Sussex, 2(itk April, 1815. 
*' Dear Sir, — I yesterday received your letter, inclosing your 
proclamation of the Circuit Court, for the trial of Smith, the 
horse-stealer. I shall be very sorry if Judge Chipman's health 
xhould be such as to prevent his attending the trial. Should the 
Attorney General attempt to prosecute on recognizance for the 
escape, I think his" (the Judge's) influence at Court would pre- 
vent it. I am quite of your opinion, that it will be the most dif- 
ficult case that has yet been before any court, for trial in this 
county. As for his behaving much better after I left the jail, it 
was what I expected he would do, to put lleid off his guard. 
Those pajfts of^his chains that were hanging in convenient situ- 
ations, were powerful weapons; and had Reid come into the 
jail alone, or weak-handed, I think he would have felt the weight 
of them. It is remarkable that the villain, with all his art and 
cunning, should manage it so ill; and it seems altogether provi- 
dential, that from the beginning, (except his sickness,) he has 
either delayed too long or has been too hasty, which has pre- 
vented his escape before, and I hope and trust will be the sant& 





with you. I am sorry for the trouble you must have with him, 
and confidently hope and trust he will not evade your vigilance. 
You arc too well acquainted with his conduct to need my advice. 
I must claim from you the particulars of his conduct at the trial. 

I remain yours truly, W. Dibblee. 

W. Bates, Esq." 

On the 30ih of April, I went into the jail and found Smith ly- 
ing quietly with all his irons and chains uninjured, and told him 
that on Thursday next, the 4th of May, he must have his trial be- 
fore the Court for his life or death; and that Mr. Pearson, the 
Deputy Sheriff, who apprehended him at Pictou, had come to 
witness against him ; but he paid no attention to what I said. 
The second day Mr. Pearson earao to see him, and told him 
that his (Smith's) wife was coming to see him ; but he took no 
notice of him, no more than if he could neither see nor hear, 
and set at defiance all attempts to extort one single expression, 
as though he were destitute of every sense. 

The third day we found that he had been at the stone wall, 
his face bruised and bloody. I renewed my attempts to elicit 
something from him, by telling him that the next day he would be 
brought before the Court for his trial ; but all was in vain. He 
gave the most decided indications of confirmed insanity ; patted 
his hands, halloeed, sang without articulating, and continued to 
slug and beat the floor with his chains the most of the night 

The 4th of May, the day appointed for his trial, being now 
come, the court began to assemble early in the morning, nnd 
numerous spectators crowded from every part of the County. 
About 11 o'clock his Honor Judge Saunders, and the Attorney 
General, arrived from Fredericton. About one o'clock the whole 
Court moved in procession to the Court House, which was un- 
usually crowded with spectators. After the opening ef the Court 
in the usual form, the prisoner was called to the bar. The jailer 
and four constables brought him and placed him in the crimmal'a 
box. He made no resistance, nor took any notice of the Court, 
and, as usual, acted the fool or the madman, snapping his fingers, 
and patting his hands: he hem'd and ha'd, took off his shoes and 
socks, and tore his shirt. Every eye was fixed on him with won- 
der and astonishment. After 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, w'th- 
out regarding what was said to him. The Judge then remon- 
strated with him, and warned him that if he stood mute out of 
obstinacy, his trial would go on, and he would be deprived of 
the opportunity of putting himself on his country for defence ; 
and that sentence would be given against him: he therefore ad- 
vised him to plead not guilty. He rail continued mute, and qki- 



ing the fool without betraying the slightest emotion. The Judge 
then directed the Sheriff* to empannei a Jury of twelve men, to 
inquire whether the prisoner at the bar stood mute trilfuUy and 
obstinately, or by the visitation of God. From the evidence brought 
before the Jury on this inquiry, it appeared that he had been in 
the same state for the three months preceding, during which 
time he could not be surprised into the utterance of one word. 
The Jury consequently returned their verdict that the prisoner 
stood miUe by the visitation of God. 

The Judge then directed the Attorney General to enter the 
plea, of not guUty : and Counsel for the prisoner was admitted. 
The Court then adjourned till 10 o'clock the next morning. 
The next morning, Friday, the Court assembled accordingly, 
and the prisoner was again brought to the bar, and placed in tne 
criminal's box as before. 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 pris )ner witli the most eager at- 
tention. "The Judge then arose and observed that the prisoner 
appeared more calm this morning, and directed the Attorney 
General to. proceed with his trial. 

Afler the Jury had been empannelled and had taken their seats, 
and the witnesses brought before the Court, the prisoner was 
ordered to stand up for his defence, hold up hiis hand, and hear 
the evidence ; but he still maintained the same disregard and in- 
difference, giving no attention to any thing that was said to him. 
The constables were then directed to hold up his hand ; but to 
this he offered the most determined resistance, and fought and 
struggled with them so furiously, that they were unable to man- 
age him. They then procured a cord and pinioned his arms ; 
hut this was of no avail; he would flounce and clear himself 
from them all, as though he had the strength of some furious 

They then procured a rope and lashed his arms back to the 
railing of the box; but he still continued his struggling, and 
reaching the railings before him would break them out like a 

gipe-stem. They then procured another rope and bound his 
ands together, and secured them to the railing in opposite di- 
rections. Finding himself overpowered in his hands, he imme- 
diately availed himself of his feel, with which he kicked most lus- 
tily, and soon demolished all the railing in front of the box, not- 
withstanding all the efforts of the constables to prevent him. — 
Another rope was then procured, and his feet bound each way 
from the posts of the box, so that he was rendered incapable of 
further mischief. Afler securing him in this manner, all the con- 
stables being in readiness for his movements, while he himself 
now sat as unconcerned as though nothing had happened, tho 



Attorney General proceeded to read his Indietnumt, in which the 

grisoner stood charged with hav'mg feloniously sto/en a certain bay 
orse, the property of Frederick WiHis Knox, Esq., of the value 
of thirty-five pounds. Mr. Knox having been sworn, stated the 
manner of his pursuit after the prisoner, with all the circumstan* 
ces, until he came to Truro, as has already been detailed. At 
Truro he engaged Mr. Pearson, Deputy Sheriff, to pursue on 
to Pictou, whither he was informed the prisoner bad gone to 
sell the horse. 

Mr. Peters, Counsel for the prisoner, on the cross-examina* 
tion of Mr. Knox, asked him how he wrote his christian name, — 
' Willis,' or ' Wills.' He answered, " I am christened and named 
ailer my god-father. Lord North, the Earl of Willsborough, and 
I never write my name Willis." Mr. Peters then produced au- 
thorities to show where one letter omitted or inserted in a man's 
name had quashed an Indictment, and moved that the prisoner be 
discharged from this Indictment. This move was overruled by 
the Judge ; but was reserved for a question in the Court above. 

The witness Pearson having been sworn, deposed and said, 
that he pursued after the prisoner the whole night, and early the 
next morning was shewn the prisoner, and arrested him on sus- 
picion of having stolen the horse, and told him that the owner 
of the horse would soon be present. He seemed but little sur- 
prised, and only replied that he came honestly by the horse.— 
The witness further stated, that he then asked the prisoner where 
the horse was, who unhesitatingly pointed to the house, where 
witness soon after found him. Witness went on to state that he 
took the prisoner before a Justice for examination, and thence to 
the jail at 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 miletn. and met 
Mr. Knox, who immediately knew the horse, and called his name 
* Brittain.' That they then relurneci to Pictou, where the pri- 
soner remained in jail, and on* examination was found to have 
in his possession a watch, and about fifteen guineas in money, 
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 a constable and 
Mr. Knox, to be conveyed by a warrant from Nova-Scotia to the 
jail at King's County in New Brunswick. That before he was 
taken from the jail at Pictou he had cut the bolt of hishand-cnlfa 
nearly through, and had artfully concealed it, which was fortn> 
nately discovered, and new handcuffs provided, otherwise he 
must certainly have escaped from his keepers before he arrived 
at Kingston. 

The circumstances against the prisoner were, that he gave 
contradictory statements as to the way in which be came by th« 



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 receipt for money paid m exchange. 

The Counsel for the prisoner, in cross-examining, asked Mr. 
Knox, did you ever seethe prisoner in possession of the horse ?" 
" No; but he acknowledged it." " Did you ever hear him ao- 
knowledge that he was in possession of the horse in any other 
way, than by saying he came honestly by him?" "No." — Mr. 
Pearson was cross-examined in the same manner, and answered 
to the same effect. 

Mr. Peters, in defence of the prisoner, produced authorities 
to shew that by the evidence the prisoner was not taken in the 
manner as stated in the declaration, and that it was sufficient for 
him to prove, in a general way, how he came in possession of 
the horse, which he was able 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 common way of dealing in horses. He 
acknowledged that if the prisoner had been taken on the back of 
the horse he would then fhave been taken in the manner as sta- 
ted by the Attorney General, and consequently bound to prove 
how he came in possession ; but in the present case, he himself, 
or any one present, might have been in this unfortunate prison- 
er's situation ; dragged to the prison, to Court, and to the gal- 
lows, because he could not produce the person who actually 
sold him the horse. The prosecutor had not produced any evi- 
dence of the horse ever having been in tlie possession of the pri- 
soner, any other way than by his own confession : and he trusted 
that the Jury would not hesitate to find, that the prisoner was 
not taken in the manner stated in the declaration, but would pro- 
nounce him, by their verdict, ' Not Guilty,' 

Ihe 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 rendering himself liable to prove how he came 
by him, or to stand guilty of having feloniously taken him, as 
stated in the Indictment. That they had heard tho witnesses, 
and if from the evidence and circumstanaes before them they 
were fully satisfied that the prisoner at the bar had taken the 
^orse feloniously, as stated in the Indictment, they would find 
him guilty ; but if they had any doubts, that leaning to mercy, 
thet would find him not guilty. 

While the Jury was out, the Sheriff invited the Court and 
other Gentlemen to visit the jail, where they were shewn the 
irons and chains, and the situation in which the prisoner had been 

E laced. The Jud^c observed that it was fortunate the prisoner 
ad been sent to Kingston. jail> a3 no other jail in thQ ProviiMStt 
would have kept him^ 



The Jury, afler an absence of about two hours, returned with 
a Verdict of Guilty. The Judge then proceeded to pass upon 
him the awful sentence of the law, Death, wUliout benefit of Clergy; 
but the criminal remained unmoved and unatfected, and conti' 
nued shouting and hollooing. The Court asked the Counsel 
for the prisoner whether he had any thing to offer in arrest of 
judgment, or why the sentence of death should not be executed 
upon him. Mr. Peters then rose and produced authorities to 
shew that the present Law that took away Hie benefit 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 to be de- 
ciden in the Higlier Court, where he hoped to have the honor of 
discussing it. The Judge admitted the flea ; but gave his opin- 
ion against him. 

The business being ended, the prisoner was returned to his 
cell, where he received his chains v^rith willingness and apparent 
satisfaction; and the Court adjourned without delay. The At- 
torney General, however, gave me to understand, that the pri- 
soner would not be executed immediately; and requested that I 
would observe his behaviour, and inform him by letter the par- 
ticulars of his conduct. The next mormngi visited him and ob- 
served to him that he was now under sentence of death, and that 
he would be allowed only one pound of bread every day, with 
water, during the short time he had to live. That as soon as his 
death warrant was signed by the President, he would be execu- 
ted, and that a short time only was left him to prepare for the 
dreadful event. But he paid no attention; patted his hands^ 
sang and acted the fool as usual. One of his visitors being much 
surprised at his insensibility, observed to him, " Smith, it is too 
late for you to deceive any more ; your fate is fixed now, and 
you had better employ your little time in making your peace 
with God, than to act the fool any longer." On our next visit to 
the jail, which was soon after, we found his Testament open, 
and a leaf turned down on the following passage — " If any man 
among you seemeth to be icise^ let him become a fool, that he may be 
tcise." From this it would appear, that he either founded his 
pretended insanity on Scripture precept, or affected to do so ; 
yet it cannot be supposed that he intended us to know what use 
lie made of this Scripture, as he must have known that our con- 
clusion would be that he was " more rogue than fool." 

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, and tore off every particle of his clothing, 
leaving himself entirely naked. After this I allowed him other 
provisions, and his subsequent behaviour was briefly stated in a 
letter to the Attorney General, and afterwards published in the 
Eoyal Gazette. The following is a true copy of the letter, as it 
appeared in this paper, on July Uth, 1815. 



" Copy of a Letter from the High Sheriff of King's Countjr:— 

"Kingston, June 26th, 1815. 
" My dear Sir, — Having heard nothing from you since the 
late Gaol Delivery at King'a County, I beg leave briefly to 
state to you some circumstances of the criminal Henry More 
Smith, since his trial and sentence. After securing him with 
strong chains to his neck and legs, and with handcuffs, ho con- 
tinued beating the floor, hallooing day and night with little inter- 
mission, making different sounds ; sometimes with jinking hi<i 
chains ; and sometimes without, apparently in different parts of 
the jail, insomuch that the jailer frequently sent for me, suppo- 
sing he must be loose from his chains, which I conceived and 
frequently observed was impossible, being far beyond the. power 
of human strength or invention, in his situation ; but on the 24th 
of May, going into the jail early in the morning, (after having 
examined his chains at 2 o'clock the day before,) I found three 
links of hi^ heaviest chain separated, and lying on the floor, be- 
ing part of the chain without the staple. He continued in the 
same way until the 3d of June, when we found the largest chain 
parted about the middle and tied with a string ; which clearly 
proves that irons and chains are no security for him. I then put 
on him a light chain, with which he has been ever since. I ne- 
ver discovered him at work at any thing, but he frequently pro- 
duced efligies or likenesses, very striking, representing his wife. 
He now produced an effigy of a man in perfect shape, 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 the 
clothes that he had torn off himself, (being now naked,) which 
was admired for its ingenuity. This he would put sometimes in 
one position add sometimes in another, and seemed to amuse 
himself with it, without taking the least notice of anything else; 
continuing in his old way hallooing, without any alteration, until 
the 13th, when the gaoler informed me that be refused to eat, 
and no doubt was sick. I went to see him every day — found 
he did not eat — all the bread and other provisions conveyed to 
him he gave to his effigy, strung on a string and put in bis hands. 
He lay perfectly still day and night, and took no notice of any 
thing, — would drink tea or milk, which I gave him twice a day 
for five days ; he then refused to drink anything for two days, 
which made seven days that he eat nothing. In that time he oe> 
gan to speak — would ask questions, but would hold no conver- 
sation. But the most extraordinary, the most wonderful and 
mysterious of all is, that in this time he had prepared, undisco- 
vered, and at once exhibited the most striking picture of genius, 
art, taste, and invention, that ever was, and I presume ever will 
be produced by any human being placed in this situation, in a 



inty :— 


dark room, chained and hand-cuffed, under sentence of death, 
without 80 much as a nail or any kind of thins to work with but 
his hands, and naked. The exhibition is far beyond my power 
to describe. To give you some faint idea, permit me to say, 
that it consists often characters, — men, women, and children, — 
all made and painted in the most expressive manner, with all thn 
limbs and joints of the human frame, — each performing different 
parts; their features, shape, and form, all express their different 
ofBces and characters ; tnair dress is of different fashions, and 
auitable to the stations in which they are. To view them in their 
Htations, they appear as perfect as though alive, with all the air 
and gaiety of actors on the stage. Smith sits in his bed by the 
side of the gaol, his exhibition begins about a foot from the floor, 
and compasses the whole space to the ceiling. The uppermost 
is a man whom he calls the tamborinc player, or sometimes Or. 
Blunt, standing with all the pride nnd appearance of a master 
musician ; his left hand akimbo, his right nand on his tamborine, 
dressed in suitable uniform. Next him, below, is a lady genteelly 
dressed, gracefully sitting in a handsome swing; at her leflstands 
a man, neatly dressed, in the character of a servant, holding the 
side of the swing with his right, his left hand on his hip, in aii 
easy posture, waiting the lady's motion. On her right hand stands 
a man genteelly dressed, in the character of a gallant, in a grace- 
ful posture for dancing. Beneath these three figures sit a youn^ 
man and a young girl, (apparently about fourteen,) in a posturo 
of tilting, at each end of a board, decently dressed. Directly un- 
der these stands one whom he calls Buonaparte, or sometimes the 
father of his family : he stands erect, his features are prominent; 
his checks re^ ; his teeth white, set in order ; his gums and lips 
. red ; his nose shaded black, representing the nostrils ; his dress in 
that of the harlequin. In one baud he holds an infant, with the 
other he plays or beats music ; before him stand two children, ap- 
parently three or four years old, holding each other by the hand, 
m the act of playing or dancing, which, with a man dressed in 
fiishion, who appears in the character of a steward, sometimes in 
one situation, and sometimes in urother, makes up the show, all 
of which you have at one view. Then commences the perfor- 
mance. The first operation is from tthe tamborine player, or 
master, who gives two or three single strokes on his tamborine, 
that may he heard in any part of the house without moving hl<i 
body. He then dances gracefully a few stops, without touching 
bis tamborine ; the lady is then sv/ungtwo or three times by the 
steward ; then the gallant takes a few steps ; thnn the two tielow 
tilt a few times in the most easy, pleasant manner ; then the two 
children dance a little, holding each other by the hand ; aflpr tfayw, 
fimith begins to sing or whistle a tune, to which they are to daoide^ 



at which tho tamborine strikes, and every one dances to the tunef 
with motion, ease, and exactness not to be described. Many 
have been tho observations of spectators ; amongst them, an old 
German observed, that, "when he was starving the seven days, 
he was making a league with the devil, and that he helped him." 
All acknowledge with mc, that it exceeds any thing they ever 
saw or imngined. His whole conduct from the first has been, 
and is, one continued scene of mystery. He has never shown 
any idea or knowledge of his trial or present situation; he seema 
happy; his irons and clminsare no apparent inconvenience ; con* 
tented like a dog or a monkey broke to his chain ; shows no more 
idea of any thing past, than if he had no recollection. He, io 
short, is a mysterioiis character, possessing the art of invention 
beyond common capacity. I am almost ashamed to forward you 
so lojng a letter on the subject, and so unintelligible ; I think, if 
I could have done justice in describing the exhibition, it would 
have been worthy a place in the Royal Gazette, and better worth 
the attention of the public than all the wax-work ever exhibited 
in tills Province. 

" I am, with all due respect, dear Sir, 

" Your very humble servant, 

" Walter Bates. 
'' Thomas Wetmore, Esq., Attorney General." 

" P. S. — ^Wednesday, the 28th.-^This morning I found he had 
added to his works a drummer, placed at the 'eflof his tamborine 
player, equal in appearance, and exceeding in performance ; beats 
the drum with either hand, or both occasionally, in concert with 
the tamborine, keeping time with perfect cxactueiss ; sometimes 
sitting, at others standing or dancing. He had also, in a most 
striking manner, changed the position of his scene. The lady 
above described to be sitting so gracefully in her swing, with so 
many attendants and admirers, is now represented sitting in a de- 
jected posture with a young infant in her arras ; her gallant has 
lad her and is taking the young girl before described, about four- 
teen, by the hand, with an air of great gallantry, leading her, and 
dancing to the tune with perfect exactness, represent more than 
can be described. On viewing this, an old Scotchman observed, 
' some say he is mad, others he is a fool ; but I say he is the sharp- 
est man I have ever seen ; liis performance exceeds all I have 
ever met with, and 1 do not believe he was ever equalled by man.' 
This evening, a gentleman from Boston, having heard the above 
description, came to see the performance, and declared he could 
say as the Q,ueen of Sheba did, that ' the half had not been told.' " 

To this, the Editor of the Gazette adds the following remarks : 

" We l^ve giv«n an entire copy of the above letter, which has 









as i| 








. a 





if, if 














excited our astonishment, and will, probably, that of every other 

EerHon who haH not seen the exhibition and perforinance descri" 
ed in it. Those who are acquainted with the Sheriff, know him 
to he incapable of stating falsehood;), or attempting in any way 
to practice a deception, and will of course give credit to the state- 
ment of facts, wonderful as they may appear to be, which ho haH 

The Supreme Court, in July, being about to bo held at Fre- 
dericton, and feeling anxious to know the fate of the prisoner, I 
attended for this purpose ; ond having ascertained from the At- 
torney General that his destiny would not be fatal, I returned 
ti^a.\n to Kingston, when the Jailer informed mo that the first 
night afler I had leflt Kingston, Smith had drawn the staple of 
the chain that was about nis neck, and hud so concealed them 
both that they could not be found ; and the glass 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 windoVr 
vraa whole ; that the room and every other part of the Jail hsd 
been thoroughly searched; but neither the chain nor staple could 
be found ; neither could it be imagined how he broke th^ |fIftiiB, 
as it was far beyond the reach of his>chains. On m^ entefiOff^the 
jail, Smith said to me, " The devil told my old dmmm^, if Fdld 
not put that chain out of the way, you would certainly put it 
about my neck again;" that he hated it, andhadnmrderedit,Bnd 
put it under the dirt ; but he feared he should have no peae^ lill 
ne raised ii a^ain. I then told him he must raise it agtim, and if 
he behaved himself well I would not put it about his necft agalin. 
The ilext morning the chain was seen lying on the jail floor ; but 
where or by what means ho concealed it, could never be found 
out. I then took off his hand-cuffs, and gave him water to wash 
himself I also gave him a clean shirt and jacket, and a youttf^ 
man who was present gave him a black handkerchief, which he 
put about his neck, and seemed much pleased ; and said if he had 
a fiddle, or any instrument of music, he could play for his family 
to dance ; if he had a set of bag-pipes, he could play on them 
very well, and that if vfe would give him wood and leather, he 
would make a set. He was offered a fife, vvhich he handled in a 
clumsy wa^ ; but he said he believed he could learn to play on 
it. He paid the boy for it, and then took the fife, and would 
pitky any tuAe eitlier right or lefl handed. I then told him if he 
would behave well I would not put his handcdfl^ on that day. 
He replied that he would then have his family in good order for 
m^ btul ; btit he observed, that when he put one hand to do any 
thing, the other would follow as though the handcuf&i were on. 
We gave him some materials that he wanted, and then left him : 
itbis was the 17th of July. On the 18th, fonhd him bnsily em^ 



ployed with his famil)^, making improvements for the ball. Igav# 
aim pen, ink, and paint, and many articles for clothing, &,c. 

All his figures were formed of straw from his bedding, curi- 
ously entwmed and interwoven. The colouring he had used 
before was from his owu blood, and coal which he got from a 
piece of burnt timber in the jail : and their first clothing was 
made from his own torn clothes. He now began to talk more 
coherently, and accounted for the broken glass. He said to me, 

'" My old drummer cried ant for more air ;" his family stood 
80 thick about him. " Well." said I, " tell me how to get more 
air and I will go to work at it." " He told me to make a strong 
wisp of straw, long enough to reach the glass and break it, which 
I did, and then af\er undoing the wisp put the straw in my bed 
again." He continued improving his family, by dressing and 
painting them all anew, and by adding to their number. He 
said that there were a gentleman and lady coming from France 
to attend his ball, and all of them must perform well With 
money he received from visitors, many ot whom I have known 
to give him a dollar for one exhibition, he purchased calico 
enough for a curtain or screen. In the front of the partition stood 
all his family, which he continued to improve and increase, until 
he said they were all present that were coming to tlie ball ; and 
about the 10th of August completed his show for exhibition. 
The whole consisted of twenty -four characters, male and female » 
six of which beat music in concert with the fiddle, while sixteen 
danced to the tune; the other two were pugilists: Bo..aparte 
with his sword, fighting an Irishman with his shUlelah. His mu- 
.sicians were dressed ia their proper uniform, some were drum- 
mers, some were tamborine players, and some were bell-ringers. 
In the centre stood his dancing-master, with hat. boots, and glovea 
on. In an advanced station stood an old soldier in Scotch uni- 
form, acting as sentinel, while Smith himself sat before them, 
his feet under the curtain, playing a tune on the fiddle, to which 
tfaey 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 
half on the lefl to the other part, and then all together as regular 
and natnral as life. The dancing master with his right hand and 
toot with one part, and his left hand and foot with the other ; 
and then with the whole together, with the most perfect ease, to 
any tune that was played. So ingenious, and, I may say, so won- 
derful was this exhibition, that it is impossible to do justice to 
its description; and numbers of persons from different parts 
came to indulge their curiosity by witnessing the performance, 
and all expressed their astonishment in terms the most unquali- 
fied. Doctor Prior, a gentleman from Pennsylvania, was among 
the number of his visitors: he told me that he had spent most of 


Dm a 




























< •• 

his timo in foreign parts, Irjivellina; for general and literary in- 
formation, and had made it a point to examine all curioBitieB both 
natural and artificial, and that havinij heard much of an extraor- 
dinary person I had in prison, he came for the express purpose 
of aeeiUi^ him and hi^ exhibition. Iliiving viewed his person and 
every part of his performance, he was pleased to say that he had 
travelled through all ihe Continent of America, and a great part 
of Europe, hut had never mot with any thing the equal of what 
he there then saw performed, and that he certainly should not 
fail to insert a notice of it in the journal of hia travels and obser- 

Another gentleman. Doctor Cou<rlyn, from Ireland, who had 
Tjeen Surgeon in His Majesty's service, both by land and sea, 
came also to visit our prisoner, and see his extraordinary exhi- 
bition, and after havinjj viewed it occasionally for several days 
while he remained at Kinsfston, declared that he had lived in 
England, Ireland, and Scotland; had been in France and Holland, 
and through a jrrea'. part of Europe ; had been at Hamburg and 
•other places famous for numerous exhibitions of various kinds: 
hut had never met with any thai in all respects equalled what he 
there saw exhibited. The Doctor then belonging to the Garri- 
»^on at St. Andrews, having heard, while at Head Quarters, from 
the Attorney General, an account ofthis extraordinary character, 
took his tour from Fredericton, by way of Kingston, for the ei- 
press purpose of satisfying his curiosity, by seeing for himself. 
When on entering the prison. Smith seeing the Doctor in regi- 
mentals, said to him with much good humour, " I suppose you 
are come here looking for deserters: there is my old drummer. 
I don't knrw but he deserted from some regiment, — all the rest 
are my family." He seemed very much pleased with his new 
visitor, and readily exhibited every part of his performance, to 
the full satisfaction of the Doctor, who expressed his astonish- 
ment in the most unqualified terms, and acknowledged that it far 
exceeded his anticipations. 

August ISth. — At evening we found that he had imoroved his 
Scotch sentinel, by giving him a carved wooden head, finished 
with the natural features of a bold Highlander. This was the 
first of his carved work. He had also much improved his pugi- 
list!'. Bonaparte, by some unlucky stroke, had killed the Irish- 
man, and had taken off his head and hung it np at his right hand. 
A brawny bold Scotchman had taken the Irishman's place, and 
was giving the Corsican a hard time, knocking him down as of- 
ten as he got up. 

Next day at noon I called to see him : he had been fiddling re- 
markably well, and singing very merrily; but on my entering I 
fouud him busily employed at carving a head which was to take 





Bonaparte's place, for that bold Scotchman would overpower him 
■00^. He observed that carving 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 a man did not know what he could do 
until he set about it ; and that he had never failed in accomplish- 
ing any thing .he undertook. He said he had never seen any 
such show in England as that he was now working at : that he 
had only dreamed of his family, and had the impression that he 
mast ' go to work,' and make th^in all : that if he did, it would 
be better with 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 them yet : that there were a shoemaker and a 
tailpr that had not come yet for want of room : that he should 
make room if he did not go away : that he had been here until 
he had become perfectly contented ; and " contentment," he said, 
"was the brightest jewel in this life;" and that he never enjoyed 
himself better than he did at present with his family. 

In the evening I went in to see him again ; and as my curio- 
sity to know the origin of so singular a character was greatly ex- 
cited, I hoped that the present would have proved a favorable 
opportunity to draw some information from him ; but he cauti- 
ously and studiously avoided answering any question relative to 
his previous life, and aifected not to understand what I said to 

Sometimes he would talk very freely, and in a kind of prophe- 
tic strain, of his future destinies. He said that he knew he was 
going from home, and that he should find enemies : that every 
one who knew him would be afraid of him, and look upon him 
with. distrust and horror. That occasionally he was distressed in 
his sleep with all kinds of creatures coming about him. Great 
hogs and all kinds of cattle and creeping things; snakes and ad- 
ders, frogs and toads, and every hateful thing. That he would 
start up from sleep and walk about the prison; then lie down 
and get asleep, and be annoyed with them again. That he would 
sit up and talk to his family, and sometimes take his fi(!dle and 
play to amuse himself, and drive away these dreary hours of 
night. He said these snakes and adders he could read very well ; 
that he knew what they all meant ; and could understand some- 
thing concerning the others : but that these frogs and toads com- 
ing together he could not understand: only that he knew he was 
to leave this place and go on the water; and that he could see as 
clearlv as he saw me standing before him, that he should find 
ehlmies, and every body would be afraid of him; but he would 
hiirt no one. That be should find trouble,- and have irons oh 
niqa, but that tltey vjould come off again. That the crickets came 
an<9 would get upon his children and would sing among thaiUt 



I him 


Iria] ; 



that he liked to hear him ; that his mother told them he must not 
hurt tliem, they were harmless, and that he must not hurt any 
body. His mother, he continued to say, always gave him good 
advice; but he had not always followed it; that be had been a 
bad fellow, had done that which he ought not to have done, and 
had suffered for it; but he forgave all his enemies. The Lord 
says if you would ask forgiveness of him, forgive thy brother 
also. We cannot expect forgiveness except we repent and for- 
give our enemies. The word of God is plain : except you for- 
give your brother his trespasses, neither will your Heavenly Fa- 
ther forgive you when you ask of him. All men are sinners 
before God; — watch therefore and pray that ye enter not into 
temptation. I watch here and pray with my family night and 
day : they cannot pray for themselves. But I shall not stay long : 
he conld go to sea as supercargo of some vessel, or he could get 
his living with his family as a show in any country but England, 
and he never had seen such a show in England ; that he never 
had enjoyed himself better than with his family at present. He 
did not care for himself so that his family looked well: he would 
be willing to die, and should like to die here rather than go 
^mong his enemies; but he believed he had one friend in Eng- 
•mnd, old> Willie, if he is yet alive ; he was always his friend, ai|d 
be i^utd like to go and see him. And he had one sister, he 
fiaid|.4n B^gland, that he wanted to see : she played well on the 
piaiioforte, and he himself could play on it too. She was mar- 
ried to a lieutenant in the army ; but he was promoted to be cap- 
tain now. If he could he would go to see her in England, where 
he had friends. He also said that he had an uncle in Liverpool, 
a merchant: then looking earnestly upon me, he said, ''My 
name is not Smith, — my name is Henry J. Moon : I was educa- 
ted at Cambridge College, in England. I understand English, 
French and Latin well, and can speak and write live different 
languages." He also said that he could write any baud, as hand> 
some or as bad as I ever saw. He said that he had five hun- 
dred 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 where he should go ; but he knew be^should meet 
with trouble ; yet he did not fear what man could db to him, for 
he could but kill him and he should like to die here. x4fter 
hearkening to these incoherent observations for a length of time, 
without being able to obtain an answer to any question I put to 
him, I lefl him for that time. 

The next morning, when the jailer went in to see him, Smith 
said that he had been fishing and had caught a large fish. The 
jailer, on looking, perceived the chain which Smith had formerly 
worn about his neck, and had been missing a long time; bvr| 




never coald find out where or by what means he concealed it. 
After this, he commenced a new scene of mystery, that of for- 
tane-telling ; in which, if he did not possess the power of divi- 
nation, he was at least wonderfully successful. The jailer car- 
ried him his breakfast, with tea ; Smith observed to him that ho 
could tell him any thing, past or to come. The jailer then asked 
liim to tell him something that had happened to him. Smith 
replied, — " Some time ago you rode a great way on my account, 
and carried letters and papers about me, and about others too. 
Again yod went after a man, and you had to go on the waior 
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 nifin at work 
in the mud on the hi<>hway, and you inquired of hini for the man 
YOU wanted. He told you what you asked. You then asked 
nim if thete was any water near, that you could drink. He told 
you of a plsice where he had drunk ; and you went to it, but 
found the water so bad vou did not drink it." The jailer wa»i 
greatly astonished at this, knowing the whole affrtir to be truo 
just as he had stated, and had no recollection of ever having 
mentioned the circumstance to any person. Perhaps all this 
may be attempted to be explained away in some mannnr, or may 
be attributed merely to his imagination, or the hazard of an opj» 
nion; but it would be a coincidence not to be expected, and very 
unlikely to happen. Besides, he often hit npon a developement 
of facts, which could not be accounted for but upon the suppo* 
sitionofsome mysterious knowledge of things beyond the reach 
of common conception, as the following particulars will fully 

. The next morning, August 13th, he told his own fortune out 
of his tea-cup. After looking into the cup for some time, he kiss- 
ed it, and told the Jailer that he was going away from this place, 
that he was going over the water, and must have a box to put his 
family in ; that he saw three papers that were written and sent 
about him, and that one of them was larger than the other two, 
and coijLained something for him that he did not yet understand ; 
but he would soon know. 

The next morning, Aug. 14th, he looked into his cnp again, and 
told the Jailer that these three papers were on their way coming, 
and would be here this day at4 o'clock, and he should soon know 
what they contained about him. Accordingly I received papers., 
from Fredericton, containing his Pardon, and two letters just Q» 
he had predicted ! ! 

In addition to this, the following must be regarded as a very 
singular and remarkable prediction, which, independently of some 
unknown mysterious means, cannot be accounted for. Early in 
the morning he remarked to *^e Jailer in his usual manuer— 

«• Thi^ 
St seal 

I w'lUl 

a fresf 


the A\ 
































*' This man over the way has a son who has gone to sea, and u 
Kt sea now ; but he will be here this night, and you shall see that, 
I will affront him." — Now mark the seonel. It so happened that 
B fresh breeze springing up to the southward, with a strong flood 
tide, the vessel which contained the young man was alongside 
the dock in Saint John, on the same day about two o'clock. He 
was then and there informed that one of his sisters lay dangeroufi* 
iy ill at Kingston, and that Dr. Smith was just going up to visit 
her. The young man hired a horse, and m company with the 
Doctor, arrived at his father's about the time that we usually vi- 
sited the prisoner in the evening. I called at Mr. Perkins', and 
found that the Doctor and young Perkins had just arrived. The 
Doctor said to me that he had heard much of my extraordinary 
prisoner, and if I had no objection, he should be much pleased to 
see him and his show, he had heard so much of his gre&t perform- 
ance. Young Mr. Perkins said that he would also like to see the 
show, and all went with me into the jail, and found Smith lying 
on his bed ; but without appearing to take notice of any one pre- 
sent. Mr. Perkins, like every one else, was much astonished at 
the appearance of his show as it was exhibited on the wall, and 
had a great desire to see the peformance. He put down a quar* 
ter dollar by Smith, and said 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.perfor- 
uance, but without effect, until he wasquiteoutof patience, and 
finalljr took up his money, which he had proposed giving for the 
exhibition, and left the jail in quite an ill humour. Auer Per* 
kins had left the jail. Smith said, "now if any of you want tosee- 
my family dance, you may see them in welcome;" — and took up^ 
his fiddle and went through the peformance to the entire satis^ 
faction of all present. 

Now the reader may account for 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 affronted by Smith in the jail, are facts which cannot be 
disputed. The writer is aware that he may incur the imputation 
of weakness for narrating some things relative to the prisoner; 
but as they are all characteristic of him in a high degree, and 
when all united, set him forth before the world as a character, 
singular and unprecedented, he considered that every part of his 
sayings and doings had their interest, and were necessary to be 
narrated. Afler closing the exhibition of his family for this time, 
he went on to say, that he had told his fortune from his tea-cup, 
and it came always alike ; that he could tell a great deal by dreams. 
The devil helped fortune telling, he said, but dreams were the 
inspiration of God. When the hogs came to him by night, he 



could teil a great deal by them. " Your neighbour," he said to 
nie, "had a black sow that had pigs, some black, and some all 
white, and one with red spots before and behind." By them he 
said he could tell much. I was aware that Mr. Perkins had a sow 
with young pigs, and I had the curiosity to look at them, but they 
did not answer to his description, and I consequently allowed 
these remarks of his relative to the sow and pigs to pass for noth- 
injj. However, in the evening, as I was leaving the jail. Smith 
said to me, (and without a word having been said about my look- 
ing at the pigs,) " The pigs I told you about are not those you 
examined, they were six months old." I made no reply, know- 
ing that Mr. Scovil had a sow with pigs, answering to his descrip- 
tion in every particular. 

On Saturday morning, Smith said to the jailer, " Your neigh- 
bour over the way there, has a sow that is gone away into the 
woods, 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, and that will be a 
plump black pig. and they will never know what became of the 
others." Accordingly, the sow, about 4 o'clock, came home with 
her one " plump black pig," and was immediately driven back 
into the woods the way by which she app^ed to have conle ; 
but according to the precise terms of miii^% prediction, tiiti 
others were never found ! '' 

The next evening after I had ireceived his Parrfon from Fredet- 
icton, I went to see him, and found him in bed, but said he could 
not eat ; asked for new potatoes, and remarked that the jailer^s 
wife had new potatoes yesterday ; and did not appear in his usual 
good humour. Although he would both talk and act, at timed, 
rationally, yet he had never recovered from his pretended insanity, 
nor even until his release from ray custody ; thus carrying out 
his scheme, in perfect wisdom, to the last. But now, with the 
PARDON in my hand, I hoped to make some impression upon him, 
and if possible, bring him to some sense of his situation, by com- 
passionately proposing my assistance to get him out of the Pro- 
vince. I then proceeded to inform him that I had received his 
Pardon, that his Attorney had proved his friend, and had petition- 
ed the President and Court, stating that he was a young man, and 
this having been the first instance of a case for horse-stealing be- 
fore the Court in this Province, prayed that mercy might be ex- 
tended and his life spared: and that the President and Council 
had been graciously pleased to withdraw the sentence and grant 
his Pardon : and that I was now authorized to release him on 
his entering into recognisance to appear in the Supreme Court 
«nd plead his pardon when calbd upon. The only reply he 
made was, " I wish you wouid bring me some new poUUoes whtM 

give hi 
order, | 
be a 
the su 
■ repea 
to vo 
or d 

1 Wt 




















e s 












$oucome again /" I proceeded to say that as soon as he was 
ready, and would let me know where he wished to go, I would 
give him clothing, and would give him time to put his family m 
order, and a box to put them up in ; observing that they mt^t 
be a means of getting him a living until he could find better em- 
ployment, without being driven to the necessity of stealing. He 
replied, " Have you not got boys and girls that wish to see ray 
family dance ? Bring all your family to see them; I will shew 
them as much as you please, but others must pa^." I remained 
with him nearly an hour afterwards without saymg any more on 
the subject of his pardon: during which time he continued talk- 
ing incoherently as he had done the evening before. That toe 
must watch and pray lest we enter into temptation : that he prayed 
with his family ; they could not pray for themselves. That we 
must be spiritually minded, for to be spiritually minded was life; 
hut to be carnally minded was death : and much more of this kind, 
repeating large portions from the New Testament, nearly whole 
chapters. He observed, "Now you see I can read as well to 
you without the book as others can with the book. I can redd 
to you almost all of any other chapter in the Bible you will name, 
either in the Old or New Testament, it makes not much diffe- 
rence ; in the dark as well as in the light. My wife is a good 
little woman ; she would read in the Bible on Sunday and say to 
me, ' Henrv come sit down and hear me read the Bible ;' but I 
would laugh and tell her I could read better without the book 
than she could with: and would go out and look after my horse, 
or do any thing on Sundays. I have been a bad fellow; when 
i was in England I gave all my attention to reading my Bible, 
and became a great Methodist, and went to all the Methodist 
meetings ; and would pray and exhort amongst them, and finally 
became a Preacher, and preached in Brighton, Northampton, 
Southampton, and in London ; and great numbers came to hear 
me. I was sometimes, astonished to see how many followed to 
hear me preach the Scriptures, when I knew they were deceiv- 
ed. But I did not follow preaching long in London." He 
went on to state his reasons for giving up preaching, or rather 
the reasons that prevented his continuing to preach. He had 
given himself up to the company of lewd women, and had con- 
tracted the disease common to such associations. 

A course like this could not remain long concealed, and the 
issue was that he was prevented from preaching, and was even- 
tually obliged to leave England, and come to this country. 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 he would 

Ereadi again; he could easily find converts ; many would like to 
ear him preach. When he was a preacher, he was spiritually 



minded, and all was peace and heaven to him ; but ever sineo, 
mil was Uroable, trouble, and misery to him. He never intended 
to leave this place ; he was contented and willing to stay here 
until he died : he was better oflf here than any where else, and 
never wished to so into the world again unless he whs a preacher. 

After hearing nim talk in this manner for some time, I left him 
till the next day at noon, when I went into the jail again, and 
gave him a good dinner, and read his Pardon to him. When h» 
«aw the paper, he said, " that looks like the paper which I dream* 
ed I saw, with two angels and a ship on it, with something that 
looked like snakes." When I read his Pardon, he paid not the 
least attention to the nature of it, but asked quel^dns^^ foreign 
to the nature of the subject as possible; only he 1n&id. hie wished I 
would give him that paper ; he dreamed it was coi^ng. I told 
him that as soon as I would get him some^ clothes inado, I would 
give him the paper : and that I would hel^f him away with his 
ohow in a box, that he might not be driven to the necessity of 
stealing ; and in the evening I went with a tatlot to take his mea- 
sure (tit a coat. .When he saw the tailor with his measure, he 
said, " I wi!4h voiiijtHFOMid give me that ribbon in your hai)d." — 
** It is no ribbon," said the tailor, " but a measure to measure you 
for a new coat : come stand up." " What!" said he, "do you 
think you are tailor enough to make me a coat?" " Yes." " But 
you do not look like it ; let me look at your hands and fingers;" 
and upon seeing them, added, "you are no tailor, you look more 
like a blacksmith; you shall never make a coatforme; and would 
not be measured ; but he said he would make it better himself, 
and wished Iwould give him a candle to work by, and he would 
make iiimself a waistcoat. 

He said I need not be afraid of his doing any harm with tho 
candle; he would put in the middle of the floor, and take care 
that his straw and chips did not take fire aud burn up his family, 
which he could not live without, as he could not labour f'-r his 
living. Besides, he said, if he were so disposed, he could burn 
up the house without a candle ; for, said he, I can tnnko fire in 
one hour at anytime. " When I was a boy," continued he, 
"every one took notice of me as a very forward boy, and I ob- 
tained a licence for shooting when I was but fifteen. (Jne day 
when shooting, I killed a rabbit on a farmer's land where I had 
no right. The old farmer came after me, and I told him ifha 
would come near me I would knock him down; but he caught 
me, and tied me fast to a large stack of faggots, ami bcnt for a 
constable. While he was gone, I made fire, and burned up the 
whole stack, and got off clear; but the old farmer never knew 
how his faggots took fire. You do not use faggots in this coun- 
try ; they are little stjcks tied up in bundles, and sold to boil tha 





tearkettle with ;" and if I would give him a candle, he would make 
fire to light it. Accordingly, I provided materials for his clothes 
and a lighted candle to work by. He continued to sew by the 
light of the candle but a short time, and put it away from him, 
and said he could see better without it ; and he completed his 
waistcoat in the neatest manner, and occasionally attended to the 
improvement of his family. 

August 29th, at evening, many persons came to see his per- 
formance, as was usual ; and when they were k\l gone out, he 
told me that he had carved a new figure of Bonaparte : that the 
first he made was after his own image and likeness, for he was 
the mait after bis own heart : but he had fallen. God, he said, 
made man out of the dmst of the earth ; but he made man out of 
the wood of the earth. 

He had new bean in my custody more than a vear, and almost 
every day developed some new feature of his character, or pro- 
duced some fresh effort of his genius. I had had much trouble 
with him, and my patience oflen severely tried; but now I view- 
ed him rather as an object of commisseration, and could not think 
of turning him out of jail, naked, destitute, and friendless. In 
such a situation he must either starve or steal ; so that his pardon 
a~ release would become rather a curse than a blessing. I re- 
presented these things as feelingly as I could to him ; gave him ^ 
a box to put his famify in, and tola him he must be ready to leave \ 
the Provmce on Tuesday morning, and I would procure him a 

gassage either to Nova Scotia or me United States. To all this 
e gave no attention, but asked some frivolous questions about ' 
mohawks and snakes, and acted the fool ; so that I began to con- ., 
elude that I would now have more trouble to get him out of jail, .%*5vV 
than I formerly had to keep him in it. :^„\ ■'■-'^f-rir 

The next day Judge Pickett and Judge Micfaeau ^tlimded at 
the Court House, to take the reepgnizance required oniita^ to, 
appear and plead his pardon when ^led upon to do an. '^After 
divesting him oThis irons, and furnidhing hii|^Eit& dec^t cloth- 
ing, it was with much difficulty I could pretwlsbn him to leave 
the' jail. However, he finally took one of his &mily in one hand, 
V^ a pair of scissors in the other, and with much efFort T/e got 
liim'np into one of the Jury rooms, when Judge Miches a read 
his Pardon to him, and explained all the circumstances which 
.■:A^ united to produce it : to wnieh, as usual, he gave no attention ; 
but looked about the room, and talked of something else. Judge 
Pickett then required his recognizance, and informed him that if 
he did not leave the Province immediately, he would be taken^ ^ ^^ 
and tried on two Indictments pending against him in the Coun^ -^ - 
tT of York. He took no notice of what w^ said, but talked and 
danced about the room, told the Judge he iffoked like a tailor, and 
Qsked him to give him hi^ shoe-string. His Pardon Igring on Uie 




table, he caught hold of it, and before it could be recovered froof 
him, he clipped off the seal with his scissors ; he said he wanted 
the ship that was on it to carry him awajr with his family. He 
tore the collar off his coat, and cut it in pieces with the scissors. 
Finding that nothing else could be done with him, I returned him 
a^ain into prison ; when he said to us, that for our using him %9 
kmdir, he would, for one shilling, shew us all his performance 
with nis familv. Upon which. Judge Mieheau gave him half a 
dollar, and told him to return a (;|uarter dollar change, and then 
he would have more than a shilhng. He took it, said it was s 
.niee piece of money, and put it in his pocket; bnt the Judge 
could not make him understand the meaning of cAani^s. 

He then performed the exhibition in fine style, but when we> 
were leaving him, he seemed out of humour with Judge Pickett, 
and told him that he had thrown stones at him, that he would 
bum his house, and that this place should be in flames before 
morning. He could make fire in half an hour, and wanted a fire^ 
and would have fire, and I should see that he could make fire. 
Upon which we left him, without apprehending any thing frony 
S^is threats more than usual. But the next day, the 29th, when 
entering the jail for the purpose of preparing for his removal, I 
peiveived that there was much smoke in the hall, which I luppo- 
■ed had come from the Jailer's room ; but he said that no smoke 
had been carried that morning, but that it proceeded from the 
prison door. I immediately opened the door, and found Smith 
sitting quite unconcerned before a fire which he had made with 
the chips of his carved work, and other materials. He observed 
to me that fire was very comfortable, that he had not seen any 
before for a long time, that he had made the fire with \m own 
hands, and that be could make it again in ten minutes ; that he 
could not do without fire. I immediateljr extinguished the fire^ 
and shut him up in suffocating smoke, which did not seem to give 
him the least inconvenience. The account of his having made 
the fire, had excited the fears of the neighbours, who came in to 
see the feat. I ordered him to put his family into his box imme- 
diately ; he took no notice of my orders. I hastily took down 
one of them, and laid it in his box, at which he seemed pleased, 
and said he would put them all in that box, and began to take 
tkem down very actively, observing that he did not want as8i»- 
tance from any one, bnt leave him, with the light, and he would 
have tliem all ready, in half an hour. We left him with the can- 
dle, and returning in about an hour, found him walking the floor, 
and every thing he had packed up in the box very neatly. It 
was remarkable to see with what skill and ingenuity he had 
packed them up. I gave him a pair of new shoes, and with thr 
liox on his shoulders he marched off to the boat I had prepared 
for his conveyance, ahd with three men in the boat we set out 




"with him for the City of Saint John. On the way he told the 
jailer, if he would cive him but one dollar, he would teach him 
the way to make nre at any time : it would be very conrenient 
for him to know how to make fire on any occasion. Receiving 
no reply from the jailer, he commenced preaching, praying, and 
Ringing hymns, and sometimes acting as if crazy, durinc the pas- 
soffe down. We made no stop by the way, and reached Saint 
John about 8 o'clock in the evening. 

On his perceiving the moon as me made her appearance be- 
tween two clouds, be observed that there was a relation of hie 
that he was ghid to see ; that he had not seen one of hii name 
for a long time. 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 be might have all his family 
out to take the air to-night, else they would all die in that hex 
before morning- However, we found all the rooms in the prison 
occupied, or undergoing repairs, so that there was no place to 
confine him. I directed the jailer to provide him his supper, 
while I would call upon the Sheriff to know what would be oone 
with him for the night, and how he would be disposed of in the 
morning. I understood from the Sheriff that there was no yjM- 
eel that would sail for the States before some days, and therefore 
made up my mind that I should send him to Nova-Scotia. White 
I returned to the jail I found Smith at his supper: when he had 
finished his tea, he looked into his cup and remarked that he 
must not disturb his family to-night; that he there saw the ves- 
sel, then lying at the wharf, that would carry him to his wife,— 
and there would be eruing. While in confinement, the follow- 
ing letter was received from his wife : — 

" Dear Husbattd,—! received your letter of the 23d Oct. 1815 : 
you say you have sent several letters, — if you have, I have never 
received them. You wish me to come and see you, which I 
would have done, if I hfd got the letter in time ; but I did not 
know whether you we}|hit Kingston or not. My dear, do not 
think hard of me that I-ldo not come to see you, — if you write 
back to me I shall come immediately. My dear, as soon as yoa 
receive tfiis letter send me an answer, that I may know what to 
do : so no more at present, but that I remain your loving and 
affectionate wife, Elizabeth P. M. S. 

H. F. M. S., Kingston." 

The jailer, by the^ direction of the Sheriff, cleared (Hit a small 
room above stairs, with an iron grated window, where we co|i- 
fined him, with hi» family, for the night. On the next morning, 
Ihe 30th of August, finding there was no vessel bound for tlie 
States, I determined to send him to Nova Scotia; and happen- 
ing to meet with my friend, Mr. Daniel Scovil, he informed me 





that he hnd a vemel then lying at the wharf, which would rail Cor 
Windsor, Nova Scotia, in half an hour. I, accordingly, pre- 
vailed with him to take Smith on board, which was done with- 
out loss of time, and at high water the vessel hauled off from the 
wharf, to my great satisfaction and relief. 

While the vessel was getting under weigh. Smith was in the 
cabin alone, and seeing a great number of chain traces lying on 
the cabin floor, he took them up and threw them all out of the ea- 
hintoindou}'. "Because," said ho, "they would get about my 
neck gain." During the passage, he appeared very active : he 
played on his fife, and was quite an agreeable passenger. But 
on the vessel's arrival at Windsor, he lefV her immediately with- 
out any ceremony ; and notwithstanding the very strong regard 
which he hnd always possessed for his family, as he called them, 
he leA them also, and every thing else that he had brought with 
him. He was seen only a very short time in \Vindsor before he 
entirely disappeared, and never was known to be there aAer- 
P^wiAb, but was seen at some distance from Windsor, in several 
other places, and recognized by many, but always carefully eva- 
ded being spolcen to. 
After havi Hl^ ade his appearance in different parts of Nova- 
r^<<i|)||Pi at a certain house, one morning, on a bye road, 

sred breakfast, and asked for a towel also, and a piece of 
iVWfiii that he might wash at a small brook that was near the 
house. The woman of the house, and a maid were the only 
persons in the house at the Itme ; and Smitli left a large bundle, 
which he carried, on a chest which was standing in the room, 
and went out to wash. The burdle presented rather a singular 
appearance, and attracted the young woman's notice, so that she 
said to the other, " I wonder what he has in that bundle ; if you 
will keep watch at the window, while he is washing at the brook, 
I will open it and see what is in it." They did so, ond found a 
great number of watches, of which they counted fifteen, with 
many other valuable articles. She tied up the bundle again, 
and placed it where he had lefl it, and said, " this man has stolen 
these watch (>s." When he came in, he handed the towel to the 
young woman, and said, " there were just fifteen watches, were 
there," and with such expression of countenance, that she could 
not refrain from answering " Yes." " But," said he, •' you were 
mistaken about my stealing them,, for I came honestly by them." 
Upon which the young woman instantly recognized him to be 
Henry More Smith ; and concluded that he was collecting his 
hidden treasure, which he had deposited while he was in Rodeit. 
TliH» information I received from Mrs. Beckwith, a respecta- 
ble lady from Nova-Scotia, who resided at the time in that neigh- 
bourhood, who also said it was not known that he had ever seen 
his wife at that time, from the time of his release from confinct- 





raellt. The next account [ henfd of him stated that he had been 
Keen on board of a plaster vcsHel it Eastport ; but he was not 
known to have been ashore during the time flhe remained there. 
lie employed himself while on board engrtiring a number of 
small articles, some of which he made presents of to young ladies 
who chanced to come on board. 

He was next seen at Portland, by a gentleman who had known 
him at Kingston ; nothing, however, transpired here concerning; 
him, only that he was travelling with considerable weight of bag- 
pge, through the State of Maine, which gave rise to the follow* 
ing ludicrous story, which I saw published at Eaatport, of Mpslo- 
rious Stranger, travelling in a stage. One cold and stormy night, 
the bar-room of a hotel was filled with sturdy farmers surround- 
ing a cheerful fire, and discussing the affairs of State over a mug 
of flip. The night having been tremendously stormy and wet, 
the wind whistling all round the house, and making every door 
and window rattle, the landlord expressed much fear for the safe- 
ty of the stage-coach ; but suddenly the sound of a distant stage 
horn announced the approach of the coach and removed the land- 
lord's anxieties. He replenished the fire, that the approaching 
travellers might have as warm a retreat as possible ftom the ua- 
usual inclemency of the night. Some time passed, and yet the 
expected coach did not come up. The landlord's fears got up 
anew, and with an expression of concern, put the question around, 
"Did not some of you hear a horn?" and added, " I have expect- 
ed the stage a long time, and I thought that a few minutes ago, 
I heard the horn near at hand ; but I fearthas something has hap* 

Fened in the gale that causes it to be thus belated." '< I thought 
heard the stage-horn some time ago," answered the young arch 
farmer Hopkins; "but then you must know that ghosts and 
v^itches are very busy on such nights as this, and what kind of 
pranks they may cut up we cannot tell. You know the old adage. 
Busy as tm Devil in a gale of wind. Now who knows but they 
may have?" — Here he was interrupted by the sudden opening 
of the door, accompanied by a violent gust of wind and the dash- 
ing of rain, when in rushed, from the fury of the storm, drench- 
ed with wet from head to the foot, a tall stranger, dressed in a 
fur cap and shaggy great coat. From an impulse of politeness 
and reapect, not unmingted tcithfear, all arose on his entrance, — 
the expression, " TheDevilinotgaleofmnd" rushing upon their 
mind with a signification to which a profound silence gave ex- 
pressive utterance. The stranger noticed their reserved, yet 
voluntary respect with a slight nod, and proceeded to disencum- 
ber himself of his wet clothes and warm his fingers by the fire. 
By this time the driver entered, bearing the baggage of his pas- 
senger. " The worst storm I was ever troubled with, blowing 
right in my teeth, and I guess the gentleman there found it the 




Here a low wisper ensued between the driver and th^ 
landlord, from which an unconnected word or phrase drojpped 
npon the ear of the inmatoB. " Don^t know, — came in the, — as 
uch as a mine,^* &.c. Upon this information the landlord imme> 
diatelj took his wet garments and hung them carefully beford 
the fire. " I hope that your wetting will not injure your healthy 
sir." '< I hardly think it will, my good friend ; I am no child to 
catch cold from a ducking." " Shall I show you a iroom, sir ?'^ 
said the landlord : we can let you have as gbod a room and as 
comfortable a supper as in the country." The strknger was im-* 
mediately conducted into a handsome parlour in Which blazed a 
cheerful fire; and, in a short time, a smoking supper was placed 
on the board. Afier supper was over he called the landlord into 
itis room, and sent for his trunk. " I like your accommodations," 
Accosting the landlord, ** and if you like my proposals equally 
well, 1 mtill be yoiir guest for some time, though I knc.'v not 
Iiow long. Nay, I shall stay at any price you may please- 
but remember I must have my rooms to myself, and they must 
liot be entered without my leave : and whiatever I do, uo ques- 
tions to be asked. Do you consent to theste my terms ?" " 1 do, 
sir," replied the landlord, " and you shall not have cause to com- 
plain of your treatment." " Vdiy well," rejoined the stranger, 
' then the agreement is completed, you nitty go now." " Yes, 
sir," returned the landlord, "but what may I call your name, sir?" 
" Beware, ydu have broken the bargain already," replied the 
.stranger, " I forgive you for this once only, my name is Mait- 
land, now ask no more questions, or you will certainly drive me 
from your house." After this, the landlord returned to his bar- 
room, from which the merry farmers had not yet withdrawn ; 
but were endeavoring to penetrate the mystery tliat hung around 
the stranger. " Well, landlord," said the arch Hopkins, "what 
do you make him out to be?" "That is a question! daro hardly 
answer. He is a gentleman, for he does not grudge his money." 
" I would not think he should," replied Hopkins, shaking his 
head mysteriously. "And why not." exclaimed several of tho 
company: " Ay, just as I thought," returned Hopkins, with an- 
other shake of the head aud significant look at the landlords 
" What in die name of all that is silly, is the matter with yovt, 
Hopkins," exclaimed the landlord ? — " What upon earth ean you 
know?" "I know what I know," was his reply. "Rather 
<(oubtAil, that," rejoined the landlord. " You doubt H," returned 
ijfopkins, rather warmly : " then I will tell you what I think him 
to'be, and what I know him to be : he is nothing" more or lesA 
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 tb» 
company stood aghast, and «t9jred at eaco other in silonce U» 






some time, until the landlord ventured to interrupt the silencA 
ii|C;ain, by asking Hopkins, " How do you know all that?" Hop- 
kins answered, in rather a silly manner, " I guessed at it;" which 
did away with the effect which was produced by his previous a8> 
vertions; and tlie landlord, dismissing his fears, exclainied, "As 
long as he pays well, be he man or devil, he shall stay here." 
" A praiseworthy condusion" proceeded from a voice at the back 

£art of the room, and at that instant the mysterious stranger stood 
efore them. All started to their feet, seized their hats, and 
waited to ask no questions, nor make additional comments, but 
went home and tild their wives of Smith's guest, and Hopkins' 
opinion of his character. Every woman fastened her door that 
night with suspicious care, and the mysterious stranger, and the 
delineation of his real character, by Hopkins, became a subject 
of general conversation and comment, throughout the village^ 
and gradually became the received opinion among all the settlers ; 
so that they set down the mysterious stranger for what Hopldns 
guessed him to be, and concluded that the articles which compo< 
sad his baggage could not have been obtained honestly. 

The stranger finding how the conversation turned upon him, 
did not think it, prudent to protract his stay in this place, and 
j)roceeding to Boston in the coach, was never known from that 
time by the name of Maitland. He reached Boston about the 
Ist of November, where it was supposed he must have, in some 
way, disposed of much of his treasures. From thence he pro> 
ceeded for New- York, and on the 7th of November arrived at 
New Haven in Ihe Boston stagecoach, by the way of New Lon- 
don, with a large trunk full of clothing, a small portable desk, 
and money in his pockets. He was dressed in a handsome 
frock-coat, with breeches, and a pair of Um4toots ; and remained 
at the steamboat hotel several days. While he reniained here^ 
he always eat his meals alone ; and preferred being alone in diA 
ferent parts of the hotel at different times: every part of which 
he had an opportunity of becoming aequainted with, while he 
remained waiting for the arrival of the steamer from New York. 
The hotel was then- kept by Mr. Henry Butler; and as it after- 
wards appeared, the traveller found his way, bv means of keys, 
into Mr. Butler's desk and side-boards, ns well as every part of 
the house. He lefl New Haven in the steam boat at 5 a. m. on 
the 10th November, 1815. — After his departure from New Haven, 
Mr. Butler's servants discovered that their whole quantity of sil- 
ver spoons, to the number of four or five dozen, which had been 
carefully put away in a sideboard, was missing, and not to be 
found on the premises ; and it was found, upon further search 
by Mr. Butler, that a watch and several other articles, with mo- 
ney from the desk, had sympathetically decamped with the spoons. 
Mr Batler imagined tKat tne theft roust be chargeable on some 





lodger in the hotel, and immediately fixed his suspicions upon 
Smith, whose appearance and movements about the house fur- 
nished symptoms too strong to pass unnoticed. Mr. Butler, with- 
«ut loss of time, set out for New- York, and arriving there before 
the boat that carried his adventurer, he furnished himself with 
proper authority, and boarded the boat in the stream. Afler Mr. 
Butler had made some enquiries of Captain Bunker, who could 
not identify the traveller among all his passengers, Smith made 
his appearance from some part of the engine room, and was im- 
mediately ordered by Mr. Butler to open his trunk, with which 
he complied unhesitatingly ; but the trunk did not disclose the 
expected booty. There was, however, in the trunk a very n^at 
portable writing desk, which he refused to open, and Mr. Butler 
could not find out how it was fastened. However, he called for 
nn axe to split it open, upon which Smith said, " I will show 
you," and, touching a spring, the lid flew open. The desk con- 
tained a set of neat engraving tools, with old silver rings and 
jewellery ; among which Mr. Butler perceived a small ear-ring, 
which he supposed to belong to a young lady that had slept in 
his house, and laid her ear-nngs on a stand at the head of her 
bed, which were missing the next morning. After hei depar- 
ture one of the rings was found at the door of the Hotel. Upon 
the evidence of tliis single ear-ring, he was arrested, and put into 
the Bridewell in the City of New- York. The keeper of the 
Bridewell at that t'uie was Archimial Allen, an old friend of 
mine, and a man of respectable character. On my visit to New- 
York afterward, I called on Mr. Allen, and enquired the particu- 
late concerning W. H. New man, (for this was the name he had < 
assumed then) while in his cistody. He informed me that when 
he was put in, he behaved for some time very well; that he fleer- 
ed him a book ; but lie could neither read nor write a woi!d^ He 
soon began to complain of being sick from confinement, raised 
blood, and seemed so ill that a doctor attended him, but could not 
tell what was the matter with him. However, he kept up the 
farce of being ill until he was removed from Bridewell to New 
Haven, there to take his trial at the Supreme Court in January. 
His change of situation had the effect, as it would seem, of re- 
storing his health, which brought along with it tliat display of his 
ingenuity which the peculiarity of his new situation seemed to 
call forth. During tlie period of his confinement at New Haven, 
he amused himself by carving two images — one representing 
himself, and tlio otlier Butler, in tlie attitiide of fighting. And so 
mechanically had he adjusted this production of hi.<: genius, that 
lu^ would actually cause ti.em to fight, and make the image re- 
presi^nliug himself knock down that of Butler, to tlie wonder 
and amusement of many tliat came to see him. By his insinua- 
ting manner and captivating address, he not only drew forth the 



sympathies of those who came to visit him, but even gained so far 
upon their credulity as to induce a belief that he was innocent of 
the crime with which he was charged. 

The lapse of a few days, however, made impressions of a very 
different nature ; the January Court term drew nigh, at which 
our prisoner was to receive his trial ; but on the very eve of hia 
trial, and afler the Court had been summoned, he, by the pow> 
er of a mind which seldom failed him in the hour of emergency, 
contrived and effected his escape in the following curious and sin- 
gular manner. And here it will be necessary to give some de- 
scription of the prison, with the situation of the apartments, 
which the writer was himself, by the politeness of the Aeepcr, per- 
mitted to sur«rey. There was a wide hall leading from the front 
of the County House, and from this hall, two separate 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 par- 
tition, was to prevent any intercourse between the two prison 
doors, and it was so placed as to leave a distance of about two 
feet on each side, between it and the prison doors respectively. 
Newman, (for this, it will be remembered, is tlie name by which 
our prisoner is now known,) was confined in the inner prison. 
The doors of the prison opened by shovinjg inwards, and when 
shut were securea by two strong bolts, which entered into stone 
posts, with clasps lapped over a staple, to which were fixed strong 
padlocks. These padlooks, our prisoner, by some means, mana- 
ged to open or remove, so that he could open the door at plea- 
sure, and fix the padlocks again so ingeniously, that he could not 
be detected from their appearance. On the night of the 12th of 
Jannary, at the usual time of feeding the prisoners, Newman 
availing himself of these adjustments, opened his door, came out, 
and replacing the locks, took his stand behind the door of the 
partition, which, when open, would conceal him from observa-i 
tion. The prisoners in the other apartment received their sup- 
ply first, and the instant when the servant was proceeding from 
their door to go and bring Newman's supper, he stepped through 
the partition door, which had been first opened and not shut 
again, and followed the servant sofdy through the hall to the 
front door, and walked away undiscovered ! When the servant 
returned with his sapper to the wicket, she called him, but re- 
ceiving no answer, placed his supper inside of the wicket, saying 
" you may take it or leave it ; I am not going to wait here aU 
night." She then secured the outer door, and so the matter rest- 
ed till the morning. 

The next morning, finding that the prisoner had not taken his 
supper, the servant observed to the keeper, that she feared iV«u>- 
man was dead, for he had not taken his supper ; and she called 




him, but could not hear or see anything of him. Upon this, the 
keeper came with his keys to unlock the door, and to his utter 
astonishment found both locks broken and the prison empty. — 
The keeper made known the matter to the SherifT, and on the 
13th, the day subsequent to his escape, the following Notice was 
inserted in the Cmmeetieut Journal: — 

" Bbwark of a Villian ! — One of the most accomplished ril- 
lains that disgraces our country, broke from the Jail m this City 
on Friday evening last, between the hours of five and six o'clock, 
and succeeded in making his escape. This fellow calls himself 
Newman, and was bound over for trial at the sitting of the next 
Supreme Court, on >the charge of burglary, having robbed the 
house of Mr. H. Butler, of plate, money, &c. He is supposed 
to be an Englishman, and is undoubtedly a most profound adept 
in the arts of knavery and deception. He speaks the English 
9nd French languages fluently, and can play off the air of a gen- 
^el Frenchman wiUi the most imposing gravity. He is of mid- 
dling stature, s!ender and active, and appears to possess an aston- 
ishing variety of genius. He is sick or well, grave or gay, silent 
or loquacions ; vni can fence, box, fight, run, sing, dance, pla^, 
whistle, or talk, as occasion suits. He amused himself while m 

})rison, by making and managing a jpujipeCsAoto, which he per* 
brmed apparently with such means as to excite the wonder of the 
credulous, having a piece of an old horse-shoe, whetted on tbie 
wall of his dungeon, as the only instrument of his mechanism ; 
and complaining only of the scarcitjr of timber to complete his 
group. jHe had the address, by an irresistible flow of good hu- 
mour and cheerfulness, to make some believe, that he was quite 
an innocent and harmless man ; and excited sympathy enough in 
those who had the curiosity to see him, to obtain several gratifi- 
cations which prisoners do not usually enjo;^ : yet the depth of 
his cunning was evinced in accomplishing his means of escape, 
which he effected by sawing a hole in his prison door, which is 
several inches thick, so neatly, that the block could be taken out 
and replaced without any marks of violence. Through this hole 
he could thrust his arm, and by wrenching off strong padlocks, 
and shoving back the bolts, at the hour of supper, when the per- 
son who waited on the prisoners was giving them their food, 
found a free passage to the hall of the Counting House, and 
thence to the street." 

The saw which he used in cutting the door of his prison, is 
supposed to have been one which he stole on board the steam- 
boat FvtroVt on his passage from New-York to New-Haven : 
and so artfully did he conceal the saw, though repeatedly search- 
ed both before and aAer his confinement, at the suggestion of 
Capt. Bunker, that he retained it about his person until by its 
means he effected hb escape. 


ler baPP* 

met Nov 

the city. 


and maal 

gaged a ■ 

if possit 

their ef 




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that I 









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About the time (hat Nevnnan made his elopement, Mr. Bnt- 
ler happened to be in New- York ; and on his return by land, he 
met Newman travelling leisurely along, a few miles distant from 
the city. Mr. Butler readily recognized him, and immediately 
instituted a pursuit ; but he baffled nis attempt to apprehend him 
and made his retreat into the woods. Upon this, Mr. Butler en-, 
gaged a party of men, with dogs and fire-arms, to ferret him out 
if possible; but he had vigilance and art sufficient to elude all 
their efforts to take him. 

The next morning after the chase, he made his appearanse at 
a certain house, where he found the table placed for the family 
breakfast, and without invitation or ceremony, sat down at the 
table and besan to eat. While he was eating, he observed to 
the family, mat he would not let them take him yesterday; re- 
ferring to his pursuers. "Was it you they were after?" en- 
quired some of the family. <'Yes, but I would not let them find 
me." *' How came you from New Haven ?" was next enaui- 
red. " I staid a great while," he replied, " but they did not nnd 
anything against me ; only a young woman pretended to say 
that I had an ear-ring ofher's, which belonged to my wife, which 
was not wbrth waiting for, and so I came away." ^ Here, how- 
ever, he was apprehended, and sent again to bridewell; but 
when he came there, he denied being the man; and had so al- 
tered his appearance and dress, that no one knew bun, until Mr. 
Allen, the keeper of the prison at New Haven, came and re- 
cognized him. He took him in charge at Bridewell^ and re- 
turned with him to New Plaven in the steamboat. On his arrival 
at tlie County-house, the Sheriff had him closely searched, to 
see that he had no saws, nor any other instruments, by which he 
might effect another escape. After the search, he was confined 
in the criminals' room, handcuffed, with a shackle about one of 
his legs, to which was attached a long iron chain, firmly stapled 
to the floor, and in company with two negro boys who were 
f onfined for stealing. 

In this situation te was left at evening: and the next morn- 
ing, when the keeper came to the door of his prison, he found 
him walking the room, smoking his pipe, with the chain on his 
shoulder, and the handcuffs in his hand, which he presented to 
the keeper, saying, you may take these they may be of use to 
you ; for they are of no more use to me." The keeper, on at- 
tempting to open the door, found that he had not only drawn 
the staple, but had raised the floor also, which was of stroiu^ 
plank, firmly fastened to the sleepers with spikes. The heacb 
of some of the spikes were drawn through the planks which he 
had taken up, and with which he had so banicaded the door, 
that the keeper attempted in vain to enter. Upon this, he cal- 
led npon the Sheriff, who came and ordered the prisoner to 

. .»." 




open the door ; to which he replied from within, '' My house im 
my castle, and none shall enter alive without, my leave." The 
Sheriff then ordered the two colored boys, (who stood trem- 
bling from fear,) to come and remove the fastening from the 
door; but the prisoner told them that death would be their por* 
tion if they attempted it. 

The Sheritr finding him determined not to open the door and 
having in vain attempted to get in by oth^r means, sent for a 
mason and ordered him to break an opening through the brick 
partition which divided the lower room. When the mason com- 
menced operations on the wall, Newman said to the 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 in but gentlemen, I will open the door for him."— 
The door was then opened and the sheriff went in and secured 
him : and soon af\er, more strongly, with additional irons and 
chains. Finding himself now overpowered, and another escape 
rather hopeless, he had recourse to his old scheme of yelling and 
screaming like any thing but the human Voice, and seemingly in 
every part of the house. This he kept up all night, until the 
whole town was literally alarmed. A special Court was there- 
fore immediately called, and in a few days he was brought on his 

The trial was brought on as a case of burglary, the prisoner 
having entered a chamber of Mr Butler's, and stole an ear-ring 
belonging to a young lady then lodging at the house. Newman 
obtained counsel to plead his case ; but not being satisfied with the 
manner in which the trial was conducted, he plead his own case, 
in which he maintained that the ear-ring did not belong to the lady, 
but to his own wife ; that every like was not the same, and that 
the evidence before the court did not establish the charge. How- 
ever, he was found guilty and sentenced to three years confine- 
ment in the Neto Gate Simsbury Mines, which was considered ra- 
ther a stretch of power on account of his infamous and notorious 
character. He was consequently sent off the next day to the place 
of his future confinement and labour, ironed and chained ; and 
in a waggon under a strong guard. 

Afler I arrived at New Haven, where I was put in possession 
of the&e particulars concerning him, no person was known in the 
United States who could perfectly identify him to be the noted 
Henry More Smith, but myself. I was consequently requested, 
for the gratification of the public, to go to the Simsbury mines to 
see him. I had the curiosity to see how he conducted himself at 
New Gate, and proceeded to Simsbury, about fif^ miles, for the 

gurpose. On my arrival at Simsbury, I enquired of Capt. Wash* 
urn, the keeper of the prison, how Newman conducted himself. 
He answered me that he behaved very well ; that he had heard 




ho was a \eiy bad follow, but ho had so many that were worse 
he did not think any thing bad in Newman. I further enquired 
of the keeper what account Nevvmau gave of himself, and what 
he acknowledged to have been his occupation. His answer to 
these enciuiries were, that he professed to be a tailor, if any thing, 
but that he had not been accustomed to much hard work, as he 
had always been subject to Jits; that his^fs toere frightful, and 
that in his agony and distress he would turn round on his head 
and shoulders like a top, and that he was so chaffed and bruised 
with his irons in his convulsive agonies, that he had taken the 
shackles off his legs, so that now be only put one on one leg. This 
was as convincing to me as posssble that he was my old frienp, 
Smith. The Captain asked me if I had a wish to liberate him. 
I replied, my object was to ascertain whether he were a prison- 
er I had had in ray custody more than twelve months, and that if 
he were, he would know me immediately ; but would not profess 
to know me. Accordingly, when he was brought into ray pre- 
sence in the Captain's room, he maintained a perfect indifference,, 
and took no notice of me whateler. I said to him, " Newman, 
what have you been doing that has brought you here ?" " Noth- 
ing," said no, "only I had an ear-ring with me that belonged to 
my wife, and a young lady claimed it and swore it belonged to 
her, and I had no friend to speak in favour of me. and they sent 
me to prison." I then asked him whether ho had ever seen me 
before. He looked earnestly upon me and answered, " I do not 
know but I have seen you at New Haven, there were many men 
at court." "Where did you come from?" His reply was, " I 
came from Canada." "What countryman are you?" "A French- 
man,- bom in France." He had been in London and Liverpool, 
but never at Brighton. " Was you ever at Kingston, New-Bruns- 
wick ?" He answered, " No," he did not know where that was, 
with a countenance as unmoved as if he had spoken in all the con- 
fidence of truth. 

He appeared rather more fleshy then when at Kingston ; but 
still remained the same subtle my stciious being. I understood 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 *nd decent, and among the wretched victims who were 
daily brought from the horrid pit in chains and fetters to their 
dail^ labour of making nails, William Newman appeared quite a 
flistmguished character. So obtuse was he that he could not be 
taught to make a nail, and yet so ingenious was he, that he made 
a Jews-harp to the greatest perfection without being discovered 
at work and without it? being known until he was seen' playing 
on it 

It was in the city of New Haven that the author published the 
First Edition of these Mrmoirs, being aware that here, where his 



character and unprecedented actions were perfectly known 
throu|;hout the country, the publication of his doings at Kinenton, 
and hia career throughout the provinces of New-firunswicK and 
?f ova Scotia would not only be desirable and acceptable *, but would 
also be received with less scrupulousness, when brought, as it 
were, in contact with facts of a similar nature publicly known and 

While these papers were being prepared for the press, a gen- 
tleman from Washington, Major McUaniel, on his return from 
Boston, boarded some time in the same house with me, that of 
Mr Joseph Nichols, and having heard some details from m« of 
his unprecedented character and actions in New*Bninswick, and 
having also become acquainted with the facts relating to his im* 
prisonments and escape, &c. in that place, could not reprtss hia 
curiositjT in going to see him, and requested me to accompany 
him at his own expence. He observed that it would be a high 
gratification to him, on his return to Washington, that he would 
not ohly have one of my books with him, but would also be able 
to sav that he had personally seen the Sheriff from New Bruns- 
AViek'Uiat had written the book, and had seen the remarkable cha- 
raetdrln the prison of New Gate that constituted die subject of 
the book, and aJso the prison in New Haven from whidi he es- 
caped. Accordingly we set out for New Gate and mv friend had 
the satisfaction of seeing the noted Henry More Smith, now W?!- 
Itiam Newman. On our leaving him, I said to him, " Now Smith 
if you have any thing you wish to communicate to your wife, I 
will let 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 lefl her there," was his reply, and that with as tnnch 
firmness and seeming earnestness as if he had never before seen 
my facv?. — Afler I had left him and returned to New Haven, and 
furnished the printer with this additional sketch, and had the Me- 
moirs completed, one of the books was shewn to him, which he 
perused with much attention, and replied with seeming indiffer- 
ence, that there never was such a character in existence ; but that 
i<orae gentleman travelling in the United States had run short of 
money and had invented that book to defray his ex^iences ! 

Immediately afler he had read the Memoirs of his own unpar- 
alleled life and actions, c id pronounced the whole vl fiction, as if 
to outdo anything before related of him, or attributed to him, he 
added the following remarkable feat to the list, already so full, of 
his singular and unprecedented actions. In the presence of a 
number of young persons, and when tibeie was a fuie fire burn- 
ing on the hearth, he affected to be suddenly seized with a violent 
etmmdsivtJU, falling down on the floor and bounding and writhing 
about, as if in the most Agonizing sufferings. And what consti- 
tuted the toondcr of tbui masterpiece of affectation was, that in hb 



spasmodic contortions his feet came in r^ontact with the fire, and 
were literally beginning to be roasted, without his appearing: to 
feel any pain from the burning. This circumstance confirmed 
the belief in the bystanders, that the Jit was a reality ; and he djid 
not miss his aim in shewing off his spasmodic attack, which wan 
indeed done to the life. He was consequently exempted fropd 
hard labour, and was permitted to employ himself in any trifling 
application he chose, or in making Jews harps, penknives, kniyes 
of various discriptions, and rings, in the mechanism of which he 
manifested much original talent and characteristic ingenuity. 
Many persons, from mere curiosity, purchased from him sevei^ 
articles of his handiwork. From among the rest, may be instan- 
ced the case of two young men, who yery much admired his small 
penknives, and proposea purchasing two of them on condition 
of his engraving his name on the handles of them. He immedi- 
ately engraved, and with i>erfect neatness, " Henry More Smith,*' 
on the one side of one of them, " William Newman," on the other 
side, and on the other knife he engraved, -< Mysterions Stranger." 
Those knives were kept by their owners as a curiosity, and many 
persons were much gratified with seeing them. One of them 
was sometime after brought to Kingston, and I, myself had the 

Salification of seeing the name of my old Domestic, engraved on 
e handle. 

Under the indulgent treatment he received in New Gate, he 
became perfectly reconciled to his situation, 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 con- 
sequently never attempted any means of escape. 

After the period of his imprisonment was up and he had received 
his discharge, he left with tne keeper of the prison, a highly finish- 
ed pocket knife, of moderate size, the handle of which contained 
a watch, complete in all its parts, keeping time regularly. And 
what excited much wonder in reference to this ingenious and 
singularly curious piece of mechanism, was 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 that saw it, that it 
was in reality the prodiiction of his oum genius, and the work of 
Dtis own hands. ¥ot this information I was indebted to a gentle- 
roan named Osbume, who resided in the neighbourhood, and 
who stated that he had seen the knife and watch himself, and that 
it was regarded by alias a very extraordinary piece of ingenuity. 

He left Simsbury decently apparalled, with some money in his 

S)cket, and in possession of some articles of his own handiwork, 
e directed his course eastward, and was seen in Boston ; but for 
0ome short time, nothing particular or striking was heard ofhim. 
The first thing concerning him, that arrested public attention, was 
publbhed in the Boston BuUetiu, and whidi came under my own 



•je : " Beware ofpickpockcts ! A stage coach destined for this city 
and full of passengers, a few evenings since, when one of the pas- 
lengjers rang tiie bell, and cried out to the driver to stop hi^ horses 
as his pocket had been picked of a large sum of money since lie 
entered the coach ; and at the same time requested the driver 
would not let any of the other passengers get out of the coach, it 
being dark, until he, the aforesaid passenger, should bring a light, 
in order to have a general search. This caused a general feeling 
of pockets among the passengers, when another passenger cried 
out that his pocket book had also been stolen. The driver did as 
he was directed, until the gentleman who first spoke should have 
time to have procured a lamp ; but whether he found it or not re- 
mained quite uncertain. But no doubt he found the light he in- 
tended should answer his purpose, as he had not shewn his ap- 
f)earance in any other light, tlowever the passenger who really 
ost his pocket book, which although it did not contain but a small 
amount of money, thinks he shall hereafter understand what is 
meant when a man in a stage coach calls out thiff, and that he will 
prefer darkness rather tJian light, if ever such an evil joke is offered 
to b6 played with him again." 

As he was continually changing his name as well as his place, 
it was impossible always to indentify his person, especially as few 
persons in the United States were personally acquamted with him. 
The difficulty of recognising him was not a little increased also 6y 
the circumstances of his continually changing his external appear- 
ance; and the iniquitious means by which he could obtain money 
and change of apparel, always afforded him a perfect facility of 
assuming a different appearance. In addition to these circum- 
sances also, as a feature of character which no less contribu- 
ted to the difficulty of identifying him, must be taken into ac- 
count his unequalled and inimitable ease in affecting different 
and various characters, and his perfect and unerabavassed com- 
posure in the most difficult and perplexing circumstances. To 
the identity and eccentricity therefore, of his actions, rather than 
to our knowledge of the identity of his person and name, we must 
depend, in our future attempts to trace his footsteps and mark their 
characteristic prints. 

On this ground, therefore, there is not the shadow of a douLt 
that the robberry committed in the stage coach, and that the origi- 
nality of the means by which he carried off his booty, pointed with 
unhesitating certainty to the noted cliaracter of our narative. Af- 
ter this depredation in the coach, with which he came off succes.^- 
ful, it would appear that he bended his course in disguise through 
the States of Connecticut and New York, assuming different cha- 
racters, and committing many robberies and depredations undis- 
covered and even unsuspected for a length of time, and afterwards* 
made his appearance in Ufp£R Canada, in the character of a 




gontlcmin irioix-hant fifoni Ncw-BrniKwicIc, witli a lar^'o qiTnntity 
nrsnnv^ftlf-tl £,'ooi|ii iVom New- Voik. w liich ho niiid wcrt^ coiniri;:; en 
after him in \vai,'i;on.s : t!ies« hijaui-I ho int..;»i(l(ul to (IL'pojO ot'on 
vary inodcrrito toriii;-!. so as to suit parcliasi r.i 

\Uu-<) l.(! railed upon my brother, Am,^ii-1u5 Bafoi, Dopiity 
Po^tmasrcr, rtt \Voirm;:^t():i 8qiinre, he;ul of f,ake (fntnria, arul 
informed tlu; fa.tiily tl>at he iras wdlacqiiainUd ui'k Shr.rljf' liriftn, 
nl K'miiU'r.i, and th;it hn called to I(jt t!;eiii know that \w a?id \va 
fijnily vvoi'i.' vvidl. Il;s rcftvotled vcjy m ic!'. that ho had not r)iind 
Mr. i]atp« at homo, and stati-d that ho wjn nnon ur,<rent and im- 
portant hMJi,K.'rt.i, and conM not tarry v/i!.!i ihern for tho nigh\ 
ImU, '.vonl'l leavo a lelior for him. Tai^i h« accordingly did, pro- 
tierly nddr.'^-ipd, and in a ^fjood hand/.riiini: ; bnt \vh:;n it vv3< 
opensd. afxl it-i contonf^ examined, no nno in tho rd ica could 
mako out thi', namo of iho writer, or r^atl any i)art of tlio letter ! 
It appearrt! to have been written in liie characters of some foreign 
langiu»;re but it conhl not l)o dccipIiOicd. T.'iis was another of 
h's chiraoterlstin eecentricitiesi, bnt h;^ intt^ition in it cordd not 
be well understood. 

He did not appear desirous to mako himself particularly know!i 
to tl»e Amiiiy, nortoenltivatcany fartlieraerpiaintanco with them, 
but proceeded thcnee to the principal boarding in the 
town, and engaged entertainment for liim;elf and ihirteon other 
persons, who, he said, were engaged in on lii.i waggons. 
loaded with his smuggled good.-'. Having t!ms fixed upon a re- 
sidence for himself and hi.« gang of waggor^nrs, ho then calle<J 
upon all the principal merchan,ti in die town, on preti;nce of en- 
tering into contracts for storing large packages of goods, ww^X pro- 
posing to give great bargains to purchasers on their arrival, and 
in some instances actually received money as earnost on some 
packa^tcs of saleable goods, for the sale of which he entered into 
contracts. It may be remarked, by the way, that he wrote also 
in an unktiOwn and unintelligible hand, to the celebrated Copt. 
Brant, the same as ho had written to Mr. Bates, but with what 
view was equally mysterious and unaccountable. 

Notwiihsianding his genteel and respectable appearance, there 
was a .singularity in his manner and conduct which, with all his 
tact and experience, ho could not altogether conceal ; and henco 
arose some suspicions as to the reality of his pretensions. These 
suspicions received confirmation, and were soon matured into 
the reality of his being a genteel impostor, from the fact that the 
time for the arrival of his waggons was now elapsed, and they 
were not making their appearance. At this juncture, when pub- 
lic attention and observation were directed to the stranger to ob- 
serve which way the balance would turn, an individual named 
Brown, w!io had formerly resided in New-Brunswick, and had 
moved with his family to Canada, coming into contact with the 



/!;«fttl«man, recognized him, from a certain twrk he carried on 
nis face, to be the far-famed Henry More Smith, whom he had 
mnn and known when in the jail at Kingston ! 

This report, pasising immediately into circulation, gave the im- 
^oslof a timely signal to depart, without waiting for the arrival of 
h'm waggons and baggage, and without loss of time he took hi» 
^l«partur« from Canada, by way of Lake Erie, through the Mi- 
tt'i^an territory, and down the Ohio to the Southern States. — 
With his proceedings, during this course of his travnls, we are 
*.rd\rii]y unacquainted ; therefore the reader must be lef): to his 
own reflections as to his probable adventures, ati he travelled 
tfirongh this immense tract of country. There is no reason for 
finubt, however, that ho had by this time, and even long before, 
! r.uome so confirmed in his iniquitous courses, that he would let 
r.o occasion pass unimproved, that would afford him an opportii- 
nity of indulging in the predominant propensity of a mind which 
r.L-emed to glory in the prosecution or robberies and plunder, as 
vvull as in the variety of means by which he effected his unheard 
of and unprecedented escapes. 

AAer his arrival in the Southren States, we are again able to 
glean something of his life and history. While he wa^ yet in the 
;;dol in King's County, it will be remembered, that he said he 
had been a Preacher, and that he should preach again, and would- 
gain proselytes ; and now his prediction is brought about ; for 
under a new name, that of Henrt Hopkins, he appeared in the 
character of vl preacher in the Southern States? And what won- 
der? For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. — 
Kare, even 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 be fully sensible of it, although his conscience 
had become seared, and was proof against any proper sense of 
wrong. He acknowledged that he had been shocked to see so 
many follow him to hear him preach, and even to be affected un* 
der his preaching. Our source of information does not furnish 
OS with many of the particulars which marked his conduct, while 
itinerating through the South in his newly assumed character ; 
yet general accounts went to say, that he had, for a length of 
time, so conducted himself, that he gained much popularity in his 
ministerial calling, and had a considerable number of adherents. 
However this may have been the case for a length of time, yet &n 
the assumption of this new character could not be attributable to 
any supernatural impulse, but was merely another feature of a 
character already so singularly diversified, intended as a cloak, 
under which he might, with less liability to suspicion, indulge the 
prevailing and all-controuling propensities of his vitiated mind. 
It was not to be expected, with all the ingenuity he was capable 
of exercising, that he would long be capable of concealing lua 





.. No one, howe»er, had *»"«"• jj, ,1,15 morning, when nnim^ 
l0B»tely for him, his lace »" 

.. ,.,,_;,„ 


knew him to have been in the stale prison at Brillimorc. How- 
ever, on searching him, which he readily complied with, not oim 
cent of the money could be found either upon his bagga;j;e or lii.'i 
person ; but in lieu thereof, they found him pos-es-fcd ol'a large 
number of small keys, tlirough which, no doubt, he found niean^ 
of disposing of any surplusage of circulating medium ; whereupon 
his quarters were changed to Bridewell, until t!)e ensuing term 
of General Sessions." 

Here he remained in confuiement until the period of his trial 
came round ; when, for want of suihcieiit evidence to commit 
him to the State Prison, he was thence di3char,ted, and the next 
account we hear of him, biings him before our view under the 
name of Henry Preston, arrested in the act of attempting to rob 
the Northern Mail Coach, as will appear by the following article 
extracted from the Times : 

^' Police Office, Monday, February 22d, 1835. — Justa^ thisoflice 
was closing on Saturday evening, a very gentlemanly looking 
man, decently dressed, calling hiaiself Henry Preston, was brought 
up in the custAly of the driver and guard of the Northern Mail 
Stage, who charged him with an attempt to rob the mail. The ' 
accusers testified that within a short di.-^tance of Peekfjkill, they 
discovered. the..pnsoner about a hundred yards ahead of the stage, 
and on ^^roaching nearer, they saw him jump over a fence. ( 
evidenthCTw avoid notice. This, of course, excited their suspi- 
cion, anMiiey kept an eye to the mail, which Was deposited in 
the bootJf^ 

" In the course of a short tirae,tho guard discovered the rat nib- 
bling at the bait, and desiring the driver not to stop the speed of 
his horses, he quietly let himself down, and found, the prisoner 
actively employed, loosening the strap which confines the Mail 
bag ! He was instantly arrested, placed in the carriage, and car- 
ried to town free of expencc. 

" Having nothing to ofter in extenuation of his offence, Mr. 
Henry Preston was committed to Bridewell until Monday, foi 
further investigation." 

" Police Office, Monday morning — This morniiig, Henry Pres- 
ton, committed for attempting to rob the Northern Mail, was 
brought up before the sitting Magisfrates, when the High Sherifi' 
of Orange County appeared and demanded the prisoner, whoso 
real name wasffenry Glbney, as a fugitive from justice! 

He stated, that on Friday last, the prisoner wa-i to have been 
tried for Grand Larceny, atid was lodged in the House of Deten- 
tion, at Newburgh, on Thu»-sday, under care of two persons — 
that in the course of the night he contrived to elude the vigib. .^e 
of his keepers, escaped from confinement, and crossed the river 
on tlie ice, and had got down as far as Peekskill, where he (laya 


Vie attetn 

By Of 

the offen 
General | 
catne ro 
effect hii 
his way 
but, lik< 
of the, J 
bled to 


will p' 

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ke attempted to get on the top of the stage, that he might get into 
New- York as soon as possible." 

By order of the Judges, the prisoner was delivered over to the 
Sheriff of Orange County, to be recognized there for his trial for 
the offence with which he was originally charged, at the next 
General Session of the Supreme Court. But before the tenn 
came round, he had, as on most former occasions, contrived to 
effect his escape, and directed his course towards Upper Canada ! 

Of the particular manner of his escape, and his adventures on 
his way through to Canada, we can state nothing with certainty ; 
but, like all his previous movements, we may hazard the con- 
jecture, that they were such as would do the usual Itonour to his 
wretched profession. Yet with all his tact, he could not always 
escape the hands of justice ; and hence his course is not unfre- 
quently interrupted, and his progress impeded by the misfortunes 
of the prison. It is owing to this circumstance, that we are ena- 
bled to keep pace with him in Upper Canada, where we find him 
confined in the Jail of Toronto, under the charge o( burglary. 

For this information, the writer is indebted to his brother, Mr. 
Augustus Bates, residing in Upper Canada, from whose letter, 
dated 4th August, 1835, we make the following extract, which 
will point out the circumstances which have guided us in endea- 
vouring to follow up the history of the Mysterious Stranger to the 
present tim6 : 

" 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 writing a new 
edition of * More Smith.' I have to request that you will sus- 
pend the publication until you hear from me again. There is a 
man now confined in Toronto jail, who bears the description of 
More Smith, and is supposed to be the same. Many things are 
told of him which no other person could perform. I vvill not at- 
tempt to repeat t'lem, as I cannot vouch for their trutii. 

" From current reports, I was induced to write to the Sheriff 
who had him in charge, requesting him to give me a correct 
account of him. I have not heard from the Sherifi* since I 
wrote : perhaps he is waiting to see in what manner he is t© be 
disposed of. Report says that the man is condemned to be exe- 
cuted for shop-breaking — he wishes the Sheriff to do his duty ; 
that he had much rathc?r be hanged than sent to the Penitentiary. 
Many are the curious stories told of him, which, ati I said before, 
I will not vouch for. — Should the Sheriff writ»'i»me, his infor- 
mation may be relied on." 

Several communications from Upper Canada have reached us 
between the date of the letter from which the above extract is 
made, and the present time ; but none of them contained the de> 
sired information as to the particular fate of the prisoner, and the 




manner in which he was disposed of, until the 18th of SeDlltti- 
ber last, (1836.) *^ 

By a letter from Mr. Augustas Bates, bearing this date, it would 
appear that the prisoner had not been ezeeiUed, but had been sen* 
tenced to one year's cot^nement in the Penitentiary. We make 
the following- extract :— 

" I give you all the information that I can obtain respecting (Kii' i 
prisoner enquired after. The Jailer, who is also the Deputy She- 
r^, that had him in charge, says that he could learn nothing from 
him, — said he called his name Smith,— that he was fifty-five years 
eld, but denies that he ever was in Kingston, New-Brunawick. 
The jailer had one of your books, and showed it to him, but he 
dmiied any knowledge of it, and would not give him any satis- 
faction to the enquiries he made of him. 

"The Sheriff says he believes the person to be the same Mya- 
teriom Stranger r that he was condemned end sentenced to uie 
Penitentiary for one year : his crime was bt.rgiary" 



It would have afforded the writer of these Memoirs great s** 
tisfaction, and no doubt an equal satisfaction to the reader, bnd 
it been in his power to have paid a visit to Upper Canada, that 
he might be able to state from his own certain and penonal 
knowledge of the prisoner in Toronto, thnt he was, indeed, the 
self -aame noted individual that was in his own custody tweniy-two 
years ago ; and whom he had the gratification of seeing and re- 
cocnizing subsequently, at the Simsbury Mines, where he played 
offhis affected Jits wifh such art and consequent advantage. 

But although it is pot in the writer's power to close up his Me- 
moirs with so important and valuable a discovery — ^yet, keeping 
in view the characteristic features of the inan — his professed ig- 
norance of Kingston, in New-Brunswick — his denial of ever ha- 
ving seen the first edition of the Memoirs, and the care which he 
took to keep himself enveloped in mysiftry, by utterly declining 
to give any satisfactory information concerning himself: all these 
circumstances united,'form a combination of features so marked, 
as to carry conviction to the mind of the repder who has traced 
him through this narrative, that he is no other than the same mys- 
terious Henri More Smith. 

There is aaJM^er feuture in the prisoner at Toronto, that seems 
fivrongly conqiprative of what we are desirous properly to esta- 
blish ; that iaiTw age. He acknowledges to b^Mty-^^e years of 
ige ; and althoagh this would make him somewtiat older thar4his 
real age, yet it fixes this point— that the prisaiHNt,at Toronto is 
well advanced in years; and so must the subject of our Memoir* 
be also. 


could not! 

the persol 

tinuaUy c| 


cf twentl 

teaJ Xi^"^ 
that the I 
to pteasi 
, nish awl 
Eh id[i«re'i i| 
*'• K hadmaj 

year's 4 






in the] 

on Hi 








. an( 








*i,T fhrNarrative would close with t^^J^P^'t this had gone 

'". f °' ' forSS ^formation as to the '■ ™?,X,e period, that he 
3re"S.t"^« Spooled «.*ear at som^m^^^^^ • . 

highly P"Hw to Kj^«*^'*!7iJ'^r£L heaTrfor M 

and with tears oi ^ v resolved, by a c""*^^ • ag dig. 
himself upon her neck, an ^ ^ S? 

titnde and honesty, to ™T'*';,' . j„ her nuserable 1 






ed the inmate of his bosom, and set out single-handed in the fresh 
pursuit of crime. 

There is, however, one redeeming feature trhich stands out 
among the general deformities of his character: in all the adven- 
tures "Which the history of his course presents to our view, we 
are not called upon to witness any marks of violence and blood; 
and it is perhaps owing to the absence of this repulsive trait of 
character, that we do not behold him in a more relentless light. 

The writer would close up these pages by finally observing, 
that if these Memoirs should ever fall into the hands of Henry 
More Smith, the unhappy subject of them, and should he, from 
whatever motive, be induced to peruse them, he trusts that the 
review of a life, so wretchedly abjjLjuiserably raispent, may b« 
accompanied with conviction from^QL\High, and be followed up 
with repentance unto life, that hewnvhas so of>en been immur- 
ed withm the walls of an earthly prison, may not at the close of 
his unhappy and sinful course in tliis world, be finally shut up in 
the prison of hell, and bound hand and foot in the chains of eter- 
nal darkneiss, where shall be weeping and wailing, and gnashing 
of teeth : where the hope of mercy or release can never enter, 
but the wrath of God abideth forever and ever ! 

'i^'t/ ^///^-^^^^ 






■ >.A-^.'' 



le fresh 

nds out 
w, we 
trait of 



e, from 

that the 

may be 

wed up 


close of 

ut up in 

of eter- 


it enter,