Skip to main content

Full text of "Speech of Com. Jesse Duncan Elliott, U.S.N. delivered in Hagerstown, Md. on 14th November, 1843.-"

See other formats






On 14th November, 1543. 

Published by the Committee of Arrangement of Washington County, 


&, B. Zxiber & Co. No. 3 Ledger Buildings, Third St, 



Page 18, line 11, for J. S. Newton, read J. T. Newton. 
Page 28, line 24 of note, for state room, read store room. 
Page 48, lines 7 and 8 from bottom — for port, read part. 


Page 24, 30th line from top, after martyr, read, in the Episcopal faith. 
Page 52, line 16 from bottom, for junior, read senior. 
Page 53, line 11, for A. V. Dayton, read A. 0. Dayton. 

Hagerslown, Nov. 24, 1843. 

It is our pleasant duty to convey to you the request of many of our 
fellow-citizens, that you will accept at their hands the compliment of a 
public dinner to-morrow. 

You are here, after a long interval, in your native village, and near the 
tomb of vour forefathers. Not many of your old play-fellows remain 
to take you by the hand, but of those who occupy their places, there are 
none but will greet with pleasure one who has so long borne the flag of 
their country 'through the battle and the breeze ;' and none who are not 
gratified to know that their townsman, 'the Old Commodore,' will again 
" be fit for sea," and bear his country's flag in glorious triumph. 
We are, respectfully, 

your obedient servants, 

To Commodore Elliott. 

Hagerstoivn, Nov. 24, 1843. 
To Jos. J. Merrick, O. H. Williams, 
J. Spencer, Chas. Macgill, John 
T. Mason and George Schley, Esqrs. 

Gentlemen — I am honored with your communication of to-day. 11 
would afford me very great pleasure to meet the many old and valued 
friends, natives of the town of my birth, at the festive board. This 
pleasure would be the more enhanced, as I recognize of the committee, 
names to which I feel strongly united by close family relations. The 
visit, however, I have made the town of my nativity, being somewhat of 
a pious nature, I thought only to drop a tear of affection on the sepul- 
chre of a departed mother and sister. 

I pray you to excuse me, gentlemen, when in addition I assure you 
that a previous engagement at Baltimore interferes to prevent an accept- 
ance of so distinguished a favor. 

I am, very respectfully and 

truly your servant, 


The Committee of Arrangement, on the part of the people of Washington county, 
Maryland, present the following interesting Speech of their esteemed and distin- 
guished fellow-citizen to the public. Without pretending to draw attention to its 
many and distinct excellencies, they will merely remark, that on the occasion of 
Commodore Elliott's visit to the town of his nativity, they were honored with the 
request to tender him a public dinner as an evidence of the high consideration, which 
was generally and deeply entertained for him, and for the valuable and inappreciable 
services he had rendered his country. This invitation, Commodore Elliott politely 
declined, from considerations of propriety, and which were honorable to the feel- 
ings of his heart. Acceding however to the wishes of his numerous friends, 
expressed through the same Committee, he met them in the Court House of this 
place, and addressed them in the following speech. With much reluctance, it was 
allowed by him, to be published as reported : and it is thus given, in the confident 
belief that the important historical events which it contains and in which it was his 
lotto participate, will be read with the same profit and delight, that attended; t heir 
delivery on the above occasion. 

Hagerstowjc, January, 1844. 





My Fellow Couxtymex: 

In the course of my pilgrimage to the tombs of a sainted mother and 
endeared sister, I have willingly tarried in the town of my nativity, to 
renew the associations of my childhood, and revive those recollections 
which are among the dearest and holiest in the heart of man. I have tar- 
ried, too, that I may return in some measure, the generous and kind 
evidences of regard, which have been so profusely extended towards 
me ; and even at the risk of personal mortification, to respond to the 
request to address you upon the events of a life, in which you have been 
pleased to express an awakened interest. Although the task is far from 
being among those of my vocation, yet I cannot feel at liberty to decline 
the invitation, presented as it has been, by those for whom I have ever 
cherished the warmest esteem, and who have, by their many attentions, 
increased the obligations of gratitude. Permit me then, to ask for an 
exercise of your charitable indulgence towards the numerous faults of a 
hasty address, and to be assured that the only regret I experience is, 
that its subject matter is not more worthy of your attention. If, how- 
ever, among the incidents of my narrative, there occur any, which in 
your lenient view may claim some commendation, let them be refer- 
red to the motive which has ever influenced my breast, to serve my 
beloved country in faithfulness; and if there should appear at times, an 
undue solicitude to defend myself from undeserved calumny and wrono-, 
I beg you to remember, that next to that country, the humble services 
which I have rendered, are the only legacy which I can bequeath to my 
children. It is for them, and for the preservation of their parent's fair 
fame, that I would strive against a united world ; as it is for the land 
of my birth, that my remaining energies are religiously devoted, to the 
rendering of such services as I may be enabled to perform in defence of 
its honor, the security of its blessed ii or the increase of its 

glory ! 


It is known to man)' in this respected audience, that the honor of s ; 
Marylander's birth-right was derived from parents, both of whom 
were Pennsylvanians, and that in the ninth year of my age, my father 
was killed by a party of Indians, on the Muskingum, on his route to 
join the army of Gen. Wayne, to which he was attached as a Commis- 
sary. The distressing event which made me an orphan, brought with 
it also the evils of poverty, upon a devoted mother; who in her widow- 
hood had to struggle for the support of those that were left her, in infancy 
and childhood. Through the generous and noble exertions of the late 
John Thompson Mason, of your county, Congress voted a small gra- 
tuity to the relief of the relict of a brave officer; and Mr. Jefferson, then 
President of the United States, deprecating the parsimony of the grant, 
forwarded warrants for midshipmen in the Navy, to my brother St. 
Clair and myself. It was a spontaneous act of the great Apostle of 
Liberty, and it cheered the heart of a fond mother, in the season of 
gloom and painful anxiety. 

The warrants were dated April 2d, 1804, and were accompanied by 
orders, attaching St. Clair to the President, Comm. Samuel Barron, and 
myself to the Essex, Capt. James Barron. We proceeded to the Bar- 
barv states on the Mediterranean, to humble them ; negotiated a peace 
with Tripoli, and brought home the crew of the Philadelphia, who had 
been confined in the dungeons of that city. Having remained 
on shore until 1807, I was attached to the ill-fated Chesapeake, Capt. 
J. Barron; and on the 22d of June, departed for the Mediterranean. 
We had scarcely cleared our coast, before she was attacked by the 
British ship-of-the-line, the Leopard, of greatly superior force; and such 
was the utterly defenceless state of our frigate, and our ignorance of an 
intended attack by a vessel belonging to a nation with which we were 
at peace, that in a short time we were compelled to strike our flag — an 
act to which nothing but the direst necessity could have compelled us 
to resort. I need not dwell upon an affair which now is properly 
judged by the world, and particularly by my countrymen. I will merely 
remark, that Commodore Barron did all that a brave and skilful officer 
could do, under the circumstances. Although a court martial visited 
upon him a harsh punishment; yet I rejoice that he has long been 
restored to the confidence of his fellow citizens, by whom he is cher- 
ished as one of their noble and chivalrous officers. — [See my testimony 
at Court Martial of Commodore Barron.~] 

In connexion with this affair, and on account of my zeal in defend- 
ing the character of my brave Commander, which I conceived to be 
unjustlv aspersed, I became involved in a personal altercation, from 
which I could not honorably extricate myself; and accordingly a meet- 
ing upon the field took place with my antagonist. He fell ; but fortun- 
ately the wound was not mortal; and it affords me sincere pleasure to 
say that we lived in close friendship, for years after, up to his death; 
an event no way hastened by this affair. 

After this unprovoked attack on the Chesapeake, Government became 
more strict in her retaliatory proceedings against British cruisers on our 
coast, and adopted the well known measures of non-intercourse, embargo,. 

&o. I was at this period appointed acting Lieutenant on board the 
Enterprise, and subsequently promoted and commissioned to a Lieuten- 
ancy on board the John Adams, and bearer of despatches to our Min- 
ister, Win. Pinckney, at the Court of St. James. During my stay in 
London, which was about five months, a variety of incidents occurred, 
which were of some interest to me as an American, and which were 
expressive of the feelings, &c, at that time existing between us and the 
English people. [Note A.] Returning to the United States, I shortly 
afterwards married. Immediately succeeding this event, Avar having 
been declared against Great Britain, I parted with my wife, to join my 
ship at New York; but she had sailed, leaving me on shore. Having 
learned from Government, that Admiral Sir John Borles Warren had infor- 
mation of the instructions given to Commodore Rodgers, to rendezvous in 
the Chesapeake, and it being considered important that the latter should 
be apprized of this fact, I volunteered my services to bear the informa- 
tion, as well as for the chance of joining at sea, the Argus, of which I 
was First Lieutenant. For this purpose I hired a small pilot boat, called 
the Patriot,"- put one gun and thirty men on board, and cruised 40 days; 
during which time 1 was chased by two British gun brigs, and narrowly 
escaped. I returned home, and was ordered to report for service. 
Commodore Chauncey invited me to join his command, and applied to 
Government for me. I then received orders to proceed to Genessee 
Falls on Lake Ontario, and to Black Rock and Buffalo on Lake Erie; 
there to communicate with Gen. P. B. Porter, Mr. Granger, the Indian 
Agent, and Gen. Van Rensselaer, upon the subject of purchasing, build- 
ing, and equipping boats and vessels for operations on the Lakes. 

While there, I invited, at the suggestion of Gen. Porter, the aged 
Farmer's Brother, chief of the Six Nations, to the council. He inquir- 
ed of me on that occasion, as he cast his eye through the window, and 
pointed significantly to the Queen Charlotte, then lying at Fort Erie, 
across the lake, "Do you see that?" I answered "Yes." He then asked 
me if she was made fast with rope and iron, and if she would go on the 
rocks astern, provided the ropes were cut, and she let into the rapid 
stream? I answered him she w T ould. He then proposed that himself and 
two sons would paddle me over to the ship in his canoe, that I might 
eut the rope and let her go. But as Daniel O'Connel said recently, in al- 
luding to an Irish war against England, I told the old Indian "I knew a 
trick worth two of that.""t He was anxious his sons should join me; 
I assured him that when I did go, I would take them along. After this, 
I conceived and carried into execution the capture of the Detroit and 
Caledonia, and on the day after, old Farmer's Brother sent his tribe 
down with Red Jacket to Black Rock, to have a war-dance in honor of 

* This was the ill-fated schooner in which Col. Burr's daughter was afterwards 
lost at sea. 

t This old Indian was the only man that ever made me turn aside from a suggested 
action on a point of gallantry. I am now seeking his portrait to hang it in my house. 
He was a brave old chieftain. He met the British with his warriors when they 
were advancing on Black Rock, and in the retreat from there to Buffalo, he fired his 
rifle withhi8 own hands upon the pursuing enemy nearly one hundred times. 

the expedition, and to christen me. The ceremony of the latter rite was 
in this wise. Preliminaries having been arranged in true Indian style, 
the cognomen of Owl was conferred by Red Jacket, who selected the 
name from the circumstance of the capture taking place in the night 
time. The old chief declined coming down, being a little displeased 
that I did not take his sons with me in the expedition; which I was un- 
able to do on account of the shortness of the preparation and the nature 
of the affair. [Note B.] 

After the capture of the Detroit and Caledonia, the army failing in its 
operations below, I left for Lake Ontario, where we had only one regular 
cruising brig; believing that with it and such vessels as Com. Chauncey 
had purchased, we would be enabled to meet the enemy before the lake 
should close. In anticipation of what 1 believed to be the Commodore's 
wishes, I repaired to Sackett's Harbor, (meeting him at Oswego river,) 
where that skilful naval architect, Henry Eckford, was engaged in fit- 
ting the purchased vessels for war. The Commodore assigned me to 
one of the best, and in compliment to the successful effort I have just 
alluded to, he called her the Conquest. We soon marshalled our strength 
on the lake, and drove all the force of the enemy into the harbor of 
Kingston, where a united attack was made upon it. I refer you to that 
faithful historian, James Fenimore Cooper, for the result and particu- 
lars. — The winter having soon after set in, closed our operations for the 

Early in the spring I returned to Sackett's Harbor, and having been 
detached from the Conquest of 2 guns to the Madison of 24, I two days 
after took on board Maj. Gen. Dearborn, Brig. Gen. Pike, a park of ar- 
tillery, and 500 men of the brigade; when we proceeded, accompanied 
by the whole fleet and 1200 men, to York, Upper Canada, and landed 
the whole under a heavy fire from the British troops on shore. I then 
returned to the Madison to report the safe landing of the brigade, and 
requested to be further employed. *The Commodore answered me, that 
my ship drew too much water to cross the bar, and that I had done enough 
that morning. I replied that I was aware that the ship drew too much wa- 
ter, but that the little Conquest, from which he had withdrawn me a few 
days before, did not; and with his permission, I would like to lead all the 
schooners to the assault on the batteries. He assented, with the emphatic 
remark: "Do so; but be sure you bring your head back on your shoulders!'* 

* I may here relate a deeply affecting scene, which occurred at that time. I had 
scarcely set my foot upon the deck of the Conquest, when a noble young lad named 
Hatfield, about 15 years of age, observed to his fellow-midshipman Clarke, ".My 
dream is up! I dreamed that Captain Elliott came on board, and that I was killed." 
And true enough, the little fellow was killed! His leg was taken off just below the 
knee by a shot from the shore, while we were working up to the battery, against an 
opposing wind, the magazine of which was exploded on Gen. Pike's brigade; and 
while I was tying up his leg, and endeavoring to stop the blood, he said it was 
of no use, for he must die. I replied to him that he should not die, but live to be 
an admiral. He asked me if he had done his duty, and if I was satisfied with him? 
1 told him I was, and that he was a brave little fellow. He then asked me if I would 
call on my way home, and tell his father and mother that he had been faithful. I did 
bo. His father was an industrious mechanic, at Albany. 

I am thus particular, because the historian, Cooper, for want of in- 
formation, has failed to state that I had left the Madison for the smaller 
vessels." And now 1 am charged with dictating the incidents of his his- 
tory to him! It is due to that faithful chronicler, unequivocally to de- 
clare, as I now do in most positive terms, that I did not supply him with 
one iota of information, whilst he was penning- the history of the United 
States Navy: for untilafter that history was written we were, in a great 
measure, strangers. In respect to the charge of employing Mr. Cooper 
to defend me, it is a charge which has proceeded from those who them- 
selves being ready to receive the most pitiable bribe for any work of 
baseness, are ever ready to regard all mankind as possessed of the same 
depraved principles, and thirst for venal prostitution. 

After the surrender of York. I obtained the British flag, and sent it 
off, to the Madison, with the gallant and noble Gen. Pike, 'now mortal- 
ly wounded) who in the cabin and on my cot, expired with his head 
upon it. This being the first of a series of operations for the conquest 
of Canada, Gen. Dearborne, with the whole of the army, made an at- 
tack on Fort George, which he reduced. The post assigned me in this 
operation was to keep myself in reserve, with Col. McCrmb, late Maj. 
General, for an expedition in the night; but the success of the army in 
the attack rendered unnecessary the contemplated movement. Fort 
George having thus been reduced, the operations of the navy were 
thrown back exclusive'.)- to its peculiar element, to seek a contest with 
the British fleet. In our advance to the head of the lake, a second 
movement was made for the dislodgement of the British then in posses- 
sion of York, and for the capture of their stores; to aid in which 1 was 
instructed by Commodore Chauncey to land with a body oi marines and 
riflemen ; but on our arrival we found our enemy had retreated. On 
reaching the head of Lake Ontario, 1 was shown a letter by Commodore 
Chauncey, received from Captain O. H. Perry, senior officer on Lake 
Erie, in which a call was made for 100 seamen, and with me as their 
commander, he was pleased to say, that he would insure victory on the 
waters of Lake Erie. The opportunity to me was too tempting to 
be permitted to pass away; and I consented, with the condition that, af- 
ter the capture of the British fleet, I should be permitted to return and 
join him in the great action on Lake Ontario. Accordingly, I departed 
for Lake Erie,"taking with me more than one hundred efficient men, 
meeting Captain Perry at Presque Isle. I at once took command of the 
Niagara, of 20 guns; directing all my efforts in the organization of a crew, 
and practising them constantly in the use of the batten-; and I did 
not land at Erie until we had conquered the enemy. On the follow- 
ing day we proceeded to the head of the lake, off Sandusky, and receiv- 
ed on board Gen. Harrison, the other general officers, Col. Gaines, the 
young and heroic Croghan, and the Indian Chiefs who were with them. 
After their departure, we proceeded to our new anchorage at Put-in-Bay, 
and there made our calculations for future operations. Our first move 
was to proceed with all our force in view of Maiden, to challenge the 

* See letter of Francis Malloby, in Appendix. [Note C] 

enemy's fleet to combat, and to intimidate the Indians. Rut failing in our 
views, we returned to Put-in-Bay. Captain Perry then received a com- 
munication from General Harrison, stating that unless the difficulty of 
the British fleet on Lake Erie was removed, he might be compelled to 
go into winter quarters, and thus would reluctantly fail in his contemp- 
lated plans. This suggested the necessity of some desperate and effec- 
tive act. Accordingly, Perry and myself agreed upon again going over and 
giving them a feeling shot, with the hope of thus drawing them out; and 
in the event of that failing, we were to procure boats and men from Gen. 
Harrison, proceed over in the night in two divisions, respectively led 
by each nf us, and burn the British vessels under their own guns. How- 
ever, after the second attempt to get them out, they appeared in the offing 
on the morning of the 10th of September, when we immediately got un- 
der weigh, and endeavored to work out of port (having a head wind) for 
the combat. The wind soon favoring, we stretched out sufficiently 
clear; when signal was made to form the established order of battle: the 
Niagara in the van. Being to windward, we had it in our power to 
fight them as we pleased, and with a kind of metal, if properly used, to 
make the action short. Believing from the frequent opportunities I had 
had of encountering the enemy, that I could successfully lead the van of 
our line, 1 previously solicited and obtained the position. But when ap- 
proaching the enemy, nearly within gun shot, Captain Perry made sig- 
nal to come within hail. I backed my main-top-sails and edged off the 
line. Captain Perry then asked to converse with my marine officer, 
Capt Brevoort of the army, whose family lived in Detroit; and he learned 
from him the name and force of each ship in the British line. The De- 
troit being in the van, Captain Perry remarked to me that as the ene- 
my's senior officer was heading their line, he thought it his duty to lead 
ours, and ordered me to take his place, under the stern of the Cale- 
donia. The change was accordingly made, and our line formed, as 
sworn to by all the witnesses examined on the point, before the Naval 
Court at New York in 1815. When within U miles of the enemy, their 
ship, the Detroit, with her long guns, commenced a fire upon the Law- 
rence, Captain Perry, at the head of our line. A few minutes after, 
about 12 o'clock, M., (both lines on an angle of 15°,) — the head of our 
line reaching only to the third vessel in theirs — the Lawrence rounded to 
and commenced firing, aided by the two gun boats on her weather bow. 

The British fleet was in the following order: — Chippewa, Detroit, 
Hunter, Queen Charlotte, Lady Prevost and Little Belt. 

The American thus: — Lawrence with two schooners, Scorpion and 
Ariel, on her weather bow, distance from her 200 yards; Caledonia 
and Niagara in close order with the Lawrence, perhaps half a cable's 
length apart, (about 120 yards) and the four gun boats astern, distance 
three-fourths of a mile. 

Immediately after the Lawrence had opened her battery, th firing 
became general along our whole line. On perceiving the shot of all 
our carronades to fall short of the enemy, I ordered the long guns shift- 
ed over against them. Knowing the distance to be too great, and ob« 

serving the Queen Charlotte beax up from our fire, I determined 

to run through the line after her, and directed the weather braces to be 
manned for that purpose. But there stood by me as good a seaman 
perhaps as our Navy ever had in it; I allude to Humphrey McGrath, 
purser, and formerly a lieutenant in the service; who observing my 
movements, asked me to pause a moment, and then directing my atten- 
tion to the slackening fire of the Lawrence and her crippled condition, 
remarked that if the British effected the weather-guage we were gone! 
I at once saw the propriety of the observation, passed forward to the 
forecastle, (my flying jib boom over the stern of the Caledonia.) and 
ordered Lieut. Turner to put his helm up sufficiently to allow me to 
pass. This he at first refused, stating that he was then in his station 
in the line. Afterwards however, on a repetition of the order, he did so; 
changing his position perhaps fifteen yards; and letting me pass him, he 
again luffed up into his position. At this time the Lawrence ceased 
her fire entirely, and no signal being made, after the first, to form in the 
order of battle, I concluded that the senior officer was killed. The 
breeze now freshening, I observed that the whole British fleet drew 
ahead, cheering along their entire line. I then set top-gallant sail T 
fore and aft mainsail and foresail, and passed within 20 yards of the 
Lawrence; still not seeing Capt. Perry. Having now exhausted nearly 
all my 121b. round shot, I ordered Mr. McGrath with a few brace men 
to proceed in my boat to the Lawrence, and bring me all hers; and 
immediately steered directly for the head of the British line, firing con- 
tinually my whole starboard battery on them, as I passed. When I 
reached within 250 yards of the beam of the Detroit and ahead of the 
Queen Charlotte, I luffed on a wind, and commenced a most deadly 
fire; the Xiagara then being the only- vessel of our fleet, in what I call 
close action. The British were just before cheering for victory; but 
their cheers were now turned into groans, and the blood ran from the 
scuppers of the Detroit and Queen Charlotte, like water from the spouts 
of your houses, in a moderate rain. The Lady Prevost luffed from 
her station in the British line and attempted to cross our bow for the 
purpose, as I thought, of raking us. I immediately ordered the marines 
under Capt. Brevoort to proceed to the bow of the ship, and fire upon 
her; which had the effect to force her back into their line. While thus 
engaged, a boat was reported as coming from the Lawrence, and believ- 
ing it to be my own boat with the shot, I directed Midshipman Smith to 
stand by and pass them out. He returned however with the report 
that it was not our boat, but one of the Lawrence's. I looked over the 
stern and saw Capt. Perry in it: whom I met as he came over the side, 
asking him what was the result on board his bri<r. He answered, "Cut 



sake." — [See Tatein's testimony before Court of 1815 ; Brevoort'' s 
deposition; Cummiris testimony and letter, and JTebster's letter. [J).'} 


I immediately passed over the side into his boat, and palled by the 1 
Lawrence, passing between her and the enemy. I hailed each gun- 
boat as I passed, ordering it to make sail, get out the sweeps and press 
Up for the head of the line, and to cease firing at the small vessels of the 
enemy astern. I then returned to the headmost gun boat, the Somers. 
Capt. Perry now perceiving the two ships foul, (being rendered so by the 
attempt of the Detroit to wear round and bring her starboard battery into 
action, the larboard having been destroyed in a great measure by the im- 
perfect construction of her gun carriages, and the Queen Charlotte run- 
ning up under her lee, and thus becoming entangled,) and observing that 
the gun boats were rapidly coming up, made the signal for close action, 
and then bore up, passing between the Chippewa and the two ships, 
Detroit and Queen Charlotte; while I shortened sail with the four stern- 
most gun boats in line abreast, under the sterns of the two latter; dis- 
tance perhaps 150 or 200 yards. Soon after the British ensigns were 
hauled down. The flag of the enemy's commander being nailed to the 
mast, it could not be hauled down, and consequently an officer came aft 
and waved a white handkerchief, on a boarding pike as a signal of sub- 
mission; when I ordered the gunboats to cease firing. After the ene- 
my had struck, the headmost and sternmost vessels of their line, the 
Chippewa and Little Belt, put up their helms, made sail, and attempted 
to escape for Maiden, but were pursued by the gun boats, captured and 
brought back.* 

So soon as we had ceased firing, I went on board the Detroit, to take 
possession, and such was the quantity of blood on the deck, that in cros- 
sing it, my feet slipped from under me, and I fell ; ray clothing becom- 
ing completely saturated and covered with gore ! I went below to see 
Capt. Barclay, who tendered me his sword ; but I refused it, and anti- 
cipated the wishes of Capt. Perry, by assuring him that every kindness 
would be shown himself and the other prisoners. While on board the 
Detroit, I ordered my coxswain to go aloft and draw the nails which 
held the British flag to the mast. These nails I presented, through the 
hands of our old townsman, Dr. Richard Pindel, to the man who was 

*The following incident will in some degree account for the signal successes 
which crowned our-arms in the war of 1S12. I was directing the forward gun — 
the schooner having but two — and after the enemy had struck, ordered to cease 
firing, but the man at the after gun, having lost his fire by the intervening rigging, 
was in the act of firing again. I struck him with the flat of my sword, saying, 
"You scoundrel, do you mean to fire at him after he has struck?" "Just this once more, 
Captain Elliott,'' said he. "What do you want to fire for?" "I want a little satis- 
faction, just for myself. I was pressed nine times in their service !" To such a 
feeling, possessed by many a noble tar, may be attributed most of the glorious 
achievements of our arms. Victory is not always ascribable to the epaulette of the 
officer, or even to his personal gallantry, but very often to this innate feeling. And 
how are rewards and honors distributed? You decorate your officers with swords — 
vote medals and thanks from corporate bodies, and leave poor Jack to the indul- 
gence of his native or acquired propensities. He attaches himself to the latter, and 
thus becomes an object of commiseration, and too often of contempt. Give your 
seamen more pay — extend to them the hand of fellowship — improve their morals, 
and instruct them in religion, and my life upon it, your arms will never be attended 
by other than success. 

So blessed as to gain the heart of one of Washington county's fairest 
daughters. My friend, Judge Buchanan, on my right; and ray friend, 
Gen. Williams, before me; as many others, no doubt, in this assem- 
blage, will recollect the charms of our mutual friend and youthful com- 
panion, Lucretia Hart. It was to her illustrious husband, Henry Clay, 
of Kentucky, to whom I felt under obligations, for a high encomium, 
pronounced the winter before, in Congress, upon the capture of the 
Detroit and Caledonia, that I presented the nails that were intended to 
hold the British flag aloft through victory. 

Returning on board the Niagara, I was met at the gangway by Capt. 
Perry, who asked me if I was wounded. I answered him, "No." He 
then observed to me that "he thought it was impossible I could have 
pulled down the line without being killed." He further remarked, "I 
owe this victory to your gallantry !*' I then asked him why he 
did not stand further on, and let us all get fairly into action ? He said 
he found the enemy's shot taking effect on his crew, and therefore, to 
divert the attention of his men from their fire, he rounded to sooner 
than he intended.* 

* Great stress has been laid on my not leaving ray station in the line, at the bat- 
tle of Lake Erie, at an earlier moment; and in doing so, why I did not pass between 
the Lawrence and the enemy. I'll tell you. Where two fleets are about to engage 
in battle, a knowledge of naval tactics and evolutions must be resorted to. The 
line once formed, no captain has a right to change, without authority, or a signal 
from the commanding vessel. The crisis had arrived, in my opinion; when, at the 
risk of losing my own head, I changed the order of battle, as before stated. The 
British fleet being on a wind, and moving ahead, to prevent their getting between 
me and our small vessels, I directed my course to reach the head of their line, before 
they could tack and weather us. Here Capt. Perry found the Niagara, as he stated 
to Mr. Webster, when the latter questioned him as follows : 

" Do you think any blame is to be attached to the commander of the Niagara, for 
not bringing her into the action sooner?" 

"No, sir; with her position when the battle commenced, and the wind she had 
to contend with, no officer could have done better than Elliott did." He continued — 
"After my ship had become disabled, and seeing from the course the Niagara was 
pursuing, that she evidently must break the enemy's line, and in their crippled con- 
dition, victory must perch on our banner — at this eventful moment, I got into my 
boat and made for the Niagara, and took command of her, which resulted as anti- 
cipated, in our victory; but I must say, in justice to Elliott, that the result must 
have been the same, had I not taken command of the Niagara." 

Mr. Webster, above alluded to, is the publisher of the People's Democratic 
Guide, New York, and with whom I have never had any acquaintance whatever. 
He was engaged in preparing a diagram for publication, and thus had the interview 
with Perry. The agents whom he sent to the frontier, were not known by me to 
be there. I have learned subsequently, that they were closeted with some of the 
young officers at Erie, who furnished a diagram, placing their vessels where they 
wished the public to suppose them, but where they never were; more especially 
the Caledonia and the Trip, neither of which ever passed my beam or the 
Somers, until the British flags were struck. — [See diagram, and questions and an- 
swers, before the Court of Inquiry at New York, in my Biography.} 

And further, what right had I to leave my position in the line, without the autho- 
rity of a signal ? This I have answered before. Let us try this point by a previ- 
ous proceeding on Lake Ontario. Sir James Yeo had led our fleet evidently with a 
view to separate our squadron, by drawing off the two fast sailing vessels from the 
dull schooners. On one occasion, Comm. Chauncey became impatient for battle- 
made sail in chase, and the signal for close action— engaged the Wolf— disabled be? 


Permit me now, my friends, to remark, in reference to Capt. Perry, 
that up to the time I went on board my brig, the Niagara, after the bat- 
tle had ceased, I FOUND HIM TO BE NOBLE, GALLANT, 

It will be perceived, my friends, that my leaving the line of battle as 
first established, (and that too, with the halter around my neck — for 
from what has passed since, it is not hard to tell what would have been 
my fate for that act, had we lost the battle,) and my hazardous measure 
of passing down the line and bringing the gun-boats into close action, 
enabled my senior officer to say in the spirit of Caesar, "We have met 
the enemy and they are ours!"' There were many circumstances 
which impelled me to the movements I made in this battle. The recol- 
lection of a father, who had fallen in defence of that frontier which was 
attempted to be wrested from us — its then exposed condition — the urgent 
necessity for decided demonstrations — the love of country, and my 

main and mizen mast, leaving her but one mast on. which to make sail. The sec- 
ond in command, Capt. Mulcaster, ran in between the two Commodores, in the 
Royal George, received Chauncey's fire, and thus enabled his own Commodore to 
mak a sail on his remaining mast, bear up, and get clear. This was an act of gallan- 
try which won the admiration of our whole fleet, and which merited for him a knight- 
hood from his own government. The act was scarcely adverted to by Sir James, 
and he, poor Mulcaster, has paid the debt of nature with a broken heart There 
was our Sylph, to windward, of four 32lb. long guns; the Madison (with a 
schooner in tow,) and Oneida astern, not yet engaged, and the signal flying for close 
action, on board the Commodore's ship. His captain, Sinclair, asked him if be 
should haul the signal down ; " No, sir ! let it fly forever, for their eternal disgrace."" 
This was communicated to Dr. G. T. Kennon, of Richmond, Va., and myself, by 
Cap*;. Sinclair, the flag-captain of Comm, Chauncey's ship 


burning desire to emulate the gallantry of another Washington county 
boy, the brave Israel, who threw himself on board the Intrepid, at 
Tripoli, for the purpose of destroying the Tripolitan fleet, and who, 
when discovered, rather than yield himself a prisoner, with his 
brave companions applied the torch to the magazine, and went 
in one common wreck to the other world! — Is it presumptuous to 
express the hope that he now enjoys that eternity of glory, which 
true patriots and brave soldiers expect in the home of noble and exal- 
ted spirits ! 

After the action on Lake Erie, conformably with the promise to Com- 
modore Chauncey, I left in the ensuing spring, and returned to Lake 
Ontario, designing to act as flag captain, on board the Commodore's 
ship, Superior. But on my arrival 1 found a vacant brig, ths Sylph, a 
fast sailer, of 20 guns, and by agreement L accepted that vessel for the 
purpose of bringing on the action. Late in the summer we were ena- 
bled to take the Lake, proceeding to its head and there intercepting a 
brig of nearly the same size of the Sylph, running from York to Fort 
George. Comm. Chauncey made signal for me to give chase and attack 
her, which I accordingly did ; but when I thought her to be in my 
grasp, the laurel was snatched from me: her captain running her on 
shore, and finally blowing her up. — [Cooper's Nov. Hist. p. 85.] 

It may be remembered by many of you, my fellow townsmen, that I 
had another brother, Wilson, who likewise served his country on the 
frontier. He was a captain in the XIX Regiment U. S. Infantry, and 
one of those who accompanied Col. Campbell in his campaign against 
the Mississinewav towns; in which expedition there was so much suffer- 
ing from hunger and cold. — \_See Col. Campbell's Report, p. 102, Mil- 
itary and Naval Letters.'] He was also one of the four captains who 
so successfully charged the left flank of the British batteries, when they 
had invested Fort Meigs. — \_See Gen. Harrison's letter, p. 156 Military 
and Naval Letters.] He contracted disease at Fort Meigs, which con- 
tinued to weaken him, until it finally caused his death. This brother 
came on board the Niagara, on the evening of the 17th September, 
seven days after the battle, and informed me that the officers of ths 
Lawrence and Niagara were at issue as to the part borne relatively by 
each brig in the action. I naturally expressed my surprise, remarking 
that Captain Perry and myself were on the best of terms, and that the 
official letter would do justice to all. He however further remarked 
that my brig had not been injured as much as Perry's, and it wa> sup- 
posed, therefore, that she had not participated as fully. At "W ilson's 
suggestion, I wrote to Captain Perry upon the subjec:, and received the 
following answer : 

U. S. Schooner Ariel, Pct-in-Bay, } 
September 18th, 1813. 5 

My Dear Sir : « 

I received your note last evening, after I had turned in, or should have 
answered it immediately. I am indignant that any report should be 
circulated, prejudicial to your character, as respects the action on the 
10th inst It affords me great pleasure that I have it in my power to 


assure you, that the conduct of yourself, officers and crew, was such as 
to merit my warmest approbation ; and I consider the circumstance of 
your volunteering to bring the small vessels into close action, as contri- 
buting largely to our victory. I shall ever believe it a premeditated 
plan to destroy our commanding vessel. I have no doubt, had not the 
Queen Charlotte run away from the Niagara, from the superior order 
I observed her in, you would have taken her in twenty minutes. 
With sentiments of esteem, I am, dear sir, 

Your friend and obed"t. serv't., 
Capt. Elliott. 0. H. PERRY. 

On the morning succeeding, I saw Capt. Perry, and remarked to him 
that as Gen. Cass and myself were assigned for making the necessary 
preparations for the embarkation and debarkation of Gen. Harrison's 
army, in a descent on Upper Canada, it would be well for us to go to 
his tent, (Gen. Cass') and there discuss the point on which the young 
officers were at issue, leaving him to make a memorandum of the same. 
We did so, and the original note, of which the following is a true copy, 
is now on file in the Navy Department, placed there by Gen. Cass. 


"Washington, Sept. 3d, 1836. 
"Dear Sir: 

"A few day3 after the battle of Lake Erie, 1813, Comm. Perry and 
yourself called at my tent in Put-in-Bay, by previous appointment, I 
understood, to converse in my presence, on the subject of the action. 

The matter was discussed between you and Comm. Perry, in a 

friendly spirit, and the Commodore expressed his entire satisfaction 

at your conduct. You parted, it appeared to me, with the best feeling, 

and I hoped and expected that the subject would be heard of no more. 

I am, dear sir, with much respect, 

Your obed't. servant, 

Comm. Elliott, U. S. Navy. 

I must now, ray friends, unwillingly open the grave of my departed, 
once gallant friend, and let him stamp with indelible infamy, the foul 
charges concerning my movements with the boats on the Thames, on 
the 4ay of the battle. It is alleged in that paltry collection of trash and 
falsehood, " Mackenzie's Life of Perry," that I disobeyed orders, in 
leaving *he first position assigned, and going nearer the battle ground. 
The following is Capt. Perry's letter to me on that occasion : 

Battle Ground, Moravian Town, 2 P. M. 
October 5, 1813. 
Dear Elliott : 

We have just had a battle. Five hundred British Infantry have laid 
down their arms. Hurry up with the gun-boats, to receive the prisoners 
and take care of the wounded. 

Very trulv yours, 
Capt. Elliott. [E.] 6, H. PERRY, 


I proceeded in obedience to this letter,* near the battle ground, where 
I met my gallant friend, Col. Richard M. Johnson, lacerated and cut to 
pieces, and put him in my boat for surgical aid. 

After the last mentioned services on Lake Ontario, perceiving that an 
interminable war of ship-building, would likely be the only duty on 
the Lake for some time to come, I solicited and obtained the command 
of the sloop of war Ontario, at Baltimore, for the purpose of cruising 
against the British, and subsequently, to the Mediterranean, against the 
AUcrines, who had made war against the United States. While at 
New York, fitting for this cruise, in June, 1815, I received information 
of circulated doubts about my conduct in the battle of Lake Erie; where- 
upon I asked a Court of Inquiry, which was ordered by the Secretary. 
It resulted in an honorable acquittal, and was accompanied by the high- 
est eulogium which the Court could bestow. 1 know you will permit 
it to be read, since it is the result of an examination by a board of 
officers who were alive to the honor of their country, and jealous of the 
glory which belonged to the naval arm of its defence. 


"The Court of Inquiry, convened at the request of Capt. J. D. Elli- 
ott, having deliberately examined the evidence produced before them, 
for the purpose of investigating his conduct in the glorious battle of 
Lake Erie, on the 10th September, 1813, in which he bore so conspic- 
uous a part, sincerely regret that there should have been any diversity 
of opinion, respecing the events of that day; and imperious duty com- 
pels the Court to promulgate testimony that appears to materially vary, 
in some of its important points. The Court, however, feel convinced, 
that the attempts to g wrest from Capt. Elliott, the laurels he gained in that 
splendid victory, as second in command under the gallant and highly 
meritorious officer, Capt. Perry, ought in no wise to lessen him in the 
opinion of his fellow citizens, as a brave and skilful officer, and that the 
charge made in the proceedings of the British Court Martial, by which 
Capt. Barclay was tried, of his attempting to withdraw from the battle, 
is malicious and unfounded in fact. On the contrary, it has been proved 
to the satisfaction of this Court, that the enemy's ship, Queen Char- 
lotte, bore off from the fire of the Niagara, commanded by Capt. Elliott. 

A. MURRAY, President. 

Henry Wheaton, Judge Advocate. 

Approved, B. W. CROWNINSHIELD." 

I will here ask the permission of my friends to interrupt the course 
of my narrative in order to remark that, after the rendition of such a ver- 
dict by a court constituted of the honor and chivalry of the service, it 
might be expected that my conduct in the battle of Erie would no longer 
be the subject of unjust reflection, even among my enemies. But after 
events have disappointed such reasonable expectations. My whole pro- 
fessional life has been marked by persecutions as unrelenting as they 

* See Comm. Elliott's account of the ascent up the Thames, of the gun-boats, and 
die army, relative to this affair. [F.j 


■were bitter, and by conspiracies for my ruin, as ingenious as they were 
dark and vindictive. Not only have individuals enlisted in their crusade 
against my honorable and fair reputation, and personal feelings been 
brought to bear against my peace and that of my family, but local and 
even state prejudices have been called into activity to crush a single, 
solitary individual. The legislature of Rhode Island gratuitously, and 
by proceedings wholly ex-ptn te, considered the circumstances of the bat- 
tle, and pretended to decide the relative merits of the parties concerned. 
One Tristram Burges, with an effrontery only equalled by his su- 
perlative stupidity, has published a small volume, in which the claim 
to honorable consideration for my part in the affair is denied me. Be- 
cause the Naval History of the United States by J. Fenimore Cooper 
has done me justice, the work has been assailed, and its author libelled;* 
whilst that wretched farrago of errors and nonsense, the "Life of Perry," 

*I would here commend this faithful historian. Read all his works, for he 
■writes with a vigorous pen, and with great truth; and in defence of truth and jus- 
tice, he suffered almost martyrdom, and on my account, which endears him to me. 
When he took up his pen to record the events of the Battle of Lake Erie, we were 
comparatively strangers. When he (Cooper) advertised to write a History of the 
Navy, Comm. M. C. Perry, brother-in-law to A. Slidell Mackenzie, went to him at 
Philadelphia, and asked him if he wanted materials to describe the Battle of Lake 
Erie. Mr. C. replied, " Yes.'' "Here they are, : ' said Mr. P., placing a huge pack- 
age on the table, for which Mr. Cooper thanked him. Some time after this, Mr. 
P. called again, to inquire if Mr. C. wanted any thing more, when he answered, 
" Yes, the papers explanatory in the case of Cap". Elliott; yours are all of a con- 
troverted character. I must seek for truth — find and record it." "Do you think 
you will mention the name of Comm. Elliott with respect?" "Most assuredly." 
" Then your book will be attacked.''' "Very well." And sure enough it was 
attacked — and by whom? A. Slidell Mackenzie; in the North American Review. 
Mr Cooper met and repulsed the attack. The first edition being run through, he pub- 
lished a second, and in his introductory remarks states, that the book being attacked, 
he was induced to look further into the matter, and on doing so, came to the same 
conclusions, and recorded the same. Here again, a most injurious attack was made, 
byMr.Duer, the connexion of A. Slidell Mackenzie, on which Mr. Cooper com- 
menced a suit for libel on his history of the Navy, relating to the capture of the 
Detroit and Caledonia, and the battle of Lake Erie. The case remained in Court 
nearly three years — called up at each term, but Col. Stone was not ready for trial. 
At length the Judge determined to render judgment in default. Here Mr. Cooper 
demurred, on the ground that he would stand as when he commenced his suit. He 
wanted truth for posterity, and prayed that the case might be laid over for another 
term. It was — and Col. Stone, finding himself cornered, sent a friend to say that 
he apprehended a jury would not have intelligence enough to judge the subject; 
would he, (Mr. Cooper,) have any objections to have it arbitrated, by three 
distinguished lawyers, versed in nautical matters? Mr. Cooper said this was the 
very tribunal before which he wished to appear — that if he, (Col. Stone.) would 
agree that their decision should be final, he might select two of the judges. Accor- 
dingly, two violent whig partizans, one an intimate friend of the Perry family. Mr. 
Foote, was selected by Col. Stone. Mr. Cooper concluded not to have an enemy in 
camp, and selected another of the same party, Mr. Stevens of Albany. Thus they 
stood. Lord, Foote and Stevens, with a reporter in the case. The Court opened : the 
hall crowded to excess, many attending to hear the merits of the long contested 
points — others to see Mr. Cooper in his new calling, pleading the case of your Wash- 
ington County boy. He commenced by opening his case without reference to other 
than the official connexion with the battle. This done, his adversaries, (for they were 
numerous, both in and out of the Navy,) answered, and introduced all the defamatory 
and libellous testimony ^on which they relied. The case was fully argued, and Mr. 


by A. S. Mackenzie, has been admitted into the libraries of the public 
schools of New York. Yet although made the victim of wrong and 
injustice — although my life has been embittered by constant assaults of 
slanderous and unprincipled men, I have endeavored to bear the 
wrongs, which were enough to madden, with becoming dignity and for- 
bearance; looking to that justice from my countrymen upon which 1 knew 
that I could rely in safety. Slow, however, as it has been in its operation, 
it yet has come; and that God who has shielded me in the battle's strife, 
has not deserted me in the fierce assaults of my unprincipled traducers! 
To return to my narrative. I next proceeded, in command of the 
Ontario, to the Mediterranean as one of Commodore Decatur's squadron, 
against Algiers, and contributed to the capture of the Algerine frignte, by 
a discharge of heavy fire into her. — \_See Cooper's History, 3d EcVnJ] 
The difficulties with Algiers, &c. having been settled, 1 asked to return 
to my family, and came as passenger in the Macedonian. Shortly after 
I was appointed to meet Gen. Bernard as a commissioner for the 
coast survey, and for the examination of suitable places for Dock Yards, 
Forts, &c. s After this duty was performed, Gen. Bernard addressed 
me the following letter, on the eve of his recall to France: 

Cooper closed by proving all I wanted and more too. Here it is due to Mr. Cooper, 
that I should give you an extract from his letter to me, announcing his victory : — 

" I have deferred writing you, until I had the decision of the arbitrators ; I have 
just got it. The eight controverted points are all decided in my favor. * * * 
* # * * Thus you will perceive I have moved slowly and surely, and have 
made the truth triumph and prevail." 

And, my fellow eountymen, let me assure you this was all gratuitous. Although I 
have frequently insisted upon his receiving some reward from me, for his disinter- 
ested defence, he has refused to accept one farthing. But, as in the case of Mr. Clay. 
I hope I may be enabled to give something more acceptable than money. 

* When I left Norfolk to join Gen. Bernard in the coast survey, I embarked in a 
small pereauga, or boom foresail schooner, heavily laden with cedar, wines, birds, 
&c; not having any other opportunity to suit my immediate wishes. During this 
voyage an accident occurred, which, had it not been for the efforts of a brave and 
affectionate tar, would have brought me to my last account. One morning, the sea 
being boisterous and running high. I took a seat on the davit projecting from the 
stern, and to which the stern boat is iiDisted. In one of the cchooner's heavy plunges 
this davit gave way, precipitating me overboard. I was soon carried out of the sight 
of all on board, and was given up as gone by all but the tar above alluded to, who- 
determinedto go where I was last seen at any rate. Accordingly he descended to 
the bow of the boat, she hanging by the tackle from the stern, and made a rope fast, 
came up on deck, hauled it taught, cut the after tackle, when the boat lowered and 
6wung by the bow. He descended the boat, accompanied by another hand. The 
sea running high, the passengers, (being nearly 30 on board), endeavored to dis- 
suade him, and that it was useless to risk his life. The other man who was with 
him, being in the act of climbing up again, the noble tar reached up and cut the 
rope over his hands. The boat being full of water, with their hats they bailed it 
out. Previously to this one of the passengers had thrown a piece of the white cedar 
to me, about 10 feet long and 12 inches through, of which I laid hold — commenced 
and pulled offall my clothes except my shirt which I tied round my body with my 
handkerchief below; seized the timber, placed it under me and put before the wind, 
and went off at the rate of about 2 miles the hour, endeavoring to get to leeward of 
the vessel. My strength soon began to fail me, but yet the heart was strong. It 
seems in splitting this log the axe had changed its direction, and enabled me to 
place my hand between the split and the log. Being at the season of the year when 


Philadelphia, Dec. 3rf, 1823. 
Dear Captain — 

The pledge of national gratitude for great naval achievements has be- 
come in my hands a pledge of our mutual friendship. If your glorious 
deeds assign you an elevated rank among American heroes, whose cour- 
age and genius will be handed down to future generations, your gener- 
osity of soul assures you a distinguished place in the hearts of those 
who are honored with your friendship. 

The fac simile you presented me with, shall perpetuate in my family 
your heroism, and also my feelings of gratitude towards one who with 
such noble generosity welcomed me when I landed on the hospitable 
shores of freemen. 

Continue to me, dear captain, all your friendship, and accept of aH 
the expressions of the high esteem of your much thankful friend, 

BERNARD, Brig. Gen. 
Capt. J. D. Elliott, U. S. Navy. [G.] 

My next duty was an order to the coast of Brazil and Buenos Ayres, 
in the Cyane. Here many difficulties in regard to our commercial 
rights were settled. For further particulars of my cruise on the coast 
of Brazil I beg leave to refer you to my biography by Russel Jarvis, and 
Congressional documents of '29 and '30, [H.] 

1 returned, after the adjustment of the Brazilian difficulties, to the 
United States in '27, and in '29 was appointed to the command of our 
forces in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico. On my arrival at Pen- 
sacola and my assuming the command, I found a letter from my old 
friend, the Hon. Joel R. Poinsett then resident minister at Mexico, ad- 
dressed to the officer in command of the West India forces, be he who 
he may, stating the difficulties by which he was surrounded at 
Mexico, and the necessity of a demonstration of our squadron at Vera 
Cruz. I immediately proceeded there with the Falmouth bearing my 
penant, the Peacock and Shark; and soon after Capt. Connor appeared 
in the sloop of war Erie, with a messenger on board to the American 
Minister at Mexico. I despatched the messenger, with information to 
Mr. Poinsett of my arrival on the coast, and that if, in the event of his 
deeming it necessary to depart from Mexico, he believed his person in 

usual to transport mocking birds from the south, they were afloat, and the last recol- 
lection I have was brushing one off my head. This gallant tar came to me when 
life was about to be extinct, picked me up, and brought me back safely to the ves- 
sel. Such was my state that for two hours, I had not then, nor have I now, the most 
indistinct recollection of any thing that passed. Proper, applications were made by 
the passengers and master, and! disgorged the water I had swallowed, and I do 
assure you that I have never placed my hands in a basin of water since without 
thinking of that scene. For a more detailed account I refer you to the New York 
papers of that period. 

In passing through life I have sometimes met with these numerousjpassengers, 
for they were most generally of Norfolk, Petersburg and Richmond, Va. They 
have approached me as if risen from the dead. My feelings inclined strongly 
towards this gallant tar and I wished to provide for him for life; took him to my 
friend Com. Chauncey at New York, but on my return from the north. I found he 
had left the Navy Yard. Since then I have not heard of him. 


danger, I would come up with a portion of my officers, and form his 
body guard. He replied that he could not say he was endangered, but 
that he would be happy to see me at Mexico. Such being the only cir- 
cumstances under which I could part from my squadron, I declined the 
visit. He informed me of his intention to come down to the squadron 
by Halappa and Orezaba, and subsequently apprised me that those 
most inimical to him, were on that route, and that he would join the 
squadron at Tampico, and come to the coast with an escort. I proceeded 
thither, took him onboard and brought him to the United States, placing 
him in a steamer off the mouth of the Mississippi near New Orleans. 

Previously to my leaving the coast of Mexico, I accepted through 
our consul, Mr. Taylor, an invitation to dine with Gen. Santa Ana at 
his hacienda or farm, called Manga de Clavo, 15 miles from Vera 
Cruz. We arrived late, and found a party of about 50 seated at a long 
table, an old priest at its head with a large pile of doubloons before him, 
playing at the game oimonte. Santa Ana was seated on the left of the 
priest, and the balance of the party arranged according to their respec- 
tive grades. I was informed that a seat was reserved for me on the 
right, and was asked to put myself entirely at my ease and bet as high 
as I pleased, — the higher the more acceptable to the banker. I answer- 
ed that I was rather too old a soldier to engage in a game I kne^r noth- 
ing about. Accordingly I withdrew to another apartment, and enjoyed 
the society of Mrs. Santa Ana and her two sisters; making myself com- 
prehensible by a smattering of Spanish, French, Portugese and Latin, 
mixed and jumbled together. I remarked to the lady of the General, 
that since her husband had closed the war of Independence at Tampi- 
co, like our Washington, I presumed she might calculate upon his con- 
tinued society at home with her. "Oh, no!" she replied, "the general 
loves war better than me !" 

The whole party were so entirely engrossed in their game, that 
it seemed to me they almost forgot I was there. In the afternoon we 
were seated at a rich entertainment, enlivened with much sentiment and 
music; for in Mexico a person seldom moves without a guitar at the 
side. The day shutting in, we took leave of the General and his com- 
pany, with a pressing invitation that he would come down and dine 
with me on board the Falmouth at the island of Sacrificios, and in sight 
of Vera Cruz. This he declined on the ground that his enemies were 
in possession of Vera Cruz, and that he would feel his head insecure in 
that town. He however assured me that we would certainly have another 
meeting before I left the coast; and having named the day and place, we 
assembled with a few friends, and dined pleasantly together. 

During my command on the coast of Brazil, two American vessels 
were seized by the authorities, for violation of the blockade. I imme- 
diately addressed a letter inquiring upon what pretext these vessels 
were detained. The reply of the vice admiral was polite and satisfac- 
tory, and the vessels were released. After my letter of April 3d, to 
Admiral Lobo, instructions were received from the government by me, 
which would tend to alter the tone of my proceedings in a similar con- 
tingency, and therefore when the Armstrong and Pactolus were seized 


by the Brazilian authorities, I merely addressed the preceding letter of 
December 26th, to ask an explanation of the capture of the two vessels. 
The vice admiral being timid perhaps, at once released the vessels, and 
wrote a long communication; but my instructions superceding the neces* 
sity of any further consideration of the points at issue, I politely closed 
the correspondence. 

Having returned from the West Indies in '32, and whilst at anchor in 
Hampton Roads, I was apprised of the servile insurrection in South- 
ampton County, Virginia, and my aid was asked by the civil authori- 
ties in quelling the disturbance. Accordingly I ordered a force- of 10O 
seamen and about 60 marines, under Capt. J. S. Newton of the U. S. 
sloop of war Natchez ; and proceeded myself with the fleet surgeon 
Dr. Cornick. We arrived in time to succor the terrified inhabitants, 
who were assembled at Jerusalem, in such numbers, that they were ob- 
liged to sleep in the stables and out-houses. * Here an intrepid aet of 
gallantry occurred, which is well worthy of record. The hero was a 
youth of less than 13 years of age, the son of an aged and diseased gen- 
tleman of Southampton, Dr. Blount, who could not be removed to a 
place of safety on account of his extreme illness. His little son, the 
lad spoken of, assured his aged and infirm father that he, with the over 1 - 
seer and his two sons, could defend him; and accordingly when night 
came, he barricaded the doors, opened the windows, gathered all the 
arms he could about the house, consisting of a few old pistols, &e. and 
awaited the attack. About 2 o'clock in the morning, the insurgent ne- 
groes to the number of 250, well mounted and armed, rode up and were 
in the act of dismounting, when the little fellow commenced a slow and 
steady fire upon them, which had the effect to intimidate them; and they 
went off leaving their dead and wounded on the ground. It was- the 
last attack the negroes made. 

Whilst Gen. Eppes was relating this conduct of the lad to rne, I 
asked to see him, and found him to be as modest as he was brave. And 
here 1 will remark that in all my experience of disciplining mem I' 
have invariably found modesty and courage to go hand in hand, as 
«ffrontery and cowardice are ever united. Some time after, when- in 
Washington, 1 related the daring of the lad to that old Roman, Gen. 
Jackson, and procured for him a midshipman's warrant, and a situation 
in the Military School, at Mount Airy near Philadelphia. He remained 
there two years, when having been prepared for sea, he embarked 1 as 
a midshipman with me in the sloop of war Fairfield. That lad is now 
Lieut. S. F.Blount; and holds, deservedly too, a high reputation in our 
navy. He has acquitted himself with honor in every station. He wa3 
with the exploring expedition to the south pole, and has discharged 
many other important offices. 

* After I had informed the Department of the part I had taken in the Virginia in- 1 
surrection, I received the following letter from John Boyle, Esq., acting Secretary of 
the Navy : 

Navy Department, September 1, 1832. 

Sir: — I have received your letter of the 28th ultimo, explanatory of the aid afford- 
ed by the naval force under your command, on the call of the civil authorities in con- 


Soon after the Virginia insurrection, I again returned to the West 
Indies, where I contracted a disease of endemic fever, rendered addi- 
tionally severe by exposure, when relieving ray ship from a hazardous 
situation in the Gulf of Mexico. * On my return home and while seek- 
ing health in Carlisle, Pa., I was apprised by government of the Nulli- 
fication difficulties in South Carolina, and was requested to say whether 

sequence of the recent insurrection in Southampton County, Va. I have submitted 
your letter to the President of the United States, who has desired me to state to you 
■that the promptitude with which the aid was rendered, and the cheerful and humane 
feelings exhibited in the execution of the duty, are highly creditable to yourself and 
to the officers and men under your command, and he requests that you will be pleased 
to receive for yourself, and present to the officers and men, an assurance of his cordial 
and entire approbation. 

I am, very respectfully, &c, &c. 

Acting Secretary of the Navy. 

Com. J. D. Elliott, Comdg. West India Squadron, Norfolk, Va. 

The following is an extract from the Message of the Governor of Virginia on the 
same subject : 

"I feel the highest gratification in adding that the readiest aid was afforded by 
Commodore Elliott of the United States Navy, and a detachment of sailors from the 
ship Natchez under his command, who, notwithstanding they had just returned from 
a long and distant cruise, repaired to the scene of action with highly creditable 

*The following anecdote connected with this ship in the West Indies, is given to 
illustrate the feelings or prejudices, as they may be termed, existing among all classes 
and ages in our country. 

My only son Washington being much addicted to rheumatism, and having rather 
a refractory spirit something like his father's when at the same age, so much so that 
he transgressed his mother's rule with almost impunity, I resolved on giving him a 
quarter-deck set, for the purpose of bringing him to proper obedience, as well as to 
cure his disease by a change of climate. He soon yielded to the ship's discipline. 
The day we embarked, I purposely kept his back toward the ships; and when the 
boat winded near the vessel, he made this emphatic remark, "Lord pa ! what ropes, 
logs and sticks are there." Deeming it necessary to be in the Island of St. Domingo, 
I anchored at Port au Prince, with the Falmouth, Erie and Shark, and after the 
ordinary salutes I was visited by hordes from the shore,black and mulattoes, and soon 
found they were possessed of all the aristocratical notions of the whites; lines of de- 
markation were drawn, the blacker the hue the higher the grade. I was given to 
understand that it would not be expedient to mix them at table, and consequently, I 
had to have different entertainment days, the blacks being the first. The entertain- 
ment being over, and night coming on, the company departed. In the evening 
Washington came into the cabin and thus rebuked me for eating with the citizens 
of St. Domingo: "Well as soon as I go home if I donttell ma, you have been sitting 
down at the table and eating and drinking with a parcel of black niggers." Making 
it a rule wherever I went to leave the strongest impression behind, useful to my 
countrymen there and at home, I interchanged civilities with the authorities on shore. 
On the first of January, being the anniversary of their independence President Boyer, 
and Gen. Inginac, his prime minister, made a dinner at the Government expense" for 
me, at which were all the authorities, civil, ecclesiastical. and military,and^ sumptu- 
ous entertainment it was. In the midst of it who should hop in but Capt. Trafusus 
of the Sloop of War North Star, of the British Navy, who had just dropped his anchor 
in the port, and was hurriedly sent for to be present at the entertainment. He was 
seated on the left of Gen. Inginac, and I upon the right. By chis time my boy 
Washington had become pretty well familiarized, and I found kim in another room 
regaling himself in company with Gen. Inginac's sable daughters. Each time I 
•caught the British captain's eye, I thought I could detect a feeling such as Washing- 
Son evinced in his rebuke to me on board the ship. 


it would be agreeable, and was then ordered, should I be pleased, to pro- 
ceed to the command of the naval forces at Charleston in that state. 
For the incidents of that service I refer you to the Congressional-Docu- 
ments and my biography by R. Jarvis. Of the final issue of this pain- 
ful affair you are well informed, and no necessity is felt to refer to it in 
a more particular manner. The matter having been adjusted, I was 
appointed to the command of the naval station at Boston, afloat and 
ashore. The firmness of the President in the South Carolina affair, and 
the part assigned me in it, secured us both a high standing among the 
people of Massachusetts. Gen. Jackson became the guest of this state 
by invitation of the legislature; and the time of his visit I seized upon, 
as an auspicious season for bringing the trophy of the nation, "Old Iron- 
sides," into the cradle which was originally built for her reception. On 
this occasion, there were on board of her, the President of the United 
States and his Cabinet, His Excellency the Governor of Massachu- 
setts, my estimable friend, Joel R. Poinsett of South Carolina, and 
last not least, Commodore Hull, the man who first broke the charm of 
British naval invincibility on the ocean, — together with such officers 
and men, as had participated in the various battles, in which that noble 
frigate was engaged. Thus you will see that I had four important em- 
blems of the old vessel's glory! — Jackson the hero, who had but a short 
time before declared, that the " Constitution! it must and shall be pie- 
served," — the Hon. Joel R. Poinsett of South Carolina, the state in 
which her timber grew — the Hon. Levi Lincoln, of the commonwealth 
in which she received her architectural construction — Coram. Hull, and 
the brave officers and men who had gloriously sustained her, amid the 
battle's rage ! 

And now my fellow townsmen, while speaking of my career at Bos- 
ton, 1 feel that I should not pass it by, without a few remarks explana- 
tory of the great excitement in respect to the figure-head of Gen. Jack- 
son, which I placed on the bow of the Constitution frigate. It will be 
remembered by you all that it was the occasion of much excitement, and 
the cause of much bitterness and political persecution towards me, on 
the part of many who did not calmly weigh all the circumstances. Let 
me, however, tell my story, after a sailor's fashion. When in the Med- 
iterranean, in extreme youth, I saw this vener-ated ship, just after one of 
her engagements at Tripoli, when the head of the figure of Hercules 
had been shot from her bow — her appearance then, made a strong and 
enduring impression upon my mind. After I went to Boston, where 
the Constitution then was, her bow decorated with a billet head, I 
received orders to repair her, as "she originally teas," and the impres- 
sion being still upon my mind of her mutilated figure of Hercules, 
when in the Mediterranean, in obedience to instructions, I proceeded to 
have a figure made of that classic hero. I engaged an artist for the 
purpose, who was actually at work at the figure, when I was frequently 
and earnestly importuned by prominent citizens of Boston, to place the 
head of Jackson, instead of that of Hercules, on their favorite ship. 
To these solicitations I finally yielded, and went to the artist, and asked 
him if he could change the head to a likeness of Jackson. He said he 


could easily do bo, and was so delighted with the idea, that he proposed 
doing - it for nothing. Subsequently however, political feeling running 
verv high against Gen. Jackson, for his act of removing the deposits, 
matters assumed another aspect in Boston, and every attempt was made 
to prevent, the head of the old Roman from going on the Constitution; 
even by those, who had at first suggested it.* In truth, such was the 

* I have been branded about as a brawling politician of the worst kind. This is 
equally false, with the other charges against me. It is true, I follow the rule of the 
father of his country, Washington ! I vote and_figkt for my country, both with a be- 
coming dignity, and always the Democratic ticket. I am a republican, as I before 
said. The principles of my faith were drawn from a mother's nipple, and a father's 
counsel. As in the battle of Lake Erie, I am the Amy Darden's horse of John Ran- 
dolph, and I have been almost rode to death. At Boston, a noble citizen at one 
breath, swept from the halls in which liberty was cradled, myriads of insects, who 
were nearly of the same species, and as numerous, as the gally-nippers of the 
South ; but they were dispersed with more ease. A town meeting had been called to 
express an opinion on the propriety of the removal of the deposits from the U. S-. 
Bank, and when about to proceed to business, a noise commenced by the knocking 
of canes on the floor, to a deafening extent. Business stopped; the moderator sug- 
gested the propriety of order, and to send for the Mayor. " Oh no!" replied his 
right-hand friend, "be still a moment;'' and beckoning to one of his friends, he said, 
" Go and get a piece of chalk, and about twenty persons on whom you can depend, 
and every person you find moving his right arm, when we commence business, 
marl- htm.'" All the offenders were marked. '•' Now bring in about one hundred 
strong-fisted and true men, and if the doors do not give way, throw them out of the 
windows." In a few moments all became quiet, and business progressed. Not so 
without, for there was a full representation of our revolutionary army, <: all tat- 
tered and torn," rendered so by the rough handbng received from the one hundred 
sturdy peace-makers. Next day a number of mechanics came to my office, to say 
that their names were stricken from the rolls, and wished to know for what cause. 
But I was as ignorant as they in the matter, not Knowing of the scene the evening 
before. I sent for the chief architect, to know the cause of the carpenters not being 
called, as usual. " Commodore. I don't want politicians in the yard." "What have 
politics to do in this yard ?" " They were at Fanueil Hall last night.'' " Well, 
what of that?" " Did'nt you hear about it?" '-'No." " Why sir, the merchants' 
clerks of Boston, were all stripped naked, by these and other men. and thrown in 
the street." "For what?" "Making a noise, while the Democrats were resolv- 
ing about mo ving the deposits." "Did they?" "Yes." " That's good, and by 
heaven they were served right. Is that all you have against the men?" "Yes." 
" Then take them back — I'll have no politics in the yard. I want their labor. They 
are to obey my rules while within ; when out, they are amenable to the laws of the 
country — not you." "Then, sir, if they come, I'll go." " Send me your resignation, 
and I'll forward it to Washington by next mail." Delaying my letters, I sent for 
bis. He came to me to say that he had been wrong ; to pass over all that had 
happened, and all would be well. I did so, and all proved well. After this the 
work went on better, and I had no trouble. Next day the Boston Atlas charged me 
with sending my marines over to Fanueil Hall, and that 'twas they that did this deed. 
I sent my secretary, (Mr. J. E. Dow,) to the editor, (Mr. Houghton.) and demanded 
an immediate recantation ; which was done in the paper of the following day. 
Here the war commenced ; and let me do what I would, fair or foul, up to this day, 
I have had a printer daubing his black ball in my face. Hence. I may trace a por- 
tion of my troubles to the act of that gentleman in Fanueil Hall. My case being 
now in the hands of my fellow-countrymen, and they in possession of good cleansing 
materials, the printers black will all be rubbed off, and I come out completely 

My friends, I am a republican. It has fallen to my lot, when abroad, to encoun- 
ter and entertain kings, princes, and nobiUty of all grades; and although their best 
attention and luxuries were bestowed upon me, my heart fondly cleaved to the land 


state of feeling, that I was frequently threatened, anonymously, with 
personal injury, and even my life was declared to be in danger, by 
placards posted throughout the city. At this stage of matters, I wrote 
to the Secretary of the Navy for instructions, and was referred to the 
Board of Naval Commissioners. From them I received an answer, of 
which the following is an extract : 

"Presuming you designed it as a compliment to the President of the 
United States, you are at liberty to place it on the Constitution, or put 
it away, for one of the ships of the line, whichever you please, believ- 
ing the latter most appropriate." 

With this permission, and knowing the excitement to be entirely the 
result of political animosity, I determined to proceed with the original 
design, and accordingly had the head of Jackson executed and placed 
upon her bow, and so unbounded and vindictive was that hostility 
towards the very President that only a brief time before, they had exal- 
ted to the third Heaven, that in a letter received by me, the threat was 
made, that if I did not take his name off the Dry Dock, 1 should not 
live forty-eight hours. The figure, however, was not long on the Con- 
stitution, before it was sawed off, on a dark night and at an unexpected 
moment, by some hired desperado. It was thought proper, after this 
noble act of national pride and patriotism, to remove her to New 
York ; upon learning which, a portion of the citizens of Boston sent a 
messenger to me with a proposition that they would incur the expense 
of any thing I wished to place upon her bow, rather than let her go 
away in that mutilated condition. The matter was referred to the 
Secretary of the Navy, who directed me not to permit a shaving to be 
taken from her, nor one added to her, but that on her arrival at Neio 
York, the proper repairs should be made-, and there accordingly they 
were made. 

On their entire completion, I received on board the necessary supplies 
and men, and departed for Mr. Livingston, then our Minister at the 
French Court, and on a specified contingency, to bring him home.* In 
this voyage, my ship encountered one of those severe trials, to which 

where nature'' s princes and kings reside ; I mean the yeomanry of our land — the 
Farmers. I am endeared to them more, too, from the fact that when I was residing 
on my little farm in the valley, they came from their own ploughs, and taught me 
how to guide mine, and thus, at the age of 55, earn a livelihood for my family, 
while I suffered under the sentence of my peers. 

* After I landed at New York with Mr. Livingston, he addressed the following 
letter to me, accompanied by a valuable gold snuff box : 

U. S. Frigate Constitution, > 
22d June, 1838. J 
Dear Sir — Men whose minds are properly disposed, seldom remember the good 
offices they take so much pleasure in performing. To counteract as far as possible 
this propensity, in which you might be apt to indulge, I pray you to accept a trifling 
memento which may recall to your recollection the kind attentions which I and my 
family received from you, while onboard the Constitution under your command. 
With it I pray you to receive the assurances of my highest esteem, and of the sense 
I shall always entertain of your unceasing endeavors to render our passage agree, 
able. Your friend and most obedient servant, 



vessels are sometimes subject, and we came near being wrecked. An* 
interesting detail of this event, will be found in the Democratic Review, 
entitled, "Old Ironsides on a Lee Shore." [I.] Subsequently to this, I pro- 
ceeded to the Mediterranean, to the command of our naval forces-— there 
pending at the time, an expected war with France, for the particulars of 
which, I must refer you to the journals of the day. I will remark here,- 
that a too lax discipline in the navy, brought me in contact with some of 
its unruly spirits, many of whose relatives at home were not idle in 
traducing me during my absence. 1 will give one case. Conform- 
ably with the rules of the service, a commander is authorized to give 
leave of absence to his officers for one Aveek. This leave was asked 
and granted by me, to Passed-Midshipman Charles C, Barton. On his 
return to the ship, he handed me a letter for the Secretary of the Navy, 
and asked to be detached from the Constitution and to be permitted to 
remain on shore. Understanding this to have arisen from a desire to 
renew the marriage contract with a young lady from whom he had been 
divorced by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, I merely endorsed upon 
the letter, "Perhaps the young gentleman had better make his cruize." 
His request was not granted, and he was accordingly compelled to pro- 
ceed to sea in the Constitution : and because of his disappointment, 
assumed an offensive bearing towards his commander. On our arrival 
at the Island of Minorca, he struck my elerk and blackened his eye. 
On learning that it was the intention of the latter to call him out, I in- 
formed him that I wanted all the blood in the ship for the nation, and 
if the meeting was had, I would certainly dismiss him. Both of the- 
young men having pledged obedience, were permitted as usual to visit 
the shore. Shortly after this, when in the Grecian Archipelago, off the 
Island of Sirego, and when walking the deck of the Constitution, I 
was accosted by one of the crew, who asked permission to speak to me. 
Supposing it to be a matter connected with the discipline of the ship, I 
referred him to the First Lieutenant ; but the anxiety of the man was 
so great, that I granted him a hearing. He asked me if I allowed the 
midshipmen to rnn their dirks into the men! I told him by no means, 
and enquired who had been guilty of such an act. He said that passed- 
midshipman Barton had done so to him, at the same time opening his 
clothes and showing me the wound. I immediately ordered enquiry into 
the case, and found that for the most trivial cause, Mr. Barton,- in the 
height of passion, had stabbed the poor fellow. For this act I suspen- 
ded him from duty. So in many instances, when, ox enquiring into 


frequently in my efforts to have justice done to an honest tar, I subjected 
myself to the malice and revenge of his superiors in srrade of office. 

Some time after this, when at Smyrna,, the commander of the U. S-. 
schooner 1 Shark made application to me for a passed-midshipman, and 
believing that the crew would be glad of the removal of Mr. Barton 
from the ship, I gave him an order to the Shark, with instructions to the 
commander, not to allow him to go on shore — fearing a duel between 
him and my clerk. While onboard the Shark, Mr. Barton got into a dif- 
ficulty with an officer of extreme youth> which was resented on the part 


of the latter, by another officer. A duel was the consequence, in which 
Mr. Barton was wounded and incapacitated for duty; and this too, while 
in charge of a boat on shore for water. I was absent from my ship at the 
time of this affair, and on my return was informed of it by the first 
lieutenant. I expressed my astonishment at the occurrence, since I had 
given positive instructions, for prevention in the other case, that Mr. 
Barton should not be permitted to go on shore ; and also made known 
my determination to put a stop to these matters. I considered the great 
impropriety of such conduct, situated as we were, in the port of a mo- 
narchical government, and surrounded by the naval representatives of 
four others, and I determined to treat the offenders in such a manner as 
to be likely to prevent the recurrence of similar misconduct. Accord- 
ingly, I gave orders to send on board the Shark, to ascertain how he was, 
when my lieutenant informed me he was on board my ship. I asked 
him how he came there, and learned that his doctor had brought him along 
side, and that the fleet surgeon thought it necessary he should be taken 
on board to have his wounds dressed. I then observed, "Send him on 
board his own vessel ; for I am determined they shall not fight and then 
come to be nursed under my pennant." It was accordingly done, in the 
most careful and cautious manner, taking our largest boat for the purpose. 
Three days after, his surgeon came on board to inform me that his 
wound was of such a character, that it was necessary to remove him on 
shore, where he could be in quiet ; the fleet surgeon concurring in 
opinion, I therefore detailed our largest and best boat for the purpose — ■ 
ordered the fleet surgeon to accompany him, and the best quarters that 
could be had in Smyrna procured, together with a servant to at- 
tend him, while the ship was in port, and also that the surgeon of the 
Shark should frequently visit him. Whilst Mr. Barton was on shore, 
the commander of the Shark complained to me of the frequent absence 
of the surgeon, but instead of limiting his visits, I gave him the privilege 
to go and see his patient as often as he pleased. The period arriving 
when I believed the two governments, France and our own, to be wax- 
ing warm, on the points of dispute between them, and being surrounded 
by the squadron of the former nation — the Turkish government doubt- 
ing the strength of its fortifications and the good faith of the French 
admiral on the point of neutrality, I deemed it necessary to leave the 
Mediterranean with my whole squadron. In view of which movement, 
and the situation of young Barton, 1 sent for the purser of the Shark, in- 
structed him to pay passed-midshipman Barton up to the time of our de- 
parture, and leave two months in advance, in the hands of my old and 
esteemed friend, David Offley, consul at Smyrna, together with instruc- 
tions, that should he be detained longer than that sum might cover, a fur- 
ther letter of credit for each monthly pay would be given. I also in- 
structed Mr. Barton to join the squadron when his wound was sufficiently 
healed. The surgeon of the Shark deemed it essential that such articles 
of the medical department of that vessel as Mr. Barton's case required, 
should be left for the purpose, to which her commander objected. I how- 
ever ordered it to be done, and gave instructions that on our way down 
he should communicate with Malta and obtain a supply. (See statements 
of Surgeon, Purser and Commander, on file in Navy Department.) 


I now instructed the commander of the Shark to proceed to Mahone; 
charter merchant vessels; take on board provisions for the squadron for 
six months, and bring them to me, at Gibraltar, or such other port as I 
might be at; where I should direct my whole squadron to rendezvous at this 
interesting epoch. I hastened to Gibraltar, and was there informed, that 
being from a port where contagious disease prevailed, intercourse could not 
be had with the shore. I asked permission to ride out any quarantine they 
would name: this was also refused; when I immediately repaired to Lis- 
bon, where I had the whole ocean open to me, and where one tide would 
bring me on it, in the event of war with France. Here I took six months 
supply of provisions, and enjoyed the hospitality of that port until the 
difficulty with France was settled. During my stay here, I determined to 
adjudicate the affair of the duel by Court Martial. I put on trial one of the 
principals (Mr. Barton not being with us,) and the two seconds. I did 
this, my friends, not solely on account of the duel, — for it has ever been 
a rule with me, that he that will not defend his own honor is but a poor 
keeper of the Nation's, — but for the act of disobedience to orders. The 
specific charge was that of engaging in a duel with an officer when on duty 
and on shore. The court found a true bill against each. The principal, 
for this and other offences, was sentenced to be dismissed the squadron; 
and the two seconds to be publicly reprimanded on board of all the ships in 
the squadron, by a general order. I took this opportunity for promulgating 
sentiments, which, whilst they guarded the honor of the officers, would 
prevent like occurrences. — [See Trials, General Orders, and Papers, on 
file in the Navy Department.] 

Subsequently, in a communication to Mr. Offley, I requested him to 
state to young Barton, that when his wounds enabled him to do so, he 
could join his vessel at Malta, where she would touch and receive him on 
board. However, Mr. Barton, knowing what would be his fate on meet- 
ing me, since the others were tried, chose to embark for the United States 
in a small American vessel, in the dead of winter, passing Malta and Ma- 
hone, at the latter of which places I was then lying. He crossed the 
Atlantic and came to Philadelphia, where he and his friends lost no time or 
chance in their efforts to injure me by way of publications through the i 
newspapers; and evinced no shame in making false statements, to impress 
the public with the opinion, that I was a monster in human form. 

Having returned to the United States myself, after a long and arduous 
cruize, I was apprised by a friend, Dr. William Holland, Editor of the 
''Times," of an attack to be made on me simultaneously by the press of 
one party throughout the country. I found, by painful experience, that 
the intimation was too well founded in truth. On joining my family, for 
repose and comfort, after my late tedious cruize, I was informed that a 
beloved wife had received numerous anonym jus letters, mostly from Phila- 
delphia, and of such a character as precludes a further mention here. 

A vicious minister of state, giving countenance and encouragement 
to the designs of my enemies, seemed to urge on the attack. Congress 
was flooded with denunciatory complaints against me; and in defence of 
my reputation I chose a friend, the Hon. Levi Lincoln, of Massachusetts, 
to meet my assailants there, — he having in possession my own communi- 
cations and the records of the Navy Department: — and he did defend me 


most effectually, so far as the exhibition of documents could go; for speech 
was denied. Inflammatory addresses were made there against me, not 
only in relation to my conduct in the Mediterranean, but upon my connec- 
tion with the delicate subject of Nullification, and various other matters, 
including even the battle of Lake Erie, fought upwards of a quarter of a 
century before, and my friends were denied the opportunity of saying one 
word of defence. One, however, a good and true friend, and highly 
worthy man, did, after long struggling, obtain the floor, and being possessed 
of a full knowledge of all my points of defence, vindicated me, notwith- 
standing the attempts to interrupt him, in an able and masterly manner — 
hurling back upon my enemies the arrows aimed at me. — [See Reporter s 
speech of the Hon. Chas. McClure, now Secretary of the Commonwealth 
of Pennsylvania, published in the Globe.] 

I had now supposed the subject, with all persecution, was at rest; but I 
was doomed to be disappointed. My friend, Governor Lincoln, of Mas- 
aschusetts, informed me, that Charles Naylor, of Pennsylvania, had 
seized the opportunity of a thin house; and my advocates being absent, 
had succeeded in procuring the passage of a resolution, by one vote, for an 
examination of my conduct in the Mediterranean, and that a committee 
had been appointed for that purpose. Providence seemed to guard me; for 
the Hon. F. Mallory, of Virginia, and the Lion. C. McClure were placed on 
this committee; the former of whom, when a youth, had been given to my 
protection and care by his father, then on his death bed, asking me to take 
charge of him when in the Navy, as he had previously designed placing 
him there. He was received into the service, but afterwards resigning, he 
studied medicine, married, and finally stepped into his father's political shoes. 
He was elected to the State Legislature, and afterwards to Congress, in 
time for the committee alluded to, and to see justice done me. A motion 
was made in the committee to invite me to be present and examine the 
witnesses, of which 1 was apprised by its chairman, Mr. Naylor. I an- 
swered him that I respectfully declined appearing before them, preferring 
that the young gentlemen should tell the story of their supposed wrongs, 
unembarrassed by the presence of their commander. Soon after I was 
informed by the chairman of the commtttee, that for want of time they 
could not pioceed with the examination, and that they had been discharged. 
I then concluded that I would ask an investigation of the two principal 
complaints, viz: that of Passed Midshipman Barton, and the one of Lieu- 
tenant C. C Hunter; and accordingly communicated my intentions to my 
two friends, the Hon. J. R. Poinsett, and Commodore Chauncey, both of 
whom endeavored to dissuade me from it, at the same time declaring that 
I was guiltless and completely triumphant. But believing that an officer 
of rank in the Navy, should be like Caesar's wife, above suspicion, I in- 
sisted upon the Court of Inquiry, and a communication to that effect was 
handed to the Secretary of the Navy by Commodore Chauncey. An an- 
swer was returned by the Secretary, Hon. J. K. Paulding, that so soon as 
the necessary preparations could be made, my wishes should be gratified. 
— [See letters on file in the ^'avy Department, applicable thereto, and 
procuring of the Court of Inquiry.'] 

You may judge of my surprise, my friends, at the receipt of a precept 
embracing every thing that could be raked up in the Navy Department 


against me. together with instructions to the Judge Advocate to examina 
the staled allegations, and tlien my conduct during the years '35-6-7-8 & 9; 
and when I learned too, that ihere were 130 witnesses ready to report. 
It was a course of procedure without a parallel in our own or any other 
Navy in the world! I however submitted, and appeared before the court, 
at Philadelphia, in due time. The court being formed, and the precept 
read, that highly gifted and just officer, Commodore Stewart, being Presi- 
dent, perceiving the illegality of the proceedings, moved the return of the 
precept to Washington for reconsideration, — the two junior officers, how- 
ever, dissenting therefrom. The matter being referred to me, I requested 
my counsel to state that I was nnt there the suppliant for mercy; and fur- 
ther, that I challenged the most unlimited investigation into my whole life, 
from the dav I entered the Navy, and particularly as regarded the battle of 
Lake Erie. The latter subject, however, was ordered not to be touched. 
The trial proceeded, and as it advanced, the Judges, at various times, in- 
formed my counsel of their entire satisfaction on different points, and that 
it was unnecessary further to question the witnesses as to myself. On the 
close of the enquiry, we naturally considered the matter as having resulted 
in my favor.* 

* Philadelphia, lOlh Jancart, 1840. 

Dear Sir: 

Permit me to ask whether, during the proceedings of the late Court of Inquiry into 
the conduct of Commodore Elliot, you were not given as his professional counsel, dis- 
tinctly to understand, by the court or its members while in Session, that there were cer- 
tain of the charges as to which it was unnecessary that any thing further should be said, 
creating in your mind an entire confidence, that in reference to those charges the proof 
and explanations were deemed sued as to acquit your client of all blame. 

As I have reason to tliink such were the facts, and that its precise ascertainments may 
be of importance to Commodore Elliot, you will greatly oblige me by numerating the 
charges iu relation to which it occurred. 

1 am truly and respectfully, dear sir, yours, 
Josiah Raxdall, Esq.. C. M. DALLAS. 

Philadelphia. 11th Jancart, 1840. 
Dear Sir: 

Yours is received. During the sitting of the court of inquiry on Commodore Elliot, my 
recollection is that Commodore Stewart, the president, said publicly that they had heard 
enough in relation to the charges brought by Lieutenant Hunter and Midshipman 
Barton; the other two members were present, anil tacitly acquiesced, or at least expressed 
no dissent. Captain Kiddle made a similar remark in reference to the^complaint of 
Dr. Washington. At the time I certainly understood (he remarks in each case to convey 
the idea that they were satisfied as far as Commodore Elliot was concerned. 1 was then 
and still remain of the opinion that every member of the court was convinced there 
was no ground to send Commodore Elliot to a Court Martial, so far as the charges of 
Lieutenant Hunter and Midshipman Barton were the subjects of Inquiry. If I am wrong 
a reference to the surviving members of the court will correct the error. 

The law of Court Martial (as 1 understood it,) requires, that where two or more 
charges are the subjects ot enquiry, the court of enquiry shall specify and state distinctly 
" upon what one of the charges the accused shall be tried." This doctrine is so reason- 
able that 1 s'lould think it did not require authority to sustain it; if it does, it is at hand. 
Captain Hough, (a writer of the highest authority,) in his treatise on the practice of 
Courts Martial ) c 2d edition, page 2S, revised and corrected by George Long, Barrister 
of law, recognizes this principle in the most unqualified manner. Whilst the court was in 
session, I handed this authority to Commodore Patterson, and he assented to its position. 
1 subsequently referred the judge Advocate to it. Any one who examines the record of 
the examination of the witnesses, will I tliink, perceive a difference in the views of the 
two junior members ot the court, as to particular charges, and 1 believe, if the members 
of the court had voted on each charge, the finding of the court would have been very 
different from what 1 have been informed il is. 

Yours, &c, 
Gzoass M. Dallas, Es*. JOSIAH RANDALL. 


The court having terminated the examinations, the two junior members 
and Judge Advocate drew up a summary of what they called facts, and 
upon which I was recommended for trial by Court Martial. From this 
the President dissented: preparing an exposition of all the circumstances, 
<fcc, and placing them in their right positions: setting forth that I had con- 
ducted my command with fidelity, zeal, and ability, and that a Court Mar- 
tial was not called for. Having seen the "alleged facts " of the two junior 

Philadelphia, 11th January, 1S40. 
As the present counsel of Commodore Elliot permit me very respectfully to submit 
for your consideration before the charges on which he is to be tried by Court Martial 
are definitely prescribed, the endorsed correspondence between his former counsel, Mr. 
Randall, and myself. ■ *'• 

If, as cannot be doubted, the statement of Mr. Randall be correct, I do not think I 
rely too much upon your discriminate sense of justice, in presuming, that Commodore 
Elliot will not be again subjected to those cliargts in relation to which his counsel was 
in the course of the investigation, officially and formally told that his judges had heard 
enough. The natural and irresistible effect of such a communication was to arrest all 
further effort iti the particular topics, and to create a conviction, that the court " was 
satisfied as far as Commodore Elliot was concerned." 

1 have the honor to be sir your most ob't serv't. 

To the Honorable 

James K. Paulding, Secretary of the Navy. 

Let us try the question by the simple rule of three, and take two of the charges to do 
it with, that of accepting a present from my crew, and bringing home animals. The 
President of the court in his opinion and votes was against a court on any one of the 
charges. Put then the question for the acceptance of the presents; the officer next in rank 
must have voted with him, else have handed both his co/nmissson and his arms to the 
government, for he had them in violation of that article of the constitution which forbids 
the acceptance of a present from any "foreign power prince or potentate; " having ac- 
ccepted a sword from the Vice Hoy of Peru, studded on the hilt with most valuable pearl, 
and which he wore between the years '16 and '20, when that patriot Henry Clay, then 
advocating the South American question, compelled him to disgorge, and return it to the 
State Department, and it may now be seen in the National Institute. I proved to the 
Court Martial instances in the Xavy without number, when presents had been tendered 
and accepted by many of our captains from their crews. 

And now let us try the charge of bringing home animals, conformably with, I 
conceive, one of the wisest provisions of our government, and which is calculated to 
connect the Navy with the farming interests of our country, its bone and sinew, and the 
60urce from whence the Navy draws its nourishment. The President voted against a 
trial on this head. The junior member had brought home on one occasion a whole 
flock of sheep in the Constitution, and in the Delaware many asses; as also many other 
of our commanders, as also by the President of my late Court Martial; it is but natural to 
suppose those two charges would have been put aside; Barton's entirely disproved by 
subsequent evidence; fully acquitted on Hunter's; the canvass proved to have been pur. 
chased by Gen. Cass; the carpenter of the ship proved that 1 directed him to see returned 
all articles such as my servant got from the state room; and yet my fellow countrymen, 
I was consigned to four'years ignominious punishment, and a portion without pay. Here 
my judges had but little knowledge of the natural bent of my inclinations; next the 
batile field the harvest is my home. One other point I have omitted. It is the case of 
Chaplain Lambert. The court acquitted me fully of this charge, and here let me explain 
the tleception, he attempted to practice both on me and the court. He swore that the 
weather was violent and boisterous when he left for the Shark, and that he lost a portion 
of his baggage, leaving the inference that it had been washed out of the boat. One of 
the members, however, happening to be in the secret, asked him how he Lost his baggage. 
The side boy dropped it over board in passing it from the Constitution to the boat. 
And this is the man sent to teach us the Holy Gospel; when this worthy clergyman was 
on examination before the court, it was said by the counsel questioning him, that respect 
to the clerical profession of the gentleman precluded any further questions, and the 
only question* put to him were "what's your age," and. "when did you enter the 


members, many months subsequently, I repaired to Washington, for the 
purpose of knowing the ultimatum of the Government. Convinced, from 
painful experience, that the Secretary had long been hostile to me, through 
causes which I need not here explain, I sought an interview with the 
President, stating to him the ohject of my visit. He asked me if I had 
seen the Secretary: I answered in the negative. " Why not?" said he: 
I informed him that it was a rule of my life not to be courteous to those 
who were not so to me. He asked if I thought the Secretary to be un- 
friendly towards me: I assured him that I did, and knew it to be so. He 
then stated that I was in error, and recommended me to see him: which I 
did the next morning. The Secretary received me with much apparent 
kindness: stating to me that he had understood I laboured under the im- 
pression that he was unfriendly. I answered that I did. He begged leave 
to correct me, and offered the assurance of his entire good feeling; but that 
they felt some difficulty in closing the matter. I then asked to make a 
suggestion: it was that the record be sent back to the same court, tilled up 
by the addition of another member in place of the deceased one; that it 
should find a bill against whomsoever the record affected; and all that in- 
volved me I was prepared to meet: I further stated to him, that if he had 
thought of bringing me to trial, it was strange that my counsel, from time 
to time, should be apprised ofihe uselessness of any more questions on my 
part. He asked me if such was the fact: I assured him it was: "Then 
sir,'' said he, "call to-morrow morning." I did so: when he requested me 
to write a letter to my present counsel, G. M. Dallas, requesting him to 
address my previous counsel, Mr. Randall, to draw forth the facts and com- 
municate with him directly. " Say nothing more'' he observed, " to your 
friends in Congress, but leave the matter in my hands." To which I 
replied, "Take it." 

And here, my friends, I do sacredly assure you, that I considered the 
whole matter as at an end. Judge, however, my surprise some weeks 
after, on the receipt of a letter from the Hon. G. M. Dallas, setting forth 
the fact that he had discovered that the Judge Advocate, J. M. Reed, was 
engaged, and had been for months, in the preparation of charges on which 
I was to be tried, and tried solely. I apprised the Secretary of my informa- 
tion, submitted a protest against the agency of J. M. Reed in any subse- 
quent trial of mine; being prompted to do so from his unfriendly feelings 
manifested on the former trials. In answer, I received a letter from my 
professing friend, the Secretary, informing me, to my utter astonishment, 
that I must be tried, and J. M. Reed be the Judge Advocate. I thought 
then, and I think so now, that this same pretended friend had selected me 
to illustrate the odious picture which he had sketched of the American 
Navy, when he first entered it! But he has failed in his base purpose, 
and is now receiving the merited denunciations of those who constitute 
and sustain that important part of our Nation's pride and defence, the 

I was accordingly tried; and I assure you that justice was never meted 
out to the veriest culprit that ever occupied that box, to as great a degree 
as injustice was awarded to me by that Court Martial. 1 know that it 
will shock your honest minds, and that you will be loth to credit the asser- 
tion, but yet it is true, religiously true, that I was purposely deprived of 


the testimony of some of my most important witnesses, upon the ground 
that they were under sailing orders, and eould not he detached from their 
vessels. I was directed to send my interrogatories after them, at their far- 
oif stations, whither, in the mean lime, they had sailed. I did so, but no 
reply was ever received. Since then these witnesses have returned to the 
United States, and in a great measure upon their very testimony, of which 
I was cruelly deprived when most wanted, I now stand before you, re- 
instated in my former rank in the service of my country; for which too, 
credit is due to an able and honorable minister of state, who had the moral 
courage to examine into the case, and render justice to the oppressed, by the 
cancelling: of the unjust and ignominious sentence of the Court Martial, 
under which I had so long suffered. 

The witnesses alluded to in the preceding paragraph were Purser Faunt- 
tlerov, Assistant Surgeon Egbert, and others. One of these gentlemen 
after his return, having been interrogated by a member of the above Court 
Martial, as to the evidence he would have given in the case, related what 
he knew with regard to the matter before the court, and what would have 
been the nature of his testimony. The member then gave him to under- 
stand, that had his testimony been before the court, the decision would have 
been different. 

I beg that you will recollect that I had requested a trial on the two spe- 
cific charges of Midshipman Barton and Lieutenant C. G. Hunter. On 
the latter one, I was fully and honorably acquitted by the court; but on the 
former was convicted, because of the absence of the two witnesses above 
alluded to, and upon the false testimony of Barton himself; while the 
documents detailing the circumstances of the attack upon the seaman, were 
rejected as inapplicable. Thus too, it will be seen by you, that while under 
the auspices of the Secrelary of the Navy, aided by an artful and hostile 
Judge Advocate, one hundred and thirty witnesses, many of them turbu- 
lent and factious young officers, galled and envenomed by wholesome dis- 
cipline, were arrayed against m3 by the Government, and detained at home 
that they might vent their concentrated hostility upon my devoted head; 
several of my most valuable witnesses, whose testimony would not only 
have turned the scale in my favor, but implicated some of the witnesses of 
the accusation in the foul charge of swearing to what was positively untrue, 
were not only unnecessarily, but as I do most conscientiously believe, were 
designedly sent to sea. However, the conspiracy to injure me was suc- 
cessful, — the dark purpose of the Secretary was accomplished, and I was 
the victim of his hatred. He had before libelled the service, and he now 
disgraced himself in endeavoring to cast still further wrong upon it, by 
persecuting one who had been devoted to its character and prosperity. His 
heart — if he have a heart — may be gladdened with a demon's joy, that he 
and my enemies were thus victorious! He and others may rejoice that 
they brought much of bitter and soul-rending anguish upon me and mine: 
and that around my hearth and fire-side, those near and dear to me were 
stricken with sorrow by the cruel award rendered against their protector ! 
But let them rejoice and exult in vindictive malice over the smitten and 
oppressed! I would not intermeddle with their gladness upon their glori- 
ous triumph in crushing, through combined exertions, a solitary individual. 
Let them rejoice! Yet I will tell them that they have not entirely destroyed 
• ** v i 


their victim ! He yet lives, with spirit unsubdued ; with a heart which 
though it has been sorely wounded by injustice and wrong, beats not with 
one throb of an assassin's purpose, nor a coward's hate! Let them rejoice! 
Yet I will tell them, too, that in the gloomy day of my suspension, I had 
what they never had, and which their reprobate souls can never know— 
I had a conscience void of offence before that God who has given me 
strength to bear up against cruel wrongs, and that world which will do me 
justice. Such laurels as they have won in the mighty conflict of pressing 
to the earth a single man, no one will ever covet or attempt to take from 
them ! They can well wear them in safety! But it is mournful to know 
that their children will have to inherit them with all their waving honors ! 

Turning from this painful subject to one more agreeable to my feelings, 
and which will afford some variety, it may not be uninteresting to you to 
call your minds back to my tour in many parts of Europe, Africa, and 
Asia. After our affairs with France were brought lo a settlement, we found 
little other employment for a time than treading the shores of the Medi- 
terranean, collecting animals, plants, curiosities, and any other valuables 
which might add to the improvement of our country in her agricultural 
and various other scientific branches, in conformity with a wise statute 
of our government to that eiTect. The ignorance which I afterwards dis- 
covered in high places with regard to the existence of this statute, aston- 
ished me, but did not change my opinion as respects the importance of 
improving the breed of Asses. 1 had noticed in my native country, much 
clumsiness and inelegance even in our carriage and saddle horses, and 
thought that by acting on the general rule of the Navy Department, di- 
recting the importation of seeds, plants, animals, &c. a few Arabian mares 
would tend to produce finer and purer b reed of that elegant race of horses, 
especially among the more particular and refined of my countrymen. The 
asses which I imported were of the fines* mould, with huge ears, almost 
lap-ears, but somewhat obstinate, wilful and stubborn. Yet they were 
beautiful and captivating creatures, and as I thought, were likely to be 
great favorites with their kind ! Our native asses, however, regarded 
them as annoyances on board the ship, and intruders upon our shores, 
and looked upon them with feelings of jealousy. That they should en- 
deavor, therefore, by all their arts and devices, to bring them into ridi- 
cule and disrepute among the species, was perfectly natural. Indeed, 
some of them, actuated by these powerful feelings, and operated upon, 
perhaps miraculously, as was Balaam's Ass of old' are said to have 
spoken and even ivritten about their wrongs. Poor creatures ! I never 
meant them any harm. But 1 must still prefer the Asiatic Asses ! 

In passing through Italy we landed at Leghorn; passed Perya, and thro' 
the vale of Arno to Florence, where we had an opportunity of inspecting 
the relics of the Fine Arts which have given so much celebrity to the Flo- 
rentine school. Here we received the most kind attentions from the Grand 
Duke of Tuscany and his ministers. From thence we proceeded to Rome 
by Sciena, the Appian way, where we remained fourteen days, inspecting 
her mighty antiquities, and were received very cordially by the Pope, who 
felt thankful to me, as I understood from himself, for the part I had taken 
in protecting his proselytes of the Ursuline Convent, which was burned 
some years ago, near Boston, Mass., by a mob. From Rome we went to 
Civita Vecchia, and to Naples ; visiting Mount Vesuvius and the ruins of 


the partly excavated cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, where we exa- 
mined the streets, buildings, implements, jars, vases, amphitheatre, &c, 
&c, which had been buried in lava and ashes by an awful eruption of 
Vesuvius, and also the remains of the bridge of Caligula, and the ancient 
city of Baia. Being satiated with these wonders, the contemplation of 
which fills the mind with astonishment at the mutability of human things, 
we continued our tour, and arrived at the island of Sicily, landing at Pal- 
ermo, on the anniversary day of St. Rosaline, and found the whole popu- 
lation assembled to honor the spot where the saint is alleged to have ap- 
peared. The Viceroy being present, his entertainment took place, and 
was attended by hundreds of thousands of the people. I had for my atten- 
dant, as a mark of respect, the lady of the son of the Prime Minister of 
the King of Naples, who had been educated by an American governess 
at Paris. Her education, however, did not give her a correct idea of Am- 
erica, as will appear from the following incident:— In the afternoon, in 
company with many of her friends, she visited the Constitution. In the 
evening when the crew were at quarters, (it being my rule to have them 
mustered every evening,) I asked her if she had ever seen so many Am- 
ericans together before. She inquired which were the Americans ! I 
pointed to the sailors who were ranged along the deck in order. She then 
remarked that she thought they were English. I smiled, and asked her 
which of them she had taken for Americans, when she directed my at- 
tention to a dark mulatto near at hand. 

We proceeded to the entrance of the Grecian Archipelago, to Argos, to 
the head of the Bay of Egina, to Corinth, and thence to Athens, anchor- 
ing in the ancient port of Piraeus, being the first man-of-war which had 
visited that port in modem times. At Athens I was presented to Otho, 
the young King of Greece, whom I invited and received on board the Con- 
stitution; at the same time inviting the French captain and his first lieu- 
tenant of a frigate then there. A circumstance occurred on board at this 
meeting, which shows the simplicity and equality of American manners 
compared with those of royalists abroad. When Otho came on board I 
had a collation served up, of which I invited his Majesty, the French cap- 
tain, and first lieutenant to partake. The captain, however, very strenu- 
ously begged 1)o be excused- The rest of us ate, drank, and were merry. 
A visit was made on the same day to the French ship by the same party, 
but no entertainment at table was visible; the reason for which delinquen- 
cy was made known to rue by the captain 1 : — He said that " Frenchmen 
never sit at table with Majesty!'''' 

During my second visit tOjAthens, the King and Queen accepted an invi- 
tation to visit on board the Constitution, to spend the evening with General 
Cass and family, and myself. About 5 o'clock of the same evening, the 
King and Queen came on board; nearly all the members of their court, 
male and female, also came. Among them was the chief .Maid of Honor, 
whom I found to be the widow of Lieutenant Colonel Wiley, aid de camp 
to Gen. Packenham, who fell at New Orleans. She was an amiable and in- 
telligent lady; and being informed of her station in the king's household, 
I at once put myself under her tutorage, that 1 might learn how I should 
most agreeably deport myself toward his Majesty. She instructed me that 
I should not presume to offer any remark to his or her Majesty, but answer 


simply in monosyllables. The King and Queen were seated on the quar- 
ter deck, and the refreshments being- ready. I offered the Queen my arm, 
the King his to Mrs. Cass; General Cass, his attaches, my captain, and a 
few of the officers whom I had selected for the occasion, linking alternately 
with the different ladies, we descended to the gun deck, and from thence into 
the cabin, where were arranged, on the centre of the tahle. two castles, 
built of the different luxuries we could procure, and surmounted by flags, 
that of Greece and our own; their folds beautifully entwining. The castles 
were besieged and soon reduced, leaving the flags still standing. After these 
refreshments we passed through the ship, to give our visitors an opportu- 
nity of inspecting her. We entered the ward room, where, generally, one 
state room is neatly arranged, as a specimen of all; and the one here visited 
was lhat of Lieutenant Hardy, of the marines, than whom a better and 
finer man I don't know. Lieut. H. was honored very highly by some one, 
(whom I do not know ,but have well grounded suspicions) on this occasion, 
for on retiring to his bed, at night, he discovered a very valuable trinket, which 
probably, had been placed there by the hands of the Queen; at all events, 
Lieutenant H. earnestly believed that version of the secret. The ship being 
inspected, we again proceeded to the quarter deck. Mrs. Y\ ilev informing 
me that the King and Queen were very fond of waltzing, I observed to her 
that I was no waltzer, but that I had a number of gallant young men on 
board about the Queen's own age. (fifteen,) who were verv good at it. 
Having a tine band on board, I ordered a portion of them to the quarter 
deck, and to play one of their most animated waltzes. The music electrified 
the Queen, she looked at me wistfully, and I imagined I could read in her 
eyes, " do let's waltz." But recollecting the instructions from Mrs. Wilev, 
that I must not put any leading questions to Jjajesty, I beckoned for one 
of my aids, Mid. Maffit, son of Rev. J. N. Maffit, who was quite an 
adept at the business, presented him to the Queen, stepped aside, and mo- 
tioned to him to be off. He did so; and in less than thirty minutes, at least 
twenty couples, including the King, were whirling upon the deck to their 
hearts' content. The evening closing in upon us, the awnings were spread, 
and the muskets of the marines placed around the capstan, with sperm 
candles in the muzzles instead of cartridges, forming a splendid chandelier, 
and thus converting the quarter deck into a beautiful ball room. The dance 
continued until two o'clock in the morning, when the King, thinking: he 
was trespa-sing on our time, proposed being taken on shore. The boats 
were accordingly manned, the yards and masts of the ship splendidly illu- 
minated, and a salute of 21 guns fired, when they had left. Before leaving 
the ship, the Queen remarked to Mr. Maffit that she would give a return 
ball on shore, and at the same time extending an invitation to him. She 
did so, and sent invitations on board for Gen. Cass, his family, my captain 
and myself. From the English frigate the captain alone was invited. Mr. 
Maffit came to me, informed me of his invitation to the Queen's ball, and 
asked permission to attend. I promptly answered him "No! what will be 
the feelings of the other young men if you should go, and they excluded. 
And farther, no one has been invited from the British frigate but the cap- 
tain and your attendance may cause complaint by the British Ambassador." 
The time arrived, and General Cass, his wife.-his three daughters, his son, 
his three attaches with my captain and myself, gave our attendance. When 


we reached the palace we found a large assembly of the King's courtiers, 
male and female, (those of Greece attired in their own costume,) and 
many of the chiefs, among whom were Mavermacolis, Mavercadotis, 
and Grievus, with their families, numbering perhaps one hundred. At 
this display I noticed, that the pride and pleasure of a Grecian woman, 
seems to be to exhibit all her valuable ornaments on her own person. 
There stood our charming, our plain, our good Mrs. Cass, with her three 
daughters, all dressed in the plainest manner, without a single ornament; 
showing in beautiful contrast with the gaudy jewellery of the Grecians! 
I called the attention of this good lady to the difference between the dress 
of her daughters and that of the others, and her answer was such as every 
good mother should pattern after. "Commodore," said she, "I never felt 
better pleased in my life than at the appearance of my daughters now, — 
were we possessed of the wealth of Peru, it should be withheld, and they 
made to appear as you now see them." While the dance continued, Ma- 
vermacolis, then worn down by years, took me by the hand, led me to a 
seat where he had an interpreter, and said he wanted to converse with me 
about America; asking me, I suppose, a thousand questions about our 
country, its institutions, &c. I drew, as I thought, a faithful picture of 
every thing at home, and if I live to the age of Methuselah, I will not 
forget his reply: — " You are a great, a good, and a happy people: I wish 
I could say as much of Greece." Then pointing to the young ladies, I 
gave him the reply Mrs. Cass gave to me, — telling him, at the same time, 
that the beauties which American ladies are possessed of, are confined to 
the head and the heart; to which he exclaimed ''Good, too good!" Since 
then old Mavermacolis has paid the debt of nature! The ball being about 
to close, the King requested the younger of the Greek Chiefs to dance a 
Grecian dance in their own way, which, I assure you, was not unlike the 
war dance of Red Jacket and his tribe, after the capture of the Detroit and 
Caledonia: save that it did not cost me two barrels of whiskey! 

We then departed for Marathon, visiting Cape Culano, the point where 
Falkner lays the scene of his celebrated shipwreck. At Marathon we 
found still in existence, mounds and remains of temples, where the anci- 
ent Greeks and Persians buried their dead. A fragment of a temple, built 
on the spot where Persian foot last trod, I brought home, and it is now in 
the Girard College, Philadelphia. And here 1 may remark, that while in 
the Mediterranean, I selected many valuable relics, and deeming the Girard 
College the most charitable of our institutions, I presented them to it. A 
catalogue of which I herewith present vou. 

From thence, as at a former period, I proceeded to the Isle of Sera, where I 
found the American and British missionary schools in a flourishing condition. 
I received on board the Rev. Mr. Hildner of the British society, and the 
Rev. Mr. Robinson, of the American society, with their families, and about 
five hundred scholars: — the latter highly pleased with the appearance of 
the ship, and perfectlv contented with the music of the band, and the cheese 
and biscuit I had distributed among them; until a wag of a sailor, who 
spnke Greek, got among them, and told them the Commodore would carry 
them off, (this brought to their minds the scenes of the Turkish Capuden 
Pacha,) when the youngsters s^t up a deafening scream for the shore, and 
I was compelled to send them there. Here was a press established, and 


in successful operation, striking off an edition of the Holy Bible and Testa- 
ment in the Greek language. A part of the copy of the latter I now pre- 
sent you. 

We proceeded thence to Smyrna; and while there I was invited to visit 
Bashar, twelve miles distant, to the country seat of my friend, Mr. Ofrley, 
where happened to be gathered the whole population of the town, male 
and female. And what, do you suppose, was the purpose of their meeting? 
To look upon the disgusting spectacle of two naked men, engaged in a bru- 
tal combat; greased from head to foot for the purpose of eluding each others 
grasp: not much unlike the prize fighting which has more than once dis- 
graced our own country. 

Thence, passing the Islands of Scio and Mitilene, we anchored in the 
port of Sidon, where I sent my flag captain on shore to make arrangements 
for an exchange of salutes, and to state to the Governor that we were 
prepared to salute if he would return the same number of guns. The 
Turk conceived this a questioning of his politeness, and therefore refused 
altogether. But on being informed it was an order of our goverment, grow- 
ing out of a difficulty with Great Britain on the subject, — she, in many 
instances, exacting more guns than she gave, — he acceded, and salutes 
were exchanged, gun for gun. 

We proceeded to Bayroot and Tripoli; at the latter of which places we 
found Ibrahim Pacha and the Capuden Pacha, with a large portion of the 
Egyptian Navy, obtaining and collecting timber and tribute. I despatched 
my flag officer Lieutenant Drayton, to wait upon the former, and know 
what time his Highness would receive me. He returned, informing me 
that he found the Pacha a "jolly, fat, and laughing fellow," and withal 
good natured, and ready to receive me at any time I came on shore. Ac- 
cordingly, with my staff, I went to his palace, where I met with an agree- 
able and flattering reception. He expressed a wish, with the Capuden 
Pacha, to visit me on board the Constitution, and desired to know when I 
could receive him. To give him ease upon the matter, I stated to him that 
his time was mine; and accordingly we agreed on 10 o'clock the follow- 
ing day; when he came with the Capuden Pacha and all his captains. He 
requested to see the crew at quarters, with which he was very much plea- 
sed, as also with the inspection of the ship. This done, I seated him to 
a collation, with his company, and soon found that his Highness was a 
judge of a glass of wine, and not loth to take it. The other Mussulmen, 
however, declined the glass. Ibrahim Pacha proposed the health of Gen. 
Jackson, (a portrait of whom hung in the cabin,) with a sentiment not very 
palatable to the French Surgeon, who interpreted it. The Capuden Pacha 
being somewhat free in boasting of the sailing qualities of his ship, I 
agreed with Ibrahim Pacha that we would sail in company; he intending 
to stop at Bayroot, while I was to proceed to Jaffa, a distance of 90 odd 
miles. With a stiff breeze on the quarter I sailed around him twice, 
crossing his bow and stern each time. We ran the coast down close to 
Sidon, Tyre, Keifa, Acre and Mount Carmel; at the latter of which places 
we were saluted by a display of the French flag from the Monastery. 
We also passed by the ancient city of Caesarea, now Ilysaryah, an- 
choring at Jaffa, the Joppa of the Bible. Intending here to disembark 
for Jerusalem, I concluded to deport in such a way as not again to risk a 


point of courtesy, and accordingly fired a salute in the usual mode, displayed 
the Egyptian flag, and sent my officer merely to announce the salute, my 
arrival, and intention to land next morning, preparatory to going to Jerusa- 
lem. The officer returned with the answer from the Governor that he re- 
gretted having no guns to return the salute. This story seemed plausible, 
from the fact of its being a point where the pilgrims landed and departed. 
"We landed, and left early the next morning for the Holy City. I had 
Lamartine's notes on Palestine before me, in which some allusion was 
made to danger on the road; and consequently I directed the officers to be 
well armed. Travelling twelve or fourteen miles, we came to the city of 
Rama or Ramla; arranging our time so as to have our sleep at such a dis- 
tance from Jerusalem as would enable us to ascend the heights which over- 
look that city, Mount Olivet and the Dead Sea, by sun rise in the morning. 
When we arrived at that sacred spot, and beheld in one comprehensive view 
those sacred places mentioned in Bible history, a feeling of solemn awe at 
once came over my mind, and like all others born and educated in a Christian 
land, and who have stood at that place, I felt an irresistible inclination to 
kneel down upon the consecrated heights. We entered the city by the 
western gate, called Jaffa, which is close to the tomb of David, and took 
quarters at the Latin Convent, the walls of which, however, were bare, 
leaving us to depend upon our own resources for such comfortables in the 
way of eating and sleeping as we desired. We then, after some refresh- 
ments, proceeded to visit the various places of interest in and about the 
city. We went to the Church of the Sepulchre; the Palace of Herod; the 
Gate of Judgment; the Dwelling of St. Veronica; the Pool of Ezekiel; 
The houses of the High Priest Zacharias, of Mary, of Mark, of Thomas, 
of the High Priest Annanias; the Greek Convent; the Public Baths; the 
Pool of Bethesda; the Grotto where the Virgin Mary was born; the house 
of Simon, the Pharisee, where Magdalen became penitent; the exterior of 
the walls around the Mosque of Omar, (Christians not being permitted to 
enter unless disguised in Turkish costume.) We then passed out of the 
city at St. Stephen's gate, into the valley of Kedron, to the Tomb of the 
Virgin Mary, and the Garden of Gethsemane, where stand four olive 
tree.-, said to be, and from their appearance I believe truly, the identical 
ones under which our Saviour wept. I felt a desire to pluck a branch from 
one of these trees as a memento, but my heart refused the sacrilegious 
task. Passing along the left bank of the brook Kedron, and through an 
olive plantation, we came to the tomb of Jehosaphat, near it that of Absa- 
lom, and not far distant those of Jacob and Zachariah. Hence south 
through the Jewish burial ground until we entered the valley of Siloam, 
where we descended and tasted the pure water of the upper and lower 
pools; and from thence to the Mount of Offence. We then returned by 
the road leading from the valley of Jehosaphat to the garden of Gethse- 
mane, and thence to the Church of the Ascension, on the most elevated 
point of Mount Olivet; from which, with a good glass, we could indis- 
tinctly see the meanderings of the Jordan far along, even to its entrance 
into the Dead Sea, and a portion of the wide expanded sea itself. Night 
coming on we returned to our quarters, not to the refreshment of sweet 
sleep, but to the attacks ;of legions of nocturnal rangers, which appeared 
to swarm in our sleeping apartments. Morning came, and with it 

W CO <o to 


60 6 





a <; 

t- 1 



» ST i c 







H* 3 







- | 



s' 5" 
to « 



— 1 




(3 1 

72 * 

-5 i 



3" 2 





a - 


9 ! 




as beautiful and imposing a scene as the mind can imagine. It was the 
rising sun — clear and gorgeous as he spread his golden rays across the 
summit of the mountain on the eastern shore of the Jordan, which were 
reflected back upon Mount Olivet and the turrets of the ancient city. Our 
next visit was to the place of our Saviour's birth, Bethlehem. We passed 
throucrh the gate at the castle of David, and near Mount Gihon, where 
stands the tomb of David; thence by the lower pool of Gihon, the ancient 
aqueduct, and the valley of Gihon, to the hill of Evil Council, where are 
the ruins of the country house of Caiaphas. In our progress we passed 
the tomb of Rachael, equi-distant between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, 
where we found a small Turkish village. A cathedral now stands on the 
spot where the manger is said to have been. Descending about 35 feet, 
we were shown an excavation in a rock, said by the priests to be the iden- 
tical spot in which our Saviour was born, After a short sojourn here we 
returned to Jerusalem, passing by the upper pool of Gihon, and through 
the Turkish burial ground, — crossed Mount Gihon, and passed through 
the olive plantations on the west of Jerusalem to the tombs of the kings 
and rophets, in Bezetha, — thence through Bezetha, visiting the Turkish 
tomb and the grotto of Jerusalem, to the valley of Kedron, and to the 
gate of St. Stephen, where we again entered the city. 

I was also at Jerusalem the year following, accompanied by General 
Cass, his family and suit, (numbering about sixteen persons.) all of whom 
had been accommodated in my cabin on hoard the Constitution. The 
question may be asked, how came they all on board? — a question frequently 
asked, but which I have never had an opportunity of answering until now. 
Having touched at the ports of Sardinia, of Tuscany, the Roman States 
and Italy, at Sicily, at Malta, at the Ionian islands, and the different ports 
of Greece, — ihe latter of which powers desired the establishment of a 
treaty with the United States, — I, on returning to my winter quarters at 
Mahone, addressed a communication to my old friend General Jackson, 
stating to him the wishes of the Grecian power, and that if he would send 
me a travelling companion — either Mr. Poinset of South Carolina, or 
Colonel Drayton, — I could secure and establish such a treaty without the 
heavy expense of a regular mission. General Cass, it seems, having ac- 
cep'ed the mission to France, volunteered for the performance of the duties 
expressed in my letter; securing at the same time from the secretary of 
the Navy, instructions for me to receive him and his suit on board my 
squadron. These papers were enclosed to me by General Cass, asking at 
the same time my permission to add his wife, his three daughters, his son, 
and male and female attendants, to which I answered that they would be 
as welcome as the flowers of May. Accordingly on the first of May, 
1837, he embarked on board the Constitution, at Marseilles, with his wife, 
three daughters, his son, three attaches, a male and female servant, and a 
French schoolmaster for himself, all whom were received and accommo- 
dated as before stated, until near the 25th of November of the same year, 
when I placed them on board the frigate United States, for Marseilles. 
[See letters on record of Court Martial relative thereto.] 

While General Cass was in company having visited nearly all the 
points spoken of in the account of my former cruise, we passed on to the 
Bosphorus and anchored at its mouth. On the following day, being the 


4th of July, we landed and visited the old city of Troy, — proceeded on 
to Alexandria Trois, pitched our tent, cooked and ate an American dinner 
beneath the waving folds of {the "stars and stripes," precisely at the 
point where stood the ancient Stadium, and drinking to the heart-softening 
sentiment " Home, sweet home, there is no place like home." In the 
evening of the same day we again embarked on board the Constitution, 
having ordered her to anchor off the island of Tenedos. We passed the 
night on board, and on the following morning landed and explored the island. 
The succeeding day we proceeded to the Dardanelles; communicated, and 
passed up the Bosphorus. Off Gillipoli the wind proving adverse, I 
chartered an Austrian steamer to tow us up into the sea of Marmosa, and 
on the next day entered the Bosphorus; anchored off Seralyo point, at the 
Golden Horn of Constantinople, and exchanged salutes with the authori- 
ties on shore and afloat. The plague raging with great violence all through 
that part of the country, we were compelled to a limited and guarded inter- 
course with the shore. On the day following we proceeded up the Bospho- 
rus to the residence of Lord Ponsonby, the British Minister, and from 
thence into the Black Sea, — returning on board the Constitution at night. 
The next day by agreement, we visited the Capuden Pacha, and inspected 
his 120 gun ship, the Mamoud, and also the models of a Navy construct- 
ing by our countryman, Mr. Rhodes, consisting of a frigate, a sloop of war, 
a brig, a schooner, and a cutter, — all nearly ready to launch. Returning 
we visited Constantinople and Porra, — looked into the confines of the Sera- 
glio, and the famed Mosque of Saint Sophia, and the Mint. An arrange- 
ment had been made to present us to the sultan, through the Reis 
Effendie, but the plague raging fiercely, I yielded to the apprehensions of 
General Cass, — immediately ordered all on board — got under weigh and 
visited Staphana, where Commodore Porter, our Charge d' Affaires, was 
then residing; and after an interview with him returned on board, and 
departed down the Bosphorus for Mitilene and Ceio, when we visited the 
ruins of the cities laid waste by the Turkish Capuden Pacha, and 
anchored on the spot where the Grecian hero applied the torch and blew 
up the monster's ship, as also the place where Homer is said to have written 
the Illiad. 

We proceeded to the island of Crete, port of Suda, where, being subject- 
ed to a quarantine, we could not communicate with the shore. Learning that 
Mehemit Ali was at Candia, in the same island, we went there, communi- 
cated with him, and obtained permission to pass through all Syria. Thence 
to Joffa, where I sent my officer on shore to demand a salute, which was 
denied the previous year; and, as anticipated by the Armenian, our consul 
there, the former Governor had been superceded, and set aside in disgrace. 
I directed the officer, Lieutenant Brent, to state to the Governor that if the 
demand was refused I would depart the port and land at Acre. He profes- 
sed his willingness to exchange salutes, but did not appear willing to repair 
the former indignity. Mr. Brent being about to leave — assuring the Gov- 
ernor I would depart — was called back, and informed that reparation would 
be made; the Governor at the same time expressing a hope that I would do 
all that was right. The 21 guns were fired from the shore, after which 
the Egyptian flag was displayed at the fore, and a salute of 21 guns fired 
on board the Constitution, and returned from the shore, and thus our point 


of honor was gained. We then landed with General Cass and family, 
exchanged civilities with the Governor, and again departed for Jerusalem. 
Having before given a history of some of the points we visited, Lwill now com- 
mence at the Mount of Olivet. From there we proceeded to the old town 
of Bethany — thence to Jericho over the scene of the good Samaritan, 
thence to the Dead Sea; which I bathed on, for such was the density of the 
water that I could not immerse myself in it — thence to a point on the 
Jordan, five miles above, across which I swam accompanied by my two 
aids-de-camps, and midshipmen Anderson and Fleming. Mrs. Cass being- 
detained at Jerusalem with a sick daughter, the General expressed a wish 
for a few pebbles from the opposite shore of the Jordan for her. Accordingly 
when I swam across Fput twelve small stones in my mouth, that I might 
carry them safely over, and gave them to him as emblematical of the Twelve 
Apostles. For the purpose of having the gate at Jerusalem open in the 
night for the admission of our party, I left them for the city, taking with 
me an Arab guide. Having gone about four miles the guide halted and 
positively refused going any farther. I expostulated with him as well as I 
could by signs, but the only return he made was motioning toward the hills 
and drawing his hand across his throat; and therefore I was compelled to 
return to the company, with my guide, who, when questioned by the 
Egyptian officer with us, said he was afraid some of the wild Arabs would 
cut my head off and then Ibrahim Pacha would cut off his. In consequence 
of this refractory guide we were compelled to encamp short of Jerusalem, 
entering the next morning. After reconnoitering at Jerusalem as before, 
we visited the tomb of Samuel; thence to Neine and Naplons, tarrying a 
a night at Jacob's well; thence to the old city of Samaria, visiting the 
ancient church of St. John, and the hanging gardens, so beautifully des- 
cribed in Josephus. Thence we proceeded through the valley of Esdralon, 
by the foot of Mount Tabor to Nazareth. In the valley I was struck with 
the beauty of the wheat, (the harvests were then gathering in,) of which I 
procured a parcel, brought it home and distributed a portion to a few farmers 
of Lancaster and Chester counties. I also sent a head and a few grains to 
the New England farmer, Daniel Webster, for his inspection, but he has 
made no report as yet. At Nazareth we inspected the rums of the house 
of Mary and Joseph, on which is now standing a cathedral; the ruins of the 
house in which Joseph is said to have had his workshop; the ruins of the house 
in which our Saviour is said to have disputed with the learned doctors and 
wise men. Thence we proceeded to Kaina — the Cana of Scripture: 
where were exhibited to us the remains of the house in which Christ 
miraculously converted the water into wine at the marriage celebrated there; 
thence to Tiberias, on the sea of Galilee, which had been destroyed by an 
earthquake but a few months previous. We encamped on the shores of 
Galilee, and visited the spot where Christ is said to have met the fishermen 
and also divided the loaves and fishes. Returning through Tiberias we coasted 
along the west bank of the sea of Galilee, passing through the old city of 
Capernaum, thence to Jacob's bridge on the Jordan which we crossed 
coming to Soffat. Near to Soffat we encountered an encampment of wild 
Arabs, living in the old patriarchal manner, with whom we endeavoured to 
trade for a fine Arab mare, but there being more claims to the animal 
than we eould well satisfy, we relinquished the matter. 


We continued our rout tor Damascus or Sham, where we found that letters 
from Mehemet Ali to Sheriff Pacha had preceeded us, with instructions to 
the latter to receive us with every kindness and attention; in obedience to 
which the Sheriff Pacha prepared us elegant quarters, and for our further 
gratification spread his table in European stvle, his children sitting down 
with us. We soon d.seovered, however, that this mode of eating was 
not congenial to their customs; for thev not only made an awkward attempt 
at using the knife and fork but actually threw them aside and laid hold 
with their fingers. We tarried here nearly a week, visiting the house of 
Annamas where Paul was lowered in a basket, and also the place where 
his conversion was effected; the Bazaars, a market where every article of 
traffic may be found; the market place, in which stood exposed for sale to 
the Turks a great number of beautiful Circassian women; but I was less 
fortunate than Mr. Stevens in captivating the heart of one of those fair 
creatures, notwithstanding my military attire, which is generally so much 
admired by females. We here witnessed an exhibition of th^ Dervishes, a 
set of jugglers who perform many wonderful and astonishing feats. Gen. 
Cass expressed a wish to have the Dervishes brought to our quarters, but 
Sheriff Pacha declined. He, however, on ;he day previous to our depar- 
ture invied us to the palace to witness the performances. On our arrival 
there all was prepared for the exhibition. The Dervishes were brought 
in, and after some religious ceremony, commenced by putting in their 
mouths live coals, intensely hot, and moving them about with motions of 
the tongue and head until completely extinguished. Their bodies were 
pierced with sharp pointed irons in various parts. An instrument with 
a large ball at the end, was passed through the skin of the neck, the 
blood apparently oozing from the wound, and then plunged into the breast 
and abdomen. A sharp edged scimiter, doubtless that of the Great High 
Executioner, was drawn roughly across the body; the blade almost buried 
in the flesh. The parts of the performers thus operated on were without 
clothing-, and the only healing property applied to the wounds was spittle 
fin m the mouth of the priest. The scimiter of the Turk is a singular weapon, 
and peculiarly adapted for severing the head from the body; for which pur- 
pose it is sc commonly used by the Turk. It is a blade similar to the broad 
sword, but bent in such a position as to effect a severe cut by a straight 
forward motion of the arm, or thurst. From the heel the blade is almost 
straight to the centre, where it suddenly turns, forming an angle of about 
45 degrees. I was assured that an experienced headsman with a scimiter, 
would separate a man's head from his body, with more ease and celerity 
than an experienced epicure would the wing of a fowl. Sheriff* Pacha 
proposed another astonishing feat, but being satiated, I mentioned to General 
Cass my desire to so, observing at the same time that I had seen enough 
to sicken me for the balance of my life. The General, however with in- 
creased curiosity insisted on seeing all we could; and accordingly we tarried. 
Twelve Darvishes were brought in, and placed upon the ground in a 
manner resembling the fingers on the hand, when a large Arab horse, 
such as my Sheriff Pacha, now in Chester county, mounted by a huge 
Arab, was rode over their bodies. This was no juggling but good earnest, 
for I followed the horses steps and saw them planted fairly on the bodies 
of the Dervishes. The horse, however may have lightened himself — for 


he was a sagacious animal — by that instinct which prompts even man to 
buoy himself up when crossing bogs, or weak ice. Alter this truly astonish- 
ing feat, the jugglers arose and seemed to wince, but not enough to indicate 
that they were seriously hurt. At the time the horse was about treading 
upon the Dervishes, a small Egyptian boy, probably a musician, threw 
himself down among them, with religious infatuation, no doubt, and would 
have suffered himself to be thus mangled, had not the priest instantly taken 
hold of him and raised him 'rom among them. An incident occurred when 
we visited the mint that goes far to show this predominant trait of the 
Turkish character, i. e. their love of the slight of hand. While examining, 
or rather looking on the operations of the workmen in sold, I was accosted 
by one of them, and charged with having pocketed a piece of his coin. 
I positively denied having touched any thing, when he laughed and asked 
me to feel in my pockets. I did so, and to my utter astonishment found a 
small piece of his gold, which had been but that moment thrown from 
the die. The fellow was highly diverted at this act of his adroitness; 
but for myself I was not a little dissatisfied, as it afforded rather a good 
joke for the General and his attaches. 

At Damascus we received the kind attention of Mr. Herron, the British 
Consul, at whose table I met the former Governor of Jerusalem, who had 
been so kind to me on my first arrival there, and who from his kindness to 
Christians generally, was displaced by Mehemit AH. This governor had 
bestowed marked attention on the Prince de Joinville, which the Prince 
mentioned to his father, the King of France: who, accustomed to present 
mementos to those who kindly treated his son, sent one to the Governor of 
Jerusalem; for you are aware, no doubt, that to a Turk the highest favor 
you can offer is a present, be it large or small; to decline which places an 
insuperable barrier to all further intercourse. The governor, however, 
having been removed, did not get the present designed for him by the 
King of the French ; it was received by his successor in office, who still 
enjoys it. My friend, Gen. Cass, assured me that he would call the 
attention of the French King to the circumstance on his arrival in Paris, 
which, I trust, he has done. 

It may not be inappropriate here to inform vou, my friends, how nar- 
rowly I escaped from a fate similar to that of the Governor of Jerusalem. 
On the day after the visit of Mehemit Ali, on board the Constitution, his 
minister, Bogase Bey, called upon Mr. Gliden, our Consul at Alexandria, 
and asked, through him, my acceptance of a cimeter from the former. 
Having the constitution of our country before me of course I declined 
receiving it as a present to myself; bat wishing to obtain a place for the 
burial of our dead at Jerusalem, as also a participation in the trade of 
Syria, which England, France, Kussia, and Austria secured only after 
tedious negotiation, I agreed to accept the cimeter for transmission to my 
government. On those conditions it was received, and sent home by the 
hands of a fine young officer of our navy, from this county, Lieut. Cad. 
Ringgold, and whom I contributed to place in the service. By him it 
was borne to Washington, and placed in the Navy Department. 

I cannot, my countrymen, elucidate to you in a stronger manner 

the horror attending the prosecution of me before the Court Martial, 

under the drag-net placed in the precept, by the then Secretary of 

the Navy, than in the following terms: — " Of what else do you know 



prejudicial to Com. Elliott while commanding the Naval forces of the 
United States in the Mediterranean during the years '35, 6, 7, 8, and 9?" 
Being thus interrogated, one of the young officers unfriendly to me, and 
who had seen the sword in my cabin — but who had not access to my 
letter-book — swore that 1, in violation of that article of the constitution 
prohibiting an American citizen from receiving a present from any "foreign 
prince, power, or potentate," did receive a sword from Mehemit Ah ; and 
but for the precaution of the words in the close of my letter to the Secre- 
tary of the Navy, that I received the sword for transmission to the Gov- 
ernment, that sword which had been presented me by the nation, and 
which has been the companion of my side for more than a quarter of a 
century, and which I had determined never to surrender to an enemy, 
would have been wrenched from me and I assigned to eternal ignominy. 
We have had one case in our Navy where a Captain accepted a sword 
from the Viceroy of Peru, and wore it by his side until that distinguished 
countryman, Henry Clay, — who you know married a wife in this town — 
caused him to disgorge it. 

At Damascus we were also entertained by the Turkish High Priest: 
the ladies of Gen. Cass' family having access to the female society 
while we were entertained sumptuously by the males, 

After tarrying a week at Damascus, we departed for Balbeck, situate 
between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains. On ascending the 
heights from Damascus we turned to look down upon the ancient city; 
and beheld the meandering of the beautiful waters that checker it, and at 
intervals along their banks, the waving of the lofty tops of the cypress trees 
that rear aloft in splendid contrast with the time-w r orn minarets of courts 
and palaces. Fain would I have returned to visit the many delightful spots 
that were then presented to our view, and of which we knew nothing while 
down among the clustered buildings of the city — but duty impelled us on. 
We prosecuted our route for Balbeck, and arrivtd'there about meridian on 
the next day. Here I preceded our party and called upon the officer in 
command of Ibrahim Pacha's army, he having a force of somewhere near 
1500 dragoons — with fine Arab horses. He too, having been apprized 
of our intended approach, pointed out a position for our encampment close 
to the Temple of the Sun. My secretary who had been up with a party 
the year before represented that there was a splendid Roman Eagle among 
the ruins, without apprizing me of its size. The General made a tender 
of services, when I replied to him that I had but one favor to ask, and that 
was, permission to take with me to the sea coast this emblem of my own 
country, to which he readily gave his consent. Visiting the temple for the 
inspection of it, judge my surprise on finding it elevated at the entrance of 
the temple, and weighing perhaps one ton. I felt very much as I did in 
approaching the olive trees at the garden of Gethsemane! There rest to the 
end of time. We found this a magnificent temple, but pretty much in an 
entire state of ruin. With Lamartene's description of some of the blocks 
of granite within, as he stated, measuring 59 ft. by 13 ft., I measured the 
same and found him critically correct. We were pointed to the quarry 
whence they were obtained, distance perhaps \h miles. Here we found 
one as left by the ancients, of the same size — worked square on the top, 
two sides, front and end — chiselled away underneath to both sides within 


about 3 feet. Those gigantic pieces of masonry brought me to the conclu- 
sion that the temple must have been constructed by a giant race compared 
'with our own. The governor invited us to inspect his troops, and brought 
out his whole force for the occasion, which were carried through all the evo- 
lutions common to cavalry. \:\ attention was particularly struck with 
one evolution o charging a column to the front. The instantaneous man- 
ner in which the horse was brought upon his haunches at the word " halt," 
in charging upon a wall, &.c, convinced me at once of the great sagacity 
of the Arabian horse. Here we tarried two days interchanging civilities 
with the governor, <fcc. A fine field presenting- for the antiquarian, I had 
thought of hiring an additional mule, presuming the one to be pretty well 
loaded, but on enquiry of the Turk who had what matters I had collected 
in charge, he observed to me that there was plenty of room in the baskets 
yet. Doubting the fact I examined them, and found that as one had become 
full he had emptied the other out, and thus I was deprived of many of my 
relics. I give this as an instance of a Turk's fidelity, and the little venera- 
tion he has for antiquities. Taking up our march, the third day we crossed 
the Lebanon Mountains, and in ascending found them steep and precipitous. 
About six miles descending on the west side, we came to the far-famed 
cedars, numbering about twenty-five. To one of the branches of the 
largest I hung my hammock, at the risk of a little cold, and slept there 
during the night. On the morning following I cut off one of the branches 
which I brought home, and which is now to be seen at the Girard College, 
Philadelphia. Early the next morning the peasants began to collect around 
us, among them a priest from the village of Eden. He opened the doors 
of his church, which was hewn out of the body of the largest cedar, then 
invited us to join in his religious devotion — having a two fold object in 
view — to pray and solicit alms. The former we could not well under- 
stand, but the latter was quite comprehensible. Here too I was disposed 
to doubt Lamartene's description of the size of the tree, and having a line 
along for the purpose, had it placed around the tree just where the limbs 
branch off, and found it to measure very nearly fifty-nine feet. Soon after 
we departed for the town of Eden, where we were met by one of the 
Princes of the Lebanon Mountains, who entertained us with the kindest 
hospitality. We continued our movement the folio wing- morning for Tripoli, 
where our whole force embarked on board the Constitution, taking with us 
the Arabian mare I purchased at Jerico, having rode her the whole route 
during which she did not deny her food or miss a step. And this mare 
having since had two colts, one by Busirus, and the other by my Arabian 
horse, purchased at Damascus, I now have in the county of Chester, Pa. 

We then proceeded to the Island of Cyprus, touching at Larnica and 
Lamesal, displaying the first American flag on a man-of-war in that port. 
Visited the Greek convent and were treated kindly bv the Archbishop. 
We made a stay of two days watering the ships. The island of Cyprus, 
you are aware, is noted as the place where Saint Paul ate the bread fruit. 
After reciprocating honors with the governor, we proceeded to the port of 
Alexandria, in Egypt, there again interchanging civilities with the authori- 
ties. With Gen. Cass, his family and suit, we embarked for Cairo, by 
the great canal which Mehemit Ali constructed at so great an expense of 
human life — having caused the death of at least 25,000. On the follow- 


ing day we arrrived at the Nile. Here the Egyptian Governor, without 
asking who would go or who would stay, took us to Bolack. We disem- 
barked the next day, proceeded to, and took quarters in ihe city of Cairo, 
and there visited points of interest and antiquity. At Cairo we again beheld 
the degrading spectacle of the beautiful Circassian and Nubian women 
brought from a distance for sale to the Turks ; a picture that causes 
humanity to shudder. Here we examined the museum and the work- 
shops of Mehemit Ali, as also the identical place in which he had invited 
all the officers of rank of the Janizary corps to a sumptuous banquet, and 
while in the midst of their hilarity, they were all butchered, except one, 
who made his escape over the walls on his Arab horse. Mehemit Ali thus 
proclaimed himself Pacha of Egypt. At Cairo 1 was again presented 
to my old friend and bottle companion, Ibrahim Pacha, who, in the recol- 
lection of the convivial glass on board the Constitution, entertained us and 
rendered every assistance to make our sojourn comfortable. Leaving 
Cairo we ascended the Nile to the ruins of the ancient city of Memphis, 
visiting the Nileometer on our way, to determine the degrees of its rise and 
fall on its left bank, where a colossus may now be seen, the great colossal 
figure which is supposed to be one of those which stood in front of the 
temple of Vulcan, and which is near 'JO feet long. We then visited Sac- 
carah and Geza, about 12 miles from Memphis, where are entombed in 
subterraneous vaults, all maimer of birds, dogs, cats, monkeys, &.c, once so 
highly venerated by the ancient Egyptians. I descended into one of these 
vaults — procured some of these relics — brought them home, and presented 
one, though the hands of my friend, Commodore Warrington, to the 
William and Mary University of Virginia, where they may now be seen. 
At Geza we found two of the largest pyramids in Egypt. We as- 
cended one to its top, and entered its interior by the passage discovered by 
Belozini, where we found a chamber, and in it a sarcophagus of great 
beauty, which doubtless contained the remains of one of the Copts 
of Egypt. Its dimensions I should judge to be about 600 feet in height, 
and 300 on its base, of moderately hewn granite stone, the pieces about 6 
feet long and 2 feet high, laid upon each other in the form of steps. In 
ascending to its top we were necessarily compelled, each of us, to consign 
ourselves to a couple of Egyptians, one before and one behind. With my 
guides I made a regular contract, viz : — safe up and safe down, a compen- 
sation — about the value of a dollar — neck broke, nothing ; — consequently 
great care was taken. Here too, in this neighborhood, from Mem- 
phis down, I entered the catacombs, and there obtained a mummy which I 
brought to the United States, and presented, through the hands of my old 
school-mate, Dr. J. Miller, President of Jefferson Medical College, at 
Baltimore, to that institution, and which has been since unwrapt in the 
presence of a class. On a recent visit of Colonel Johnson and myself 
to that city, he placed in the hands of the former one of the feet, with 
the wrappings of which we are both possessed at this time, and which is 
at your service for inspection. Close to the large pyramid we have a marble 
sphynx which is imbedded in the sand about three-fourths of the way, leav- 
ing, I should judge, about 50 feet exposed, presenting a colossal figure of 
the human head and body low as the haunches. In the vicinity of it 1 
descended into another subterranean passage, where I observed two sar- 


cophagi and on returning to the surface I found a portion of the lop of 
one of them which had been broken off'; doubtless tbe work of some pur- 
loiner of antiquities, whose agent in the removal had served him as mine 
had at Balbeck. Having possession — nine points of the law — of tbe piece, 
I concluded I had a right to purloin it from tbe purloiner; accordingly I 
brought it home, and it is now at tbe Girard College, Philadelphia, were 
are also various other relics of antiquity, including two sarcophagi, 
which, when I was at Jerusalem I learned had been excavated at Bay root, 
and had purchased on my private account, and which will be my sepulchre. 

Now, my countrymen, 1 can naturally conceive what will be your feel- 
ings when I state to you that in the removal of these from the shore to the 
ship ajish was injured, and an old rotten stump top-gallant mast, both 
worth perhaps five dollars, and for which I am charged with wasting public 
property. In tbe removal of these articles on board tbe ship, the seamen 
were permitted to have access to liquor, under the influence of which they 
became insubordinate and riotous, and were punished by the regularly, 
legally constituted Captain of the ship, whose authority under the law only 
extended to the infliction of twelve lashes. The First Lieutenant singled 
out one man whom he wanted to make an example of before a Court Mar- 
tial, and requested that he might be remanded back to prison until I should 
come down from tbe interior of Syria, and whose punishment under the law, 
had the charges been proven, would have been a hundred and fifty lashes. 
I inquired into the character of the man, and found it to have been exem- 
plary and unexceptionable, and this his only offence. As Gen. Cass' family 
was on board, and not officers enough to constitute a Court Martial, I directed 
the Captain to punish him as he originally intended, presuming that he 
would not violate the law; and he gave the man one dozen more than the 
law authorized. Here is another of the grave charges of cruelty! The 
question put by my counsel. " How do you know Capt. Elliott gave the 
order and that the man was punished?" ''By reference to the Black Book, in 
which the punishments of the ship are recorded." " Produce thai book." 
(i I would rather not, because it tends to endanger others, and ask to with- 
hold it." In which right the Court protected him. " I protest against the 
withholding of the book.'' The Court clears for deliberation, and on 
opening announces the decision that the book must not be produced. I 
redoubled my protest stronger than ever. The Court again cleared for 
deliberation, and on opening agreed that the book should be produced ; the 
sight of which makes one's blood chill. I have the book, but to save the 
navy it is sealed. And these are my prosecutors! The very same officer makes 
the charge and sweats that I consumed the canvass belonging to the govern- 
ment to make tents for Gen. Cass and myself while travelling in Syria. 
I produced the man who received the canvass at Marseilles, cut the tents 
and made them up. Not having an epaulette to his shoulder, however, 
his testimony was not believed. But thanks to an all wise God, I had a 
witness here to protect me ; and that was Gen. Cass, who purchased the 
canvass — holds the bill and receipt, and thus informed the government! 

Here too is another instance of the effect of the drag-net charge of five 
years, and gives to me another opportunity of holding up to you the high 
and honorable bearing of the honest tar. The charge being sworn to by the 
officer, I requested my counsel, Mr. Randall, to prepare interrogatories to 


be sent to Gen. Cass, but the Lord, as if it were, standing by me, sent 
me another witness. During my trial the seamen who had sailed with 
me, were exceedingly troublesome in their calls for the purpose of showing 
sympathy, to prevent which I directed the landlady with whom I boarded, 
to say to each that I was engaged and could not see them. But one man 
came and seemed so anxious to see me that the good lady came up and 
importuned for him. I yielded and admitted him. As soon as he put his 
eves on me I observed the tears of affection starting down his cheeks. I 
called him by his name, "Mellville, — how do you do, and where have you 
been since we paid you off in the Constitution? " "I have been two voyages 
to Canton." "Where did you arrive?" "At New York, three days since." 
"What brought you here?" "I met Jim Smith, your coxswain, when I was 
making a line fast to draw the ship to the wharf — he told me they were trying 
yon at Philadelphia and that all the officers were swearing againstyou; I came 
up to see if I did'nt know something about what was going on. He then 
stated to me what he knew about the canvass. I took him to my attorney, 
who interrogated him on the points, and stated to me he was the only wit- 
ness required. He gave his testimony to the Court, not one word of 
which was believed ; and if I live to the age of Methuselah, I will not 
forget the countenance of one of the judges at the attempt to do away the 
testimonv of an officer by a seaman. 

We returned to Cairo, visiting the Military School of Mehemet Ali for 
the instruction of youth for the army; then to Alexandria, and brought 
our whole party. Ran down the coast of Egypt, Tripoli, Tunis, and 
along the islands of Pantelerio and Sardinia, for the port of Mahon, in 
the island of Minorca. Finding the heavy press of canvass I had carried 
on the Constitution to have opened her sides and seams considerably, I 
gave her a pretty good thread of oakum preparatory : to a winter's cruise. 
Transhipped Gen. Cass, and all his effects, without leaving a vestige 
behind, on board the frigate United States. He left me the accompany- 
ino- letter, nothing ha ing transpired during the whole cruise to mar the 
good feeling which had existed between us for more than a quarter of a 

Port Mahoxe, Nov. 7, 1837. 

My Dear Sir : — Allow me to say in a private note, what I could not 
so properlv say in a public one, that T shall ask your acceptance of a token 
of remembrance from Paris, upon which will be engraved the names of the 
principal cities we have had the pleasure of visiting together this season. 
I want your family to know that I hold in grateful remembrance the friend- 
ships and attentions you have shown to me and mine during our interest- 
ing voyage. 

I am, dear sir, with great respect, 
Truly vours, 

Com. Elliott. " LEWIS CASS. 

But I would here remark by way of suggestion to the government, 
never to place another of her ships of war but in its own true element ; 
as a ship of war should be always free from any thing which may for a 
moment require a commander to set aside that rigid and strict discipline 
so necessary to crown her efforts with success in case of an emergency. 

After my repairs were .made, and the ship properly painted, and in her 


ordinary high state, I concluded I would pass the winter at Maha, and 
interchange civilities with the officers of the British navy and army, with 
whom it fell to my lot to contend in the war of 1812. 

Late in January I departed for the port of Minorca, after assigning various 
cruises to the squadron, and ran up to Malta in less than -i- hours, and 
anchored in what is called the outer harbor, observing several ships and 
sloops of war within. Scarcelv had the anchor been let go, when a boat 
came along side — an officer entered the ship and wished an interview 
with the.Commodore. He proved to be the Flag Captain of Adm. Sir Eobt. 
Stopford's ship the Princess Charlotte, 120 guns, bearing a message of 
welcome, and stated to me that the position of the Constitution then was 
rather insecure, and that the Admiral would be very happy to see me in 
the inner harbor, where I would find buoys to which I could make fast 
my cables, and occupy a then vacant birth ;. all which was accepted. A 
signal being made from the Admiral's ship for the boats of the fleet, they 
soon took us in tow. I weighed anchor and soon found myself in the 
midst of an English line of battle ships, frigates, and sloops of war. I ex- 
pressed a wish to visit the Admiral, and desired to know when it would 
be acceptable to see me : he answered me that it would depend entirely 
upon myself. Being Saturday I mentioned Monday. " Why so late ?" I 
answered that I presumed he would be engaged in religious devotion the 
next day. Nevertheless he would see me on that day, at the admiralty 
house on shore, as he lived there. At the hour of one, accompanied by 
my Captain, T appeared at his quarters, where I found all his Captains in 
readiness to be presented. We retired to an adjoining apartment where 
was a sumptuous table spread, with what the English call a lunch, but 
what we call, in America, a good substantial cold dinner. He asked me a 
what time it would be convenient to let him visit my ship. I answered 
him, that at his advanced age — being about 90 — I could not expect him 
to embark, and that I would take quarters on shore. JNo, sir ! I wish to 
visit you on board your ship. He named the next day at one o'clock ; at 
the appointed time he came on board, accompanied by Sir Thos. Fellers, 
Sir Thos. Briggs, Sir John Lewis, Capt. H. Parker, Capt. Correy, and his 
brother-in-law, (his flag captain,) Capt. Fanshaw. He seemed to express 
and feel disappointment that the ship was not larger than she appeared to 
be. In ancient times she would have been considered a large ship, but 
with the frigates of the present day she was but small. After inspecting 
the ship and partaking of refreshments, with a salute to which his rank en- 
titled him, he left me for the shore. He named a day for his dinner, which 
I accepted, and at a proper time reciprocated on board the ship. Here 
too, I found Sir H. Bouverie, Governor of Malta, extending and receiving 
the same courtesies, offering me an invitation to dinner for the next Fri- 
day, and for every succeeding one while I was in the port of Malta. 
I experienced the same kindness from all the subordinate officers of each- 
as well as from the authorities on shore, civil, military, and ecclesiastical ; 
and I can in all truth say, that during the two months I lay at Malta, I 
was not at dinner on my own ship, unless reciprocating those from on 
shore. It so happened that on the anniversary of Washington's birth, I 
was invited to dine with Sir Robert Stopford. In accordance with the 


custom of our navy, the Constitution was decorated with the American 
flags — among the national ensigns, the British at the starboard main yard : 
on observing which Sir Robert directed the American flag to be displayed 
at the main of every ship of his fleet. At meridian, when I fired my 
salute, each of the British ships participated in the same. Just before 
sundown I hauled down our flags and ran up the British at the fore, 
firing 19 guns as a compliment to the Admiral himself; and sent on 
board to return my own thanks and those of my country for his com- 
pliments to the venerated Washington. On entering his apartment 
at the hour of dinner, he met me and remarked, " Commodore, we have 
made some noise for you." " Yes, Sir Robert, you have; I felt great 
pleasure when I observed you display our flag, but judge my feelings 
when you joined in the salute." " Poh !" said he, " we consider George 
Washington a chip of the old block." Subsequently I went along side 
the Princess Charlotte, to return the call of her Captain, but he not being 
on board I sent my card up — for you must know it is a terrible task to 
get up the side of one of those heavy ships. The Admiral feeling a 
desire to return me the compliment I did him when on board his ship, 
ordered, as I afterwards understood, the second Captain of the Princess 
Charlotte to make me a call, and actually quarantined him until it Mas 
returned. As I departed from the ship, on that occasion, the American 
flag was displayed at the fore, and the ordinary salute of 13 guns, when 
I seated myself in the boat; but the guns still firing I raised, and seated 
again at the 15th ; but still the firing was continued, and I raised again, 
and seated at the 17th ; and yet they fired, when I raised, again seating 
at the 19th. All this seemed inexplicable to me. However, it hap- 
pened that on that day I dined with the Admiral, when he remarked to 
me, " Fanshaw tells me he had a visit from you to-day, on board the 
Princess Charlotte." "Yes, Sir Robert ; and I don't know when I felt 
more embarrassed than at your salute. Mine has ordinarily been 13 
guns." " You are invested with the same powers that I am, then why 
not expect the same honors?" I observed to him that " I would have 
been better satisfied with a less number than I am entitled to, that thus I 
might write home a complaining letter, and induce our government to 
give us your grade." Pointing to his son, he said, "had it not have been 
for Bob, there, doubtless you would have been an Jldmiral now, for he 
was first Lieutenant of the Pantaloon that brought over the mediation." 

Many pleasing incidents of this nature occurred while at Malta. I 
was invited to dine with the 92d Regiment, Col. Earlington. The note 
was borne by the Adjutant of it, of my own name, and from his eye I 
thought I could trace our own family ; and I accordingly asked him of 
what port of Ireland he was from. He answered, "from Fincastle, 
county of Donegal ;" the very port from whence my own ancestors 
came. Of course we manufactured cousinship, and the whole regiment 
rejoiced that the Adjutant had found the American Commodore to be a 

Sir Henry Bouverie> not disposed to be behind the Admiral in his at- 
tentions, asked me if I could find it convenient on some occasion to 
look at the troops of the island. I assured him it would afford me great 


pleasure to do so. He named a cloy ; and on repairing to the spot, be- 
tween the village of Florian and Malta, I found perhaps 10,000 people 
assembled, and Sir Henry, with his whole garrison of 3,000 men, himself, 
and all his general and field officers present, and with their numerous 
bands. Sir Robert Stopford and myself were requested to advance about 
two paces from the crowd, when the troops marched by us in columns, 
the bands playing the favorite national airs of this, our happy coun- 
try, in slow and quick time. After which, we were taken to an elevation, 
and witnessed a sham attack and sortie from the village of Florian. This 
done, Sir Henry advanced and asked me if I had any other wish to gra- 
tify as to the troops. I returned him my sincere thanks for the honor he 
had conferred upon my country and myself, and then suggested, in behalf 
of the troops — for the poor fellows looked weary of the exercise — that 
they might return to the garrison. 

Leaving Malta, we returned to Mahon, the head-quarters of our squad- 
ron. The period of service of a large portion of the marine guard being 
about to close, I took on board, under the authority of the Hon. the Se- 
cretary of the Navy, the accumulated sick, and men whose terms of ser- 
vice had nearly expired, and after a quick passage arrived at Gibraltar. 
At this place, a compliment was extended to me, which no other com- 
mander ever received at that port. That worthy, honorable, and just man, 
Horatio Sprague, who had filled the consular chair with so much satisfac- 
tion to his government, for nearly a quarter of a century, named his infant, 
just then born, after me. Here I had a fine opportunity of trying the 
sailing qualities of the Constitution. The westerly winds prevailing, had 
brought in a large accumulation of vessels, destined to pass through the 
straits, on the eastern side of the rock. The wind changed to the east; 
when at least 120 vessels appeared. The Constitution got under way, the 
other vessels being 10 miles ahead. The wind dead aft, she passed the 
whole of them ere the sun had set, cleared the straits, and left all behind. 
Our passage was a short one to Funchall, island of Madeira, where, an- 
choring on the 3d of July, we remained to celebrate the 4th, and on the 
5th, proceeded on our homeward voyage, anchoring in Hampton Roads 
on the 31st. On the day following, anchored again at Norfolk, where, 
when the proper arrangements were made to pay off the crew, this gal- 
lant relic, the Constitution, was delivered to the nation, through the hands 
of Com. Warrington, at the dock yard. 

But to return. After the above cruise of four years, and visiting the 
four quarters of the globe, I sought again the peace and quiet of my 
family, at Carlisle, Pa. But even here, political feelings and jealousies 
were brought to bear against me. Whilst enjoying my long desired re- 
pose, an excitement was gotten up at Harrisburg, on the occasion of cer- 
tain contested seats in ths State Legislature, then recently convened. 
His excellency, the Governor, in order to quell it, sent the Hon. C. B. 
Penrose and Major General Alexander to my quarters, with a request that 
I would accompany them to the barracks, and assist in prevailing on the 
officer in command of the U. S. troops there, to proceed to Harrisburg 
with them, and quell the threatened rebellion. Believing the difficulties 
to be altogether of a political nature, I at once declined. However, just 


before the dawn of day, having recollected the oath I had taken, on en- 
tering; the Navy, to " support the constitution and laws of the various 
States," and doubting: whether T might not be remiss in withholding my 
personal presence, I at once wrote a note to the two gentlemen, above 
named, stating: that, on reflection, I had concluded to go down to Harris- 
burg, not for the purpose of entering into the political controversy, but 
to assist the Governor with my counsel, and sustain him in the discharge 
of his official duties. I accordingly departed for the capital, where I 
found the Governor under the influence both of personal fear, and of ap- 
prehension of violence on the legislature. I expostulated with him on 
the impropriety of mixing the military of the government, in any way, 
with the affairs as then existing at Harrisburg : telling him, too, that I 
believed his fears were groundless, and that we had not such rebellious 
spirits in the commonwealth. I also told him that I would take quarters 
in the town, mix with the partizans, and endeavour to appease the one 
and give confidence to the other; acting as a mediator between the parties. 
And this I continued to do until the arrival of Major General Patterson, 
of the Pennsylvania Militia, when I immediately called upon the Go- 
vernor, and announced to him that I considered my functions to have 
ceased. After his acknowledgment of the kindness I had manifested, I 
departed for Carlisle, the residence of my family. About three days 
after, I was not a little surprised at the receipt of a letter from the Secre- 
tary of the Navy — the self-same professing friend — reproving me for 
what he was pleased to consider, my interference at Harrisburg, and 
couched in language such as 1 would have submitted to from none other 
than an official functionary. To this letter I had prepared an answer, 
vindicating my rights as a citizen of Pennsylvania, which, whilst not in 
the discharge of professional duties to the nation, I held sacred ; and of 
which, rather than be deprived, I would return my commission to the 
government. I exhibited this letter to a friend, James Hamilton, Esq. who 
stated to me that I was sensibly, yet justly, under the influence of excited 
feeling: that persons so affected were not the best judges of their own cases, 
and, therefore, asked the privilege of preparing another letter for me. He 
did so j — the one you, no doubt, have seen in print : but, from what has 
since transpired, I would give my right arm if it could be recalled ! 

But I will not exhaust your patience : perhaps already too ungene- 
rously taxed : and I will hasten to the narrative of subsequent circum- 
stances. I presumed, from the silence of the government to me, that I 
was doomed to pass the balance of my cruel sentence upon my farm; but 
with now and then a circular from the person appointed to direct the 
Medical Bureau, and the father of the young officer who had behaved so 
badly under my command, — I was occasionally reminded that I belonged 
to the Navy. How these circulars were received by my brother captains, 
who were untrammelled, and in the active exercise of their official func- 
tions, I did not know. To me, however, they seemed altogether out of 
place. Early in July, a circular of a more distinct character came to 
me, which required that I should give an account of all the services I 
had rendered the country, from the day I had entered the Navy until that 
period : — for what object, the Lord only knows, for I did not! I left my 


plough, — for I had become a cultivator of the soil, — overhauled all my 
papers, and, from these and memor}-, rendered, as I thought, an exact de- 
tail of all my doings. To this narrative, I appended a note, in pencil, 
thus: "Since the 22d of June, 1S40, up to the present moment, I ha e 
been tinder the operation of a sentence of a Court Martial as tmjust, s 
unholy and unrighteous as ever has been recorded against an officer of our 
own, or any other service; not excepting a Byng, of the British Navy, 
or a Barron, in our own!'-' 1 — J. D. Elltott. 
To this, I received the following answer : 

Navy Department, January 19, 1S4-3. 
Sir: — The note appended to the statement of your services, forwarded 
to the Department in June last, but which it has not, in the course of 
business, been necessary to refer to till now, being deemed highly repre- 
hensible and offensive, the paper is returned to you for reconsideration. 

I am, respectfully, 

Your ob'dt serv't. 

Captain J. D. Elliott, U. S. Navy. 

Near West Whiteland, Chester Co., Pa. 

My reply to this communication was, that in appending the note to the 
return of service, I did so without meaning any disrespect to the Execu- 
tive or Secretary, but to set forth the full sense of my wrongs, and in the 
strongest language I could communicate them; — that I would be glad to 
know when it would suit Mr. Upshur's convenience to enter into a dis- 
cussion of those wrongs. I received the following communication : 

Navy Department, February 7th, '43. 
Sir: — Your letter of the 2d instant has been received. You state that 
} r ou have deferred entering on a detail of facts and circumstances con- 
nected with your accusation and trial until you should hear whether I 
felt at liberty to accord a hearing to you. I will certainly receive and 
consider whatever representation you may think proper to make on the 

I am respectful] v vours, 

Capt. J. D. Elliott, U. S. Navy, West Chester, Pa. 

I accordingly commenced the narration of my wrongs on paper, but 
as I progressed, I found them so numerous that, to communicate all, they 
could hardly be compassed in a volume less than that of the Bible. After 
consulting with a valued friend, it was concluded that it would be best 
for me to proceed to Washington, ask an interview with the Honorable 
Secretary, and communicate them orally. I therefore repaired to the 
Capital, and to the quarters of a Senator from the State of Pennsylvania, 
the Hon. D. Sturgeon. I stated to him the object of my visit, and asked • 
him to accompany me to the Navy Department, and present me to the 
Secretary. He did so ; and on entering the office, presented me to Mr. 


Upshur as one of Pennsylvania's most honored and gallant citizens: stating 
that the object of my visit to Washington was to have a discussion with 
him, and asking when it would be agreeable to him to enter upon it. 
The conversation between the Senator and Secretary turned upon matters 
irrelevant to my case ; but at length Mr. Sturgeon referred to it, when 
Mr. Upshur observed that he had just received a note from the President 
upon a matter which would occupy him that day; that on the succeeding 
one he would be engaged with the officer appointed to the command on 
the Coast of Africa, but on the day following, at 8 o'clock, he would 
give the interview. I accordingly attended at the appointed hour, and 
was honored with the desired meeting. I introduced "my remarks by 
again repeating the assurance that in appending the note to account of 
service, I meant no disrespect to the Executive or himself. He promptly 
observed that he did not suppose I did: that, in drawing my attention to 
the note, he merely wished to apprise me of his desire to keep the records 
of the Department free from any thing that was exceptionable, and pro- 
fessed himself satisfied. I then commenced narrating my wrongs, at 
which he was pleased to express himself surprised, and asked me if I 
could rely upon memory. I assured him that I could do so, that I stated 
nothing but what the files of the Department would establish. He asked 
me, " Did Captain Boerum shrink from the responsibility of his command, 
even to admit that you had not the right to make the "appointment — did 
he enter upon the duties, and profess to discharge them, and then shrink 
from the responsibilities?" I assured him that it was so, and that I was 
then suffering his wrongs. The appointment, I told him, was made con- 
formably with law. He at once exclaimed, " Great God, is it possible !" 
" Yes, sir, it is so!" I went on to narrate other wrongs. He then directed 
me to draw up a statement, and hand it to him. I prepared the paper, 
and exhibited it to Mr. Sturgeon, for his examination. He approved it, 
and on the 3d of March, handed it to the Secretary, with the remark that 
as soon as I could have the papers prepared, I would send them. Mr v 
Upshur observed that they were voluminous ; yet, as soon as he had 
leisure, he would look them over. I remained a week at Washington, 
and on its expiration, inquired of the chief clerk whether they had been 
perused. He answered that they were so voluminous that they frightened 
him, and he doubted whether the Secretan* could take up the subject. I 
then sought a private interview with the President, to whom I opened 
my case fully. As I progressed, I thought I could perceive in his coun- 
tenance the same surprise as was manifested by his Secretary. When I 
had finished my narrative, I told him there was another point to which I 
would beg leave to refer to his attention. It was a matter connected with 
the Battle of Lake Erie: — that for 30 years I had unjustly been placed 
under a cloud, in relation to my part in that affair, but that, accidentally 
and unexpectedly, I had found the original record of the Court of In- 
quiry which I had called in 1815, and which I had supposed to be lost. 
With the record, I also discovered the diagram of the battle as fought, 
and sworn to by all the witnesses. " 1 should like to see that," observed 
the President. " Here it is:" and I presented him a certified copy from 
the record. " Where was your vessel when Captain Perry came on 


board?" "There, sir," pointing to the position on the diagram. " How 
different this is," remarked Mr. Tyler, " from what I supposed. I never 
believed you faulty, Commodore, in that transaction!" I then remarked 
to him, "Now, Mr. Tyler, you cannot do me or yourself a greater piece 
of justice than to get your Cabinet toeether, and let one of your ministers 
read over these pages; and if there is a man among them who then will 
not believe me egregiously wronged, I will go back to my ploush,* and 
follow it to the end of my sentence without a murmur. Thank God, I 
can plough as good a furrow as any man in Pennsvlvania. I have been 
in the cloud for thirty years! Give me back mv sword, and my child 
that has been driven from the Navy. That sword I have never disgraced !" 
The President replied that he was independent of his ministers, — that 
he would examine the papers at his farm, and see that justice should be 
done me. And, my fellow citizens, I have the gratification of savins: to 
you, that I have received full and complete justice at the hands of John 
Tyler ; And here is the evidence ! 

Navy Department, Oct. 19th, 1S43. 
Sin: — The President of the United States, having carefully considered 
the facts in your case, in connection with evidences recentlv furnished, 
and considering, also, the long period of your suspension from the public 
service, and the gallantry exhibited by you on more than one occasion 
during the late war with Great Britain, has thought proper to remit the 
remaining period of your suspension, and to restore you to the public ser- 
vice. You will accordingly consider yourself as waiting orders: your 
restoration datiDg from the lSth inst. 

Your ob't servant, 

Com. J. D. Elliott, U. S. Navy. 

To which I responded in the following terms : 

* During my suspension, 1 turned my attention to agricultural pursuits, and to the im- 
provement chieflv of the fine sheep and swine which 1 had imported. 1 had crossed mv 
broad tail sheep with the South Down, and my Andalusian hog with the Berkshire, — 
creating stock admirably suited to the Western country. Not having the opportunitv of 
taking my old and brave friend, Col. R. M. Johnson, by the hand, during his visit to 
Pennsylvania, 1 presented a few of my best samples to him, through letter, and was fa- 
vored with the following acknowledgment: 

Philadelphia, October 11th, 1S42. 
My Dear Friend: — 

Our excellent friend, Governor Porter, handed me your very interesting favor of the 
29th ult, Please to accept my most heartfelt sympathy in every matter, both public and 
private, that distresses or disturbs your repose. You must ever bear in mind that trials 
and difficulties are a tax that eminence must always pay. 1 regret that mv time will not 
permit me the happiness 1 desire, of communing with you at length. This 1 must defer 
until we enjoy the happiness of a meeting, which I hope will be soon. 

Accept my thanks for your kind present of the animals. Mv friend, Governor Porter , 
will take charge of them, and forward them to me. The specimens of wool are beautiful. 

Accept the assurauces of my deep regard, and that I am, ever faithfully, 



Co mc J. D. Elliott. 


West Chester, Pa., Oct. 20th, 1843. 
Hon*. David Henshaw, Secretary of the Xavy. 

Sir: — Your communication, dated the 19th instant, informing me that 
the President of the IT, States has thought proper to remit the remaining 
period of my suspension, and to restore me to the public service, with 
vour direction to consider nryself as waiting orders, has been received. 
In return, I tender to the President and yourself my acknowledgments 
as well for what I deem an act of Executive justice, as for the gratifying 
manner in which it has been communicated by an old and valued friend; 
and allow me here to say. that whenever I shall receive orders from the 
Department, whether on shore or afloat, I shall be ready to obey the call 
of duty. 

I am, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 


I have thus presented, in rapid detail, the striking events of my life. 
They have been varied, — marked, too, by much of undeserved wrong, 
and cruel injustice. But I find not fault with my country! The injuries 
which I have received were directed against me by those, who were un- 
der the influence of passions which are a reproach with the high minded 
and honorable. But although my unrelenting enemies have had their re- 
ward, I have not been without mine. In seasons of the greatest depres- 
sion and gloom, my breast was cheered by evidences of unabated regard 
and lively sympathy on the part of those, whose notice is an honor (o any 
man. Justice, too, has been done me by m} r country; and for that coun- 
try and her glory, my heart beats with all its first fervor of affection; — 
as for its honor and defence, the same sword which has oft been un- 
sheathed in the conflicts with her enemies, and which has never been 
tarnished, is ready to be grasped, when it may be needed, never to be sur- 
rendered but with life! 

Since my restoration to rank, I have been honored with the congratu- 
lations of my fellow citizens throughout the nation; and for such evi- 
dences of interest as I have received, I would almost be willing to un- 
dergo still more oppression. Yet even amid all this exhibition of sym- 
pathy, this almost universal acknowledgment of the justice which my 
country has rendered me, my foes, through mortification, have raised 
their croakings, and in certain sections of the land, have given me a shot 
in a few venal prints ! I cannot pit}' them : for in the exercise of com- 
miseration, the object to which it is extended must have some quality to 
claim it. They have none, — not one redeeming trait in their vile com- 
positions. Nothing is left for them but unmitigated contempt, and I as- 
sure them they have it to the full — in pressed measure and running over ! 

I now have finished my task, which the obligations of gratitude im- 
posed upon me. I do most sincerely thank you for your patience, — from 
mv inmost soul, I thank you for all you have done to your associate of 
childhood — to the wayward boy of Washington county ; and, above all, 
for what you have done to a dear mother, who long has gone to her rest ! 
I thank you, too, for your friendship to me throughout my life, — for your 


unabated interest in my fortune, through good report and evil report. 
Heaven bless you for all your sympathy, for your kind solicitvde ; and 
may you and jours know less of trials and wrongs than it ,v t c been my 
lot to know. To all, I would express the best wishes of their sailor com- 
panion for happiness here, and in the world to which the generous and 
good are exalted, by the Great Captain of Eternal Glory and Unfading 
Honor ! 


Page 2 — Line 3. 
By referring to Burnett's "letters relating- to the early settlement of the J\'orth West' 
em Territory, the particulars of my father's death will be found to be narrattd. They 
are as follows : 

" The hostility of the Indians was manifested, as soon as the .Miami settlements began. 
Mr. Filson, one of the surveyors of Judge Symmes, was killed early in 1789, soon alter 
the first lodgment at this place, and before the town was laid out. Major Mills, an in- 
telligent, enterprisiug emigrant, from New Jersey, was wounded about the same time. 
In 1794, Col. Robert Elliott, contractor for supplying the United Stales' army, while 
travelling with Ids servant from Fort Washington to Fort Ham 1 on, was way-laid by the 
Indians, and killed. His servant escaped unhurt, and brought in the horse rode by the 
contractor, at the lime he was^ shot. The Colonel, being somewhat advanced in life 
wore a wig. The savage who shot him, iu haste to take his scalp, drew his knife, and 
seized him by the hair. To his astonishment, the scalp came off at the first touch. The 
wretch exclaimed in broken English, '■'dam lie!" In a few moments the surprise of the 
party was over, and they made themselves merry at the expense of their comrade,* 
When the servant returned with the information of the disaster, a party went out 
to the ground, for the purpose of burying the remains of the colonel. While they were 
depositing the body iu a coffin, taken out for the purpose, the Indians attacked them, — 
killed the servant who was riding the same horse from which his master had been shot, 
and drove off the rest of the party. They, however, soon returned, and recovered the 
body, which they brought in, together with that of the servant, and buried them side by 
side, in the Presbyterian cemetery. Since then, Captain Elliott, of the navy, son of the 
colonel, has erected over his remains, a neat monument with suitable inscriptions. 

The communication of these facts, we understand, was brought about by the circum- 
stance of one of the Indians at the Greenville treaty, having in his possession the pocket 
book of Colonel Elliott, containing papers and a lock of hair. The book and papers 
were recognized by one of the American officers as those of Colonel Elliott. The officer 
purchased them from the Indian, and subsequently handed them over to the Colonel's 
son, now Commodore Elliott, who still retains them as a memento of his father." 

The town of Cincinnati encroaching upon the original grave, my deceased friend, 
General Harrison wrote me that he had caused the remains of my father, and his faith- 
ful servant to be disinterred, and placed in another grave, with those of .Major Zeigler, 
I had inscribed upon my father's tomb. — "In memory of the late Col. Robert Elliott, 
who fell by the hands of a savage, in the year '94, while engaged iu the service of his 
country. Placed by his son, Commodore Jesse D. Elliott, U. S. X." 1 directed a space 
to be left open upon the tomb for such inscription as the friends of Major Zeigler might 
wish to put there! but they not having had anything inscribed, 1 concluded to have a 
word in memory of my father's faithful and tried servant, Damon, and accordingly have 
had eng raved upon it, "Damon and Fidelity." Many of you, my friends, may still re. 
collect that good old servant when he lived in this town. 

While at Paris, in '35, curiosity led me, with my young son, to "Pcre la Chase" the 
Cemetery of Paris. It was on the day, when all the connexions of the departed, visited 
the tombs to decorate them with flowers, &cc. An immense concourse was assembled. 
I was struck with the beauty of a tomb over the remains of a Field Marshal, and returning 
from there, 1 passed through a street, a large portion of which, was appropriated as tomb- 
stone establishments. Alone of the doors 1 was attracted by a miniature tombstone, such a 
one as I had just left in the cemetery, and as it was portable, purchased it with an in- 
scription to be placed thereon. When 1 returned to pay for it, the man observed to me, 
that it was singular 1 should have selected him to prepare the tomb tor my father, when 
he had executed that which had been placed over the body of Lafayette, the friend of 
American liberty. He went to his desk, and exhibited to me the paper, being the origi. 

•The Indians who killed Colonel Elliott, communicated these facts to some of the 
officers, at the treaty of Greenville, in 1795. They described the manner in which they 
amused themselves with the wig, after the surprise was over, 


nad, furnished by O. \V: Lafayette, which contains the inscriptions placed thereon. 1 
asked for a small corner of it only, when he kindly handed the whole of the plan, and 
inscriptions. Believing that it will be of no common interest with my countrymen, 1 
here give the different inscriptions upon the several sides of the tomb of this noble and 
generous friend of America, in her war of Independence. 

M. T. P. R. Y. G. D. 

Lieutenant General, membre de la chambre d' et Deputes, 
ne le 6 Septembre, 1757, 
a Chavaniac des de la haute Loire, 
Marie le 11 Avril, 1774, 
a M. A. F. de Xoailles. 
decede le 20 Mai, 1834. 
a Paris — Dep de la Seine. 

M. A. F. 

de Xoailles, 

nee' a Paris le XI Xoverabre, 


mariee le xi Avril, MDCCLXXIV. 


M. T. P. R. Y. G. D. 


decedee a Paris le xxvi Decembre, 


Requiescat in pace. 

M. T. P. R. Y. G. D. 


Lieutenant General, membre de la chambre d' et Deputes, 

ne a Chavaniac, haute Loire, 

le vi Septembre, MDCCLVTI. 

marie le xi Aviril, MDCCLXXIV, 


M. A. F. de Xoailles, 

decede a Paris le 20 Mai, 


Requiescat in pace. 

Page 2— Line 19. 
At Syracuse, in 1804, 1 witnessed an act of consummate courage, on the part of Captain 
J. Barron. A portion of the crew of the Essex frigate, to which I was attached, and 
he in command, were on liberty. They became engaged in a fracas with the crew of 
a French privateer, who attacked our men with knives, wounding a number of them. 
Apprehensive that the wounds would prove mortal, it became necessary to detain the 
privateer until the extent of the injuries should be ascertained, accordingly, after the 
gates had been closed, Captain Barron landed in his gig, whilst I was his aid, and going 
to the officer of the guard, demanded immediate admission into the town. This, he 
did in defiance of the officer and his guard, and effected his purpose in having the Tessel 
detained by the authorities. 

Note A. 
I will relate one which occurred, and in which I was a party. After hating delivered 
mv despatches, I was advised by Mr. Pinckney to take lodgings at Hatchell's Hotel, cor- 
ner of Piccadillv, Dover, with the view of being near his residence, which then was at 
Great Cumberland Place. On arriving at a late hour at my new lodgings, I went into the 
dinin°- room, where 1 was presented with a bill of fare. Such a paper was something 
new to a republican sailor of that day; and to the question of the servant, what I would 
have I replied, without coraprehen ling the proper use of his card, "Something to eat." 
The good fellow, pitying my American simplicity, without further questioning, prepared 
me a very palatable supper. Whilst engaged with it, a person, having the appearance of 
a o-entleman, took his seat near me, and ordered some refreshment. My uniform some- 


they had better let that alone," &c. He lavished then all manner of abuse against the 
Yankees, and their country. My blood began to warm, and 1 drew my card, handed it 
to him, and observed, " Sir, you are now addressing a Yankee, as you call us, and an offi- 
cer of the frigate in the Downs. There's my card." He made no signs of his apolo- 
gizing, or handing me his card. I stept to the person in waiting, and observed, " Sir, 
you put a scoundrel, instead of a gentleman, in the box with me, — he has grossly insulted 
me. There's my card; give it to him, and tell him I demand his." But by ihis time 
the fellow had slipped out, and I never heard of him afterwards. Mr. Pinckney, hear- 
ing of the fracas, advised that I should appear in my plain dress and avoid the multitude, 
otherwise I would be subjected to many such insults. 1 followed his counsel, and took 
such apartments as separated me from the crowd. 

JVote B. 
The following was the official report to the Secretarv of the Xaw: 

Black Rock, October 9, 1812. 
Sir: — I have the honor to inform you that on the morning of the Stb instant, two Bri- 
tish vessels, which I was informed were his Britannic majesty's brig Detroit, late the 
United States brig Adams, and the brig Hunter, mounting 14 guns, but which afterwards 
proved to he the brig Caledonia, both said to be well armed and manned, came down the 
lake and anchored under the protection of Fort Erie. Having been on the lines for some 
time, and in a measure inactively employed, I determined to make an attack, and if pos- 
sible to get possession of them. A strong inducement to this attempt arose from the 
consideration, that with these two vessels and those which I have purchased and am tilting 
out, I should be enabled to meet the remainder of the British force on the upper lakes, 
and save an incalculable expense and labor to the government. On the morning ot their 
arrival, I heard that our seamen were but a short distance from this place, and immedi- 
ately despatched an express to the officers, directing them to use all possible despatch in 
getting their men to this place, as I had an important service to perform. On their arri- 
val, which was about 12 o'clock, I discovered that they had only 20 pistols, and neither 
cutlasses nor battle-axes. But on application to Generals Smyth and Hall, of the regu- 
lars and militia, I was supplied with a few arms, and General Smyth was so good, on my 
request, as immediately to detach 50 men from the regulars, armed with muskets. 

By 4 o'clock in the afternoon, I had my men selected and stationed in two boats, which 
I had previously prepared for the purpose. With these boats, 50 men in each, and under 
circumstances very disadvantageous, my men having scarcely had time to refresh them- 
selves after a fatiguing march of 500 miles, I put off from the mouth of Buffalo creek at 
1 o'clock the following morning, and at 3 I was alongside the vessels. In less than 10 
minutes I had the prisoners all secured, the topsails sheeted home, and the vessels under 
way. Unfortunately, the wind was not sufficiently strong to get us up a rapid current 
Into the lake, where I had understood another armed vessel lay at anchor, and 1 was ob- 
liged to run down the river, by the forts, under a heavy fire of round, grape and canister, 
from a number of pieces of heavy ordnance, and several pieces of flying artillery, and 
compelled to anchor at a distance of about 400 yards from their two batteries. After the 
discharge of the first gun from the flying arlilleiy, I hailed the shore, and observed to the 
officer, that if another gun was fired, 1 would bring the prisoners on deck and expose 
them to the same fate we would all share; but, notwithstanding, they disregarded the 
caution, and continued a constant and destructive fire. One single moment's reflection 
determined me not to commit an act that would subject me to the imputation of barbarity. 
The Caledonia had been beached, in as safe a position as the circumstances would admit 
of, under one of our batteries at Black Rock. 1 now brought all the guns of the Detroit 
on one side, next the enemy, stationed the men at them, and directed a fire which was 
continued as long as our ammunition lasted and circumstances permitted. During the 
contest, I endeavoured to get the Detroit on our side, by sending a line, there being no 
■wind, on shore, with all the line 1 could muster; but the current being so strong that the 
boat could not reach the shore. I then hailed our shore, and requested that warps should 
be made fast on land and sent on board; the attempt to all which again proved useless. 
As the fire was such as would, in all probability, sink the vessel in a short time, 1 deter- 
mined to drift down the river, out of the reach of the batteries, and make a stand against 
the flying artillery. 1 accordingly cut the cable, made sail with very light airs, and at 
that instant discovered that the pilot had abandoned me. I dropped astern for about ten 
minutes, when 1 was brought up on our shore, upon Squaw Island, got the boarding boat 
readv, had the prisoners put in and sent on shore, with directions for the offieer to return 
for me and what property we could get from the brig. He did not return, owing to the 
difficulty of the boat's getting on shore. Discovering a skiff under the counter, 1 went 
on shore to bring the boat off! I asked for protection to the brig, of Lieutenant Colonel 
Scotl, who readily gave it. At this moment I discovered a boat, with about 40 soldiers, 


from the British side, making for the brig. They got on board, but were soon compelled 
to abandon her, with the loss of nearly all their crew. During the whole of this morn- 
ing, both sides of the river kept up alternately a continual fire on the brig, and so much 
injured her that it was impossible to have floated her. Before 1 left her, she had several 
shot of large size in her bends, her sails in ribbons, and ringing all cut to pieces. 

To my officers and men 1 feel under great obligation; to Captain Towson, and Lieute- 
nant Roach, of the 2d regiment of artillery, Ensign 1'ressman, of the infantry, Captain 
(Jhapin, Mr. John M'Comb, Messrs. John Town, Thomas Dain, Peter Overstock, and 
James Sloan, resident gentlemen of Buffalo, for their soldier and sailor like conduct. In 
a word, sir, every man fought as if with their hearts animated only by the interest and 
honor of their country. 

The prisoners I have turned over to the military. The Detroit mounted 6 six-pound 
long guns, had a commanding lieutenant of marines, a boatswain and gunner, and 56 men, 
about 30 American prisoners on board, muskets, pistols, cutlasses, and battle-axes. In 
boarding her I lost one man, had one officer wounded, Mr. John C. Cummings, acting 
midshipman — a bayonet through the leg; his conduct was correct, and deserves the notice 
of the department. The Caledonia mounted two small guns, blunderbusses, pistols, mus- 
kets, cutlasses, and boarding pikes, 12 men, including officers, — 10 prisoners on board. 
The boat boarding her was commanded by sailing-master Ceorge Watts, who performed 
his duty in a masterly style. But one man killed, and four wounded badly, I am afraid 
mortally. I enclose you a list of the officers and men engaged in the enterprise, and also 
a view of the lake and river in the different situations of the attack. In a day or two, I 
shall forward the names of the prisoners. The Caledonia belongs to the N. W. Com- 
pany, loaded with furs, worth, I understand, §200,000. 

I have the honor to be yours, &.c. 

The Hon. Paul Hamilton, Secretary U. S. Navy. 

[Extract from the Port Folio, of December, 1814.] 
" Lieutenant Elliott knew the vast importance of the command of the Lakes in our 
■war against Canada, and the difficulty and the delay which would attend the building of 
the vessels, and the expense. He had, in pursuance of his orders, purchased some ves- 
sels, but was embarrassed with the difficulty of getting them tip the Niagara, and into the 
Lake; and he resolved to obtain them ready made. After revolving all the obstacles, he 
formed the heroic resolution of capturing two British brigs of war that lay under the pro- 
tection of the cannon of Fort Erie, (which fortress we took from them since that period.) 
Elliott accordingly provided two boats, with fifty men in each, and at one o'clock in the 
morning he came alongside of the Detroit and the Caledonia, lying under the protection 
of the Fort. He boarded, sword in hand, the two vessels of war, and carried them in 
ten minutes. He made one hundred and thirty prisoners, with their officers, and released 
forty of his own countrymen from captivity. They belonged to the 4lh U. S. regiment. 
Elliott entered the first man on boarding, and opposed three of the euemy with no other 
weapon than bis cullass. " 

Congress passed the following resolve: "That the President of the United States be, 
and be is hereby authorized to have distributed, as prize money, to lieutenant Elliott, 
his officers and c impanions, or to their widows and children, twelve thousand dollars, for 
the capture and destruction of the British brig Detroit;" and also, " Resolved, that the 
President of the United States be, and he is hereby requested to present to Lieutenant 
Elliott, of the Navy of the United States, an elegant sword, with suitable emblems and 
devices, in testimony of the just sense entertained by Congress of his gallantry and good 
conduct in boarding and capturing the British brigs Detroit and Caledonia, while an- 
chored under the protection of Fort Erie." 

Page 4 — Line 8. 
There was a Major Noon in the America's army, who, before the war, had been a ped- 
lar. 1 had occasion, in company with him and General P. B. Porter, to visit Lewistown. 
On our wav, we had to pass the picket guard at Tonawanda, where, a short time pre- 
vious, a sentinel had been shot on his post, by an Indian from the British side, which had 
the effect to scare off the whole company of militia, who fled to Lewistown. Another 
company was sent up, and such was their dread of the station, that they feared the move- 
ment of a squirrel in the branches, or the rustling of the leaves. Well, as we drew near 
the post, we began to think of the countersign, which had not arrived at Black Rock 
when we left. However, Major Noon at once nobly volunteered to approach and make 
terms with the sentinel. As he advanced, the sentinel cried out, " Who comes there?" 
The Major, with much confidence anil dignity, replied, "A friend!" But this did not 
appear satisfactory to Mr. Sentinel, who, doubtless, began to think of straggling Indians, 






and he shouted at the top of his lungs, " Advance and give the countersign, or I'll shoot 
you, by God!" at the same time dropping and cocking his gun. The Major, seeing the 
fix he was in, and having no other resort, cried out, " For Christ's sake, sentinel, don't 
shoot, for its Darby Noam, the pedlar!" affording infinite amusement for General Porter 
and myself, who stood at a distance. 

Note C. 
[copt.] Madison, New Jehset, March 22, 1843. 

Deak Sir: — In reply to your letter of the 8th inst., I state that immediately after the 
debarkation of the troops destined to attack York, Upper Canada, in the spring of 1813, 
you resumed the command of the U. S. schooner Conquest. This vessel, under your 
direction, was worked to windward, against a strong wind, and brought to anchor abreast 
of the flag-staff and batteries, within short range; and 1 have every reason to believe ren- 
dered very efficient service on that occasion. 

During the action the fire on both sides was hot and incessant, and resulted in the loss, 
on board the Conquest, of Midshipman Hatfield, killed, and one man wounded. 

Previous to the attack on the forts, Mr. Benjamin Querean, a sailmaker in the service, 
and a volunteer on board that vessel, was mortally wounded in one of the boats, while 
gallantly forcing his way to the shore, ahead of the troops, under a galling fire from the 

Nearly thirty years have rolled by since these events transpired, and you have deserv- 
edly attained the highest rank in the service, whilst 1 most uudesei~vedly remain in one 
of the lowest. 

With sentiments of true regard, 

I remain, very respectfully, 

F. MALLOBY, Master U. S. N. 
To Com. J. D. Elliott, U. S. N. 

A true copy of the original on file in this Department. 

[Signed] A. THO. SMITH, Chief Clerk. 

Navy Department, SI March, 1843. 

Page 6 — Id paragraph from bottom. 

Annexed is given the Diagram recently discovered among the archives of the Navy De- 
partment, and certified to be a correct copy by the Clerk of Kecords, &c. It will be 
seen that it presents the relative positions of the respective vessels, as sworn to by all the 
officers before the Court of Inquiry,— as described by Cooper in his Naval History, — and 
invariably insisted upon by myself. It is a faithful transcript from the original, spread 
before the Court of 1815, and supplies an irrefutable evidence of the truth of the account 
always given by others and myself, engaged on the memorable occasion. At length, after 
a series of unmitigated persecutions and vile slanders, for nearly thirty years, the evi- 
dence has been brought to light, and my traducers are overwhelmed by its irresistible 
force and conclusiveness! 

The next Diagram is that attempted to be palmed upon the world by T. Burgess, of 
Rhode Island, and which has all the marks of being the work of a cunning pettifogger of 
a Justice's Court, prepared to undertake any matter, for a consideratioti, however dirty 
or vile. Its egregiously stupid arrangement shows its utter variance with the facts as 
given by all the witnesses e\amined, and if the chart of the above amiable gentleman to 
Heaven, is not more faithfully laid down, he will assuredly miss the path which alone 
leads to immortal rewards! 

Note D. 

Mr. Tatem, Master's Mate on board the Niagara, was sworn. 

Q. By the Judge Advocate — Did Captain Elliott do all in his power to close in with 
the Lawrence when she was overpowered by the enemy's vessels firing into her? 

A. He did. 

Q. Did he get up in time to afford her relief? 

A. We were never much out of the way. We were immediately under the Caledo- 
nia's stern, and the Lawrence about the length of the Caledonia ahead of the latter. The 
three brigs were in compact line. 

Q. Was Capt. Elliott's conduct during the action, such as merited approbation? 

A. I thought at the time no man could display more zeal, gallantry and good conduct 
than he did. 

Q. Did you observe any appearance of an intention on his part to withdraw from the 
enemy, when the Lawrence was disabled? 

he British fleet? 

themselves within 
rlers of a mile off, 

• her stern. 

Japt. Pern - , when 

n express his high 
are of the glory of 


rence, when Capt. 

-nerav when Capt. 

re supposed there 
t of the Lawrence' 
part, I should not. 

ted tome, "that on 
persou, to mention 
as a brave, honor- 
his conduct to be 
sure of its glorious 
ther stated"that he 
modore Elliott for 
ided with the ero- 
,is superior in any 

on board the Nia- 
*as left to call on 
■ not, I cannot sav, 

all three went on 
len determined to 
: Tan. 

y signal, and were 
med us the enemy 
t ahead, and every 
ind changed in our 
Perry's request, I 

himself, by which 
rence to lead and 
»rlotte, and so on. 
and very little da- 
ime pretty general 
?aviest part" of the 
nd ahead, to draw 
e and make more 
ar up and let him 
better opportunity 
' the Lawrence, a 
Jr stern, and came 
ved, " the damned 
Capt. Elliott ob- 
," or words to that 
I, kc, when Capt. 

d observed to me, 
ment now became 


OS © *t ^i 




1 *ll 


^|o .§ 
















he British fleet? 

themselves within 
rlers of a mile off, 

• her stern. 

Japt. Perry, when 

n express his high 
are of the glory of 

rence, when Capt. 

3nemy when Capt. 

ve supposed there 
f of the Lawrence' 
part, I should not. 

ted tome, "that on 
person, to mention 
as a brave, honor- 
his conduct to be 
sure of its glorious 
ther stated that he 
modore Elliott for 
ided with the em. 
,ia superior in any 




on board the Nia- 
.vas left to call on 
' not, I cannot say, 
all three went on 
len determined to 
: van. 

y signal, and were 
med us the enemy 
t ahead, and every 
ind changed in our 
Perry's request, I 
himself, by which 
rence to lead and 
irlotte, and so on. 
and very little da- 
ime pretty general 
waviest part of the 
nd ahead, to draw 
e and make more 
•ar up and let him 
better opportunity 
• the Lawrence, a 
ur stern, and came 
ved, " the damned 
Capt. Elliott ob- 
," or words to that 
I, etc., when Capt. 

d observed to me, 
ment now became 

Q 3- 




/ 4£ 


! / 


A. No; Car from it. 

Q. Did the Niagara, at any time during the action, make off from the British fleet? 

A. No. 

Q. Did the Lawrence and Caledonia, at any time, bear up, and place themselves within 
musket shot distance from the enemy, leaving the Niagara three quarters of a mile off, 
firing at the enemy's smaller vessels' 

A. No; until we passed the Caledonia, we were immediately under her stern. 

Q. By Capt. Elliott — What conversation passed between me and Capt. Perry, when 
I returned on board the Niagara? 

A. 1 saw Capt. Perry shake hands with Capt. Elliott, and heard him express his high 
satisfaction at Capt. Elliott's conduct, and attribute to him a large share of the glory of 
the day. 

Q. How near was Capt. Elliott to the Lawrence when passing her' 

A. He took very little more than room enough to pass to the windward. 

Q. Was the Niagara three quarters of a mile on the bow of the Lawrence, when Capt. 
Perry came on board ? 

A. No; 1 should suppose not more than 60 or 70 yards, if that. 

Q. Was not the helm up, and the Niagara bearing down on the enemy when Capt. 
Perry came on board ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Had you been an officer on board the Lawrence, would you have supposed there 
was any deficiency in the conduct of Capt. Elliott in coming to the relief of the Lawrence' 

A. No one seeing what was going on could suppose so — for my own part, I should not. 

Note. — In addition to the above conclusive testimony, a friend has stated to roe, "that on 
the 19th day of December, 1843, he was authorized by Mr. Tatem, in person, to mention 
that he had long known Commodore Elliott, and always regarded him as a brave, honor- 
able, and skilful officer, — that in the Battle of Lake Erie he noticed his conduct to be 
that of a bold and daring soldier, and that, in his opinion, a great measure of its glorious 
result is to be ascribed to his superior judgment and emprize. He further stated that he 
heard Commodore Perry declare that he was much indebted to Commodore Elliott for 
the triumphant result of that renowned conflict. Mr. Tatem concluded with the em- 
phatic declaration that, in his opinion, Commodore Elliott had not his superior in any 
Navy, for bravery or skill in his profession." 


On the evening of the 9th Sept. 1S15, Capt. Oliver H. Perry called on board the Nia- 
gara, to see Capt. Elliott and myself; we not being on board, word was left to call on 
board the Lawrence on our return; whether we went immediately or not, I cannot say, 
as it was known he was on shore; it is my impression we waited, and all three went on 
board the Lawrence together, where we spent the evening. It was then determined to 
attack the enemy next day at their anchorage, Capt. Elliott to lead the van. 

Early on the morning of the 10th, the vessels were short apeak by signal, and were 
preparing to get under weigh, when a signal from the Lawrence informed us the enemy 
were in sight to windward. The wind being very light, boats were got ahead, and every 
exertion made to get the fleet out, which we succeeded in, when the wind changed in our 
favor, though very light. We were close together, when, by Capt. Perry's request, I 
pointed out the different ships; he determined to attack the heavy ship himself, by which 
the arrangements of the previous evening were done away. The Lawrence to lead and 
attack the Detroit; the Caledonia, the Hunter; the Niagara, the Charlotte, and so on. 
The enemy opened the fire from the Detroit at a very great distance, and very little da- 
mage was done on either side for some time; at length the battle became pretty general 
with the three leading vessels. Seeing the Lawrence bearing the heaviest part of the 
battle, (though the Ariel and Porcupine were a little to windward and ahead, to draw 
part of the enemy's fire off,) Capt. Elliott determined to break the line and make more 
sail, and ran close to the Caledonia, and requested Mr. Turner to bear up and let him 
pass to the assistance of the Lawrence, which he did. We had now a better opportunity 
with the Charlotte, and continued a heavy fire on her. Coming near the Lawrence, a 
boat was discovered coming off from her, which soon passed under our stern, and came 
to our larboard gangway, when Capt. Perry came on board, and observed, " the damned 
gunboats have ruined me, and I am afraid they have lost me the day." Capt. Elliott ob- 
served, "take charge of my battery, and I'll bring them up and save it," or words to that 
effect. Something was then asked about the crew being much injured, &c, when Capt. 
Elliott immediately departed. 

Capt. Perry then directed the vessel laid close to the large ship, and observed to me, 
that she was much injured, and would not give her up. The engagement now became 


very warm, the gunboats getting up very fast; the smoke clearing a little away, the Lady 
Prevosl was seen dead ahead ot' us: Capt. Perry directed her decks cleared by the ma- 
rines, which was soon done, and her colors struck, or shot away. Bv this time some of 
the gunboats were up, particularly the one Capi. Elliott was on board of, raking the large 
ship, which soon struck her colors, ab well as the Charlotte and others. 

When Capt. Elliott came on board, Capt. Perry shook him by the hand, and observed, 
"1 owe this to you." Indeed, 1 thought he paid him a very high compliment. Lieut. 
Smith, nor no other person, ever mentioned to me that thev heard what was passing at 
the time between them, when Capt. Perry came on board, as he was on the opposite side 
at his quarters. 

Detroit, Nov. 7, ISIS. 

Sworn to before Ceo. M'Dougall, Notary Public, Michigan Territory, Nov. 7, 1818. 

Erie, Nov. 1, 1813. 
Sin:— To my astonishment and surprise, on my arrival at this place, 1 discovered some 
malicious persons had, with uncommon industry, circulated a report prejudicial to the 
character of our mutual friend, Captain Elliott. Now, sir, 1 was on board the Niagara 
with Captain Elliott, in the character of a marine officer, and during the action 1 do most 
solemnly declare his conduct to have been such as went to establish him in my confidence 
as a brave, correct and humane man; and it is with no small degree of satisfaction I do 
assure you that it was his vessel, his conduct and exertions, that at this moment crown 
our country with the victory it lias obtained. 1 am sure vim will join in opinion with me, 
that the above statement is hut a taint sketch, when I give you the words of Capt. Perry 
when he came on board. He observed that he believed the day was lost, as two-thirds 
of his men were either killed or wounded, and his \essel could give no further assistance. 
"No!" said Elliott, "1 can \ et save it!" " I wish to God you would," said Perry. 
" Take charge of my battery w Idle 1 bring the gunboats in close action, and the day w ill 
yet be ours." Alter the action was over, and Captain Elliott came on board, Captain 
Perry ran and caught hold of his hand, saying, "1 owe all this to your exertions; it has 
given us the day." 1 also enclose joua paper, containing Captain Perry's letter to Cap- 
tain Elliott, in which he gives him much credit for heating off the Royal Charlotte, Sec. 

Believe me to be, be 


Capt. 2d Regt. U. S. In. 
Maj. Jamts S. Sveamxge3t. 

Mr. Cutoiixos, acting Midshipman on board the Niagara, was sworn. 

Q By the Court — Did Capt. Elliott do all in his power to gain a near position to the 
enemy 1 

A. Yes; in my opinion, every thing that he could do. 

Q. Do you believe Capt. Elliott did every tiling he ought to have done in the action? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Did the Niagara attempt to make off from the enemy's fleet during the action? 

A. No. 

Q. Did the enemy's ship Queen Charlotte attempt to make off from the Niagara? 

A. Yes; the Queen Charlotte attempted to get away from us, aad in so doing run foal 
of the Detroit. This was before Capt. Elliott left the Niagara to go on board the gun- 

Q. Where was the Niagara when Capt. Perry came on board of her' and was the Law- 
rence at 'hat time three-quarters of a mile nearer the enemv than the Niagara? 

A. The Niagara was lying alongside the enemy's ships Queen Charlotte and Detroit. 
1 think she was not more than two cables length from them. I think we were nearer the 
enemy than the Lawrence. 

Q. When we passed the Lawrence how near were we to her? 

A. I was not looking at her, but the first time I saw her, after we passed her, she was 
not more than a quarter of a mile off. 

Q. Did the Lawrence and Caledonia, at any time during the action, bear up for the 
enemy, leaving the Niagara standing on to windward' 

A. No; not that 1 saw. 

Q. Did Capt. Elliott order the Caledonia out of the line at any period of the action? 

A. Yes; an hour before Capt. Perry came ou board. 

W Asni^RTox, November 22d, 1818. 
Sir: — Since my arrival at this place, 1 have understood that assertions have been made 
calculated to injure you as an officer, which, as far as I am capable of judging, are false. 


From the station that I had in the maintop, [ could not see the rest of the squadron ahead, 
but I heard you, some time before Capt. Perry came on hoard, order the Caledonia out 
of the way, that you could shoot ahead. We were then engaged with the Queen Char- 
lotte and Lady Prevost; the latter vessel attempted to cross our bow; you called boarders 
away, which prevented her. On Capt. Perry coming nn board, he had some conversation 
with you, which 1 could not hear, but Lieut, and Mid. Smiths slated to me that they 
heard Capt. Perry say to you that the da) was lost. You answered that you thought not; 
that you would bring the small vessels into aetinn; which he agreed to. You then left 
the ship. Shortly after, 1 was wounded, and saw no mure of the action. All the officers 
of our squadron, and the British, thai I saw, spoke in the highest terms of the manner 
you conducted your brig. Your conduct on the night of the 8lh October would convince 
any man that would be convinced, that no opportunity would Ik- passed over, or any ex- 
ertions spared bv you, to serve your country. As to your endeavouring to prejudice the 
officers against Capt. Perry, alter the action, I never beard any thing of it while on the 

I have the honor to-be, 

With the greatest respect and esteem, 

JOHN L. CUMM1NGS, Lieut. U. S. N. 
Capt. Jesse D. Elliott. 

Note.— The name of Cummings recals to mind one of the noblest spirits that the na- 
tion ever possessed. When I first met him, a mere lad, on the Lakes, in a subordinate 
station, 1 was at once struck with his manly bearing and anient enlerprize; and the im- 
pression then received, was every day confirmed. He was in the expedition against the 
Detroit and Caledonia, and after be had leaped on the deck of the former, was transfixed 
through the thigh with the bayonet of a soldier. He relieved himself promptly from bis 
uncomfortable confinement by drawing a pistol from his belt, and shooting the fellow down. 
His gallantry — for be was gallant, though only a boy — induced me to exert myself to pro- 
cure bun a Midshipman's warrant; and 1 remember that, when announcing my success, 
he could not believe it, until receiving the appointment, the fine fellow actually shed 
tears of joy! Having drawn his prize money, which was something considerable, he 
took it all to a friend, and requested that it might be secured in the best possible manner. 
Several stocks or securities were mentioned, as yielding choice advantages to him, when 
he remarked, "I don't care, make it safe — I give one-hall to my mother." This filial 
piety was one of the ruling principles of bis life. His frequent requests for active duty 
to the Navy Department, drew the attention of the Secretary, who asked him if he ex- 
pected to monopolize the serviee, and give no others a chance? He hesitated in his an- 
swer, and the Secretary, noticing his confusion, kindly urged him frankly to say why it 
was that he never took any relaxation. "Sir," said he, " I wish to aid my mother and 
sisters as much as 1 can by my pay. When 1 am on shore, lam obliged to spend more 
money than 1 wish, and to be more expensive in my dress than when alloat, receiving full 
pay, and out of the temptation of extravagance!" 

On one occasion, when dining with General Bloomfield, in Burlington, N. J , he men 
tinned, after dinner, that an old ladyiti the town was very anxious to see me, ami if agree- 
able, he would accompany me to her house, 1 accordingly was takeii bv my friend to 
the widowed mother of young Cummings, who was a Quakeress, very infirm, and hard 
of hearing. The General had two or three times to repeat my name before she under- 
stood it, when at last she exclaimed, " Why thou art the man that took mv son Johnny 
to fight!" 1 told her that 1 did not do so, but that 1 found him fighting like a hero anil 
only kept him at the work, as a good friend. " Well, such 1 believe thou art!" answered 
the good lady. 

From the Evening Post of 2lst JMarch. 

As you published a notice of a diagram of the LJallle of Lake Erie having been tound 
in the Navy Department at Washington, not having seen the diagram, ot course 1 cannot 
say by whom it was executed, but 1 think it probable thai it is similar to one obtained 
through my means. Be that as it may, 1 beg you will allow me to make a few observa- 
tions, vfcc. in your paper, touching the subject; which seems to me necessary, in justice 
to Com. Perry, and also Com. Elliott. 

Immediately after the glorious victory gained by Com. Perry and bis gallant crew on 
Lake Erie, 1, in connection with the then distinguished engravers, Messrs. Murray Pair- 
man &c Co , of Philadelphia, despatched one ot the best artists in our country to Lake 
Erie, ( where the victorious and vanquished fieets then lay,) for the express purpose of 
making two correct views or diagrams of the action. .\ir. Kearney, the artist employed 
with the assistance of the American and British officers, succeeded in procuring two "cor- 



rect views of the battle." When the'artist returned and had completed the drawings, it 
being very desirable that Com. Perry should see them and make corrections, if necessary, 
previous to putting them into the hands of the engravers, 1 went on to Newport, It. 1., 
and there met Commodore Perry immediately on his return from the Lake, after the ac- 
tion. After the Commodore had given the drawings a careful examination, he pronounced 
them faithful diagrams, kc. of the battle. 1 remained at Newport several days; this 
gave me frequent opportunities of holding conversations with the Commodore in relation 
to the battle, kc. Some remarks having been made in the papers of the day, respecting 
the Niagara, commanded by Lieutenant or Captain Elliott, not coming into action at the 
time of the others, 1 took an opportunity to say to Commodore Perry, "Do you think 
any blame is to be attached to the commander of the Niagara for not bringing her into the 
action sooner?" He promptly replied — " No, sir. With her position when the action 
commenced, and the wind she had to contend with, no officer could have done better than 
Elliott did." He continued — " After my ship had become disabled, and seeing from the 
course the Niagara was pursuing, that she evidently must break the enemy's line, and in 
their crippled condition victory mast perch on our banner, — at this eventful moment I 
got into my boat and made for the Niagara, and took command of her, which resulted, as 
1 anticipated, in our victory; but 1 must say, in justice to Elliott, that the result must 
have been the same had I not taken the command of the Niagara.*'* 

It must be borne in mind that litis conversation, and the examination of the drawings, 
took place a few weeks after the battle, and although a length of time has now elapsed 
since, \et I felt such an interest in the concern, that the impression is still strong on my 
mind; and I believe 1 have almost given the very words, but if not, certainly the sub- 
stance of the conversation 1 had with Commodore Perry. 

1 lake this occasion to state, that splendid engravings, from the drawings above alluded 
to, with my name attached to them as publisher, were executed. They correspond in 
size with the splendid engravings representing the captures of the British frigates Guer- 
riere and Macedonian, also published bv me. 

In commemorating the battle under consideration, I regret to say that I expended and 
sunk se'seral thousand dollars. 

Publisher of the People's Democratic Guide, &c. 
New York, 11th March, 1843. 

P. S. The splendid engravings representing the above mentioned battles, may be seen 
on the walls of many of the parlors in the United Slates. 

At the commencement of the action between the American and British fleets on Lake 
Erie, the brig Niagara was in the station which bad been assigned her, and appeared to 
behave well. When the signal was made for closer action, that vessel was near the ene- 
my's ships Detroit and Queen Charlotte, keeping up a well directed fire; and the conduct 
of Capt. Elliott in bringing the smaller vessels iulo close action, evinced the ^utmost ac- 
tivity aud bravery. 

Lt. Comdg. Schr. Tigress. 

Lieutenant Conkling commanded the vessel immediately astern of the Niagara. 

Erie, Oct. 2S, 1813. 
Sir: In answer to your note of yesterday, 1 have no hesitation in saying that the Nia- 
gara -vtis in the station assigned liev, previous to the engagement of the 10th; and it is 
ray opinion that you, sir, and every officer on board of the Niagara, made use of every 
exertion, from the different situations in which your vessel was. 

Respecllullv, sir, your ob't serv't. 

Capt. Jesse D. Elliott. 

Note. — The above letter of D. Turner, who commanded the vessel ahead of me, was 
freely and promptly given, in reply to a plain request for the facts of the case. Lieut. 
Conkling's certificate was a spontaneous communication, after the receipt of anonymous 
letters, which unjustly, in his view, attempted tolessui my claim to merit in the battle. 3 

* In the first \iew of the action, Commodore Perry is represented as passing in an open 
boat from his disabled ship, the Lawrence, to the Niagara, then under way to break the 
enemv's line, kc. In the second view, he is represented in the midst of the enemy's 
fleet, battering them from both sides, which soon decided the light in favor of the Ame- 
rican Tars. 


Page S—7th line of 2d paragraph. 

In the battle of Lake Erie, two Indian chiefs, of the Sioux tribe, were on board the 
British ship Detroit, and placed in the maintop, for the purpose, doubtless, of an advan- 
tageous position for picking off our officers with their deadly rifles. They did not, how- 
ever, remain long in that elevated station. Our shot taking cll'ect aloft, caused them to 
believe the fire of our guns was solely directed at them, and they therefore descended to 
the deck, where, too, they found the shot falling, informing Captain Barclay that the 
Americans were aiming all at them, and asking where they should go for safety, the 
Captain, fearful their show of timidity might have a bad influence upon his men, at once 
ordered them below, where they remained safely ensconced until two days after the battle. 
Inquiry was then made by some of the British officers, (prisoners,) all of whom were on 
board my vessel, about the two Indians, when it was staled, and overheard by me, they 
were yet secreted in the cable tiers of the ship. Captain Perry, being informed of this, 
ordered them to be brought on board, and asked them what they were doing there. One 
of them answered — " We come with the one-armed father, to see Yankee killed." He 
again asked them if ihey would come again, when they replied—" No, not in the big 
canoe." After a conference in regard to the disposition to he made of the Indian*, we 
concluded to send them back to the British side, that they might tell the tale themselves, 
and thus create intimidation among the rest of the tribe 

When I went on board the Detroit, the first thing that attracted my attention was a 
huge bear, which was brought for the purpose, as I afterwards learned, of slaughtering, 
and making a feast, after the Americans should be defeated. But how changed the scene; 
instead of serving as a luxury for those who had brought him, he was now licking some of 
their very blood from the deck of their own ship! 

Page 9 — Line 6. 
The Hon. Henry Clay, when the new army bill was discussed in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, January, 1813, said — " The capture of the Detroit, and the destruction of the 
Caledonia, (whether placed to our maritime or land account,) for judgment, skill, and 
courage on the part of Lieutenant (now Commodore) Elliott, has never been sur- 
passed!" See National Intelligencer, February 6, 1813, No. 1932. 

Page 11— Line 21. 
Extract of a letter from Commodore Isaac Chauncey to the Secretary of the Navy, 
dated on board the 

U. S. Ship Superior, ) 
Off Kingston, August 10th, 1S14. $ 
" I got under way at 4 o'clock in the morning of the 1st instant, and steered for the 
mouth of the Niagara. Owing to light winds, I did not arrive off there before the 5th. 
Here we intercepted one of the enemy's brigs, running over from York to Niagara with 
troops, and ran her on shore, about six miles to the westward of Fort George. I ordered 
the Sylph in, to anchor as near to the enemy as she could with safetv, and to destroy her. 
Captain Elliott run in, in a very gallant manner, to within from 300 to 500 yards of her, 
and was about anchoring, when the enemy set fite to her, and she soon after blew up." 

Note E. 
The following delectable article is extracted from "The Life of Commodore 0. H. 
Perry, by A. S. Mackenzie," for the purpose of exhibiting it as one evidence, from a 
thousand others, of the faith to be reposed in that veracious history, — so far, at least, as I 
am concerned. The letter from C im. Perry shows, at one glance, the entire truth of the 
affair of the Thames; and beyond it, no one in the wide world, and in this our day, will 
consider another remark to be necessary. Nor would one now be given, were it not that 
the integrity of history must be preserved. 

Extract from the Life of 0. H. Perry, page 318, Harper's edition, 1840: — 
" We have seen that on the fourth of October, the day preceding the Battle of the 
Thames, by agreement between General Harrison and Perry, the three gunboats, Scor- 
pion. Tigress, and Porcupine, had been left with the boats containing the baggage, and a 
guard of infantry, to await the farther movements of the army, at a point where the river 
becoming narrower, and the banks steep and thickly wooded, rendered the advance of the 
vessels perilous, by exposing their decks to the fire of the enemy, and preventing them 
from the use of their artillery. Captain Elliott had been left in command of these ves- 


sels. Instead, however, of remaining; at the post assigned him, fulfilling its duties, whe- 
ther important or unimportant, like a faithful officer, he continued to follow the army up 
the river, and in fact ascended to within three miles of the battle ground, where he took 
possession of the vessels, laden with valuable stores, which had been captured shortly be- 
fore by the army. Captain Edioit thereby not only committed the great n- ilitary fault of 
disobeying the orders of bis superior, without the occurrence of any circumstance net con- 
templated by thai superior, or other assignable moiive than caprice ami waywardness, but 
he exposed his own vessels to destruction, without the means of resistance, the baggage to 
possible capture from a marauding band of Indians, and in case of the defeat of the army, 
broke up those precauiionaiy measures of the commanding General and Commodote, by 
which the retiring army would have found, at a given point, a force stationed to cover its 
retreat, and the means of re-embarkation." 

Note referred to on Page 13. 
As the cause of my being at that position in the Thames appears to he misstated, it be- 
comes necessary to acquaint you of my movement in the squadron, and the use for which 
the gunboats were intended. At the request of Capt. Perry and Gen. Harrison, I became 
a member of a council, called on the morning of our departure in puisuit of the British, 
at which were present, Gen. Harrison, Gov. Shelby, Maj. Gen. Deshea, Maj. Gen. Chal- 
mers, Maj. Gen. Henry, and other Kentucky officers 1 do not recollect; as also, Gen. 
M-Arthur, Gin. Cass, Col. Gaines, three aids-de-camp of Gov. Shelby, Maj Barry, Maj. 
Chambers, Maj Crittenden, and Lieut. O'Falan. Gen. Harrison observed that his object 
in gelling us together was to consult on the ulterior operations of the army. He suggested, 
that a- the British had retreated, it would be well to direct our attention to the reduction 
of Mackinaw, and the Brigade of Gen. M'Arthur, and a portion of the fle'et, and myself, 
to proLeed for tnat object, under cur directions. However, an entire want ef provisions 
for b ith the navy and army, interposing an objection, Gov. Shelby remarked, with empha- 
sis, ha' he came here to right Procter! Gen. Harrison spoke of the impossibility of 
coming op to him without cavalry, when Shelby remarked (hat Johnson was on the other 
side, with his regiment — crass him, and my life upon it, we can come up with him. 
Th'S being assented to the army was put in motion* — the squadron under my direc- 
tion — the Niagara LaJy Prevost, Caledonia, Ai iel, Porcupine, Tigress, and Tiippe — 
for the purpose of making a combined attack on the British forces, at a place on the 
Thames, called Dallston. 1 anchored the brigs at the mouth of the Thames, on Lake 
St. Clair, and with three gunboats, in conjunction with the army, proceeded up. On en- 
(eting the Thames, I observed a group of British officers, who proved to be Proctor, Te- 
cumseh, and the field officers of the British aimy, at whom 1 fired a shot, which was near 
taking effect, and before loading again, they dispersed. W'e arrived at Dallston, a point 
which Prodor subsequently, it appears, left, contrary to (he wishes of Tecumseh, evi- 
dently for a place where he could have a belter opportunity of retreat. The British gun- 
boats, under the quarter-master, ascended the river until they could go no farther, when 
they were set fire to, and blown up. My own boats grounded. Here, Lt. Col. Owens, 
of the regular army, stated to me that he was instructed by Gen. Harrison to remain 
there, not, as has been said, for a point of retreat, but for the purpose of protecting my 

men from being picked off oy the straggling Indians. On the following day, about noon 

a sh it time after the discharge of two pieces of artillery — one of Col Johnion's mounted 
men came to the bink of (he river, ami informed me he had a letter from Capt. Perry, 
and which is the letter above alluded to. Thus you perceive the glaring falsity of the 
charge that 1 disobeyed orders. 

Pa?e 13 — Tlh line from bottom. 
The following letter to (he Secretary of the Navy, will show the malignancy and reck- 
lessness of the charge (hat I avoided a scrutiny into my conduct in (he battle of Lake 
Erie. It is on file in the Department. 


U. S. Brig Niagara, January 1st, 1814 
Sir: — From the many anonymous letters I have received on the subject of the action 
of the 10th Sept., IS 13. I am now induced (o ask of the Government that a Court of In- 

* Johnson was at this time supposed to be 300 miles distant. 



quiry may be institute J, to ioquire info all the circumstances of the action. It was my 
intention, after having penned Capt. Perry's official letter on that subject, to have made 
a statement to the Department, portraying all the facts, when, after wri'ing that letter, 
and passing it to my officers for examination and correction, I was happily informed that, 
unauthorized, the commissioned oliicers of the Niagara, having discovered their com- 
mander neglected, bad passed three communications to the world, — one to the govern- 
ment, one to the senior officer of the Lakes, and one to our countrymer. 1 have now to re- 
quest that that communication may be passed to the Executive of onr common country, 
and that the officers composing the Court may ron-i<t of those who are fully capable of 
judging of the merits of the case; anJ in that inquiry, the government will be made ac- 
quainted with the fact that at the time the U. S. B. Lawrence struck her flag, that the 
senior officer was in despair, and the most important part of bis fleet not in close action. 
Respectfully, J. D. ELLIOTT. 

To Hon. Wm. Jokes, Sec'y of Navy. 

The above was written in consequence of the following, and numerous similar commu- 

Saceett's Harbour, Sth Dec. 1S13. 

My Dear Sir: — Your favor of the "lh ult. was handed to me. by Mr. Webster. I re- 
gret, my dear friend, that I cannot allow you tn go home this winter; if I could have half 
an hour's conversation with yon, I could convince you it would be improper. You know 
the high responsibilities of mv situation, and you also know that I am not without my 
enemies. If an accident should happen upon either station, it would place me in an un- 
pleasant situation. 

With re«pect to your merits as an officer, all who have the pleasure of knowing you, 
know that they are great; and if Capt. Perry has not placed your services in that point of 
view which became his duty to do, you ought, in justice to yourself, to make a proper re- 
presentation ol the facts to the Department. I have been much occupied latelv, and for 
the last week, with Cap'. Leonard's trial. When I have a little more time, I will write 
you fully. I most sincerely hope that before this time you have heard that Mrs. Elliott 
has quite recovered. In great haste, most faithfully 

Yours, I. CHAUNCEY. 

J. D. Elliott, Esq. 

The letters alluded to in my application for a Court of Inquiry, will be fouud among the 
following papers. 

U. S. Brig Niagara, Sept. 19, 1S13. 
Captain' Elliott: 

Sir. — We, (he officers of the U. S. Brig Niagara, under your commmand, with the 
most profound respect, congratulate you on our late victorv over the British squadron; 
well convinced that in you we were ably commanded, and that your valor, intrepidity and 
skill could not be surpassed. You have, sir, our most ardent wish for future prosperity 
and happiness, both in your official and private capacity, and may your future naval career 
ever be as brilliant as the present. 

Receive, sir, the assurance of our greatest respect. 

J. E. SMITH. Lieut. 

EI. MAGRATH, Purser. 


J. J. EDWARDS. Lieut. 


H. B. BREVOORT, 2d D. S. Infantry 


U. S. Sloop Niagara. 13th Oct. 
At anchor off Detroit, D. C . 
Respected Sir: — We have with regret seen the condensed, and suffer us to add, the 
partial statements of the late action on Lake Erie, and induced by motives of the warm- 
est admiration and greatest respect for our commander, Capt J. D. Elliott, we take the 
liberty of laying before you our combined observations on the above late action, and 



knowing as we do your power of discrimination and impartiality of judgment, we commit 
it to you with full confidence of its universal evidence and consideration. 

On the 10th September, 1S13, while lying in Put-in Bay, the enemy's Oeet was disco- 
vered from the Lawrence's mast head. At o A M. signal 1205, our squadron weighed 
and commenced beating out of the bay. in company, the Lawrence, Captain Perry, the 
Niagara, Captain Elliott, the Caledonia, Ariel, Scorpion, Somers, Poicupine, Tigress, 
and Trippe. At 6 A. M, discovered the sails in the Western board to be the enemy's 
squadron, consisting of two ships, two brigs, one schooner, one sloop of war, wiih their 
larboard tacks on board, standing lo the southward, under easy sail, our squadron using all 
possible exertion to join them by beating out of the bay. Kept our wind on the larboard 
tack, in order to preserve the weather gage, which was effected. Observed the enemy's 
squadron to form in line of battle ahead, in the following order: — the Detroit leading the 
van; brig Hunter, Queen Charlotte. Lady Prevost, Cbippeway, and Little Belt. Our squad 
ron forming in line ef battle in the following order: — Schooner Ariel of four, and Scorpion 
of two <*uns, on the Lawrence's weather bow, the Lawrence, Captain Perry, leading the 
van; the Caledonia, the Niagara, the Porcupine, the Somers. Tigress, and the Trippe. 
At a quarter before 12, the enemy's ship Detroit commenced filing on our headmost ves- 
sels, distance computed at one mile and a half. At meridian, the action became geneial 
and closer, the whole of the enemy's fire being directed at the Lawrence, Caledonia, and 
Niagara. The Lawrence Ir.bored under a very great disadvantage at (his time - , observ- 
ing her shot to fall short of the Detroit, who, having long guns, placed her shot in the 
Lawrence deliberately, and at discretion. This, in cur opinion, is one reason why the 
Lawrence became <o shattered. The Ni^gira's position was close astern of the Caledo- 
nia, which she maintained, and being a little abaft the weather beam of the Queen Char- 
lotte, abreast of the Lady Prevost and rest of the enemy's squadron, the whole of whose 
6re she sustained. At this time the Queen Charlotte was discovered lo hear up, and stand 
away from the Niagara's fire. Captain Elliott ordered the fore and aft mainsail to be 
hauled out and the jib sheet aft, in order to come op with her, she being the vessel we 
meant particularly in engage. The Queen Charlotte bavins gained the Detroit's lee, and 
the Lawrence gaining ahead, Captain Elliott ordered the Caledonia to hear up and leave 
us room to close with the Lawrence, which was done, and the action carried on with gteat 
vi<*or and spirit on both sides. The most of on;- fire was now directed against the Queen 
Charlotte, (she having regained the line,) Lady Prevost, and Little Belt. We now 
ranged ahead, receiving the combined fires of the Detroit, Queen Charlotte, and Lady 
Pre'vost. The Lawrence, some time previous lo this, had dropped astern, much shattered 
and usele«s. Captain Perry left her and came on board the Niagara; he observed to 
Captain Elliott that he apprehended the action was lost, who, with the spirit and prompti- 
tude we have been accustomed to see him exert, replied. No, sir, I will yet try and save 
the day; he accordingly repaired on hoard, and taking the direction of one of the small 
vessels brought the whole of them into action at close musket shot; the consequence was 
that in'ten minutes the Detroit and Queen Charlotte, with the Lady Prevost, struck to us, 
and soon after the wh >le of the enemy's squadron followed their example. The Law- 
rence had some minutes before ths struck her colors, and hauled out of the line. You 
will perceive, sir, by this account, that the Niagara was most usefully and energetically 
engaged during the action, and the gallant manner and the celerity with which the small 
vessels were brought into action, and the instant change effected bv it, ranks Captain El- 
liott in our opinion as second to non'e in the attainment of the late action. 

We are unwilling to quit the subject without expressing our estimation of our noble 
commander. We IVel it a duty to him and ourselves to express our opinion of his con- 
duct during the action, which was manifested by his cool, brave and judicious deportment, 
and a>-e firmly of opinion, that his valor could not be surpassed by anv: and that in him 
the American flag has a most zealous, skilful and heroic defender. We have here en- 
deavored sir, to give you a succinct and minute account of the action, from the com- 
mencement to the^close: in doing this, we have been actuated by unprejudiced love and 
respect for Captain Elliott. 

We have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servants, 
J. E. SMITH, Lieut. 
H. MAGRATH, Purser. 
J. J. EDWARDS, Lieut. 
A. B. BREVOORT, Capt. 2d Reg. U. S. In. 
Hon. Wm. Jones, Secretary of the Navy, Washington. 



Some persons, actuated by base and unworthy motives, have falsely and maliciously 
caused the public opinion to be unfavorably in | ressed with tbe conduct of Captain Elliott 
in the Niagara, on the 10th of September. 1 believe there are m iby who eotertaio i hi; 
erroneous opinion (hat tbe Niagara rendered no assistance to tin- Lawrence. The sub- 
joined notes of Captains Perry and Elliott, I hope, "ill remove these impulsions. 1 can, 
fiom n y own knowledge, declare Captain Elliott's conduct lo have been such as merits 
the applause of his country. Hie brave and gallant conduct was signal to all on hoard 
the Niagara, and, in my opinion, could not have beta surpassed. He remarked to me 
repeatedly in the action, that we weie not as close alongside tbe enemy ;■' be wished, 
that we left Ihe/r long guns too much superiority, and that be was certain, if close along- 
side the Qui en Charlotte, ten minutes would determine the contest in our favor. From 
a few minutes after the commencement of the aclioj, the en< roj being formed very close 
in a line ahead, their shot c;tuc over us in every direction, and repeatedly hulled us. 
Our position was preserved as I believe the line was intended to he formed during the ac- 
tion; the Caledonia being so cIj-c ahead of us, that we were obliged frequently to keep 
the main yard braced sharp aback, to keep from going f ul of ber. Finding the Queen 
Charlotte to make sail ahead from our fire, as we supposed, Captain Ellioit hailed the 
Caledonia, and urdcied her helm put up, which was done, and the Niagara passed ahead 
by filling the mainlopsail, and selling (be jib and fore aid aft mainsails. Tl.c Niagara 
then closed in the wake of the Lawrence, and continued the action with the usual vigor 
until the Lawrence dropped asitrn, when it is well known that the Niagara almost in- 
stantly became abreast of the Detroit and Q ten Charlotte, which could not La\e been 
tbe case had she been a long distance astein. I feel it my duty also lo observe that the 
Lawrence, until near the close of the engagement, bore a greater proportion of the fire of 
the Detroit and Queen Charlotte, and from the Detroit's long guns, which pierced through 
her, she suffered considerably more in every respect than ibe Niagara. Captain Elliott's 
volunteering to bring into close action all our small vessels, which was nobly and heroic- 
ally executed, aided by the exertions of their commanders, produced the brilliant victory 
which warms with just pride the bosom of every American. 


Altho'jgh the Secretr.ry had declined granting the Court of Inquiry, requested in my 
letter of January 1st, 1814, from reasons flattering fo myself, yet it is not too much to say 
that Government was determined that a due sense of my services should not be equivo- 
cally expressed on the proper occasion. Accordingly the Secretary of the Navy made a 
report to Congress, in reference to the Battle of Lake Erie, from motives that can easily 
be understood. If his views of my merits bad beec too flattering, and led him to consider 
them with undeserved favor, the report would be scrutinized by the Representatives of a 
nation interested in an award of stern justice to all her servants They would not allow 
any partiality or favoritism to interfere with a righteous verdict 1 If his object had been 
to procure from the high councils of that nation such an expression as should for ever 
silence the tongue of slander, before his object could be attained, the claims for honor- 
able consideration must have been closely canvassed, before Congress would presume to 
present me to the world at large as one who had (lone the state some service. The re- 
port of the Secretary, to the Hon. Wm. Lcwndes, Chairman of the Naval Committee of 
the House of Representatives, and the subsequent proceedings of Congress are accord- 
ingly given below. 


Navy Department, Dec. 27, 1S13. 

While the heroic commander of the American squadron justly merits tbe highest ho- 
nors which the expressions of the National Council can bestow, the second in command 
on that eventful day appears to merit particular distinction for the important and decisive 
share he had in that glorious event; and it is grateful in the highest degree, that every 
officer and man on that trying occasion discharged his duty lo the cation with zeal, fidelity 
and honor. 

[ Copy of Record.'] 

The response of the House of Representatives to Lis report, was in the following 
words — 


" Resolved, That the President of the United Slates be requested to cause gold me- 
dals to dg struck, emblematical of the action betiveen the two squadrons, and present 
them to Captain Perry aud Captain Jesse D. Elliott, in such a manner as will be most 
honorable to them; and that the President be further requested to present a silver medal, 
with suitable emblems and devices, to each of the commissioned officers, either of the 
Navy or Army, serving on board, and a sword to each of the Midshipmen and Sailing 
Masters, who so nobly distinguished themselves on that memorable day." 

Page 14 — Line 13. 

The following articles — the first of which was written by a person who was present, 
and an officer of the Navy, are given as they appeared in the papers of the day. 

The following letter from a correspondent at New York will, probably, be interesting 
to many readers, as it involves a subject which has provoked much controversy among 
officers of the navy, immediately concerned, and also among their respective professional 
friends, and paitisans. The press, also, has participated in the controversy, in which 
the defenders of Elliott have offered facts and arguments, while his assailants have con- 
fined themselves to fabrications and vituperation. The controversy between Commodore 
Elliott and the late Commodore Peny began several years after the battle of Lake Erie, 
and after the decease of the latter, was continued between Commodore Elliott, and the 
present Captain Perry, brother of the late Commodore. This warfare has never ceased 
entirely, and has thus far resulted in prosecutions, by Mr. Cooper, against severai news- 
papers fur libel; to enable our readers to umlersiand the case we will give a brief history 
of the events which it involves, from the battle of Lake Erie to the present day. 

In this battle, Perry and Elliott, both masters commaudant, were first and secord in 
command; the whole force on the Lakes being under the general command of Commo- 
dore Chauncey, whose immediate command was on Lake Ontaiio. In the official ac- 
count of the battle, Captain Perry mentioned Captain Elliott in high terms, ascribing 
the victory in no small degree, to his efficient services with a part of the squadron. 
But the officers of Elliott's ship, dissatisfied with this account, for not rendering him 
justice, sent another to the Navy Department, signed by themselves, individually. At 
this time a dispute arose between the officers of Perry's ship and the other officers of the 
squadron, about prize money; some of the latter contending that as Perry's flag had been 
struck, and his ship surrendered to the enemy, its officers were not entitled to any of the 
prize money for the capture of the British fleet, bnt that the other officers were entitled 
to it for the re-capturiug of Perry's ship. Though both of the Captains endeavored to 
silence this dispute, saying the victory gave glory enough for all, their efforts were fruit- 
less and two parties were soon formed about the battle of Lake Erie, the one ascribing 
the victory to Perry, the other to Elliott. The latter, thus, finding himself impeached 
by Perry's party, demanded of the Navy Department a court of inquiry. But the Sec- 
retary of the Navy, understanding the case thoroughly, refused a court of inquiry, because 
it would imply that Elliott's conduct required an explanation, and proposed as a substitute 
a complimentary report to Congress. Accordingly he sent a short report to both Houses, 
congratulating the nation upon the victory, praising all the officeis. and Elliott especially. 
Upon this report, Mr. Crawford, member of the Ho;ise from Pennsylvania, of which 
State Elliott is a native, and has always been a citizen, introduced a joint resolution, 
that while praise was due to Captain Perry, his officers and men, for the glorious victory, 
'■'■particular" praise was due to Elliott for his " decisive share" in it, and that gold medals 
should be presented to the first and second in command, and silver medals to all the 
other officers. This tesolution was adopted, and the medals were distributed; and we 
believe the case is the first on record in the naval amals, at least of the United States, 
or England, in which the first and second in command were placed on equal terms in 
the distribution of honors. 

In IS 15, Elliott exhibited to the Navy Department a British account of the battle, in 
which he was desciilied as running away from one of the British ships, and demanded 
a court of inquiry; and the Secretary replied, that although this was refused, and a com- 
plimentary report and resolution substituted when assailed at borne, yet he should have 
a court of inquiry when assailed abroad; and his case was referred to the court then sit- 
ting in New York. Here two of Perry's officers, and five or six of Elliott's, and some 
of the other ships, were examined as witnesses; and according to the published report of 
the testimony, the two first disagreed with each other, and with all the rest. The court 



declared that Elliott was entitled to tbe highest praise for courage and skill in the battle, 
and that instead of his running away from a British si ip, that slip ran away from ni; 
and it added some severe strictures upon the discrepancies in the testimony. Before 
this, the Legislature of Pennsylvania had presented to him a gold medal, and one efthe 
other States, South Carolina, if we remember correctly, a sword. 

From this time, the alienation between Penrj and Elliott, already great, continued lo 
increase, till l^lS, when Elliott challenged his adversary. Perry refused the challenge, 
saying that he should by another process establish Elliott's unnorthiuess. This process 
was some action by the Legislature of Rhode Island. Mr. Hazard, formerly a 
member of the Hertford Convention, a relative of Perry, introduced a resolution into 
the Assembly of that State, to collect historical recoids in honor of Perry, one of id 
natives; and Mr. Hazard and Mr. Gibbs were appointed a committee for the purpose. 
Air. Hazard wrote the affidavits of several of Pern's uffi- ers, then assembled at .New- 
port during the session, all of which impeached Elliott. But no report was made to the 
Legislature, Mr. Gibbs declining, as we have been told, to impeach one officer to honor 
another. Just after the unsuccessful termination of this project, Perry received a renewal 
of Elliott's challenge, and declined it, because he intended to bring Elliott to a Court 
Martial, after waiting in vain for a summons from the Department, wrote to the Secret urt 
for information anout the charges, who replied that none had been filed. Elliott then 
sent a third challenge, and was told by Perry, still declining it, that they had been trans- 
mitted at a ceitain date, Elliott again applied to the Department, was told that the 
charges, arriving in the Secretary's absence, had been sent to the President, who would 
not entertain them He then went to Norfolk in pursuit of Perry, aud found that he 
had put to sea, on the cruise to South America, in which he died. 

All these statements, and the documentary evidence on which they are founded, are 
contained in the -'Life of Elliott," a work published in this city in 1S35, and for sale, 
we believe, by Cowperthwait, of High street. This work contains a history of Elliott, 
from his entrance into the .Navy in 1501, to his departure to France in the Constitution 
Frigate in 1S35. 

In 1S40, Mr. Cooper published his Naval History, in which he gives an account of 
the battle of Lake Erie, much less minute than that in the " Life of Elliott," from which 
he obtained his materials for it, but still favorable to that much peisecuted officer. 
Several presses assailed his book and himself with the same misstatement and vitupera- 
tion which had previously characterised their notices of the " Life cf Elliott,'' and its 
author; for singular as the statement may seem, these presses can never notice a public 
act or public servant, without descending to slander of the person or persons, who make 
such act or servant a subject of animadversion, without any other connexion with cither. 
Mr Cooper, seeing no good reason why he should be abused, personally, for writing a 
history, or why his history, open to fair comment, should be misrepresented in a lone 
indicating personal animosity, instituted sui's for libel against several of the presses, and 
the New York Commercial Advertiser among the rest; and of the of this suit be- 
fore referees; the letter below gives an acceunt. We may here add that in a commu- 
nication to the New York Evening Post, Mr. Cooper promised to review tbe " Life of 
Perry," by Captain Slidell McKenzie. — Captain McKeuzie had said among other things, 
that Mr. Cooper got his materials for the account of (be battle of Lake Erie, from the 
" Life of Elliott:" which Mr. Cooper denied. We do not comprehend the justice of this 
denial, for we cannot imagine where else he could have got them. Every document re- 
lating to t lie battle, written or printed, which was in possession of Elliott when his life 
was written, was examined by its author, and inserted in the work, and this work was 
examined by Mr. Cooper while he was writing his Naval History: and if he will publish 
his argument before the leferees, about the battle of L:ike Erie, the reader, on com- 
parison, will, probably, find its leading points in the "Life of Elliott." 

Captain McKenzie, in bis " Life of Perry," say that the " Life of Elliott" was written 
" under the auspices" of that officer, and says it in a tone, that might indicate a design 
to impeach the authenticity, or the motives of the author. If this were his meaning, or 
if he intended to imply that it was written under any other auspices of Elliott than those 
of the present Captain Perry over his own bock, the furnishing of documentary testi- 
mony in print and manuscript, we are authorized to pronounce tbe assertion entirely 
gratuitous, entirely groundless. We will add that Captain McKenzie has inserted in 
his life of Perry, the affidavit's of Perry's officers against Elliott, but tus omitted the 
testimony on Elliott's side; a proceeding not fitting to inspire entire confidence in the 

18 APPENDir. 

authenticity of his book, among those who seek truth, and do not participate in the 
quarrels of our naval officers. Captain McKenzie is an agreeable writer, and is favor- 
ably known by an interesting work, his " Year in Spain." But whatever he has written 
on the battle of Lake Erie, whether in the Life of Perry, or in a little sketch of naval 
events written a few yens before, he has displayed the mere partizan, intent on showing 
one si.le oily. We regret tins, because it must effect, injuriously, his character for 
justice anionj a " w ho place a high value upon that virtue. 

Mr. Cooper is entitled to the gratitude of the community for instituting these suits 
against various partisan newspapers; for the practice of personal slander, under pretence 
of literary criticism, to any extent reprehensible, has been carried to an extent perni- 
cious to public morals and disgraceful to the country. If newspapers, under pretence 
of reviewing a book, are allowed to abuse the author without measuie, and upon grouuds 
not at all connected with his works, personal rights are without prelection, and consti- 
tutions and laws are of uo use. The mischief should be corrected, and we are glad to 
find any one with moral courage enough to take the first step.— Phila. United Stales Ga:. 

New York, May 22d, 1S42. 

Gentlemen. — Quite a novel and interesting trial occurred here last w ek, and as 
you may like to hear something about it, I send you a short account of it. It was a 
suit for libel, brought by Mr. Cooper, the celebrated novelist, against Colonel Stone, the 
editor of the Commercial Advertiser. The libel complained of is to be found in a suc- 
cession of articles in that newspaper, purporting to be a review of the Naval History of 
the United States, written by Mr. Cooper, in which review the account of the battle of 
Lake Erie is particularly commented upon, in terms of great harshness and severity 
towards the author and his motives. The discussion has occupied the afternoons of the 
last week, and was held before three highly intelligent gentlemen of the bar, and was 
attended by an audience composed of some of the first people of the city, who were at- 
tracted by the interest the subject itself naturally created, added to the circumstance that 
the historian was to argue and discuss the cause himself. The gist of the review was 
that Mr. Cooper had spuken fovorably of Captain Elliott's agency in the battle of Lake 
Erie, whereas it was his duty as a historian to have freely commented upon his eonduct 
as unworthy of a brave and gallant officer. It, therefore, became necessary for Mr. 
Cooper to substantiate the correctness of the account which he had given of that memo- 
rable event, and then to display to the referees the mnlire prepense of the review. The 
side of Colonel Stone was managed by Mr. Campbell and Mr. Bidwoll, with great skill 
and ingenuity, who certainly left in my mind a very unfavorable impression of the con- 
duct of Captain Elliott, and it seemed to me that it would be impossible for Mr. Cooper 
to vindicate his history from the criticism it appeared justly liable to. But the tables 
were destined to be turned. The author had took hold and entered into the I ject with 
a force and vigor which evinced his complete and thorough knowledge of the whole 
merits of the case, and betokened a conscientious eonviction of the justice of his side. 
He said that be has approached that part of the history with great caution, for he beheld 
the difficulties and embarrasments with which it was surrounded. He alluded to the 
bitter controversies, and the severe and unfortunate criminations and recriminations which 
have arisen in regard to the conduct of Captain Elliott. 

It became his duty as a historian writing for posterity, to examine for himself, and 
when he had drawn his conclusions to put down what his conscience told him was right. 

He thereupon explained at length the principles upon which he had made up his mind, 
and for this purpose he introduced various diagrams of the battle, and the position of the 
ships at different periods of it. He analyzed, critically, the voluminous testimony, affida- 
vits and letters bearing upon the subject, for and against the conduct of Captain Elliott. 
This he did in the most masterly and lucid manner, and he displayed a skill and ability 
which I am satisfied no lawyer, however great bis eminence or practice, could have ex- 
celled. On Thursday he commenced summing up, and on Friday he concluded in a 
continued speech of six hours, replete with energy, sound and convincing argument, fre- 
quently lighted up with brilliant touches of eloquence, and delivered throughout with a 
copious flow of elegant diction. It was an interesting occasion. Our contemplations 
were lifted above the petty trifles of the day, and dwelt with pleasure upon the glorious 
reminiscences of the past. 

I am rejoiced that this opportunity has been offered to others, like myself, who are dis- 
trustful of the correctness of this account of the battle of Lake Erie, to be set right upon 
th> subject; for, if there ever was a triumphant and conclusive vindication of any thing, 


there was on this occasion. I have found that my judgment had been warped by Btrong 
prejudices against Captain Elliott. It is a circumstance which naturally fills me with 
mournful reflections at the condition of a large portion of the public press — that press to 
which wc have been accustomed to look as the shield of truth and virtue. Whither is 
its corruption now leading it? If a motive exists for an assault upon reputation, does it 
hesitate to inflame the public mind with prejudice and Ligoliy? Is it not in a fair way 
of ci'isia"- its own destruction? And when once destroyed, where is the honest inquirer 
to look for justice and truth? From various causes, Mr. Cooper has fallen under the ban of 
its displeasure, and when that delightful work of his appeared, the History of the American 
Navy, it was a signal for a general assault. They availed themselves gladly of the 
unpopularity of Captain Elliott, and the great reputation of Commodore Peiry. and on 
every side was he assailed wilh the foulest imputations. He did not choose to have his 
opinions manufactured for him, but determined to brave their intimidations, and pursue 
the path of rectitude. 

C R vs. STONE. 

We learn from the Tribune of this morning, that the arbitrators in this contest have 
made an award in favor of Mr. Cooper. Our readers will remember that the difficulty 
arose in an unjust and abusive review of Cooper's Naval History, which appeared in 
the Commercial Advertiser. A libel suit was begun by the historian, but afterwards 
the parties agreed to refer it to an independent and disinterested arbitration. The persons 
chosen, were Samuel A, Foote, Samuel Stevens, and Daniel Lord, jr., with the under- 
standing that the award, if in favor of Mr. Cooper, should be $250. The question was 
argued by J. F. Cooper, in his own behalf, and by W. \V. Campbell, and M. S. Bidwell, 
on behalf of Colonel Stone; and yesterday the decision was given. The arbitrators, 
having heard the respective proofs and allegations of the parties, decide, 

I. That, according to the evidence and rules of law applicable to the case, Mr. Cooper, 
the plaintiff, is entitled to a verdict, and they award damages in $250, as agreed upon 
by the parties. 

II. That the plaintiff, in writing his narrative of the Battle of Lake Erie — the portion 
of his history specially attacked — did faithfully discharge his duties as a historian. 

III. Thai the said narrative is true in all its essential particulars. 

IV. That it was written in a spirit of impartiality and justice. 

V. That Colonel Stone, the defendant, or the writer of the review, whoever be may 
be, in writing the review of Mr. Cooper's Naval History, did not faithfully fulfil the 
obligations of a reviewer; and they base this decision upon the following facts; 

1. That the review contains reflections on the personal character of the author, and 
imputations upon his motives, 

2. That the reviewer incorrectly charges the author with having given to Commodore 
Elliott equal credit with Commodore Perry in the conduct of the battle: 

3. 4 and 5. That he is guilty of certain specified misquotations; 

6. That the review is untrue in several of its essential particulars. They decide, also, 

VI. That the review was not written in a spirit of impartiality and justice. 

This is the award of a majority of the arbitrators. An elaborate opinion of S. A. Foote, 
accompanies it, dissenting from the award in the second and third points, and partially 
in the sixth. Both these documents are, by mutual agreement, to be pubished in New 
York, Albany and Washington. 

[N. Y. Et. Post. 
June 20, 1842. 

Page 15 — Line 13. 
Having ascertained the movements of the Algerines, the Commodore, immediately, 
made signal for the vessels in the port to come out, which we did. Proceeding up the 
Mediterranean, off Cape de Gat, we fell in with the Algerine frigate; our whole 
squadron showing English colors, as also did she. They supposing us to be English, she 
suffered us to approach. The accidental circumstance of the upper flag of the three for 
making signal, being the same as the English, threw her more off her guard. The sig- 
nal being made to = fire on the enemy, as we came up, the Constellation delivered her 
broadside first, I pas-eel under the starboard bow, and wore round for the purpose of 
being on a line parallel with her beam. As my ship came up to the wind, we com- 
menced the fire of our whole battery; beginning forward. The Guerriereon her weather 
beam; the Epervier and Ontario under her lee quarter; the Constellation astern, and 
each pouring in a deadly fire. The Commander of the enemy's ship, finding himself 


deceived, and surrounded by an American squadron, directed hl3 men to prepare to go 
down, and observed that Mahomet would receive them! He and his First Lieutenant, 
and some officers being killed, the ship surrendered. On the succeeding day the prison- 
ers were distributed among the fleet; aboui sixty of them having fallen to my share, and 
bringing with them some millions of companions- so ri! thy were they! 

One or two days after, we fell in with the Consort ot this Irigate oft Cape Palais, on the 
coast of Spain. The squadron gave chase by signal, she, however, ran into shoal water, 
was pursued by our light vessels and captured. The two brigs having been sent to 
Carthagena, in Spain, we proceeded with the whole squadron to Algiers, and there com- 
menced, and closed successfully, a negotiation for peace. Whilst the Dey was deliber- 
ating on a final answer, an Algerine ship appeared in the offing, but, just as we were 
going to lay hold upon her, the signal of peace was displayed at the mast-head of the 
Commodore's ship. 

On the next day, I was invited bv the Commander-in-chief to accompany him in his 
interview with the Dey. On landing 'at the mole-head battery, we were met by the 
Algerine officers, in authority. Mr. Sbaler, Consul of the United States, and that kind, 
excellent worthy, but neglected man, Mr. Nbrdelin, Consul of Sweden, whose previous 
attention to American prisoners had influenced his selection as the mediator for peace. 

It may be proper here, to digress a little, and state why I use the words excellent and 
neglected. During the captivity of Captain Smith and Mr Pallard, his supercargo, with 
the balance of the crew, thev all received constant supplies from his table and purse. 
This worthy man, in the goodness of his heart, pretended to be in want of domestics for 
his establishment, and applied to the Dey for a few American captives for that purpose. 
Would you believe it, my friends, that when I arrived at his hospitable residence, I 
found them all the guests of his table! Mr Pallard became enamoured of one of his 
charming daughters, and reference being made to me for the respectability of his family, 
I was pleased to be able to vouch to that eftect. since I knew his connexions in Virginia. 
In 1827 when returning from Brazil, I anchored at St. Bartholomew, and there found 
M. Nbrdelin, the Governor I passed a happy week there, interchanging civilities with 
him and his delightful family. He, sometimes, recurred with pleasure to our first acquain- 
tance, and the satisfaction he felt in his heart for the offices he had done to our prisoners; 
but, I thought I could read in his countenance, thai he also, felt how he had suffered 
neglect by this Goverement. 

But to return; we proceeded to the Swedish Consulate, and thence to the palace of the 
Dey. Here we found him surrounded by every thing that could please the eye, or gratify 
the senses. Our party was somewhat" imposing from its numbers; consisting of the 
Commander-in-chief, Mr. Nbrdelin, Mr. Shaler, Lieutenant Kuhn of marines, Midship- 
mans Howell and myself. The Dey received us kindly, but firmly. I thought I could 
perceive in his conntenance every mark of the great man, especially, since the evidence 
Was exhibited in adversity. The terms upon which he had concluded the treaty had 
well-nigh cost him his head. We had been advised that the Consul of Spain was at the 
time in irons: having been p'aced in that situation by the Dey, for the purpose of extort- 
ing money from his government. It was suggested to the Commodore, that, perhaps, a 
word from him might effect his release, and he being aware of the despondency of mind, 
under which the Dey labored, at once attempted the object. To cheer up the spirits of 
the Algerine, he made a voluntary tender of the captured vessels, with the condition that 
the Spanish Consul should be restored to liberty. Here, again, I witnessed a becoming 
dignity on the part of the Dey, who after an expression of thankful acknowledgment, 
observed that he was ready to negotiate about our own country, but declined doing so in 
relation to another! The terms were, accordingly, arranged, and subscribed to, and the 
prisoners brought off. A messenger being about to be despatched to the United States, 
with the news of peace, the Commander-in-chief invited me on board the Guerrirre as his 
flag Captain, intending toappoint his First Lieutenant Captain, and his Captain, bearer of 
despatches, I, however, declined, not from any indisposition to go on board the Guerriere, 
but, because Idid not wish to be separated from those who had been my companions in 
many battles on our frontier, and s,.me of them had been thrice wounded with me. 
About a week after we departed for the island of Sardinia, and near that island fell in 
with an English 74, Admiral Penr< se, by whom the Commodore was informed, that 
three days before, he had pas-ed the whole Algerine fleet, which, had the treaty been de- 
layed, we would, certainly, have captured. 

After lying a week at Sardinia we proceeded to Tunis, and there found a new difficulty. 
During the war with England, two prizes of the Abaelino privateer, Captain Wier had 
been surrendered up by the Dey, to an English gun brig. Restitution was demanded; 
and Captain G.r on of the C i, and I were directed by the Commodore to 

proceed with our Consul, ML M Noah, and Surgeon KVnnon to the palace of the Dey 
at Bardo. We found him aged, and rather disp'eased, that the Commodore had not 
visited him in person We were directed to be seated, and given refreshments; when 
the Dey inquired who Gordon was, and a so who I was, and why the Commodore had 
not come. He was answered, that he would not land untill we had returned, and report- 
ed the views of the Dey upon the subject of our negotiation. We were informed that 


the negotiation would take place in another apartment; whither we went, and found 
his minister of State, and other officers. The discussion was opened by Mr. Noah, 
through the drogoaman. The son of the Dey, participating in the conversation, exhibited 
much irritation and violence, and I felt it necessary to ascertain what produced his 
evident excitement Mr Noah replied to me, that they were an impadent set of scoun- 
drels; but insisting upon an explanation of the boisterous language lsed, he informed 
me that the Prince was abusing the Consul Our negotiation had already been tedious 
to me, and as Captain Gordon was suffering severely from a recent wound, 1 deemed it 
necessary to interfere, and cut the discussion short, by directing the drogoaman to say to 
them, that we came for the money demanded by our Commodore that all discussion 
must cease, and we immediately receive the short answer of Yes or No! 1, further, 
directed him to tell them that anv insult to the Consul would, promptly, be resented as 
an insult to the nation. We were answered, that they were rich, and the money 
would be forth-coming; and allusion was made to the age and infirmities of the Dey. 
His young highness, also, referred to his prospects of ascending the throne, upon which 
I saw him seated in a subsequent visit to the Mediterranean, when 1 receive! every kind 
and flattering attention from him. On the day succeeding our interview at Bardo, the 
agent of the Treasury came to our Consul with the money, and casting it on the floor, 
remarked to the British Consul who happened to be present. " There is what the per- 
fidiousness of your government has brought us to." I will remark here, that while the 
discussion was going on, I cast my eye towards our Consul, and thought I could perceive 
in his expression of countenance, the same feelings operating in his heart, which must 
have agitated the French Consul during a negotiation, which terminated in his being 
sent to his Admiral from a sun at Tunis. 

We, afterwards, proceeded to Tripoli, where we found another difficulty to arrange. 
Our Consul had received some indignity, and hauled down his flag. Matters were ar- 
ranged, the proper amende made, and the flag re-hoisted. It was intimated to the Com- 
modore whilst here, that there was a very worthy Italian at the time in slavery, who 
had placed himself in that situation, in order to ransom parents who were taken off the 
coast of Calabria, in the night, by a Tripolitan cruiser, and that he was then struggling 
to purchase his own freedom. The Commodore, immediately, made a favorable request 
to the Pacha to relieve the slave. He did so; placing a portion of the ransomed family 
on board of the Guerriere, and they were conveyed to Naples. Here, my countrymen, 
I am aware that I will excite your surprise, when 1 state that this same heart, which was 
impelled by such noble feelings, wanted, however, sympathies of a kindred nature, for 
when informed that he might accompany his family in freedom, he declined on the ground 
that they were too low in their grade of life, or associations for him.' He preferred remaining 

with the Turks! 

Page 15 — Line 19. 

While a member of the Board of Engineers, a resolution of Congress was passed, at 
the instance of the Legislature of North Carolina, appointing Commissioners to examine 
and report the practicability of an uninterrupted navigation from their sound into the 
Ocean, as also 'o make a trigonometrical survey of the three projecting shoals, Hatterass, 
Look Out and Fear. Conformably thereto, General Bernard, Colonel Totten, and myself 
were appointed a board for the purpose; as also to learn the practicability of designating 
the extreme shoals, by lights or other means. The lntter duty I undertook the discharge 
myself, as the appended report will show. An appropriation wa3 made by Congress — 
men furnished, and boats constructed — hut the Secretary informed me a man could not 
be had to locate them. To prevent a failure, I placed myself on board the Revenue 
Cutter Alert, Captain Cahoon, taking with me the one for Hatterass; and placing it on 
the shoal; s^ent the Captain with his cutter into Ocrecock, until I could test the experi- 
ment. A gale come upon us before we were ready for it. The vessel had two large pipes, 
perhaps twenty feet in length, and thirteen inches in diameter, through which the 
chains passed out at the bow, within about two feet of the water. The vio- 
lence of the gale, and the quantity of water forced through these pipes, carne near 
deluging the vessel, but by fastening the hatches, 8cc, we battled the storm until it abated. 
Thistiial satisfied me of the practicability of the work. The lights were accordingly 
arranged, and on the second night the mnriner was apprised of all his dangers. I called 
the Revenue Cutter out by signal, and doubting the firmness of the Captain, I left him 
in the light vessel to test the next gale. After it had subsided I returned again, and 
found that he, like all other timid men, had taken excessively to liquor to brace his 
nerves for the trial; so much so indeed, that he had become the subject of disease. The 
mate had tried, but failed to give him relief; he had him salivated, but without any 
benefit. I thought the only means of cure would be by evacuation, and being without 
other means, I ordered a large sow killed, converted her bladder into a glister pipe, and 
had the patient relieved before the meat of the slaughtered animal was cold. 


After surviving another gale I left, deeming the experiment entirely successful. I 
earned with me tents, and as I proceeded along (he coast, slept in them. To guard 
ao-aicst mosquitoes 3nd other insects, I thought I had well prepared myself: hut on the 
morning after my Grst night's encampment, I was astonished to find my face covered 
with blood, the result of the attacks of the various plagues that swarm along the coast. 
Progressing along (tie coast, I also, found my supply of tea and coffee giving ou', and as 
a substitute, I had recourse to the native plant, called yoepon, a fine flavored lea and 
which, "hen deprived of, I longed for, like an inebriate after his glass. I recommend 
you to cultivate it in your gardens, and substitute it in place of the imported article. 
Before I had proceeded to the sea coast for the purpose of executing the survey, and 
when at Roiaoke Island, I found some of the finest grapes I ever beheld, called the 
scuppernon. One day while picking this grape from the vine, I was amused with the 
express of General Bernard. '"Captain, remarked he, God is very bounti ul ! Sir 
Walter Raleigh passed that inlet, and anchored there, pointing to the spot suppose 
we recommei.d them to pay more attention to their churches, and God will give them 
another harbor."* While passing through the State we stopped at a place called Tarboro, 
Bernard, with his staff" selected their beds, while J was careless about mine, consequently 
I was put on a rickety concern, held together with a cord, and upon which were thrown 
a bullock skin, blanket and matrass. Hard as was the affair, I might, perhaps, have 
enjoyed a partial rest, had it not been for one of the plagues, which the naughty Egyp- 
tians have transmitted to us. I could have slept upon the wretched apology for a bed, 
had not the bugs which thronged the chamber treated me as an intruder. While suffer- 
in" from their visits of ejectment, I determined to make an impression that would cause 
my hostess to see a little better to her sleeping concerns in future, ai.d accordingly I 
seized one of my pistols and fired it. The report brought all hands, who in the greatest 
terror, inquire,! what was the matter! 1 answered very calmly. "Oh nothing — only 
shooting bedbugs!" My landlady could not disguise her mortification, and " looked 
daggers and furies!" 

.Vote G. 

The duties of the Commissioners were of a most important nature, including not 
only as a survey of the coast, but also, the establishing of the positions of light houses and 
boats— the examination of harbors — the sites for fortifications and Navy lands. Should 
the report of the Board be published, they will be found to be of great value, and in 
more respects than one, will show that when they have not received due attention from 
the proper Department, the result has not been the most favorable to the National interest. 

1 cannot imagine a more useful and instructive volume, than that which would contain 
the various reports of the pride of the Ameiican Nation andNavy; Commodore Stewart 
embodied with the report of the Commissioners and Board of Engineers. 

I <*ive you an extract from a report made in relation to the most dangerous navigation 
of o"ur waters, and particularly, regarding the Cape Fear Shoals, or Frying Pans, 

(so called.) 

"The thoals extend in a southerly direction miles. A trigonometrical chart 

of each of these points is herewith submitted, showing the superstructure and the temper- 
ature of the water. On sev ra a; \ roaches it will be found that the stream issuing from 
the Bay of Mexico, has more or less influence in forming and keeping in existence these 
several shoals. That influence may he felt more particularly, after a series of northerly 
winds, which cause the current on and about the shoals to pass in a southerly direction, 
immediately opposed to the course of the continual stream of the Bay. Here the cur- 
rent has beeu, invariably, found the precursor of the wind, and runs with it at the rate 
of miles per hour. 

Practice abroad has taught us that light vessels have, and do now exist, designating 
shoals, both in the North Sea, on the Dogger bank, where the water has a range in every 
direction of at least sixty miles, and off the mouth of the Thames in the French channel, 
at the Galliper, where the sea has an influence as far as the eye can carry you in every 
direction but one; and that in course of the winter of 1815, in as severe a gale as is 
usually felt on the coast of North Carolina, the Swedish ship Elizabeth, owned in Stock- 
holm, anchored outside the shoal off Cape Lookout, and survived a gale of twenty-one hours. 

And in other instances when the weather is inclined to be thick, the great anxiety of 
the masters of coasting vessels is to avoid the shoal, when imperceptibly, they are drawn 
into the stream, where tbey encounter weather more boisierous, and if destined for the 
South have a current of, at least, four miles per hour to contend with." 

2 'In posing through the State he had observed the churches to be almost neglected and ruined. 



Page 16 — Line 24. 
At Pensacola, I gave an entertainment to the officers of two French brigs of wr 
after which, as was rny custom, 1 placed the wine that was left upon the mantle-piece- 
There was a fine spring of water in the yaid, and my Steward sometimes regaled him- 
self there, from the excellent fountain, and the wine, which he always found at its usual 
deposit. One day, while dining with my friend Col. Tutt, a messenger came to inform 
me that my steward had been suddenly taken ill, and was dying. I hurried home, and 
as soon as he put his eyes on me, he remarked, " Ah, Commodore, you have caught me 
this time!" I asked him what he meant. " Why, sir, the wine had something in it, 
that has made me sick!" The poor fellow suffered most dreadfully, and it is a miracle 
that he ever recovered. To this day, I doubt not that he believes I drugged the wine. 
That it was drugged, has been sufficiently proven by the analysis of the surgeon, who 
found a quantity of corrosive sublimate in it. I cannot account for this base attempt at 
poisoning, but from the following circumstance, which only immediately before occurred. 

Captain S'uubrick had just arrived at Pensacola, and permitted a large portion of his 
crew to visit the shore. The day of their liberty happened to be one of some religious 
ceremony in Pensacola, and the sailors attended the Cathedral. On returning from it, a 
part of them were a little free, but no ways rude or irreverent. They however were at- 
tacked by some young Spaniards, with stillettoes, and two of them were killed. These 
Spaniards were afterwards prosecuted, and indicted by sufficient evidence, but had a ver- 
dict of acquittal given by a Spanish jury, on the ground of justification. Some strictures 
upon the affair afterwards appeared in the New York " National Advocate;" and having 
been ascribed to the Rev. Mr. Coltoo, Chaplain of the Vincennes, subjecteJ him to the 
hatred of those concerned. 

One day, as I was passing a public corner, my attention was attracted by a crowd in 
one of the stores, in which the Mayor of the city was denouncing, in no measured terms, 
our Chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Coltou. I entered, and requested an explanation of such con- 
duct towards an officer of my squadron, and informed him, that it was his duty, if he had 
charges against my subordinates, to present them to me. I then took Mr. Colton by the 
arm, and led him to my house; on reaching which, as he was apprehensive of violence, 
I requested him to remain with me. The day following, being Sunday, he was invited 
to preach a sermon in the Methodist meetinghouse; and still fearing danger from those 
who were embittered against him,— having been informed of an intention to attack him, 
— I told him to put my pistols in his pocket. He did so; went to the church, and preached 
his sermon, without any interruption. It has been said that the Rev. gentleman placed 
the weapons on the ledge of the pulpit; — this I pronounce to be unqualifiedly false! He 
did no such thing; for the determined appearance which he presented had the effect of 
intimidating the cowardly assassins! 

Page 2-2— Line 18. 

I must beg leave to state here, that notwithstanding the loud and incessant claims put 
fotth by some Bostonians, for public morals and veneration for the laws, that there is a spirit 
for outraging both, as strong and excitable as that which can be found elsewhere! My 
own observation, duiing my command of the Navy Vard at Charlestown, convinced me 
that riots are as frequent, and attended by circumstances of as great and reckless disre- 
gard to the institutions of the law, and even the^blessed Gospel, as have ever occurred in 
any city.* In proof of this trait in the collective character of these exclusive advocates 
of social order, — if their account of themselves is to be taken, — reference might be made 
to the picture which Russell Jarvis, rr.y biographer, and himself an Eastern man, has 
drawn of that community. In addition, however, to his description of them, and the 
notable instance of sacred patriotism and American pride in the matter of the figure 
head, I will give two occasions, in which their reverence for religion and the sanctity of 
the laws can be rightly estimated. I introduce these, because in both, I was called to 
take a part. 

While I was in command at Boston, the Ursuline Convent was burned by a mob. The 
sisters of Charity and pupils were forced from their quiet home; and that, too, without 
even a comfortable competence of clothing. Fifteen of the ringleaders were appre- 

*I am truly glad that 1 can, with all truth, say that this feeling is confined alone to those 
under the influence of politics and fanaticism. I have many dear friends in Boston, whom 
I have always had pleasure in giving a hearty shike by the" hind. 


bended and lodged in jail at Leechmore Point. Apprehending violence to the prison, 
High Sheriff Vainnm, of Middlesex county, made a call upon me, by letter, to aid in 
preventing the violation of order, as he feared a mob of some 2 000 persons would col- 
lect for its destruction. I yd led to the call, and se it an express to Hie Adjutant Gene- 
ral of the State, Gen. Sumner, to inform him that the call haii been made, and affirma- 
tively responded to; but that I should expect his troops to be at hand, and guard the prison 
after the mob was dispersed. He acknowledged the favor, and promised acquiescence. 
This prompt action averted the expected catastrophe, and enabled (he Lady Superior to 
re-establish herself at Brinley Place, the seat of Maj Gen. Dearborne, at Koxbury. 
The authorities of Massachusetts disapproved of the call made on me; of which I in- 
formed the Hon. Secretary of the Navy; who, in the name of the President, instructed 
me, should I apprehend further difficulty, to send for an additional force to the comman- 
dant of the New York Navy Yard; which having done, I added a hundred and fifty men 
to my command. I apprised the Lady Superior, and Bishop Fenwkk, that tbey would 
have to look to the State authorities for protection; as 1 would, under the circumstances, 
feel bound to throw myself upon my otvn domicil; but that, to convince her I felt an in- 
terest in the safety of the institution, 1 would place my daughter Catharine in it. After 
this, an attack was made, at night, by throwing stones at, and through the windows of 
the house, which caused my dear chilu to write to her mother, begging, for God's sake, 
that her father might coma and bring her away! I went, and found her greatly alarmed. 
The Lady Supeiior feared no serious danger, and assured me the only object was to 
frighten her away. Believing my child was secure there, 1 admonished her of the im- 
propriety of timidity; when she remarked to me, " Pa, do you say there is no danger''' 
41 None in the world " " Then I'll stay, and won't he afraid!' 1 and she did remain till 
the last moment; thus enabling the LadySuperier to rest in the hope that where my child 
was, I would certainly he, when danger threatened. — I hat beloved child has since gone 
to her better abode, where sorrows cannot come. Once, she was all life and joy; but 
goon the persecution that was heaped upon her father, took root upon her young spirit — 
a sadness settled on her fair brow — she gave up the world — devoted her efforts to the cause 
of religion and charity, and finally died — a martyr! I received various communications 
from the Lady Superior, while the above difficulties were pending. The following was 
among them. 

*' To Commodore Elliott — 

•* The Superior of the Ursuline Community presents her respects to Commodore Elliott, 
and returns many thanks far the papers which he kindly sent for her perusal. She is 
happy to inform the Commodore that bis daughter is well, and appears quite contented 
with her present situation. 

" Brinley Place, Roxbury, Oct. 29, 1S34. 

[copy.] Nayt Yard, Chaflestown, August 30th, 1834. 

Sir, — At nine o'clock, the evening of the 26th ins!., I received a communication from 
the Sheriff of Middlesex, requesting me, in case of necessity, to aid bim in protecting 
the jail at Leechmore Point, from a mob. 

In fifteen minutes I had two hundred seamen, and seventy marines, well armed, in 
readiness to move immediately under my direction, and since the 26th, the same number 
has been kept in equal readiness. This force will be kept in this state of preparation, so 
loBg as any danger is apprehended. 

Being apprehensive that, in case of an attack, the mob would secure the draw at the 
bridge leading to Leechmore Point, I directed a portion of the marines, at the first alarm, 
to repair immediately to the draw, and keep possession until the main body should pass 
over. The seamen, however, are mostl> recruits, and it would therefore be important that 
tbey should not be kept upon guard duty, after the mob should be dispersed. 

As you are the nearest officer invested with power to act, 1 would therefore suggest to 
you the propriety of directing some volunteer companies to hold themselves in readiness 
to act, in case of an attack, and to relieve the seamen and marines, after the mob should 
be quelled. As an officer of the U. S., 1 feel every disposition to aid in supporting the 
laws of individual States, and to act in concert with the civil authorities of Massachu- 
setts at this unfortunate period. 

The force under my command is efficient, and in case of need, will, I trust, be able 
" to do the State some service." Respectfully, &c 

(Signed) J. D. ELLIOTT. 

Adjutant General Wm. H. Sumner, Massachusetts Militia, Boston. 


(copy.) Cambridge, 26«A August, 1834. 

To Com. Elliott, commanding the Navy Yard, Charlestown. 

Sir. — There has been fears that there might be an attack upon the jail at Leechmere Point* Cam- 
bridge, and in consequence of this, arrangements have been made to get the aid of a part of the mili- 
tia ot Suffolk and Middlesex ; bat it would take a long time to get them collected, tlisrefore, I have 
thought it exp Hient to request aid of you, should such an event happen. Your assistance would be 
more effectual than any we can get, as your men wouM soon be upon the spot. In case o r an attack, 
an alarm will be given by the rapd tolling of the bell of the Unitarian Church, near the jail. 

I presume you will readily give us aid in such a case, as it wculd be resistance to the laws of this 
commonwealth, and of course rebellion. Be so kind as to return an answer when convenient. 

Respectfully, 8cc. 
(Signed) B. F. VARNUM, 

Sheriff of Middlesex* 

[copy.] Navy Yard, Charlestown, August 21th, \ 

9 o'clock Evening, 1834. ) 
Sir.- I have this moment received information from the Sheriff of M ; ddlesex Couiity, setting forth 
the probability of an attack upon the jail at Leechmere's point. Should such an attack be made the 
tolling of the bell, in rapid succession at the Unitarian Church, will give the necessary warning. You 
will call in the two sentinels at the lower yard-, leaving the centinel at.ih^ lower gate, and be in read- 
iness with a proper supply of amunition, with two thirds of the Marine guards, stationed here, with 
which you will be pleased to act in con i unction with Lieut. Commandant Armstrong, with a body of 
seamen » ho will be on the spot and effectually protect the jail and disperse the rioters. The operation 
I will direct in person. 

The remaining part of the guard will be kept in readiness in conjunction with the remaining part 
of the crew of the Receiving ship, for the defence of the 5 ards, should the Rioters attempt any divi- 
sion to draw theforce from the protection of the jail. Be pleased to let a confidential non-commissioned 
officer patrol that part of the town nearest to the jail, to give us the eailiest information. Be pleased 
to let the centinels on post have their muskets charged with ball cartridges, with a full supply in their 
boxes. This order to continue in force until countermanded. 

I am respectfully sir, your ob'tserv't, 
(signed) J. D. ELLIOTT, 

Lieut. Col. Wm. H. Freeman, of Marines, Present. 

P. S. Please to give me the earliest information. The messenger to ring the bell at mv front door 
and to 'send 'the accompanying communication to the Sheriff of Middlesex County. The watch- 
word of approach to identify the Sheriff will be 'Hull.' The rendezvous to meet the seamen will be 
at Lock's corner. 

[copy.] Navy Yard, Charlestown, Aug. 27, 1834. 

Sir— I have this moment received your letter setting forth the probability of an attack on the jail at 
1 eechmeie's point. I have given the necessary instructions for an efficient number of marines and sea- 
Men to proceed to the spot, in the event of an alarm, and shall be there in person to give the necessaiy 

I pray you to feel no hesitation in calling on me for such aid as I may have at control, in enforcing the 
laws of the country, a violation of which snems now to b? attempted. 
I am, very respectfully, sir, yonr obedient servant, 

(Signed) J. D. ELLIOTT. 

B. F. Varnum, Sheriff of the County of Middlesex, Leechmere's Point, Cambridge. 

P. S. The watchword "Hull" of approach to myself and officers, .will identify you as Sheriff of the 

[copy ] Cambridge, Sept. 3d, 1843 

Commodore J. D. Elliott. 

Sir:— The excitement having subsided, I do not think it necessary, that you should keep up any 
unusual preparation to give us aid. I pray you not to put yourself to any further personal incon- 
venience about the subject. Should, however, any trouble occur, which I do not anticipate, I shall 
send for you, and you can come a9 soon as convenient, You are always snrficieiitly prepared. 

1 have written His Excellency upon the subject, but have not received an answer.jWhen I do, I will 
give you the result. 

Respectfully, &c. 
(Signed.) B. F. VARNUM. 

[copy.] Commandant's Office, Navy Yard, Boston, I 

September 3d, 1834. \ 
Sir— Since my letter to the Department of the 30th ult., I have received a letter from the Adjutant 
General of Massachusetts, a copy of which is herewith enclosed. 

It appears by this, that no danger is now, or will be apprehended from a mob for some time to come, 
as the rioters know that in case ot any movement, they will be promptly met by the United States' 
Forces here, in conjunction with the civil and military force of the State. 

I have the honor to be sir, very respectfully 
Your most obedient servant, 
(Signed) i. D. ELLIOTT. 

Hon. Mahlon Dickerson, Secretary ef the Navy, Washington, D, C. 

Respected and Honored Sir— Is it possible that the time has come when I am to separate from your 
dear and lovely Catharine! She is so sweet in Iter disposition, so kind to all, that she fills a place 
within my own heart, and is a living model of perfection to those around her. But it appears we 
must part: yet that we will meet again in another world I have no doubt Was I not of necessity se- 
cluded from the world, I would have much pleasure in accompanying my little children with the invi- 
tation to visit the far-famed Constitution, ere she departs on her warlike errand. I never *hall forget 
the kind and generous manner, with which you stepped forward in the hour of great need, and re- 
lieved me and my community from their distress. May heaven guard and protect you, and receive 
you as your last reward. 

MARY ST. GEORGE, Ursuline Community. 
Brierly Place, 1st March, 1835. To Coin. J. D. EMiotu 



With this first chapter, exhibiting the veneration of the Bostonians for the institu- 
tions of religion, by burning the retreat of her votaries, I will conclude by observing 
that to this day, not one farthing in the way of recompense has heen rendered by the 
authorities, for the sacrilegious destruction of property occupied by a few helpless, 
inoffensive ladies, whose lives were consecrated to their God ! 

The second instance is the following. I was waited upon by the District Attor- 
ney, with a request that I would plant an armed force around the Court House, at a 
certain time mentioned by him, as having been fixed for sentencing to death a num- 
ber of pirates that had been convicted shortly before. He stated that threats had 
been made throughout the city of a rescue, and that the court was apprehensive, such 
being the state of hostile feeling towards the Federal Government, that the culprits 
would be taken from the temple of justice by a mob. I told him, that the few men 
I ha J . in the yard could make no effectual resistance against such odds; yet that I, 
with a number of officers well armed, but in citizen's dress, would go to the Court 
room, and that before the rioters should seize upon the convicts, they would have to 
pass over our dead bodies. 

Accompanied by about a dozen resolute officers I accordingly went on the occa- 
sion of the sentencing, and with my band, occupied seats within the bar. We found 
the Court room most thickly thronged by a very questionable company. The Hon. 
Judge Story in his manner indicated much alarm, but at length commenced his aw- 
ful task. So soon as he began, an equivocal movement was made by the dense mass 
of spectators, and from the appearance of the prisoners, I thought I perceived that 
they expected some demonstration in their favor. I rose up and moved from the 
bar to trie front of the assembly. The judge proceeded, and the poor wretches re- 
ceived their doom without further interruption. 

In connexion with these remarks, touching the spirit of the people of Boston, I 
will relate an incident, which may go to exhibit their claims to denizenship in a 
land of steady habits and " fixed principles." An elegant and costly writing desk, 
made of rosewood, beautifully mounted and adorned, had been constructed with a 
special purpose of presenting it to Gen. Jackson, when he should visit the city, 
on express invitation from the authorities. At that time the General was extreme- 
ly popular with the good folks of Boston ; and this manifestation of their regard was 
but one among a thousand, that were arranged to prove it. Accordingly on his ar- 
rival, the desk was placed in the room, prepared for him. It was well stored with 
the usual conveniences and comforts ; such as a shaving apparatus, penknives, mir- 
ror, tooth-brushes, pincushion, a beautiful seal with the General's initials, surround- 
ed by an olive branch and a serpent; and even one or two pots of corn salve ! Every 
thing needful was there, and of a costly kind ; it was quite a cabinet of notions. 

The General enjoyed the use of the desk, during his sojourn in Boston ; but whilst 
he was en route for the North, it was ascertained that he had penned his instructions 
for the removal of the Treasury Deposits fiom the United States Bank, upon this 
very article, which had been intended for a souvenir of patriotic affection! The 
tone of feeling among the people was instantaneously changed ! The President was 
as unceremoniously vilified as he had before been caressed ; and when he returned 
to the city, he not only found that all their warmth and attentions had subsided, but 
that the desk teas gone . r The donors, on account of the deposits, had removed it, 
and exposed it to sale to the highest bidder I 

It was purchased by an esteemed friend, Grenville Temple Winthrop, Esq., who 
did me the honor of presenting it to> me, with the accompanying letter : 

Boston, 1st March, 1835. 
My dear sir, — I send the desk, which I mentioned this afternoon, and beg you 
to receive it as a slight token of the high esteem, with which I have the honor to be, 
Your friend and faithful humble servant, 

To Commodore Elliott, U, S. Frigate Constitution. 

P. S. It is precisely as it was when in General Jackson's room, at the Tremont 

I thought that there might be some charm in the desk, and accordingly had my 
defence written on it, and signed with the same pen that the President had used in 


preparing Lis instructions; but all wouldn't do! — as the sequel of the pro- 
ceedings of the Court Martial unfortunately proved ! — I. however, took occasion to 
send to the Hero of Orleans, the seal and tooth-brush ; stating to him that I deemed 
the seal properly his ; — as for the brush, I did not desire any interest in it ! 

On my arrival at New York with the Constitution, the ship was visited by great 
numbers of persons ; and among them was one, who manifested as I thought, an ex- 
clusive curiosity to see every thing about the frigate. He was gratified in his ap- 
parent desire, and at length was introduced into the cabin. Alter inspecting the 
arrangements, &c, he came to me, and observed that he was the inventor of an 
article, which was very beneficial to the human family J I bowed my wish for him 
to explain; when he pulled cut two small pots of corn salve, similar to those placed 
in the desk for the use of the General! With much difficulty, I commanded myself 
sufficiently to tell him that the people of Boston had anticipated his wish to relieve 
the human family, &c. I showed him the salve in the desk, which he recognized 
as his, and. consequently, the pure article. But he appeared very much disappoint- 
ed in not effecting a trade with me: so much so, that putting up his salve, which 
was so beneficial to mankind, and angry with me, perhaps, that all my toes were 
not covered with corns, like an alligator's back, he went ashore, without one 
more look at the ship, or any thing belonging to her ! 

Xote H. 

During my cruise on the coast of Brazil, the conduct of that govern- 
ment was such as seriously to affect American commerce, and to call 
for decisive action on the part of those to whom were committed the ho- 
nor and rights of our country. The following correspondence will ex- 
plain the nature of some of the difficulties ; and I am pleased to say that 
they were terminated by a happy understanding between the two govern- 

" U. S.Ship Cyane, off Ortiz Bank. \ 
April 3d, 1825. \ 

Sir, — The undersigned, commanding the U. S. naval force on the coast of Brazil, 
begs leave to submit for the consideration of Admiral Lobo, commanding his impe- 
rial majesty ; s forces at the Rio de la Plata, a few remarks on the subject of the block- 
ade, recently proclaimed by him, of the wnole extent of coast of the republic of 
Buenos Ayres, and all those on the oriental side of the La Plata; an extent of nearly 
thirty degrees of latitude. 

The United states, just in her intercourse with the nations on both sides of the 
hemisphere, will expect a correspondent return. She has steadfastly contended for, 
and uniformly sustained the point, that she will not submit to the terms of a block- 
ade of a whole coast of nearly thirty degree of latitude, such as you have been pleased 
te set forth in your manifesto of the 21st December last; and the undersigned begs 
leave to remark to Admiral Lobo. that whilst the United States will observe a strict 
neutrality between the parties in the present contest, she will most steadfastly and 
scrupulously defend a point which she has already waded through a bloody but a 
successful war in the maintenance of. 

The intelligence of an officer vested with the command of a force of the magnitude 
of the present, it is presumed, will induce him to look into and search for informa- 
tion of those authorities which treat on international law, and can enlighten and il- 
lume the mind. He will there have brought to his view the terms of the armed 
neutrality of 1780, which settled all those point3 amongst the different European 
nations. Gi eat Britain, then the most powerful of the maritime nations in the world, 
in a convention with the empire of Russia, entered into in 1801, stipulated " that in 
order to determine what characterizes a blockaded port, that denomination is only 
given to a port where there is. by the dispositions of the power that attacks it, with 
ships stationary or sufficiently near, an evident danger in entering.'' It is needless 
to say that the other powers in Europe, as well as, the United States, then the only 


independent one of the great Western world, never having disputed the principles, 
could not otherwise regard it than as the established line between all. It commenced 
with the present century, and it is equally clear that it must be so considered at this 
time, notwithstanding the violations practised in recent days. So satisfied with the 
correctness of this principle was the government of Great Britain, that, in the year 
1804, inconsequence of a remonstrance made by the American government against 
a declaration of a general blockade 'of the islands ol Martinique and Guadaloupe,' pro- 
claimed by the British naval commander,orders were issued to him 'not to consider any 
blockade of these islands as existing, unless in respect to particular ports which may 
be actually invested, and then, not to capture vessels bound to such ports, unless 
they have been previously warned not to enter them.' The United States will not 
acknowledge a blockade as valid against its civil marine, unless confined to particu- 
lar ports, each one having stationed before it a force sufficiently great to prevent the 
entry of all vessels carrying materials to succor the besieged ; and no vessel shall be 
seized, even in attempting to enter the port so blockaded, till she has been previous- 
ly warned off, and the fact endorsed on her register. The undersigned will also 
avail himself of this occasion to express his regret that the representative of his im- 
perial majesty should have found it necessary to adopt a course, in relation to the 
United States, so well calculated to disturb the harmony and good feelings which 
exist between the two governments ; that whilst he has the disposition to present to 
Admiral Lobo an earnest of those feelings of his government, when she stepped forth 
first from among the nations of the earth, in the recognition of the empire of Brazil 
as amongst them, free, sovereign and independent, he will also insure him that in- 
demnity will be claimed for, and, if necessary, the undersigned will feel himself 
called upon to bring into operation that arm of the nation's naval force placed sub- 
ject to his control, in repelling all improper encroachments on American vessels, 
and on her maritime and neutral rights. 

With great respect, &c, 

To his Excellency Don Jose Rodrigo Ferreira Lobo, Vice 
Admiral of the forces of his Imperial Majesty, the Emper- 
or of Brazil." 

"United States Ship Cyane, Monte Video, \ 
April 25th, 1826. ] 
Sir, — The very frank and free conversation I had with your excellency this morn- 
ing, has greatly relieved my mind on the subject of the future leading you intend 
your blockade to have on the commerce of the United States; and I will be frank to 
say that my government cannot nor will not object to the proclamation of Buenos 
Ayres and Ensenda being in close blockade, and made so by the force you at present 
have in La Plata, leaving the outer coast, and that of Patagonia and the northern coast 
of the Banda Oriental, not designated. With high consideration, &c, &c, 


Don Rodrigo Jose Ferreira Lobo, Vice Admiral Brazilian 
Navy, Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces in the Rio 
de la Plata." 

" United States Ship Cyane, Monte Video, \ 
April 27th, 1826. ] 
Sir, — The undersigned would suggest to his Excellency, Vice Admiral Lobo, the 
propriety of our settling, previous to separating at this time, the grounds on which 
the blockade in the river La Plata should be conducted in relation to the commerce 
of the United States; this the undersigned feels well assured will be productive of a 
continuance of those harmonious feelings which at present exist in our respective 
governments. With high consideration, &c. &c. 

Don Rodrigo Jose Ferreira Lobo, Vice Admiral, Brazilian 
Navy, commanding the naval forces in the Rio de la 



" On board the Corvette Liberal, at anchor, in sight of Monte Video, \ 

27th April, 182G. \ 

Sir, — The undersigned, Vice Admiral, Commandant of the naval forces of the 
Empire of Brazil, stationed in the river La Plata, acknowledges the receipt of two 
letters from Com. Elliott, of the United States frigate Cyane, upon the blockade of 
the ports of the Republic of Buenos Ayres, as the manifesto of the undersigned de- 
-clares, and which is approved by his government : 

To which Com. Elliott does not accede in all its extent, and only admits the block- 
ade to extend to Buenos Ayres and to Ensenada; and that all the rest of the ports 
ought not to be considered in a state of blockade; and upon this consideration the un- 
dersigned cannot agree with Com. Elliott, who claims that all the other ports within, 
and those out of the Rio de la Plata, should be excluded. The undersigned reminds 
Com. Elliott that he (Admiral Lobo) maintained, in the conference which they had, 
that all the ports comprehended within the Rio de la Plata, that is, from the Capes 
of Santa Maria and Santa Antonia, were all rigorously blockaded. 

The undersigned hopes he has satisfied Com. Elliott on this question ; if not, he 
has only to direct him to the court at Rio de Janeiro, where he will be completely 

The undersigned would not grant that which would not be approved by his gov- 
ernment. This is all which, on this occasion, remains for him to offer upon the sub- 
ject in question. 

The undersigned retains for Com. Elliott sentiments of the highest esteem and 


Vice Admiral, Brazilian Navy." 

" U. S. Ship Cyane, Monte Video, \ 
May 4th, 1826. \ 
Sir, — The undersigned has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the communi- 
cation of his Excellency Vice Admiral Lobo, of the present date; and in answer he 
has to remark, that he understood distinctly from your Excellency a declaration, at 
the conference to which you allude, that the blockade you intended hereafter to en- 
force was confined to the ports within the Rio de la Plata, and that the coast outside 
was no longer to be considered as in blockade. This was also the understanding of 
his officer, who had conference with your Excellency the succeeding day. 
The undersigned has the honor, &c. &c. 

(Signed) J. D. ELLIOTT. 

Don Rodrigo Jose Ferreiea Loeo, Vice Admiral, Com- 
manding the Brazilian forces at the Rio de la Plata." 

" On hoard the Corvette Liberal, at anchor, in front of Monte Video, \ 

May 4th, 1826. \ 
I have received your note of this day concerning the ports which are considered 
as rigorously blockaded; they are those which are within the river La Plata, from 
Cape Santa Maria and St. Antonio, as well as the western and eastern banks of the 
river, except Monte Video ; and this was always the understanding which I had in 
the conference with yourself, and no other form ; and if you have understood it in any 
other manner, I am not culpable for it, because I have the misfortune of not under- 
standing your language. I cannot be responsible for the mistakes which the inter- 
preters sometimes may make. 

You are iware that his Imperial Majesty having approved my manifesto, it is not 
in my power to destroy what has been published, and I have endeavored not a little 
to consider only in rigorous blockade the ports which I have mentioned above. 
I have imparted to you all which offers itself upon this subject. 
I remain yours, with much consideration and esteem, 

Vice Admiral, Brazilian Navy." 


: ' U. S. Ship Cyane, off Monte Video, \ 
May 4th, 1826. \ 

Sir, — There is still one letter of your Excellency to which I feel called upon to 
reply, in taking leave of the subject we have had under discussion. I will briefly re- 
mark that I have not yet seen the grounds on which his Imperial Majesty presents 
the justice of his blockades of the extent you set forth in answer to my note of the 
3d ult ; second, that because some of the European powers rave attempted to intro- 
duce a system most pernicious to the commerce of non-belligerents, the justice of 
similar actions on the part of one of the youngest governn ents on this side of the 
hemisphere can by no means be made apparent. If there is authority, I should be 
glad to see it, and will submit for your further consideration some other on the sub- 
ject of blockade, which is new to us on this side of the water, and requires great cir- 
cumspection in the introduction of a system, which, in the end, may be quoted and 
used successfully against us. The following is of British origin, strengthened by 
reference to those able writers on international law, Grotius and Vattel. 

' It is under this impression that tribunals of the law of nations, before they have 
enforced the provisions of a blockade, have uniformly required it to be established 
by clear and unequivocal evidence; first, that the party proceeded against has had 
due notice of the existence of the blockade, and secondly, that the squadron allotted 
for the purposes of its execution, was fully competent to cut off all communication 
with the interdicted port. These points have been deemed so indispensably requi- 
site to the existence of a legal blockade, that the failure of either of them has been 
held to amount to an entire deference of the measure ; and this even in cases where 
the notification of it has issued immediately from the fountain of supreme authority.' 
— Chitty on Belligerent Powers and Neutral Rights. Boston edition, pages 129, 

The blockade must not only have been declared by competent authority, but must 
be also an actually existing blockade. A blockade is there only to be considered as 
actually existing, when there is a power to enforce it. (y). ' The very notion of a 
complete blockade,' said Sir William Scott in the case of the Sterl,* 'includes that 
the besieging force can apply its power to every point of the blockaded state. If it 
cannot, there is no blockade of that port where ils power cannot be brought to bear.' 
We find, however, from the case of the Frederick Molke,t that ' it is not au acci- 
dental absence of the blockading force, nor the circumstance of being blown off by 
wind, (if the suspension and the reason of the suspension are known,) that will be 
sufficient in law to remove a blockade.' But if the relaxation happen not by such 
accidents as these, but by mere remissness of the cruisers stationed to maintain the 
blockade, (who are too apt, by permitting the passage of some vessels, to give fair 
grounds to others for supposing the blockade concluded.) then it is impossible for a 
court of justice to say that the blockade is actually existing. 'It is vain,' said Sir 
William Scott in the case of the Juffron Marid Schroeder, J ■ for governments to im- 
pose blockades, if those employed on that service will not enforce them ; the incon- 
venience is very great, and spreads far beyond the individual case ; reports are easily 
circulated that the blockade is raised ; foreigners take advantage of the information, 
the property of innocent persons is ensnared, and the honor of our own country is in- 
volved in the mistake. '|| This was decided in the court of appeal in February, 1792. 

Perhaps I may be considered as travelling a little out of the strict path of my duty 
as a naval commander, when I present for your information these authorities on in- 
ternational law ; but when one feels disposed not to call forth unpleasant discussion 
with our respective governments, there is always a hope when light can be shed, 
and this reference seems to meet the present case at issue. 

I did not expect you would have introduced the case of the Grace Anne ; it is one 
to which you may have supposed 1 had an allusion in the closing paragraph of my 
communication. She was a trading vessel belonging to citizens of the United States, 

• Mercurious. 1 Rob. Rep. 50. 

1 1 Rob. Rep. S6; 1 Kcp. 93, 94, 14*. 156; 1 Acton's Rep. 59. 

t 4 Rob. Rep. 66; 1 Acton, 64-65; Ld. i£.i skmc's Speech, Sib March, 1808, on the orders in council, 10 
•Cobbett'a Pari. Deb. 919, 50. 

H Rob. Rep. 156; ibid, 158, 159; 1 Acton's Rep. 59. See »lso Dr. Phillimore on License Trade, 52, io 


from one of its ports destined for Buenos Ayres. Since the receipt of your note, the 
particulars of her case, as well as those of the brigs Henry of Portland, and the 
Joseph of Boston, have been presented to me through an official source. The former, 
it appears, was taken forcible possession of, off the Ortiz, by your squadron, brought 
back to Monte Video, and there detained three days as a prize, and at the same time 
the master was denied all opportunity of having intercourse with the shore, or of 
communicating with the U. S. Consul ; and she was farther detained full three weeks 
in your possession, on the pretext that she had more goods on board than was stated 
in the manifest of her cargo. The Henry was also boarded off Buenos Ayres, the 
vessel overhauled, the mate and one of the seamen most cruelly beaten ; and the 
Joseph was also taken possession of off Monte Video, there held, the vessel drifted 
about by the current, and returned to the master, her geographical position not then 
known, and was eventually lost on the English Bank. These points are presented for 
your explanation. I will further beg leave to remark to your Excellency, that it has 
always been admitted that when a blockade is established first on lawful principles, 
a trading vessel has a right to present herself before any force there, to qe warned 
not to enter the port; should a further attempt be made, she may be taken possession 
of, and under the forms of a trial be condemned. It becomes a matter on which the 
vessel and cargo is forfeited. I am somewhat at a loss to perceive how your Ex- 
cellency can believe your force stationed in the blockade of all the ports of the Rio 
de la Plata according to maritime principles, being in a line parallel to a shore dis- 
tant on one side thirty miles and on the other seventeen, and from the three most 
important ports more than one hundred miles — commanding the space between your 
buoys, where vessels may pass and repass unseen at their pleasure; instanced in the 
arrival at Buenos Ayres whilst my ship lay there, of an American, of a French, and 
of two English brigs, all richly laden. 

Possessed of a fleet of nearly fifty sail wearing the flag of his Imperial Majesty, 
and now in the La Plata, Admiral Brown, from a declared blockaded port, with a 
temporarily fitted force of only six vessels, passes and repasses at pleasure in your 
presence, and within twenty miles of you, attacks and captures at Coliniaand Monte 
Video, both his Imperial Majesty's vessels of war and also those of his subjects ; this 
fact is instanced in the arrival, within the space of six days, of six prizes at Buenos 

On closing this, the undersigned begs leave to call your Excellency's attention to- 
his former communication, setting forth the views of his government on the subject 
of blockade, and trusts they will meet with the entire approbation of his Imperial 
Majesty. With high considerations, &c. 

Don Rodrigo Jose Farreira Lobo, Vice Admiral, com- 
manding the Brazilian forces at the Rio de la Plata." 

" At S A. M. moderate pleasant weather; at 9, discovered the vessels at anchor 
ahead to be the Brazilian blockading squadron, about 10 miles E. S. E. of the S. E. 
end of the Ortiz bank; at 9 30, observed five vessels of war under weigh, standing to- 
wards us ; at 10, made them to be one frigate, one corvette and three brigs; prepared 
for battle and showed our colors; at 11 shortened sail to the topsails, and hauled up 
for the Brazilian squadron under weigh; at 11 30, the frigate was on the lee beam at 
about 150 yards distance, two brigs on the lee bow, the other a little on the weather 
quarter, and the corvette astern and to leeward; at 11 40, hailed the frigate and ask- 
ed her name; answered, 'His Imperial Majesty's frigate Maria da Gloria.' The 
name of our ship was then asked and given, succeeded by a demand that a boat should 
be sent. This demand was peremptorily refused by Captain Elliott, adding that a 
boat should never be sent from his ship, although one would be received ; observed 
the guns of the frigate trained and tompions out ; kept the larboard guns on the main, 
deck manned for the frigate, and her consorts on the lee bow, and manned the star- 
board quarter-deck guns for the brig on the weather quarter; observed the brig on the 
weather shortly after drop astern ; at 11 45, received a boat from the frigate and 
brig with two officers, who were introduced to Captain Elliott in his cabin, by whom 
he was informed that the port of Buenos Ayres was blockaded, and he could not be 
permitted to .proceed. To which he replied that, if even he were to admit their 
right to proclaim the blockade of an extent of coast against a civil marine, he could 


not against neutral vessels of war; that both English and French vessels of war Wets' 
in the habit of proceeding almost daily, to and from Monte Video and Buenos Ayres 
as instanced both in the British and French corvettes Fawn and Chasseur; that he 
would allow him thirty minutes to deliberate on his future actions, and at the expir- 
ation of that time he would proceed, prepared to resist all consequences; that the 
flag he wore carried under it the sovereignty of the soil it represented ; that vio- 
lated, the soil became invaded; and that he should defend his ship to the last moment 
Captain Elliott further observed to the officer, that he h=td a communication for Ad- 
miral Lobo. which was requested. Captain Elliott declined giving it to the officer 
until he returned from his frigate and discovered her true character. At 12, the 
Brazilian boats left the ship; during all this time the weatherly position of the ship 
was maintained, and every other precaution taken to resist, with effect, an attack 
from the squadron, which appeared to be meditated ; at 12 20. hailed the frigate to 
know if they had any farther communication to make ; they answered by asking if 
Captain Elliott would send the Admiral's letters and papers : yes, was the reply, if 
you will send a boat; at 12 45, a boat came alongside for letters and papers for the 
Admiral, with the compliments of the commanding officer to Captain Elliott, ten- 
dering every civility, and offering any supplies he might be in want of, with his 
best wishes for a speedy and pleasant passage to Buenos Ayres : Captain Elliott re- 
turned his compliments and thanks, adding that his ship was abundantly supplied 
with every necessary, and that all he wanted was a free and generous intercourse 
with all nations, concluding with an offer to be the bearer of any communication the 
commanding officer, or any other in the squadron, might have to make with Buenos 
Ayres; at 1, the Brazilian boat departed; bore up, passed within hail of the Brazil- 
ian squadron along their line ; made all sail for Buenos Ayres." 

Whilst cruising on the coast of Mexico, I learned that among other 
outrages committed by the Mexican naval force, an American seaman 
had been impressed from the ship Virginia of New York, whilst she 
was lying in the harbor of Vera Cruz. I immediately addressed Admi- 
ral Lopez upon the subject, and the following correspondence was the 
result : 

77. <S. Skip Falmouth, off the Island of Sacrificios, 
December 26th, 1829. 

Sir, — The undersigned, commanding the United States naval forces in the West 
Indies and Gulf of Mexico, takes this occasion to address to Captain Francis Paula 
Lopez, commanding the Mexican naval forces at Vera Cruz, a few remarks on the 
subject of the seaman Lewis, a citizen of the United States, who had some time 
since been impressed into the naval service of Mexico, and more recently from on 
board the merchant ship Virginia, of New York, while in this port, conducting a 
lawful trade, and conforming to all the laws adopted for the regulation of commer- 
cial intercourse. 

Whilst the undersigned expresses his regret that the interposition of his military 
authority should have been necessary, from the failure of the application of the 
accredited agent of the United States at Vera Cruz, in obtaining the release of the 
seaman in question, he would remark that the seamen of the United States are a 
class of her citizens on whom the Government, the Nation, and more particularly 
the Nary, look as highly valuable, and entitled in an eminent degree to their pro- 
tection and consideration; whose industry in times of peace supplies the Govern- 
ment with pecuniary means, and whose blood flows copiously in conducting its 

The undersigned regrets that he had not been apprised at an earlier moment of 
all the circumstances attending this case, which would have imperiously required 
him to have seen the wrong properly redressed by the same hand which had inflicted 
the injury, previously to the departure of the Virginia from Vera Cruz, for the port 
of New York. 

Possibly all the facts connected with the impressment of the person whose lib- 
erty has been demanded and obtained from you, may not have been fully represented 


to your view. Under this supposition, the undersigned takes occasion to state that 
some time since, Lewis became impressed into the naval service of Mexico, whilst 
invaded by a foreign enemy. During the time he was impressed, he sought an op- 
portunity of returning to his native country, and embarked in the ship Virginia, of 
New York, for the United States. On board of this ship he was arrested, and taken 
by violence to the Congress ship of the line, by an officer acting under presumed 
authority. Since then he has been fettered in chains; and the more publicly to expose 
his arbitrarily assumed guilt, has been employed in the execution of a degrading 
duty on shore. In this situation he throws himself personally on the protection of 
the United States Consul, who demands his release, but whose demand is rejected. 

The recital of these circumstances has excited feelings which the undersigned 
forbears to express. Those sentiments, in the production of which the subject is so 
fruitful, which would be unpleasant to him to communicate, and to yourself to hear, 
he will suppress while conferring with the representative of a sister republic, 
which, in its infancy, his government has cherished, and in its maturer age has 
patronized and encouraged, which at this moment is disturbed with internal commo- 
tion, and threatened by an enemy from abroad. Bearing in mind the friendly dis- 
position of his country towards the Republic of Mexico, the undersigned has been 
prompted to extend every courtesy, which you will do him the justice to say you 
have received at his hand, as well as from those acting under his authority, since 
his arrival on your coast. 

The undersigned hopes that the officer in command of the naval forces of Mexico 
at Vera Cruz, will be enabled to render such an explanation on this subject as 
will amount to a redress of the wrong complained of, and convey an assurance that 
there will not be a recurrence of the same. 

With all due consideration, the undersigned has the honor to subscribe your obe- 


"Department of Marine of Vera Cruz. 

The Consul of the United States of the North verbally claimed from me the sea- 
man John Lewis, who was confined for a proven theft, and of which he was in- 
formed by the party aggrieved ;'but having offered to deliver the seaman up to him, 
notwithstanding this fact, 1 complied with my word, as we have always acted in 
perfect harmony in all matters which have occurred between us. Therefore, 
although I had received a verbal communication from you through one of your offi- 
ceis, I replied that I would send the order to the Consul as soon as it should be 
received at my office, believing that to pursue a different course would be to offer 
an insult to him, contrary to the laws of nations, and very foreign to my charac- 
ter. Two hours after enclosing to him the said order, placing the seaman John 
Lewis, at his disposal, I received your note, which indeed somewhat surprised me, 
as much for the reasons already given, as because you are pleased to say, that "the 
interposition of your military authority was necessary," which I can conjecture to 
be founded on a mistaken idea of what has passed, as in no case whatever, having a 
Consul at this place legally recognised by your government, and in the Capital a 
Minister placed at the head of affairs, can you make a demand of me by virtue of 
your military authority without a powerful motive. 

I should be false to my principles were I not to declare frankly and sincerely, 
the urbanity and consideration which yourself and the other gentlemen under your 
command have been pleased to dispense to me in particular, as well as in general 
to the corps which I command; and were I not to acknowledge with which I was 
treated at Pensacola by the officers of the Navy of the United States of the North, 
when I commanded the brig Guerrier, for which attention I shall never find lan- 
guage to express my gratitude. 

As well for the causes above exposed, as for various other manifestations of 
brotherly feeling, T and every other true Mexican will be grateful, as also for the 
protection which our independence received in its cradle from the United States of 
the North, being, as they were, the first republic to declare their acknowledgment 
of it. I should be false to my principles and honor, if concealing this truth, I were 
not to contribute to preserve intact the neutrality of two republics Who ought to 



maintain intimate relations of friendship with each other, as you and I fully under- 

In this despatch I believe I have answered your note of the 26th inst.,and which 
a want of health and my little aptitude at translation have caused me to delay un- 
til now, when I have the satisfaction to do so, hoping you will be pleased to excuse 
the delay, and certain that at all times I have endeavored to avoid causes of un- 
pleasant altercation. 

I offer to you the distinguished consideration and respect of your most attentive 
and ob't serv't. 


Vera Cruz. 31st December, 1829." 

" U. S. Ship Falmouth, before Vera Cruz, \ 
January 2d, 1830. \ 

Sir, — Your letter of the 31st nit. has been received. In my communication of 
the 26th of the same, to which yours is an answer, I endeavored to impress you 
with a sense of the unjust and cruel treatment extended to the seaman Lewis, by 
detailing the circumstances of his case. Of the truth of these, relying on the vera- 
city of the Consul of the United States at Vera Cruz, I have not entertained the 
slightest doubt. If they had been misstated, it was reasonable to expect from you 
a confutation. Until you shall have made it appear that there has been misrepre- 
sentation, I shall remain firm in the sentiments which I have already expressed. 

I am aware of the fact contained in your note of " there being a Consul in this 
place, legally recognized by my Government, and a Minister located in the Capital 
<.t the head of affairs." I am also aware that the exertions of the former had 
proved unavailing ; and that not until my interposition was the release of the sea- 
man granted. It is equally true I have not presented myself before you in the capa- 
city ol a diplomatic agent. Within the range of my command is included the coast 
of Mexico, where my object is the protection of our commerce; and in order to the 
complete attainment of this, it is my duty and determination to afford relief and pro- 
tection to all who are lawfully engaged in it. In doing so, I will ask for nothing 
that is not clearly right, and submit to nothing that is wrong. This may serve to 
relieve you in some measure from the surprise occasioned by, and to explain to you 
the motive which called for " the interposition of my military authority," which 
only became necessary upon your refusal to comply with the request of the Consul 
of the United States, for the release of the person whom you persisted in detaining 
in your service. 

On what grounds you continued his impressment, notwithstanding repeated'demands 
from that olficer for his release, I am at a loss to discover. You speak of his " being 
a prisoner, in consequence of a proven theft." And you consider the information 
of the party aggrieved as sufficient evidence, and upon that alone you pronounce his 
guilt. But suppose his guilt established. Surely you do not mean to plead it in 
defence of the treatment you have visited upon him since his original impressment; 
to raise up an apology for your own injustice out of his crimes. For these he has 
suffered ample punishment in the infliction of thirty-six lashes on his naked body, 
ordered and inspected by yourself, immediately subsequent to his second impress- 
ment from on board the Virginia. And are you not willing to confess this an 
ungrateful return for the services he has rendered? Might you not have palliated 
his offence, (which is by no means established,) by reflection on the state of eruti 
destitution, of penury, and of bodily disease, in which you retained him? Might 
not the recollection of the hospitable treatment you received at the hands of his 
countrymen have inclined you to a different course? I feel more than usual ardor 
while dwelling on a subject of so much interest to myself, in common with all my 
countrymen. We have long since demonstrated our aversion from the practice of 
impressment. We have already shown a determination not to submit to the views 
of those who have construed it into a right. Our Government, in waging with 
England both the war which eventuated in our independence, and that whose object 
was its maintenance, was strongly influenced by a desire to destroy this obnoxious 

It would be satisfactory to understand from you the reasons which have influenced 
you in your treatment of the individual in question, as well as the course you design 


pursuing in relation to our seamen generally, who may chance tojbe on your coast. 

It is to be hoped you will concede a point which even your ancient and present 

enemy s°cured to us by treaty, previously to the commencement of your strggles 

for independence. 

A nation contending for liberty in her own case, should be the last to violate it in 

the case of another. It would be an utter inconsistency in any people to adopt in a 

particular instance, the very principle which they are struggling to destroy. 
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir. your ob't and humble serv't, 


Capt. Francis Pat-la Lopfz, Commanding the Mexican Na- 
val Forces at Vera Cruz.'' 

" Department of Marine, of Vera Cruz. 

I have received your attentive note of the 2d instant, in which you reply to mine 
of the 31st of the last month, when I requested you to have the goodness to excuse 
my delay in answering yours of the 26th. on account of the difficulty I find in trans- 
lating, and of some suffering in my health; and although in my above mentioned 
note, I stated that yours had surprised .me, it was because I had already complied 
with the request of the Consul, to whom I appeal, in order that you may, if you 
thirk proper, inform yourself what conduct I have observed towards that gentle- 
man on all occasions since we have been acquainted. 

I am frank and ingenuous ; I will not ceny that the order was not sent with the 
despatch which ought to have been used, because the chief clerk whom I direded 
to enter it, had forgotten to do so, and also because of the bad weather experienced 
at the time. 

As to the individual in question, I have made known to you the motives for taking 
him on board. As to the course of conduct which you exact from me, and the man- 
ner in which American seamen who may be upon our coast ought to be treated, you 
may be well satisfied that for myself, as far as I may be concerned toward them, 
there will be no ground of complaint which can give offence, either at this time or 
in future; wherefore if my former declaration was not sufficient to convince you 
that it is not and never has been my intention to be wanting in respect either to 
yourself or to Mr. Taylor, I believe that the present will be so, and I repeat that 
my sentiments have never been different from those I have expressed. 

I have the honor to offer my most distinguished consideration and respect, 


Vera Cruz, Jan. 3d, 1830."' 

" U. S. Ship Falmouth, before Vera Cruz, \ 
January 4th, 1830. J 

Sir, — I acknowledge the Tecoipt of your letter of yesterday. From the concep- 
tion which, considering the difficulty encountered in translating it, I have formed of 
its contents, it bespeaks a determination on your part to pursue a different course 
hereafter. On the subject of our short correspondence. I have felt deeply. Had 
the wrong complained of proceeded from the functionaries of a monarchy, a form 
of goverment is which republics bear but little affinity, I should not have felt the 
same surprise. But my feelings amounted to regret when I reflected upon the in- 
justice which the representative of a free people had sanctioned. 

lam happy to understand from you your intention of adopting towards Ameri- 
can seamen, a mode of treatment which is calculated to reflect glory on your conn- 
try, and to promote the harmony of the two republics. Here I cannot omit present- 
ing to your consideration the following emphatic remarks of the present Chief 
Magistrate, while on the subject of our sister republics at the South, contained in 
his last message to the Congress of the United States. While I do so, I cannot but 
expect it will meet with the admiration of every friend of liberty. " We trust, 
however, that the day is not distant when the restoration of peace and internal 
quiet under permanent systems of government, securing the liberty and promoting 
the happiness of the citizens, will crown with complete success their long and arduous 
efforts in the cause of self-government, and enable us to salute them as friendlv 
rivals in all that is truly great and glorious.'-' This sentiment I hope will be recip- 
rocated by all true Mexicans. 


As I am about to take my departure for other ports of my command, I cannot but 
express my hopes for the prosperity of the Republic of Mexico. I shall be happy 
on my return to find her present difficulties removed, and herself in the possession 
of internal peace, and in the enjoyment of all the benefits which must flow from 
a permanent and settled form of government 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your ob't serv't, 

Capt. F. P Lopez, Commanding the Mexican Naval Forces 

at Vera Cruz." 

" United States' Skip Erie, Harbor of Mata.7izas, I 
December 3d, 1830. J 
Sir : — The undersigned, commanding the United States naval forces in the West 
Indies and Gulf of Mexico, takes occasion to bring to the notice of your Excellency, 
an occurrence which took place in the harbor of Matanzas on the morning of the 
1 1th ult. the character of which is developed in the protest of the master and crew 
of the brig Elizabeth, of Bath, and the certificate of the masters of American ves- 
sels in the port at. that time, copies of which accompany this communication, 
marked A and B. 

The undersigned is informed that the commander of the United States' sloop of 
war Natchez, (who left here previous to his arrival) made a call upon the Governor 
of Matanzas for an explanation of the causes which led to this event, which was 
answered by the officer in charge of the government, by a reference to your excel- 

The undersigned does not believe that your excellency is disposed to sanction 
such an arbitrary exercise of military authority, on the part of the officer by whose 
orders the aggression was committed on the brig Elizabeth. She was engaged in 
lawful trade, and having conformed to all the commercial regulations recognized in 
the port, was about to leave it at the usual hour in the morning, when she received 
a shot from the Fort, which not only injured her considerably, but wounded three 
of her crew, one of them severely, although the hail from the Fort had been 
repeatedly answered, and the vessel brought to an anchor. 

It is doubtless known to your excellency that such is the character of the harbor 
of Matanzas, that unless advantage be taken of the land breeze which is felt at the 
earliest period of the morning, it not unfrequently happens the vessel desiring to 
depart is detained during the remainder of the day. Under these circumstances, and 
the brig Elizabeth being provided with all the requisite passports from the proper 
authorities here, the undersigned cannot perceive the necessity of the extreme rigor 
which has been exercised towards her. In the present instance, it appears to the 
undersigned that the blood of his countrymen has been wantonly shed and their pro- 
perty injured, without adequate cause, and that i his act, emanating from an officer 
of the government, is inconsistent with the spirit and tenor of the treaties existing 
between our respective governments, for the guidance of the subjects of His Catho- 
lic Majesty and the citizens of the United States, and having for their object the 
general advantage and reciprocal utility of both nations. Your excellency being so 
well acquainted with all the articles of the treaties alluded to, I deem it unneces- 
sary to call your attention to more than the 7th and 8th articles of the treaty of 
October, 1795. Whilst the undersigned has never countenanced any improper acts 
of his countrymen, they expect protection when engaged in lawful commerce, and 
his government will require of him the exercise of his power in effecting it. 

Aware of the excitement which this occurrence may produce in the United 
States, and that which has already manifested itself among her citizens residing at 
Matanzasand in its vicinity, as well as among those of the fleet under his com- 
mand, the undersigned, whilst he is still animated by the feelings which he had the 
honor to express in his communication to your Excellency of 4th March last, trusts 
that such measures will be taken promptly by your Excellency, as may redress as 
far as possible the wrong alrrady done, and prevent a recurrence of a similar out- 

Relying confidently on the justice of your Excellency, the United States' schooner 
Shark. Lieutenant Commandant Boerum, is despatched with this communication, 
and will await your reply. 



The undersigned renews to your Excellency assurances of the high consideration 
and respect with which he has the honor to subscribe himself, 
Your Excellency's most obedient servant, 


To His Excellency, Don Francisco Diombio Vives, Cap- 
tain General of the Island of Cuba, &c. &c. &c. at 

" United States' Ship Erie, Harbor of Matanzas, I 
December 12th, 1830. J 
Sir : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency's commu- 
nication of the Cth inst. and regret to find that the report made to your Excellency 
relative to the conduct of the brig Elizabeth, varies so materially from the detailed 
statement of the case made by the master and crew of said brig on oath, and the 
certificates of the masters of American vessels in this port at the time, who, from 
their situation, could not easily have been mistaken. The usual pass had been 
deposited in the Fort; if this be the " special permission from the local authority," 
to which your Excellency alludes, the Elizabeth appears to have attained it, and 
therefore infringed no orders in attempting to leave the port. 

It is matter of general notoriety that for some years past, and until the affair of 
this brig, vessels had been allowed to depart from the port of Matanzas during the 
interval between the retreat and morning gun, without molestation ; and doubtless 
the relaxation of the general regulation, was a measure of necessity arising from 
the peculiarities of the port, and it must be well known to your Excellency that an 
early departure from the Northern ports of this Island, enabling vessels to get clear 
of the land before night, rendered them less exposed to depredations. Previously to 
the receipt of your Excellency's communication, I was not aware that a cautionary 
message had been sent by the commandant of the castle. Upon inquiring, I have 
since been informed that a verbal message to that effect was sent by a negro, 
who failed to deliver it. After reviewing all the circumstances, I still retain 
my past impression that the brig Elizabeth has been rigorously dealt with. In 
reference to the letter, a copy of which accompanies your Excellency's commu- 
nication, I have to reply that although officers under my command, when com- 
manding vessels separated from me, are expected to call on public authorities, for 
explanations of any wrong committed on the persons or property of our citizens 
engaged in the pursuit of lawful commerce, nevertheless, I am not disposed to 
countenance any departure from the courtesy and civility due to such authorities. 

In the present instance, I had expressed my disapprobation of the style of the let- 
ter complained of, previously to the receipt of your Excellency's communication. 
If your Excellency will advert to the first letter from the commander of the Natchez, 
in which he calls the attention of Colonel Don Francisco de Paula Albuquerque, 
Governor ad interim of Matanzas, to the affair of the bng Elizabeth, your Excel- 
lency will perceive it breathes every feeling of civility and respect which even 
the most fastidious could have desired; and a word of timely explanation would 
have served to correct unfavorable impressions, and probably have saved me 
from the necessity of addressing your Excellency on a subject so disagreeable. By 
referring to the last letter of said Colonel and Governor ad interim, it will appear 
that he supposed a fault had been committed, and that your Excellency would not 
leave unpunished him who deserved correction. 

The consular agents appointed by our government for the Island of Cuba not 
having been accredited by that of his Catholic Majesty, it devolves upon us to take 
cognizance of matters more properly appertaining to such agents. I hope therefore 
your Excellency will be disposed to excuse an occasional deviation from diplomatic 
forms, and let me trust that such a remedy may ere long be applied, as will super- 
cede tiie necessity of the officers of this squadron having to contend otherwise than 
on their peculiar element. 

I have the honor to be, with great consideration and respect, your Excellency's 
most obedient servant, 

To His Excellency, Don Francisco Dionisio Vives, Cap- 
tain General of the Island of Cuba, &c. &c. &c. at 


Page 24. 


As much interest has been awakened in regard to the cas? of Passed- Midshipman 
Barton, and public sympathy has been attempted to be enlisted in his behalf to my 
prejudice, both as a man of humane feelings and an olficer worthy of the confidence 
of the nation, I will present the documents in relation to the matter. I do so with 
far less regret than I would feel as to a similar course, when required by any pro- 
fessional obligation that could control me; especially when a subordinate was in 
question. I am compelled to the measure in vindication of myself, i wish to cast 
off the aspersions which have been thrown upon me in relation to the matter, in every 
form and degree. When absent on duty, and afar from my country, inflammatory 
appeals were made against me in certain prints ; and all the odious terms which could 
be made to designate a monster in cruelty, were most lavishly bestowed upon me. I 
come now in my own defence. I appear now, not to solicit an exercise of your 
sympathies, nor to seek for a bestowal of lenient and charitable judgment towards 
myself. The tale I tell, although plain and unvarnished, shall not even be mine ! I 
spread before you documents, w-hich bear upon them and about them their own 
claims and vj lue. If these papers vary from statements elsewhere made, let the 
discrepancies be accounted for by others, and be fixed where they legitimately be- 
long. I give them to the world, and that w : orld can judge whether I am lacking in 
humanity, in any of the attributes of n anhood, or in the requisites of the profession 
to which it is my privilege and honor to belong 

The following is the charge upon which I was tried before the Court Martial, and 
which it is needless to say was strongly sustained by the oath of Passed-midshipman 

Charge 1st. — Cruelty and unofficer-like conduct to Passed-midshipman Barton, in 
the Mi diterranean, in November, 1835 — the removal of said Bartan, when wounded, 
from the "Constitution" to the " Shark," and afterwards setting him, the said Bar- 
ton, on shore without funds. 

No. 1. 

U. S. Ship Constitution, 
Port Mahon, Feb. 16, 1836. 
Sir— I had thehnnor, on the 29th nit. to stite mv arrival at Gibral ar. 1 left lor this the same day, 
and bye-alms and advene win Is was delayed on my w iy hither to tlie present In this communication, 
I have respectfully to call your attention to some farther considerations in the case ol Passed Midship- 
man Barton, the p.rticulars ot which I had the lion r to tran mil you from Gibraltar Bay, April -20th, 
1696. In consequence of a libellous statement of these proceeding, republished in the Army and 
Navy Chronicle of September last, herewith appended, and the libel complained of having an exten- 
sive circulation among the officers generally, 1 feel myself called' on to put you in possession of the 
documents corroborative of the fac:s and contradictory .f i :e statement referred to, all of which would 
have been contained in the record of proceedings, hud not the young gentleman absconded from his 
station. I would add that the tes imoni s were taken from parties who we-e present during th ex- 
istence of the matters referred to. I w >uld re ptct u Iy suggest that no publication, especially a jour- 
nal which assumes to be devoid to the interests of the \n>>> and Navy, and which is distributed among 
an integral part ol th - Department, find patronage trutn Government, whose officers it aids to calum- 
niate, and which is m d-- he vehicle of abu«e level'ed at ihose in service abroad I would here call 
yourattention to one portion of the libel in reference to th'- stated causes of the removal of Mr Barton 
from the Constitution to the ^hark. While we lay at Mahon, in October 1-35, Passed Midshipman 
Barton struck my clerk nndmutilite his faee, inconsequence of which the former was rest cted 
from shore, and a promise obtained from the latter, that h- would not call Barton out, which I was 
in ormed it was his intention to ito, with my threat that if he did I would dismiss him (mj clerk) fiom 
the squadron. A few words will explain th» matter in reference to the "drawings" and "r quisiiions" 
which 1 made on the "graphic talents" of Mr. Barton This young gentleman had previously sent 
me in, unasked, 1 ttle specimens of his drawings, and wishing to pro ure a particular one to send the 
Navy Department, I requested its execution before his being restricted from shore, and pending its 
continuance he returned for answer by my secreta-y, to know if he rvas in quarantine, declining to 
mix official with private business. I neld no farther communication with him on the-e matters. It 
was my intention to have gune to Smyrna, learning at Athens that the plague was in the neighborhood 
prevented. It will be perceived, by the subjoined extract of a letter to our Consul at Smyrna, in 
whose charge this young gentleman was lelt, that I directed him, if abl", to repair to Malta andjo.n 
his vessel at that place, which was there in expectation of receiving him. By a passage from the 
Consul's reply, it will be s-en that he had no intention of obeving the order; and by accounts 9ince 
received, it appear" that he has desprted hi9 station and returned to the United States. It was my in- 
tention, in a court martial, to have brougnt in Mr. Barton in connexion with the other parties whom I 
had t-ied, but his going home prevented me. 
Extract of a letter to David Offley, Esq , United States Consul at Smyrna, dated at Athens, August 

21st, 1836. 

"The schooner Shark will be there (Malta) early in October. If Mr. Barton is in a state to join his 
vessel, he can meet her there at that time." 


Extrict in reply to the same from David Offfsv, Esq. d*ted at Smyrna September 17, 13"!S. ^ 

"Pa=sed Nlii!-h pman Barton is Mill here, arid h n nfu-med me of his intent] >n to l.-ave tor the United 
States per the fi it vessel. I 'lull .«v • t„ lend Mr. Birr n ..bout J200; hewi I owe hi« doctor's bill, 
and I believe ab ut 33orSI0 to St .nlch he will . the Navy Department* 

I merely a Id aga n that this m .vement on the part ut' Mr. Barton is a desertion of his station, and 
a direct dUobedieneeo the exoress orders to him. 

Vou will perceive by the accompanying testimonial that everv se'tence cf the letter which I previ- 
ously addressed you on the subj et is correct. I consider that if n ee -ary or e\p-dient, that the Flc-t 
Surgeon is bound to advise with me on medical and sargieal matters, an. I that where the good of the 
serv cc r qnires, and its di-c pi Ine II must yiel. I in a I cats to the opinions 

and the decisions of the commander-in-chief. When D.-. B iyd returned to the United States, he par'ed 
with me in the most ipen and affect onite manner, expressing at toe sime time his acknowledg- 
ment of the many obligations he was owing to me. By reference to the letter wh ch I addressed you, 
it will be »een, with what extreme delicacy the affliction was alluded to, which he ba=ed as his reasons 
fot returning; noma. This affliction wu to.he explained to yon by a mutual friend of the parties; the 
pretext, as s.H'ed to me b. him, was the plea of his wile's insanity; but from subsequent evidence, it 
appears that other objects were connected with the reiu n of Dr. Bavd to the Dated States. During 
his continuance with me, nothing occurred to mar the harmony and good feeling between us, and he 
heft me with renewed expression* of good will; but the moment he arrives on the other side of the 
A'lantic his whole cour-e becomes chanjed, and he allow. In. name to go forthwith a party whose 
sole object appear" to proceed from iieart burnings and discontent among a certain pi rtion of i fficers, 
and it' possible to excite them to acts of hostility ami disobedience towards me I cannot help re- 
marking that Dr Boy I has assumed an attitude in the matters pa Mining to Passed 
Barton .in ! mys If. which- vera) to call for the investigation f the G .vernment. Dr. Boyd knew 
well the decidsi a and I bad taken to prevent the h Stile meeting be' ween the ;uunE officers of the 
squadron. To further my determinant] ,1 requested l)r Boyd to ask "be surgeons ; th- fleet to agree 
n it to atten 1 pr .f— ionaily,th y n'.r their mates, any paries who should go out on affairs of honor, 
and thus create as mani o> it those meetings In Ins I «a, ailed so faur by 

D ■ Boyd is to r ee ve from him the first notice of an in'ended meeting between two young gentlemen 
of my ship Tha* strengthened and assisted, as I thought I was, in my movements by the fleet sur- 
ge in. I io iked, at least on the part of Dr Boyd, tor cooperation and aid to unite with me in all the 
checks which I put against the of duelling In this it seems I have been disappointed, and his name to go forth and to be coupled with the slanders and aousive epithets of my 
enem es, and the irresponsible -cribbler3 of the pr M. 

The length of this communication will be excused in the desire to lay before you each particular, and 
to op<-n to your view the whole ground of the matter; and which I trust wi I be taking a final leave of 
the affair. \ t ry respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Commanding L'nited States Naval Forces in the Mediterranean. 
Hon. M. Dickerson, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C. 

Xo. 2. At Sea. 

Deposition of George Dinnatt, seaman, U. S. Ship Constitution, Feb. 10, 1837. 

That some tim- bet wet u the 1st and 8th da\ of November, one thousand ei, lit hundred and thirty- 
five, I was gun-deck sweepe - for the fore-top; ih t Krbert vvhittaker, boatswain, came on the gun- 
deck and ordered all the watch on deck, sw-tpers included; that in accordance thereto I went on 
deck with my broom in my hand, ad [ proceeded to the stirboard fore-li t jigger; that while there 
Passed Midshipman Barton, master's mate of the gun deck, came up the starboard fore ladder, and 
called out for me, and I immediately answered him. He then as<ed me a hat I was doing on deck. 
I told him I was sen- up by the boatswain to mak-- sail: he said, damn your e\es go down below, and 
don't come on deck again without an order from me Upon which I turned to g i down below, when 
he took the broom ut of my hand, and commenced pushing me on the legs with it. 1 turned 
round and told him that if I had done wrong to take me to the offiecr of the rieek and let him punish 
me, or something to that purpose; that he then raised the broom to strike me, when I seized it and 
took it from him and threw it on the deck and turned to go round th - foremast to go down into the 
larboard tore ladder, when I immediately felt a sharp instrument enter my thiglt, which proved to be 
a dirk thrust by the said Passed Midshipman Barton. 




Witness— James Coswat. 

No. 3. 

At Sea. 
Deposition of Robert WTiitta&er, Boatswain, United States Frigate Constitution, 
February 10, 1837. 
On the morning alluded to, sometime between the Is., anl 3th days of November, one thousand 
eight hundred and thirty-five, I was sent by the officer of the deck down in the gun-deck to send all 
hands belonging to the watch on deck, to make sail. George Dinnatt. seaman, wa» at the time fore- 
top sweeper: he went on deck carrying his broom alon? with him, and went to the fore-lift jigger, 
on the starboard side; that Fassed Midshipman Barton, came up the starboard f^re ladder, and called 
out for George Dinnett, who immediately answ red him. He (Mr. Barton,) asked him what he was 
doing on deck, to which he answered, that he was sent by me to make sail; that Mr. Barton then said, 
damn your eyes go down below and do«'t come on deck again without an order from me. He, George 
Dinnatt, turned round to go below, when Mr. Barton took the broom outof his (Georre Dinnatt's) 
hand, and commenced pushing against his legs with it. He v George Dinnett) then to:d li.n if he had 
done wrong to take him to the officer of the deck and have him punished; that Mr. Barton then 


raised the broom to strike him, and he, (George Dmnatt) seized it and took it from Mr. Barton and 
hoye if down on deck, and then turned round the foremast to go down the larboard fore ladder: that Mr. 
Barton pulled out a dirk from his inside (jacket or coat) pocket, and plunged it into (George Dinnatt's) 
hand or thigh, and said, "there, I'll let you know whether you will attempt to strike an officer of 
not." Dm ing this time I was standing in the fore-castle netting forward of the swifter. There were 
also several men looking on at the time, viz: Allan Condut, Jesse Gay, John Cooper and William At- 
kins, who are willing to attest to this. 

Boatswain Unitea States Ship Constitution. 

No. 4. 

United States Ship Constitution, 
Gibraltar Bay, April 20, 1836. 

Sir— By some accounts from the United States that I have just received, 1 find unnecessary conse- 
quence has boen given to the affair of Passed Midshipman Barton at Smyrna; and I therefore deem 
it proper that you should have a full statement of the facts. One day on the quarter deck, a nan 
came aft and requested permission to speak to me, which I granted. He then asked, were the young 
gentlemen allowed to run their dirks in tbem with impunity? I immediately inquired into the 
matter, and found that Mr. Barton had, for some trivial cause, in the heat or' passion, dirked the man. 
To avoid a court martial, I ordered him to the Shark, with strict inj unctions to his commander not to 
allow him to visit the shore without farther permission, apprehensive that some difficulty might arise 
with the other young gentlemen of this ship. However, through some management of his with the 
launch officer, he got ashore, and the meeting between him and Wood took place, the particulars of 
which you have been apprised of. By the advice of his surgeon, he was brought alongside of the ship, 
and Lieutenant Boerum objected to his coming on board, but upon the urgent solicitation of the 
surgeon he was admitted. On my return to the ship, some two hours after, it was reported to me by 
the first Lieutenant, and I imediately ordered him to be carried to his own vessel, determined not to 
countenance any of those meetings upon slight grounds. Upon the approach of the fleet surgeon to 
the cabin, I told him that I would hrar nothing his remaining on board the flag ship; that if he 
could not bo comfortable in his own vessel, to carry him on shore. He was accordingly taken to' his 
own vessel. The next day his surgeon told me that he was uncomfortable where he was, and I then 
directed him to be carried on shore, which was done. I sent my largest ann" best boat, so that he 
could be carried comfortably, and a man from the schooner to attend him, and also directed that the 
fleet surgeon should visit him as long as the ship remained in port. I knew that from the nature of 
the wound, a long and tedious confinement was unavoidable, and that he was as 
unfit to be kept in a ship of war, and we were momentarily expecting to leave there. I directed 
every article belonging to the surgical department of the schooner, that was required for his use, to be 
left, and she was therefore destitute, and even went to sea without them, When I left, I had every 
thing done for his comfort, left him two month's advance, with a letter of credit on the schooner, and 
under the charge of an old and valued frit nd of mine, Mr. Offley, United States Consul, with an ex- 
pert surgeon to attend him, until the schooner returns and takes him board. 

1 am fully determined not to countenance those meetings, for they occur upon slight and insufficient 
causes, and therefore, considering myself the guardian of the morals of the young gentlemen under my 
command, I feel in duty bound to do every thing in my power to prevent them. Rarely does a case 
occur that is not productive of regret to themselves for the previous transaction; and that our friends 
may know what unnecessary trouble is given tu commanders from the want of proper disciplined 
schools and institutions at home to train them for coming abroad. Still 1 am the last officer in the 
Navy that would have one of them yield a point of honor, and would go farther, even assist them in con- 
tending for it. I am, very respectfully. 

Your most obedient servant, 
[Signed] J. D. ELLIOTT, 

Commanding United States Naval forces in the Mediteranean. 

Hon. M. Dickerson, Washington, D. C. 

P. S. I trust that the facts may meet the public eye, so as to correct any wrong impressions, should 
they have been formed. 

No. 5. 

U. S. S. Constitution, 
Mahon, 14th Feb. 1837. 

Sir— In answer to your request in relation to the affair between Passed-Midshipman Barton and 
yourself, I give you such particulars as I now remember. Mr Barton was on board this ship when I 
joined her, a few days previous to her sailing from New York in August, 1835, for this station. Some- 
time after my arrival at Mahon, aMiffieulty occurred between Mr. Barton and your Clerk, during 
which your clerk received a blow from Mr. Barton, the particulars I do not remember, but the result 
of the investigation was that the parties were not allowed to go on shore for some time. The circum- 
stance of Mr. Barton running his dirk in the man, a9 near as I can remember the case, is this. Mr. 
Barton was mate of the gun deck and this George Dinnatt was one of the sweepers and had been set 
at work on the deck by Mr. Barton, the duty was neglected and the man absent, he was found on the 
forecastle and ordered below by Mr. Barton; he refused to go, and either bad in his hand or picked up 
at the time a broom, which Mr. B. supposed was intended to defy him; Mr. B. forced him to the 
hatchway, where the man making some resistance Mr. Barton in the heat of passion ran a dirk in his 
thigh. Mr. Barton was suspended in consequence. 

At Smyrna you mentioned to me that Lient. Ridgeway, commanding the Shark, had several times 
applied for a Passud midshipman, and to avoid a court martial you would order Mr. Barton there. 

I know nothing as to the cause of the duel; but when Mr. Barton was brought along side, I con- 
sulted Dr. Boyd a> to the necessity of his coming on board; he said it was necessary and I admitted 


him— when yon came on bonrd I reported the circumstances and you ordered him to be sent on board 
hi? own vessel Dr. Kovd remonstrated, hut vou renewed the order and he was sent to the Shark. 

His removal fro. n the Shark to the shore I know nothing more of than I wai ordered by you to hoist 
•at the first cuttf t for that purpose. 

After I relit veil Lieut. Kideeway in command of the Shark, and we were about to «ai! from Smyrna, 
Dr. Egbert fold • ie there were some articles belonging: tn th» Hospital department that would be re- 
quired for Mr P, i-ron'» use, that they could not be procured at Smyrna, and that we tad but one set 
on board: I spoiled to you— you ordered the Shark's to be left; you also ordered two month's pay and 
a lette;- of credit on the Schooner to be left . 

I have the honor to he. 

Very respectfully. 
Your obedient servs>»t. 

Commodore Je.SoB D. El:.ijtt, Commanding IT. S. naval forces in the M--diteranean. 

No. 6. 

Washington, March 13, 1843. 

Commodore J. r», Elliott sailed, I think, on the 1st of January, 1836, from the port of Smyrna, when 
I was attached to the schooner Shark, one of his squadron, as purser of that shin; midshipman Charles 
C Barton was attached to the schoonerat the time, and from an injury received »as left at said port with 
an order, I believe, to join the squadron so soon as his health would permit. Com. Elliott sent f>r me 
to his ship the day previous to his sailing, and crave me orders 'o t»y nn Mr Barton »ny pav that rai?ht 
be due him. to advance two months nay, and leave a letter of cre.iii to our consul, Mr. Offley at that 
place, to pay Mr. Barton as it might become doe, according to the pay of our navy. 

Given under my hand the day and date above, J. FAUNTLEROY. 

No. 7 
U. S. Schooser Shark, February 23, 1837. 
Sir: — Your 'etter of the 22d inst. is received, requesting me to p-ivp yon such particulars of the 
"Barton affair" as came under mv observation, &c. Tn answer, I have to s'a'e that Mr. Barton 
was removed from the U. S. Ship Constitution to the Shark, while I was on sbcr-=, and before I had 
any knowledge of the duel and the consequent wound of Mr. Barton. This was on the 1st of Decem- 
ber, 1835, at Smyrna. When I arrived on board, I found Mr. Barton laboring under some pain and 
irrita'ion from a compound comminuted fracture of the bone, '(or one of the hones) of the right leg, 
which had previously been dressed hv the fleet surgeon. Tn two or three days after, from the nature 
of the wounds, Sec, 1 recommended to you, either directly or throueh the fleet surgeon, that Mr. 
t^ shouM he removed on shore at S-n-erni. Or-ton were immediatelv i-ssnf"T. at.d he *v»s care- 
fully removed, and with hut little pain and inconvenience, to "h". best aoeommodntiiins I could find in 
Smyrna, and with which he expressed himself satisfied. While on hoard the Shark and on shore. 
Mr. Barton was attended by myself and the fleet sureeon (Dr. Bovd.) and rrJers were issued 
by you to grant rae all the liberties and facilities necessary to 'a s'rict attention to him on shore. 
Thar I fully performed mv duty, I hive to refer to the fleet surgeon and to Mr. Barton himself; snrf 
Dr. Boyd's atten tint to the s ; ck at all times, needs no comment. My opinion is that it would have 
been more judicious to have removed Mr. Barton from the place of combat to Smyrna. But a« he 
wps taken on board the Constitution hefore the full extent of the wound w-as known, it migh' then 
have been expedient to have removed him on shore, before inflammation and the accompanvintr fever, 
generally consequent to severe wounds, should have nuceeded. I think likewise it would have been 
improper for Mr. Barton 'o have remaine-1 on board the Constitution, under the then exis-ing circum- 
stances, as she had the whole of the Mediterranean to run down in the boisterous winter months, and 
■when the steadiest shin would have been but ill sirted to the treatment necessary : n h : s case. All the 
comforts and necessaries his case demanded, were furnished by your orders after he came under mv 
care. A servant was furnished from the Shark while we were in nort, and the articles necessary which 
belonged to the hospital department of the Shark, were left with him bv vour orders. The best sur- 
geon in town was procured for him on our leaving Smyrna, and he was left to [the care of our worthy 
Consul, Mr. Offley. I am, sir, respectfully 

Yours, &c. 

Passed Assistant-Surgeon. 
To Com. J. D. Elliott, commanding U. S. forces in the Mediteranean. 

No. S 

U. States Ship John Adams, 
Mahon, February 27, 1837. 
Sir— Agreeably to your request, I have the honor to state, that I have always understood from Mr. 
Wood that his quarrel with Mr. Barton originated prior to the time either of them. joined the Consti- 
tution: while on board that ship they were not nn speaking terms. After Mr. Barton was ordered to 
the Shark at Smyrna, he was admitted into the mess. The immediate cause of the revival of the 
quarrel I believe to have been some Inrsh words used (or -said to have been used) by Mr. 
Barton towards Midshipman Robinson, " ' a was at the time in charge ofa brat, and which Mr. Robinson 
reported to Mr. Word, on his return ro the v s=el Mr. Woo! espoused the cause of Mr. Robinson, 
some words passed lHtwe j n Mr. Wood and Mr. Barton, respecting the same, ai.d a challenge from 
Mr. Barton to Mr, Wood was the consequenee. 

1 am sir, very respectfully, &c. 

Midshipman U. S-. Navy, 
Commodore J. D. Elliott, Commanding U. S. Naval forces in the Mediterranean. 



No. 9. 

A Naval General Court Martial, held on board tbe United States Schooner Shark, in the Tagus, off 
Lisbon, in the ease of Passed-Midshipman Henry P. T. Wood, Hpon the following cha ges and specifi- 
cations, haTe returned the finding and sentence which succeeds this, and which has been approved. 

Charge lrt.— '•Unofficerlike and ungentlemanly conduct." 

Specification.— la that the said Henry P. T. Wood, Passed-Midshipman, did while attached to the U. 
States Schooner Shark, while lying in the port of Smyrna, between the 19th November 1835, and 5th 
January, 1SS6, run into debt to Paul Bonifacio and others of Smyrna, when he had no means of paying 
the same, thereby causing the commander of the squadron to be aroused fiom his bed at midnight, pre 
vious to the mornin? of sailing, to order the purser of said schooner Shark to liquidate his debt Irom 
funds desisned for the use of the squadron. 

Charge 2d.— " Fighting and disabling an officer, while in the discharge of his duty in the presence of 
the boat's crew." 

Specification.— In that the said Henry P. T. Wood, Passed-Midshipman in the Navy of the United 
States, did on or about the 1st of December, 1S35, fight with and disable C. C. Barton, a Passed-Mid- 
shipman in the Navy of the United States, attached to United States schooner Shark, for duty, in the 
presence of a boat's crew of the aforesaid United States schooner Shark, in said Barton's charge. 

in absence of recent Commander. 
V. S. Scbr. Shark, Lisbon, Feb. 20, 1S36. 

The following i< tbe finding and sentence of the Court. "The whole evidence in the case was then read- 
and maturely considered, and the Court are of opinion that the first specification of the first charge is 
proved in part, to wit: as much of said specification as relates to Passed-Midshipman Wood, running in 
debt to Paul Bonifacio, without means known to the Court of cancelling the same; also guilty of as- 
much o said specification a* relates to public funds having been used on the occasion specified to pay 
the said Passed-Midshipman Wood's debt. It is not in the opinion of the Court, clearly proved that 
Passed-Midshipman W«iod ran in debt to others, nor is it proved that the commander was exc usively 
aroused or the public funds exclusively appropriated to pay Passed-Midshipman. Wood's debt. Nor is it 

f roved that the Commander of the United States Naval Forces in the Mediterranean, was aroused from 
is bed as stated in the specification. 

"The Court find Passed-Midshipman Henry P. T.Wood not guilty on the first charge, in its fnl> extent, 
but guilty of great indiscretion and imprudence in risking the character of the service by contracting a. 
debt without certain means of paying it. 

"That the specification of the 2d charge being read, the Court are of opinion that the said specification 
is proved, and that the second charge being read, the Court find and adjudge the said Passed-Midship- 
man Wood guilty of said 2d charge. The Court after mature deliberation, do sentence and adjudge the 
said Henry P T. Wood, Passed-Midshipman in the United States'Navy, is suspended from duty for six 
months, and further, that he be dismissed from the Mediterranean squadron. 

"The Court also recommend that the finding, together with the sentence of the Court, be publicly read 
on board the vessels of the squadron. The Court, in coming to this decision, have taken into considera- 
tion the long confinement of Passed-Midshipman Wood on board a small vessel. 

G. F. PEARSON, Preiident. 
F. A.. NEVILLE, | 
JOHN CALHOUN, ^Members. 

JOHN N. HAMILTON, Judge Advoeaie. 
Approved March I. IS36. 
You will therefore cause this general order to be read on board the vessels under your command iv 
the day after its receipt, at 10 o'clock, in presence of officers and crew. 
Given on board the U. S. Ship Constitution, Lisbon, March 2, 1*36. 

Capt. J. J. Nicholson, 
Mast. Com'dt. S. H. Stringhatn, 
Lt. Com'dt. Wra. Bcerum, 


No. 10. 

The Naval General Court Martial, lately holden on board United States Sehooner Shark, in the Tagus 
off Lisbon, having found the enclosed sentence against Passed-Midshipman W. S. Ringold and James T 
McDonough, of the Navy of the L T nited States; they are hereby ordered to be read on board the vessels- 
of the United Staus Squadron under my command on the day after tbe receipt of this order, at 10 o" 
clock, and in presence of officers and erew. 

Given, &c. &c. &c. Lisbon, March?, 133&. 


Capt J. J. Nicholson, 

Mast. Com'dt. S. H. Stringham, 

Lt. Com'dt. Wm. Bcerum, 


V. S. Ship Constitution, Lisbon, March 3, 1836. 

Sir,— Enclosed you will receive the finding and sentence of a Naval Court Martial in your case, 
which is approved by me, 

I cannot injustice to my own feelings refrain from expressing my cordial approval of your attempt 
X> settle the matter of difference between Mr. Wood and Mr. Barton, amicably, and trust that hereaftss 


-a similar proceeding on yonr part will be manifested, as I do not consider an officer justified in dis- 
posing of his life when engaged in serving his country abroad; the calls of duty being paramount tc 
lhose of every other nature; you will return to your duty, and at the same time be pleased to consider a 
veil drawn over the actions of the past. Respectfully, 

Passed-Midshipman W. S. Riagold, U. S. Ship Constitution. 

No. 11. 

U. S. Ship Constitution. 
Sir— Enclosed yon will receive the finding and sentence of a Naval General Court Martial in your 
•case, which is approved by me. It is to be regretted that you hid not met Mr. hingold with a corres- 
ponding feeling, in which event ihe unfortunate affair would have betn prevented, and I should have 
been spared the necessity of proceeding against the parlies. 

An officer when abroad owes his life to his country's service, and no call should be perm'tted to caus 
him to deviate from duty, until she could dispense with his services ; you will return to your duty on 
board the U. S. Schooner Shark. 

Passed-Midshipman J. T. McDonough. 

Note. — Whilst demanding justice at the hands of others, I would strive to ren- 
der it to all. My impressions as to Dr. Boyd, expressed in the letter of July 16th, 
1836, to the Secretary, were received from what at the time appeared to be justify- 
ing circumstances and credible statements. Afterwards, however, I was convinced 
that my opinions were erroneous, and I immediately endeavored to remedy, so far 
as it was in my power, the wrong which I had done that officer, by forwarding the 
following letter to the Department. Most sincerely do I declare that I wish it was 
an my power to do the same act to all others from whom I suppose I have received 
wrong; for I would rather have endured it and much more, and before the world do 
justice to them as in this case,than unjustly accuse any ,jand entertain the painful sen- 
timent of their being capable of injuring me without cause, or from unworthy mo- 
tives or feelings. 

[copy.] Washington, March 14th, 1843. 

Sir— In a letter addressed by me ta the Navy Department, wbile in the Mediterranean, I took occa- 
sion to animadvert on the conduct of the late fleet surgeon, T. J. Boyd, in relation to certain calumnious 
statements which at that time were in circulation to my prejudice. I have recently, however, under- 
stood from Lt. F. Nevil, an intimate friend and messmate of the deceased, that my impressiuns in regard 
to the deceased's agency in giving currencs' or character to the calumnies were entirely erroneous. 

I deem it therefore due to myself, as well as to the memory of that gentleman, thus distinctly to de- 
clare that my communication above referred to, has been written under an entire misapprehension of 
the true state of the facts, of which I have been clearly satisfied from conversations lately bad with Lt. 
Nevil and others. 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. D. ELLIOTT. 

The Hon. A. P. Upshur, Secretary of the Navy. 

Page 26. 
Now Secretary of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania^ Delivered in Congress, Febru- 
ary Uth, 1839. 

Mr. McClure rose and said : I believe Mr. Speaker, that the motion of my colleague is, that this 
communication be referred to a select committee, for the purpose of investigation, so that a report may 
be made thereon, for the satisfaction not only of the members of this House, but generally of the Peo- 
ple of the United States. So far as this investigation is concerned, I second the proposition willingly 
and cordially. I believe that it is due not less to the parties concerned than to the honor of our Navy, 
that a clear, distinct, and full development of all the facta connected wit] i these charges should belaid 
before the country. Sir. I hope that no gentleman here will be found to throw any obstacle in the way 
of this inquiry. Let us have it ; let us hear all that is to be heard, and let us know what foundation 
there is for charges which have been so repeatedly and so boldly urged upon the consideration of this 

What was the nature of the communication received only a few days ago from the Navy Department, 
in relation to one set of charges against this officer? It was: that no information respecting them, was 
to be found on the files of the Department, and that, therefore, the Secretary could make no report in 
the premises. Let honorable gentlemen bear this fact in mind. 

Mr. Speaker, I do not appear here as the particular friend of Commodore Elliott. It is true that I 
know him, and, so far as I know him, I believe him to be a high-minded and honorable man ; and I 
know also that he has at keast "done some service " to the Republic. If envy exists against him, let 
that envy spit her spile through Representatives on this floor for years— yes, »ir, for years— and at last 
it will have "to gnaw a file." If there is a man living who I believe would, in his individual capacity, 
•do justice to his country, that man is Com. Elliott. But. sir, let us look at him in another capacity— 
in his public character. 

I have said that he has done " some service to the State." Let us look at him, if vou please, at the 
battle of Lake Erie. Every disputed question in relation to that battle was settled, I believe, shortly 
afterwards, by the Congress of the United States voting a medal to him in token of his gallant conduct 


there. And, previotts 'o that battle, look at hi9 conduct in cutting o-it two ships from under the ene- 
my's Oat ery, and carrying them captive to our shores. Is there nothing in hU conduct there? Is there 
nothing in his conduct in the West Indies? Nothing in his conduct in the Mediterranean? Look to 
his whole career — look to it with aq fair and candid eye, and tell me whether his every energy, has 
not been rlevoted tothe glory of his country and to the protection of her flag? And yet, here we see 
the exhbi'ions of th : s venomous spirit— this disposition to persecute and trample upon him— in the 
introdweuon of resolution after resolution— each aiming, by insinuation, or more direct charge, at the 
destruction o; his character ; and iyct, each calling for information which, when obtained, has up to 
thia point at least, gone to clear up the very character which it is designed to blacken and destroy. 

It has been asserted, Mr Speaker, by my colleague who prcceeded me, there is no vice in the calen- 
der nf which Commodore Elliott has not been guilty. I, in my place, deny the fact. Sir, it is not a 
fact. I feel bound to contradict the assertion. It Com. Elliott had a tault, it was the fault of be;ng 
too strict a disciplinarian lor the lax and loose times in which we live, when every man holding an 
inferior official station holds himself equal to his superior. That is his only fault. He is a sailor of the 
old school. He is a roan resolutely determined to enforce discipline on board his own ship, and, in 
doing so, it is probable that the constituents of my co'league may think that too severe inflictions have 
been put npo;i them. I will vouch he will be correct in the enforcement of discipline to the 
minutest iota 

Let us look at the case referred to. Ten or twelve days ago, I had the honor of presenting to my 
colleague some authtn:ie documents, with a request that he would read them, and in the belief that, if 
he d.l read them, he could not fail to be satisfied as to the true s;ate of the case of Mr. Barton. 

But what are the facts ol that case? You have heard a fine flourish on the matter from my colleague 
— you have heard from him loud declarations— (would to God 1 had his strength of lungs ; but I have 
not; and I prepay, therefore to confine rm self as closely as possible to facts.) And what are those 
facis, as they appear trom the documents in the hands of ray colleague? 

Mr. Barton met an inferior, or petty, officer on the deck of the frigate Constitution, (which was 
commanded by Commodore Elliott,) and asked him why he was not in the performance of some par- 
ticular duty. The reply was, that he had been discharging the duty assigned to him, and that he could 
not attend to any other. Mr. Barton, losing on the instant the control of his judgment, and giving 
way to his passion, drew a dirk and stabbed the man in the thigh. The man retreated below, and was 
taken wounded to the hospital. The matter was reported to Commodore Elliott. A young officer, 
taking up the quarrel of the inferior, subsequently called Mr. Barton to the field of honor, as it is 
termed. * Commodore Elliott, for the very purpose of avoiding some such issue, ordered Mr. Barton 
from the Constitution to the schooner " Shark," and wrote a letter to the commander of the schooner 
not to permit Mr- B. to go on shore ; for, if he did, a duel would be the consequence. Contrary alike 
to the order of the Commodore and of the commander of the schooner, Mr. Barton did slink, or go 
secretly, over the side of the vessel, was engaged in the duel, was wounded ; and when carried hack to 
the Constitution, (to which vessel, it will be borne in mind, he did not belong,) was ordered back to the 
shore. This is the plain state of the case. 

And what was Commodore Elliott's motive? The rules of the service bad been disregarded, the 
■discipline of the squadron invaded, and his own express commands set aside. He said to bimself. 
Shall I maintain the discipline of my squadron, or shall I not? aiiall I, in the face of my crew vindi- 
cate the rules and discipline of the service which have thus been wantonly violated, or shall I yield 
now and forever? Like a good officer, he enforced his rules. He required Mr. Barton to be carried 
on shore,+ but at the same time that he thus determined to establish and sustain his discipline, he gave 
directions that strict care should be taken of Mr. B., and gave him a .letter of credit for any amount 
of money which might be requisite to provide for his recovery and comfort. Sir, if a dog were 
wounded and brought to my door, I would send for a surgeon and have his wounds dressed. But, I 
say that, had I been in the situation of Commodore Elliott, I should have taken the same steps thai he 
did. He was not at liberty to forget that whilst he took proper means for the protection of a human 
being under his command, it was his duty also to enforce the discipline of this most strong and favor- 
ite arm of our national defence. And is it not a remarkable fact, Mr. Speaker, that whilst the appa- 
rently harsh orders given in the event referred to, are arrayed before this House and thecouutry, 
for the purpose of crushing the character of a son of our Navy, not a word is heard of his kina ami 
gentle conduct towards the wounded man. Suppose the Commodore had allowed him to come on 
board the Constitution. What would have been the consequence? His orders would have been a 
nullity— his discipline looser than the spider's web— more tender and more easily broken. But, like 
a man able and determined to sustain himself and the honor o: his flag in distant seas, he vindicated the 
rules and discipline of the service, even whilst, as 1 have said, he gave a letter of credit to Mr. Barton 
for any amount of money he might require; and which very letter of credit, if I am not mistaken, you 
find Mr. Barton using. Was there cruelty there? If so, I do not know in what cruelty cons.sts. 

I have thus, Mr. Speaker; viewed with calmness and deliberation the facts as I believe them to exist 
in the case of Mr. Barton. The language of some of the resolutions which have been offered on this 
floor ha9 wounded my ftelings, and, probably, the feelings of other members beside myself. The lan- 
guage, as it seems to me, is of a nature emphatically calculated to prejudice the People of the United 
States against Commodore Elliott, and to make them believe that all is wrong about him. Sir, if any 
thing is wrong, I believe his greatest fault will be found in the fact that he has sustained the last and 
present Administrations, bnt more especially the last— that he was thought worthy of the special trust 
and confidence of Gen. Jackson— and that Gen. .Tackson entrusted to his charge the performance of 
one of the most critical duties that has ever been assigned to any officer, civil er military, since the first 
existence of the Republic. And, sir, those whose curiosity or candor may dispose them to look a little 
beyond the surface of things here, may probably find a satisfactory return for (their trouble, in the 
clews which I have here suggested to their consideration. 

We have bad a report in the case of Lt. Hunter. I have glanced my eye over it, and I see nothing in 
it to bring home a misdemeanor, a dishonor, or an unworthy reflection on Commodore Elliott. It ap- 
pears that on a race course near Fort Mahon, in the Island of Minorca, Mr. Hunter used harsh language 

* This is a mistake ; Mr. Barton challenged Midshipman Wood, who had reproved him for abuse to 
« Brother Midshipman of extreme youth and belonging to the same vessel with them. 

t This is an error ; Mr. Barton was taken on shore at hit own request, and by advice of the Sur- 
geon of the Shark, and not by Commodore Elliott's orders. 


and that the commodore told hhn not to separate the gentleman from the officer. He replied that he 
had not dene so, and that he did not intend to do so. The commodore taid. You have done so, to which 
Mr. Hunter rejomtd; and commodore Elliott then, in the exercise of his legitimate authority, ordered 
him on board. And we have the letterofthe Govern, r of Minorca.* letting forth that the Commodore 
had done nothing more than exercise that authority wi ich every officer oueht to exercise miner similar 
circumstai ce-. Suppose the commodore had gone a little beyond his authority in ordering Mr. Hunter 
in board the Tease). Was be not right? What are the run s of your army? Look at them lor a moment. 
'1 hey enjo n upon the superior o flier r, whin he sees an Cer in any controversy ,to arrest h m 

immediately. Nay, sir, the rules of the army go further; they enjoin upon an inferior officer to arrest; 
Ins sui enor under simi ar circumstanci ■-.. How then can you say that Commodore Elliott has trans- 
gressed the bounds 01 his jun authority ? Sir, he is more entitled to cr. dit lor baring acted up to that 
just authority, than to censure lor raving passed beyond it. 

The gentleman from Vermont, (Mr. Allen) nas introduced another resolution. Its language was more 
moderate, probably, than it at of two or thrte others; it showed les, of bitterness, h ss of an unrelenting 
spirit to crush; but jetit came as a helpmate to others in calling for information. And what inlorma- 
tion bant we obtained? The Secretary of the Navy informs us that there is no information in his De- 
par ment in relation to the case. And why? Because ,t is an ex parte ca I. I allude to the ca6e of Mr 
Etheridge— to the call upon the Navy Department for information why the Commodore had not been 
court martiailed upon the charges preferreu against him by Mr. Etheridge. Sir, the resolution called 
lor ex parte evidence, for one-Sided testimony. It is true that resolutions might have been offered, call- 
ing for all information, but time and opportunity have not permitted. But what is the reply of the Sec- 
retary to tnis resolution? It is, that the Department has no information to give to the public; and there 
the maiter re*ts. Now I will state my own honest conviction and belief, that if a resolution had been 
adopted calling for information on tne other side, this House and the people ot this country would have 
found that Mr. Etheridge was a public functienary employed at the navy yard in Charleston, and that 
his mal-condu.t had been such that the Secretary o! the Navy, and probably the Board ot Commission- 
ers had proceeded against him without a word from ConimoiHire Elliott, ,aud that upon these proceed- 
ings Mr. Etheridge was convicted and discharged. This I believe to be the lact, from information on 
which 1 teel entitled to rely. 

Mr. Fletcher of Massachusetts, desired the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. McClure) to state his 
authority fur this statement. 

Mr. McClure. 1 have stated this as my own conviction and belief. I would name the authority from 
which I derived my information, but I respectfully decline to do so. 

Mr. Fletcher of Massachcsetts here requested the gentleman from Pennsylvania to permit htm to say 
a few words. He said he had presented Hie resolution calling on the Secretary of the Navy to cowmu- 
nicate to the House the charges filed by Mr. Etheridge against Com. Elliott. The Secretary had an- 
swered that he was unable to find the charge referred to in his Department. He (Mr. F.) therefore had 
ntver seen the charges, and did not know their nature neither had he any knowledge of the circumstan- 
ces under which, Mr. Etheridge left his employment in the Navy Yard at Charlenown, to which the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania referred: but he (Mr. F.) knew Mr. Etheridge, and knew him to be a 
highly respectable gent.enian, and he could not quietly hear any imputation* upon bim, when he was 
not present, and no opportunity to answer for himaell: and he hoped the gentleman from Pennsylva- 
nia would state upon what evidence or on what authority he made his statements in regard to Mr. Ether- 
idge. Without a eommun cation of his evidence or autnority, the House could have no means of judg- 
ing of thejusiice of his remarks. 

* The following statement was rejected by the Court of Inquiry, also. 
[copy.] Mahon, December 28th, 1837. 

Sir.— In consequence of the letter which your excellency has been pleased to address me, under 
date.of the 26th instant, and of the conference I had with the consul of the nation to which you have 
the honor to belong, 1 ought to manifest to you that, on the afternoon of the month of April last, 
when a horserace took place in the road to Villa Carlos, I was on the spot where a dispute took place 
between. Mr. Hunter and another gentleman, both officers belonging to the ships under the worthy 
command of your excellency; and observing the warmth with which they disputed, I considered it 
my duty to be in observation, in case theaffair might produce disagreeable results, and require my 
interference, but your excellency presented yourselt opportunely, spoke to the said Mr. Hun .er, and, 
as far as I could comprehend, ordered him to proceed on board, indicating to him, with the cane you 
carried in your hahd, the road he ought to follow: by which means your excellency probably pre- 
vented a quarrel between the two above mentioned officers, and which might have included some 
others, a3 generally happens, when a chief of little energy does not interpose with his reflections os 
authority to calm the fierceness of youth. Y'our excellency, in this case, exercised, in my opinion, the 
duties of a chief who endeavored to prevent a disagreeable occurrence among the meritorious and 
praiseworthy officers, who, I do not doubt, when the warmth of the dispute is over, will be grateful 
for the measure taken by your excellency, which could have had no other object than their welfare. 
As an experienced military man, I approved of the measure of your excellency, as I shall always 
approve every thing in favor of order and discipline, without which we could not fulfil the duties 
imposed upon us by our respective stations. 

I cannot omit manifesting to your excellency how much I feel the aforesaid occurrence, as the good 
behaviour of all the individuals who have.the honor of serving under the orders of your excellency, and 
the proof I am constantly receiving of the esteem which they show me, in imitauon of their worthy 
chief, put me under the flattering obligations of appreciating and feeling the greatest for persons in 
whom I recognise all the virtues they possess, and therefore, wish' it in my power to contribute to a 
termination, favorable to all, of the affair in question. 

With this motive, I offer myseif to your excellency, with the highest respect, your humble servant, 

Military Governor of the Island of Minorca. 
His Excellency Com. J.D. Elliott, commanding U. S. forces in the 



Mr. MeCiure resumed. I have all due respect for Mr. Etheridge. I say ail due respect. And I have 
infinite re«pi ct tor the gentlcni8n from Massachusetts, iMr Fletcaer,) but at the same time, 1 must re- 
j eat that 1 respectfully decline to mention the name of my authority. I have stated my own be lief, and 
) ho d myself personally responsible lor it. 

Now, Mr. Speaktr, we have got through with the cases of Mr. Hunter, Mr. Barton and Mr. Ether- 
idge. These cases were made the foundations of several bitter resolution;— how bitter, their language 
will readily attest. I do not mean to attribute malice to the movers of the resolutions; but malice there 
is. somewhere, and it has been poured down like a meteoric sliower upon the head ot this officer. Yes, 
iir, and this house had been made the instrument— the conduit pipe through which this accumulation of 
airabilarious matter was to be poured forth upon him. Why, sir, his accusers have even gone so far as 
to accuse him of having trampled «nder foot the laws and regulations of our Navy, because he imported 
i nto the United Slates— Whai? A variety of animals and seeds and plants, for which hefouno aceou - 
iBodation in his ship, in order to promote agriculture in our country. And for this you find him accused 
ot setting aside the laws of our Navy. Sir, at that time the law authorising him to do these things was 
as broad as the face of the noon-day sun. 

I am free to admit that had our country been engaged in a foreign war. I should have found fault 
with him for shipping animals, sarcophagi, and such things. But, at a time when we were at peace 
with the universal world, sha.l this be made an accusation against him ? Shall he be brought up here 
paraded before the eyes of the nation, on the floor of Congress, because he had shipped from Asia, 
Africa, and all the foreign coasts which he visited, rare animals and plants and specimens of antiquity, 
and with an elevated generosity, presented them to our colleges, our academ es and our institutions of 
various kinds, reserving not one tor his own benefit ? So far from this being made ma'ter of accusa- 
lion against him, was he not acting for the public benefit ? Was he not subseving the interests of 
his country ? Was he not acting in conformity with the law of the department which was lramed 
with the vi-w to enhance our agricultural resources ? Sir, I think that he was doing all this. And 
if the gentlemen will reflect with a little more'neutrality ) I think they will discover'that they ought not at 
all events, to denounce him tor his endeavors to promote the literature and the agriculture of our 
country. Sir, these denui. cations are of the same sort as those which were fulminated against Com- 
modore Elliott for having placed a figure-head on the old frigate 'Constitution.' - He was denounced 
then by a certain party— he was denounced by the wigery of the nation; he was said to be trampling 
under foot the rignts of the People; that he was abaut to bow down and worship an idol; that he was 
raising up General Jackson to be the Monarch not only of the United States, but so far as the figure- 
head went, the Monarch of the seas. And now they denounce him on another score. 

Do gentlemen wish to know why that figurehead was placed there ? No they do not. They give 
more credit to the midnight thief and felon who cut it off and carried it away, an object of scorn and 
mockery, to the foul orgies of a party, than they give to the man by whom it was placed there. Sir, 
that figure-head was placed where it was under the order of the Commissioners of the Navy. 

Mr. Speaker. I have but little more to say. I repeat, I am in favor of the motion of my colleague. I 
am in favor of it as an act of justice to an officer in our Navy— as an act of justice to one who has at 
least shown himself to be a patriotic and a gallant man; a man who has been willing at all times to 
kazard his fortune and his life in defence of our country. I am in favor of it as an act of justice to a 
man who has three times received the thanks of the Congress of the United States, and has once received 
a medal in token of his gallant services; a man who now retains in his possession the sword of an 
enemy taken i:i single fight; a man, sir, whose honors "have been piled so thick upon him" that envy 
has risen against him to crush him to the earth. I repeat what I said in the outset of my remarks, that 
under present circumstances, I am not the particular friend of Commodore Elliott, nor should 1 be 
the particular friend of any other man similarly situated. I did not, therefore, rise so much to defend 
him, worthy of all defence though 1 believe hira to be, as to defend the Navy, assailed, and assailed 
through him. If by this process of picking out little faults or blemishes, you are to impress the nation 
with the idea that a gallant officer, who has fought and shed his blood in your service, is nut a man 
proper for the high station which he occupies; then, before this House and this nation, I wash my 
bands clear of the foul inj ustice, and I declare that I will oppose it with all the little talent I possess— 
would to God it were ten times greater. 

But, Mr. Speaker, I feel an abiding conviction that he is worthy of the station which he occupies; 
that he is worthy to be intrusted with the protection of our country's banner, however distant the sea 
• n whose billows it may float, or however imminent the danger which may threaten its hitherto un- 
sullied glory, 

Note I.— Page 23. 


It was at the close of a stormy day in the year 1S35, when the gallant frigate 
Constitution, under the command of Captain Elliott, having on board the late Ed- 
ward Livingston, Minister at the Court of France, and his family, and manned by 
nearly five hundred souls, drew near to "the Chops" of the English Channel. For 
four days she had been beating down from Plymouth, and on the fifth, at evening, 
she made her last tack from the French coast. 

The watch was set at 8 P. M. The captain came on deck soon after, and having 
ascertained the bearing of Scilly, gave orders to keep the ship "full and bye," re- 
marking at the same time to the officer of the deck, that he might make the light on. 
the lee beam; but, he stated, he thought it more than probable he would pass it 
without seeing it. He then " turned in ; " as did most of the idlers, and the starboard 


At a quarter past 9 P.M., the ship headed west by compass, when the call of 
"Light 0!" was heard from the fore-topsail yard. 

" Where away ?" asked the officer of the deck. 

" Three points on the lee-bow, :: replied the look-out man ; which the unprcfes- 
sienal reader will readily understand to mean very nearly straight ahead. At this 
moment the captain appeared, and took the tiumpet. 

" Call all hands!" was his immediate order. 

•■ All hands !" whistled the boatswain, with the long, shrill summons familiar to 
the ears of all who have ever been on board of a man of-war. 

• All hands '." screamed the boatswain's mates ; and ere the echo died away, all 
but the sick were on deck. 

The ship was staggering through a heavy swell from the Bay of Biscay ; the gale, 
which had been blowing several days, had increased to a severity that was not to be 
made light of. The breakers, where Sir Cloudesly Shovel and his fleet were de- 
stroyed, in the days of Queen Ann, sang their song of death before, and the " Dead 
Man's Ledge" replied in hoarser notes behind us. To go ahead seemed to be death, 
and to attempt to go about was sure destruction. 

The first thing that caught the eye of the captain was the furled mainsail, which- 
he had ordered to be carried throughout the evening — the hauling up of which, con- 
trary to the last order that he had given on leaving the deck, had caused the ship to 
pass off to leeward two points, and had thus led her into a position on ' : a lee shore," 
upon which a strong gale was blowing her, in which the chance of safety appeared 
to the stoutest nerves almost hopeless. That sole chance consisted in standing on, 
to carry us through the breakers of Scilly. or by a close graze along their outer ledge. 
"Was this destined to be the end of the gallant old ship, consecrated by so many a 
prayer and blessing from the heart of a nation ? 

•'■ Why is the mainsail up, when I ordered it set?" cried the captain, in a tremend- 
ous voice. 

" Finding that she pitched her bows under, I took it in, under your general order, 
sir, that the officer of the deck should carry sail according to his discretion," replied 
the lieutenant in command. 

'•' Heave the log," was the prompt command to the master's mate. The log was 

" How fast does she go ?" 

<: Five knots and a half, sir 

" Board the main tack, sir." 

" She will not bear it," said the officer of the deck. 

"Board the main tack!" thundered the captain. " Keep her full and bye, quar- 

11 Ay, ay, sir." The tack was boarded. 

" Haul aft the main sheet," shouted the captain ; and aft it went, like the spread- 
ing of a sea-bird's wing, giving the huge sail to the gale. 

" Give her the lee helm when she goes into the sea," cried the captain. 

" Ay, ay, sir, she has it," cried out the old sea-dog at the binnacle. 

!: Right your helm — keep her full and bye." 

" Ay, ay, sir, full and bye she is," was the prompt answer from the helm. 

" How fast does she go ?" 

" Eight knots and a half, sir." 

" How bears the light ?" 

<: Nearly abeam, sir." 

" Keep her away half a point." 

" How fast does she go?" 

"Nine knots, sir." 

"Steady, sir," returned the captain, 

" Steady !" answered the helmsman ; and all was the silence of the grave on that 
crowded deck, except the howling of the storm, for a space of time that seemed to 
my imagination almost an age. 

It was a trying hour with us — unless we could carry sail so as to go at the rate of 
nine knots an hour, we must of necessity dash upon Scilly ; and who ever touched 
these rocks and lived during a storm ? The sea ran very high, the rain fell in sheets, 


the sky was one black curtain, illumined only by the faint light which was to mark 
our deliverence, or stand a monument of our destruction. The wind had got above 
whistling — it came in puffs that flattened the wanes, and made our old frigate settle 
to her bearings, while every thing on board seemed cracking into pieces. At this 
moment the carpenter reported that the left bolt of the weather fore-shroud had 

" Get on the luffs, and set them on all the weather shrouds. Keep her at a small 
helm, quartermaster, and ease her in the sea," were the orders of the captain. 

The luffs were soon put upon the weather shrouds, which of course relieved the 
chains and channels, but many an anxious eye was turned towards the remaining 
bolts, for upon them depended the masts, and upon the masts the safety of the ship — 
for with one foot of canvass less she could not live fifteen minutes. 

Onward plunged the overladen frigate, and at every plunge she seemed bent upon 
making the deep the sailor's grave, and her live oak sides his coffin of glory. She 
had been fitted out at Boston when the thermometer was below zero. The shrouds 
of course therefore slackened at every strain, and her unwieldly masts (for she had 
those designed for the Cumberland, a much larger ship,) seemed ready to jump out 
of her. And now, while all was apprehension, another bolt drew! — and then an- 
other — until at last our whole stay was placed upon a single bolt, less than a man's 
wrist in circumference. Still the good iron clung to the wood, and bore us along- 
side the breakers, though in a most fearful proximity to them. This thrilling inci- 
dent has never, I believe, been noticed in public; but it is the literal fact — which I 
make not the slightest attempt to embellish. As we galloped on — for I can com- 
pare our vessel's leaping to nothing else — the rocks seemed very near us. Dark as 
was the night, the white foam scowled around their black heads, while the spray fell 
over us, and the thunder of the dashing surge sounded like the awful knell that the 
ocean was singing for the victims it was eager toengulph. 

At length the light bore upon our quarter, and the broad Atlantic rolled its white 
caps before us. During this time all was silent, each officer and man was at his 
post, and the bearing and countenance of the captain seemed to sive an encourage- 
ment to all onboard. With but a bare possibility of saving the ship and all on board, 
he placed his reliance on his nautical skill and courage, and by carrying the mainsail 
when in any other situation it would have been considered a suicidal act, he weather- 
ed the lee shore and saved the Constitution. 

The mainsail was now hauled up by light hearts and strong hands, the jib and 
spanker taken in, and from the light of Scilly the gallant vessel, under close-reefed 
topsails and maintopsails, took her departure and danced merrily over the deep for 
the United States. 

" Pipe down," said the captain to the first lieutenant; " all splice the main-brace!" 

" Pipe down !" echoed the first lieutenant to the boatswain. 

" Pipe down !" whistled the boatswain to the crew, and ''pipe down" it was. 

Soon the '-Jack of the Dust" held his levee on the main-gun deck, and the weather- 
beaten tars, as they gathered about the grog-tub, and luxuriated upon a full allow- 
ance of the old Rye, forgot all their perils and fatigue. 

" How near the rocks did we go ?" said I to one of the master's mates the next 
morning. He made no reply, but taking down his chart, showed me a pencil line 
between the outside shoal and the Light-house Island, (on the outside of whielTwe 
passed) which must have been a small strait for a fisherman to run his smack thro' 
in good weather by daylight. 

For what is the noble and dear old frigate reserved ? I went upon deck — the sea 
was calm ; a gentle breeze was swelling our canvass from mainsail to royal, the 
Isles of Scilly had sunk in the eastern waters, and the clouds of the dying storm 
were rolling off in broken masses to the northward and westward, like the flying 
columns of a beaten army. 

I have been in many a gale of wind, and have passed through scenes of great dan- 
ger ; but never before or since have I experienced an hour so terrific as that when 
the Constitution was laboring — with the lives of five hundred men hanging on a sin- 
gle iron bolt — to weather Scilly, on the night of the 11th of May, 1S35. 


Page 22 — 3d line from bottom. 

In a vile and scurrilous paper, published in the city of New York,I was accu- 
Bed of going, when in Paris, into the hall of the Chamber ot Deputies, 
in full dress and armed ; and with the bearing of one, who wished by his manner 
to intimidate the members who were opposed to the Indemnity treaty ! The article 
Went on to say that my conduct was such, as justly to irritate both parties in France, 
and that I seemed to endeavor to hasten a rupture between the two countries at 
that crisis. 

I do not not now refer to the publication nor its author, for the purpose of cor- 
recting the statement; — for in respect to the writer, I will only remark that I hold 
to the Spanish proverb, " Conform your punishmertt in proportion to the responsi- 
bility of its object ;" but I do so, to show how reckless were my assailants as to the 
nature of their attacks. My letters to the President and Genl. Bernard, will show 
how earnestly I sought to avert the threatened war, and what was my constant lan- 
guage in regard to the difficulties. With respect to my visit to the Chamber, I 
assure you, that although Genl. Bernard advised me that a particular seat had been 
appropriated to my use, I never was there in my life ; and to this day, I do not 
even know the color of its walls'. 

V. S. Frigate Constitution, off Havre, f 
April 23, 1835. f 
"■"Dear Sir.— It may not be trespassing too much on your time to inform yon that to-day I reached 
the Constitution from Pari9, and shall proceed to Cowes for 'h» purpose of taking a supnly of water 
onboard. I shall then return to Havre to receive on board Mr. Livingston and family, with the 
exception of Mr. Barton who will remain in France, and expect to br'there in five or six days hence. 

I had many interesting conversations with Gen. Bernard while in Paris, who seems much inter- 
ested in the fate of the Indemnity Bill. I saw him just on the eve of departure; and he assures roe 
that the first instalment of the claim of the U. S. will be duly paid r 'hat the king means to put his 
veto on the accompanying clause as uncalled for and not embraced within his right. Ministers were 
taken by surprise. They feared that they could not carry the bill, while the opposition knew they 
could and introduced it to prevent the consummation of a desired end, but continued the Ring's party. 
Bernard says to me that the king knows it to be his interest to carry the trpatv into effect. In future 
negotiations, others may doubt his strength and sincerity, so that I really believe mat'ers will yet be 
pre-ented, to prevent a resort to force. I know of no one better calculated for the court of France, 
than that good patriot, Poinsett, whose manners, habits, and early education together with his private 
means so well qualify him for the court of Lornis Phillippe, 

Mr. Livingston has had much to contend with, and I came upon him so much by surprise, that it 
seemed a ministering angel was at hand ; and Madam tells me that she will not feel herself entirely safe, 
until she is on board 'the ; ' Constitution, which I trust will be in five days. An examination of the 
accompanying letters between Gen. Bernard and myself may perhaps give y u some little light as to 
the result of our frequent conversations. The newspapers contain the vote. The two marked were 
in favour of the bill, but in the opposition. I am, dear sir, very truly yours, 

Gen, Andrew Jackson, President of the U. S. Washington, D. C, U. 8. A. 

■ Extract of letter to Genl. Bernard, Member of House of Peers and Aid De Camr) 
to the King, &c, &c. 

U. S. Frigate Constitution, Harbour of Cherbourg, \ 
April 30th, 1835. \ 

Dear General.— Since my last communication to you, I have reflected much on our existing inter- 
national relations, and cannot but reiterate my deep regrets that anything should ever have trans- 
pired to disturb that amity and harmony, which from circumstances peculiar in their nature, have 
existed and should continue to exist between the two countries. In visiting Cherbourg I am the more 
convinced of the paramount obligation we are under to e ich other, as important families among other 
nations, to perpetuate our pacific relations, and to cement our national Comity by an inviolable obser- 
vance of good faith. 

The conflicting question which has occasioned agitation for nearly a quarter of a century is now 
brought to a crisis : and the real friends ot both nations ought sincerely to wish'that its issue may be an 
amicable and satisfactory adjustment. Like the occasional feuds and contentions in lesser families, 
reconciliation should take place, without beart burnings or recrimination, and feelings of a hostile 
character, incident (frequently without cause) to nations as well as individuals, should be supplanted 
by those of friendship and, good will. Without arguing, dear general,) tbis Idng contested question, 
you will permit me to say that> I have not (after repeated perusals, discovered in the message of thp 
president of the U. S. on the subject of our claims, that language of hostility and menace which 
seems to have produced so much emotion among the legislative functionaries of France. Both 'the 
minute investigation of matters apparently trivial, and the latitude of expression in which the execu» 
tive organ of the U.S. indulges in his annual state paper, results from the spirit of our government, and 
the genius and temper of the people. Nor can I regard in any other light, the paragraph in Mr. 
Livingston's letter, to which such wide exception has been taken, than as merely retaliatory in lan- 
guage. It was a communication frDm a diplomatic agent to a responsible organ of his government- 
confidential in its character and liberal in its expression. It appears to me that the obnoxious sen- 
tence cannot by any rules of construction be tortured into a charge of treachery on the part of France. 
The language of diplomacy, is but too frequently! susceptible of a double construction ; bet in *&* 



present case I cau give the paragraph in question no other interpretation than the honorable purpose 
on the part of Mr. Livingston to place himself on defensible ground, and to tdvise the executive organ 
of the U. S. of an anticipated evil resulting from the action of the government with which he was in 
negotiation. There is another reason, cogent enough of itself to induce the two countries to pursue 
towards each other a pacific system ; and which you S'iggt6ted to me with no small degree offeree. A 
power exists, not indeed geographically connected with the continent of Europe, but peculiarly sen- 
sitive of every movement there, and vibrating in sympathy with its interna' and foreign operations and 
policy. A nation to use the language of Jefferson, that feels power an 1 forgets right; greedy and 
grasping, and in the event of a conflict between France and the U. S. would fatten on the misfortunes 
of both, and who, in such an event, to use a familiar expression would milk the cow whilst we held 
her, whose treasury would be opened to defray the expenditures of a war for the first year's opera- 
tions, if the conflict could not be otherwise produced J In reference to the conduct of Mr. Livingston 
in this embarrassing negotia ion, permit me to sav, that could the Budcets between the diplomatic 
representatives and their constituents of other nations be exposed to the public eye, it would be found 
in the comparison, that he has acted with moderation, and a punctilious regard towards the discharge 
of his high an! delicate duties. 

The port of Cherbourg is rendered peculiarly interesting to me from the fact that it was contem- 
plated by Napoleon as the impregnable point of scurity in forming a junction between hit two great 
projected fleets of Brest and Antwerp. In beholding the monuments of his mighty mind, lam com- 
pelled you to concede to him the palm of military genius and invincible perseverance. 

In theevent of a coninuanceef a pacific system between the two countries, I sincerely hope, that 
that pure patriot and good republican, Poinsett, will be sent to represent the U. S. at the court of 
France, and with this wish I have taken the liberty to mention his name to the President of the U. S. 

I am very truly yours, 

tt. Gen!. Simon Bernard, Member of the House of Peers, and Aid De Camp 

to the King of France, Paris. 

In the same precious print, I was accused of throwing overboard unnecessarily, 
orie of the guns of the Constitution : and the public were told to a cent, the loss 
which the nation had sustained, and the danger in which the noble vessel was placed, 
byHhus lessening her battery ! The fact is the ship was in most imminent danger at 
the time, and had not the gun been cut away, I feel certain serious damages would have 
resulted. The sea was very rough, and the gale remarkably severe; and every time 
the ship would plunge and roll, the gun would strike heavily against her bow; which 
certainly must soon have been stove in. To avoid this certain destruction, I at once 
ordered the breeching to be cut, and let the gun go overboard. — I give my official 
report to the Department. 

" This, and the loss of a 24lb gun are pretty much all we have sustained. The 
latter by some unaccountable means, in a tremendously heavy gale, while scudding 
and going through the water, in a dark, stormy night, with her lower yards some- 
times in the sea, and at the rate of perhaps thirteen miles per hour, worked out of 
one of the fore locks, which were intended to secure it in the carriage, and hung 
by the breeching, thumping violently against the bow, as reported to me by the 
officer of the deck, and which I could feel as I came to the deck. It being in the 
night, and satisfied of the correctness of the report of the officer, and actuated by the 
impulse of my own feelings, I at once ordered the breechings to be cut and let go 
to avoid a worse result. It was a shifting gun, and of course the battery is not 
decreased in physical force." 


It is a thankless labor to unmask profligacy or expose the unworthy ; it is doubly 
so, when the work of exposure falls upon the victim of wrong and injustice. Al- 
though, when abstractedly considered, it is the duty of all to hold up for public avoi- 
dance and contempt those whose conduct calls for rebuke and condemnation, yet too 
often motives and principles, however correct and pure, aie impugned, when that 
duty is assumed by one who has suffered by the injuries of deliberate wickedness. 
Indeed, it not unfrequently happens, for such is the strange perversity of popular 
judgment, that when the stricken asks only that he may he heard, his defence is re- 
garded as presumptuous, while the charae of the unworthiness of his accusers is met 
with hesitation or doubt. The task is accordingly almost a gratuitous one, that he 
undertakes, who would, in this world, where violence and oppression abound, attempt 
to direct attention to the persecutions which he has received, or to establish the in- 
iquity of the motives and the disregard of moral principles on the part of those who 
have done him wrong 


Yet there is something due to individual self — there is much owing to those who 
are connected to him by holy ties — there are claims which relations in society de- 
mand shall be heard — there is public virtue to be respected and professional honor 
to be properly estimated — and there is personal reputation, for which man should 
live, as there is a name after death, in the dark pall of which he should be willing to 
be enclothed, rather than that name be transmitted as an inheritance of shame! How 
great soever may be the reluctance, yet it must be overcome, when it would inter- 
fere with the natural, and not more natural than moral obligation, to hold up for the 
world's condemnation, the authors of undeserved calumny, and the cold, unfeeling, 
and reckless agents of unmerited oppression. The victim must do it, for eternal 
justice forbids not that he right himself less than others; and if in doing so, the vile 
deeds of viler hearts are laid bare, let them who follow their depraved impulses re- 
ceive the odium which they deserve- 

I have been a wronged, a deeply injured man — I have declared myself, before an 
united world, to be one who has been cruelly attempted to be crushed to the dust in 
ignominy by a conspiracy of those who cared not for the measures which they em- 
ployed, provided their unholy purpose was reached. I waive now all the acts to which 
the sternest justice will award some meed of honor; 1 throw aside the consideration 
that my whole life has been faithfully devoted to my country's welfare and glory — 
I point not to the sword which never was sheathed when that country called, which 
was never dimmed by one deed of shame, and which — may heaven be denied me if it 
should — never shall be disgraced! I seek not sympathy on these accounts ; nor do I 
ask it on others. But I have been oppressed, and vilified, and almost crushed ; and 
I ask only that you will examine the evidence now to be spread before you. Let 
my complaint be that of the most humble mortal, and let its justice be tried by 
sternest principles in its exercise. It is all that is asked, and I know it will not be 
denied. I appeal to the world for a decision in respect to my oppressive sentence, 
assured that the inquest must bestow the verdict of bitter, cruel wrong as having 
been my portion. With that world I leave the retribution which they who brougth 
it upon me so richly merit, so fully deserve — not only from the high-minded and 
honorable, but from all not steeped as deep in infamy! 

Before introducing the evidences of this wrong which has been visited upon me, I 
will remark, that Courts of Inquiry and Courts Martial were originally constituted 
as Courts of Honor, and their judges were invested with powers not to be reached 
even by a king. Times have changed, and so have men; and the same ruling passion 
dues not now exist. To be a competent judge, an officer should be familiar with the 
law, capable of deciding upon the legality of questions, and upon their applicability 
to cases under consideration. To enable him to detect errors in proceedings, he 
should have a full knowledge of precedents. How differently managed are the trials 
of the present day! By the mode of their organization, the courts are made subser- 
vient to the will of the judges advocate. The counsel for the accused are not ad- 
mitted to the tribunal's secret sessions. They can give no expositions of the bear- 
ings of their client's evidence. ' The irresponsible law officer of the court directs as 
he wills the opinions of its members, while, in fact, he should be merely its secreta- 
ry rather than the chief director of its action. 

I refer you to the case of the officer whose name is now first on the roll of the na- 
vy, Commodore James Barron. At the trial of that distinguished commander in 
1808, ameaber of theconrt, in secret session, offered this resolution. 

Extract from the proceedings on the 3lst day of the General Court Martial convened 
for the trial of Commodore James Barron, Page 333. 

" A motion was then made by a member of the Court, that the Court come to the 
following resolution : 

" Resolved, That no memher of this Court who hath voted the accused to be not 
guilty of all the charges preferred against him, can legallj vote on questions involv- 
ing merely the quantum of punishment which ought to be inflicted for the offence of 
which he hath already been found guilty." 

Does not the very reading of such a resolution excite the indignation of every lis- 
tener? Would such an atrocious movement be tolerated in any other court of the 
present day ? Or would the man who could offer such a resolution be permitted 
fiver after to enter the presence of gentlemen ? I anticipate the answer of every 


one who hears me— NO ! Take also the case of that able and distinguished officer, 
Commodore Charles Stewart, who, when in command of our naval forces in the 
Mediterranean, had occasion to organize a Court Martial in the Bay of Naples. Dur- 
ing its progress it adjourned from the squadron to the shore, for the transaction of 
business. The trial closed, and the record was transmitted to the commander, who, 
observing its illegality, ordered a revision and correction. The judge advocate, con- 
fident of the superiority of his own learning and acumen, advised a refusal of com- 
pliance on the part of the Court They followed his counsel, and their ships were left 
without commanders. They were arrested, while the irresponsible law officer es- 
caped. On their arrival in America, on the suggestion of the Executive, they ac- 
i-nowledged their error, and were restored to their command. Take an instance in 
my own experience. During my trial in 1840, a witness was introduced to prove 
that I had used the canvass of the government to make tents for Gen. Cass and his 
family. I showed by the evidence of Millvill, the sailmaker's mate of the ship,that 
General Cass himsell purchased the canvass which had been used, that he and mem- 
bers of his suite directed the making of the tents, and that I had nothing to do with 
the transaction. The sailmaker's mate was not an officer; his testimony was not be- 
lieved; I was convicted of the charge, and punished. What was the final result? 
General Cass returns to America and confirms my statement, placing on file at Wash- 
ington the original bills of the shopkeepers for the canvass. And what became of 
the witness whose testimony caused my conviction ? He still holds his rank and 
emoluments as an officer of the United States Navy, though not a man in the service 
•can doubt that he should be cashiered. 

On another occasion, when I had exposed the malignity and falsehood of an officer 
who had been examined for the prosecution, a member of the Court, on its adjourn- 
ment, to show how little influence anything but his prejudices and old opinions could 
have upon his decisions, cried out to the witness, " Come, B., go home and take 
a family dinner with me!" The Courts Martial are not courts of justice. Their 
decisions are not according to fact and evidence, but according to professional jeal- 
ousy and ill-will. Mr. Cooper, in his case with William L. Stone, submitted to 
civilians, to men unbiassed and capable of appreciating evidence and arguments, and 
versed in maratime affairs. His triumph was complete. Had he gone before a 
Court Martial, composed of officers whose opinions in regard to the battle of Lake 
Erie had been long established, how different would have been the result ! These 
courts should be — ere long they must be — abandoned ; and the cases of officers in the 
service tried before the civil tribunals of the nation, or before some new courts in- 
stituted for the purpose. The officers of the navy, however competent to judge in 
ordinary controversies, are the last men to be entrusted with trials of each other. 

I add to these remarks the relation of one more case, which will justify them in 
the view of all. On the day that the sentence was subscribed, I called at the Man- 
sion House, in Philadelphia, to take leave of Mr. Cooper, and was informed that he 
was in the adjoining room. In passing to it, I suddenly broke in upon an animated 
conversation as to my part in the battle of Lake Erie, between Mr. C. and a majority 
of the junior officers of the Court. On entering, each one passed me without notice; 
leaving MrCooper and Mr J.B.Quimby the occupants of the room. There seemed to 
be much flurried excitement on the part of Mr.Cooper, which I could not understand, 
-but when he left me, Mr. Quimby remarked, "Commodore, you interrupted a most 
interesting discussion on your entrance, relative to your participation in the Battle 
of Lake Erie. Do you see those bits of paper on the table? They delineate the bat- 
tle according to Mr. Cooper's views. Each, however, denied the correctness, and 
chiefly on the authority of junior officers in the service." 

In conclusion, I will give the cost to the nation of the Court of Inquiry and Court 
Martial. It is below, and the document should be seriously examined and pondered 
upon. Let the world see what was the expense of the attempt to ruin an individual. 
Let that world know that to gratify the vindictive passions of J. K. Paulding and 
others, the country was made to expend a sum sufficient to erect a hospital for a few 
infirm tars — enough to soothe the hearts of their widows and orphans — but yet not 
•enough for Mr. Paulding and his fellow-conspirators to purchase an approving con? 
iaeuce for themselves or favorable opinions from the meanest. 


Treasury Department, Fourth Auditor's Office, \ 
January 9th, 1844. ) 
Srr— In compliance with your request, that I would inform you what was the aggregate expense of 
*lhe Court of Inquiry and Court Martial which were convened in your case, the former in the year 1339 
and the latter in 1340, I have to state that the whole expense of the two Courts appears to have been 

This may not be the exact amount, to ascerta n which would require more time than has been al- 
lowed me ; but it is believed to be a near approximation to the precise sum, which you observed was all 
that you desired. 

I an. sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

To Com. J. D. Elliott, Philadelphia. 

Note. — What must have been my individual expenses'? 

I introduce the proofs of the wicked injustice and wrong done me by presenting 
my leading and closing remarks made before the Court of Inquiry, excluding the 
•explanations of the cases under examination. 

Copy of Explanatory TLemarks of Commodore Jesse D. Elliott, before the 

Court of Enquiry. 

(A. B.) 

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Court:— 

Before I leave the subject* of enquiry which you have had under consideration, I wish to presents 
brief view of the evidence exhibited upon the respective charges. 

The order of the Secretary of the Navy, dated the i3d day of March, 1339, constituting this court, 
direrts you to enquire into certain specified eotnplaiivts and charges. A. being charges or complainu 
by Passed Midshipman Charles C. Barton, A. No. 1 to No. 9 inclusive, being letters and certificates in 
relation to the complaints or charges of the said Barton; B. eharge by Lieutenant Charles G. Hunter, 
C. and C. No. 1, letters respecting the presentation and acceptance of certain plate. D. letter of Lieute- 
nant Charles H. McBlair and others in relation to mutinous couduct, en board of the United States 
Ship Constitution in Hampton Roads. E. charges by Lieutenant CharLs H. McBlair. F. letter of 
Captain Jesse Wilkinson, as well as to enquire into the official conduct generally o;' the said Captain 
Jesse D. Elliott, while commanding the United States Naval Forces in the Mediterranean sea in 1335, 
1S36, 1337, 183S The Secretary of the Navy, in his letter of the 23d April, 1339, has extended this en- 
quiry to my official conduct generally on Hampton Roads. 

In accordance with the jpirit of the precept, the Judge Advocate has felt himself bound to put the 
following question to each witness, with the direction to the witness, that, under the general enquiry, 
he might state anything in the official conduct of Capt. J. D. Elliott, which in the cp.nion of such 
\» itnesf merits examination. 

Do you know of any other mai tes in the official conduct of Captain J. D. Ellitttt, while commanding 
the naval forces in the Mediterranean sea, in the years 1S35, '6, 7, '3, appertaining to the enquiries 
now before the Court? 

Such a course of enquiry is not authorized by either precedent or authority. The writers upon the 
Laws of Courts Martial, state the object of a Court of Enquiry, to be to enquire into some 
particular transaction, such as the loss of a ship, the failure of an expedition, and the like eases; but I 
believe there is no instpnee on record of an enquiry extended like the present. The injurious conse- 
quences of such a mode may be readily anticipated. I have been exposed to the natural prejudices 
and bia3 of every individual who may have felt himself aggrieved by any act of mine — to the want of 
knowledge of the law of the individual who makes the statement— to his knowledge of some isolated 
fact, and an ignorance of the whole transaction which constitutes the ground of accusation— to the 
inconvenience of having every loose and remark detailed, with all the errors incident to mis- 
apprehension at the time, and subsequent forgetfulness ou the part of the witness. 

In this manner charges have been made against me without the responsibility of an accuser, and, as 
you have seen, often accompanied with the declaration on the part of the witness, th»t he makes no 
accusation, but feels himself bound to state the facts he is about to detail. I am, also, deprived of the 
opportunity of obtaining the testimony of witnesses who are absent on public duty, and who if present 
might explain the circumstances thus incorporated into a charge, 

Mr. Starkie, a learned writer on the Law of Evidence, comments upon the danger of relyin* upon 
evidence of loose conversations in the following terms: "Such considerations operate strongly upon 
detailed evidence of oral declarations after the lapse of a considerable interval of time. Every man's ex- 
perience teaches him how fallible and treacherous the human memory in such cases is. In its freedom 
from this defect consists one great excellence of documentary evidence, audits main superiority over 
that which is merely oral; and on this principle it is, ihat the law out of policy frequently deems mere 
oral evidence to be tco weak, and requires a written voucher to prove the fact, 

"Of all kinds of evidence, that of extra judicial and casual obseivations is the weakest and most un- 
satisfactory. Such words are often spoken without serious intentions, and theyare always liable to be 
mistaken and.misremenibered, and their meaning i» liable to be misrepresented and exaggerated. A 
hearer is apt to clothe the ideas of the speaker as he understands them in his own language, and by 
this translation the real meaning must often be lost. A witness, too, who is not entirely indifferent 
between the parties, will frtquently, without being conscious that he does so, give too high a coloring 
to what has been said. The necessity for caution cannot be too strongly and emphatically impressed 
when particular expressions are detailed in evidence, which were used at a remote distance of time, 
or to which the attention of witnesses was not particularly called, or where misconception was likely 
to arise from their situation, and the circumstances under which they were placed.*' 

The truth of these remarks has beenfully confirmed in the course of the present investigation; and 
whenever I have been able to refer to a written document, I have disproved the accusation that had 
been founded upon conversations detailed as evidence. 

•Of which sum the Judge Advocate received about TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. 


It wi'l nor he (begotten by the Court that the witnesses who have been examined were my inmate-*, 
serving a? officers on board the sime vessel with me, on apparent terms of friendship, in whom 1 con- 
fided without reserve, and from whom I expected a reciprocity of kindnss and good will. Let us 
imagine that the Grand Jury of this or any other community, should be directed to enquire into the 
con uct of any individual, during a period of three o- four years 'hat thev sh mid call before tnem anil 
examine the members of his family and his intimate friends, and inquire into all his transactions of the 
most private nature. Public opinion would decide that it was an inquisitorial engine of the most dan- 
gerous character, and should not be exercised for a moment. Yet this is precist-ly what has been done 
in the present ca^e. My official condu.t in the ease of Passed Midshipman Barton and Lieutenant 
Hunter, had been the subject of Legislative inquiries in the House of Representatives of the United 
States at their last session, «nd owing to the lateness of the session, it was alleged could not lie acted 
upon I solicited from the Secretary of the Navy, a Court of Enquiry into the two cases specified. 
He acceded to my request in ihe manner that has been stated. 

In addition to the sis specific charges designated by the Secretary of the Navy, there have been 
exhibited, un'ier answers to the general enquiry, twelve district accusations, all of which I shall pro- 
cetd to examine I have submitted to this courseo enquiry, because I believed I had no just ground 
to f ar the result, and because I had been so long the subject of bitter and unmerited invective and 
obloquy, that I knew nothing bu the most illimitable and searching investigation could exculpate me 
in public estimation, and hereafter silence ray adversaries. With, however a proper respect for the 
source from whicb this order emanate,!, and in order to prevent its ever being used as a precedent 
hereafter, I now enter my firm and decided protest agiinst it. 

Hut although I have submitted to a m ideo. enquiry so vague and indefinite in its natnre, it is still 
due to me that ihe charg s successively developed should be specific ; that the time when, the ph?e 
where, a:id the cireum-tanoes shiu d bi stated, as also the law, or provisi in of the Hules and Regula- 
tions f.r the Government of the Navy of the United States, which it is alleged 1 have violated. 

I have now eximmel each charge under its respective head it remains with you to determine upon 
what (if any) charges >oi will rec mmend to the Secretary of the Navy to ordera Court Martial. 

In all my official conduct I have endeavored to maintain theordor an 1 discipline of the navy,the bul- 
wark and giory of our cou itry; the al egat ions agahut me are based upon the dastiucticn of all subor- 
dination between officers of comparative rank, and it remains with you to determine what of right and 
justice ought to be done. 


Philadelphia, July 2d, 1839. 

To the Hon. A. P. Upshur, Secretary of the Navy. 

Washington, March 4th, 1843. 

Sir :— In the conversation of Tuesday last, you were kind enough to intimate the propriety of 
roy subraiiting to the dei artment, a statement upuntli; prominent points, upon whiih 1 rested my 
claim to be r. stored to duty. In doin< so, it is not my intention to impugn the motives of any of the 
distinguished officeis, composing the Court under whose sentence I have suffered, or to go over the 
grounds of defence as-umed and ably sustained by ny Counsel, the Hon. George M. Dallas, but 
ti.nply to direct your attention to certam facts and documents, the bearing of which upon the que-tion 
submitted to the Court, will to your mind be apparent 'l'he evidence referred to was not submitted to 
the Court, and I a ledge that it would auihorize and lead to a different conclusion from that which the 
Court.arnved at, and it' correct in this, I may without the imputation ot arrogance, ask the Department, 
to give to these sta etnents toe consideration wh ch they deserve. 

In execution of my present purpose therefore, I would lespectlully call your attention, to the causes 
wh ch le .i tu the appointment, originally, of the Court ol Enquiry, On this subiect I would invite your 
examination of a letter addressed b) me to the President, dated Ju y 6th, 164J. This letter was refer- 
red hy the President to you, aid by an endorsement made I bcrueve by yourself, it is intimated, that you 
will look into the case as soon as the pressure of uusincs-. shall be relieved. 

In connexion therewith to the following Documents now in the Navy Department, v'z: 

A letter i rom James K. Paulding to me on the subject of unportalien of animala, dated the 15th day 
of Nov. 1S3S, and my reply to the same. 

A letter from the same to me on the subject of an alleged interference by me with the organization of 
paitiesm Pennsylvania during ihe winter o: 1838, when my effrts were invoked to aid the Executive 
of Pensylvania, in securing the supremacy tf the laws, dated the 12, h day of December, 1638, and my 
answer to it likewi.e. 

An examination »f these Documents will show that my response to the invitation of the Executive of 
Pennsylvania originated the movement in Congress, which resulted in the appointment of a committee, 
or the details of whose ac.ion, I beg leave to refer to the Congress ona I Reports of 1338-9. The charges 
then made were confined to the alleged nial-treaiment of Lt. C. J. Hunter* and passed mid- 
shipman C. C. Barton, and in reference to those charges, and to them exclusively, I sought and obtain- 
ed the appointment ot a Court of Inquiry, (see the applica;ion and proceedings on liie in the .>avy De- 

Much to ray surprise a precept wa9 issued under the direction of the Hon. J. K. Paulding, making 
ray conduct as an officer the subject of universal investigation, and accompanied by special instruc- 
tions to the judge Advocate after certain specific allegations were investigated, to inquire into my con- 
duct during the years, 33, 6, 7, 8, 9, and furnished the names ot 130 witness s and upwards. I regard 
this order emanating from the source referred to, as unprecedented in our Naval Hi- tory— involving a 
tendency of alarming consequence to the service, and pregnant injustice the most flagrant and ap- 
parent to the accused, and such I most solemnly declare has been its effect in my iudi .'idual case. 

The proceedings of ibis Court ot Enquiry are on file, and in r ft rence to them, I invoke your exami- 
nation of the opinion or its presiding officer, Commodore Charles Stewart, dissenting from the two 
junior officers. (A. No. I.) 

• See letter on page 43, Appendix." 
t See Note, pages 27 and 28, Speech. 



1 desire also to refer you to Ihet letter of G. M. Dallas, dated Ph ladelphia, 11th January, 1°40, ad- 
dressed to the Hon. J. K. Paulding, Secretary of the Navy, -ubmitting to hi* con- d ra irn the cor- 
respond, nee be wc-n .Mr Randal', * ho was my Counsel before the Court of Inquirr, and myself. 
The corrtsponden' < alluded to embraces the I et-er of G. M Hal as, • ated at Pni ad I h a, 10 h Janu- 
ary, !84'l, and the reply 1 1 Mr. Handall on thi d»j -u reeding. The charges ret nred t« vtreiho-e 
brought by I emenant Hunter, Mi ■hipman Bar on, and the eonmlaints ei Pr Washington, T e 
Record of ih- Court Martial w.ll shew ihr I wis tried on all 'h <e v.ry charges and convicted on th se 
niade hy Midshipman Barton. These chag u s were regarded by b ith Mr Dallas and mysell as ex- 
cluded by the Court of Inquiry, ana in this respect the pioeeeding* ;s without ihr sanction ol law, and 
enntrart to all prtc dent Ii'the posit.on be co rect, that when iwo or m re charg-s are the uhject of 
enquiry, the Court of Inquiry shall specify and state distinctly Upon what, i am of the charges the ac- 
cused shall be tried, it will follow that the proceeding ot the Court .lartiai bv whom I was und, were 
without authority of law, irregular and oppressive, the™- having been no such distinct preliminary spe- 
cification and finding. Thi Secretary was informed hy me of the character of this proceeding, and 
Urged to send the r-cord back, fir the purpose of securing distinctness, as to the offences charged, and 
the person agiinst whom charged. This request w is d-r-garled. and the eonsequenee haa followed 
that I have be n trie I for the offence of a sub irdinate officer for which I was not amenable, either in 
just ce, or in accordance wth the regulations of the service. 

In connection with ihis branch ot the enquiry my Complaint distinctly is, that 1 have been tried and 
condemned for the offence, of Captain William Boerum. Amcng these were the punishment of a sea- 
roan at Beyrout— the punishmente^on board the Constitution in the Harbor of Mahon. Lieutenant Bui as, 
the inattention to the discipline of the ship while in Hampton|ltoads— and the alleged improper use ot the 
puhlic stores, and other similar charges, of which evidence was given at length before the Court, and 
which, it is apparent, has influenced its decision. In this connection I refer you to the letter of H >n. 
Mahlon Dickerson. dated Navy Department, Augu-t 3rh, 1835, and also to page 29 in the Navy Depart- 
ment, chapter 23d, section I, and to the same book, page 37, chapter 37, section 1. I extract from the 
letter, the fallowing paragraph: 

"Since the nrder to you of the 25th ult. directing you to hold your ship in readiness for the Mediter- 
ranean, you have been entitled to hoist your broad Pennant, as you will perceive by reference to the 
regulation on the subject. Page 29, Red Book of Civ I Rules." 

On thelSth August I sailed for the Mediterrantan, and relieved Commodore Patterson in the com- 
mand of the squadron on the station. After assuming that command by the3"th Rule above referred 
to, I was authorised to appoint a flae- Captain, or to select an officer to perform the duties under the 
sanction of the Secretary of the Navy; I however performed all the duties of the Command without a 
flag Captain from the 18th of August, 1S35, till the 30Ji November, 1836, when by appointment in 
writing signed by me, Captain William Boerum assumed all the duties and responsibilities of Flag Cap- 
tain of the Constitution, of which appointment the Secretary of the Navy was duly apprised by me, a 
will appear by letter and his answer now on file. The orderly book was handed to Captain Boerum in 
which the following order was entered, for the futnre direction and government of the ship. "All 
Reports hitherto made to me as commander, will in future be made to Captain Boerum as comraan er 
of the ship," and so entered on the Log- From the date ot the appointment, all the duties appertaining 
to the Flag Captain of the ship were assumed by the said Boerum, inc'uding settlement of accounts, 
infliction of punishments, navigating the ship, disbursing the stores, receiving report 8 from the officers, 
and attention to all her requirements. I dil not in any respect interfere with him in the discharge of 
those duties except so far as was necessary for the general purposes of the squadron, and preservation 
of the ship from imminent danger on two occasions. 

I subscribed a certificate written by himself that he had performed those duties, and he claimed the 
pay of a commander from the time he received the appointment, till the transfer ot the ship by him to 
the Commander of the Navy Yard at Norfolk, and actually received receipts for the same. Of these 
facts the evidence is ample and of the most decisive character ('A. Nos. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.) 1 invite y ur 
examination of it, and a-k you todecidt wheth-r under such circumstances it was rea«ono lc that I 
should be held responaible for the matters of complaint before enumerated, anj which according to the 
regulations of our »ervic were distinctly assigned to his cognizance ? 

In reference to the animals brought into the country on board the Constitution, I would rifer you to 
the instructions of the Government on that subject. I acted on this occasion witu no view to individual 
benefit, but was influenced so'ely by a desire to promote the interests ofagncu tureand the aits and hus 
to promote the vi-ws of the Depsrtment emanating from the Hon. Samuel L. Southard and adoressed 
to the Commanders on the several stations. To this letter of instruction I invite your attention. These 
instructions have been acted upon by the various commanders who have preceded rae in different 
stations, and in following their praiseworthy example in my endeavors in any respect to improve the 
condition of our country, I little imagined that I was furnishing my enemies with the means of 
criminal accusation against me. Of my intention to bring these animals home, 1 had appr'std both the 
Secretary (*A No. 9 ) and President many months before my departure from the Mediterranean, and 
my Inter to the latter is on file in the department. 

In reference to the ships stores I woull remark that they were within the peculiar control of the 
officers upon whom by the rules of the service, was cast the duty of disbursement, and if any portion 
of them was withdrawn they had my positive instructions to see th«y were returned, as testified 
to by Carpenter Sage page 304, of the Record, ('A No. 10.) 

The canvass referred to in the testimony of Lieut. Harwood, and which he states was used for pur- 
poses of General Cass (See page 158 of Record of Court of Inquiry) was in fact purchased by General 
Cass at Marseilles, France, and brought on board the ship, and afterwards manufacture d into tents for 
the use of himself and family a d attaches. See deposition of Me ville, page 481 of the same Record. I 
have rea on io b-lieve this honest Tar was regarded by a portion of the members of the Court as a suborr- 
e1 win, ess, and that his pr.duction as a witness had a most prejudicial tei dency for that reason. Yet S.r, 
his entire testimony contained the truth and nothing but the truth. This I do most solemnly a»er, ana 
this averment is sustained by the receipt and bill now in possession of General Cass, taken at the lime 
of pure ase and years before the trial, da ed in May '36 or '3?. ("A No. 11.) 

There is another material feature in this transaction, which invests this appeal with peeuliar claims 
en the Department over which you preside. It is brefly as follows. Alter noticing the extending 
character of the precept, it occurred to me as essential, to secure the testimony of Purser Fontleroy, 
■who was Purser of the Shark, at the period when past-midshipman Barton was left at Smyrna, and 
who was instructed by me to place in his bands the amount of money due hira up to that day, and 


likewise in the hands of David OfTley, the American Consul at Smyrna, three months pay in advance 
with a lem-r of credit for his monthly pay, until he was enabled to return to the ship. Purser Fontlc 
rov was then attached to a sea-going ship. 

With a vifw to secure his testimony, and that of several other officers similarly situated, I applied 
to Mr. Paulding, by letter dated 16th March 1S39, (A No. 12,) and received for answer his letter daied 
26th of the same month, (A Vo. 13,) which letters are now on file. 1 asked that these officer) might 
be detained, to give testimony on rry trial, and w:is informed thst they could not be detached and that 
tht-ir testimony might be taken upon interrogations to be forwarded to their respective places of 
destination. la reference to several of these witnesses interrogations were prepared and forwarded, 
but in no one instance was the testimony of the witness secured. 

Mr. Fontleroy as I have understood is now a resident of Alexandria, and would no doubt be willing to 
verify these statements. I have not seen him since my departure from Smyrna: nor have I had any 
correspondence with him; but knowing the facts myself, I confidently refer to him as being in posses 
sion of the same information. He could have sworn to these and other fact-, indicating the kind feel- 
ing which wa- cherished by me towards that young man in his misfortune. 'See Appendix page 41 No 6. 

1 therefore distinctly allege, that I have been found guilty of cruelty and oppression, in my treatmen- 
of Past-midshipman Barton, and ihat too, upon thetestimony of Mr. Barton himself; when by the de- 
cision of the department 1 was deprived of the testimony of Fontleroy and others, who would have 
established by their testimony the real character of my conduct on the occasion. 

In connection with this part of the subject I would most respectlully refer to the er*s9-examination 
of Mr. Barton before both courts. 

Before closing this communication, I would spec-ally ask your examination of that portion of the 
proceeding before the court, which embraces the testimony of Lieut. M. Blair. It will appear that this 
witness was permitted to testify as to the contents of the letter, without the production of the original, 
and this too against the consent of my counsel and in defiance of my most solemn protest. The Court 
having decided that the letter itself was inadmissable, a paper was then offered by ray Counsel, pro- 
testing against its contents being placed upon the record, This paper was also overruled, and all 
further examination of this witness, or any other, subsequently called by the Judge Advocate on the 
same subject, was abandoned by my Counsel, wno at that time and since has repeatedly informed me 
that the proceeding was in direct violation of all rules of evidence, and never could receive the Execu- 
tive sanction. 

This letter contains some of the most prominent objections to the proceedings and sentence of the 
Court. I invoke your serious examination of them, injustice to the interests of the Department over 
which you preside as well as to the reputation and character of your humble servant, 


The Hon. A. P. Upshcr, Secretary of the Navy. 

A No. 1. 

It appears to the President of the Court that the complaint ofCapt. Jesse Wilkinson, 'that Com- 
modore Elliott gave orders to Consul O Rich, at Mahon, "not to transfer any official documents to 
him," as next in command, is not proven. 

On inquiry into the official conduct of Commodore Jesse D. Elliott during the years 183"), '36 '37, 
and '3S, it appears to the President of th^ Court, ihat in two or thiee instances, a violation ot the 
laws for the Government of the Navy, hae taken place, by order of said Commodore J. D. Elliott, in 
article 30th, which inhibits any commanding officer from inflicting any punishment beyond twelve 
lashes, on any private. 

It appears in evidence also, that after the Chaplain (Mr. Everetl of the Constitution, died, Commo- 
dore Elliott ordered Chaplain Lambert, (then attached io the Frigate United States,) at his own 
request, to perform duty on board the Constitution, which he did, for three months, when Commo- 
dore Elliott ordered Chaplain Lambert back to the Frigate United States, in the Schooner Shark, all 
of which it appears to the President of the Court, he had a perfect right to do, the said Chaplain being 
in and attached to one of the vessels of the squadron, under his command. 

It also appears in evidence, that during the command of Commodore Jesse D. Elliott, in the Medi- 
terranean, all the ships and vessels of war composing the squadron, and the Frigate Constitution 
particularly, were in order, and in a high state of discipline and efficiency . 

From the foregoing schedule of the facts, appearing to the President of the Court of Inquiry, with 
the single exception of the violation oftbe30th article of the " Rules and Regulations for the better 
Government of the Navy " by himself, and his permitting ethers to violate the same. It does not 
appear that Commodore Elliott, has violated the laws, omitted to perform any duty exacted of him, 
or disobeyed any lawful order, but on the contrary, from his efforts to enforce the laws and necessary 
discipline of his command, much of the complaint which ihe court has had to investigate, has tmv 

The President of the Court is the-efore ef opinion that with the single exception ofa violation of 
the 30th Article, alluded to in the foregoing, there has be en no high offence committed by Commo- 
dore Jesse D. Eiliott, during his command of the Mediterranean Squadron, and he is therefore of opin- 
ion that a Court Martial would not now conduce to the interests of the navy ; but on the contrary, it 
would hive a tendency to further weaken the very limited powers of Commander a of an American 
Squadron, abroad ; and to render all future efforts to command, abortive. 



A. JVb. 2. 




The petition of the undersigned respectfully sbeweth: — That on the Slst of July, 1835, 
I was ordered to the Frigate Constitution, at New York, and sailed in her for the Medi- 
terranean, as First Lieutenant. In December of the same year, I was ordered, by the 


commander or the squadron, to the command of the schooner Shark, and on the SOth of 
November, 1836, I was again ordered, by the commander of the same squadron, to the 
frig-ate Constitution, as Flag Captain, and the Secretary of the Navy informed of it. 
Soon after this order, I sailed from Mahon, as Captain of the ship. On the 8th of Fe- 
bruary, 1837, I was promoted to the rank o r Commander, and my commission sent out 
to me, by the Secretary of the Navy, without any orders. I was therefore obliged to 
remain on board the Constitution, and so continued to perform the duties of Captain until 
she was paid off, 18th of August, 183S. From the time of my appointment as Flag Cap- 
tain, till the ISth of August, 1338, I only received the pay of a Commander attached to 
a vessel for sea service — believing at the same time that I was entitled to that of Captain, 
by the act of Congress, regulating the pay of the Navy, approved 3d March, 1S35, which 
says that officers temporarily performing- the duties of a higher grade, shall receive the 
compensation of such grade, while actually so employed. Herewith, are copies of my 
orders, as Flag Captain, an extract of a letter from the commander of the squadron to 
the Secretary of the Navy, notifying him of the same, and a certificate of the time I 
performed the duties of Captain, by his order. Quarterly muster and pay rolls, approved 
by the Captain, are required to be forwarded regularly to the Department. Those cf 
the Constitution were so sent, bearing my name and rank, the pay I was receiving, and 
my approval; — also, all the bills of the ship, and accounts cf every kind, paid by the 
Purser, were approved by me, and passed by the Fourth Auditor, in the settlement of the 
PurserVaccounts. Now, three months after this settlement of accounts, the Auditor 
says I was not Captain of the ship, nor was I attached to her as a Commander even after 
I was commissioned as such. He acknowledges that I performed the duties of Captain, 
yet he cannot allow me the pay as such; nor can he allow me the pay of a Commander 
in sea service, which my commission alone gives me, but he says he considers me entitled 
to choose between the pay of a Lieutenant and that of a Commander on other duty. It 
certainly appears very singular to me that my order to the ship as Flag Captain, does not 
attach me to her — or that my commission as Commander should detach me from her, and 
I yet perform the duties of Captain. 

My object now is, to claim what I think I am allowed by the act of Congress.which 
is, the difference between the pay credited me by the Auditor, and that of Captain fiom 
the 1st of December, 1836, to the 18th of August, 183S. 

(Signed) W. BOEPOJM. 

A. JVo. 3. 

U. S. S. Constitution, 
Mahon, Nov. 30th, 18S6. 
Sir, — You will be pleased to repair on board, and report for duty, as Flag Captain of 
this ship, as soon as you are admitted to Pratique. 

I am, very respectfully, 

Your ob't serv't, 

Com'ng U. S. N. F, in the Mediterranean. 
To Lieut. Com'dt. William Boerom, U. S. S. Shark. 

Ji. JVb. 4. 
(extract.) U. S. S. Constitdtion, ? 

Mahon, Dec. 1st, 18S6. \ 
Sir, — Having previously stated to you the necessity of my having a Captain on board 
my ship, and finding it increased, I have appointed Lieut. Com'dt. W. Boerum, as Flag 
Captain, and supplied his place by Lieut. G.F.Pearson, whom I have found to be a mos'; 
excellent officer. 

(Signed) J. D. ELLIOTT, 

Com'ng. U. S. N. F. in the Mediterranean, 
Hon. M. Dickerson, Secretary of the Navy, Washington. 

Washington City, January 1st, 1839. 
I certify #at Commander Wm. Boerum performed the duties of Captain on board the 
U. S. Frigate Constitution, by my order, from the 1st December, 1S36, till the 18th of 
August, 18S8. 





I, Caleb J. McNuIty, Clerk of the House of Representatives of the United States, 
hereby certify that the foregoing are true copies of papers now on file in this office. 

Januarys, 1844. 

A. No. 5. 
(copt.) Philadelphia, May 2d, 1839. 

Sir, — It appears to me important that I should know from the Navy Department what 
position I held in the frigate Constitution, during her late cruise in the Mediterranean, 
and I respectfully request that I may be informed whether Commodore Elliott or myself 
was considered by the Department as Captain of her. My reason in addressing the De- 
partment on the subject is, that I wish to state it to the Court of Inquiry. 
I am, respectfully, 

Your ob't serv't, 
(Signed) WM. BOERUM, Com'dr. U. S. Navy. 

Hon. James K. Paulding, Sec'y. of the Navy, Washington, D. C. 

A. No.[6. 
(copy.) Navy Department, May 7th, 1839. 

Sir, — In reply to the inquiry contained in your letter of the 2d inst., I inform you, that 
the Department considered Commodore Elliott as the Captain of the frigate Constitution, 
during her late cruise in the Mediterranean. 

I am, respectfully, 

Your ob't serv't, 
(Signed) J. K. PAULDING. 

Com'dr. Wm. Boerdm, U. S. Navy, Philadelphia. 

A. JVo. 7. 
(copy.) U. S. S. Constitution. > 

Off Jaffa, August 4, 1337. J 
Sir. — You will proceed with the ship under your command to Beyrout, and water at 
that place. On your way, you will touch at Caesarea, Tyre, and Sidon, and exchange sa- 
lutes, gun for gun, at each of these places; and reciprocate, at the same time, all proper 
civilities with the consular and other authorities on shore. 

You will be in readiness to sail from Beyrout in 21 days from date of this, where I 
shallr e-embark. While there, you will permit as many officers as can be spared from 
the ship, to go to Damascus, to remain two days, and be back at Beyrout on the 23d inst. 

Very respectfully, 

Your ob't serv't, 
(Signed) J. D. ELLIOTT, 

Com'dg. U. S. Naval Forces in the Mediterranean. 
Com'dr. Wm. Boerum, Com'dg. U. S. S. Constitution. 

A. No. 8. 


Page 426, 27. — Question — What became of the man who was continued in confinement 
al the request of Lieut. Harwood? 

Answer — When Commodore Elliott came on board, I reported all that I have stated to 
Commodore Elliott, and he asked me if that man was much drunk at the time; I told him 
he was, and he then told me to give him a good flogging. I think he said two dozen, and 
let him go; and I did so. 

Page 427. — Question by the Court — Did you report to Captain Elliott the improper 
conduct and drunkenness of the crew, at the time the Sarcophagi were brought on board 
the Constitution? If aye, what were his orders in relation thereto? 

Answer — I reported to him the number of men that had been drunk, how they had be- 
haved, and the punishment I inflicted. He gave me no orders, except with regard to this 
one man. 

Page 428. — Question- — Was there an order issued by Commodore Elliott, not to flog 
the men, and afterwards countermanded? If aye, at what time was it issued, and when 
countermanded r 


Answer — There was nn order issued by Commodore Eiliott, not to flog the men; it was 
given at Mahon, I think, soon after Mr. Bullus flogged the men at Mahon. The order 
was never countermanded. 

Page 429. — Question — Did you, as Captain of the Constitution, everjdelegate to Lt. 
Bullus your power, or authorize him to inflict punishment? 

Answer — No, I never did. I have authorized him to flog men with the colt. 

Page 431. — Question — Was any account ever rendered to Captain Elliott of the Uiing9 
furnished out of the public stores, for his private use? 

Answer — I don't know of any. 

Page 441. — Question — On your assuming the command of the Constitution, did not 
Captain Elliott put into your hands a set ofjregulations, of which the book now produced 
is a copy? 

Answer — J never (lid assume the command of the Constitution; Commodore Elliott never 
transferred it to me. When 1 reported to him as Flag Captain, he handed me a set of 
regulations, -which are\at my home in Connecticut. J can't say -whether this it a true copy 
or not. 

Page 441. — Question — Did Captain Elliott ever recal the letter of November SO, 1836 
just produced? 

Answer — No, he did not. 

Page 441. — Question — Did you not approve of the payments and requisitions for the 
Constitution, and did you not inflict punishments on the men, without consulting Captain 
Elliott, after you were appointed Flag Captain? 

Answer — ] approved all the accounts of the ship. I never flogged a man on board the 
Constitution, with the cat, when Commodore Elliott was on board, without consulting him. 
When he was not on board, I did, of course. 

Page 442. — Question — In what capacity did you sign the quarterly returns, and other 
papers relative to the Constitution, after you were appointed Flag Captain? 

Answer — I signed them as Flag Captain; I never put any thiug iSnder my name. Com- 
modore Elliott told me to approve them; and the first that I did approve, was approved 
in his presence. I subscribed nothing but my own signature. 

Page 443. — Question — Did you ever receive an appointment as Flag Captain, or Cap- 
tain of the Constitution, from the Navy Department? 
Answer — No; I have received this letter from the Secretary of the Navy: 

A. No. 9. 
[copy.] U. S. Ship Constitution, ) 

Mahon, Nov. 23, 1837. J 

Sir, — On. our arrival at Constantinople, Com. Porter, believing himself to be in- 
fected with the plague, remained in quarantine. Thinking himself convalescent' 
he made an effort to have an interview with us on board the Constitution, which 
caused a relapse, and which obliged us to visit him at his own house. He there show- 
ed me a communication from the Secretary of State, informing him that instructions 
would be forwarded to me from the Secretary of the Navy relative to receiving the 
Turkish youths into our service, to be placed on sea duty and a course of mathemati- 
cal study. Expecting to obtain my official letter at Malta, and the Shark having re- 
ceived orders while offLudor, Island of Candia, to meet the reported piracies in the 
Gulf of Salonica, I gaveinstructionsto Lt. Com't. Pearson to communicate with Com. 
Porter about the Turkish youths, and if ready to embark to receive them on board, 
and place them on midshipman duty. 

While in the Dardanelles he took on board four colossal balls, two of which I had 
previously requested the consul to procure for me, for the purpose of conveying to 
the United States. Two of those, if found acceptable, to be placed over the gate 
of the Naval Asylum, Philadelphia ; the remaining two obtained by Com. Porter 
for the Carlisle Institution. 

I also procured while in ; Beyrout to convey home, two marble Sarcophagi, with 
antique devices of remote antiquity. These I obtained on private account; and 
to keep up old associations of my native state, I have presented one to Carlisle Col- 
lege, Pa., to be preserved among the treasures of that institution. The other I 
intend for some similar disposal. I feel an interest in introducing among us these 
ancient relics, and am confident they will be appreciated by the antiquarians and 
the learned of our country. 


While in Syria, I improved the opportunity of securing at much trouble and 
risk, a sample or two of the pure Arabian breed of horses, with a few other 
choice animals, with which during these times of peace I thought to improve our 
equestrian stock, might be introduced with ad vartas" in the United States. 

By return of the Shark I received the accompanying communication, :a copy of 
which I enclose, also a copy of my letter to Com. Porter of July 22d, together 
with his reply to the same. Very respectfully, 

(signed) J. D. ELLIOTT, Com'd, $c. 

Hon M. Dickerson, Secretary of the Navy, Washington. 

A No. 10. j 
The testimony of the carpenter about the stores of the Constitution, which I 
was charged by Mr.. Bullus with using without making any return is conclusive as 
to my innocence. It will appear there that when he informed me of my servants 
getting articles out of the store room without returning them, I charged him to see 
that they were returned. Before the court I asked Mr. Bullus why he did not, as 
instructed, give me a list of the articles taken,from the s store room, and he answered 
that he had forgotten it. And the reason of his forgetting was that when we an- 
chored in Hampton roads he, through fear of the men, whom he had abused, left 
the ship in more of a hurry, than becomes an officer of his pretended bravery ; — for 
he spoke daringly before the court of his wishes to fire into some hundreds of 
drunken men, who had become so through his negligence, and because I would not 
suffer him thus to butcher them he charges me with not suppressing a mutiny on 
board the Constitution in Hampton Roads! 

A. No. 11. 

Extract from letter of General Cass. 

Pans, Dec. 2d, 1836 

Dear Sir. — Commodore Patterson told me, I must have a travelling canteen, con- 
taining a small cooking stove, with all the apparatus for cooking and eating 
for 8 or 10 persons, to be so made as to be portable on horseback. And also a 
tent. I saw in London articles of the above description, exactly suitable to the 
object. The tent was a bell tent, sufficient for twelve persons, with a table to be 
fixed round the pole, and the eating machinery was of the neatest kind. I shall 
also want five side saddles and some men's saddles, and various other small things, 
to accommodate the party on the shoTt excursions, contemplated into Egypt and 
Palestine, in which I calculate to have the pleasure of your company. These 
things, I will get in England, and have sent by the steam boat to Malta; there to 
be taken on board your squadron, unless you should think some other port prefera- 
ble. Patterson told me I could get every article of provision at Naples, including 
tea, coffee, sugar, hams, biscuit, butter &c, better than in any other place he knew, 
and cheaper than in the United States. It may be, however, that some things could 
be better got at Gibraltar or Marseilles. Will you tell me the result of your ex- 
pence, and also whether you could have such things got for me at Gibraltar, as it 
might be best to get them there. He also said, that excellent wine could be hadatNai 
pies, but that I must have a considerable quantity of champaign, as the Turks are 
very fond of it. 

1 arc anxious to hear from you with the least possible delay, as I must of course 
rest cr-cn my oars till then. And the .season will soon come round, when I ought 
to be preparing. Ihope public considerations will enable you to take the whole 
squacrcn,as I think the appeal would be better for the country. Please also to tell- 
rre how I shall get money; bills upon London, ^Gibraltar, Naples, or what- 
ever place may be best for me. 

I anticipate, my dear sir. great pleasure from being with you, and as I intimated 
in my termer letter, you must allow me to make all the arrangements necessary \o 
the credit of our country. 1 am, with great regard, truly your friend , ' 

.Commodore Elliott, commanding U. S. Squadron in the Mediterranean. 



A. No. 12. 
[Copt] Carlisle, 16th March, 1839. 

Sir— 1 consider the testimony of the following witnesses, who are absent or ordered to sea, as indis- 
pensable, viz: Dr. Egbirt, PassedjMidshipmen Dulany, Hagerty and Lewis, Boatswain Whittakei and 
Purser Holland. But as I am very desirous to avoid dtl<y. I shall endeavor to supply the want of Mr. 
Lewis, by using his testimony heretofore given. I have written to Mr. Holland, for his deposition, and 
may perhaps be able to receive and use it. If not, the Court may send interrogaiories to him on his 
arrival at Pensacola. If <he court convene very soon, Dr. Egbert and Messrs. Dulany, Hagerty and 
Whittaker, might possibly be examined before tie time of their vessel sailing. 

Respectfully your obedient servant, 
(Signed) J. D. ELLIOTT. 

Hon. Secretary of the Navy. 

A. No. 13. 

[copy] Navy Department, 20>th March, 1839. 

Commodore Jesse D. Elliott, U. S. Xavy, Carlisle, Pa. 

Sm— Your letter of the 16th inst. has been received. Surgeon Daniel Egbert, PassedjMidshipman 
Dulany and Boatswain Whittaker, are on board the U. S. Ship Wairen, which vessel sailed a 
few days ago for Pensacola. 

As you represent their testimony to be of importance to you, and as they cannot without great in- 
convenience to the service, be spared from their present duty, the Department suggests that you pro- 
cure the depositions when the Warren shall have arrived at Pensacola, which it is believed she will do 
by the time a letter from you would reach there. 

I am respectfully vours, 
(Signed) J.'K. PAULDING. 

In order to exhibit the weight whieh should be attached to the testimony of 
Surgeon Washington, who was among my active enemies at the time of the 
Court Martial, I requested the documents in relation to certain circumstances 
which occurred in the Mediterranean, to be sent me by the Secretary of the 
Navy. From the reply of Mr. Paulding, it will be seen that the request, 
which the most abject had a right to demand, was denied me, and the tale of 
the witness was received in full faith, and with no abatement, without an op- 
portunity on my part of presenting him to the Court in his proper light. Such 
was the justice that was extended to me; — such the proceedings of a Court, 
and the conduct of a Secretary, who held my fate in their hands 1 


Xavy Department, ) 
8th of May, 1839. j 
Sir: — The Department declines furnishing copies of your communication of December 
14th, 1837, and the papers connected with it, in relation to the case of Surgeon Bailey 
Washington, unless called for by the Court now sitting in Philadelphia, upon the ground 
of their being, in its opinion, material and necessary to the enquiry with which it is 

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant, 

(Signed) J. K. PAULDING. 

Commodore J, D. Elliott, U. S. Navy, Philadelphia. 

U. S. Ship Constitution, Mahon, \ 
December 14, 1837. \ 

Sir,— I herewith have the honor to forward a copy of the survey held on the state of health of Fleet 
Surgeon Bailey Washington, together with copies of other papers in connection with his case. 
Having declined to return to the United State' in the Shark, Dr. Washington will, at present, re- 
main in the Hospital, at this place, under the care of the medical officer in charge of the same. 

Until further instructions from the department, 1 have transferred Surgeon S. Barrington, as suc- 
cessor to Dr. Washington, in the Constitution. 

The case of the Fleet Surgeon is both hopeles9 and melancholy. I have advised him as his friend, 
and admonished him ae his commander, without any perceptible benefit. My respect for his family 
connections led me to leave no means untried to prevail on him to change his mode of life, and to dis- 
suade him from his course, but all to no avail ; which not only shows how the best natural talent may 
be perverted by reckless dissipation, but the state cf morals here where such dissipation is car- 
ried on. 

Should Dr. Washington live to return to his family, with them, he might possibly feel the force of 
his situation, to work a change; until then, none is hoped for. 

During our last summer's cruize he wa; left, under care of a lieutenant in charge of the Hospital at 
this place ; his feeble state of health and extreme depression of spirits unfiting him for active sea 
duty, it was thought advisable to place him on light shore service. On our return, I perceived no al- 
teration in health or habits of Dr. Washing:on, for while the latter Wire persisted in, he could not 
•eipeat or hope to regain the former. 


He has permission to return to the United States, in the first vessel bound in that direction, the 
coming sprinir. 

As the squadron is without a Fleet Surgeon, I wait for the supply of that vacancy by an appointment 
from the Department 

Surgeon G. R. B. Horner, now senior on this s;ation, I w«u!d recommend, as in all respects well 
qualified to assume the duty. 

Very respectfully, &c. 

Co-nmandingU. S. Naval Forces in the Mediterranean. 
Hon. M.Dickerson, Sec'ry of the Navy, Washington. 

Mahen, Dec. 12, 1837. 

Sir,— For more than a year my health has been so bad that I have been an incessant sufferer. Some 
idea may be formed of the nature of my disease, by a perusal of the accompanying narration, which 
I must ask to be returned. If a fair copy be desired, I will write one off. 

I have long been placed under embarrassing circumstances, so as to be at a loss how to act. I do not 
believe I could at this moment attend to duty on ship-board, or that I could undertake to return to the 
United States, until a turther improvement might take place in my heilth. In the course of to-mor- 
row, I shall endeavor to call and make some application or apply for advice. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

Fleet Surgeon. 
To Com. Elliott, Com'ing U. S. Naval Forces, Mediterranean. 


For some months preceding my receiving orders to the Mediterranean, I experienced a degree of 
dissatisfaction inascribable mingled with melancholy, that I could not account for, unless it might 
be one of the consequences of passing the boundaries of youth ; or to speak more strictly, I did not 
like to reflect on my unpleasant feeling3 and want of enjoyment, when I had so much to make me 
happy. I wished to conceal them not only from the world, but from myself. Reading became daily 
less interesting ; while writing, time passed more agreeably, but I was so often surprised at the im- 
propriety of my ill-natured expressions when I had time for reflection, that I abandoned this unprofi- 
table occupation, I had previously determined on finishing my sea service in the high grade which my 
seniority entitled me, and was desirous of getting to the West Indies or the Mediterranean for a short 
term, with the view also of recommending a system for tupplying the Surgeon's Department, that I 
was assured would have been favorably received as most economical and convenient, and of retiring 
from the sea service with some degree of credit : but under my then more unpleasant state of feeling, 
I concluded a cruise to the Pacific, where natute is seen in all its grandeur and contrasts, would 
ineite my attention and relieve my mind more than the monotony of those countries to which I had 
been too much familiarised. This consideration induced me to apply for the station in preference, 
never doubting of ray being in the best health for any service. 

I proceeded to the Mediterranean, the beginning of June, 183S, and was about a month after, in 
the middle of the night, awakened by most intense pain in the abdomen, accompanied with cold per- 
spiration, and such depression of sp.rita and helplessness, that I made no exertion to procure assist- 
ance. At tlie end of an hour, I felt instantaneously relieved and enjoyed sound sleep, the paroxysm 
having passed off as an incubus after a protracted visit. I experienced no more pain, but frequently 
felt unuappy until the -27th August, when near two o'clock in the morning, a similar attack came on, 
and after continuing more than two hours without abatement, it was conceived necessary to take wine. 
This gave me entire relief. In less than an hour, refreshing sleep came on, and I felt well more than 
three weeks, when apprehending a return, I took gentle aperient medicine; but finding myself 
more debt. itated at the end of five days, I obtained relief from wine, porter having been previously 
tried without benefit. I found it necessary to u~e alcohol in the shape of either wine or brandy, at 
about four periods after this, until the 8th oi February, when the symptoms of my disorder having 
been aggravated by mild evacuating mvdicine, for every step in this direction was decidedly wrong, 
I determined to use alcohol more steadily and in smaller quantities ; but on the 11th, two days after 
commencing the experiment, the depression increasing, and the countenance evidently jaundiced, I 
determined on trying gin. from its being supposed to possess medicinal properties, and also from the 
circumstance that no good brandy could be procured. 

I drank it freely, and for the first time since commencing the cruise, experienced considerable excite- 
ment, succeeded by a corresponding degree of relaxation. My painful sensations were suspended at 
the time, and although I took more than miglit be necessary, yet, next day I found the important se- 
cretion that had been suppressed fully restored, and I concluded I had derived benefit from ihe trial. 
Either the first or second evening after, fiuding some uneasiness and debility, I again drank this fiery 
spirit, but it no longer afforded me relief, and in the course of the night, I felt so depressed as to de- 
spair of recovering, believing no resource left. After confinement to bed for some days, feeling little 
else than debility and want of appetite and cheerfulness, I moved about until February 20. During 
a walk on snore immediately after dinner, I felt not only relieved from sickness, but experienced in 
an instant, what 1 had often felt before as suddenly, excepting in a less degree, a sensation of delight. 
I conceived, in the thoughts rapidly fleeting before me, that my health was permanently re-establish- 
ed, and that 1 had nothing but contentment and enjoyment to expect from the future. This vision, 
equally agreeable and unsuspected, gradually faded away, but the reverse was not realized until next 
morning, when alter varying dreams, I awoke with pains in the abdomen and back, attended wth 
rigors which continueJ all day. Feelings of despair now obtained lull possession, and I experienced 
changes in the Ciurieof the day, no; only in relation to moral but other sentiments, that induced me to 
judge of myself with extreme severity. I suffered intensely both mentally and bodily, except when 
occasionally alleviated by opiates, until the middle of April, when more calmness was observed ; the 
gloom became less intense, and the pains were slight and wandering, sometimes altogether absent with 
improvement of the countenance. But towards the last of the month, the neuralgic pains became 
more acute, closely resembling the tic douloureux, all appetite failed, the pulse varying from 48 to 130, 
with irregularity and frequent intermission : sometimes vomiting and catharsis, sudden and cold per- 


spira'ions, and the bodily weight redueed 43 pounds ; these added to the distress resulting from my 
lonely and ^derelict situation, 1 bore umil May 13th, when I prescribed the use of brandy with confi- 
dence. It tranquilized the heart, g ring steadiness and force to its puliation, and relieved considera- 
bly the hypochondria, and particularly the pains in the diaphragm where the disease is mainly seated; 
but total susp ns, on of pain never took pace, until a most liberal use was als") made of morphia. 
After a day or two, I had reason to think wine should b? preferred to brandy, and these two remedies 
have also brought back «om>- appetite, and by the will of Heaven, not only enabled me to exist until 
the present period, August 23d, but to enjoy moments of repose, and above all, I should be thankful 
for having the integrity of my mind sustained during these severe trials. 

When first attacked on board the United States, I was at once alarmed with the idea of my disease 
being a misplaced or wandering form of gout, and now I cannot doubt of such being the case, and that 
nothing but time with the most prompt and powerful aids to the digestive organs, can relieve the dis- 
ease, as it is too deep seated to yield to topical or ordinary remedies. 

Several years ago, believing all alcoholic drinks to ba destructive to those in health, as I now most 
firmly do, my opinion became known to the public ; and although saying all I could in praise of tem- 
perance societies, which have tended so much to the prosperity of our country, yet I never became a 
member, or gave any kind of pledge ; because I was under the impression that some years previously, 
when I drank alcohol to excess, I had urgent symptoms requiring its aid, although I used it without 
judgment, and probably took five times more than was requi-ite. 

Some of the circumstances attending that clouded period are singular. When under the impression 
that life which was drawing to a close, from imprudence and want of discrimination, and that this 
daily stimulation must of necessity be continued, it beiBg too late to retrace my steps, or withdraw 
this artificial support, I found myself at noon, the hour when debility and uneasiness required the 
commencement of alcoholic drinks, to be continued until night, not only without desire for them, but 
feeling perfectly well and cheerful. Apprehensive that this might be the calm, often preceding the 
most dreadful agitation of the nervous system, I retained these remedies within my reach for several 
days, but there was no necessity for the precaution, a revolution equally sudden and extraordinary had 
been efTected. My health was re-established, I hid no longer any desire for those articles, and I did 
not take a bottle of wine, or its equivalent of alcohol for the ensuing two years and three months. 

There are certain periods of human existence, called the climacterics or crisis,' which are supposed 
to determine the longevity of the individual. 

These periods are marked by anxiety, change of temper, appetite, the affections, &c, with dis- 
turbance of the functions, particularly ths natural and vital. If the person survive without any 
symptoms of disease of the viscera, and give evident marks of improvement, the elasticity of the con- 
stitution has prevailed, the progressive step has been made safely, and he may expect to live on to the 
next period, when he should not be surprised to encounter another struggle for his existence. This ia 
sometimes called the moulting season, because observed in birds remarkable for long life, that droop, 
loose their feathers, and suffer depression, something resembling that sombre wintry season to which 
the human family is liable. The climacterics are restricted to limited portions of life, and their terms 
or cycles, are agreed upon in the most general way only; it is truly interesting to trace these laws of 
organization in our biographical reading : and more especially so to those who inquire minutely while 
engaged in practising medicine. It is from want of close attention to this part of physiology, that so 
much diversity of opinion prevails respecting the character of men. I have, beyond all doubt, passed 
one of these epochs or climacterics, with more or less of the symptoms accompanying my present 

It may then be asked, if I have not advanced many of the reasons assigned by an ordinary inebriate 
for persevering'in his ruinous career, by indulging in the use of intoxicating drinks, and that the cases 
are similar. Much analogy is admitted to exist, and the parallel may be extended very far. When 
without the use of alcohol or any other known ajent or circumstance, we observe the instantaneous 
changes from a feeling of happiness and brilliancy of prospects to the utmost gloom and depression, 
and the rever-e, pains to come and go in an instant, and more especially in the middle of the night, 
during profound sleep ; the secretions to be changed as suddenly, in quantity and quality; excitement 
translated instantaneously from one region or tissue to another; a cough that has harrassed incessantly 
for many days, to cease entirely in the course of two hours, not to return ; and when it is considered 
how universally the inebriate not only evades all moral obligations, but treats with contempt those of 
highest authority, we may mark some difference. In the former case there is for the most part, simply 
an increase or diminution of excitement, a rise or fall of the tide ; but none other than an experienced 
physician should attempt to make ths important distinction, as a mistake in the diagnoses t might prove 

But this question being determined, another presents itself ; will it be proper to employ an agent 
simply serving to extend an artificial state of existence, when it interfered with the most healthy action 
of the intellectual faculties, causing more or less syinptoms of mania ! It cannot be answered other- 
wise than in the negative. If the remedy cause such disorder, it should be withheld ; an ally so dan- 
gerous is not to be called to our aid, as the soundness of the mind must be preserved. 

It is possible, and not altogether improbable, arthritic affection may have been excited or caused 
many years ago, by the very first acts of dissipation, which otherwise might have remained latent in 
the system, and its existence or constitutional susceptibility to so painful a disorder never have beea 
suspected. Although such exciting cause is generally required to create or bring the disease into ac- 
tivity, yet not always, as men under all circumstances have been sufferers. Intense mental labour, 
without a sufficient degree of exercise, is one of the most ordinary causes. 

Deeember 12, 1837.— Since the last report of this case, I haye seen nothing to induce me to believe 
there has been any error in giving a most candid and correct view of all the material circumstances 
attending it, except in this. It is there stated, that my mind had remained perfectly composed up to 
that period. 

Subsequent experience and observation induce me to fear I flattered myself in making this remark, 
and that the infirmities of the body had, or have extended to the mind, without however involving the 
professional judgment, which lias never been questioned. I stated at the time referred to, May 13th, 
that wine and opiates were necessary to sustain me, until some salutary revolution might take place in 
my constituti»n, or some indication be made for remedies of less questionable efficacy: wine so gene- 
rally failed of late to aid me beyond the momeat that I am compelled to abandon it in every shape, and 
to use an opiate alone, when the more urgent symptoms demand attention. The original view of this 
ease, I still believe to be correct. 


U. S. Ship Constittition, Mahon, Dec. 11, 1837 

Sir.— I forward you the accompanying; papers, handed me by Dr. Washington, whose health appears investigation ; and for i hat purpose, I appoint yourself, Surgeon 
Samuel Harrington, and Passed Assist. Surg. G. Ciymer, Jr., to m:ike a strict and careful examination 
of Fleet Surgeon Washington's case, and report to me its true state, and of his fitness and capacity ic 
take at present cuarge/tf our Hospital at this place. 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Commanding U. S. Naval Forces in the Mediterranean. 
Surgeon G. R. B. Horner, U. S. Ship United States, Mahon. 

U. S. Naval Hospital, Mafw?i, Dec. 12, 1837. 

Sir, — Agreeably to you- orderof the 11th inst.. we have made a strict and careful examination of 
Fleet Surgeon Washington's case. We have found that helms for some months, been aff cted with 
gouty symptoms and nervous disorder, and has occasionally been delirious. At this time he is compa- 
ratively free of disease, but is much debilitated. With regard to his taking present charge of the Hos- 
pital, we think it improper, as he has frequent and sudden relapses, and is not in a tit state to perform 
the duties required. 

Very respectfully. 

Your obedient servanjs, 

G. R. B. HORNER, Surgeon. 

Passed Assist. Surgeon. 
Com. J. I). Elliott, coram'ing U. S. Naval Forces, Mediterranean. 

77. S. Skip Constitution, Mahon, March 18, 1837. 

Sir,— Through information obtained from the 2d officer in command of this Squadron, I feel myself 
called upon to notice your conduct, in having exposed yourself at the gambling tables at this place., 
hazarding extravagant sums, in a state of ebriety requiring the aid of your brother officers belonging 
to the ship of the commander quoted, to lead you from the scenes of disgrace. 

I had thought that the mortification which you experienced last year, would have been sufficiently 
felt, to effectually prevent similar occurrences, on our return to this place ; and that you would have 
manifested in your after conduct a commendable example, particularly to the junior class of officers, 
who look to their superiors as patterns for imitation. 

Your course has, it seems, been otherwise in opposition to all my efforts to suppress the vicious ex- 
cesses of the Monte tables ; it is reported to me that you have frequented those haunts, from time to 
time, and made yourself, by intemperance and reckless play, an object of commiseration. It is also 
represented that after your "resources had failed at the hazard table, and after unsuccessful application 
to the officers for assistance, including myself, you condescended, as a dernier resort, to ask pecunia- 
ry aid of a common tide-waiter of the place. 

This conduct on the part of one filling an important and responsible situation, one to whom I am to 
look for counsel and medical advice, calls for an explanation. 

I can find no apology for this abuse of your station, and sacrifice of your character, nor can 1 ima- 
gine what plea you can possibly offer for yourself, though I should be gJad to receive one. 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant , 

Comm'ing U. S. Naval Forces in the Mediterranean. 

B- Washington, Fleet Surgeon, U. S. Ship Constitution, Mahon. 

U. S. Ship Constitution, Mahon, Dec. 13, 1837. 

Sir,— Being already in possession of a copy of a report which the Medical Board have made in your 
case, it is only left with me to offer you a passage to the United States, in the Shark ; or to avail of 
such other as may offer at your discretion at Malaga. This I am prompted to, from a desire that you 
may with safety and expedition join your familr, where domestic attentions wiil be afforded you, and 
t trust, under such care to a speedy restoration of your health. Should this not be agreeable to you, 
you can remain on shore, in care of the medical officer, charged with the Hospital, and return to the 
United States in the first vessel which shall be going in the spring. 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Bailey Washington, Fleet Surgeon, U. S. Ship Constitution, Mahon. 

TJ. S. Ship Constitution, Mahon, Dec. 12, 1837. 
Sir,— You will receive the Hospital and its appurtenances, with the sick, from Surgeon Samuel Bar 



rington, and such instruction for its government which he ha» received ; as they appear to be such at 
are calculated to continue its present advantages. 

Fleet Surgeon Washington is there as an invalid, and as both are acquainted with the decision of the 
medical survty m his case, I have to request that you will act with great delicacy and kindness to- 
wards him. 

This appointment to continue in force for the time which has called it forth. 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant. 

Comm'ingU. S. Naval Forces, Mediterranean. 
To Passed Assist. Surgeon Geo. Clymer, Jr., I*. S. Ship Constitution. 

U. S. Naval Hospital, Mahon, Dec. 13, 1837. 

Sir,— I have received your letter of this morning, giving me the e'noice of returnine to the United 
States in the Shark, or by leaving the Shark at Malaga, to find some other mode of conveyance at 
that port. 

The present state of my health is too infirm to depart at such a season, and under other unfavoured* 
circumstances ; but I avail myself of the plan proposed by yon, that 1 should remaiu here until the 
first opportunity that may offer, the commencement ot spring. 

For your kind wishes, please accept my acknowledgment, ard I hope you may have a prosperous 
and happy cruise. 

I have the honor to be, 

Very rupeetfully, See. 

Surgeon Fleet. 
Com. J. D. Elliott, comm'ing L T . S. Naval Forces, Mediterranean. 

Note. — A few words more in respect to Dr. Washington. This gentleman ha* 
become an enemy upon no principle that I can conceive, but the one that I was his 
friend in aforetime. He has now banded himself with my persecutors, and in 
their honorable society I leave him. I must, however, relate one instance of his 
active hostility. Whilst my case was before Congress, in 1839, he in com- 
pany with an officer of rank in the navy, called upon an old and valued friend in 
the service, and endeavored to weaken the regard it was known he entertained to- 
wards me. My friend indignantly repulsed their attempts, and declared that he 
knew me too long and too well to be influenced by their representations. A short 
time since, this faithful advocate mentioned to me their conduct., and I asked for 
an explanation through a brother officer, from the companion of Dr. Washington. He 
denied his having ever said any thing derogatory of me. So goes this world of 
ours; and so do the slanderers in it, avoid responsibility ! 

Note — Page 37. 

Navy Department, 1st October, 1836. 
Sir — The President of the United States is desirous that our Minister to France, 
the Hon. Lewis Cass, should some time during the next season visit Egypt, Syria, 
Turkey, Greece, and the Islands of the Archipelago, and transmit such information 
respecting the condition, commerce and political relations of those countries as may 
be useful to our government and country. 

It is therefore his wish that on the application of Governor Cass yon will receive 
him and his suite on board your ship, and with such part of your squadron as may 
be necessary, transport him to the countries mentioned, and back to France, at such 
time as may be compatible with the public interest, affording such accommodations 
as may enable him to effect the objects entrusted to his charge. 

It is understood that this is not to warrant a charge of any extra expense to the 
United States; but that such extra expense is to be defrayed by Governor Cass un- 
der an arrangement to be made by him with yourself. 
I am, respectfully, sir, your obedient servant, 

(Signed.) M. DICKERSON. 

Com. Jesse D. Elliott, com'g. U. S. Squadron, Mediterranean. 

Page 46 — 6th line from bottom. 
[copy] [duplicate.] 

U. S. Ship Constitution, t 
Mahon, Nov. 10th, 1837. $ 
Sir— In conformity with your instructions of the ISth October, 1836, in reference to furnishing ac- 
commodations for General Cass and suite, for the object of visiting Egvpt, Syria, Turkey, Gr»»-, 



and the islands of the Archipelago, I have the honor to state that on the 23d of April, I proceeded from 
this port to "Marseilles, at which place on the 1st of the following; month , the General, family, and mite, 
embarked on the projected tour. They were received on board with every convenience fumishuble 
from the cabin of a ship of war. 

I have had the honor since the period last mentioned, to transmit information (f our progressive; 
course, but apprehensive from the remoteness of some places, from which my communications were 
directed, that they failed reaching you, I herewith send a more circumstantial detail of our movements, 
from the period of the ship's departure from this port, to her present arrival at the same. 

We left Marseilles on the 1st of May, and arrived at Genoa on iheTtb. On the ICIth ancl ored at 
Leghorn, from this point passing through Pisa, and the Vale of the Arno, we reached the city of 
Florence, end visited the treasuries cf the Arts, and the environs of the Tuscan Capitol. Thence'we 
crossed to Rome. After viewing the antiquities and interesting monuments of the ancieit city, and 
making a short excursion to its classical vicinities, we proceeded to Civita Vecchia, and joined the 
ship which was ordered to meet u« at this port. At each of these places we were complimented with 
honorary marks of notice by all the public authorities. 

At Rome, General Cass and myself, accompaned by a portion of his family, were introduced to ha 
Holiness the Pope, and were received at the Library or the Vatican in the most cordial manner. 
His Holiness in testimony of regard, presented me with a medal of his own face;* the compliment was 
made through the hands of Prince Mueignani, and accepted conditionally, reserving it to be deposited 
with the Department on my arrival in the United States. On the 2?th we sailed from Civita Vtc- 
chia; the third day foil wing arrved at Palermo, but were prevented visiting the shore by the quaran- 
tine regulations. 

On the 2d the fo'lowine month, we proceeded to Malta, where we anchored on the 5th, here we were 
al«<> prohibited communication with the port, ami alihoi^h un-ler the restrictions of the Health 
Offije, we received ire-v possible eivi]it>' at the hands of Admiral Rowley, and the public functionaries 
of the island; exchanging salutes from ship and from shore. Sailed from Malta on thefcth, here we 
landed all our small pot patients, ami arrived off the harbor of A' hens on ihe 18'h. 

While »e lay in the Bay, the King and Queen of Greece, with their corps c"i lomatique. and other 
distinguished per.-onages visited the ship, and eNptessed great prat fication at the honors and attention 
paid them. Previous to the visit cf the Royal Family on board, General Cass and suite, with myself 
and officers of the squadron, were presented to their majesties, who received us with the utmost 
affability, at the Royal Palace at Athens, reciprocating civilities onshore. 

The chief consequence arising from such interviews, and on such occasions, is the goo' feeling pro- 
moted between the highest authority of one nation and that of another, through its represcnta ives 
abnad. I would hi ie remark, that at every important point along the Grecian coast, our fl, g has been 
honored, a?>d the American name repeated with respect. 

After viewing the memorable relics of the Attic Capital, we proceeded along the coast to Eginas, 
thence on the 25'h .Tune, to Cape Colonna, the ancient Sunium. We landrd at the promontory, and 
taking a short view of its pillared remains, we departed for Corinth, and anchored in the Gulf on the 
27th. At this point we were joined by the Genfral and suite, who had left the ship at Athens, making 
a hasty excursion through the interior of the country of Greece. We ascended the Acropolis at Co- 
rinth; from this place the General visited Sicyon, the ancient city of the Greeks, of the remotest anti- 
quity. On the 30th anchoied off Marathon, and landed for a few hours on the Plains, also at Tenedos. 
On ihe 3d the following month, arrived at the mouth of the Dardanelles, next day visited Alexandria, 
and explored a few remains of the ruined city. On this occasion of our National Anniversary, the 
ship was dressed with two additional stars and the customary salutes fired in honor of the day. 

We entered the Hellespont on the 5th; here through our Consular Agent, the Firman was furnished 
as to pass the Casiles of the Dardanelles Salutes were exchanged as we passed the batteries. While 
off Gallipoli, we fell in with an Austrian steamer, by whose assistance we were enabled for some tnre 
to make considerable progress against current and wind, and to reach Constantinople on the Ifith. On 
our arrival, salutes were exchanged, and such other ceremonies observed, befitting the etiquette of a 
ship ef war. In the city the plague was raging to such an alarming degree, that a guarded and 
limited intercourse was held with the shore, and the few articles of nece»sity, which were received on 
board, were first passed through the water, by which precaution we escaped the contagion. At a 
presentation to Achmet Pasha, Commander-in-Chief of the Turkish Nav^l Forces, he informed me 
that the highest satisfaction had been expressed on the part of the Sultan, on the subject of the present 
friendly relations between the two countries. The danger of contact with the shore, deprived us of 
a promised visit from his Highness, who had expressed a wish to inspect in person a first rate American 
■hip of war. 

The Pasha had been instructed by the Suitan, to say to me, that his Highness desired to invite into the 
employ of the lurkish Navy, such officers from among American*, who had, through resignations or 
other causes, become detached from our service; to which I took occasion to remark, that those who 
had retired from objectionable causes wouhl be of no use to him. or credit to ourselves— that the bet- 
ter i ourse would be to invite an officer of high rank into his service, one who could bring with him 
his materials, and render effectual aid in the character of naval tact ; cs. 

The alarming progress of the pestilence on shore, interjrpred the preparations of the Reis Effendi, 
who had been appointed to present us to the Sultan. I found it necessary to depart forthwith, and on 
the 22d left the harbor of Constantinople. I should have mentioned, that while the ship lay ib the 
Bosphorns, the General, and myself, with a small party, made a short trip to tre Black Sea- On the 
24th we arrived at Tenedos, following day departed for Scio, touching at Mycone, Delos, Suda and 
Candia, Island of Crete; ar the last mentioned place met with MahomPt Ali, exchaneed salutes, but were 
prohibited from vis ting the shore, from quarantine. On the 2d August reached .laffa,from this po nt we 
traversed the land of Palestine, through Ramla, te Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Bethtny, .lerieho, to the 
Jordan and the Dt-ad Sea: leaving Jerusalem, we passed ihiough liimi, Beer, Nablous, Samaria, 
Genin, Naiareth, Nain, Tiberias, Capernaum, Susa. S dnaia, Damascus, to Balbec; crossing the 
mo i tains ofcii i Lebanon," e encamped at the Celars— thence to Edi-n,arrivingat Trio li onihe30th. 
From a Firman obtained at Jaffa, to facilitate our progress through the it.teri ir, I found that our ap- 
proach had been anticipaied, we met wiih numerous attention along our route, particularly 1 1 Damascus^ 
where Shenf Pacha used every exertion to make the time acceptable to his vi-itors. In the remotest 
deserts, and among the vilest tribes, oar Flag has been displayed ! The one used in our excursion* 

* This ee<2a! tsj TOawd by rae Bt th? t:n>« in the hanii of Ger. Cms, fcr deposit* in the 5t*» 


rtirottgl. the Hul| Lind, and the Count riei of the Far Ea<t, ii h'-rcwith conveyed to the Department. 
On the 31 we proceeded to Beyrout; from thi9 point, the t^eneral, with a small parly, visited Sidon; 
from which place tney madean excursion into the interior of Syria, and visited the Emir Beseh.r, 
Prince of 'he Druses, aid Lady Hester Stanhope. Pursuing their route they arrived at Tyre, thence 
to St. Jean d'Acre, K liphia, Mt. Carmel, Casarea, and Jaffa, rejoining the ship at ihe Ia9t mentioned 
place- During the interval «f tie absence of the party, I proceeded with t e flup from Beyrout to 
Cyprus, touching at Limasoi and Larnaca, where fur the first time, our Naval Flag bad ever been dii- 
p aye . thence to Jaffa, whert the party rejoined ihe thii>. 

Previous to the einbaroation of General Cass at Mars«illris, I addressed a letter ti Mr. Gliddon, our 
Consul at Alexandria, to make arrangements to obt iin a Firman, «h:ch is herewith appended from 
Mahomet Ali that would give us tho>e facilities u-ually extended to strangers travelling in these coun- 
tries. Th.a was obtained at Jiffa, a' already stated. 

On my arrival at Sidon in the summer of 1S36, I sent an officer on shore, with respects to the Gov- 
ernor, abaut the salutes; and on asking the quest on, if the same number of guns would be returned, 
he considered it an insult, and objected at first; after an explanation on t:ie pan of the Consul, that 
•jur Government exacted it, the matter was understood, and salutes exchanged. 

On my arrival at Jaffa, I despatched an officer on shore to say, with my respects to the Governor, 
that the sa ute fired was for the town. He returned for answer, that he bad no guns. Some days after 
on my return from Jerusalem and on the eve of mv departure, 1 was iufurmeJ thst he had guns, but waa 
n >t disposed to exchange courtesies with a Christian. This I subsequently brought to the notice of Ma- 
homet Ali, who assured me that he had guns, and that the salute should be returned. 

On my arrival a- Jaffa the present year, I sent an officer to require the salute due me by the omis- 
sion of the f .rmer Govtrnor to be returned; the Governor offered lor answer, that not being in authority 
at that period, he could n Jt repair the onvssion ofhis predecessor. On being informed by that officer, 
that the customary salute could not be tendered, he consented to repair the omission, and fired 21 guns, 
1 then saluted the town, and was answered gun for gun. 

During tie interval of our exenrsm i throng 1 ! the Holy Land, the ship under Commander Buerum, 
touched at Caesarea, Kaipua, 1 ) re, Sidon, Beyrout, to Tripoli, whereas before stated, the party again 
tinbar^ed. From this point we retur. ed io Bejrout, thence to Cyprus. On the 1 Uh September we 
re-en ere I the harbor of Jaffa ; and on ihe 14th ancoored in the Port of Alexandria, Egypt. The Gen- 
en 1 , family, myself, and a few young officers, proceeded from this to Grand Cairo, visited the Pyra- 
mids at Sichira and Gezer, passing through the city of Memphis. At Alexandria we were presented 
to Mihornrl Ali,— at Cairo, to Ibraham Pasha, badi expressing every kindness, and showing every civU 
lity to us as visiter 1 . The plague, in partial degree, threatening the inhab.tants of Alexandria, we made 
a hasty departure from the place Adverse wm Ii drive U' agam off Cyprus, where, our provisions 
being shore we received a supply of bread. From this, the General and suite visite I Niciaia, the 
Capital of ihe Island, I.alium an 1 other points, receiving every luspitslity at the sumptuous convent 
of the Grecian Archbishop, After a boisterous passage of :£0 days, nearly on our last bueuit, wear- 
r.yed on the 24lh ult. at this port. 

It affords me pleasure to add, that Generil Cass, and family, have professed to me to be amply 
gratified throughout with tiieir interesting and extensive t.ur. 

1 have tae honor to transmit copies of the General's c jm-nuiiicitians to me, together with my reply, 
when I am happy tn sub nit to your perusal. Thev embuk immediately in the Frigate United 
States, nnw prepared for sea, and read.' ta depart for Marseilles. 

The United States and S'urk arrived at this port, from their respective cruises,— the former from the 
lower part of the Mediterranean, toneing at Malaga, Gibralter, Tangier, Cadiz, Lisbon, Terceira, 
Madeira and Teneriffe. The latter from Malta. Gulf of Salomca, Palermo, Suda, and the Dardanelles. 
In each of ihese directions out ni^ was honored, and our e»n»merce pursued without interruption. 

It is due to my successors in c inducting those operations winch I now have closed, to n-mark that 
th^ presence of so many females and civilians on board a ship of war, and for so long a period of time, 
requi'PS, on the part of the Commander, in th- exercise of his professional duiie j , a great deal of cour- 
tesy, forb arance aod firmness, as well'as an acquiescent disposition on the p: rt of his nue«ts, which I 
with plrasure have observed in the present instance. 

I am, Sir, Verv Respectfully, Your Obedient Servtnt, 
(Signed.) 1. D. ELLIOTT. 

C,mmanling United States Naval Forces in the Mediterranean, 

[copy.] Port 31ako7i, Nov. 3, 1837. 

Sir — I have received your letter of yesterday, and thank you for the arrangements 
you have made for the conveyance of myself and family to Marseilles. 

In taking leave of you, at the termination of their long and gratifying cruise, I 
cannot but express my acknowledgments for the kindness and attention you have 
manifested during the voyage. We have traversed a large extent of the most inter- 
esting portion of the old world, having visited Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Pales- 
tine and Egypt, and having travelled in the interior of all these regions, over many 
of the most celebrated scenes of ancient story, besides touching at Sicily, Malta and 
various islands of the Archipelago, and exploring the Island of Cyprus. And this 
has been accomplished in the comparatively short space of six months. I dcubt 
whether the annals of any navy can furnish an instance where more energy has 
been used, or where more has been accomplished in the same time. And it is truly 
gratifying that this has been attained without the occurrence of any untoward acci- 
dent, although we have had the smallpox on board and been exposed to the plague 
and the cholera. 

Such a result could not have been attained without the exertion of great profes- 


sional knowledge and of unremitting attention to every part of ycur command. These 
have already earned for you the approbation of your countrymen, and I most cheer- 
fully bear witness to them upon this occasion. 

The appearance of our national vessels in the different ports of the Mediterranean 
ie highly useful to the public character and to th^ interests of commerce; and I was 
happy to find, wherever we went, that our flag was respected, and every attention 
shewn to us that we could ask or expect. 

The Constitution seems to be every where known, and to have gained for herself 
abroad a reputation little inferior to that which she enjoys at home. The cruise has 
been of great service to me in collecting information which will hereafter be valu- 
able; and I shall always look back to it as one of the most gratifying incidents of my 

Allow me also to express my regard for all your officers, and to say in all sincer- 
ltv, that 1 have never met more gentlemanly men, and that I look forward with con- 
fidence to their future advancement, satisfied it will be equally honorable to them- 
selves and useful to their country. 

The crew appeared to me contented, and efficient in the performance of their du- 
ty, and the necessary discipline was maintained with very little punishment, as I 
saw but one man struck during the voyage. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

(Signed) LEWIS CASS. 

Com. Jesse D. Elliott. 

[copy] U. S. Ship Constitution, Makon, Nov. 7, 1837. 

Sir, — I this day had the honor to receive your communication, and I would thank 
you for the very kind and flattering remarks contained in each. I am gratified that 
the cruise has terminated so satisfactorily to yourself, and so agreeably to your fami- 
ly ; confined as we have been, to the restricted limits of a ship of war's cabin at 
eea, and to the narrow compass of a travelling tent on shore. 

I refer with the happiest recollections to the period of our first acquaintance, when 
under the appointments of our respective commanders, we pioneered in the army 
together, in its descent of 1814, into Upper Canada. I also reflect with pleasure, 
that our closer connexion since, on a six months' cruise in the Constitution, has but 
strengthened the bonds of our earlier friendship. 

In army regulations, there may be seasons of relaxation in discipline, but in 
those of the navy, operating abroad, there can be none ; here continual discipline 
must be maintained, to maintain the safety of the ship. It gives me pleasure to re- 
mark, that the presence of your family on board, operated in no way whatever to 
check or retard the military or nautical evolutions of the ship. 

Permit me here to say, that I have not been an unobserving spectator of the cour- 
tesies of my officers, both senior and junior ; they who submit to the wholesome 
rules of discipline, will ever keep in sight the etiquette of life, and will always 
unite the gentleman with the officer. 

The valuable memorial to which you have alluded in your private note, will 
not be needed to keep alive the good feelings between us ; but to the members of 
my family, who are as yet personally unacquainted with your own, it will be 
received as a precious tribute, and handed down as an heir-loom among their latest 

In taking leave, I trust we shall be able to make a report of the cruise, which 
will prove an essential service to the political and commercial interests of the coun- 
try. Wishing you a pleasant and speedy passage in the United States to Marseilles, 
and an early arrival at your post in Paris, 

I am, dear General, 

Faithfully and truly, your friend, 
(Signed) J. D. ELLIOTT, 

Comm'ing U. S Naval Forces in the Mediterranean. 
To his Excellency Lewis Cass, 

Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, near the 
Court of Versailles. &c &c. &e 


Note — Page 54. 

Navy Department, \ 
October 18th, 1843. ) 
Sir.— I have received the letter from Mr. Walker, which you sent to me; and in compliance with 
your direction to report to you the time when Coram ulire Elliott's sent nee of suspension wi I ex- 
pire, andwijivey>i my opinion a* (0 the etpedu-ncv of remitting the unexpired purtion d£ his 
suspension, and of resierin? him to service, 1 hive ih.- honor to state that his sentence of suspension 
wdl terminate July 6th, 1844. 

1 have not had time to go minutely into this case, the document* beinjr very voluminous, but I send 
yon a «yn p*i- of the charge- on which he was tried and sentenced. The sentence of loss of pay was 
remitied by President Van Buren. 

Under ad the circumstances of the case— in view of the severity of the sentence— in consideration of 
Commodore Ellijtt's brave and patriotic conduct in the la-t war with Great Bri'ain, and of his long 
and faithful services to hi< country, I advise the remission of the remainder of the term of his suspen- 
sion, and hit restoration to service. 

Most respectfully, your ob't serv't, 
(signed) DAVID HENSHAW. 

To the President. 


The world has been led to believe that I am a very Blue Beard in cruelty; and no 
doubt nurses, both wet and dry. have been dittying my name to their noisy charges, 
as of yore, that of the British Giant, who ate children for breakfast and grown men 
and women for dinner, was used to silence the troublesome juveniles. Without 
pretending to equal the Roman father, in a stern vindication of justice even upon 
his own offspring, I will only say, that the same measure of discipline would have 
been extended to my only son as that which I directed towards P. Mid. Barton, had 
heplaced himselfunder like circumstances, and been subject to its exercise. But a 
late proceeding on the ocean, has in no small degree drawn off attention from my 
doings in the above case, and turned it to one, which wants a parallel in naval histo- 
ry! I am not now to consider the course, which the Court Martial pursued, nor the 
decision which was found. My remarks are in reference to the execution, upon three 
human beings, of a doom which never should be inflicted, but from the direst neces- 
sity and when no other remedy in the scope of human power or judgment could avail. 
It is needless to remark that I refer to the execution on board the Somers, 
on an alledged charge of mutiny, by Capt. Mackenzie. On the first account of 
the melancholy affair, I thought as I still think, — that it would have been 
better had Mackenzie taken young Spencer into his cabin, recalled to his mind 
the pains his mother bore in bringing him into the world; subdued him as 
would a father, and thus touched his finer feelings! The boy showed a peni- 
tent spirit from the time he had been discovered in his designs, and the very 
tact of the obedience of the men in executing the orders of Mackenzie in hang- 
ing the poor fellows was evidence sufficient, that complete subordination was res- 
tored. Why not, if necessary, have chained or bolted him down to the 
deck, secured the arms, prepared for any emergency, have met it, put it down, 
brought him home and delivered him up to the law3 of his country? Such 
would have been the decision and conduct of a worthy officer. But how dif- 
ferent is the case — the poor fellow hung up to the yard! There is not the 
slightest doubt had a determined and decisive officer been on board, the 
whole difficulty would have been conquered in a commendable way — the 
men beat to quarters, and my life upon it, had they encountered an enemy 
one hour afterwards, every man would have been a hero, and a glorious 
victory crowned their efforts. But, alas ! instead of this the heart sickens 
at the tragedy, and morality turns pale when beholding the gross mockery of 
the press, ay, and the church, in giving countenance to the deed! In Phila- 
delphia we find a clergyman subscribing a dollar for a sword to be presented 
to the commander of the Somers; thus commemorating a deed than which a 
more cruel one can scarcely be found upon the records of human decisions. — 
I feel on this subject, because I have a knowledge ot the difficulties which 


occur on ship board. While in command in the Mediterranean, a circum- 
stance occurred, which, no doubt, had it been on board the ill-fated SomerB, 
might have resulted in the death of one or more men. A timid officer 
of the Shark, her first Lieutenant, had imagined a mutiny, and came 
to my ship, the Constitution, at Smyrna, about. 2 o'clock at night, with 
a man on the lookout and himself pulling the boat. He asked an audience, 
but the hour being unusual, I directed him if his business was not very urgent, 
to come on board after breakfast. He said it was very urgent. And what do 
you suppose it was, my fellow countrymen'? Why, to report a mutiny on b»ard 
the little schooner Shark, which he said he believed to exist/although anchored 
under my guns, and surrounded by vessels of war from different nations. — 
I despatched my first Lieutenant on board with my pistols in his hand, to in- 
quire, and he returned an answer that every man on board was asleep except 
the commander, who was both drunk and crazed in his cabin. I sent for him 
the next morning and desired to know why he sent his first Lieutenant to 
me. He professed his entire ignorance, and said he had come of his own 
accord, lieing somewhat diseased in his shoulder I gave him the privilege of 
being relieved on a sick ticket or superceded in his command. He chose the 
former. I appointed my first Lieutenant to the command of the Shark and sent 
him on board to examine into the difficulty of the previous night. He informed 
me that two ot the men had been insubordinate while drunk. I ordered them 
both on board the Constitution, inflicted what I deemed a sufficient punish- 
ment, and conformably with law; believing that they both had redeeming quali- 
ties. I kept them on board my ship, and found them to be valuable men, 
while I sent two others to supply their places on board the Shark, directing 
the commander to take in provisions, proceed oh a cruise of two weeks to the 
island of Mytelene, communicate with the authorities, come back and report. 
On his return 1 asked him how he liked his schooner. "A noble vessel, sir/* 
"How do you like your crew?" "A noble crew, sir." "Did you find any mutiny 
there]" "Oh, no sir, you whipped all that out of them." Now my friends you hear 
of no imputations on the little Shark, while the Somers is so circumstanced 
that you can scarcely find an officer to command her, or a crew to operate 
her. Like Cain she has a mark upon her, that is a byword and a reproach for 
the world, and it can never be wiped out so long as a Mackenzie lives, or her 
name is recollected. Feelings of charity and benevolence for a family and 
children, prevented my heart from proceeding against the officer I had taken 
from the Shark, and therefore I assigned him to the third Lieutenancy of 
a frigate. He appeared constitutionally addicted to imagining mutiny; for 
when at Mahon, and under my guns, he had called his captain up to sup- 
press another, at the same hour of the night, and it was found that the only 
cause he had was a noise being made by some men, who were drunk and put 
in irons below decks. Being now fully impressed of his constitutional defect, 
I put him on shore to supervise the accounts of the hospital, in order that 
he might wile away his time until an opportunity offered to get him home to 
his family. Now, my countrymen, would you believe it] This same officer 
presents himself before my Court Martial, under the drag net of "what 
do you know, &c. &c," and complains that I had employed him in subordi- 
nate stations not equal with his rank; but as a thread could not be found on 
which censure could be sustained against me, his complaints were set aside. 

These remarks are not from one who would falter on a point of duty 
when it should become necessary to enforce the penalty of death by sentence 
of a Court Martial; for, unhappily, it fell to my lot to carry out the law 
on one of the crew of the U. S. Ship John Adams, of my squadron in the 
Mediterranean. The case was novel, but .attended with a cold-bloodedness 
which chills when it is brought to my recollection. That you may have a pro- 
per conception of it I state the case. When at Mahon, the head quarters of 


my command, the John Adams, Capt. Stringham, lay off the Navy Yard, under- 
going repairs. The crew being on liberty in the town of Mahon, one of 
thern, a profligate and spendthrift, who knew a shipmate to have husbanded 
hiH money for a rainy day, prevailed on him to ramble in the country, and at 
an unguarded moment, seized him and with a stone knocked out his brains, 
buried him, returned to town, spent the money he had taken from his victim, 
and came to the ship. But that God who never fails to punish the guilty, de- 
prived him of both power to eat and sleep, until nearly exhausted he went to 
the first Lieutenant Gardener, stating that he had murdered the missing man. 
Supposing him crazed he was ordered away; he returned however repeating 
the same, when a report of it was made to the commander. The man being 
called for, declared the fact, and stated that if the master at arms would go 
with him he would show the body. This was done and the body found. 
Charges were accordingly made by Capt. Stringham of murder, and a court 
ordered. That every chance might be had by the prisoner, I requested Thos, 
Wells, Esq., my secretary, to appear as his counsel. After a patient hearing 
of the case, sentence of death was pronounced, and the prisoner to be executed 
at such time and place as the commander-in-chief mi^ht think proper. I ac- 
cordingly directed him to be removed on board the Constitution, bearing my 
penant, and placed in good and comfortable apartments, with instructions to 
the chaplain, Mr. Everett, to pass as much time as his other duties would 
allow with him. The sacrament was administered to him; and he stated his 
belief that he was well prepared for his fate. He did not ask pardon, but that 
he should die as an example to others. Returning from Rome the Holy father 
had directed the Cardinal at Civita Vecchio to make a sumptuous entertain- 
ment for me, who desired three days for the purpose, but being inform- 
ed I was called on to embark the next morning tor the purpose decreed, 
had his party the same day. This good man used all his efforts to 
obtain pardon for the prisoner, but the law being imperative, the sentence 
of the Court was carried out on board the John Adams the next day at 12 
o'clock, at sea in presence of the whole squadron: which had a good in- 
fluence upon all, and added much in strengthening and purifying the disci- 
pline of the navy. And now my countrymen, would you believe it possible 
that the 2,000 dollar law ofEcer of my court martial, after exhaustgin all the 
materials of the Navy Department, and the wits of 130 witnessess, asked for 
the "black book" of the Constitution for more, and would gladly have brought 
the case of the execution of the seaman to bear against me if he could; and 
only'desisted from his desire so to do after the frequent and positive assurance 
of my counsel that it would be of no use whatever, for it was done in direct 
obedience to the law governing the navy. 

Ttmaybe well to note one or two other instances of the failing memory 
of the witnesses against me. My second in command and his first Lieutenant, 
in the Mediterranean, both of whom were deponents before the court, might 
have divulged a little more, but I will fill the vacuum. Returning from my 
cruise to Mahon, in the fall of '37, I found the frigate U .States on quarantine; 
whose commander, on inquiry by me, informed me that his cruise was not a 
very pleasant one. While in the harbor of Cadiz his first Lieutenant had en- 
tered his cabin with clenched, fist saying, "Capt. W., I am a vindictive 
man and I follow my enemy to his grave." "Well, what else?" I asked. 
"Why, I suspended him from duty. What shall I do?" "Charge and try 
him," I answered. "I will," said he. Some days after I wrote to him for the 
charges preparatory to proceeding; and what answer do you suppose I got? It 
was this: "being the only person present at the transaction, I must decline 
making charges; but I want the Lieut., and all others to know that I disregard 
their threats." Thereupon, no charges being preferred, I immediately restor- 
ed the officer to his duty. Here would have been a fine field for a Court 


Martial by my professing friend; but no, the question is "what do you know 
prejudicial to Commodore Elliott, &,c.'' Now, my countrymen, would you 
believe it, that subsequently I have been informed by an aged and estimable 
triend, an officer in the Navy, and for whom I had suffered almost martyrdom, 
that the same officer above alluded to, in the year '39, while I was contending 
single handed against my enemies in and out of Congress, called upon him and 
stated the purpose of his visit to be to place him on his guard against me ag 
being the worst man in the navy. He was accompanied too, in this laudable 
visit, by the self-same fleet Surgeon, whose papers were denied me as you 
will see by the communication of the Secretary. Very recently through 
a friend, I calied upon this officer for information as to the fact, demanding at 
the same time a categorical answer; when he denied, positively, ever having 
said it. 

I give the following letter from the late General S. Smith, of Baltimore, 
who both as a Revolutionary hero, and patriotic statesman, enjoyed the esteem 
and respect of his countrymen, to as great an extent, as ever was the por- 
tion of any public man. He was an intimate friend of my father; and both work- 
ed together in erecting the Castle of Independence, and continued their la- 
bours until of the death of the latter terminated an intimacy, which was as 
near and uninterrupted as that of brothers. It was my privilege and honour 
to be favoured with the counsel and advice of General Smith; and in difficulty I 
freely sought both at his hands, and was always happy to receive evidences of a 
generous interest in my affairs. On his decease, a written speech was 
found relative to the Battle of Lake Erie; but unfortunately it was burned, 
as I am informed by his son General John Spear Smith, along with other 
papers by his Executors. The brief remarks, however, contained in the let- 
ter, sufficiently show what were his views in respect to the battle, or my con- 
duct therein. 

His observations upon printers I would recommend to all who unfortunately 
should ever be engaged in a controversy with them. Of course, I mean those 
who are connected with a partisan press. They are an irresponsible crew 
whose very aliment is slander, and whoseonly occupation is the abuse of all 
who do not sustain them. They are like corporate bodies and Courts Martial, 
without souls, and freed from punishment. Democracy and they are aliens: 
for they regard themselves as a privileged order, held together by the same 
cement, which binds tyrants and oppressors. 


Baltimore, 20th June, 1834. 

My Dear Sir: — I find by your letter ol the 16th inst. and the newspapers received yes- 
terday, that you have an engagement with certain editors. There is but one way to get 
out of it, and that is, to permit them to go on; for every piece you publish gives them a 
new text for their paper, which is the more saleable, when it contains criticisms or abuse 
of those in high stations. 

Men of a certain age remember what passed in their youth, but do not charge their 
minds with that which has lately passed. Now I have not the most distant recollection 
of the occurrence you allude to. I presume that Mr. Newton may recollect it— he was a 
much younger man. I remember that I had some conversations with you about the time 
you mention, but no recollection now of what they were. I remember only that I had ex- 
amined the case fully, and that I was then of opinion, and am still of the same opinion, that 
no censure could attach to you for your conduct in the action. 
I am, dear sir, your old friend, 

3 S. SMITH. 

Commodore Elliott. 

It may not be inappropriate 'to call attention to the practice of indulging in dis- 
cussions in reference to supposed defects of a brother officer's character. As early 
as 1819 — for so the following letter will show you — this censurable conduct was 


directed towards myself. You can judge of the correctness of the conclusions of an 
experienced officer who is known to be one of intelligence and respected by a 
large portion of the navy, from a perusal of the communication below. 

I ask leave to say a word upon this subject, that it may have its influence upon 
the minds of the junior officers of the service, among whom tne esprit de corps in 
this particular should be ever active. The time has been when the cause of one 
became the cause of all ; and when one member was assailed, that he was sure to 
have an advocate present. How sadly reversed is the case now ! A parent re- 
ceives his son at the close of a cruize, and the favorite of the domestic circle, often 
from a thoughtless disposition, indulges in animadversion or censure upon his com- 
mander. Thus, through an interchange of social feeling, the community becomes 
his defamer. 

These few remarks will not be considered out of place here, for I perceive that 
the facility of intercourse between the seaboard and mountains has brought together 
a portion of the young gentlemen of our navy and the good and charming ladies of 
this delightful region; and that they have bound themselves by the only hands which 
republicans know — those of holy matrimony ! May Heaven bless you, my dear 
friends, and may these bonds embrace as many responsibilities and dear pledges as 
Napoleon desired Madame De Stael to possess! My old friend, Gen. W., will un- 
derstand my invocation, when I beg him to remember that after his two grandchildren 
can be relieved from tie judicious care of their amiable mother, that I claim them 
for my country, assured that they have the truly noble blood in their veins to make 
them heroes. 

Norfolk, August 23, 1819. 

Dear Sir.— It was with no less surprise than regre', that I learnt you were informed, that 1 had 
evinced a disposition to injure your fame in the action of Lake Erie. As I have no personal know- 
ledge of that affair, motives of delicacy would prevent my interference. The transaction has frequent- 
ly been the subject of conversation abroad, amonsrst oor mutual friends, and it gre* out of the unfor- 
nate difference between you and Captain Perry. Various rumors and relations have been afloat, that 
probably were never heard of, by either of you. I have uniformly lamented the difference, and have 
so expressed myself, and added, that it was impolitic, injurious to the parties and the service generally^ 
and outjht to De buried in oblivion; bnt I could have no motive in assailing your reputation; you never 
crossed my path, thwarted my views, or has any ill-will existed between us, that 1 am aware of. 

Many of our mutual enemies would probably rejoice to see us at variance, but I trust they will be 
disappointed— for of all the strange rumors that rf ached us abroad, scarcely one haj proved true, and 1 
am persuaded they must have been got up, either in malevolence or idleness. I fuel assured that the 
honours you have received from your countrymen, were justly earned, and will be honourably sus- 

With respect and regard, 

I am, deai sir, your obedient servant, 

To Capt. J. D. Elliott, of the Navy. 

The following 1 is a list of the articles imported by me, snd presented to the 
different Scientific and Literary Institutions, in the United States. When 
handed to the Court Martial it was not received ; although the members were 
to decide as to my using public stores, &c. &c ! I will not dwell upon 6uch 
justice ; it 9peaks for itself. A partial glance over the catalogue will show 
that their estimated value of twelve thousand dollars, is not exorbitant. And 
yet such was the determination to ruin me, that the testimony of a witness, that 
nine hundred brads were used in making a model of the Holy Sepulchre, was 
received, when a disinterested individual, a cabinet maker, swore that there 
could not have been fifty ! 

Articles presented by Commodore Elliott, to 

1. The G-irard College: 

A Roman Sarcophagus, weighing about 3,500 pounds. — A Cabinet of gold, silver, and 
other metallic coins. — Four boxes ot antiquities collected in Palestine and Syria. — A limb 
of one of the cedars of Lebanon. 

2. Dickinson College : 

A cabinet of ancient coins. — Other antiquities from Palestine and Syria, Corinth, Athens 
Crete, &c : 

3. Washington College . 

A collection of ancient coins. 



4. Jefferson College : 

A capital of a column obtained in Caesaria. 

5. Princeton College : 

A collection of ancient coins. — A specimen of the marble from Alexandria Troas, and 
Caesaria Palestine. 

6. Cambridge College : Mass. 

Some specimens of marble from Caesaria Palestine, Alexandria, Troas. 

7. Williams' College : 

A capital of a column from Caesaria Palestine. 

8. Dartmouth College : 

A collection of ancient coins. 

9. Kenyon College : 

A collection of coins and a piece of a column from Alexandria Troas and Caesaria Pales- 

10. College in Missouri : 
A collection of coins. 

11. Transylvania College : 

A collection of ancient coins. 

12. 17te Medical College at Baltimore. 

A Mummy, disinterred at Memphis, Egypt. — A curbstone of a well, from Caesaria Pales- 
tine. — A marble sill from the Temple of Minerva on the plains of Troy, and a column from 
Csesaria Palestine. 

13. The Charlottesville University : 

Two marble balls obtained at the Dardanelles, about eight feet in circumference.— A mar- 
ble head of Bacchus from Tyre, Syria. — A Vase fished up at the point where the battle of 
Actium was fought between Cassar and Pompey. — A large marble column, removed from 
Alexandria Troas. — An Eagle made from a piece of marble removed from Minerva Somnes , 

14. William and Mary College : 

An Ibis. — A column removed from plains of Troy. 

15. The Baltimore Cathedral : 

A painting representing the Illumination at St. Peter's and St. Angela. 

16. The College at Georgetown : 
Casts of the Popes. 

17. Prospect Hill, N. Carolina : 
A column from Marathon. 

18. The Literary and Philosophical Society at Charleston, S. C. 
A collection of ancient coins. 

19. To the Navy Department or Government : 

Two colossal balls from the Dardanelles. — A Sarcophagus from Beyroot, Syria. 

20. American. Antiquarian Society of Worcester, Massachusetts : 
A parcel of ancient coins. 

21. The Legislature of Pennsylvania : 

A copy of an original painting of Columbus and Vespuccius. — Au Eagle made from 
marble removed from Alexandria Troas. 
The Animals brought home were disposed of as follows : 

1. A Jack : — in possession of the Honorable John Forsyth, sent to Georgia, to propa- 
gate, on shares. 

2. A Maltese Jenny .-—Sent to Mr. Hubbs' plantation, Tennessee. 

3. A Jack : — Sent to Elizabeth city, Virginia, to propagate, on shares. 

4. A Jack : — Sent to Dauphin county, Pa., to Charles Carson and John C. M'Allister — 
owned jointly bv Com. Elliott and Thomas B Jacobs. 

5. A Malta Jack and a large bay Arabian Horse : — Sent to James A. Gallagher, to 
propagate in the counties of Cumberland, Franklin and Dauphin, Pennsylvania, and be- 
longing to Com. Elliott. 

6. Three Andalusian Hogs. — Two broad-tailed Syrian Sheep — Minorca Chickens, 
Grain, Grass and Garden Seed : — Sent to Mr. T. B. Jacobs, Lancaster county, Pa. 

7. One Minorca Jack: — Sent to propagate in Lancaster county, Penn., and belonging 
to Com. Elliott and T. B. Jacobs. 

8. One Superior Arabian Mare : — Presented to Mrs. Jacobs. 

9. Four Arabian Mares, One Andalusian and Three Arabian Colts : — Sent to Mr. 
John T Barr, State oi Missouri, belonging to Com Elliot, and propagating on sharer 


Certified Proceedings of Court of Inquiry held in the year 1815. 


United States' Sloop Ontario, New York, 16th April, 1815. 
Sir,— In a conversation with some of the officers of the service, 1 am informed that in consequence 
■of an oniuion formed by a Court of Inquiry on the loss of tre British fleet on Lake Erie, on the lOih 
September, 1813, my vessel, the Niagara, is reflected on by some who are inimical to our service. I 
wish it understood that early after tne action, I applied to the Navy Department for an investigation 
into the facts of the action. It was not granted. Justice to myself, friends, and the service 1 have 
the honor to belong to, compel! me to ask that the Court at present inquiring into the losses of the 
President, Frolic, and Rattlesnake, may be instructed to inform the country of the part I bore in the 
action of the 10th September, 1313, and whether or not, did the Niagara attempt to make her escape 
from the enemy (as stated by the British court.) A large number of the officers that were on board 
the fUet, are at present in this squadron ; the investigation will require but a day or two, and I pre- 
sume will not delay the sailing of the squadron. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, Sir, your obedient servant, 


Official Letter of Com. Perry relative to Battle of Lake Erie. 


U. S. Schooner Ariel, Put-in-Bay, 13th September, 1813. 
Sir,— In my last I informed you, that we had captured tne enemy's fleet on this lake. I have now 
the honor to give you the most impor.ant particulars of the action. On the morning of the 10th inst. 
at sun-rise, they * ere discovered from Put-in- Bay, where I lay at anchor with the squadron under 
my command. We got under weigh, the w,nd light at S. W. and stood lor them. At 10 A. M. the 
wind hauled to S. E. and brought us to windward ; formed the line and brought up. At 15 minutes 
beforel'2, the enemy commenced firing ; at 5 minutes before 12, the action commenced on our part- 
Finding their fire very destructive, owing to their long guns, and its being mostly directed to the 
Lawrence, I made sail, and directed the other vessels to follow, for the purpose of closing with the 
enemy. Kvery brace and bow line being shot away, she became unmanageable, notwithstanding the 
great exertions of the Sailing Master. In this s.tuation she sustained the action s up wards of two hours, 
within cannister distance, until every gun was rendered useless, and a greater part of the crew either 
killed or wounded. Finding she could no longer annoy the enemy, 1 left her in charge of Lt. Yarnall, 
who, 1 was convinced, from the bravery already d. splayed by him, would do what would comport with 
the honor of the flag. At half-past 2, the wind springing np, Captain Elliott was enabled to bring his 
vessel, the Niagara, gallantly into close action ; I immediately w^nt on board of her, when he antici- 
pated my wish by volunteering to bring the schooners, which had been kept astern by the lightness of 
the wind, into close action. It was with unspeakable pain that I saw, soon after I got on board the 
Niagara, the flag of the Lawrence come down, although I was perfectly sensible that she had been .de- 
fended to the last, and that to have continued to make a show of resistauee would have been a wanton 
sacrifice of the remains of her brave crew. But the enemy was not able to take possession of her, and 
circumstances soon permitted her flag again to be hoisted. At 45 minutes past two, the signal was 
made for "close action." The \iagara being very little injured, I determined to pass through the 
enemy's line, bore up and passed ahead of their two ships and a brig, giving a raking fire to them from 
the starboard guns and to a large schooner and sloop, from the larboard side, at half pistol shot distance. 
The smaller vessels at this time having got within grape and cannister distance, under the direction 
of Capt. Elliott, and keeping up a well directed fire, the two ships, a brig, and a schooner surrendered, 
a schooner and sloop making a vain attempt to escape. 

Those officers and men who were immediately under my observation evinced the greatest gallantry, 
and I have no doubt that all others conducted themselves as became American officers end seamen. 
Lieut. Yarnall, first of the Lawrence, although several times wounded, refused to quit the deck. Mid- 
shipman Forrest, (doing duty as lieutenant) and Sailing Master Taylor were of great assistance to me. 
I have great pain in stating to you the death of L.eut. Brooke of the marines, and Midshipman Laub, 
both of the Lawrence, and Midshipman John Clark, of the Scorpion ; they were valuable officers. — 
Mr. Hambleton, Purser, who volunteered his services on deck, was severely wounded late in the action. 
Midshipman Claxton and Swartwout, of the Lawrence, were severely wounded. On board the Nia- 
gara, Lieuts. Smith and Edwards, and Midshipman Webster, (doing duty as Sailing Master,) behaved 
in a very handsome manner. Capt. Brevoort, of the army, who acted as a volunteer in the capacity cf 
a marine officer on board that vessel, is an excellent and brave officer, and with his musketry, did 
great execution. Lieut. Turner, commanding the Caledonia, brought that vessel into action in the 
most able manner, and is an officer that in all situations may be relied upon. The Ariel, Lt. Packet, 
and Scorpion, Sailing Master Champlin, were enabled to get early into the action, and were of great 
service. Capt. Elliott speaks in the highest terms of Mr. Magrath, Purser, who had been despatched 
in a boat on service, previous to my getting on board the Niagara ; and, being a seaman, since the ac- 
tion has rendered essential service in taking charge of one of the prizes. Of Capt. Elliott, already so 
well known to the government, it would be almost superfluous to speak. In this action he evinced his 
characteristic bravery and judgment, and since the close of the action, has giver me the most able and 
essential assistance. 

I have the honor to enclose you a return of the killed and wounded, together with a statement of the 
relative force of the squadrons. The Capt. and First Lieut, of the Queen Clurlctte, and First Lieut 
of the Detroit, were killed. Capt. Barclay, senior officer, and the commander or' the Lady Prevost' 
severely wounded. Their loss in killed and wounded, I have not yet been able t6 ascertain ; it must 
however, have been very great. 

Very respectfully, I have the honor to be, 
Sir, your obedient servant, 

O. H. PERHr 

The Hon. Wm. Jones, 

Secretary of the Navy. 



Navy Department, April, 1815. 
Sir,— The Court of Inquiry, now sitting at New York, is ordercu to proceed immediately to the in 
vestigation requested by )our letter of the 16(h ins;. 

1 am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Capt. Jesse D. Elliott, Sl^op Ontario, New York. 


Navy Department, April 20th, 1815. 
Sir,— It has been stated to this Department, that by the proceedings of a Court of Inquiry in Great 
Britain, ordered to investigate the causes of the loss of the British fleet on Lake Erie, on the 10th ot 
September, 1313, the conduct of Capt. Jesse D. Elliott, of the United States Navy, who commanded the 
brig Niagara on that day, is misrepresented —Justice to the reputation of Capt. Elliott, and to the Navy 
of the United States, requires that a true statement of the facts in relation to his conduct on that occa- 
sion be exhibited to the world. The Court, therefore, of which you are president, will immediately 
proceed to inquire into ilie same, to ascertain the part he sustained in the action of that day, and report 
its opinion thereon to this Department, 

I am, respectfully, your ob dient servant, 

Com. Alexander Murray, New York. 

B.— 4. 

April 24th, 1815. The Court met in pursuance of the foregoing Orders. 


Com Morr AY, President. Capt. Evans, £ Members 

HKNRy Wheaton, Esq., Judge Advocate. Lt. Cora't Rogers. 5 

The Court being duly sworn, (together with the Judge Advocate) proceeded to inquire into the facts 
relative to the conduct of Capt. Elliott in the action of the 10th Sept. 1813, on Lake Erie. 
Lieut. Nelsok Webster, late Sailing Master of the Niagara, was sworn. 

Question by the Court.— Having seen and read Capt. Perry's official account of the action of the 10th 
Sept. 1813, oil Lake Erie, please to state whether it contains a correct statement of facts? 
Answer. I believe it does 

Question. Uy the Judge Advocate.— What further do you know respecting die .subject matter of 
this inquirv? 

Answer.' Just at daylight, on the !0ih Sept. 1813, we were in Putin-Bay, and discovered the ene- 
my's fleet. A signal was made by Capt. Perry, and we immediately got under weigh, and beat out of 
the bay— the wind a-head. After we got out, the wind being light; it shitted, a hicli ga»e us the weather 
gage. We made sail in pursuit, and a signal, was made for each vessel to take its station. The Law. 
rence led the van, the Caledonia next, and then the Niagara, in close order. The sma'.l vessels ,were 
a-stern. Theenemv commenced his fire upon the headmost vessel at 15 re. btfore noon, which the 
Lawrence returned at about noon, at the distance ot one mile and a half from the enemy. Captain 
Elliott directed me to commence from my division with a long 12. Soon after, we fired one or 
two broadsides from the carronades. Capt. Elliott directed us to cease firing the carronades, as the shot 
fell short, and to continue firing the long gun. The enemy were principally directing their fire, at 
this moment, against the Lawreucc. We were using every exertion to get down. The wind was light. 
It was half past 12, that we commenced firing our caronaades, at long gun-shot distance, and we being 
to windward, were continually nearing the enemy. We continued the action with light winds, con- 
tinually bear.ngdown in our station, until about io'clock; when the Lawrence was disabled. Previous 
to that, Capt. Elliott directed »he Caledonia to bear up and give him room to close with the Lawrence. 
The Caledonia dropped to leeward of us, and the Lawrence dropped out of the line, nearly at one and 
the same time. The wind sprang up, and Capt. Elliott made sail to close with their headmost ship. 
Af'.er we got into close action, I was knocked down, and carried below. When I came on deck again, 
found Capt. Perry on board. Capt. Elliott was in the gun buats, and the action still continuing. In 
about 25 minutes afterwards the enemy struck. 

Question by the Court. What was the force of our squadron, as to size of vessels, description, num- 
ber oi guns, and mi ni 

A. It consisted of the brig Lawrence of 20 guns, IS 32 pound carronades, and 2 long 12's; the brig 
Niagara of 20 guns ot the same description and about 150 men, of which not more than 120 were fit for 
duty— she was not well manned, as she had 25 militiamen and about 3(1 soldiers, and a great number of 
blacks, only one of whom was a seaman; the brig Caledonia of three guns, long 12's or 16*s: the schooner 
Somersof 2 guns; schooner Ariel of 3 guns, one of which burst in the actiou— 1 do not remember the 
Scorpion's force; the schooner Tigress ot 1 gun, a long 32 pounder; the Porcupine and Trippe, same. I 
did not consider the vessels so well manned as our vessels generally are on the ocean. 
Q. What was the enemy's force? 

A. In close action they were not superior to us, in my opinion; but from the lightness of the wind, the 
situation of the fleets, nnd the enemy's having long guns, I considered them superior. 

Q. Did the enemy's vessels appear to be as badly manned as represented to the British Court Martial 
before whom Captain Barclay was tried? 

A. The statement given before that Court I consider to be false. I infer it from the appearance of the 
Detroit after the action. I saw 60 wounded men on board her which I believe to have been seamen. I 
believe the enemy had more than the number of British seamen stated. 
Q. What command had Capt. Elliott in ihe action ? 
A. He had command of the Niagara. 

Q. Did he do all in his power to gain a nearer position? and when Capt. Perry went on board the Ni- 
agara, did you see any thing in Capt. Elliott's conduct that indicated an intention on his part to make 
sail from the enem) ? 

A. He did all in his power to gain a nearer position. I never observed any intention on his part to 
make sail from the enemy; on the contrarv, I noted in him a disposition to get in as close action a» nos- 



q. Did you believe that Capt. Elliott did every dung thM a 4 brave and meritorious officer should 
.uve done, in the action ? 
A. Yes. 

q. Have you heard any officer make any remarks derogatory to his character or conduct on the 10th 
of Sept- ? 

A. No. ~ r x. 

Q. by Capt. Elliott— Did the Niagara at any time, dnring the action, attempt to make off from the 
British fleet ? 
A. No. , 

q. What wa9 the distance from the Lawrence to the Niagara, when the firing commenced from the 
enemy ? . 

A. There was the intervening space of the Caledonia, the three vessels being in close order. 
Q. What was the situation of both fleets when the action commenced on our part? and what time 
did I order the Caledonia out of the line ? and how soon alter did I place my vessel a-head of the Law- 
rence ? and what appeared to be the situation of the British fleet ? 

A. We were in a line a-head, endeavoring to get down upon the enemy as fast as possible, abaft the 
enemy's beam, with the winH nearly abeam. It was a little after the middle of the action that the 
Caledonia was ordered out of the line. The Lawrence was dropping astern, and we shooting a-head. 
We had got into pretty close action before I went below. The British fleet was in close order, and I 
think had no spars shot away. 

q. Was not my helm up, and the Niagara standing directly for the enemy's fleet, when Cap t. Perry 
came on board ? 
A. I was below and cannot say. 

q What was the situation of the gun boats when I left tl»e Niagara, and how where they disposed 
uf when I reached the head ot the enemy's line with them ? 

A. Just before I went below, they were a long way a-stern. When I came on deck, I observed the 
gun boat Capt. Elliott was in had got nearly to the head of the enemy's line; and he was in very close 
action, directing the fire of the boats at the enemy's ships. 

q. How did ihe Lawrence bear of the Niagara when Capt. Perry came on board, and what distance 
was sh J from the Niagara ? 
A. I was not on deck, and before 1 went below the Lawrence was rather on our leeward quarter. 

B.— 5. 
Lieut. Yarnall, late first Lieutenant of the Lawrence, was sworn. 

q. Do^s Captain Perry's official account of the action of the 10th September contain a correct state- 
ment of the facts ? 

A. I think generally as to what I could see it is correct, except as to the statement in page 2d, line 
I2th, of the Niagara being brought into close action. I believe the Niagara was ihree quarters of a mile 
astern of the Lawrence; and wh-n she pissed us to windward at the time Com. Perry took possession of 
her, she was half a mile off on our weai her bow. Th s was about 2 hours and 43 minutes after the ac- 
tion commenced; I expressed my surprise to Capt. Perry on observing the Niagara in that situation, 
anH afcer the Lawrence was disabled, he left her in my possession and went on board the Niagara. 
q. What fnrtherdoyou know relative to the subjectuf this inquiry ? 

A. In the morning of the 10th Sept. we discovered the enemy's squadron and got under weigh; stood 
out past the Islands. The wind veered, and became favorable soon after we passed one of the Islands. 
Within about three miles of the enemy, Capt. Elliott, in the Niagara, bore down and speke Capt. Perry. 
Capt. Elliott fell into the line next to the Caledonia. The Detroit commenced the action by firing a 
long 24 pounder. Capt. Perry directed me to hail the Scorpion, for the purpose of engaging the ene- 
my, and at the same time to commence our fire with a 12 pounder on the forecastle. A few minutes 
aftetwards we commenced a fire with the caironades. It having been enquired of me whether they 
told or not, and I answering n the negative, Capt. Perry ordered the helm to be put up and bore down 
<ipon the enemy. The Caledonia and Scorpion engaged. We ran down and came within about half 
musket shot, nxposed te the whole of the enemy's fire at first, and afterwards to that of four of his ves- 
sels, the Chippeway, Detroit, Hunter, and queen Charlotte. We lay opposite the Hunter, and the 
queen Charlotte was a-stern of the Hunter. Our first division was fought against the Detroit, the sec- 
ond against the queen Charlotte, and occasionally guns at the Hunter. At several periods during the 
conteit, I expressed my surprise that the Niagara was not brought into close action. The cr ew also ex- 
pressed their surprise, but were encouraged by the officers to fight on till she should come down and 
take a part with us. I observed the Niagara firing a distant fire, (I suppose three quarters of a mile off) 
at the enemy's smaller vessels, the Lady Prevost and others. It was two hours and 48 minutes after the 
action commenced, that Com. Perry said to me, "I leave you to surrender the vessel to the enemy." 
At this time we could not fight a single gun. He left us. Afterhegot in the boat, he observed that he 
would leave it discre ionary to me, either to surrender or receive the enemy's fire. I called on Mr. Tay- 
lor, and Mr. Forrest, who were on deck, to know their opinion— they told me it was useless to sacri- 
fice any more men, as we were unable to sustain the action any longer. The colors weie consequently 
struck. Immediately on Com. Perry's arrival on board the Niagara, he made sail and bore down — 
broke the enemy's line, and the action was decided in about 15 or 20 minutes, except as to two of the 
enemy's vessels, which attempted to escape but were pursued. 
q. What was the force of our squadron ? 

A. The Lawrence and the Niagara of 20 guns each, eighteen 32 pound carronades, and two long 12's. 
The Caledonia had two or three guns on circles. The Ariel had 3, the Scorpion had 2 gHns— one a 12, 
and the other an 18 or 24 pounder. The rest one gun each. The Lawrence had 131 men and boys of 
every description, of which 103 were fit for duty. The squadron had but tew seamen— we had about 
30 marines, and some militiamen. 

q. Wliat command had Captain Elliott in the action ? 
A. He commanded the Niagara. 

q. How near was he to the enemy when the act on commenced ? 
A. About a mile and a half, or two miles. 

q. Do you believe Captain Elliott did every thing a brave and meritorious officer should have done in 
the action ? 

A. I am under the belief that the Niagara could have been brought into closer action. The same 
wind which would bring the Lawrence into action would likewise bring the Niagara into action. The 
main-topsail of the Lawrence was laying to the mast, foresail hauled up. and top-gallant sail fnrled. I 
shink the Niagara had het main-topsail also to the mast, that is, while she was a-stern, 


Q. by Capt. Elliott— Did the Niagara, at am time during the notion, attempt to make off from the 
British fleet ? 

A. No. 

Q. What was the distance from the Lawrence to the Niagara, when the firing commenced from the 
enemy ? 

A. A quarter of a mile. 

Q. What was the situation of the gun boats when I left the Niagara, and how were they disposed of 
when I reached the head of the enemy's line with them ? 

A. The gun boats generally were a-stern and to windward. I saw Capt Elliott on board one of 
them, and they were coming into action. They were very much scattered, butall bearing down into 

Q. What was the established order of the battle, and is tbe sketch now shown you a correct one ? 

A. The sketch is correct. 

Q. What were the observations of Lieuts. Turner and Holdup, when speaking to you ot the action ? 

A. They expressed their disapprobation and surprise that the Niagara was not brought into action. 

Q. When I was passing the Lawrence in the boat, did you not come to the gang-way, and ask me to 
bring the boat along side, as you were sinking ? 

A. No. 

Q. Did you not on the return of the fleet to Erie, discovering that there was an altercation between 
Captains Perry and Elliott, meet Midshipman Page on the beach, and say to him that there was the 
deuce to pay about the action, but that as for your part, you had always given each of those officers an 
equal share of credit ? 

A. No. I do not recollect having any conversation with the young gentleman alluded to. 

Q. How was the wind from the beginning to the end of the action ? 

A. I <*o not precisely recollect. I suppose a vessel might go two knots. 

Q,. by the Court— In the general surprise which you state was expressed, that the Niagara did not 
close faster into action, did you make any allowance for the lightness of the wind ? 

A. In my former answers I have made allowances for the wind and the existing state of things. . 

Q. Was there any difference in the force if the wind, from the commencement of the action until the 
time when Capt. Perry came on board the Niagara ? 

A. The wind freshened. About the time he left the Lawrence, there was more wind than there had 

The Court adjourned to to-morrow morning at half past nine o'clock. 

April 25th, 1815. 

The Court met pursuant to adjournment — Present, Commodore Alex. Murray, Com. J. Evans, Com- 
mander Geo. W. Kodgers. H. Wheaton, Esq., Judge Advocate. 

Lieut. Webster was re-examined. 

Question by the Judge Advocate— When was it that Capt. Elliott bore down to speak to Capt. Perry? 
and what passed ? 

A. At about 10 o'clock in the morning, Capt. Elliott called all hands aft, and requested Com. Perry 
to show his boys his flag, when Com. Perry hoisted a flag with the motto on it of Don't give up the thip. 
Capt. Elliott told his crew to read it, and explained to them what was on the flag, and told them to 
swear within themselves that this flag should never come down, observing that these were the dying 
words of Lawrence. 

Q. What was the established order of battle ? 

A. The original order of sailing was for the Niagara to lead the van. I afterwards learned that, in 
consequence of the enemy's forming differently from what was expected, we changed our order of 
battle, which brought us into the situation I stated yesterday. 

O.. When was this change made, and how ? 

A. The signal which I saw was made after the Commodore's flag (above mentioned,) was hoisted, I 
think. This was the first forming of the line. 

Q. Is the sketch now shown you a correct view of the manner in which the line was formed ? 

A. It is. 

Q. By Capt. Elliott— How far was the Caledonia from the Niagara, from the commencement of the 
enemy's fire until I ordered her out of the line ? 

A. She was as close as she could be with safety, and I recollect once backing topsail to prevent run- 
ning into her. 

Q. By the Court— How long time elapsed between the Lawrence commencing the action, and the 
Niagara's engaging? 

A. I should say 10 minutes. 

Q. By Capt. Elliott— What was the distance from the Lawrence to the Niagara, from the commence- 
ment of the action until I ordered the Caledonia out of the line? and did not the enemy's shot take effect 
in a few minutes after the firing began, upon the Niagara's spars and rigging ? 

A. At no time during that period were they more than 200 yards apart. The enemy's shot took effect 
very soon, and shot away one of the fore-top-ma>t backseat s. 

Q. Did not the enemy's lire appear to be directed at the Niagara's spars and rigging ? 

A. I think it was. 

Q. What distance was I from the Lawrence when I passed her, gaining the head of the line ? 

A. It did not, in my opinion, exceed thirty yards. 

Q. Just before you were wounded, what uas the relative position of the Lawrence and Niagara ? 

A. The Lawrence was alittle on our larboard or weather quarter. This paced us nearer the enemy 
than the Lawrence. 

Q. What damage did the Niagara sustain in the action ? 

A. Our main-stay, fore-top-mast back-stays, a great deal of running rigging, and two shrouds of our 
fore-rigging, were shot away. Some of our spars were wounded. There were two men killed from 
my division, before I went below, and a number of men wounded on board. 

Q. Was the Niagara, at any time during the action, from half to three quarters of a mile on the wea- 
ther bow of the Lawrence after I ordered the Caledonia out of the line ? 

A. She was not. I wish also to correct my evidence of yesterday, by adding that the Ariel and the 
Scorpion were on the weather bow of the Lawrence. „ 



Q Did you observe the enemy's ship Queen Charlotte bear up and run away from the Niagara ? and 
if so, when ? . 

A. She did bear up from the Niagara's fire, in abcut half an hour after the Niagara commenced 

Mr. Montgomery, Midshipman, late of the Niagara, was sworn. 

Q. Where was your station en board? 

A. In the first division, commanded by Lieut. Edwards. 

Q. Does Com. Perry's official Utter contain a correct statement of facts, as you know or believe? 

A. Yes. 

Q. State whit you know relative to the matter of this inquiry? 

A. In the commencement of the action, the Niagara took a position astern of the Caledonia, in close 
line, agreeable to a signal made by Com. Perry.— Capt. Elliott, observing that the enemy fired prin- 
cipally at the Lawrence, ordered Mr. Turner to keep a war, so as to enable us to support the Commo- 
dore, by taking a position astern of the Lawrence. The Caledonia took be r station astern of the Ni- 
agara, and continued there during the action. The ligh'ness of the wind prevented our getting as 
cfose to the Lawrence as it was supposed we intended. Capt. Elliott, observing that the carronade 
snot feH short, ordered them to fire from the long guns only. When the Lawrence was disabled, a 
breeze sprung up; we passed her in company with the Caledonia, to windward, at about 25 >ards dis- 
tance. The Caledonia was then astern of us. We to >k a position which brought the Lawrence nearly 
astern of us on the lee-quarter. Capt Elliott ordered us to make sail, and we had boarded the fore-tack 
and were in the act of setting topgallant sails, before Com. Perry came on board. I observed him 
come over the weather rangway of the Lawrence, get into a boat and pass under the Niagara's stern. 
I went aft and reported it to Capt. Elliott, who was then standing on the taffrel. Capt. Elliott met 
Com. Perry at the weather gang-way, and shook hands with hira Some conversation passed which I 
didnothear. Capt. Elliott soon disappeared, and I did not see him afterwards till the end ofthe ac- 
tion. When Com. Perry came on board, we were firing all our starboard guns; we bore down in com- 
pany with the Caledonia, and directed our fire principally at the Detroit. The enemy's line was com- 
pact after the Lawrence struck. In about 15 minutes after iCom. Perry came on board, the Detroit 
struck, and the Queen Charlotte a few minutes after. The Lady Prevost was then about 40 or 50 yards 
from the Niagara's lee-bow. The marines were ordered to discharg etheir muskets from our forecas- 
tle, at the Lady Prevost. After the second discharge of musketry, she struck. 1 think the Hunter 
struck before Capt, Elliott left the brig. 

Q. By the Court— Did Capt. Elliott do all in his power to gain a near position? 

A. Yes. We were bearing down upon the enemy before Com. Perry came on board; we had kept up 
an incessant fire from our carronades some time before Com. Perry came on board. 

Q. Do yon believe Capt. Elliott did evsry thing he ought in duty to do in the action, as a brave and 
meritorious officer? 

A. Yes; and heard biro express ;to the crew his intention of bringing us into as close action as pos- 

Q. Bv Capt. Elliott— Did the Niagara, at any time during the action, attempt to make her escape 
from the British fleet? 

A. No. 

Q. What was the distance from the Lawrence to the Niagara, when the enemy's fire commenced? and 
what distance was the Lawrence, Caledonia, and Niagara, from the enemy's fleet? 

A. We were as close to the Caledonia as we could .form the line. The distance between the Cale- 
donia and the Lawrence I cannot state; the three vessels were not within carronade distance of the 
enemy, but at long gun-shot when the enemy's fire commenced. 

Q. What was the distance from the Lawrence to the Niagara when we commenced our fire? and 
what distance was each of those vessels from the enemy's fleet? 

A. The distance was at that time from 150 to 200 yards; the two vessels were at long gun-shot. The 
second or third shot fired from the enemy cut away two starboai d fore- top-mast back-stays, and fell 
about thirty yards to windward of us. 

Q. What was the distance from the Lawrence to the Caledonia, and from the Caledonia to the Niag- 
ara? and what distance was each of those vessels from the enemy's fleet, when I ordered the Caledonia 
to bear up and let me pass her? 

A. The Lawrence was at that time 80 or 90 yards from the Caledonia, and the flying gib- boom of 
the Niagara was nearly over the taffrel of the Caledonia. The three brgs were still at long gun-shot from 
the enemy. 

Q. When I ordered the Caledonia to bear up, where did I place the Niagara? and where v as she 
when Cora. Perry came on board? 

A. Capt. Elliott placed his vessel astern ofthe Lawrence, and when Com. Perry came on board, the 
Niagara was ahead ofthe Lawrence, standing down on the enemy. The Caledonia was ordered out of 
the line about 10 minutes alter the commencement of the action, and we passed the Lawrence at half 
past 2 o'clock. 

Q. When Com. Perry came on board the Niagara, did he not find her helm up, and that vessel stand- 
ing direct for the enemy's ship Detroit? 

A. We were standing f jr the enemy , whose line was in compact order. 

Q. What was the situation of the gun boats when I left the Niagara? and how were they disposed of 
of when brought to the head of the enemy's line? 

A. When Capt. Elliott left the Niagara, they were all astern of us. We had passed the Scorpion and 
Ariel. When Com. Perry came on board, they were all astern, except that I do not recollect whether 
the Scorpion and Ariel were to windward or astern. 

Q. When I hailed the gun boats, did I not order them to make sail and keep close under my stern? 

A. I heard Capt. Elliott hail the, and order her to take a position close under our stern, at 
the commencement of the action. The Scorpion was a-head, and the Ariel on the weather bow ofthe 

Q. What was the established order of battle, and is the sketch now shown yon a correct view of the 
situation of both fleets at the times stated? 

A. In the commencement of the action, the Scorpion was the headmost vessel, the Lawrence next, 
and the Ariel on the weather bow of the Lawrence; the Nagara a-stern of the Caledonia. The two 
lines are correctly s;ated in the sketch, excepting that the enemy's schooner Chippewa took her position 


a-head of the Detroit after the commencement of the action, I presume in order to support the Batuc' 
Commodore, and to engage the small vessels at the head of our line. 

Q. When Com. Perry came on board the Niagara, was she half a mile on the weatherjbow of the 

A. No. She was nearly a-head of the Lawrence, a little on the weather bow, perhaps 150 yards. 

Q. Did the Lawrence and Ca ledo nia, at any time in the action, bear up, and leave the Niagara with 
her main-topsail a-back, or leave her on a wind? 

A. Until the Caledonia changed her position, the Niagara was in close order with her. The Lawrence 
and Caledonia did not bear up, and leave the Niagara, as interrogated. 

Q. By the Court— At what stage of the action did the Niagara get within musket shot of the enemy? 

A. After the Lawrence w»s disabled. 

Q. By Capt. Elliott— Did Captain Elliott or Captain Perry bring the Niagara into close action? 

A. The Niagara had closed with the enemy some time before Capt. Perry came on board. 

Q. Did not the wind die away almost to a calm when the action was pretty well on? 

A. In a very short time after the commencement of the action, it.died away, and it continued nearly 
calm until about the time the Lawrence was disabled. 

Q. Did the enemy's ship Queen Charlotte bear up to avoid the Niagara's fire? and if so, at what time? 

A . Yes; before the Lawrence was disabled, she bore up and ran foul of the Detroit, on the ship's lee 

Q. By the Court— Did the Niagara bear down and speak Com. Perry before the action, and if so, 
what passed? 

A. Captain Elliott spoke Capt. Perry while we were passing to leeward. Cap tain Elliott mentioned to 
his crew that it was the Commodore's intention to bring the enemy to close action immediately. He 
told them it was probable we should receive one or two raking fires from the enemy, and advised them 
to receive it with coolness, and not be alarmed. He observed that we should Inot commence firing un- 
til within musket shot distance, and then, if every man did his duty, we should flog them in ten minutes. 
He then ordered them to their quarters. 

Mr. Adams, late Midshipman of the Niagara, was sworn. 

Q. Do you believe Capt. Perry's official account to be correct? 

A. I think it is. 

Q. Did the Niagara at any time during the action attempt to make off from the British fleet? 

A. No. 

Q. What was the distance from the Lawrence to the Niagara, 'when the enemy's fire commenced, and 
what distance were the Lawrence, Caledonia and Niagara from the enemy? 

A. I should say the distance was 3Q or 40 yards between the Lawrence and Niagara. The three ves- 
sels were about half or three quarters of a mile from the enemy. 

Q. What was the distance from the Lawrence to the Ca'edonia, and from the Caledonia to the Niaga- 
ra, and what d 'stance were those vessels from the enemy when 1 ordered the Caledonia to bear up and 
let me pass her? 

A. The distance was not more than 20 yards from the Lawrence to the Caledonia, and our jib-boom 
was over the Caledonia's laffrel. All were nearing the enemy, and something less than half a mile off. 

Q When CaDt. Perry came on board the Niagara, did he not find the helm up, and that vessel stand- 
ing direct for the enemy's ship Detroit? 

A. The helm was up, and we were bearing down upon the enemy. The foresail was set for that pur- 

CL By the Court— Did Capt. Elliott Ho all in his power to close in with the Lawrence, when she was 
overpowered by the enemy's vessels firing into her? 

A. I believe he did. 

q. Did he ret up in time to afford her relief ? 

A. She was nearlv disabled, but still firing when he got up. 

Q. Was Capt. Elliott's conduct the action, that of a good officer in your judgment? 

A. It was 

CL Did you observe any indication of an intention on his part to withdraw from the enemy, at the 
time the Lawrence was disabled? 

A. No: he appeared to be anxious to close in. 

Q. By Captain Elliott— Did the Lawrence and Caledonia, at any time during the action, run down 
within musket shot of the enemy and leave the Niagara firing at the enemy's smaller vessels atja distance? 

A. No. We were close to the Caledonia during the whole action, till she was ordered out of the way 
in order to let us pass to the assistance of the commodore. 

Mr. Tatem, Master's mate on board the Niagara, was sworn. 

Q Bv the Judge Advocate— Did Captain Elliott do all in his power to close in with the Lawrence 
when she was overpowered by the enemy's vessels firing into her? 

A. He did. 

CL Did he get up in time to afford her relief ? 

A. We were never much out of the way. We we*e immediately under the Caledonia's stern, and the 
Lawrence about the length ef the Caledonia ahead of the latter. The three brigs were in compact line. 

Q. Was Captain Elliott's conduct during the action, such as merited approbation? 

A. I thought at tbe time no man could display more zeal, gallantry and good conJuct than he did. 

Q. Did you observe any appearance of an intention on his part to withdraw from the enemy when 
the Lawrence was disabled? 

A. No; far from it. 

Q. Did the Niagara, at any time during the action, make off from the. British fleet? 

A. No. . . 

Q. Did the Lawrence and Caledonia at any time bear up, and place themselves within musket shot 
distance from the enemy, leaving the Niagara three quarters of a mile off, firing at the enemy's smaller 

A. No; until we passed the Caledonia, we were immediately under her stern. 

Q. By Capt, Elliott— What conversation pais2d between me and Captain Perry, when I returned on 
board the Niagara? 

A. I saw Capt. Perry shake hands with Capt Elliott, and heard him express his high satisfaction at 
Capt. Elliott's conduct, and attribute to him a large share of the glory of the day. 


Q. How near was Capt. Elliott to the Lawrence when passing her? ] 

A. He took very little more than room enough to pass to the windward. 

Q. Was the Niagara three quarters of a mile on the bow of the Lawrence when Capt. Perry e»me on 

A. No ; I should suppose not more than 60 or 70 yards, if that. 

Q. Was not the helm up, and the Niagara bearing down on the enemy when Capt. Perry came on 

A. Yes. 

Q Had you been an officer on hoard the Lawrence, would you have supposed there was any defi- 
ciency in the conductor Capt. Elliott in coming to tae relief of the Lawrence ? 

A. No one seeing what was going on could suppose so — for my own part, I should not. 

The Court adjourned until to-morrow morning at halt' past 9 o'clock. 

April 26tk, 1815. 

Court met pursuant to adjournment— Officers as before. 

Mr. Cummings, acting Midshipman on board the Niagara, was sworn. 

Q. By the Court— Did Capt. Elliott do all in his power to gain a nearer position to the enemy ? 5 

A. Yes; in my opinion, evpry thing that he could do. 

CL Do you believe Capt. Elliott did every thing he oug'.it to have done in the action ? 

A. Yes. 

Q,. Did the Niagara attempt to make off from the enemy's fleet during the aetion ? 

A. No. 

Q. Did the enemy's ship Queen Char'otte attempt to make off from the Niagara ? 

A. Yes ; the Queen Charlotte attempted to get away from us, and in so doing run foul of the Detroit. 
This was before Capt. Elliott left the Niagara to go on board the gun boats. 

Q. Where was the Niagara when Capt. Perry came on board of her ? and was the Lawrence at that 
time three quarters of a mi'e nearer the enemy than the Niagara ? 

A. The Niagara was lying along side the enemy's ships Queen Charlotte and Detroit. I think she 
was not more than two cables length from them. I think we were nearer the eaemy than the Law- 

Q. W hen we parsed the Lawrence, how near were we to her ? 

A. I was not looking at her, but the first time I saw her, after we passed her, she was not more than 
a quarter of a mile off. 

0.. Did the Lawrence and Caledonia, at any time during the action, bear up for the enemy, leaving 
the .Niagara standing on to windward ? 

A. No ; not that I saw. 

9.. Did Capt. EUiott order the Caledoi ia out of the 1 ne at any period of the action ? 

A. Yes ; an hour before Capt. Perry caine on board. 

Lieut. Forrest, acting Lieutenant on board the Lawrence, was sworn. 

Q Where were you stationed ? 

A. In the second division. 

Q. Have you read Capt. Perry's official letter, and does it contain a correct statement of faoti r 

A. I have just read it, and it is correct. 

Q. By the judge Advocate— What else do you know of this inquiry ? 

A. When we got within three miles of the enemy on the lOtli September, Capt. Elliott hailed ui 
concerning the (lag that was to be hoisted on board the Commodore. A flag with the motto, " Don't 
give up the ship," was hoisted. Com. Perry hailed Capt. Elliott, and told him that he (Com. P.) in- 
tended to engage the Detroit, and wished the Niagara to drop just a-stern of him. We went into ac- 
tion in that order. Signals were made from the Lawrence for each vessel to engage its opponent. 

Q. Did the Niagara attempt to make off from the British fleet at anytime during the action ? 

A. No. 

Q Do you know whether Capt. Elliott did all in his power to gam a position nearer to the enemy ? 

A. It is my opinion there might have been more sail set en the Niagaia. 

Q. Did he do every thing becoming a brave and meritorious officer in that action ? 

A. So far as I saw I believe he did. 

Q. Where was the Niagara when Com. Perry went tn board ? 

A. She was to windward of us. I suppose she was about half a mile off, but I cannot be positive. 

Q. Did you, during the action, express vour surprise that the Niagara did not close with the enemy ? 

A. Yee. 

Q, How far was the Niagara from the enemy at the time ? 

A. I do not know. I suppose from three quarters to half a mile. 

Q. Was the Niagara then engaged ? 

A. She was firing. 

Q. How near was the Lawrence to the enemy at the same time ? 
A. At point blank shot distance with a carronade. 

Q. Did the Caledonia and Lawrence, at any time during the action, bear up and ran dow» on the 
enemy, leaving the Niagara standing on ? 
A. After the action commenced, the Niagara was standing directly after us. 

Q. Are Lieuts. Edwards ;jid Smith, and Mr. Magrath, late of the Niagara, dead ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Is there any thing further relating to this inquiry, that you wish to state to the Court ? 

A. No. 

The Court being cleared, and the whole of the proceeding read over to the Court by the Judge Ad- 
vocate, the following opinion was pronounced. 
[Opinion given, page 13, of Speech.] 

I certify, that I have compared the preceding copy of a record with the original 
on file, being proceedings of a Court of Inquiry held April, 1815, and find the same 
to be correct. 


March 7, 1843 



The following official documents may be useful to those of try more western 
friends. I had hoped to meet the father of Mr. Carries, among other complainants, 
and sent him a subpoena for that purpose alone. The accompanying documents fur- 
nish both the text and the commentary to the complaints of the father of the young 
man, in relation to his;son. Being from the interior of our country myself, I have 
always been able to appreciate their situation, and have acted with uniform kindness 
and forbearance to young gentlemen introduced into the Navy from the country, and 
have successfully advocated the necessity of their greater participation in the issuing 
of appointments for the Navy. The apparent kindness of my professing friend, 
doubtless was prompted by one of a far different character, but which it will be per- 
ceived leaves the adder without its sting. 

[copy.] Navy Department, Oct. 10, 1839. 

Sir— Col. Carries has requested of this Department n copy of your !r iter transmitting the resignation 
of his son, Midshipman Carnes, duriiu' tout late command in the Mediterranean. 

I request that you will inform the Department whether you have any ohjectious to a copy of the let- 
ter being furnished as requested. 

1 am. very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. K. PAULDING. 

To Com. Jesse D. Elliott, U. S. Navy, Carlisle, Pa. 

[copy.] Carlisle, October 14, 1839. 

' Sir,— I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 10th inst., in answer to which I have to 
remark that the communications made to the Department by me, while in command of the Mediter- 
ranean Squadron, are on file, ami no longer subject to my control. So far as I may have any control over 
ihem, 1 waive all objections, and request that you will receive and place on tile the accompanying let- 
ter from the son of C»l. Carnes, the original of which is in my possession, subject to trie orders of the 
Department, if necessaryit.. be forwarded, a copy of which letter I desire may be given to Col. Carnes. 
Connected with this subject 1 will remark, that Midshipman Carnes came to the Mediterranean on 
hoard the frigate United States. Soon after the arrival ot this ship, her commander, Capt. Wilkinson, 
informed me of the embarrassed situation which this young gentleman was in on board his ship, and 
proclaimed him wholly unfit for the Navy, on account «f his total disregard to the cleanliness of his 
person. In order to make myself personally acquainted with his situation, I required him to be sent 
to me on board the Constitution. In the interview with him I learned, that he was from the western 
part of our country, somewhat unused to the hu«y scenes of a man-of-war. Communicating to me the 
unhappiness of his situation, I at once entered into his feelings, and feeling the regard of a parent for 
him, invited him on board the Constitution, and placed him under the charge of Midshipman John N. 
Maffit, my aid, who promised me his attention and kindness towards him. Sometime subsequently, 
in the name of the messmates of Mr. Carnes. Mr. Maffit called on me, and stated that he still gave no 
attention to the cleanliness of his person, and that th- midshipmen declined to mess farther with him 
on account ofthe state of his body, from the effects of ««»••«. To relieve him from further embar- 
rassment, I ordered him to the Shark, then undergoing repairs, with permission to be on shore at 
Mahon, and cleanse his person. Whilst in this state, Mr. Carnes writes me the accompanying letter, 
and his w shes were acceded to, on my part, by ordering him to the frigate United States, on the 31st 
March. 1S3~, then destined to the lower Mediterranean, with permission to return home. 

During the last winter, in the midst of the detraction and abuse that was heaped upon me. Col. 
Carnes, an entire stranger to me, addressed uii a letter from Louisville, Ky., in which 1 am informed, 
that your pn decessor showed him the letter of which he requests a copy, but upon asking for a copy, 
refused to grant it ; he therein unceremoniously denunds (ram me a withdrawal of that letter from the 
files of the D- partment. 

A proper regard for the station I hold in the Navy, as well as out of it, forbids me from treating his 
letter otherwise than with silence. 

Previous to the meeting of the recent Court of Inquiry, at Philadelphia, a subpoena was issued by 
the Judge Advocate tor the attendance of Mr. Carnes; then 1 was prepared with all the proof necessary 
for the explanations, but he failed to attend. 

lam, very respectfully, vour ob't serv't, 


To the Hon. J. K. Paulding, S. N. 

[copy.] Port Maho?i Navy-Yard, March. 19. 

Sir,— If you will allow me to take passage to Gibraltar in the Frigate United States, I pledge you my 
word of honor that eight days alter my arrival in the United States I will resign my appointment. 

I have no means of defraying my expenses, or|I would resign before this time. This I ask not for 
my self, but for the liulior and feelings of my parents. I have no friends to look to. My feelings are so 
affected that I do not know what course to pursue or how to act. I kuo* , sir, that my conduct has not 
warranted the kindness yon have exhibited toward* me; but for the grey hairs of my poor father, do not 
deny what I have requested. He shall be made acquainted wiui all; and I leel assured he will embiace 
you for the kind feelings of forbearance that you have manifested towards his unfortunate son. 

I am, sir, very' respectfully, your obedient servant, WM. H. CARNES, U. S. N. 

To J. D. Elliott , commanding U. S. Naval Forces in the Mediterranean. 

I do certify that the above is a tru» copy ofthe original as in the hands of Com. Elliott. 


SPCL E 353.1 E4 E4^ 

C. 1 

3 9157 00154676 4 




£4 £47