John Morgan (8/19)
Colonel Morgan (8/19)
Thomas Morgan (8/19)
Jacob Allbright (8/19)
William Love (8/19)
Dudley Woodbridge (8/19)
General John Morgan was then sworn, and gave the following testimony:
Some time in August last, about this time twelve month, my father put a letter into my hands, signed Aaron Burr, in which he said that himself and Colonel Dupiester would dine with him the following day. My father requested me and my brother to go and meet Colonel Burr, which we did about seven miles distant. After a few words of general conversation Colonel Burr observed to me that the union of the states could not possibly last; and that a separation of the states must ensue as a natural consequence in four or five years. Colonel Burr made many inquiries of me relative to the county of Washington; particularly the state of its militia, its strength, arms, accoutrements, and the character of its officers. These conversations continued some time, besides other things, which I cannot recollect because I did not expect to be called upon in this way. After traveling some miles we met one of my workmen, a well-looking young man Colonel Burr said he wished he had ten thousand such fellows. At my father's table, during dinner, Colonel Burr again observed that the separation of the Union must take place inevitably in less than five years Shall I give the answers that were made?
Mr Wirt -- Perhaps it may serve to connect your narrative better
Morgan-- I recollect that it was my father who answered him, God forbid? Colonel Burr, in the course of conversation at the dinner table, observed that with two hundred men he could drive the president and congress into the Potomac, and with four or five hundred he could take possession of the city of New York. After dinner he walked with me to my brother's, about one mile distant, and in the course of the walk spoke of military men, and asked me if either of my brothers had a military turn? He said he should like to see my brother George at the head of a corps of grenadiers; he was a fine, stout-looking fellow. These circumstances induced me to speak to my father; I warned him to beware of Colonel Burr, and told him that in the course of that night Colonel Burr would attempt to have an interview with him, and would make a requisition of my brother Tom to go with him, and that I suspected something was going on, but what I did not know. The next morning I rode with Colonel Burr to the town of Washington, about nine or ten miles. We had a good deal of conversation; principally on military affairs, on the state of the militia, the necessity of attending to military discipline He told me the effect it had in New York; that in New York the militia were in good order, which was brought about by the influence and exertions of a single individual (Colonel Swartwout). Colonel Burr asked me if I thought I could raise a regiment in Washington county, or whether I could raise one with more facility in New Jersey.
Mr Wirt -- You have lived in New Jersey?
Morgan-- Yes. At Washington we took a walk, Colonel Burr, Colonel Dupiester and myself, down the town; and I pointed out to him the house where Mr Bradford lived, who had been at the head of the western insurrection. He inquired about Mr Bradford. (He was at Baton Rouge). I told him his son was in town, and Colonel Burr expressed a wish to see him. Colonel Burr mentioned to me that he had met with several who had been concerned in the western insurrection, and particularly a major in the Northwestern Territory, (whose name I do not recollect,) who had told him that if he was ever engaged in another business of the kind, he pledged himself it should not end without bloodshed. He said that he was a fine fellow. It was on these circumstances that I advised my father to apprise the president of the United States that something was going on.
Mr Hay -- Which way did he go?
Morgan-- I saw him leave Washington for Wheeling.
Mr Wirt -- Were the separation of the Union and military affairs the predominant subject of his conversations?
Morgan-- Our conversation was very general and mixed, never very long; but these seemed to be the leading subjects.
Mr Hay -- Do you recollect anything he said about Bradford's qualifications for conducting such an enterprise?
Morgan-- I recollect it well He said that Bradford was very incompetent to such an undertaking; and that in such a case there ought to be the utmost confidence in the leader.
Mr Wirt -- At what time in the month of August was this visit?
Morgan-- Somewhere between the 20th and 25th.
Mr Hay -- Perhaps the date of this letter (from the prisoner to your father) may show. This letter is dated on the 21st.
Mr Parker (one of the jury) Did he approve or condemn that sentiment of the major's which you have just quoted?
Morgan-- I do not recollect.
Parker-- Did he make any further remarks respecting him?
Morgan--He only said that he was a
fine fellow, or words to that effect; that he was very fit
Mr Burr -- You spoke of a letter from me to your father. Do you know whether he wrote me, some time before, a letter of invitation to his house?
Morgan--Yes; he had written about a
year before to you to Pittsburgh. That letter is yet
Mr Burr-- Do you remember that it was communicated to me and that that was the cause of my coming to visit him?
Morgan-- Not by myself or my brother, in my hearing.
Mr Burr-- Do you remember the manner in which I introduced the subject you allude to? Was it in the course of a lively conversation? Was there anything very serious in it?
Morgan-- You only mentioned it in a lively or careless manner.
Mr Burr-- Did your father communicate to you, next morning, our night's conversation?
Mr Burr-- Before we rode?
Mr Burr-- Do you recollect of my having made several inquiries, also, about the seminaries of learning, and of one that was projected in your neighborhood, and of my suggesting the necessity of encouraging it?
Morgan-- You spoke much, too, on that subject.
Mr Burr-- Did I seem to know anything of Bradford before you told me?
Morgan-- You seemed to know a good deal about the insurrection.
Mr Burr-- Did you not tell me that Bradford was a noisy fellow?
Morgan-- I did not. I have
no objections to give my opinion of Mr Bradford/ I mentioned
Mr Burr-- Did I seem to know
that Bradford lived at Washington before you mentioned it
Morgan-- You did not seem to know it.
Mr Burr-- Who were at dinner at your father's?
Morgan-- My father, mother, wife,
sister, Colonel Dupiester, Mr T Ewell, and my brother
Col. Morgan-- There has been a long acquaintance between Colonel
Burr and myself. He had introduced to my notice two of his nephews
by the name of Pollock, and a third by the name of Edwards, Pierrepont
Edward's son. I had received many civilities from Colonel Burr, and
many civil letters from him, from New York, in consequence of my civilities
to those gentlemen. After these things had passed I had formed such
an attachment to him that I never should have forgotten it had not this
late business taken place. About three
[Here Mr. Hay handed the letter to Colonel Morgan, who said that the letter was dated on the 21st, and that he had not for some time seen it, as he had enclosed it to the president of the United States as introductory to his communication to him.]
This letter was handed to me by a man who called himself Count Willie,
one of his attendants. I believe my son did not call on me that evening,
but next morning I informed him that from my great affection for Colonel
Burr, if I was able, I should certainly go and meet Colonel Burr; and I
requested him and his brother to do it, with a letter of introduction,
explanatory of their names and their intention. What conversation
took place between him and my son I know not. Colonel Burr mentioned
to me in conversation Colonel Dupiester as one of the first military characters
of the age. I shall pass over the conversation and incidents during
dinner. After dinner I spoke of our fine country. I observed
that when I first went there, there was not a single family between the
Allegany mountains and the Ohio; and that by and by we should have congress
sitting in this neighborhood or at Pittsburg. We were allowed to
sport these things over a glass of wine: "No, never," said Colonel Burr,
"for in less than five years you will be totally divided from the Atlantic
states." The colonel entered into some arguments to prove why it would
and must be so. The first reason was, the produce of the sale of
the western lands being carried to the Atlantic states, and that the people
to the west should not be
Mr. Wirt. -- Who started that subject?
Col. Morgan-- Colonel Burr started it. I don't recollect saying anything on the subject, but began to think that all was not right. He said that with two hundred men he could drive congress, with the president at its head, into the river Potomac, or that it might be done; and he said with five hundred men he could take possession of New York. He appealed to Colonel Dupiester if it could not be done; he nodded assent. There was a reply made to this by one of my sons, that he would be damned if they could take our little town of Cannonsburg with the force. Some short time after this Colonel Burr went out from the dining-room to the passage, and beckoned to my son Thomas. What their conversation was I cannot say. Soon after a walk was proposed to my son's mill, and the company went. When they returned, one (or both of my sons) came to caution me, and said, "You may depend upon it Colonel Burr will this night open himself to you. He wants Tom to go with him." After the usual conversation Colonel Burr went up stairs, and, as I thought, to go to bed. Mrs. Morgan was reading to me, (as is usual when the family have retired,) when about eleven o'clock, and after I had supposed he had been an hour in bed, she told me that Colonel Burr was coming down, and as she had heard my son's conversation, she added, "You'll have it now." Colonel Burr came down with a candle in his hand. Mrs. Morgan immediately retired. The colonel took his seat by me. He drew from his pocket a book. I suppose it was a memorandum book. After looking at it he asked me if I knew a Mr. Vigo, of Fort Vincent, a Spaniard. I replied, yes, I knew him; I had reasons to know him. One was, that I had reasons to believe that he was deeply involved in the British conspiracy in 1788, as I supposed, the object of which was to separate the states, and which General Neville and myself had suppressed. I called it a nefarious thing to aim at the division of the states. I was careful to put great emphasis on the word "nefarious." Colonel Burr, finding what kind of men he had to deal with, suddenly stopped, thrust into his pocket the book, which I saw had blank leaves in it, and retired to bed. I believe I was pretty well understood. The next morning Colonel Burr and Colonel Dupiester went off before breakfast, without my expecting it, in company with my son, and from that time to this I have not seen him but in this place. I well remember some explanatory circumstances. My son agreed with me that I should apprise the president of our impressions, and point out a mode by which Colonel Burr might be followed, step by step.
Mr. MacRae. -- After your son's observation about the town of
Cannonsburg and the subsequent
Col. Morgan-- He said, "keep yourself on this side of the mountain,
and you'll never be disturbed;" by which I understood that there was an
attempt to be made to effect a disunion. There is one more circumstance
which I must state to the court. The Sunday after, the judge of our
circuit court dined with me. I requested him to mention the circumstances
to General Neville, and invited him to come the following Sunday to dinner
Mr. Burr. -- What sort of a book was the one I had in my hand?
Col. Morgan-- It was a small book like this. (A pocket-book.)
Mr. Burr. Was it bound?
Col. Morgan-- It was not so large as this: I do not recollect whether it was bound, as it would not be very polite in me to take particular notice of such things when gentlemen are at my own house.
Mr. Burr. When you spoke of a nefarious plan, to what transaction did you allude?
Col. Morgan-- To Vigo's plan, which I conceived was intended to dissever the Union.
Mr. Burr. Who were present when Judge Tilghman saw you?
Col. Morgan-- General Neville, and Judge Roberts and my son.
Mr. Burr. Was there any other from Pittsburg?
Col. Morgan-- None.
Mr. Burr. Your conversation at dinner, then, was jocular about the moving of congress to Pittsburg. Was not part of the conversation jocular?
Col. Morgan-- My manner might have been jocular, but not my meaning.
Mr. Burr. Did you not once live on the Mississippi, or go to that country with a design to settle there?
Col. Morgan-- I did, with the approbation of my country, in order to take up and distribute lands to all my countrymen to the west of the Mississippi.
Mr. Burr. Did you acquire any lands there?
Col. Morgan-- I am told I have a right to some lands there.
Mr. Burr. Where was it that you lived on the Mississippi?
Col. Morgan-- At New Madrid.
Mr. Burr. On which side of the Mississippi?
Col. Morgan-- The west.
Mr. Burr. In the Spanish territories?
Col. Morgan-- With the approbation of the Spanish government.
Mr. Burr. How long did you live there?
Col. Morgan-- About forty days. I went from that place to New Orleans, where I detected a British spy.
Mr. Burr. In what year?
Col. Morgan-- In 1788.
Thomas Morgan was sworn.
Thomas Morgan-- On the evening of the
21st of August, my father received a letter from Pittsburg by the hands
of some person, the signature of which was Aaron Burr.
In that letter the writer communicated his intention of dining with my
father on the following day; he also mentioned that he should take the
liberty of introducing a friend. My father requested my brother and
myself to meet him, which we accordingly did. Nothing of importance occurred
during our ride in my presence. Colonel Burr rode generally with
my brother; Colonel Dupiester was often with myself, and sometimes we were
promiscuously together. Whilst we were at and after dinner Colonel
Burr emphatically, as I thought confidently, and with great earnestness,
said that we (meaning the people of the West) would be separated in five
years from the Atlantic states, the Allegany mountains to be the line of
division. He said that great numbers were not necessary to execute
great military deeds; all that was wanting was a leader in whom they could
place confidence, and who they believed could carry them through.
This conversation occurred during dinner. He said that with five
hundred men New York could be taken, and that with two hundred congress
could be driven into the Potomac river. To the last observation,
my brother, I think, ndignantly replied, "By God! sir, with that
force you cannot take our little town of Cannonsburg." Colonel Burr's reply
to this observation was, "Confine yourself to this side of the mountain,
and I'll not contradict you," or words to that effect. Colonel Burr
withdrew from the room where we dined, and on reaching the door leading
into the entry invited me, by a nod, to go with him. When we had
arrived at the back door of the entry, out of hearing of any other person,
Colonel Burr inquired what my pursuits were. I informed him that
I was studying the law. He then said he was sure I could not find
Mr. Burr-- Had you ever spoken to me before?
Thomas Morgan-- Never.
Mr. Burr-- Did you not mention, with some complaints, the neglect which your education had received?
Thomas Morgan-- No.
Mr. Burr-- Did you not complain about wasting your time?
Thomas Morgan-- I recollect nothing on that subject, but your remark that I could not surely find employment for either body or mind.
Mr. Wirt. -- Do you recollect your answer to Colonel Burr's observation that he would like to see you on your way with him?
Thomas Morgan-- I do not recollect except what I have stated already. Here our conversation ended.
Mr. Hay. -- Do you recollect, when you said that your liking a military life would depend on the object or cause in which you were engaged, whether anything more was said by Colonel Burr?
Thomas Morgan-- No.
Examination of Jacob Allbright:
Mr. Hay. -- Our object is to prove by his testimony the actual assemblage of men on Blennerhassett's Island, and it goes, of course, to prove directly the overt act.
Jacob Allbright-- The first I knew of this business was, I was hired on the island to help to build a kiln for drying corn; and after working some time, Mrs. Blennerhassett told me that Mr.Blennerhassett and Colonel Burr were going to lay in provisions for an army for a year. I went to the mill where I carried the corn to be ground after it had been dried. I worked four weeks on that business on the island. Last fall, (or in September,) after Blennerhassett had come home, (he had been promising me cash for some time,) I stepped up to him. He had no money at the time, but would pay me next day, or soon. Says he, "Mr. Allbright, you are a Dutchman." But he asked me first and foremost, whether I would not join with him and go down the river. I told him I did not know what they were upon; and he said, "Mr. Allbright, we are going to settle a new country." And I gave him an answer that I would not like to leave my family. He said he did not want any families to go along with him. Then he said to me, "You are a Dutchman, and a common man; and as the Dutch are apt to be scared by high men, if you'll go to New Lancaster, where the Dutch live, and get me twenty or thirty to go with us, I will give you as many dollars." New Lancaster was some distance off. I went home then, and gave him no answer upon that. In a few days after the boats came and landed at the island. The snow was about two or three inches deep, and I went out a hunting. I was on the Ohio side; I met two men; I knew they belonged to the boats, but I wanted to find out; and they asked me whether I had not given my consent to go along with Blennerhassett down the river. As we got into a conversation together they named themselves Colonel Burr's men, belonging to the boats landed at the island. When they asked me whether I had not consented to go down with Blennerhassett, I put a question to them. I told them I did not know what they were about; and one of the gentlement told me they were going to take a silver mine from the Spanish. I asked the gentlemen whether they would not allow that this would raise war with America. They replied, no. These were only a few men, and if they went with a good army they would give up the country and nothing more said about it. I had all this conversation with the two men. These men showed me what fine rifles they had, going down the river with them. Then I went to the island and Blennerhassett paid me off in Kentucky notes. People, however, did not like these notes very well, and I went over to the bank at Kanawha to change them. I got two of the notes changed, and one, a ten dollar note, was returned to my hand, for which I wished to get silver from Blennerhassett. I went to the island the day the proclamation came out. But before I went to Blennerhassett's house I heard he was not at home, but at Marietta. I went on the Virginia side, where I met three other men belonging to the boats, with three complete rifles. They made a call upon me to take them to the island in my canoe, and I accepted (excepted or refused) to it, but afterwards I carried the third man, who stood close by my canoe, over to the island. After being some time on the island, I went down to the four boats. Blennerhassett was not at home yet, and I met some of the boat people shooting at a mark. They had a fire between the bank and boats. I saw this in the daytime.
Mr. Hay. -- How many boats were there?
Albright-- Four. I came up to him for
something, and he told him, "Don't trouble me, I have trouble enough already."
He went up to his chamber and I saw no more of him. I asked an old
gentlemen who was there, and with whom I was well acquainted, to go up
to his chamber and change my note for silver. He did go, and brought
me silver. By and by I heard that they were going to start
that night. Thinks I, "I'll see the end of it." This was the night
of the very day that Blennerhassett got back from Marietta. He got
back before night. When night came on I was among the men, and also
in the kitchen, and saw the boatmen running bullets. One of them
spoke out to the others, "Boys, let's mould as many bullets as we can fire
twelve rounds." After that I saw no more till after twelve o'clock at night.
Then Blennerhassett came down from the chamber and called up some of his
servants; he had four or five trunks. They were not trusty hands
enough to carry them to the boats, and some person called after my name,
and asked me to help them, and I carried one of the trunks and moved along
with them. When we got down, some person, I don't particularly know
who, but think it was Blennerhassett himself, asked me to stand by
the trunks till they were put in the boats. When the last of them
went off I saw men standing in a circle on the shore. I went up to
them; perhaps they were five or six rods from me. The first thing
that I noticed was their laying plans, and consulting how Blennerhassett
and Comfort Tyler should get safe by Gallipolis. One Nahum Bent was
called forward, and when he came Blennerhassett asked him whether he had
not two smart horses. Nahum Bent answered, no; he had but one.
Then Blennerhassett told him to go to Captain Dana and get his sorrel horse;
and Nahum Bent told him that the sorrel horse had no shoes on; and Blennerhassett
said the roads were soft and would
Mr. Hay-- All?
Albright-- All but one, who was a doctor. All belonging to the boats had some kind of arms. Some of the boats were on the shore and some not.
Mr. Hay. -- How many men were there in all?
Albright-- About twenty or thirty; I did not, however, count them. Every man belonging to the boats that I took notice of had arms.
Mr. Coleman (one of the jury.) What day, month, or year, was this?
Albright-- In the fall of the year. I don't recollect the month or particular time, but there was snow on the ground.
Mr. Hay. -- Do you recollect whether it snows in September?
Albright-- I do not know.
Mr. Sheppard (one of the jury.) Was Tupper a magistrate or officer?
Albright-- I know not.
Mr. Sheppard-- Where had Blennerhassett been?
Albright-- In Kentucky.
Mr. Wirt-- Had you seen Colonel Burr on the island?
Mr. Wirt-- Was he there before Blennerhassett went to Kentucky?
Albright-- He was.
Mr. Wirt-- Did you speak of the boats under the command of Tyler?
Albright-- I did.
Mr. Wirt-- Did the boats quit the island at the time of hearing about the proclamation?
Mr. Wirt-- Did the Wood county militia go there next day?
Mr. Parker (one of jury.) Did you hear Peter Taylor give advice?
Albright-- I did not.
Mr. Parker-- Did you see Peter Taylor converse with Blennerhassett that night?
Albright-- I do not recollect; I was busy about the boats.
Mr. Parker-- How long did Aaron Burr remain on the island?
Albright-- I do not recollect.
Mr. Parker-- How long had he been there before the departure of the boats?
[To this question he first answered that he did not know, and that Mr. Burr never returned back to the island; but after some reflection he said that he had been there about six weeks before the departure of the boats.]
Mr. Sheppard (one of the jury.) How long was Blennerhassett absent?
Albright-- I don't know. I did not live on the island.
Mr. Burr-- Was that Mr. Tupper called General Tupper?
Albright-- He was.
Mr. Burr-- Did you know General Tupper?
Mr. Burr-- Is that the gentleman? (pointing to General Tupper, who was present in court.)
Mr. Burr-- When the muskets were levelled at him, did they seem to have a mind to hurt him?
Albright-- Yes. A gentleman near me said, "I'd as lieve shoot as not."
Mr. Burr. -- You said differently on a former occasion. Don't you recollect making a statement in which nothing was said about levelling guns at him, and that it looked like exercising?
Albright-- I do not.
Mr. Burr. -- Have you not been examined before?
Mr. Burr-- By whom?
Albright-- By Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Burr-- Had he not printed questions in his hand?
Albright-- He had a paper in his hand.
Mr. Burr-- Did he set down your answers?
Mr. Burr-- How long after the guns were pointed at General Tupper before the men went to their boats?
Albright-- I do not recollect. Anything I am not certain of I cannot speak to.
Mr. Burr-- Was Mrs. Blennerhassett there when the guns were pointed?
Mr. Burr-- Was Tupper inside of the circle?
Mr. Burr--.Was she too?
Albright-- I don't recollect.
Mr. Burr-- Did you see Mr. Woodbridge there?
Albright-- I don't know him. He lived in the state of Ohio.
Mr. Burr-- How long did you work with Blennerhassett?
Albright-- Six weeks.
Mr. Burr-- At what time was it you saw me there?
Albright-- I do not recollect.
Mr. Burr-- The counsel for the United States know, I presume, this circumstance, and have testimony to ascertain it.
Mr. Hay. -- We have not, as far as I am informed.
Mr. Burr. -- If they have no objection, I will state when I was on the island.
Mr. Hay said he had not. Mr. Burr then said that it was on the last day of August and the first of September that he was on the island.
Mr. Burr-- Were the boats in the stream, or close to the land, when General Tupper wished them good luck?
Albright-- In shore.
Mr. Anthony (one of the jury.) Did you see any powder?
Mr. Hay. -- Were you in the boats?
Albright-- I was not.
Mr. Burr. -- Where does General Tupper live?
Albright-- In Marietta.
Mr. Burr-- Does he not belong to the state of Ohio?
Mr. Burr-- When did you first know him?
Albright-- Last fall.
Mr. Parker-- Where did you live before you went to work on the island?
Albright-- About a mile from the island.
[Mr. Burr then asked the clerk for the statement which he had taken of Allbright's testimony, when it was submitted to the court on a former occasion, on the motion for binding himself in a higher bail. The clerk handed him the copy, and the prisoner proceeded with the examination.]
Mr. Burr-- You said before that the men who raised their muskets against General Tupper were not in earnest?
Albright-- That was a piece of my opinion. I did not know whether they were in earnest, as there was no quarrel among them, and no firing afterwards.
Mr. Carrington (one of the jury), reminded
him of an expression of one of the party, "I had as lieve
Albright-- There were seven or eight who had guns, and there were other arms; but there might be more men than guns.
Mr. Burr-- How many were in the circle?
Albright-- I did not count them.
Mr. Burr-- What kind of guns had they?
Albright-- Rifles and shot guns.
Mr. Burr-- Did you see any guns with bayonets?
Albright-- I saw none.
Mr. MacRae. -- When did you see most arms? in the day, or in the night?
Albright-- I saw more arms in the day; but it was in the night that I saw most armed men.
Mr. Parker (one of the jury.) Why did you think that all of them had arms?
Albright-- Because I was with them almost all night. In the day I saw some of them shooting at marks, and I saw other arms at that time lying upon the beach.
Mr. Wickham. -- Did you see them all with arms at once?
Mr. Wickham-- How many arms did you see in the whole, or at any one time and place together?
Albright-- I cannot tell.
Mr. Wickham-- Did you know the men who had arms?
Albright-- I did not.
Mr. Wickham-- Did you know the names of the other men?
Mr. Wickham--Would you know any of them if you saw them?
Albright-- I would not. They are all strangers to me.
Mr. Wickham--How could you distinguish the arms seen in the daytime from those seen late in the evening, or at night?
Albright-- I cannot answer.
Mr. Wickham-- How, then, are you certain that you did not see the same arms at different times, in the hands of different persons?
To this question he made no answer.
William Love was sworn.
Mr. Hay-- Were you on Blennerhassett's Island?
Love-- Yes; but I was not there at the time when Colonel Tyler's boats arrived there. I was then at Marietta; and it was on Sunday that I went down in a skiff with two barrels of salt.
Mr. Hay-- How many boats were at the island?
Mr. Hay--How many men?
Love-- I cannot tell you, but I suppose about betwixt twenty and twenty-five belonging to Colonel Tyler's boats. When I arrived on the island, Blennerhassett met me.
Mr. Hay-- Did you see any arms?
Love-- I saw the men and rifles. I know that Mr. Blennerhassett took away with him one brace of horse pistols, a brace of pocket pistols, and a dirk. Some fusees were put in the boat, but not more than three or four, all belonging to him.
Mr. Hay-- And what arms had Tyler's men?
Love-- Pistols, dirks and rifles, they brought there, but all were not armed with rifles. I know not whether they were armed with different things. Some of the men had guns, some had dirks. Being, as how, Mr. Blennerhassett's servant, that is, his groom, I went down the river with him.
Mr. Hay-- Did you see Taylor and Allbright there?
Love-- I knew Peter Taylor very well. I saw him there the morning of the day I went away, and I saw Allbright also. I saw Mr. Woodbridge, too.
Mr. Hay-- What time did you set sail?
Love-- We were the last to embark, and we started between twelve and one, as well as I can recollect. We parted with General Tupper in the greatest friendship, so I understood from others. I do not know that I saw him. I was the last man who went into the boat.
Mr. Hay-- Did you see the prisoner on the island?
Love-- I never saw Colonel Burr on the island. I first saw him at Natchez about two and a half years ago.
Mr. Hay-- What took place after you left the island?
Love-- That night was very cold. The next morning we stopped and made fires. Mr.Blennerhassett and Colonel Tyler went ashore and called the company together; and the best I could make out was, I understood that the governor of Ohio had uttered state warrants against Mr. Blennerhassett and Tyler, and that they wanted to make their escape as fast as possible. I went down with the party to Bayou Pierre, where --
[Mr. Burr expressed a wish that the attention of the witness should be at present confined to thetransactions on the island. He said that gentlemen ought to confine themselves to evidence of the overt act; that they would submit the question to the court; that it would be too late to discuss the question whether the evidence ought to be submitted to the jury, after it should have been all heard.]
Mr. Martin. -- Gentlemen had better confine themselves to facts within the district of Virginia. When they travel beyond the district, we shall have some important questions to bring forward. We shall object to the production of such evidence.
Mr. Hay acquiesced for the present in this arrangement.
Mr. Burr-- Were not some of Mr. Blennerhassett's clothes put up in the boats?
Mr. Burr-- Did you not insist in putting those things in the boats?
Mr. Burr-- Were not his books put in boxes and trunks?
Love-- None that I ever saw.
Mr. Burr-- How long had you lived with Blennerhassett?
Love-- Ten or twelve days before we started.
Mr. Burr-- How many guns had the party?
Love-- I do not know; many of the young men that came down with Tyler were out a gunning.
Mr. Burr-- Did you see anything like military appearance?
Love-- The men were in a state of preparation to defend themselves, because they expected people from the mouth of Kenahwa, to attack Blennerhassett and the island. And to the best of my opinion, they did not mean to be killed without some return of the shot. It was said at Marietta that the people of Kentucky were to attack them, and I suppose they would have done their best to defend themselves. I should be sorry if a man slapped me on my face without returning the blow.
Mr. Burr-- Was there no disturbance among the party on the island?
Love-- None; I did not part with my friends in England more comfortably than in parting with the people on the island.
Mr. Burr-- Were they in fear of being attacked when they first met together?
Love-- Not till Tyler's boats came down. I do not recollect to have seen General Tupper there.
Mr. Parker (one of the jury.) Did you ever see all the men with arms?
Love-- I cannot say. When I got to the mouth of Cumberland river, I saw a chest of arms opened.
Mr. MacRae. -- Were any chests of arms put into the boats when you left the island?
Love-- Not that I know. They might or might not have been put on board without my seeing them. Many things were put into the boats before I got in.
Mr. Parker (one of the jury.) Had you no conversation with Blennerhassett about the expedition?
Love-- Only that if I did not choose to go with him, he would recommend me to some travelling gentleman as a servant, or if I went to the Washita, he would make me a present of a piece of land.
Mr. Burr-- Did you see any arms but those belonging to Blennerhassett?
Love-- I did not.
Mr. Burr-- Did you see any guns presented?
Love-- I did not.
Mr. Burr-- Were they mostly young gentlemen who came in the boats?
Love-- They looked like young gentlemen in that country.
Mr. Wirt. -- Why did they go away in the night?
Love-- They were afraid of being taken by warrants issued by the governor of Ohio.
Mr. MacRae. -- Was the chest which you saw opened at the mouth of Cumberland the same as those that you saw go from the island?
Mr. MacRae-- What did you think of this business?
Love-- I understood the object of the expedition was to settle Washita lands.
Mr. Hay-- What kind of looking men were they?
Love-- They looked like gentlemen, such as live upon their own property.
Mr. Hay-- Did they look like men used to work?
Love-- They did not.
Mr. Hay-- When did you see Mr. Blennerhassett that night down at the beach?
Love-- Late that night; it was a very cold night, raining and freezing; it was generally expected that the people would come and destroy Blennerhassett's house
Mr. Parker (one of the jurymen.) Did you see any bullets run?
Love-- Yes; but I do not know how many. I was a servant in the house, but could not mind my own business and other people's too.
Dudley Woodbridge was sworn.
Mr. Hay-- Were you on the island when the boats left it?
Woodbridge-- I slept there that night.
Mr. Wirt. -- What party do you mean?
Woodbridge-- I allude to the four boats with Comfort Tyler, Mr. Smith, and others.
Mr. Hay-- Were you at the boats?
Woodbridge-- I passed them about dusk.
Mr. Hay-- Did you see any of the men?
Woodbridge-- I came to the island about dusk. I saw five or six standing about the boats. I went directly up from the landing to the house, and saw fifteen or twenty men in one of the rooms of Mr. Blennerhassett's house.
Mr. Hay-- Had they any arms in their hands when you saw them?
Woodbridge-- I recollect to have seen no arms but two pairs of pistols on the bureau of the room where I slept, which were gone in the morning.
Mr. Hay. -- Had you no communication with Mr. Burr or Mr. Blennerhassett about this expedition? Will you inform us what you know on this subject?
Woodbridge-- About the beginning of September or last of August, Mr. Blennerhassett, (with whom I had been connected in commercial business for six or eight years past, under the firm of Dudley Woodbridge and Company,) called with Colonel Burr at our counting-house at Marietta. Mr. Blennerhassett observed that Colonel Burr wished us to purchase a quantity of provisions. I am not positive that Mr. Burr was present when he first mentioned the subject, but I think he was. Colonel Burr then went into an inquiry about the prices of different kinds of provisions, and the expense of boats best calculated to carry provisions up and down the river. After his making a number of inquiries and receiving such information as I could give him, he left a memorandum of such provisions as he wanted, and of the boats which he wished to have built. They were to be on the Schenectady model, such as are used on the Mohawk river. The number ordered was fifteen; only eleven were completed.
Mr. Hay-- What were their dimensions?
Woodbridge-- Principally ten feet wide and forty feet long; five were to be ten feet longer.
Mr. Hay-- What provisions were ordered?
Woodbridge-- Pork, flour, whisky, bacon, and kilndried meal; but no article was purchased but pork, the prices in our market being much higher than those limited in the memorandum. I immediately made a contract with Colonel Barker to build the boats, and proceeded to make arrangements for purchasing provisions. The boats were built up the Muskingum, about seven miles above Marietta, and were to be delivered on the 9th of December. On that morning, when they were to be brought down, (the 9th of December,) I saw six or eight armed men of the militia going to take possession of the boats. I set off for Blennerhassett's Island, but met Mr. Blennerhassett, Comfort Tyler, Mr. Smith, and some young men from Belpre, going up to take down the boats. I informed them of the proceedings at Marietta, and advised Mr. Blennerhassett not to go up. After some consultation, he determined not to go up, and returned to the island. I went back to Marietta to get some money and papers, and returned that evening to the island, after getting the papers.
Mr. Hay. -- On what terms was the contract for the boats made?
Woodbridge-- I made the contract for the boats with Colonel Burr, and agreed to take a draft on New York. When Mr. Blennerhassett handed me the draft, I expressed my dissatisfaction at the long sight at which it was drawn, (being ninety days,) observing that it would not become due until after the time in which the boats and provisions were to be delivered, and that I wished to run no hazard. Mr. Blennerhassett, with some warmth, asked me if I doubted Colonel Burr's honor. When I repeated that I wished to run no risk, he said that he would guarantee the draft, and be answerable himself, and that in the event of its not being paid I might charge it to him. The draft was drawn by Mr.Burr on Mr. Ogden, of New York. These were the boats which Smith, Tyler, Blennerhassett, and the young men, were going up to receive.
Mr. Hay. -- Do you recollect where the boats were to be delivered by the contract?
Woodbridge-- Colonel Barker undertook to bring them, but there was no contract to deliver them at any particular place.
Mr. Parker. Did you say that it was the 9th day of December that the boats were to go away?
Woodbridge-- The boats were to be delivered on the 9th, but those that were at the island went away on the 10th. When Colonel Barker was bringing them to Marietta they were taken by General Buel, as I understood, by order of the governor of Ohio.
Mr. MacRae. -- State what occurrences took place on the island.
Woodbridge-- I arrived about dusk, and immediately inquired about Mr. Blennerhassett. I stated to him that I was ready to adjust our partnership concerns, and that I had brought down the money and papers for that purpose. We went up stairs. We were two hours engaged in the business, after settling which I set off to go across the river home, and met Mr. Belknap at the shore. He asked me to go back with him -- that he had business to do. I returned with him. We went both to bed at nine o'clock at night, where I remained, and did not, as the witness Peter Taylor states, go to the shore with the party when they went off. His saying that I was there then is a mistake, as this gentleman (Mr. Belknap) can prove.
Mr. Hay. -- State to the court and
jury for whom the boats were built. Was the contract made for the
Woodbridge-- Yes; it may be so considered,
but it was not particularly specified. Mr.Blennerhassett first introduced
the subject, and Mr. Burr then spoke. As to the use for which these
boats were intended, Mr. Blennerhassett made some communications to me
respecting it. Shall I now state to the court these communications?
(He was requested to proceed.) Late in August, or early in September, Mr.
Mr. Hay. -- Do you recollect any further detail of the plan or object of the expedition?
Woodbridge-- I do not.
Mr. Hay. -- What became of the boats and the pork you purchased?
Woodbridge-- The pork was taken and sold by order of the president or government; it was sold, as I understood, by General Buel. The boats, or a part of them, were afterwards fitted out by the government for transports, to convey troops from Marietta to St. Louis.
Mr. Burr-- Do you recollect that I told you that I wanted the description of boats used in the Mohawk river; and were they not made for shoal water, and to go up the stream?
Woodbridge-- You did. The boats were to be calculated for shallow water.
Mr. Burr--You know Mr. Blennerhassett well. Was it not ridiculous for him to be engaged in a military enterprise? How far can he distinguish a man from a horse? Ten steps?
Woodbridge-- He is very near-sighted. He cannot know you from any of us, at the distance we are now from one another. He knows nothing of military affairs. I never understood that he was a military man.
Mr. Burr-- What became of his library?
Woodbridge-- Part of it was carried down by Mrs. Blennerhassett; the residue was left behind and has been since sold.
Mr. Burr-- Do you recollect when I was at Marietta? Was it not about the last of August or first of September?
Woodbridge-- I left Philadelphia about the middle of August, and on my return I saw you about the time you mention. I have never heard that you have been there since.
Mr. Burr-- What became of the draft on Mr. Ogden for two thousand dollars?
Woodbridge-- It was paid.
Mr. Burr-- What quantity of pork did you purchase for me?
Woodbridge-- About one hundred barrels.
Mr. Burr-- At what price?
Woodbridge-- It cost about twelve, and was charged at thirteen dollars per barrel.
Mr. Burr-- What became of it?
Woodbridge-- I stored it in Mr. Green's cellar, adjoining our store. It was taken and sold by General Buel, by order of the government, as already mentioned; that is, as I understood.
Mr. Burr-- Did you demand it of Mr. Green? (The answer to this question was not heard.)
Mr. Burr-- To whom did you consider the pork as belonging when seized? Whose loss was it, yours or mine?
Woodbridge-- It may hereafter become a dispute.
Mr. Burr-- What were the boats estimated to be worth?
Woodbridge-- Colonel Barker's bill for the eleven boats amounted to twelve or thirteen hundred dollars.
Mr. Martin. -- Were you at any time that evening on the water's side with Mr. or Mrs. Blennerhassett?
Woodbridge-- I was not.
Mr. Wirt. -- You were asked, sir, about Mr. Blennerhassett's military talents. Permit me to ask you what were his pecuniary resources? What was the state of his money matters?
Woodbridge-- I believe they are not as great as was generally imagined. I gave him six thousand dollars for one-half of his profits of our business. He had about three thousand dollars in stock in our company's concern. His fortune is much less than is generally understood. He had not over five or six thousand dollars in the hands of his agent at Philadelphia. His island and improvements cost about forty or fifty thousand dollars. It would not, however, sell for near that sum, except to a person of the same cast with Mr. Blennerhassett. After building his house, his property, exclusive of the island and five negroes, amounted probably to seventeen thousand dollars.
Mr. Coleman, (the juror.)-- Explain again, if you please. In what did that property consist, and how much money could he command?
Woodbridge-- He had nine thousand dollars in my hands in stock and profits already stated,and about one thousand dollars on another account, and the money in his agent's hands, besides his island and negroes.
Mr. Coleman--Had he no foreign funds?
Woodbridge-- I think he had none. They were vested in American stock some years before.
Mr. Coleman-- What was the amount of property he had in these funds?
Woodbridge-- I believe the property left him by his father amounted to twenty thousand pounds sterling, which he vested in British three per cent. stock.
Mr. Wirt. -- Is he esteemed a man of vigorous talents?
Woodbridge-- He is; and a man of literature. But it was mentioned among the people in the country that he had every kind of sense but common sense; at least he had the reputation of having more of other than of common sense.
Mr. Wirt-- What are his favorite pursuits?
Woodbridge-- Chemistry and music.
Mr. Hay. -- Was Colonel Burr to have returned to the island?
Woodbridge-- I believe so; I expected him to have returned in about two months -- the time for the delivery of the boats.
Mr. Hay. -- Had you received any money from Burr before the presentation of the draft by Blennerhassett?
Woodbridge-- The draft was at so long a sight that I objected to letting the property out of my hands till I was secured by the responsibility of Mr. Blennerhassett. The balance over the two thousand dollars (the amount of the draft on Ogden) was to be paid by Mr. Burr on his return. He was to return in two months, and to complete the payment when the property was delivered.
Mr. Hay. -- Did Mr. Blennerhassett bring you the draft?
Woodbridge-- He did; but Burr made the contract with me.
Mr. Hay. -- Do I understand you correctly
in supposing that Mr. Burr contracted to pay two thousand
Woodbridge-- You do.
Mr. Lee. -- How many acres of land are in the island?
Woodbridge--Mr. Blennerhassett owned about one hundred and eighty acres, which was about half of the island, and cost him about five thousand dollars; but with the house and all, cost him forty or fifty thousand dollars, as already observed.
Mr. Hay. -- Was not one of the boats fitted up for Mrs. Blennerhassett and family?
Woodbridge-- One of the large boats was. Mr. Blennerhassett had taken a keel boat belonging to the firm up to colonel Barker's to be fitted up for his family; but, by Colonel Barker's advice, he concluded to have one of the large boats prepared for that purpose, on account of its superior accommodation. This was accordingly done.
Mr. Hay. -- Had not the delivery of the boats been interrupted by the armed men, would they not have been delivered to Blennerhassett?
Woodbridge-- I suppose they would have been delivered at Marietta, where he would have received them.
Mr. Martin. -- Was not the contract made by Colonel Burr with your firm?
Woodbridge-- It was.
Mr. Martin--Do you understand that Colonel Burr has received any consideration for this sum of two thousand dollars thus paid?
Woodbridge-- I do not know.
Mr. Wirt. -- If the delivery of these boats had not been prevented, would they not have been delivered to Blennerhassett or Burr?
Woodbridge-- They would have been delivered to either. The company contracted for them.
Mr. Hay. -- If delivered to Mr. Blennerhassett, would you not have considered yourself as delivering them to one of Burr's associates?
Woodbridge-- I cannot say what I should have thought.
Mr.Burr. -- How came you to suppose yourself authorized to deliver the boats to Blennerhassett, since I gave the draft?
Woodbridge-- I should in any event have considered myself justified in delivering the boats to him, as he guaranteed the payment for them, and he had property to a larger amount in my hands; and besides these considerations, early in September Blennerhassett had mentioned to me his having joined Colonel Burr.
Mr. Baker. -- Did you make any stay upon the beach, on the night of their departure?
Woodbridge-- I did not, for I returned immediately to the house with Mr. Belknap.
Mr. Botts. -- Were the people peaceable on that night?
Mr. Botts. Did you hear any noise like that of war, the roaring of cannon, or the rattling of small-arms?
Mr. Wirt. -- Did you hear any alarm in the evening about the militia from the Ohio side?
Woodbridge-- There was some alarm in the evening.
Mr. Parker. Did Mr. Burr leave the island before Mr. Blennerhassett communicated to you his being joined with him?
Woodbridge-- I do not precisely recollect the time of the communication; but I knew that Blennerhassett had connected himself with him in the same enterprise, and I would therefore have delivered the boats to him.
Mr. Coleman. Was Mr. Blennerhassett's determination to go away the effect of your having told him of the armed men going to take the boats?
Woodbridge-- That information might have operated with other circumstances.
Mr. Parker. Did you see the president's proclamation on that day?
Woodbridge-- No; that was Wednesday, and it came next Friday by the mail. It was handed to me by the postmaster. I did not hear of its being sent otherwise. I might have heard of it before, but I am not absolutely certain.
Mr. MacRae. -- Did you hear anything of it before?
Woodbridge-- I do not recollect distinctly. I believe that the printer at Marietta, who had been to Pittsburg, had brought some information about a proclamation; I have some idea that he might have mentioned that he had seen it.
Mr. Hay. -- Did you hear anything of a state warrant?
Woodbridge-- No. I did hear that the legislature of the state of Ohio were sitting with closed doors, in consequence of something communicated by Mr. Graham, and that it was probable that the boats would be stopped, and that they would suppress the enterprise.
Mr. Wickham. -- Did you understand
that Blennerhassett's boats, or the people on the island, would
Woodbridge-- I did not suppose that they would go to Virginia, but that they would only stop the boats that were built pursuant to his contract up the Muskingum.
Mr. Hay. -- What was the cause of his precipitate flight? Did you hear any particular observations from any of the party on the island?
Woodbridge-- Mr. Blennerhassett told me that he would go off in three or four hours; and I heard Comfort Tyler say that he would not resist the constituted authorities, but that he would not be stopped by a mob.
Mr. Wirt. -- At the time he said so was the legislature of Ohio understood to be in session with closed doors?
Woodbridge-- It was; and I saw the militia of Wood county assembled the next day or the day after.
Mr. Burr-- Was there not some danger of being stopped by the ice if they had not gone off as soon they did?
Woodbridge-- I thought so; and that it was also hazardous for Mrs. Blennerhassett to go. Tyler was detained two days by Blennerhassett.
Mr. MacRae-- Did Blennerhassett that night communicate his apprehensions to you?
Woodbridge-- He did not.
Mr. Burr-- Were Tyler's party disorderly?
Woodbridge-- They were not.
Mr. Burr-- Did they do any mischief? Were they guilty of any misconduct?
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