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- partinent of war, the constitution, and laws. That gives me pleasure to find we coincide in those opi
he has taken upon himself, not only the exercise nions, calculated to produce it. Responsibility now of those powers delegated to congress as the sole rests where it should, on the officer issuing the order; legislative authority of the nation, and to the presi. and the principle acknowledged is calculated to indent and senate as it relates to the appointments; sure that subordination so necessary to the harmoni. but of the power which had been expressly reserv- ous movement of every part of the military ma. ed to the states in the appointment of the officers chine." of the militia. A power the more valuable to the It is to be regretted, that an officer who seemed states, because, as they had surrendered to the ge- to be so perfectly acquainted with what belonged neral government thc revenues and physical force to the duty of others, should have been so totally of the nation, they could only look to the officers of regardless of, or unconscious of his own; and while the militia as a security against the possible abuse the committee are willing to admit, that the volur. of the delegated power. The committee find the teer forces called into service by general Jackson, melancholy fact before them, that military officers, were more efficient and less expense than the milia even at this early stage of this republic, have, with. tia, had he confined himself to the usual proportion out the shawdow of authority, raised an army of at of officers, this they conceive, should not be urged least 2,500 men, and mustered them into the service as an argument in favor of employing them, or plead of the United States. Two hundred and thirty offi- in justification of the unlawful act, for if these reacers have been appointed, and their rank establish- sons be considered conclusive, and should be acquis ed, from an Indian brigadier general, down to the esced in, they will be applied with encreased force, lowest subaltern of a company. To whom were (fortified by this precedent) in all future wars; an those officers accountable for their conduct? Not to army of regulars will be considered as they really the president of the United States, for it wiil be are) more efficient and less expensive, than either found that it was not considered necessary even to the volunteers, if authorized by law, or the militia, furnish him with a list of their names; and not until and the officer at the head of such army, (acting on the payrolls were made out and payment demand. the principles before stated, and encouraged by the ed, were the persons known to the department of acquiesence of the nation) may dispense with the war. And in this place it is proper to observe, that militia altogether, and increase the regular army to general Jackson seemed to consider those officers any extent that folly and ambition may suggest; and of his own creation, competent to discharge all the all this, under the plea of necessity. The commit, functions of oilicers appointed by the authority of tee can scarcely imagine a possible case that may the general or state governments for we find five, occur in a future war, where the necessity wil: be of them detailed afterwards to set on a general less strong, than in the present. This war was waged court martial, on a trial of life and death, Might not, when the United States were at peace with all the on the same principles, general Jackson have tried, world, except this miserable undisciplined banditti condemned, and executed, any officer of the Geor- of "deluded Indians” and fugitive slaves; their whole gia militia, by the sentence of a court martial com- strength when combineel, not exceeding 1,000 mell, posed of officers created by him, and holding their opposed to whom (previous to general Jackson's assumed authority by the tenor of his will?
taking the command) and under general Caines, Your committee will dismiss this branch of the were a force of 1800 regulars and militia, besides subject by observing that consistently with the the 1500 friendly Indians, illegally subsidized by the character and genius of our government, no officer, last mentioned general; what then in this state of the however high or exalted his station, can be justified case of becomes the plea of necessity? And ifitbeac. for an infraction of the constitution. It is an offencemitted in this case to justify or palliate an act of me against the sovereignty of the nation; this sovereign- litary usurpation, the committee would anxiously inty being vested in the great body of the people. quire where it is to be disallowed or denied? And The constitution is the written expression of their here the committee, have pledged themselves faithwill, and above the control of all the public func- fully to disclose facts and impartially to draw conclutionaries combined. And when that instrument has sions, beg leave to remark, that the conduct of the þeen violated, the people alone have power to commanding general, in raising this volunteer corps, grant the indemnity for its infraction, and all that was approbated by the war department, as will ap. can be said in favor of the officer who transcends his pear by the letter of the secretary, dated the 29th constitutional powers must be taken, not in justific day of Jan. 1818, and it is but justice to the departeation of the act, but in mitigation of the enormity ment, to state, that it was not until the officers that of the offence committed. With this view of the had assisted in thus officering and organizing this subject, which they conceive to be a correct one, corps, were examined by the committee, that they the committee trave in vain sought for an excuse were apprised of the illegality of the measure; for for the commanding general. He has stated in his there is nothing to be found in general Jackson's letter to the secretary of war, assuming the power letters on this subject, to the secretary of war, of the to judge for the national legislature, that a volunteer 12th, 13th and 20th of February, 1818, from which force of mounted gun men, would be the least ex- it can be fairly inferred, that he had appointed a sinpensive and the most efficient. His duty was to gle oflicer; indeed it would seem from a fair inter. execute the orders of his superior officers, not to pretation of those letters, that the officers, and livini, disobey them; to observe and enforce the laws, not were of the regular militia of the states, and that the violate them; obedience and subordination are the only departure from his orders ty the general, w95, first and highest duties of a soldier, and no one knew | bis having called on the subordinate officers of ile better the truth of, and the necessity for, observingi militia, instead of the governor of the state of Tuthis maxim, that the officer in question. For the nessee, and his preference of mounted men to inteiro truth of this observation we have his own declara- ! try; and it will also appear froia the leiters aforesail, tion. In his letter to the secretary of war, of 20th that had the department of war, disapproved of this January, 1818, he says "your leitcr, enclosing your concluct and letermineil to countermand the order general order of the 29th ultimo, has been received; of general Jackson in raising is force, no order to like yourself, I have no other feelings to gratify, that effect, could have reached him, before he had than those connected with the public good, and it arrived at the seat of war, and of course the arhiv
might have been disbanded in sight of the enemy, It appears, however, by the conduct of the com® and the objects of the campaign thereby jeopar- manding general, that he liad, at this time, looked to dized and perhaps defeated.
different movements, for, at the time he was writing The committee will next take notice of the opera- this letter, as will be seen by the testimony of capt. tions of the army in the Floridas, whither they were Call and surgeon Bronaugh, he had despatched lieut. authorized to pursue the enemy; and connected Sands to Mobile, to forward on a train of artillery to with this authority, it was enjoined on gen. Gaines, a given point, to be ready to be made use of in re. to whom the first order to this eflect was given, that ducing Pensacola and the fort of Barrancas, should in case the eneiny took refuge under a Spanish gar- that measure be thereafter thought proper; having rison, not to attack them there, but to report the fact made these arrangements, the army marched to fort to the secretary of war; and the observance of this Gadsden, on the Appalachicola river. There, as order the committee conceive was equally obliga- stated by general Jackson, and confirmed by the tes. tory on general Jackson, who succeeded to the com-timony of colonel Butler, information was received mand; at least it must biaye clearly evinced the will | by a private letter, written from a merchant at Penof the secretary of war on that point, and how far sacola to Mr. Doyle, and shown to general Jackson, this injunction was observed, will be found by what that a number of Indians had recently visited Pensafollowed. It appears that general Jackson advanced cola, and were committing depredations on the Spa. into Florida, with a force of 1800 men, composed of nisb inbabitants, of that place and were receiving regulars, volunteers and the Georgia militia, and aid and comfort from the garrison. On the receipt afterwards, on the 1st day of April, was joined by of this intelligence, the resolution scems to have general M'Intosh and his brigade of 1500 Indians, been taken, to garrison that place with American who had been previously organized by gen. Gaines; troops; and after a march of about twenty days, hayopposed to whom it appears from the report of cap- ing met his artillery, general Jackson, with about tain Young, topagraphical engineer and other evi. 1200 men, the rest having been discharged, appeardence, the whole forces of the fugitive Seminole In- ed before Pensacola, the capital of the province, dians and runaway negroes, had they all been embo- The place was taken with scarce the sbow of resis. died could not have exceeded 900 or 1000 men, and tance. The governor had escaped, and taken refuge at no time did half that number present themselves in the fort of the Barrancas; to which place, distant to oppose his march, of course little or no resistance about six miles, the army marched, and the fortress was made.
was invested on the 25th of May; and a demand being The Mickasuky towns were first taken and des made for its surrender, and refused, the attack on the troyed; the army marched upon St. Marks, a feeble fortress was made by land and water, and after the Spanish garrison, which was surrendered -without bombardment and cannonading bad been kept up for firing a gun," and then occupied as an American a part of two days, and some lives lost, the fortress was post: the Spanish commandant liaving first by hum. surrendered, the garrison made prisoners of war, and ble entreaties, and then by a timid protest, endea- the officers of the government, civil and military, vorell to avert the measure. Here Alexander Ar- transported to the Havanna, agreeably to the terms buthnot was found, taken prisoner, and put in con- of the capitulation; which terms, general Jackson, in finement, for the purpose, as it was stated by gen. his letter of 2d June, 1818, declares, “were more fa. Jackson, "of collecting evidence to establish his vorable than a conquered enemy would have meritguilt;" and here also were taken two Indian chiefs, ed.” The civil and military government of Spain one of whom pretended to possess the spirit of pro- thus annulled, general Jackson thought it necessary phecy; they were hung without trial, and with little to abolish the revenue laws of Spain, and establish ceremony.
those of the United States as more favorable to the This being done, and St. Marks garrisoned by Ame-commerce of the United States; and for this purpose, rican troops, the army pursued their march eastward captain Gadsden was appointed collector, and by to Suwaney river, on which they found a large In-him, under the authority of gen. Jackson, that dedian village, which was consumed, and the Indians department of the new government was organized. and negroes were dispersed; after which the army | The Spanish authorities being thus put down by the returned to St. Marks, bringing with them Robert sword, both civil and military, a new government was C. Ambrister, who had been taken prisoner on their established for this newly acquired territory, the pow. march to Suwaney. During the halt of the army ers of which, both civil and military were vested in for a few days at St. Marks, a general court martial military officers. And gen. Jackson having declared was called, Arbuthnot was arraigned, found guilty, in numerous communications to the department of sentenced to suffer death, and hung.
war, that the Seminole war was closed, and the object Ambrister was tried in like manner, found guilty, of the campaign at an end, he returned to his residence and sentenced to whipping and confinement. Gen. at Nashville, state of Tennessee. · And here it would Jackson annulled the sentence and ordered him to have given the committée sincere pleasure to have be shot; and this order was executed.
stated, that the history of the campaign had closed; It appears by the testimony, that the army had ar- but facts which it becomes now their duty to report, rived at St. Marks, on their return from Suwaney, require that history to be continued. On the 7th of on the 25th of April, and on the 26th, gen. Jackson August, 1318, more than two months after his con. writes to the secretary of war, in the following man- sumation of the conquest of West and part of East mer: “I shall leave this in two or three days for fort Florida, he issued an order to general Gaines, directGadsilen, and after making all necessary arrange-ing him to take possession of St. Augustine, a strong inents for the security of the positions occupied, fortress and the capital of East Florida. A copy of and detaching a force to scour the country west of this order is subjoined to this report, and his reasons The Appalachicola, I shall proceed direct to Nash- for this measure are stated at large in the order, and ville; my presence in this country can be no longer reiterated and enforced by his letter to the secretary necessary. The Indian forces have been divided of war, dated the 10th of the same month, which and scatiered; cut off from all communications with reasons, fully and beyond the possibility of doubt, those unprincipled agents of foreign nations, who discover the motives of the commanding general have deluded them to their ruin, they have not the in all bis movements against Spain. power, if the will remains of annoying our frontier." The tendency of these measures by the conimand
ing general, seems to have been to involve the nation United States, with arms, ammunition ang supplies in a war-without her consent, and for reasons of his necessary to carry on the war. Here the comunittee own, unconnected with his military functions. would observe, that they are neither the advocates,
Your committee would be unwilling to attribute nor the apologists of Spain: there can be no doubt, improper motives, where those of a different cha- but she had by the violation of her engagements. racter could be possibly inferred, more especially, given the U. States suficient cause of war; but they when it is to affect a character, whose military fame defend the constitution, by saying that general Jackis the pride and boast of the nation; but even such son had no power to declare for make the war; that a character becomes more emiently dangerous, | neither he, nor even the president of the United when he exalts himself above the majesty of the States, had any discretion or power to judge, what laws; declares the public will, and becomes the was, or was not, cause of war; this, the constitution arbiter between the United States, and foreign na. had wisely lodged in congress. The treaty with tions. That these high and transcendent powers | Spain still existed; it was made by the constitutior, have been usurped and exercised in the present case, the supreme law of the land, and had Spain violated, is, it appears to the committee, incontrovertibly evi- on her part, every article of that treaty, still the exa dent from the facts adduced.
ecutive of the United States, who is bound to see the The constitution declares, Art cle 1, sec. 8, "con- | laws "faithfully executed,” must, in good faith togress shall have power to declare war, grant letters wards Spain, have observed on our part that treaty, of marque and reprisal, and to make rules concerning and the obligation of preserving the peace of the captures on land and water:" surely it was never nation would have remained until the treaty should designed by this provision, that a military officer, have been revoked or annulled by congress. Furshould first make war and leave it to congress af. nishing the Indians with arms, ammunition, and surterwards to declare it; this would involve an absur. Iplies, were so many violations of treaty stipulations, dity, that it is unnecessary to expose. It is sufficient and might have been considered good cause of war to say, that the executive authority of the United by congress; but of this, general Jackson was not States, and much less a subordinate officer, has 110 the judge. His duty was pointed out; it was to sub. power to change the pacific relations of the nation. due and punish the Seminole Indians, with whom
The president of the United States is bound consti. we were at war; for this purpose he was ordered to tutionally, to preserve the peace of the country, | pursue them into the territorial limits of Spain, and until congress declares it in a state of war; he can over a part of which territory, those Indians had, at only, while thus in a state of peace, use the military least, a qualified right of possession and property. forces of the nation, in three specified cases; that Under these orders no act of aggression on the Spais to execute the laws of the union; to suppress in. nish authorities could have been designed, nor can surrection, and repel invasion"-(see constitution, any such acts be justified. Spain, before she could article 1. sec. 8; also, the act for calling forth the become or be made a party to this war, must have militia, passed 28th February, 1795.) It will not merged her neutral character in that of the enemy, be pretended, that Spain had invaded the United and clearly indentified herself with the Seminole 1nStates, or that congress had declared war against dians, and by acts of open and undisguised hostility that nation, and of course the relations of peace did to general Jackson, have opposed him by physical, exist between the two countries, at the time gen. not moral force. Jackson took possession of the Spanish posses. But thie weakness of the Spanish authorities is sions in the Floridas; these facts being admitted, urged in justification of this outrage upon our conand they cannot be denied, the only question to de- stitution; and is the weakness of an independent cide is, whether the military conduct of gen. Jackson power, to disparage their neutral rights or furwas not war against Spaint and on this subject there nish pretences for a powerful neighbor, to weaken can be no room to doubt. The capital of a Spanish then further by hostile aggressions. And is it thus province is taken by the sword, a fortress is invested we are to be furnished by an American officer, with and bombarded, lives are lost, and the place surren- a justification of the dismemberment of Poland, the dered on capitulation; the terms of which are declar- capture of the Danish feet by Great Britain, and the ed “more favorable than a conquered enemy me- subjugation of Europe by Bonaparte; and shall the rited;" military officers and men, as well as those in United States be called upon to imitate the examthe civil departments of governinent, are transport- ple, or silently acquiesce and thereby subscribe to ed to the West Indies, and a new government estab- doctrines, and approve measures, that are in direct lished for the conquered country. If all these acts opposition to the repeated and invariable declara. of hostility, combined, do not constitute war, the tions of the government, given to this nation aud committee confess themselves utterly at a loss for the world, through the official medium of presidenits definition; or, if the fact be denied, the conse- tial messages, and the correspondence of all her quence of such denial will be a proof that no war public ministers, and sanctioned by all her public was made by the Seminole Indians on the United laws, on the subject of neutral rights? Will it not States, and of course, that the invasion of Florida, be said, that we have changed our national policy? was an unauthorized act of aggression on the part of Shall we not be addressed in the following language the United States. But the committee will pursue | by the nations of Europe? this subject a little further, and examine the reasons. “The time was, when the United States were also offered by the officer commanding, for taking pos. weak, she had no navy, she had no army. In those session of, and occupying the Spanish fortresses, days she was a strong advocate for neutral rights, more especially Pensacola and the Barrancas. Those anxious that free ships should make free goods; that reasons are to be found in his numerous reports to the neutral Aag of the republic should protect all the war department, and his letter to the Spanish sailing under it, ever protesting against and com officers who commanded in the different fortresses, plaining of the violation of her neutral rights, by the and are these: That Spain had not observed ber belligerents of Europe. But these times have pas. treaty stipulations with the United States, as it re. sed away, the nation has tried her strength in battle lated to the Florida Indians, and whose peaccable and found herself quite equal to the struggle; she conduct she was bound to guarantee to the U. States. has had time to strengthen her army and increase That she had funished those indians at war with the her marr; her former weakness forgotten, her former precepts abandoned, and feeling power and new act of hostility had been committed. Yet in forgetting right, she walks over a prostrate consti-| this state of peace, is a military officer directed to tution, to conquer and subdue a miserable and fee- ascertain certain facts, and on such facts being sub. ble. though neutral colony, whose very weakness stantiated to make war on a neutral colony of a na. (pleaded in excuse for the aggression) should have tion in peace and amity with the United States, thus rather constituted an appeal to a generous people disregarding not only the legislative and executive for protection.”
authorities of the United States, but setting at In this unfavorable light the committe have too naught the usages of all civilized nations, by making much reason to fear, will the civilized world view war without a previous and public deciaration.this transaction, and if sanctioned by the nation, they were this nation subject to the will of a military regret to say there will be too much reason given despot and were there no constitutional barriers 10 thus to consider it.
the inordinate exercise of military ambition, more But there are still other reasons disclosed and facts than this could scarcely have been expected. It developed. that discover the motives of the com- is with pain the committee are constrained to make manding officer, more fully then those above stated. the observations, but where the vital principles of More than two months after this campaign had end- these constitution have been violated, as they con. ed, and the Seminole war was terminated, another ceive, it would be criminal in them under the inexpedition is planned, and the land and naval forces structions they have received from the senate, and of 'the United States, ordered to execute it, which the duty they owe the nation, to be silent. Silence is to reduce the fortress of St. Augustine, the capi- on their part would have been considered an acqui. tal of east Florida. The reasons offered for this escence in those measures, and they fear this premeasure are stated in his orders to general Gaines, cedent and example may be pleaded and followed dated Nashville, 7th August, 1818, and are as fol- on future occasions. lows:
If these things be admitted in the south, will they I have noted with attention, major Twiggs' let. not be considered as authorized in the north? Are ter, marked No. 5. I contemplated that the agents of there not fortresses there to be won, and provinces Spin, or the officers at fort St. Augustine, would ex- to be conquered and are there not Indians in that cite the Indians to hostility and furnish them with quarter likewise, and may not the officer in com. the means of war. It will be necessary to obtain mand find means to prove that those indians have evidence substantiating this fact, and that the hos- been, or hereafter may be furnished by the British tile Indians have been fed and furnished from the with arms and munitions of war, and if so, may he rarrison of St. Augustine. This being obtained, not follow the example set in the south? And add Should you deem your force sufficient. You will pro- something to his stock of military fame by reducing ceed to take and garrison fort St. Augustine with the British fortresses of Canada, and unfurling the American troops, and hold the garrison prisoners star spangled banner of this nation on the walls of until you hear from the president of the United Quebec. States, or transport them to Cuba, as in your judge. We hope better things of the distinguished offiment, under existing circumstances you may think cer, at the head of our armies, and we had hoped best.
better things of the hero of New Orleans, but we “Let it be remembered, that the proceedings car- have been disappointed, and if the conduct of the ried on by me, or this order, is not on the ground officers in the south, be sanctioned and approved that we are at war with Spain, it is on the ground of by the nation, we are free to declare that the re. self preservation, bottomed on the broad basis of the duction of Quebec, (where Montgomery fell, unable law of nature and of nations, and justified by giving to conquer) would present a much stronger claim peace and security to our frontiers, hence the ne-| to public approbation. cessity of procuring evidence of the fact of the It is necessary here to remark, that a copy of the agents or officers of Spain, having excited the In- order issued by general Jackson, to general Gaines, dians to continue the war against us, and that they | for the reduction of St. Augustine, was transmitted have furnished them with the means of carrying on to the secretary of war, and a countermanding orthe war; this evidence being obtained, you will (if der promptly despatched to general Gaines, which vour force is sufficient) permit nothing to prevent reached him, before the military expedition set on You from reducing fort St. Augustine, except a posi- | foot by general Jackson, had commenced; and thus Live order from the department of war.
was suddenly arrested a military scheme (as uncond "Orders have some time since been given to the stitutional as it was impolitic) and which might as officer of the ordinance, commanding at Charleston, stated by the secretary of war, in his letter of the to have in readiness a complete battering train, the 8th day of September, 1818, have involved this nanumber and calibre of the guns pointed out, I have tion in a war with all Europe. no doubt you will find them in readiness.
| In thus promptly prohibiting the unauthorised "I enclose you the report of captain Henley, of seizure, at the will of a commanding general of the the naval force on that station; you will open a cor possessions of a neighboring nation with whom the respondence with commandant A. J. Dallas, to in- United States are at peace, the committee recog. sure his co-operation, provided it should be requir-nize that sacred regard to the rights of other nations ed."
which ought never to be departed from by the exIn this projected expedition, it was not thought ecutive of a free country, and that vigilent attention necessary or expedient to consult the executive to the conduct of officers of the army, which is nebranch of the government; the order sent to gene- cessary to secure a due subordination of the milita. ral Gaines was peremptory, on the discovery being| ry to the civil pover. made that the Indians had been supplied with am- They consider that on this occasion, the execumunition and provisions, and excited to war; the tive of the United States has (by promptly restorblow was to be struck, and nothing but an express or- | ing St. Marks and Pensacola, wrested from Spain, in derfrom the secretary of war wasto prevent it. Long/ violation of instructions) pursued the course, that before this period the commanding general had, by the constitution demanded, that all former prece. his letters to the secretary of war, declared the Se-dents justified, and to which the public sentiment minole war at an end, and after which not a single gave a decided approbation.
In reviewing the execution of Arbuthnot and Am- by his own authority set aside the sentence of the brister, your committee cannot but consider it as an court and substituiel for that sentence, his own arunnecessary act of severity, on the part of the com- bitrary will. In trials involving the life of an indivi. manding general, and a departure from that mild dual, a strict adlierence to form, is in ordinary cases and humane system towards prisoners, which in al considered the best security against oppression and our conflicts with savage or civilized nations, has injustice. heretofore been considered, not only honorable to A departure from these forms is calculated to inthe national character, but conformable to the dic.flict a wound on the national character and tarnish tates of sound policy. These prisoners were sub- the laurels so justly acquired by the commanding jects of Great Britain, with whom the United States general by his former victories. Such are the facts are at peace. Having left their country, and united as they appear to the committee, and such are the their fate with savages, with whom the United States views taken by them of the important subjects re. were at war, they forfeited their claim to the pro- ferred to their consideration, and together with tection of their own government, and subjected their report, they submit various depositions and themselves to the same treatment, which might, ac- documents, to which, and to the correspondence cording to the practice and principles of the Ameri- and documents relating to the Seminole war, concan government, be extended towards those, with municated to the senate by the president of the whom they were associated. No process of reason. United States, at the last and present session, they ing can degrade them below the savages with whom refer they were connected. As prisoners of war, they of The documents accompanying the preceding were entitled to claim from the American govern. I report shall appear in our next. ment, that protection, which the most savage of our foes, have uniformly experienced, when disarmed The following letter is a powerful document in faand in our power. Humanity shudders at the idea vor of the proceedings of gen. Jackson, and as it has of a cold blooded execution of prisoners disarmed, not been before published in the REGISTER, we pre-, and in the power of the conqueror. And although, fer giving it a place at this time. savages, who respect no lawe, may, according to the
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, FER.6. strict principles of the law of nations, have their The following message was received from the own system of cruelty inflicted on theni, by way of president of the United States, by Mr. J. J. Monroe, retaliation, it is believed, that such a system would his secretary. degrade and debase the civilized nation, who could To the house of representatirea. resort to it, and is not only repugnant io the mild I transmit to congress a copy of a letter from go. principles of the christian religion, but a violation (vernor Bibb to major general Jackson, connected of those great principles of moral rectitude which with the late military operations in Florida. This
in the United States has always been confined to mumicated with the other documents at the comspecified acts of cruelty. It is not believed that mencement of the session.' JAMES MONROE. any attempt has ever been made to retaliate for Washington, February 6, 1319. charges so general as those exhibited against Ar
Fori Crawford, 9th May, 1818.' buthnot and Ambrister, viz: “Inciting the Indians to Dear sir: Proceeding to Georgia for the purpose war.” During the revolutionary war, only two ca- of bringing my fainily to this territory, and desirous ses occurred of persons seized for purposes of reta- to provide for the safety of the inhabitants on the Hiation, neither of whom was executed. The case frontiers during my absence, I have sought an interof Asgill seized on account of the murder of Huddy; 1 view with the officer in command at this place. At and governor Hamilton of Vincennes, for specific camp Montgomery I learned that you would probaacts of cruelty also. Hamilton was confined for a bly reach this place in a few days, and indulged the short time with rigor, and afterwards released. Du- hope of seeing you. An interview with you would ring the late war, marked with some cases of cold have been to me a source of much pleasure, and I blooded massacre on the part of our enemy, parti- regret that my arrangements will not permit me to cularly the one at the river Raisin, no such measure await your arrival. as retaliation was resorted to.
The Indians commenced their murderous incurThe principle assumed by the commanding ge- sions 0:1 the frontier settlements in January last, Deral, that Arbuthnot and Ambrister, by uniting in when two men were killed in this neighborhood. war against the United States, while we were at No events occurred afterwards to excite apprehen. peace with Great Britain, “became outlaws and pi. sion until the 14th of March, when a house on the rates, and liable to suffer death,” is not recognised fele al road, near the Poplar Spring, was attacked, in any code of national law. Nothing can be found and eight persons killed. This intelligence reachin the history of civilized nations, which recognizesd me at Claiborne, from whence a detachment of such a principle except a decree of the executive munted rifemen was immediately ordered to the directory of France, during their short career of pla: e for one month's service. A few days afterfolly and madness, which declars that, neutrals found wards, five men, while travelling the road, were on board enemies ships, should be considered and fired ai, aid three killed, from whom fifteen hun. treated as pirates.*
dred or two thousand dollars were taken. The peoThe committee forbear to make any other re-ple, for the most part, were flying for 'safeiy in marks on the violation of the usual and accustoined every direction, and all communication, by mail or forms in the punishment and conviction of Arbuth-otherwise, with Georgin, wholly suspended. The not and Ambrister, except that even despots claim-Inclians were known to be stiil in that quarter. In ing to exercise absolute power cannot with proprie- this state of things, three posts were established ty violate their own rules.
by my order, a, which there are, in the whole, about Having detailed a court martial, for the purpose an hundred men, who have instructions to scour the of trying the prisoners, the commanding general woods from day to day. A fortnight since they
- found a camp, but, on their approach, the enemy * See Mr. King's letter to the secretary of state, l'ol fled to a contiguous swamp, from whence they fired 10, p. ~, state papers.
and killed one man. The coinmanding officer in