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The national intelligencer and Washington advertiser. [volume] (Washington City [D.C.]) 1800-1810, October 16, 1807, Image 2

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. COllci X :Lo
out and Bo -h I have
,ei.es ; I think I have
.. because altlv
.c, yet by |
I, it could j
denstood '■■ -■•. On |
.ion, I th tn this do- I
.nd not from notes, that the
t of col. B's. letters was given
* legislative council and rep;
s of the territory of Orlea:.
the summons from the II
bears date the 12th of Jan. last, and I
believe the examination co
!7th. It lasted two days, and
I cannot recollect the parti
trse cf circumstances. I find
by references to my papers, that cer
ents were submitted to the
.. to be read under restrictions, and
hie I carried with me to the
house, ail the papers respecting the
•ct of inquiry. I have some
that this same document was
proffered to the grand jury, to aid
tion ofthe cy
of col. B. but I cannot
ik with certainty. This examina
lasted several days, and Ii :e that
re tlie legislative council and re
presentatives of the territory of Or
leans, \\ ,'ory and
and therefore it is im
possible for me to charge my memory
minutiae. Tl etation of
ie 25th or
- ,{ *y 9
tion by t]
ives ofthe
not trans
ii re-
Will,be found that ao. is-at*

. me. Referring to col. B's letter
ie 10th Of 0 : 1800, 1 have
Vaid; that f believe the cyphi
.ok was .
• yet it may have be
fectly remember, that about that
iod, colonel Burr informed me
I 1 60 miles dr the coun
ift of the book, and
-, I Wrote him from the frbn
le Oconee river in
year 1802, he then being, in
Charleston, ho informed me he -
not write as freely as he wished, as he
:ot the cypher with In ac
iting for I I the dupli
cate of col. B's. letters, I
d the apprehension which had
been excited of my being an accom
■ 01. B's. and that I was pre
r his reception. This device
larm, and the i i
d, that
I Mnsmore,
to take care how 1 move
i.d fea
ter gett. Wilkinson bad d ished
,'dress to the court, Mr. M
on 'in ! trans
lu . cyphered letter of col. B*
-HU answer was—l have not. {have
ed lor it, bu< • d it.
Gen. Wilkinson-1 I, that he
the deposition oi
erly a member
. 1799
tld to
I oe.n
■■■''; EJ
d from St. Louis, in May or
d I have such an impres
have not the most distant re
. contents. [Mr: Wirt
submitted it to the court whether it
er for the opposite coun
o interrogate gen. Wilkinson as
:ttcr which was in their own
ion. If they meant to rely upon
letter as evidence they ought to
produce it. He considered it unfair
to select such parts as might tend to
inculpate gen. Wilkinson, and keep
j back dose which would lead to an ex-
J planation of his conduct. Mr. Wick- \
\ham said it waa their own paper, and;
i they were not bound to produce it 'till
I they thought proper. Their object
; was to cross examine the witness and 1
see whether he was consistent with
.elf. This they had a right to do.
The Chief Justice said the question
i would not be permitted to have any
bearing on the cause unless the letter
Any thing drawn out
of the letter would not be testimony,
unless the opposite party who hot] it
in their possession would exhibit, it to
the court. But it was obvious that
they had another object, which was to
ascertain the consistency of the wit
ness. Mr. Wirt. If the object be to
shake the credibility of the witness,
is it not fair to him and to the conduct
of the c .use to exhibit the whole let
ter. Mr. raker. A very ingenious
mode has been adopted by the gentle
men. We put the questions, and they
undertake to furnish the answers with
out leaving it to the witness to do it'
himself. We do intend to shake the j
ibifity of gen. Wilkinson, and to 1
make him produce the shake himself.
Mr. Jkfißae. I understand the court
to say that the examination as to the
contents of the letter, shall have no
effect, unless the letter itself he pro
duced, Chief Justice. Gen. Wilkin
son Suys that he has no recollection of
the contents of the letter. The sub
ject matter of the letter cannot be es
hed by the examination. But
the witness may be cross examined
for the purposes avowed by the oppo
site counsel. Mr". Wickham. Do you
recollect that you did write to colonel
Bu,-,- in 1806? A. I have before
it I have such an impression ;
but I have no recollection ofthe con
tents of any communication made to
d I remember the mo
tive Which induced me to Write. Mr.
ion have no recollection
of any particular expression? A.
a letter of October
.-, 1805—2. Q. Have
you ho recollection of any expression
or si I in your letter
of 1806. A. 1 have no recollection.
O. Was it your expression that we
should have a war with Spain ? A.
It was my opinion ; and there was a
very general impression that we
lid have a war with that power ?
Q. Do you not recollect Writing any
thing respecting the measures of the
gov-. in relation to a war with
you no recollection of
any opinion expressed in a letter to _
col. Burr ? A. I do not recollect
ig expressed any opinion respect
he measures of the government.
The only expression I have any idea
of, is one used in a letter of October
or No.'ember, 1805, in which, I be
lieve I say, " I fear Miranda has taken
the bread out of your mouth." Mr.
ham. There wee letters pub
lished from you while in the neigh
borhood of the Spaniards. Have you
copies of those letters here? A. I
the whole correspondence*- Mr.
Wickham. We only want the letters
of September and October, Which
that war with Spain is inevitable.
Gen. Wilkinson. I think that I may
have Said so, and beiievc that I have
papers here which throw some light
are my instruc
tions to tlie officer who commanded
, the troops when they left St. Louis.—
[General Wilkinson handed to mi*.
Wil . pies of his instructions ;
to col. Cusliin 00. What
*■ ol those instructions? A.
.md Bth of May, 1806. Gen*
id that he would with
.life, submit the whole cones- .
- , i;' he could do it I
: ii iiis own ideas of prop: iety.
But there were contained in it such
i itary operations, as it might
per to expose. Mr. Wick-
I think you state that at that
don of a war with
leral? A. It was so:
if my instructions tocol.Cu
Bad, they will shew my own
d-Hae read the
instructions of gen. Wilkinson to col.
I ty, 1 806 ; .
! for which, sec r.."-tes K*and L.] Mr.
. 1 think you have said that
s an m.iv. ion oi
■ in, about the time when
(I X" ?'.-/• rr
ed to ■
n. wilkin I. Gushing, of
I placed, and could pot be ftrocwred in
that nation crossed the
Sabine. A. Yes, I have said so. I
had made arrangements for a general
attack. Mr. W. To what cause are
we to ascribe the accommodation
which took place between the two ar
mies ? A. To a wish to spare the ef
fusion of blood; and, perhaps, be
cause on one side there were reluc
tance to fight. Q. On which side ?—
A. On the side of Spain. Air. Wick
ham. Can you tell the particular mo
tives which induced them to re-cross
the Sabine, and change their position ?
A. I think I can explain them. Im
i mediately on my arrival at Natchito
ches on the 24th of September, I ad
ied a letter to gov. Cordero, whom
I considered the commander in chief
'■ ofthe Spanish forces on that frontier.
I communicated to him my orders
from the President, and urged him on
the ground of rbrht dnd humanity, to
withdraw his troops from the east of ;
the Sabine and recross that river.—
Whether this or the vigorous prepar
ation for the offensive operations I
which I immediately commenced on
my arrival at Natchitoches, produced
the effect or not, I cannot tell. But,
the fact is, that the Spaniards about
the 27th of the month, raised their
camp at Bayou Pierre, marching by
their right intersected the high way,
from Natchitoches to Nacogdotohes,
about twenty miles in front, pursued
that route, and recrossed the Sabine j
about the 29th or 30th.
Mr. Wickham. Was this after you i
j had received the cyphered letter ?—
--;A. No. It was some time before. '
i Mr. wickham. Had you any corrc
-1 spondence with the Spanish com- !
mandant, on the subject of col. B's ex
pedition against Mexico ? A. None.
The earliest communications which I
made on that subject were after my '
return to Natchez. Mr. w. Has the
jurisdiction ofthe U. S. ever been ex
ercised as far as the Sabine ? A. I
cannot tell. Mr. w. Was it in con
sequence of instructions from the go
vernment that you concluded the con
vention with the Spanish comman
dant ? A. No. Mr. W. Ido not re
collect whether that convention has
ever been published. A. Never. Mr.
w. Have you any copy of that conven
tion ? A. Yes. But until it shall be
the pleasure of the government to
publish it, 1 do not think myself at li
berty to divulge its contents. Ido
not think it reconcilable to the duty of
a military commander to anticipate
his government in the publication of
official communications.
Mr, wickham. Were there any j
secret articles in that convention ?
A. None. There was but one ar
ticle. Mr. iv. Was there any sum
of money agreed to be paid on
either side ? A. Not one cent. Mr. iv.
You note two letters to the President,
one of the 21st of October, and the
other of the 12th of November, 1806.
Have you a copy of that of the 12th
of November ; and will you give me
leave to ask whether that letter was
before the grand jury ?. A. It was
submitted to the grand jury/ [Mr.
Wickham said that they called for a
copy oft hat letter. If the counselor!
the other side thought proper to op
pose it, they might do it at once.
Mr. Hay. We shall certainly op
pose the production of the letter. The
President has been consulted on the
subject; and he has excepted
such parts as he thought it would
be improper to produce. The
Chief Justice remarked, that af
ter the President had been consulted, ,
he could not think of requiring from
gen. Wilkinson the exhibition of those
parts ofthe letter which the Presi
dent was unwilling to disclose. Mr.
■ Wickham. The whole letter having
been before the grand jury, and acted
upon by them ; we certainly have a
right to call for it also.] Mi', wick- ''
ham. Were the Spaniards in con
siderable force on the Isast side of the
Sabine ? A. They were reputed to
be so. Mr. W. What was the strength
of the army of the United States ? A. j
About SQO effective men. Mr Wd
1 What orders did you receive from the
1 goyernnfeht in the months of Decern- :
-i.d February last ? A. I cannot
; say what particular orders I receiVed
months. Owing to the
frequent changes of my position, I •
was for more than six months without
orders. But il is impossible for un
to answer the interrogatory to the ex
tent in wiiich it is put, without sub
, vself to severe military pe
nalties. Nothing can he more impro- j
per or dishonorable than to di
military orders of a secret or confi- j
dential nature.
[Mr. wickham. There can he no j
doubt but under the sanction of the j
oath which general Wilkinson has j
taken, he may be Compelled to
■ > tlie points on Whi<
been interrogated. In England,
. more common than for the
et transactions to b
ed in a court •-. Considera
cacy i,i the wi
have never been permitted to
, ht. Mr. Hay. There
is a material difference. Those
were cases between individuals ; this-
is a communication from the execu
tive government. We are not at li
berty to dive into the secrets of the
■itive department to know what
orders they give to their agents, and
to proclaim those orders to the world ;
—orders which were given for the
public good. There can be no doubt
but the public good does require that
various orders of the government
should forever remain a secret. Mr.
Wick Ham. The gentleman did not
understand my question. I asked
general Wilkinson what orders he
had received from the government in
relation to Col. Burr. J Mr. .
ham. Did you receive any orders to
attack Col. Burr and his party ? A.
That question may require some qua
lification* Mr. Wickham, Did you
send any officer in disguise to take
j Col. Burr? A. I sent three. Mr.
Wickham. Theirnames? fMr. Hay
siid that he did not think General
I Wilkinson was bound to answer such
questions ; that he was not bound to
furnish evidence against himself, or
ito subject himself to prosecution.
Although he believed that the exi
gencies of the times would justify the
measures it rested with pen* W.
i whether he would answer the ques
-1 tion or not. Gen. Wilkinson. If the
question goes to criminate myself, I
I presume that I am not bound to an-
Iswerit. Chief Justice. Would gen.
I Wilkinson be subjected to an action
for sending to apprehend Col. Burr,
' unless he had been seized ? Mr. Hay
It may go to criminate him as a mili
-1 tary man. He may have acted with
out orders. Mr. Wickham. Ido not
presume that he acted without orders
—hut under the orders of the go
' vernment. The Chief Justice said,
that he could not perceive the appli
cation of the evidence ; but as evi
dence was introduced to shew the
flight of Col. Burr from Washington,
this, he presumed, was intended to
account for it.] Mr. Wickham. Will
you state the names of the officers sent
to apprehend Col. Burr. A. Captain
Hook, Lieut. Peter, Lieut. Mulford,
Doctor Davidson, of the army, and
Doctor Carmichael of the Mississip
pi territory. Mr. Wickham. Did
you direct them to go without uni
form ? A. l_believe I did. Mr.
Wickham. Did you direct them to
conceal the object of their mission ?
A. I feel great delicacy in revealing
my orders.
(To uk conTtnued.)
! (i)
Di position of Captain J. It. Walback.
I had the honor to become acquaint
ed with General James Wilkinson
some time in August, 1799; became
attached to his military family in De
cember, 1800—was appointed an aid
de-camp in the spring following, and
continued in that capacity until the
last of Nov. 1804.
During the above period, I have
witnessed that (Jen. Wilkinson did
employ cyphers of different kinds in
his correspondence, among them was
an English pocket dictionary. Seve
ral of these cyphers I have-made my
self, designed copies of some of them
are still in my possession, and others
I have recognized since my arrival at
the city of Richmond. Particularly
one to the late general James Jack
son, another to the late major general
Alexander Hamilton, a third to a Mr.
Hidings, then at New Orleans, a
fourth to colonel dishing, a fifth to
j Mr. Silas Dinsmore and one to my
' self. Several of these were project
ed in 1802 and 1803, at the time the
port of New-Orleans was shut, and
for the purpose of procuring and
conveying intelligence to the govern
Q. Did you ever observe in Gen.
1 Wilkinson any act, or disposition,
which marked inattention to his duty,
as to the zealous and faithful dis
charge of the trust reposed in him as
anoflder ofthe if. Sua.
A. from my own observation and
experience, (being now nearly twen
ty-six years iii military life) I can de
clare that I have never known any
officer more zealously devoted to the
service in which he was engaged, and
I can safely declare, that I have nc
: ver seen an officer of gen. Wilkinson's
rank, voluntarily and cheerfully ex
pose himself to such privations, hard
ships and sufferings in the course of
his duty, as I have seen him meet
with alacrity.
Q. Do you know the hand writing
iof captain C. Smith. A. 1
Q. Are these Hieroglyphics of
his writing. A. They arc.
Q. Are they the same which were
ioyed by colonel Burr in'his cor
; respondenee with Gen. Wilkinson.
A. They are the same which are
employed in colonel Burr's letters, j
shewn me since my arrival at the city
of Richmond, and said to he deliver
ed by Messrs. Swartwoutand Bollman
to Gen. Wilkinson.
Q. Do you recollect when captain '
C. Smith left ge: 1 .. Wilkinson's fami
ly ? A. Some iime in July, 180 L '
Q. Do you think den. W
afterward i saw or w. , t hi
A. I am certain not
Wilkinson did not retu n fr< i 1
Mississippi until May, 18
capt;,i resided in th
Maryland-, and died in thi
1803 or 1804.
Q. Have yon seen een. \\
employ the pocke
presented to you in v. . h ,
A. I have.
Q. Will you say In what year ?
A. I am not j
but it was during the pc iod, ! -.. .
attached to his military family.
Q. Did you hear
Gen. Wilkinson,.calculated to d
feet .the troops, or to abate their zeal
for il s promotion ?
A. No, on the c< ntr-.-.-, i ; ye
witnessed that Gen, Wil i
used his utmost ende vers to promote
ony, com;
the troops, and by his
as weii as example, to insure subordi
nation and patripj i
(Signed) J. B. WALBACX,
I am Content that the above shall be
is e\ i lence in all i
the United St tes and < '< lonel Burr—
that any thing that added by
the affiant, by way r to inter
rogatories may also be i ad.
G.IIAY, Att'y U. S.
for the Richmond district.
City of Richmond, set.'
Sworn to and subscribed
before me an alderman of
the city aforesaid, this sth )>
day of Sept. 1807.
Henry S. -Shore.
Instructions from Gen. U ilkinson ts
cot. Cuahing.
St. Louis, May 8, 1806,
1 o'clock, A. M.
Advice yesterday received from
Major Porter, makes it my duty to
direct the acceleration of your move
ments by every practicable means,
and I trust that in the present state of
the waters, you may reach Fort A
dams on the 20th inst.
On arriving at that port, the infor
mation you may receive must deter
mine the course of your conduct:
should the Spaniards have resumed
the positions East ofthe Sabine, or as
sumed a menacing aspect at Nacog
doches, you must add to your com
j mand every man at Fort Adams ex
' ceptinga mere locum tenens, leaving
orders at that place for Lt. Col.
Kingsbury to fall down to the mouth
of red river and there wait the return
of a sufficient number*-of your!)'
for his transport to the high grounds,
from whence it may become ex
pedient for you, to march the whole
of your command excepting the boat*
I hope major Porter may have ta
ken the precaution to transmit the
executive a copy of the in
formation he has forwarded to me,
and that you may receive from that
source, at an early period, decisive
instructions for your government; in
the meantime, tho' rear be our trade,
it is not only opposite to the genius
and disposition of our country, but
also to its substantial interests. The
sword must not, therefore, be drawn
but in the last extremity, to punish
outrage, to resist invasion, or repel an
Should indications justify it, (and
you must take measures to ascertain if
possible the designs of your neigh
bors,) you are to call to your aid, eve
ry man who can be safely spared from
the garrison under your orders, and
will employ every pains and exertion,
to put them in the highest state of fit
ness for defensive operations.
You will find in the hands of Major
Porter an order from the Sec. at War,
which might justify you in pushing
your neighbors beyond the Sabine
Rivef, should they have re-crossed it
to the eastward. But as it appears
from the public,prints that a pacific
negociation has, on our part, ensued
those orders, you must hot strain
their construction to favor the effusion
6f blood, and involve our country in
the certain calamities and uncertain
events of war.
Learn with all possible precision,
the force, composition oayA station of
the troops opposed to you: be your
self prepared for combat, and ii v
conflict must ensue, bavin:; previous
ly animated your men by a strong
exhortation, and sworn your officer?.
in their presence* to fall or conquer,
make your onset with the bayonet,
and your,own glory, the honor of our
arms and the interests of the nation,
.will be ensured and maintained,
j Wishing you life and laurels,
health and fame,
1 .
your faithful friend,
T. if. Ct'.'hi/i- . )
I U. S. Infintry. }

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