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MASSACRE AT FRENCH TOWN.
MEADVILLE (PENNSYLVANIA,) February 20th, 1813. At a meeting at Erie, Pennsylvania, of the following named officers who survived the battle at French Town, on the river Raisin, viz: Captains Uriel Sebree, Samuel L. Williams, Coleman Collins, and Richard Bledsoe ; Lieutenants Dyndon, Comstock and Higgins; Ensigns Thomas M Guine and HarrowCaptain Williams was called to the chair, and John Beckley (one of the volunteers) appointed secretary ; when the following resolutions were introduced, and unanimously adopted :
Whereas it is deemed necessary that our fellow citizens should be informed of the late perfidious and brutal acts of the British government, performed by their officers at the battle of French Town : Resolved, That the following statement of the conduct of the British officers, be published to our countrymen :
That when general Winchester was taken prisoner on the 22d of January, 1813, and brought before colonel Proctor, the British commander, he directed the commanding officer of the Americans (major Madison) to surrender. Major Madison refused so to do, unless those surrendered should be free from savage massacre ; this was agreed to; and the British officers pledged themselves to leave a sufficient force with the wounded to protect them, and that they should be conveyed to Malden the next morning. They likewise promised to return to the officers their arms at Malden.
Captain N. G. F. Hart, inspector to the north-western army, being anong the wounded, it was proposed by his friends, that they should carry him with them : this they were prevented from doing by captain Elliott,* a British officer, and an old acquaintance of captain Hart's, who promised captain Hart his special protection to convey him in his own sleigh to Malden that evening, and informing him that he should be welcome to remain at his house there, until he should recover.
These were the promises of the British, let our countrymen and the world see how they were fulfilled.
At the break of day next morning the savages were suffered to commit every depredation upon our wounded which they pleased An indiscriminate slaughter took place, of all who were unable to walk, many were tomahawked, and many were burned alive in the kouses. Among the unfortunate thus murdered, it is with regret and sorrow we have to name captains Hart and Hickman.
The arms of the officers, as promised, were never returned. Every species of private property remaining in the tents, belonging to both officers and soldiers, were plundered by the savages.
* This Elliott is nephew to the savage colonel Elliott ; he once held a commission in the United States' army.
Nesolved, That in consideration of the high respect we hold the memories of both officers and soldiers who were thus cruelly murdered, by permission of the British commander, Proctor, and his subalterns, and those who gloriously fell in the field, defending the only free government on earth, that each of us wear black crape on our hats and left arm for the space of ninety daye.
Resolved, That a similar procedure, testifying their respect for those who were murdered and fell on that day, be recommended to our brother officers and soldiers, who survived it.
SAMUEL WILLIAMS, Presidents Joun BECKLEI, Secretary.
NEAR OGDENSBURG, February 22d, 1813. SIR,
I have only time to inform you that the enemy, with a very superior force, succeeded in taken Ogdensburg this morning about 9 o'clock. They had about two men to our one, exclusive of Indians. Numbers of the enemy are dead on the field. Not more than twenty of our men killed and wounded. Lieutenant Beard is among the latter.
I have made a saving retreat of about eight or nine miles. I could not get all the wounded off. We have killed two of the enemy to one of ours killed by them. We want ammunition and some provisions sent on to us; also sleighs for the wounded.
If you can send me three hundred men all shall be retaken, and Prescott too, or I will lose my life in the attempt. I shall write you more particularly to-day.
Your obedient servant,
BENJ. FORSYTH. General Macomb.
MESSAGE OF MR. MADISON. To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States.
I lay before Congress copies of a proclamation of the British lieutenant-governor of the island of Bermuda, which has appeared under circumstances leaving no doubt of its authenticity. It recites a British order in council of the 26th of October last, providing for the supply of the British West Indies, and other colonial possessions, by a trade under special licenses, and is accompanied by a circular instruction to the colonial governors, which confines licensed importations from ports of the United States to the ports of the eastern states exclusively.
The government of Great Britain had already introduced into her commerce, during the war, a system, which, at once violating
the rights of other nations, and resting on a mass of forgery and perjury unknown to other times, was making an unfortunate progress in undermining those principles of morality and religion which are the best foundation of national happiness.
The policy now proclaimed to the world, introduces into her modes of warfare, a system equally distinguished by the deformity of its features, and the depravity of its character; having for its object to dissolve the ties of allegiance, and the sentiments of loyalty in the adversary nation, and to reduce and separate its component parts, the one from the other.
The general tendency of these demoralizing and disorganizing contrivances will be reprobated by the civilized and christian world; and the insulting attempt on the virtue, the honour, the patriotism, and the fidelity of our brethren of the eastern states, will not fail to call forth all their indignation and resentment, and to attach more and more all the states to that happy union and constitution, against which such insidious and malignant artifices are directed.
The better to guard, nevertheless, against the effect of individual cupidity and treachery, and to turn the corrupt project of the enemy against himself, I recommend to the consideration of Congress, the expediency of an effectual prohibition of any trade whatever, by citizens or inhabitants of the United States, under special licenses, whether relating to persons or ports, and in aid thereof a prohibition of exportations from the United States in foreign bottoms, few of which are actually employed, whilst mul. tiplying counterfeits of their flags and papers, are covering and encouraging the navigation of the enemy.
JAMES MADISON. February 24th, 1813.
SACKETT'S HARBOR, March 3d, 1813. SIR,
Having been informed that sir George Prevost had adjourned the legislature at Quebec, assigning as his motive that his majesty's service required his presence in Upper Canada; and having received certain information of his having passed Montreal, and having arrived at Kingston, I set out immediately for this place, having ordered the force at Greenbush, and part of colonel Pike's command, in sleighs for this place. I arrived here in fifty-two hours. I am now satisfied from such information as is entitled to full credit, that a force has been collected from Quebec, Montreal, and Upper Canada, of from six to eight thousand men, at Kingston, and that we may expect an attack in forty-eight hours and perhaps sooner.
The militia have been called in, and every effort will, I trust, be made to defend the post; but I fear neither the troops from Green
bush nor Plattsburg will arrive in season to afford their aid. i should feel easier if colonel Pike should arrive in season. I am in want of officers of experience. I have sent expresses to have them hurried on. Commodore Chauncey has not arrived; he will be here to-morrow. The armed vessels have not been placed in the positions intended by the commodore. Our total force may be estimated at nearly 3000 of all descriptions.
Sir George Prevost is represented to be determined to effect his object at all events, and will undoubtedly make every effort in his power for the purpose. We shall, I trust, give him a warm reception; but if his force is such as is expected, and should make an attack before our troops arrive from Greenbush and Plattsburg, at Sackett's Harbor, the result may at least be doubtful.
I have the honour to be, &c.
H. DEARBORN. Honourable John Armstrong.
HEAD QUARTERS, FRANKLINTON, March 12th, 1813. SIR,
I had the honour to inform you in my letter of the 25th ultimo, that I had organized a detachment for the purpose of striking a blow at the vessels of war of the enemy lying near Malden. Captain Langham, with about two hundred and fifty men, in thirty sleds and sleighs, set out from Lower Sandusky on the 2d instant, and proceeded as far as Bass island, in the lake, without difficulty. Contrary, however, to the experience of former years, the lake beyond was found to be entirely open. He was therefore obliged to return to the Miami bay, where I met him with a detachment that was intended to cover his retreat. Finding that the original design was rendered abortive, I had determined upon an expedition to the river Raisin, for the purpose of burying the remains of our unfortunate countrymen who fell on the 22d January. But the ice was so weak as no longer to afford a safe passage
along the edge of the lake. Our horses were constantly breaking through, and one man was unfortunately drowned. I therefore returned to camp with the whole detachment, and on the 7th instant set out for this place. I left general Leftwich in command at camp Meigs, Indeed the cause which prevented the advance of my detachment to the river Raisin, would also prevent the enemy from approaching the Rapids, at least with artillery. I have
the honour to enclose herewith a plan of camp Meigs. The redoubt marked F. is yet to be erected.
Colonel Morrison has determined to resign his appointment as deputy quarter master general. There is not a man in the United States who is, in my opinion, capable of discharging the duties of that department with as much advantage to the public as himself. He is lost to the service in consequence of the singular arrange
ment which was made by the late secretary of war, of sending on another deputy quarter master general with equal powers to those vested in colonel Morrison. Since the departure of captain Piatt, I have used my utmost endeavours to prevail upon colonel Morrison to continue in service, but he perseveres in his determination to retire at the end of this month. A report has reached us this morning that general Lewis is appointed a major general. Should this be the case, I am convinced that the interets of our country would be greatly promoted by the appointment of colonel Morrison to succeed him. The duties of quarter master to the north western army, do not require so much military information as is necessary for the officer at the head of that department in the other sections of the union. An intimate knowledge of the western country and its resources, with integrity and activity, are the essential qualifications. These are possessed by John C. Bartlett, esq. acting at present as field commissary in an eminent degree. He would possess moreover the confidence of the western country, particularly ef Kentucky.
I have not yet had the honour to receive communication from you upon the subject of the organization of the force for the ensuing campaign. With great respect, I have the honour to be, &c.
WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, The Secretary of War.
HEAD QUARTERS, CHILICOTHE, March 17th, 1813. SIR,
The known candour of your character is a sufficient security for my receiving your pardon for the liberty I take in making objections to the plan of operations communicated in your letter of the 5th instant. If there is a positive certainty of our getting the command of lake Erie, and having a regular force of three thousand five hundred, or even three thousand, well disciplined men, the proposed plan of setting out from Cleveland, and landing on the northern shore below Malden, would perhaps be the one by which that place and its dependencies could be most easily reduced. I am unacquainted with the extent of the preparations that are making to obtain the naval superiority on lake Erie; but, should they fail, and the troops be assembled at Cleveland, it would be difficult to get again upon the proper track for making the attack round the head of the lake. The attempt to cross the lake from Cleveland should not be made with
other than well disciplined troops. A comparatively smaller number of men of this description could effect the object, and for those the means of conveyance might be obtained; but the means of transporting such an army as would be required of militia, or andisciplined regulars, could not be procured. I can see no