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habitants; and that lib resources were inadequate, as yet, to effect it by force. He took his course then at once, determined to seize on New Orleans, plunder the bank there, possess himself of the military and naval stores, and proceed on his expeditionto Mexico; and to this object all his means and preparations were now directed. He collected from all the quarters where himself or his agents possessed influence, all the ardent, restless, desperate, and disaffected persons who were readv for any enteq»rize analogous to their characters. He seduced good and well meaning citizens, some by assurances tridt he possessed the confidence of the government, and was acting under its secret patronage; a prctcr.ee which procured some credit from the state of our differences with Spaiu; and others, by offers of land in Bastrop's claim on the Washita.
This was the state of my information of his proceedings about the last of November; at which time, therefore, it was first possible to take specific measures to meet them. The Proclamation of November 27, two days after the receipt of general Wilkinson's information, was now issued. Orders were dispatched to every interesting point on the Ohio and the Mississippi, from Pittsburg to New Orleans, for the employment of such forces, either of the regulars or of the militia, and of such proceedings also of the civil authorities, as m.ight enable them to seize on all boats and 6tores provided for the enterprise, to arrest the persons concerned, and to suppress effectually the further progress of the enterprise. A little before the receipt of these orders in the state of Ohio, our confidential agent, who had been diligently employed in investigating the conspiracy, had ac
quired sufficient information to. open himself to the governor of that stale, and to apply for the immediate exertion of the authority and power of the state to crush the combination. Governor Tiffin and the legislature, with a promptitude, an energy, and patriotic zeal, which entitle them to a distinguished place in the affection of their sister states, effected the seizure of all the boats, provisions, and other preparations within their reach, and thus gave a first blow, materially disabling the enterprise in i'o outset.
In Kentucky, a premature attempt to bring Burr to justice, without sufficient evidence for his conviction, had produced a popular impression in his favour, and a general disbelief of his guilt. This gave him an unfortunate opportunity of hastening his equipments. The arrival of the proclamation and orders, and the application and information of our confidential agents, at length awakened the authorities of that state to the truth, and then produced the same promptitude aud energy of which the neighbouring state had set the example. Under an act of that legislature, of December 23, the militia was instantly ordered to different important points, and measures taken for doing whatever could yet be done. Some boats (accounts vary from five to double or treble that number) aud persons (differently estimated from one to three hundred) had, in the mean time, passed the falls of the Ohio, to rendezvous at the mouth of Cumberland, with others expected down that river. Not apprised, till very late, that airy boats were building on Cumberland, the effect of the proclamation had been trusted to for some time in the state of Tennessee. But, ou the 19th of December, similar communications
Y y 3 an< and instructions, with those to the neighbouring states, were dispatched, by express, to the governor, and a general officer of the western division of the state; aud, on the 23d of December, our confidential agent left Frankfort for Nashville, to put into activity the means of that state also. But, by information received yesterday, I learn, that on the 22d of December, Mr. Burr descended the Cumberland with two boats, merely of accommodation, carrying with him, from that state, no quota towards his unlawful enterprise. Whether after the arrival of the proclamation, of the orders, or ,of our agent, any exertion which could be made by that state, or the orders of the governor of Kentucky, for calling out the militia at the mouth of Cumberland, would be in time to arrest these boats, and those from the Falls of Ohio, is still doubtful.
On the whole, the fugitives from the Ohio, with their associates from Cumberland, or any other place in that quarter, cannot threaten serious danger to the city of New Orleans.
By the same express of December 19, orders were sent to the governors of Orleans andMississippi, supplementary to those which have been given on the 25th of November, to hold the militia of their territories in readiness to co-operate for their defence with the regular troops and armed vessels then under command of general Wilkinson. Great alarm indeed was excited at New Orleans by the exaggerated accounts of Mr. Rurr, disseminated through his emissaries, of the armies and navies he was to assemble there. General Wilkinson bad arrived there himself on the 24th of November, and had immediately put into activity the resources of the place, for the purpose pf its defence;
and on the 10th of December he was joined by bis troops from the Sabine. Great zeal was shewn by the inhabitants generally; the merchants of the place readily agreeing to the most laudable exertions and sacrifices, for manning the armed vessels with their seamen; and the other citizens manifesting unequivocal fidelity to the union, and a spirit of determined resistance to their expected assailants. Some surmises have been hazarded, that this enterprise is to receive aid from certain foreign powers.—But these surmises are without proof or probability. The wisdom of the measures sanctioned by congress, at its last session, has placed us in the paths of peace and justice, with the only powers with whom we had aoy differences; and nothing has happened since which makes it either their interest or ours to pursue another course. No change of measures has taken place on our part; none ought to take place at this time. With the one, friendly arrangement was proposed, and the law, deemed necessary on the failure of that, was suspended, to give time for a fair trial of the issue. With the same power, friendly arrangement is now proceeding under good expectations, and the same lair deemed necessary ou failure of that, is still suspended to give time for a fair trial of the issue. With the other, negociatiou was in like maimer preferred, aud provisional measures only taken to meet the event of rupture. While, therefore, we do not deflect in the slightest degree from the course we then assumed, and are still pursuing, with mutual content, to restore a good understanding, we are not to impute to them practices as irreconcilable to interest as to good faith, and changing necessarily the relations of peace and justice between us to
those those of war. These surmises are therefore to be imputed to the vaultings of the author of this enterprise, tn multiply his partisans l-y magnifying the belief of his prospects and support.
By letters from general Wilkinson, of the 14th and 18th of December, which came to hand two days after the date of the resolution of the house of representatives, that is to say, on the morning of the 18th instant, I received the important affidavit, a copy of which I now communicate, with extracts of so much of the letters as comes within the scope of the resolution.—By these it will be seen, that of three of the principal emissaries of Burr, whom the general had caused to be apprehended, one had been liberated by Habeas Carpus; and two others, being those principally employed in the endeavour to corrupt the general and army of the United States, have been embarked by him, for ports in the Atlantic States, probably on the consideration that an impartial trial could not be expected during the present agitations of New Orleans; and that that city was not as yet a safe place of confinement. As sooh as these persons shall arrive, they will be delivered to the custody of the law, and left to such course of trial, both as to place and process, as its functionaries may direct. The presence of the highest judicial authorities, to be assembled at this place within a few days, the means of pursuing a sounder course of proceeding here than elsewhere, and the aid of the executive means, should thejudges nave occasion to use them, render it equally desirable for the criminal, as for the public; that being already removed from the place where'they were first apprehended, the first regular arrest should take place here, and
the course of proceedings receive here their proper direction.
Jan. 22, 1S07.
Message from the President of the United States, transmitting further Information to Congress, touching Burr's Conspiracy.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States. "I received from general Wilkinson, on the 23d instant, his affidavit, charging Samuel Swartwout, Peter V.Ogden, and James Alexander,Avith the crimes described in the affidavit, a copy of which is now communicated to both houses of congress.
"It was announced to me at the same time, that Swartwout and Boilman, two of the persons apprehended by him, were arrived in the city, in custody each of a military officer. I immediately delivered to the attorney of the United States iu this district, the evidence received against them, with instructions to lay the same before the judges, aud apply for their process to bring the accused to justice; and I put into his hands orders to the officers having them in custody, to deliver them to the Marshal on his application.
"thomas Jefferson. "Jan. 26', 1607."
"I James Wilkinson, brigadiergeueral aud commander in chief of the army of the United States, do warrant the arrest of Samuel Swartwout, James Alexander, Esq. aud Peter V. Ogden, on a charge of treason, misprision of treason, or such other oli'euco against the government and law s of the United States, as the following fads may legally charge
Y v 4, them them with. On the honour of a soldier, and on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God, do declare and swear, that in the beginning of the month of October last, when in command at Natchitoches, a stranger was introduced to me bv colonel Cushing, by the name of Swartwout; who a few minutes after the colonel retired from the room, slipt into iny hand a letter of formal introduction from colonel Burr, of which the following is a correct copy 1
"Philadelphia, July 25, lSOff. "Dear Sir, *' Mr. Swartwout, the brother of colonel S. of New-York, being on his way down the Mississippi, and presuming that he may pass you at some post on the river, has requested of me a letter of introduction, which I gave with pleasure, as he is a most amiable young man, and highly respectable from his character and connections. I pray you to afford him any friendly offices which his situation may require, and beg you to pardon the trouble which this may give you.
"With entire respect, "Your friend and obedient servant,
"His Excellency General Wilkinson." "Together with a packet, which lie informed me he was charged by the same person to deliver me in private. This packet contained a letter in cypher from colonel Burr, of which the following is substantially as fair an interpretation as I have heretofore been able to make, the original of which I hold in my possession.— [This letter is not come to band.]
"I instantly resolved to avail myself of the references made to the bearer, and in the course of some days drew from linn (the said Swart
wout) the following disclosure :— "That he had been dispatched by colonel Burr from Philadelphia, bad passed through the states of Ohio and Kentucky, and proceeded from Louisville for St. Louis, where he expected to find me; but discovering at Kasaskias that 1 had descended the river, he procured a skiff, hired bauds, and followed me down the Mississippi to Fort Adams, and from thence set out for Natchitoches, in company with captains Sparks and Hooke, under the pretence of a disposition to take part in the campaign against the Spaniards, then depending: That colonel Burr, with the support of a powerful association, extending from New York to New Orleans, was levying an armed body of 7 000 men from the state of New York and the western states and territories, with a view to carry an expedition against the Mexican provinces; and that 500 men, under colonel Swartwout, and a colonel or major Tyler, were to descend the Alleghany, for whose accommodation light boats bad been built, and were readv" J inquired what would be their course; lie said, "This territory would be revolutionized, where the people were ready to join them; and that tnere would be some seising, he supposed, at New Orleans; that they expected to be ready to embark about the first of February, and intended to land at Vera Cruz, and to inarch from thence to Mexico." I observed that there were several millions of dollars at 'the bank of this place; to which he replied—" We know it full well;" and on my remarking that they certainly did not mean to violate private property, he said they "merely meant to borrow, and would return it; that they expected naval protection from Great Britain.; that the captains and
t»« the officers of our navy, were so disgusted with the Government that they were ready to join; that similar disgusts prevailed throughout the westem country, where the people were zealous in favour of the enterprise; and that pilot-boat built schooners were contracted for along our southern coast for their service; that he had been accompanied t'.om the falls of Ohio to Kaskaskias, and from the.:ce to Fort Adams, by a Mr. Ogden, who had proceeded on to New Orleans with letters from colonel Burr to his friends there."— Swartwout asked me, whether I had heard from doctortollmau 1 and, on my answering in the negative, he expressed great surprise, and observed, "That the Doctor and Mr. Alexander had left Philadelphia before him, with dispatches for me, and that tiiey were to proceed by sea to New Orleans, where he said they niubt have arrived."
"Though determined to deceive him it" possible, I could not refrain teUinir him (Mr. Swartwout) it was impossible that I could ever dishonour my commission; and I believe I duped him by my admiration of the plan, and my observing, "that although I could not join in the expedition, the engagements which the Spaniards had prepared for me in my front, might prevent my opposing it; yet I did, the moment I had deciphered the letter, put it into the hands of colonel Cu«hing, my adjutant and inspector, making the declaration, that I should oppose the lawless enterprise with my utmost force. Mr. Swartwout informed me he was under engagements to meet colonel Burr at Nashville, the 20th of November, and requested of me to write him, which 1 declined; and ou his leaving Natchitoches about the istli of Oc
tober, I immediately employed Lieut. A. Smith to convey the information, in substance, to the Presideut, without the commitment of names: for from the extraordinary nature of the project, and She more extraordinary appeal to me, I co;dd not hut doubt its reality, notwithstanding the testimony before me, and I did not attach solid belief to Mr. Swartwout's reports respecting their intentions on this territory and city, until I received confirmatory advice from St. Louis.
"After my return from the Sublime, I crossed the country to Natchez; and on my descent of th« Mississippi from that place, I found "Swartwout and Peter V. Ogden at Fort Adams: with the latter I held no communication, but w;is informed by Swartwout that lie, Ogden, had returned so far from New Orleans, on his route to Tencssee: but had been so much alarmed by certain reports in circulation, that he was afraid to proceed. I inquired whether he bore letters with hint from New Orleans, and was informed by Swartwout that he did not, but that a Mr. Spence had been sent from New Orleans through the country t« Nashville, with letters for colonel ,Bu rr.
"1 reached this city the C5th xfit. and on the next morning James Alexander, esq. visited me. He inquired of me aside whether 1 had seen Dr. Bollniau"? and on my answering in the negative, he asked me whether^ would suffer him to conduct Uolluian to me? which I refused. He app>j»red desirous to communicate souietiiiug, but I felt no inclination to inculpate this young man, and he left me. A few days after he paid me a second visit, and seemed desirous to communicate, which I avoided, uutil he had risen