The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Spectator (Kingston, ON), May 30, 1839


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p.2

CUSTOM HOUSE SEIZURE.

[Brockville Recorder]

No little excitement has been caused in our community, by some proceedings in this town connected with the customs. The circumstances are briefly as follows:

On Friday morning last, the United States schooner G.S. Weeks, Turner Master, came into port and moored along side the wharf. The vessel was freighted with goods part of which were for merchants of this place, and the remainder for persons in Morristown and Ogdensburgh. Among the latter was a six pound gun and carriage dismounted and inserted as Freight in the bill of lading. The master came on shore after securing his vessel, enquiring where he should find the Custom House. The papers were exhibited and no exception being taken to them by the Deputy Collector, permits were granted to unload the goods for this place. The master proceeded to discharge his cargo. Meanwhile it seems, some busy person had got an eye on the gun, and it being circulated that an American schooner was in port with a gun on board consigned to A.B. James, Captain of an Artillery company at Ogdensburg, whose former gun had been taken by the Patriots over to the Windmill, a considerable collection of persons soon assembled on the wharf and some more disposed for mischief than others, urged on by men who ought to have acted in a more correct manner, threatened to take the gun off by force. When the goods for this place were nearly out Colonel Fraser, Collector for the Port arrived from Prescott. A party of the dissatisfied immediately went to him and represented that there was an American vessel in port, having a gun on board for the rebel Captain James, at Ogdensburgh, etc. The Colonel going on the vessel declared that she was seized in Her Majesty's name. A cheering was thereupon set by the party who had previously attempted to take off the gun. The gun was then taken off, mounted, drawn through the town with cheering and fired three times, then deposited in Mr. Mair's yard.

The following remarks are from the Brockville Statesman:

On Saturday evening last the American armed Steamer, Oneida, having Colonel Worth of the United States Army on board, with some other Officers, and about sixty men, anchored off the harbour and sent a boat ashore, with two Officers to ask an explanation of the circumstances under which the schooner had been seized and detained. We are sorry to say that on their attempting to land they were prevented by persons assembled there; but they were subsequently enabled to land at another wharf, through the spirited exertions of Lieutenant Fitzgerald of the 73rd regiment commanding the detachment of that corps stationed in the Garrison.

They were conducted to the residence of Col. Marshall, from whence, after a brief consultation, they repaired to the Collector's quarters, but it unfortunately happened that that gentleman had gone to Prescott. The Deputy returned for answer to the enquiries of Colonel Worth, that in the absence of his Principal he was unable to state the legal grounds of the seizure and detention.

Soon after, Colonel Marshall accompanied the American Officers on board the Steamer Oneida, where they remained a considerable time, the Oneida, as we understand having gone to Prescott to ask from the Collector the desired explanation.

On the following morning (Sunday) the Collector came up to Brockville, and on consultation with some gentlemen of the town, it was agreed to place the cannon on board the schooner and to give up the vessel at the place where it had been seized......

(missing issues until July 4th)


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
May 30, 1839
Local identifier:
KN.4671
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Kingston Spectator (Kingston, ON), May 30, 1839