The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Alpha (Schooner), 8 Jul 1871

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      Resistance To a U.S. Marshal In Serving Process Upon a Vessel
      (From the Detroit Free Press, July 12th.)
      Since the exciting adventure, twelve years age, of United States Deputy Marshal Tyler in the attempt to serve a process of attachment, and to take possession of the brig CONCORD, and in which the captain of the brig was mortally wounded by the discharge of a pistol in the hands of the Marshal, no more stirring events of a similar character has occurred than that which befel Deputy Marshal Theodore Ray and his assistants, in taking possession of the Canadian schooner ALPHA, on Saturday night last, in the river, a few miles below the city. The facts briefly are, that on the day mentioned, the ALPHA, hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, was engaged in taking on a cargo of lumber at Windsor, opposite this city, for a port below. On this side of the river, the lynx eye of Theo. Ray was upon the schooner, and every movement looking towards her setting sail was carefully watched. He also had the little tug FAVORITE in readiness nearly all day under charter and steam for a movement at the shortest notice, and when shortly before the close of the afternoon, the schooner left Windsor, all hands were got aboard and the preperations for a chase began. Marshal Ray had with him Capt. Alex Mann as ship-keeper, and in addition to the crew of the FAVORITE, her owners, Jack and Lewis Horn, the latter of whom generally holds the post of purser, clerk and skipper of the craft.
The chase proceeded down the river, being taken in tow by the tug ODD FELLOW and when a good distance this side of the boundry line, two or three miles below the mouth of the River Rouge, the FAVORITE ran alongside and hailing the captain of the tug, informed him that he had an attachment for the schooner and requested him to slacken speed, which he immediately did. The FAVORITE then fell back to board the ALPHA, and Ray announced to her captain that he was a United States Marshal and proceeded to read his warrant of authority, after which he stepped on board with the ship-keeper, Capt. Mann, and took formal possession, at the same moment directing the FAVORITE to take the tow-line. The proceedings thus far were apparently freely acquiesced in by those in charge of the schooner, but no sooner was the FAVORITE a cable length away, and in the act of taking the tow-line to bring the vessel back to the city, than the captain of the schooner seized an axe, and seconed by a portion of his crew, rushed upon and for a moment overpowered the officers, attacking them with the evident purpose, as is alleged, of taking their lives, at the same time shouting to the master of the ODD FELLOW to go ahead. The man at the wheel, too, was ordered to steer the schooner towards the Canadian shore, but in his bewilderment put the tiller the wrong way and came near sending her among the reeds of the marsh grounds, on the American side. When the onset was made Marshal Ray gave the signal to the men on the FAVORITE and called for assistance, to which the gallant little craft quickly responded, and came up with a will, in inniment danger of crushing in her side as she struck the schooner. Before the vessels touched, however, the younger Horn leaped aboard the ALPHA, and began laying right and left among the crew all of whom were armed with capstan spars, handspikes, &c. Lewis was followed by his brother and one or two of the crew of the FAVORITE, and after a single round the belligerents gave up and asked for quarter. The Captain and chief officers were placed under arrest, and the schooner taken in tow and brought back, reaching the city about 10 o'clock Saturday night. The prisoners were placed in jail, and were yesterday morning brought before the United States Commissioner, and partially examined on the charge preferred against them, and which, if sustained, according to the evidence of the witnesses against them, will be quite likely to send them to prison. The testimony of Officer Ray, Capt. Mann and John, Jr. and Lewis Horn was taken, and the hearing continued, at the request of the defendant, until this morning.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, July 13, 1871

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attempt to escape Marshal
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Alpha (Schooner), 8 Jul 1871