The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
James Madison (Steamboat), 5 Apr 1838

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$500 R E W A R D.
      On the night of the 5th April inst., between the hours of 11 and 12 o'clock, as the daughter of the subscriber about 19 years of age, was returning home from a public assembly, accompanied by a young gentleman in my employ, she was attacked in the street by a ruffian named R. C. Bristol, who with aid of accomplices succeeded in overpowering the young man and forcing her into a carriage with which he conveyed her to the Steam Boat JAMES MADISON, of which he was master, and immediately put out into the lake. Another boat was fitted out in pursuit, and overtook the JAMES MADISON at Ashtabula, where the victim of the outrage was rescued from the grasp of this worse than murderer, before the accomplishment of his unholy purpose of compelling her to marry him. The wretch, however, is still unsecured to justice. He is supposed to be secreted in Ohio, or has fled to the head of the lake, it being reported that he took passage on board the schooner WHITTLESEY, from Ashtabula for Detroit.
      Said Bristol is about five feet nine or ten inches high, light complexion, bordering upon sandy, light blue eyes, light thin hair, but sometimes wears a wig. Has a very awkwardly affected expression of the mouth when smiling or talking with strangers --- in common parlance puckering it up, and rather an impediment in his speech. He is a sailor by occupation --- had command of the JAMES MADISON, during the time she had been on the lake; was before that, mate or master of a schooner, and had previously been upon the Ocean.
      The above reward of Five Hundred Dollars will be paid for his apprehension and security in the jail of Erie County, Pa.
      Public authorities, parents generally, and all friends to public morals, peace and the safety of individuals, are invited to co-operate in bringing this wretch to justice.
      Erie, Pa., April 7, 1838
      Erie Observer
      April 14, 1838

      . . . . .

      Capt. Bristol. -- The Cleveland Advertiser, has espoused the cause of Captain Bristol, and if we understand it rightly, justifies the outrage which he and his accessories committed, in abducting a young lady from this borough. If the captain was so chivalrous as represented, why does he so studiously avoid Erie, and secrete himself from the legal authorities. Chivalry does not imply or sanction a violation of laws; and if he has violated no law, he certainly ought not to shun investigation of his conduct. All that is asked is that justice may be done.
      Erie Observer
      April 21, 1838

      . . . . .

We understand that Capt. R.C. Bristol, of the steamboat JAMES MADISON, yesterday gave himself up to arrest at Erie, whence he is to be taken to Pittsburgh, where he is prepared to give bail to appear for trial.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Saturday, July 28, 1838; 2:3
      . . . . .

      Capt. Bristol. -- The Buffalonian of Wednesday says that "Captain Bristol of the MADISON is in jail in Pittsburgh, the Court not having allowed him bail." The business of gallanting Miss Hamot up the lake last winter, seems likely to prove more serious than was anticipatyed.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Thursday, September 6, 1818; 2:3
      . . . . .

      CAPT. BRISTOL. -- In the case of Hamot vs. Bristol, the U. S. District Court in session at Pittsburg, decided on Monday last, that they had no jurisdiction. The prisoner was then discharged, and arrived at this place on last evening.
      Erie Gazette
      Tuesday, November 29, 1838

      . . . . .

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Captain's outrage ?
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William R. McNeil
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James Madison (Steamboat), 5 Apr 1838