A Plain Statement Of Facts
The subscribers, owners in part or whole of a number of merchant vessels lying at Ogdensburgh on the River St. Lawrence, immediately after receiving the news of a declaration of war against Great Britain attempted to get then up the St. Lawrence to a place of greater security. They conceived this step to be of the first importance to the United States, as the possession of those vessels would give the enemy the undisputed right to the lake and river. They, therefore, made application to the respective military commandants at Oswego, Sacket's Harbor, Cape. Vincent and Ogdensburg, for I00 militia to aid in bringing their vessels up the St. Lawrence. To their surprise and regret, however each of them, declined affording any assistance, either in men, arms or ammunition alleging in excuse, that their force was not adequate to the defence of their respective posts.
Finding all hope of military aid vain, we then made the attempt to bring up the vessels with the trifling assistance of 15 private citizens distributed on board the schooners CHARLES & ANN, DIANA, FAIR AMERICAN and ONTARIO, armed with muskets in bad order, being such as could be borrowed at a minute's warning from the inhabitants, and two small swivels ; and on the 29th. June proceeded on our way to the foot of what are usually called the Upper Narrows, where, about one o'clock at night we discovered the schooner SOPHIA, Capt. Montgomery (Matthew McNair owner) and the schooner ISLAND PACKET, Capt. Hill (Townsend, Bronsin & Co., owners), ' ON FIRE,' at a little distance above us; which induced us, after due consideration, to return with the four above named vessels to Ogdensburg, at which place, and very much exposed to attacks from the enemy, they are now lying.
The Captains of the vessels which were burned have since returned upon parole of honor, and inform that the force by which their vessels were captured and burned consisted of four armed boats and 62 men, commanded by Capt. Patrick Smith, a well known wealthy merchant of Kingston. Capt. Montgomery further informs that on board of his vessel were from 15 to 20 passengers and that they were allowed but 7 minutes to leave the vessel, which obliged them to abandon to the flames most of their baggage and clothing.
Oswego July 6,I8I2
Tuesday, July 14, 1812
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Governor Provost has caused the persons who had lately took and burned two vessels near Ogdensburg, to be arrested, and their property seized to indemnify the owners.
Tuesday, August 4, 1812
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