The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego County Whig (Oswego, NY), Tuesday May 24, 1839


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Full Text
Correspondence.
Toronto, Upper Canada
May 2d. 1839

Sir- By command of His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor, and Major General Commanding the Forces in Upper Canada, I beg leave to acquaint you, that, as Lieutenant Pilgrim, who conveyed to you the letter of explanation from Colonel Baldwin, commanding the 6th Provisional Battalion of Militia, reported, that you felt perfectly satisfied with the contents of that letter, with the assurance that you should be permitted to pass the Welland Canal, on all future occasions, without insult, and with the recompense you accepted for the damage done to your boat, and the outrage committed upon your schooner' the two Officers and two men, for whose trial a General Court Martial was ordered to assemble, have been released from their arrest and confinement; and that it will in consequence, not be in any degree necessary for you to come to Toronto for their prosecution.

To prove the regret and displeasure which His Excellency, Sir George Arthur, has felt at the unfriendly and illegal outrage upon your schooner at Port Colborne, I beg leave to transmit to you herewith copies of the Orders which have been issued on the subject.

I will feel obliged by your acknowledging the receipt of this letter, which I trust will prove satisfactory to you, in every respect.

I have the honor to be
Sir, you most obedient
humble servant.
C. Foster
Col. Ass't Adjt. Gen. To the Forces.
To Capt. Hugunin, commanding the schooner Stephen Girard, St. Catharines, Upper Canada.

Copy Toronto, April 29th 1839
Monday
(after District General Order)

A General Court Martial of Militia will assemble at 10 o'clock a.m. on Wednesday next, the 1st of May proximo at Osgoode Hall Barracks, Toronto for the trial of such prisoners as may be brought before it.

Col. Kingswill 3rd. Battalion incorporated Militia President.
Maj. Mayrath, 1st Provincial Dragoons
Capt. Sub'
1st Provn. Dragoons 0 2}
3rd Batt. Incor'd Militia 1 2} MEMBERS
6th Prov.'l Batt. Militia 3 3}
The Acting Deputy Judge Advocate, will be named in a future order.
By Command
C. Foster.
Colonel, Ass't Adjt. Gen.

Toronto April 30,1839
(District General Order)

The After District General Order of yesterday's date is canceled.

The General Court Martial of Militia which was directed by that order to be assembled to-morrow, at Toronto, was intended for the trail of two men of the 6th Provisional Battalion , who were principally concerned in an outrage, on the evening of the 22nd inst. On the United States schooner "Stephen Girard" by causing her Broad Pennant to be hauled down, on passing through the locks of the Welland Canal t Port Colborne, on the voyage of the schooner from Oswego to Cleveland, as well as for the trial of two officers of the same Corps who were present at the outrage, but who did not sufficiently exert their influence and authority over their men for the suppression of the unfriendly and illegal proceedings.

Lieutenant Pilgrim having proceeded to Cleveland with a letter from Col. Baldwin, commanding 6th Provisional Battalion, offering every possible reparation for the injury and outrage that had been done, has reported that Capt. Hugunin is quite satisfied with the explanation, and is convinced that there was no premeditated intention to insult him, and has declined to take any further proceedings in the matter. The Capt. has, indeed, with difficulty been prevailed upon to accepts the remunerations of five pounds for the repair of his boat which was accidently damage on the occasion.

Under these circumstances, the Lieutenant Governor and Major General Commanding, has been pleased to direct that Lieutenants O'Brien and Chambers of the 6th Provincial Battalion of Militia be released from arrest; but His Excellency cannot permit these officers to return to their duty without admonishing them that they should not have remained indifferent spectators of so wanton a proceeding' but theat they should have exerted their utmost influence and authority in suppressing it.

Privates Donald Stewart and Thomas Hudson are to be also released from confinement, after being fully impressed with the conviction, that they are alone indebted to the generous forbearance of Capt. Hugunin for having escaped punishment.

His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor, begs to express his warmest approbation of the promptitude which Col. Baldwin manifested in order to satisfy the injured party, and to demonstrate that no man serving under his orders should offend the laws with impunity

By Command (Signed) C. Foster Col. Ass't Adj't Gen.

(Copy) Oswego 8th May 1839

Sir: I hasten to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2nd inst. Enclosing the organization of the Court Martial detained to investigate the conduct of the militia men who assailed my vessel, the Stephen Girard in the Welland Canal, and treated with indignity the flag of my country, as well as that of their officers who witnessed this outrage with apathy and indifference. These papers came into my hands as I was leaving the Canal for this place.

Permit me to say that the prompt disavowal of this indignity by the commanding officer of the station-the remuneration for the slight damage to my vessel, which was pressed upon my acceptance, and above all, the friendly solicitude manifested by His Excellency the Lieut. Governor, in this matter, afford all the satisfaction which could be expected by the owners and officers of the Girard or the American public.

Under these circumstances it affords me much gratification to know that these officers and men have escaped any other punishment that the censure of His Excellency, the Lieut. Governor, and the frowns of their fellow countrymen, and that this lenity is ascribed by the Governor to my forbearing to appear as a witness against them.

While these men have probably acted under the delusion that an indignity offered to the flag of a neighboring nation was an act of loyalty to their own, many citizens of our respective borders have been guilty of much more flagrant and criminal acts under similar delusion, without the poor apology of inebriety which these men can urge in palliation of their offence.

I am with due consideration.
Your obedient servant.
(Signed) J. C. Hugunin.
Mast Schooner Girard
To Col. C. Foster Ass't Adj't Gen. Toronto Upper Canada

Toronto, Upper Canada May 2d. 1839

Sir- By command of His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor, and Major General Commanding the Forces in Upper Canada, I beg leave to acquaint you, that, as Lieutenant Pilgrim, who conveyed to you the letter of explanation from Colonel Baldwin, commanding the 6th Provisional Battalion of Militia, reported, that you felt perfectly satisfied with the contents of that letter, with the assurance that you should be permitted to pass the Welland Canal, on all future occasions, without insult, and with the recompense you accepted for the damage done to your boat, and the outrage committed upon your schooner' the two Officers and two men, for whose trial a General Court Martial was ordered to assemble, have been released from their arrest and confinement; and that it will in consequence, not be in any degree necessary for you to come to Toronto for their prosecution.

To prove the regret and displeasure which His Excellency, Sir George Arthur, has felt at the unfriendly and illegal outrage upon your schooner at Port Colborne, I beg leave to transmit to you herewith copies of the Orders which have been issued on the subject.

I will feel obliged by your acknowledging the receipt of this letter, which I trust will prove satisfactory to you, in every respect.

I have the honor to be
Sir, you most obedient
humble servant.
C. Foster
Col. Ass't Adjt. Gen. To the Forces.
To Capt. Hugunin, commanding the schooner Stephen Girard, St. Catharines, Upper Canada.

Copy Toronto, April 29th 1839
Monday
(after District General Order)

A General Court Martial of Militia will assemble at 10 o'clock a.m. on Wednesday next, the 1st of May proximo at Osgoode Hall Barracks, Toronto for the trial of such prisoners as may be brought before it.

Col. Kingswill 3rd. Battalion incorporated Militia President.
Maj. Mayrath, 1st Provincial Dragoons
Capt. Sub'
1st Provn. Dragoons 0 2}
3rd Batt. Incor'd Militia 1 2} MEMBERS
6th Prov.'l Batt. Militia 3 3}
The Acting Deputy Judge Advocate, will be named in a future order.
By Command
C. Foster.
Colonel, Ass't Adjt. Gen.

Toronto April 30,1839
(District General Order)

The After District General Order of yesterday's date is canceled.

The General Court Martial of Militia which was directed by that order to be assembled to-morrow, at Toronto, was intended for the trail of two men of the 6th Provisional Battalion , who were principally concerned in an outrage, on the evening of the 22nd inst. On the United States schooner "Stephen Girard" by causing her Broad Pennant to be hauled down, on passing through the locks of the Welland Canal t Port Colborne, on the voyage of the schooner from Oswego to Cleveland, as well as for the trial of two officers of the same Corps who were present at the outrage, but who did not sufficiently exert their influence and authority over their men for the suppression of the unfriendly and illegal proceedings.

Lieutenant Pilgrim having proceeded to Cleveland with a letter from Col. Baldwin, commanding 6th Provisional Battalion, offering every possible reparation for the injury and outrage that had been done, has reported that Capt. Hugunin is quite satisfied with the explanation, and is convinced that there was no premeditated intention to insult him, and has declined to take any further proceedings in the matter. The Capt. has, indeed, with difficulty been prevailed upon to accepts the remunerations of five pounds for the repair of his boat which was accidently damage on the occasion.

Under these circumstances, the Lieutenant Governor and Major General Commanding, has been pleased to direct that Lieutenants O'Brien and Chambers of the 6th Provincial Battalion of Militia be released from arrest; but His Excellency cannot permit these officers to return to their duty without admonishing them that they should not have remained indifferent spectators of so wanton a proceeding' but theat they should have exerted their utmost influence and authority in suppressing it.

Privates Donald Stewart and Thomas Hudson are to be also released from confinement, after being fully impressed with the conviction, that they are alone indebted to the generous forbearance of Capt. Hugunin for having escaped punishment.

His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor, begs to express his warmest approbation of the promptitude which Col. Baldwin manifested in order to satisfy the injured party, and to demonstrate that no man serving under his orders should offend the laws with impunity

By Command (Signed) C. Foster Col. Ass't Adj't Gen.

(Copy) Oswego 8th May 1839

Sir: I hasten to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2nd inst. Enclosing the organization of the Court Martial detained to investigate the conduct of the militia men who assailed my vessel, the Stephen Girard in the Welland Canal, and treated with indignity the flag of my country, as well as that of their officers who witnessed this outrage with apathy and indifference. These papers came into my hands as I was leaving the Canal for this place.

Permit me to say that the prompt disavowal of this indignity by the commanding officer of the station-the remuneration for the slight damage to my vessel, which was pressed upon my acceptance, and above all, the friendly solicitude manifested by His Excellency the Lieut. Governor, in this matter, afford all the satisfaction which could be expected by the owners and officers of the Girard or the American public.

Under these circumstances it affords me much gratification to know that these officers and men have escaped any other punishment that the censure of His Excellency, the Lieut. Governor, and the frowns of their fellow countrymen, and that this lenity is ascribed by the Governor to my forbearing to appear as a witness against them.

While these men have probably acted under the delusion that an indignity offered to the flag of a neighboring nation was an act of loyalty to their own, many citizens of our respective borders have been guilty of much more flagrant and criminal acts under similar delusion, without the poor apology of inebriety which these men can urge in palliation of their offence.

I am with due consideration.
Your obedient servant.
(Signed) J. C. Hugunin.
Mast Schooner Girard
To Col. C. Foster Ass't Adj't Gen. Toronto Upper Canada


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
Tuesday May 24, 1839
Local identifier:
GLN.5586
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Richard Palmer
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Oswego County Whig (Oswego, NY), Tuesday May 24, 1839