The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), May 22, 1839

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p.3 We copy from the U.C. Herald of yesterday, the following account of the seizure of two cannon at Brockville, which seems to be correct. We are happy to learn, that the reports in circulation respecting Col. Worth's threats to burn the town of Brockville, etc, etc., are totally unfounded.

We understand that last week considerable difficulty arose at Brockville with an American schooner. She brought goods from Oswego to Brockville, and had also other goods, including a piece of cannon and some muskets, for Ogdensburgh. The goods for Brockville were entered and landed, and the cannon and muskets having been seen, a party of militia went aboard, detained the schooner, and took the arms ashore. The cannon was paraded through the streets of Brockville, and a great number of persons assembled to see and share the fun. The Officer in charge of the United States troops took the Oneida steamer with two or three companies of his men, to demand the restitution of the schooner and arms, and the militia refused to give them up. The detachment of the 73rd was called out, and a Company was sent from Kingston followed by the Traveller. On the arrival of the Traveller the Oneida weighed anchor. At length the arms were restored and the schooner liberated, but with so much resistance that, as we are informed, the troops were prepared to fire on the mob. We believe that according to our revenue laws the Captain of the Schooner ought to have reported all his cargo, but his omission of this was only a poor excuse for seizing his vessel and that part of his cargo which was intended for the States. It is said, as some palliation of the proceedings of the mob, that the cannon was directed to a man at Ogdensburgh who was known to have furnished supplies to the Prescott expedition.

A large party at Oswego wanted to detain the Hamilton there on her last trip, in retaliation for the affair at Brockville; but the opposite party prevailed after some trouble, and she was allowed to depart.

Seizure of an American Schooner - Yesterday morning, the American Schooner, G.S. Weeks, from Oswego, to Ogdensburgh, Captain Turner commander, put into this port, having some goods to land here. While in port, it was discovered that she had a piece of Ordnance, (a six pounder we believe) well mounted, on board. Immediately an outcry was raised, and in a few minutes, several persons were assembled on the wharf; all vowing vengeance against the Schooner, and declaring they would have the cannon. During the confusion James Morris, Esq., J.P. arrived, and through his exertions, aided by a few others, the populace were kept back for a while, at length Colonel Marshall, Commandant of the Garrison, hearing of the circumstances, hurried to the spot, and ordered out the detachment of the 73d Regiment, under Lieutenant Fitzgerald.

The Magistrates and Military, seemed for a time, to keep the people back, but it soon became evident that the crowd was rapidly increasing and the determination to seize the Cannon, nothing abated. While in this state, the Brockville Steamer, from Prescott, hove in sight, having Colonel Fraser, Collector of Customs on board.

On the bill of Lading being shown to the Collector, he immediately ordered the Schooner to be seized and detained, till the Governor's pleasure should be known. The Schooner was accordingly taken possession of, in Her Majesty's name, and the Cannon being brought on shore, was hauled through the Street in triumph, by the people, and three rounds subsequently fired from it.

We are not sufficiently skilled in the Revenue Laws, to pronounce an opinion on the legality, or illegalitiy of the seizure; but we could have wished, Colonel Power would have consulted some learned Gentleman, before he had assumed so much responsibility. This much, however, we do know, that did one of our boats enter an American port, with Ordnance on board, she would soon be deprived of them, by the "free and enlightened," in the land of sympathy. [Brockville Statesman]

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May 22, 1839
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), May 22, 1839