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upon oath. The following extracts from their de. positions, will show how BLOUNT's letter got into the hands of the government.
Extract from Grant's Deposition. MR. BLOUNT, After speaking generally of some unfortunate circumstances having taken place in his pecuniary affairs in Philadelphia, he told me, in confidence, that there was a plan on foot which be boped would relieve him from his difficulties. I asked him the nature and extent of it, believing it to be a landed negotiation which I had understood he with some others were concerned in, and had in operation by their agents in London and elsewhere. He informed me that it was quite a different thing ; that it was a plan respecting which, Chisholm and several of the chiefs had been with the British Minister during the last winter in Philadelphia, and on the subject of which Chisholm had a paper in the hand-writing of Mr. Liston, though he believed bis name was not to it; that the intention of the thing was a co-operation of the Indians with the British in taking the Floridas, and establishing a British government in the Spanish dominions on the Mississippi, which he conceived would be of great utility to the Western country: he said, if the plan should go forward, he should be engaged in it; that he was to use his influence to bring the Indians to act their part, and to conduct them as their military leader on the expedition; and that he was to be rewarded by some high official situation in the government of the conquered country: he made no direct overture to me to join in the enterprise ; but said, that if he succeeded, he should have it in his power to provide handsomely for his friends; and advised me to go to the Natchez, to get out of the reach of certain pecuniary engagenents which I had been induced to contract by indorsing paper on his assurance that the payment should be provided for, and which he told me there would be no other method of avoiding than by going out of the government of the United States. He did not mention the names of any persons who were to be associated with him in his project, but I understood generally from him that any citizens of the United States who would engage in the enterprise, as volunteers, should be received and employed. He appeared to place great reliance on the assistance of Rogers and Carey, and on their influence in persuading the Indians to second his views : he spoke particularly of Rogers as a more resolute and determined man, and more to be depended on, than Carey. He did not explain the arrangement of the plan more particularly than that a naval armament
was to be sent from Great Britain, which was to bring out the materials for the enterprise, and which was to be co-operated with on the land side, under his directions, by the Indians and such other force as he could engage for the purpose. He spoke of it as an atfair not yet matured, but which depended on preliminary circumstances yet to be arranged. I understood that the paper, which he mentioned Chisholm to have in the hand-writing of Mr. Liston, contained the project of the expedition.
I parted from Governor Blount about 150 or 160 miles from Knoxville, and proceeded on my journey. On the 15th of May, or about that time, I was going from Knoxville to Tellico , Block-house, to settle some pecuniary transactions of my own; . when I was requested by Colonel James King to take down some letters-On my signifying my willingness to take them, he gave me two letters to James Carey, and one for Major Lovely, all from Governor Blount-One of the letters for Carey was, I think, under two seals, and was marked on the superscription, No. 1.the other two letters were open--When they were delivered 10 me by Colonel King, he enjoined me to deliver the sealed letter to Carey secretly: I did not enquire the motive of this injunction, because I supposed it was the letter of which Governor Blount had spoken to me in Washington county, and that Colonel King was acquainted with the subject of it-I delivered all the letters as I was requested, the unsealed letter for Carey, which was upon private business, I took back from him as its object could not then be complied. with.
Extract from Carey's Deposition. After my return to Tellico, on or about the 20th of May, I was told that James Grant, commonly called Major Grant, wanted to see me-Wien I met hini, he told me he had a letter for me which he wished to deliver to me when we were by ou selves: We walked away together to some distance, and he then said he had a letter for me from my old friend Governor Blount-He delivered it to me, and on opening it, I found, within the same cover, two letters, one for John Rogers, dated “ Tennessee, Sullivau county, April 21, 1797, (Colonel King's Iron-works")--the other for me, dated « Colonel King's Ironworks, April 21, 1797."-both of which letters are now in the possession of the Committee-Without attending to the die rection, I first opened that which was addressed to Rogers, and read down one side, which related to a runaway negro fellow, before I discovered my mistake. I then began the letter which was directed to me---Major Grant and I were sitting within two feet of each other. I read loud enough to be heard by him;
and, as I was sometimes at a loss to make out a word, being a poor scholar, he told me what it was, and explained ro'me, and corrected me whenever I blundered as I went on-When I had finished reading it, he said to me, “ Now, Carey, you must be very careful, as your friend Governor Blount puts great confidence in you; you must observe what he tells you, that when you have read the letter two or three times, you are to burn it" -He then asked me what I intended to do; whether I would send the letter to Rogers, or send for Rogers to come to me I told him I did not know; perhaps I might write to Rogers, and if I did, I would let him know-He said that people thereabouts thought it was all over with Governor Blount: but he would rise yet—that if his plan should take place, it would be a great thing for the friends of the business and for the country—that Governor Blount would entrust nobody with the care of the letter but him, and that he had come to Tellico on purpose to deliver it to me that I should receive another let. ter from Governor Blount, and that hę, Major Grant, would come down again to see me on the subject--I then told him that I could not tarry any longer, as I was wanted at the store : as we returned, he repeated to me that I should be careful, that the business. was of great consequence, that it would be of much service to its friends, and that Governor Blount placed great confidence in me. He then returned to Knoxville.
I kept the letter, but did not know what to do with it or think about it-I had, a few days before, been sworn, by Mr. Diosmoor, to execute my appointments with fidelity to the United States: and I was much embarrassed between my regard for Governor Blount and what might possibly be my duty with respect to the letter*-I consulted Major Lewis Lovely, who is clerk at the store, and shewed him the letter-He told me he did not know what to advise, but that I should consider my vath-I took occasion, a few days afterwards, when I was alone with Mr. Byers, to tell him that I had a strange letter in my possession, which I did not know what to do about: He asked me who it was from I told hini, and promised to shew it to him the next morning, which I did accordingly; and on his assurance that it was of importance to the public that it should be disclosed, I gave it to bim...
* This fellow must not have much credit on the score of conscience. It was his place, and not his soul, that he was afraid of losing. His appointment under the United States had taken place without the knowledge of BLOUNT, who, if he had heard of it, certainly would not have made a confident of him.
Thus did the letter fall into the hands of Byers, one of the very persons, from whom the writer cautions CAREY to keep its contents a profound secret! Byers, finding himself not only not trusted, but positively suspected, by BLOUNT, immediately set off to Philadelphia, and communicated the letter to the President. The President, after having made the necessary inquiries respecting CHISHOLM and the others concerned; and after having taken the preparatory steps for seizing on the papers of the grand projector, communicated the fatal letter to the Congress, where it was read from the chair of the Senate, while the writer of it was sitting as one of the Members of that body!
This was on the 3d of July, 1797, during that session of Congress, which has, usually, been denominated the Extra Session. The Senate instantly passed a resolution to send for persons and papers, in virtue of which they seized a trunk containing the letters and other private papers of BLOUNT. The House of Representatives, in the mean time, appointed a Committee to examine, and make a report on the business. On the 5th of July, this Committee made their report in part, and recommended an immediate publication of the papers. On the 7th of July, the House took up the report of the Committee, which was now rendered incomplete, and resolved to impeach MR. BLOUNT of high crimes and misdemeanors. MR. SAMUEL SITGREAVES, who was the first on the Committee, was ordered to carry up the resolution to the Senate, and their to prefer the impeachment in the name of the House of Representatives, and of all the people of the United States; and further, to demand, that the said WILLIAM BLOUNT should be sequestrated from his seat in the Senate. On the 8th of July, the Senate informed the lower House, that they had taken bail for the appearance
the people he House of Rethe impeachme
of of Blount. On the 18th of July the Senate informed the Representatives, that they had expelled WILLIAM BLOUNT; that upon his expulsion being declared, Mr. BUTLER and THOMAS BLOUNT (brother of William), the sureties of BLOUNT the Senator, came and surrendered him up, and requested to be discharged from their recognizances; and, that, thereupon the Senate resolved, that WILLIAM BLOUNT should be taken into custody of their messenger, until new and sufficient surety should be given. Blount did not like this resolution, the fulfilment of which he took care to prevent by immediately decamping. This circumstance, however, (which the Congress really seem to have rejoiced at) did not prevent the preparations for the impeachment from going. The sessions ended, in the mean time; but Messrs. SAMUEL SITGREAVES, HARPER, BALDWIN, Dawson, and BAYARD, were appointed a Committee to examine evidences, and to inake their report at the next meeting of Congress.
The first thing this Committee did was to rummage the trunk of papers, which belonged to BLOUNT, and which the Senate had seized, upon the first intimation of the matter. In this trunk they found several letters from a Doctor NICHOLAS ROMAYNE, a physician of New York, who was a speculator in lands, and who had been for some time, in close connection with BLOUNT. They sent to New York, apprehended Dr. ROMAYNE, and carried him to Philadelphia.—Romayne's letters and his deposition before the Committee I shall now insert at length; as also the letters of BLOUNT to ROMAYNE, together with those of CHISHOLM, and the deposition of Davy, which with the letters of Mr. PICKERING, Mr. Liston, and Lord GRENVILLE, will be found to form a complete history of the whole affair.