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Chisholm, he said, knew more than any other person he had ever met with. The deponent felt much alarmed at this report, of Chisholm's not being on board; fearing that, from some cause or other, the captain had left him behind, and with him the deponent's priyate dispatches. The deponent went immediately to Mr. Liston, and informed hiin of these apprehensions. The deponent had, before, given a hint to Mr. Thornton that Chisholm was a babbler, and now mentioned to Mr. Liston every particular, and the probability there was that he had babbled in the same way to others ; that he had shewn the deponent Mr. Liston's letters; that he had been frequently seen with Frenchmen ; that he appeared to be either a very weak man, or to be acting a double game. Mr. Liston observed, that his letters were given as a matter of prudence as well in relation to the vessel as to the dispatches; but he appeared uneasy and alarmed at the apprehension of the deponent that the vessel had gone without Chisholm, whose baggage was all on board, and he determined to accompany the deponent in search of him immediately that night. Mr. Liston and the deponent ac, cordingly went together, and, while Mr. Liston stopped at the comer of Second and Arch streets, the deponent went into Lesher's tavern, where Chisholm had lodged. Chiss holm and Huetter were there together, and Chisholm was vociferating vehemently amidst a crowd of Frenchmen. They were called out of the room at the request of the deponent, who expressed to them his surprise to see them there after the captain was gone, and told them of his alarm. They replied, that the captain was not gone ; and to convince him, they would go to the house where he had lived, and endeavour to find himn out. The deponent left thein and returned to Mr. Liston; told him they were not gone, and that they said the captain had not gone, but that the deponent did not believe them, and would follow them in search of the captain.--It was now between ten and eleven o'clock; Mr. Liston returned to his house, and the deponent followed 'Chisholm and Huetter ; and after strict enquiry, was satisfied that the captain was not gone; and was further informed by Chisholm, that the captain had engaged to call for them at five o'clock the next morning. The deporent returned with then to Lesher's tavern, told them to wait for him and he would see them again that night late as it was, near twelve o'clock. The deponent then went to Mr. Lise ton, and informed him of his enquiries and their result; and at the same time took the liberty to observe that, in the de
ponent's opinion, Mr. Liston had employed a person, or was engaged with one, not entitled to his confidence. Mr. Liston seemed seriously impressed with the deponent's infora malion of the exposure the man had made, and immediately wrote a letter to Mr. George Hammoni, Under Secretary of State, which the deponent delivered that night, or about one o'clock, to Chisholm, and the next morning they went out of town.
The deponent, being interrogated by the coinmittee, whether he knew the contents of the letter to Mr. Hammond, says, that Mr. Liston put it into his hands to read: that the purport of it was to inform Mr. Hainmond, that he should hear further from him on the subject by the packet; and that, in the mean time, it would be proper to be cautious : the packet was to sail the following week. The terms of the letter ivere ambiguous in themselves ; but connected by a person who understood the subject, evidently conveyed a caution against Chisholm. Mr. Liston told the deponent, that the man, Chisholin, had come forward to him with certain propositioi:s, which it was not within his province to decide on ; but that he thought himself obliged to refer him to his government, and twenty or thirty guineas for his passage was a trifling expense. The deponent particularly mentioned to Mr. Liston the bawling he had heard Chisholm make among the Frenchmen, and of his wearing the national cockade, and alarm it occasioned to the deponent, on account of his vessel and cargo. He replied, that was a cover to his designs, and for the purpose of gaining information. Soon after the brig sailed, Mr. Liston paid the usual price for Chisholm's passage, conformable to Mr. Thornton's engagenient. Christian Jacob Huetter paid for his own passage. The vessel left she Capes on the first of April, and has never been heard of since by the deponent.--Chisholm wrote letters to the deponent from the Cajies. In the first, dated March 23d, he requests the deponent to inform Mr. Thornton that all is well so far.” Under cover of a letter which the deponent received from the captain, was an open letter from Chisholin directed to William Blount, Senator in Congress. The deponent was thunderstruckknowing Mr. Blount's character and politics, to see a letter to him from a man who pretended to be pursuing such a plan as Chisholm's. The deponent read the letter, and took it to Mr. Liston. It contained only, in general terms, that all was going on well : that he expected a long voyage,
and and desired remembrance to his family and friends ; and that Blount would inforın them how he was going on. Mr. Liston advised to scal and deliver the letter, which was done.
The deponent declares, that it never occurred to him that the United States were either direEtly or indirectly concerned in the progress or consequences of this project; but he considered it if really projected, which he very much doubted-apprehending Chisholni's real object to be something very different) as mercly a wild enterprise between England and Spain, until the late publications on the subject.
Being further interrogated, whether any conversation had since passed betiveen him and Mr. Liston, or Mr. Thornton, on this affair, the deponent saith, that about two or three weeks ago, Mr. Thornton informed him that they had some suspicions that Chisholm had not gone in the brig, and requested the deponent to find out the pilot, and enquire.This was before Blount's affair exploded. The deponent obtained the information that Chisholm had actually gone, and communicated it to Mr. Thornton.
Being interrogated, whether any conversation had taken place herween Mr. Liston and him, since the discovery of Blount's business? the deponent answers,—that on the day of Mr. Blount's examination in the Senate, the deponent was passing by Mr. Bond's house, and was called in by Mr. Liston. After other conversation relative to the papers of a' captured vessel, Mr. Liston asked the deponent, if he had inforined any body that he, Mr. Liston, had paid Chisholm's passage? The deponent told Mr. Liston, he had not ---10r had said any thing else on the subject; but, that he had strong reason to apprehend, that Chisholm had talked of it himsef to several persons. Mr. Liston said, he could not have done his duty if he had not sent hiin on to his government, for thein to hear and decide on his plans, which were beyond his powers to act on.
Extrait of a Letter from Thomas Davy to IVilliam Davy,
dated “ London, September 13, 1797.”
“ The papers you sent me concerning the business with " which captain Chisholm was commissioned to our court
* did not at all surprise me; I do not wonder it should have 66 transpired from such hands. He made some vain attempts “ to borrow cash from me, on the credit of your recom56 mendation ; being desirous that not the slightest recom" 'mendation from you should be neglected, I sent 10 Lord " Grenville's office to be satisfied of the reality of the story 6 he told me: and there found that, though his business was “ treated by the ministers as it deserved, they had not, as he “ pretende i to me, refused him pecuniary assistance, but had “ absolutely supplied himn largely ; I mean, in a manner 66 fully adequate to his pretensions. In consequence hereof, " on iny sending hiin word that it would not suit me to ad“ vance him any money, I saw no inore of him.”
The Deposition of Gcorge Lesher, aged 48 Yiars and upwards,
being duly sworn before the Committee of the House of Representatives of the United States, appointed to prepare and report Articles of Impeachment against William Blount, a Senator of the United States, impeached by the said House, of High Crimes and Misdemeanors--by Reynold Keene, exe of the Aldermen of the City of Philadelphia, on the 19th day of July, 1797.
GEORGE LESHER, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that, for several years he nas kept a tavern in the city of Philadelphia-ihat some time late in the last fall, a man, called captain Chisholm, came to his house with a party of Indians ; that after they went away, he remained, until a tout the first of April, within which time he observed to this deponent, that it would be a fine thing if the Floridas could be taken from the Spaniards.
That there lodged in his house, at the same time, a man of the name of Huetter, wl!, he understood, intended to go to Hamburgh-three days before the vessel was to sail, in which he was to go, Chisholın canie to this deponent, in his back room, and said, he was going to Europe, and should make his fortune-on the next day, in the evening, he caine to him again, and said now he should certainly go, as every thing was fixed and the vessel ready---he told to this deponent, as a secret, what his plan was-that the vessel in which he was going, would clear out for Hamburgh, but would go to England, where he should land, and expected to get a com
mission--and that he should sail from thence with a fteet, to Pensacola or Louisiana, where he should be joined by a nuinber of Indians; for he could raise two thousand of them, by firing a cannon.
On the evening before Chisholm sailed, he shewed to this deponent a packet of papers, about three inches thick, covered with lead, and sealed, for England which he said he should throw overboard if taken by the French, and become himself a Frenchinan.
On the next morning he went away in the Wilmington stage; for Newcastle, at which place the deponent understood he was to take shipping.
While Chisholm was at the house of this deponent, he was arrested by an under-sheriff, as the endorser of a note of four hundred dollars, drawn by Governor Blount. For some time, he opposed the payiñent, saying that he did not owc the money. However, after much conversation, he went out, attended by the sheriff, and on his return, declared that he had paid the four hundred dollars, which he regretted, as he had been forced to sacrifice, at the loss of five or six dollars in the hundred, a note of five hundred dollars, which he had received from Mr. Bond, the British consul.
Letter from Timothy Pickering, Esq. to the Committee, dated
Philadelphia, July 26, 1797. GENTLEMEN, In a note received from Mr. Harper, I was requested to put into writing, for the use of the Committee, the substance of my conversation with Mr. Liston, the British minister; particularly that part which relates to the correspondence with Dr. Romayne. I give it as follows:
When the Spanish minister, the Chevalier de Yrujo, had formally expressed to me his suspicion that an expedition was preparing on the Lakes, on the part of the English, the object of which was to attack Upper Louisiana, I mentioned it to Mr. Liston. He instantly answered, that he had no knowledge of any such preparations. I remarked, that to me; the project suggested did not bear the resemblance of probability: that very great embarrassinents must be encountered in transporting troops, cannon, stores and provisions, from Canada to the Missisippi: and besides, that the