The History of New York State
Book XII, Chapter 7, Part 1

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

CHAPTER VII
POLITICS IN NEW YORK STATE
From the Rise of the Whig party to the Eve of the Civil War

The Rise of the Whig Party--The election of 1832 sounded the death-knell of the Anti-Masonic party. It was soon realized that, at best, the Anti-Masonic furor was merely a local issue. Its basic political principles were so much like those of the National Republicans that in all except the Masonic phase there was no justification for its separate existence; and the Anti-Masonic sentiment was too vindictive and narrow to be effective in impartial political fields. Signs of disintegration of the Anti-Masons were seen in the New York legislature in 1833. Van Buren and his comrades had been angling in Anti-Masonic waters and had managed to hook one or two big fish. Albert H. Tracy was tempted to bite, and at last was hooked, but Seward could not be drawn near. Still, there was little doubt in the minds of the staunchest Anti-Masons but their party had run its course. Their presidential candidate, William Wirt, had carried only Vermont; and as the candidate of the National Republicans had received only 49 of the 265 electoral votes, it is not astonishing to find that some of the more ambitious Anti-Mason thought that a more productive future would like before them, as Democrats, in the Jackson party. In any case, the Masonic order was recovering from the attack, and those of its enemies who wished to live politically realized that in future they should devote the public endeavors to more legitimate political issues. However, not many of the Anti-masons drifted into the Jackson camp. The majority followed Weed, Seward, Granger, Whittlesey, Fillmore, Spencer, and others in merging with the National Republicans in 1834.

It was a period of most important political reconstruction. The opinions of the moneyed factions had undergone a drastic change since 1832. Jackson had been more demagogic in dealing with capital. He had shaken banking and commerce, declaring that "men who trade on borrowed capital ought to fail." The United States Bank, which was now nearing the end of its chartered life, had been calling in its loans, and exercising closer scrutiny upon applications. The stringency of money was hampering industry. The ranks of the unemployed were increasing, and the future was uncertain. Jackson was tampering "with the balance-wheel which regulated the finances of the country." Soon he was to stop it altogether, and bring upon his head, with disaster almost incredible, the whole financial structure of the Nation.

This banking policy of Jackson affected a larger number of citizens than another party alienated. When Jackson became President, it seemed as if anti-slavery had died of old age. Certainly, the Abolitionists were not in evidence. Nevertheless, there was a "little bank of people who believed that slavery was poisonous to the South, harmful to the North, and dangerous to the Nation." #1These Abolitionists were, of course, to be found in the ranks of the National republicans or the Anti-Masons. Seward, for instance, preferred to retire from politics altogether than to seek political advancement under Jackson and Van Buren. In 1831, at the time of the desperate attempt of Negro slaves at Southampton, Virginia, to free themselves, Seward "warned the people that it would be necessary to procure the peaceful reform of the great evil of slavery," or risk a bloody outbreak at some time in the future, one that would make the Southampton uprising seem insignificant by comparison. He was scarcely heard, and there were not a handful of military Abolitionists to be found in the country. Still, those who silently but conscientiously believed that slavery was an evil which they could never bring themselves to countenance, registered their passive protest by affiliating with the opponents of Jackson. In this and other ways the Whig party originated in 1834.

The name "Whig" first came into use, in State politics of that period, during the spring municipal election of 1834 in New York City. What should have been a local contest centered upon National issues. The people of New York City, for the first time in its history, were to elect their mayor. Formerly, the restricted franchise had given little scope for public factions; but not a new order seemed to have come, a change as significant as that of Revolutionary days. Another revolution was taking place, a revolt against "King Andrew," and quickly the opponents of Jackson appropriated to themselves the spirit of the Revolution. They claimed, indeed, to be the successors of the Whigs of 1776, raised liberty poles, appropriated the National flag, and displayed portraits of Washington, but they went to senseless limits when they spoke of their opponents as Tories. As a matter of fact, the Whigs of 1834 were so only in name; in spirit and class they were more truly Tories. Local issues were injecting points that seemed to puncture national policies, or distort them into unrecognizable forms. Marcy's promptness in pledging the State's credit to the banks, to the extent of six millions of dollars, if there were need, to defeat the apprehended attempt of the United Stated Bank to create a financial panic, was declared by the Whigs to be "a pledge of the people's property for the benefit of money corporations,' notwithstanding that Marcy was a Jacksonian, and that Jackson was the inveterate enemy of the moneyed interests. "Marcy's mortgage," as the pledge was called, was stigmatized as "little better than a vulgar swindle in the interest of the Democratic party."

This was an effective twisting of issues, and although the Whig candidate--Gulian A. Verplanck--for mayor, was defeated, the Whigs gained control of the Council, which controlled municipal patronage. So they had reason to be elated with the "revolution" against "King Andrew."

The Whig spirit was carried to the State convention in August, 1834; and there the new State party adopted the name. To give the event the historic flourish, Daniel Webster wrote that from his cradle he had been "educated in the principles of the Whigs in '76."

At this convention, the combined National Republicans and Anti-Masons nominated William H. Seward for the Governorship. He was then thirty-three years old, a strong candidate, popular and respected. Four years in the State Senate had enhanced his reputation. His lieutenant- was Silas M. Stilwell, a former Regency Assemblyman, who had turned to Whig affiliation when Jackson removed the United States Bank deposits. With Seward and Stilwell, the new Whig party felt confident of success, especially as some prominent Regency leaders had gone over to the Whigs.

Marcy, who was nominated, was more cheerful than in the campaign of 1832. True, "Marcy's pantaloons" still excited merriment, but so also did Seward's red hair. The hirsute decorations of the younger candidates were more successfully defended than the nether garments of the Governor, and William L. Stone, in the columns of the "Commercial Advertiser," closed a review of the golden-haired celebrities of a few thousand years with the command: "Stand aside, then, ye Tories, and 'let go of his hair'." There were more serious battle cries, of course. The Democrats decried the "Monster Bank Party." This brought the Whig retort: "The Party of Little Monsters," presumably Jackson's "pets," the State banks.

It was a lively campaign, but the Whigs were not yet strong enough. Marcy was returned as Governor by a majority of 13,000, #2 and John Tracy became Lieutenant-Governor. Francis Granger, who became a Congressman, was the only Whig of prominence who was victorious at the polls in 1834. Seward retired from political affairs for a time. He was not made despondent, or demoralized, by the defeat. He merely considered that the nation was not yet ready for such reforms as he advocated. "If I live and my principles ever do find favor with the people, I shall not be without their respect," he said to Editor Weed. "Believe me," he continued," there is no affectation in my saying that I would not now exchange the feelings and association of the vanquished William H. Seward for the victory and 'spoils' of William L. Marcy."

The Abolitionists--Marcy was undoubtedly strongly entrenched in the State, though no more strongly then Van Buren was in the Nation.

Since his election as Vice-President, Van Buren had been riding easily, with every hope of riding on to the Presidency. The Democratic party seemed to accept his succession to the Presidency as inevitable. "It is doubtful if a man ever slipped into an office more easily then Martin Van Buren secured the Presidency," writes Alexander. Of course, there was some opposition; and some of those who resisted the movement to make Van Buren Jackson's successor were not hesitant in declaring their opinion of the Vice-President. Naturally, New York made much of the greatness of the man from Kinderhook but other States saw little in Van Buren that could inspire them to rally enthusiastically to his standard. His was not a striking personality like Jackson's Quite generally, outside New York, Van Buren was looked upon as a grasping politician. David Crockett wrote a "Life of Van Buren." It was political propaganda, and therefore should not be taken at face value; but there was an element of truth in even the most scurrilous of Crockett's interpretations of Van Buren's character and personality. Crockett described him as "secret, sly, selfish, cold, calculating, distrustful, treacherous," and "as opposite to Jackson as dung is to a diamond." To many of his opponents, and to many who took little interest in politics, Van Buren seemed to be branded with the proscription stigma. "To the victors belong the spoils" seemed, to them to sum up his political history. Calhoun denounced the Van Burenites as "a powerful faction held together by the hopes of plunder, and marching under a banner whereon is written: 'To the Victors beveling the Spoils'." Certainly, the Van Buren supporters, during the period of incumbency as Vice-President, were strong. "I do not believe," wrote Thurlow Weed, "that a stronger political organization ever existed at any State capital, or even at the National Capital." Among Van Buren's colleagues were some Great New Yorkers. Some perhaps were devoted to him only because he was already, almost, the decreed successor Jackson; but they made a strong headquarters staff for Van Buren. Edward Livingston, whose life-story is one of the most inspiring in American history, had fought himself upward from undeserved disgrace and insolvency to an honored place in State and Nation and to a solvency which left no debts unpaid. Even a debt, doubtful and twenty years old, to the United States, had been paid in full, with compound interest, though its redemption took from Livingston's pockets more then $100,000 which he need never have paid. Now he was in Washington with Van Buren, as Secretary of State. Benjamin F. Butler, a former law partner of the Vice-President, was there also, as Attorney-General. Silas Wright and Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, the United States Senators from New York, were of Van Buren's following; and Samuel Beardsley and Churchill C. Cambreling were prominent in the House of Representatives. The Van Burenites were, of course, in firm control of New York State, having Marcy as Governor, Charles L. Livingston as Speaker of the Assembly, Azariah C. Flagg as State comptroller, John A. Davis as Secretary of State, Abraham Keyes as State Treasurer. Edwin Croswell, the editor of the "Argus," was so ardent a champion of the Regency that he had been known to come to fisticuffs with Thurlow Weed, the wielder of such a caustic pen in the opposition journal. Croswell was State Printer, and Thomas W. Olcott cared for the finances of the Regency.

Van Buren might have rested easily, had not the seemingly dormant Anti-Slavery movement come into sensational life again. It had been stirring from about 1830, when William Lloyd Garrison began to publish the "Liberator" in Boston. To Garrison, slavery was a crime. Black or white, he declared that all human beings were entitled, in America, to the same inalienable rights. His statements stirred Georgia to such frenzy that its legislature passed an act, authorizing payment of $5,000 for his delivery into that State. Arthur Tappan, a New Yorker who had paid a fine to release Garrison from jail and who ha since supported the anti-Slavery writer, also came in for judicial consideration. Indictment of absent northerners by southern grand juries was not infrequent. Governor Marcy was even asked, by a southern State, to deliver Tappan, to stand trial for alleged libelous statements. These tactics were not effective, and the anger of the southern States increased. Mob violence was next tried. Northern sympathizers of the South in New York City in October, 1833, by intimidation, prevented the organization of an Anti-Slavery society; and on the following Fourth of July an Anti-slavery meeting was broken up. Outrages on churches and schools, and indeed homes, of Negroes in New York State followed, the northern supporters of slavery apparently being in strong force. As a matter of fact, the State government leaned to the southern side as the Presidential year, 1836, drew nearer. Van Buren needed the vote of the South, and had apparently instructed his lieutenants in New York to show evidence of sympathy with the slave State.

Jackson, or the Democratic party leaders, had been especially anxious to secure the nomination of Van Buren. A national convention had been held in May, 1835, eighteen months before election time; and at that convention he had been chosen unanimously as the Democratic stand-bearer succeeding Jackson. It was a somewhat unusual convention. Party organization was still imperfect. The modern system of exact and proportionate representation was only vaguely understood. In any case it was not heeded, for some States sent hosts of delegates, and some States only one or two. For instance, Maryland send 183 delegates into convention but Tennessee only sent one. Virginia was represented by 102, and New York by only 42. In making nominations the electoral College quota was the standard. Thus Maryland's 182 delegates could cast only ten votes, and Tennessee's one delegate counted fifteen votes. The two-thirds rule for nominations for both President and Vice-President was adopted. It was thought that such a nominating requirement would "have a more imposing effect," but of course Van Buren's nomination by unanimous vote was even better.

Van Buren knew that his election depended upon the South. His enemies also were aware of it and they used every wile possible to embarrass him with northern or southern voters. Garrison's "Liberator" had stirred the south to such anger that Abolitionists would have been given short shrift if so unfortunate as to be within reach. To one Richmond editor Abolitionists were "hell-hounds"--fanatics who should be hanged. A Charleston editor threatened to cut out and "cast upon the dunghill" the tongue of any anti-slavery lecturer. A Georgia paper thought the question would lead the South to secede "and settle the matter by the sword." An Alabama clergyman recommended the hanging of any man how favored emancipation, and Virginia called upon all non-slave-holding States to suppress Abolitionists by penal statute.

New York apparently was receptive to such legislative restriction. At the behest of the Democratic nominee for President, the Van Burenites in New York became active in every county. Over and over again, reports came of meetings held throughout the State, and of resolutions adopted denouncing Abolitionists as "fanatics and traitors to their country," and indorsing Van Buren as "a patriot opposed to the hellish abolitionist factions and all there heresies." Of a mass meeting at Albany Governor Marcy himself was chairman; and the proceedings of that meeting showed such a positive pro-slavery sentiment that Van Buren was encouraged to send a copy of the report to the Governor of Georgia. He went further, for he authorized the southern Governor to say that he, Van Buren, the Democratic nominee for President, concurred fully in the sentiments advanced.

As yet slavery had hardly become a matter of vital political controversy; but there were some far-seeing public men who saw that unless settled, the issue would some day unsettle the very foundations of government. In commenting upon the Albany meeting, Thurlow Weed, who lost no opportunity of editorially confounding the Van Burenites, dreaded to use this issue for partisan advantage. "It is too fearful and too mighty, in all its bearings and consequences, to be recklessly mixed up in our partisan conflicts," #3 he said. But the Van Burenites were especially desirous that the South should know that the seat of the Abolitionist movement was not in New York. It was necessary to emphasize this by positive action by the State government, for it was well known that one of the greatest champions of emancipation helped the Anti-slavery cause much as the conversion of St. Paul benefited the Christian Church," #4 was one of the largest landowners in New York State, owing tracts in fifty-six of the sixty counties of the State--in all about 800,000 acres. It occurred to him, in 1830, to use part of his landed wealth for the relief of Negroes and during the next two decades he has provided homes in northern States, on farms of fifty acres each, for twelve or fourteen thousand emancipated slaves. Personally, he had given them more than 200,000 acres of land, so this noble philanthropic New Yorker was a pillar of strength to the Anti-slavery movement, and consequently was execrated in the South. To offset the undesirable prominence into which Gerrit Smith was bringing New York, Governor Marcy, in his message to the Legislature in January, 1836, recommended that such penal laws be passed as would "have the effect of preventing the citizens of this State, and residents within it, from availing themselves, with impunity, of the protection of its sovereignty and laws, while they are actually employed in exciting insurrection and sedition in a sister State, or engaged in treasonable enterprises, intending to be executed therein." Such language must surely warm the hearts of the South to Van Buren, but he contrived to give them even more striking evidence of his loyalty. A bill to prohibit postmasters from knowingly transmitting any literature relating to the abolition of slaves was pending in the United State Senate, and, by skillful manoeuvering, the vote was tied, thus enabling Van Buren, as president of the Senate, to give the casting vote. He voted in the affirmative, and thus gained the confidence of three-quarters of the slave-holding States. And interest was not so keen in the northern States as to make it likely that Van Buren would lose the support of the Democrats by this action.

The Money Panic of 1837--Van Buren came to be known as "a Northern man with Southern principles," but Democrats, in general, were generously inclined just then. The country, in 1836, was riding on the crest of a wave of prosperity. The transference of public money from the United States Bank to a number of "pet banks" chartered by the States, led to a great inflation of paper money, followed by a general mania for speculation. Again, it the day of the State banks; again the nation was to be showered by "shin plasters, blown into the light air by flimsy 'pet banks,' the power to blow coming from systems dangerously inflated by the knowledge that, almost in a night, they had emerged from obscurity to prominence--had been transformed from unimportant little bodies to great national figures, from small town banks to national institutions, the chosen depositories of the money of a great nation." #5 Throughout the Union during the period of 1834-37, the State banks lost all send of proportion. After a slight stringency, which came when the United States Bank curtailed its operations, money became easy in 1834, when the liberal policies of the State banks began to take effect. It became still easier in 1835 and in the first half of 1836 money was so plentiful, people were so optimistic, projects were so varied and stupendous, values reached such high levels that even sane conservative business men ventured on to the frailest structures, never dreaming that a storm was possible. "It was a time when to be sane was seeming madness; when to be mad was common sanity." The State banks, with paper money as their mode of expression, were reaching such high notes that they could not be brought down to reason by safe means. In 1830 the banks of the country had about $66,628,898 of notes in circulation; in 1834, $103,692,495; in 1836, the circulation had reached $140,310,495. In 1837 there were 624 State banks, aggregating notes, and $525,000,000 of loans and discounts. The deposits were nearly so, in 1836. There was little species to be had, but paper money seemed to bulge out of every man's pockets. It is said that some of the banks issued twenty-five times as much in paper currency as they held in metallic currency. So the average man had good reason to be satisfied with the effect of Jackson's banking policy. Only a few bankers, during the latter half of 1836, saw that the time of accounting was near--that even a slight jar would be likely to explode this multicolored bubble of seeming prosperity.

The newly rich are usually kindly-disposed to mankind in general. So it was not difficult for Marcy, in September, 1836, to gain unanimous re-nomination as Governor. As the Whigs had no cause to complain of the Nation's prosperity at the moment and were not disposed to make Anti-slavery an issue just yet, it seemed that the Democrats would be victorious throughout the country. Henry Clay would not become the Whig nominee for president, and they had to fall back on General William Henry Harrison and Hugh L. White. Seward would not again contest with Marcy for the Governorship, so finally the State Whigs chose Jesse Buel, a legislator of god record but not brilliant. Tracy was Marcy's "side partner," and Gamaliel H. Barstow was second to Buel on the Whit State ticket. Harrison was favored for President.

As was anticipated, the Democrats swept the country. Marcy again became Governor, his majority being nearly 30,000 (166,122 to 136,648) and only one solitary Whig found a place in the State Senate. The Assembly was also overwhelmingly Democratic. Van Buren was given a solid electoral vote by his home state and became the next President. The popular vote for him was 761,549 against 549,394 cast for Harrison and 146,140 for White. In the Electoral College Van Buren received 170 votes against 124 cast for the four other candidates. So he became President-Elect, the first New Yorker to reach that eminence in American affairs.

If Van Buren rode easily into the Presidency, there can be no doubt that he found the Presidential chair far from easy. His administration was rendered difficult by the consequences that followed the Jackson banking policy. In a lesser degree, Governor March also found the skies overclouding were his third term had advanced far. Jackson's last word on finance was his famous "specie circular," which required payment for public lands to be made in specie. This did not immediately bring a stringency, for it effected only a small percentage of the people, but specie was so scarce that when the needs of planters and brokers, in handling the enormous cotton crop of 1836, became urgent, the money stringency began to be felt. The speculative race had by this time gained such momentum that nothing save collapse could stop the contestants. Such stupendous enterprises had been begun, and there were such colossal profits seemingly certain, that promoters did not hesitate to borrow even at an interest rate of two per cent a month. Local banks had multiplied, politicians had become so heavily stocked with bank shares, "the unclean drippings of venal legislation," as the New York "Evening Post," described it, that speculation seemed to be sponsored by the highest departments of the country. It is not surprising, therefore, that the common people, the "small fry" of little means, had come to consider themselves as plutocrats, and to carry their schemes far beyond their little means. Some of those who were forestalled by the politicians in profiting by banking promotions joined others who, perhaps sincerely, pointed out that the laws of the States provided for a fair distribution of bank stock. Others were opposed to all monopoly, and believed that banking should be open to competition, like any other business. An Equal-Rights party grew out of this agitation; and out of an attempt of one faction to silence the other, by turning out the lights in Tammany Hall, on October 29, 1835, came the name by which the Equal-Rights party was more commonly known. It appears that the other faction resolved not be silenced, and produced candles, using "locofoco," or friction, matches with which to light them, so that they might continue their meeting. The "Locofocos," as a political party, existed for only a couple of years, and hardly reached noticeable prominence; the party is referred to here merely as one of the incidents of political contortions during that period of financial craziness.

Banks increased alarmingly (as we, looking backwards, view it but hopefully as the unthinking optimist of that time viewed it) and although Governor Marcy regretted that the Legislature should create so many and that there should be such a scramble for the shares, he signed every charter. Soon the shares passed from first hand to second, and to third, and in the passing increased in price, though not in value, until buyers cared little as to the price, sop long as they could buy with easily borrowed money.

This was the condition in New York State, and in most other States probably, during 1835-36, but when money became so tight that even the accommodating state banks could no longer meet loan demands at any price, tens of thousands of citizens began to awaken to their plight, perched as they were upon a rickety structure which might fall at any moment. In May, 1837, the crash came, the New York banks agreeing to suspend specie payments on the 10th, and Philadelphia banks following suit on the 11th.

The state of the people was deplorable. "Values fell from dollars to shillings, all business was deranged, millions of people were reduced from comparative ease to sharp poverty, and a period of wretchedness began which continued for five years." In some communities, almost every business firm was swept into insolvency. They were so deeply committed to the banks that they would have been likely to have forever remained insolvent had not he Bankrupt law been passed in 1840, mainly through the efforts of Daniel Webster, making it possible for embarrassed debtors to clean their slates of debt and start again unencumbered.

Governor Marcy found perplexing questions before him when the panic of 1837 came upon the State. He was fortunate in being able to pass part of the odium on to the legislature, which was still sitting when the crash came. At once the Legislature suspended for one year that section of the Safety Fund Act which forbade banks to issue notes after failing to meet demands for specie, but it refused to suspend the act of 1835 which prohibited the issuance of bills under the denomination of five dollars. On the other hand, Pennsylvania banks, and even municipalities were issuing notes of denomination as low as ten cents. New York thus had no "small change," either of metallic or paper currency, and citizens were in a grave predicament. They petitioned Governor Marcy to call an extra session of the Legislature to deal with the matter, but he refused. So, for the currency under five dollars' denomination the people had to use what they could get; and this was almost all irredeemable currency--shin-plasters.

They had reached this state of bewildering poverty in November, 1837, when State elections were held. Thing shad been moving so rapidly downhill that the average voter scarcely knew where he was or when he would stop; but there were very many who no longer had any delusion on one point: Jackson banking theories were ruinous. So thinking, they would hardly be inclined to look graciously upon Jackson men. As the election demonstrated, the Whigs swept the State. Six of the eight Senators elected were Whigs; and only 27 of the 128 Assemblymen elected were of the Van Buren fold. The Democrats were hopelessly beaten, and it would seem also would be defeated in the more important elections of 1838. The financial disaster had been so appalling, and responsibility so positively traced to the Democratic idol, Jackson, that his party could not hope to retain the public confidence. President Van Buren, however, had handled the difficult situation in a masterly manner. In the National emergency, "the statesman suddenly displaced the politician." Van Buren's message to the extra session of Congress, which was sitting within three months of the suspension of specie, was "as clear and as unanswerable as the logic of Hamilton's State papers." Inasmuch as the law required the Secretary of the Treasury to deposit public moneys only in banks that were paying their notes in specie, and since all banks had suspended specie payments, it was necessary to find some other depository. He recommended an independent sub-treasury, so as to divorce the bank from the State. Of course, the banks opposed his recommendation; and the election cry in many States in 1837 was "Down with Van Buren and the Sub-Treasury Scheme!"

One of the United States Senators from New York--Nathaniel P. Tallmadge--took up the cry, and called a State convention in 1838. These disaffected Democrats met at Syracuse, and at once denounced Van Buren, opposed Marcy, and indorsed Seward for the Governorship.

The Upper Canada Rebellion--Difficulty seemed to confront the Van Burenites on all sides. While mired in the morasses of the money panic in December, 1837, Governor Marcy was called upon to struggle to keep the State inviolate from an attack that was developing in another direction. Canadian civil war--the Upper Canada Rebellion, also known as the "Patriot's War"--was being staged almost wholly along the Niagara frontier; and there was grave danger that the marked sympathy of frontier Americans with the rebels would draw the Untied States into war with Great Britain. Financially disorganized as the nation then was, a state of war with Britain would be calamitous. All the energies and resources of America were sorely needed just then to aid in bringing the nation back to financial stability. War was inconceivably suicidal. Yet there were many excitable voters in Western New York, and in other sections also, who were indignant with their Governor for taking such measures as would preserve the neutrality of the Untied States. There were some heartrending scenes, the warm hearts of courageous Americans went out to the "patriots" in their struggle; but those who cared for the greater affairs of the American people dared not depart from neutrality. Excitement, however, was intense when the steamer "Caroline," which was alleged to be helping the Canadian rebels, was 'cut out" of an American frontier port, drawn into the Niagara rapids, set afire and permitted to drift rapidly onto destruction over the falls of Niagara, some said with her crew aboard. It was hard to hold Americans from retaliation. President Van Buren, in a message to Congress stated that "an outrage of the most aggravated character has been committed, accompanied by a hostile temporary invasion of our territory, producing the strongest feelings of resentment on the part of the out citizens." New York and Vermont militia were mobilized, and war seemed imminent. Fortunately, saner counsels prevailed, and the furor subsided. Eventually, it was discovered that only one man on the "Caroline" "was found to have been killed"; and his death occurred during the "cutting out" of the vessel.

 

The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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