12.31.2012

James Madison Response to Paul Hamilton's Resignation, December 31, 1812


Dear Sir   I have read your letter of yesterday, signifying your purpose to retire from the Dept. which has been under your care.
            On an occasion which is to terminate the relation in wch. it placed us, I can not satisfy my own feelings, or the tribute due to your patriotic merits & private virtues, without bearing testimony to the faithful zeal, the uniform exertions, and unimpeachable integrity, with which you have discharged that important trust; and without expressing the value I have always placed on that personal intercourse, the pleasure of which I am now to lose.
            With these recollections, & impressions I tender you assurances of my affectt. esteem, and of my sincerest wishes for your welfare & happiness.
                        J.M.

General Order to the Tennessee Volunteers

Headquarters Nashville,
Decr. 31, 1812

General Orders
It is with extreme regret that the Major Genl. witnessed to-day the seeds of mutiny in the Volunteer Camps; but 'tis with pride your General recollects with what alacrity the great mass of the Volunteers flew to his aid to suppress it. He cannot refrain from tendering to Capt. [James] McEwen his thanks for the promptness with which he obeyed his orders - indeed, he most cheerfully gives his thanks to all the officers present, except those few who appeared to countenance mutiny and disorder. 
The Major General think it important that all officers and Soldiers should know the penalty which the Martial Law inflicts for disobedience of orders - for mutiny, mutinous conduct or exciting others to mutiny; therefore, orders that the Major of Brigade read to the first and second Regiments of Infantry, the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth articles of War to-morrow at twelve O'clock; and all officers and soldiers are commanded to conform thereto, under the pains and penalties which said articles influct.
The major General flattered himself there was not an officer, or soldier, in the detachment of volunteers, who would have tarnished that fame, which, from their patience and forbearance, under the most trying circumstances, they had so justly merited; but, with pain and mortification he witnessed a disposition in some, not only to cast a shade over their own conduct, but anxious to involve in shame and disgrace, the whole detachment under his command. This cannot, nay, shall not be. The Major General feels well assured that a large majority of the Volunteers have too much sense, not to know that every exertion have been made to accelerate their payment; and that that delays of which they complain have been occasioned from circumstances over which their general has no control. He also feels assured that they have too much confidence in their officers to believe, for a moment, that they could be actuated from motives of partiality. None but disorganizers, and those, who are mutinously disposed, would attempt to plant the seeds of discontent in the bosom of those, who, when too late, will repent of their timerity. The boast and the pride of the Major General was, that the brave Volunteers whom he has the honor to command, had tendered their services to their country from the most patriotic motives - that, to a man, they were anxious to see her elevated to the highest pinnacle of national prosperity, renowned among the nations of the earth, and crowned with ever shining emeralds of Liberty. But he fears these pleasing expectations in some instances, will prove delusive - that there are some who are not impelled to the defense of their country, from patriotic, but pecuniary motives. Why, if the love of Country has drawn you from the bosom of your families, such anxiety about who shall be first paid? do you not know that all cannot be first? Can you not exercise a little patience? Take care how you indulge this restless disposition, least the world should say that you are ostensible  patriots, but real mercenaries.
The Major General hopes that the mutinous and disorderly conduct of this day was more the effect of imprudence and incaution than the result of pre-determination to disobey. He flatters himself that no one during the whole campaign will be found so far lost to a sense of duty - so regardless of their fame and their reputation as to be guilty of the like conduct again; but should he be disappointed in this expectation, he pledges himself that the Law Martial shall be fully and completely executed on every individual concerned. Every expression either of officers or soldiers having a tendency to excite disobedience of orders are forbidden, and, is used, shall be punished agreeably to Law. Let it be remembered that the duty of a parent is to chastise and bring to obedience an undutiful child. The Major General has pledged himself to act towards you as a father, and now exhorts you to obedience.
Capt. [John] Kennedy's company Infantry of the second Regiment, will march to Nashville, and be at the Paymaster's office precisely at 2 O'clock p.m. tomorrow.
The brigade major being absent with leave, the reading of this order is entrusted to Major [George] West, quarter master of the Second Regiment.

By order the Major Genl.
Andrew Hynes
aide-de-camp

12.30.2012

Paul Hamilton's Resignation to James Madison, December 30, 1812


Sir,
            Having devoted unremittedly more than thirty years of my life to public service, in various situations, in all of which, I feel a consciousness of having done my duty according to my best judgment and understanding; and being now about to withdraw from the Office of the Secretary of the Navy with which you honored me, permit me to ask you whether, in your opinion, there has been anything in the course of my conduct, in that station, reprehensible.
            Your goodness of heart, Sir, will induce you, as I trust, readily to excuse this intrusion, when you reflect that if this enquiry is answered as my conscience leads me to expect it will be, you will put me in possession of what may be a valuable Legacy to my Children.
            Wishing you Sir every earthly blessing I have the honor to be with great respect yrs.
                        Paul Hamilton
                        City of Washington
                                    December 30th. 1812

12.29.2012

Henry Clay to Caesar A. Rodney on Madison and other matters



                                                                                                                      Wash. 29h. Decr 1812
 
 I have intended, my dear Rodney, twenty times to write you, but really such have been the mortifying incidents of the last Campaign on that theatre where all our strength was supposed to lay that I have not had the courage to attempt to pourtray my feelings to you.  Your agreeable favor of the 27th imposed on me an imperious duty to overcome this apathy.  And however little I shall be able to impart as to the past or future satisfactory to either of us the claims of a friendship which I will never cease to cherish shall not be slighted. 
Yes! Too many errors have been committed.  It was a great one to have neglected the command of the Lakes.  To that and to the disgraceful events at Detroit are to be attributed all our subsequent misfortunes.  The acquisition of the one or the success of General Hull would have preserved us from all our disgrace. 
It is in vain to conceal the fact- at least I will not attempt to disguise with you- Mr. Madison is wholly unfit for the storms of War.  Nature has cast him in too benevolent a mould.  Admirable adapted to the tranquil scenes of peace-blending all the mild and amiable virtues, he is not fit for the rough and rude blasts which the conflicts of Nations generate.  Our hopes then for the future conduct of the War must be placed upon the vigor which he may bring into the administration by the organization of his new Cabinet.  And here again he is so hesitating, so tardy, so far behind the National sentiment, in his proceedings towards his War Ministers, that he will lose whatever credit he might otherwise acquire by the introduction of suitable characters in their places.  One of them, unfit by Nature, has resigned; the other incapable now by habit is still permitted to hold his station to the astonishment of everyone.  He will probably vacate it, if not by Mr. Ms. Resolution perhaps by his own kindness & pity.
On the part of the Legislature never was there a body assembled more disposed to adopt any and every measure calculated to give effect and vigor to the operations of the War than the members of the 12th Congress.
You see & can appreciate the state of my feelings.  I do not despair.  The justness of our cause--- the adequacy of our means to bring it to a successful issue--- the spirit & patriotism of the Country--- the Chapter, if you please, of chances will at last I think bring us honorably out.  When I speak of the Country I do not see in the result of the Northern elections any cause to distrust its patriotism.  Our Land disasters and the incompetence which we have unfortunately exhibited are sufficient to account for that result.  The ensuing campaign conducted with the energy which it ought to be would bring back the heads, as I believe we now have even in that quarter, the hearts of a great majority of the people.  In the South & in the West the Republican cause remains firm and unshaken…
Yr. sincere Friend                                                                                                                          
   H. Clay.

Letter From Alexander M'Leay To R.G. Beasley

December 29, 1812

"By a reference to my letter of the 26th instant, you will observe that mariners are expressly excepted from the description of persons who are to be released unconditionally, and consequently it is necessary you should give a receipt for all the mariners named in the list transmitted by you."

"...the most difficult of any I ever experienced in any period of Service," Joseph Wheaton to James Madison, December 29, 1812


Ohio – Mansfield Decr. 29. 1812
Confidential
Sir
            We arrived at this post 27. at noon after a march of 36 days – the most difficult of any I ever experienced in any period of Service I have seen – the Season of the year most of all unfavorable, and it was so rainy and damp that the sun has not appeared to us five days of the time – that we have been plunging through mud mire and frost cotinually. the whole country through which we have passed is intirely new, and forage become scarce on account of the numbers of teams and troops which had gone before us – the Ohio Militia many of them – the Brigade of Genl. Crooks and several troops of horse – and yet I beleive altho two thousand men have used this rout thus has not been any detachment of pioneers to make the least repairs consequently we have cut & [illegible] about 60 miles or near one half of our intire distance, 160 miles from Pittsburg to this post – these distressing circumstances has made havock of our wagons and often our gun carriages in every part – wheels, axletrees, tonges, hound, wagon body. Broke the limbs of horses and many have died – tho that I expected owing to Lt. Johnson A D Q Master at Pittsburg furnishing me with the very worst kind – Mares with fold, horses sick of the Glanders, and many so lame as compelled me to leave three of my number on the ground – the axes too which he has supplies, made by his Brother in Law, are after the enormous expence of thansporting to this place not worth their weight in Iron. General Crook’s Brigade tho 1400 men at Pittsburg has not in thier three month service, it is beleived done one days work on the road, or any other thing but insult, and destress the inhabitants where ever they have appeared – at this place where they have been encamp’d six weeks, the [inhabitants] sorounded me, and with united complaints that made the heart sick, and the countenance turn pale. It is beleived that this Brigade, tho it was to have been two thousand men at Pittsburg – will not march into camp at Sandusky (for which place they marched last wednesady) more than eight hundred men. the Virginia Militia, I am informed have deserted in about the same proportion, what General Harrisons object will be after our arrival I cannot say – but such troops are enough to break down the spirits of any man and defeat any measure. I state these plain truths from observation and evidence, and being so, to induce an enlargement of the regular system, to enable the government to carry their views into effect and secure the object of the war, at an infinite less expence – and honorable to the nation. the present system only creates enemies to the government – and expence to the country. Captn. Gratot of the Enginiers with this convoy has recd. orders from genl. Harrison – by his Adt. Genl. to leeave four six pds at this place with the carriages, and complains that no more than five Eighteen pds were forwarded. It was will to leave the four four pds. for all the carriages recd. at Pittsburg made by Majr. Craig are actually so rotten, as to be unfit for service. we leave this as soos as I can get six days forage to carry us to Sandusky forty eight miles – without house or any possible resource for supply – every possible exertion has been and will continue to be made by me and, the party with this convoy for the interest of the country. I hope to leave this tomorrow – & will if the two hundred horses now out for forage return this day as I expect. I write Sir for the inofrmation of the Secretary at War – but Seeing in the papers that Mr. Eustis tendered his resignation and not knowing a successor, taken the Liberty of addressing to you – the post is waiting or I should enlarge.
                        With perfect Respect
                                    I am Excellent Sir faithfully
                                    your Obediant Servant
                                                Joseph Wheaton Capn
                                                A. D. Q. Mastr. N. W. Army

Martin D. Hardin To Henry Clay



The Honorable Henry Clay                                                                                           Secys Office--- July 6th 1813
Dr Sir,
During the spring of the last year the Indians Commenced Stealing horses on the South Western border of this State and gave much indication of Hostilities that the settlements South of the Cumberland river near its mouth were about breaking up- To afford protection to the inhabitants thus exposed small Guards were Ordered out from the militia of this State by Governor Scott to range outside of the settlement in order to repel any substantial Act of hostility or to give notice to the settlers if they were likely to be over powered;- That this measure was then proper can repose to the Settlers is evident.  It had also the effect of keeping off those Straggling Indians who were disposed to involve their Tribes in War with us…
…I have been instructed by the Governor (who is now absent) to make this Communication to you, and to desire you to bring the subject before Congress- For it is presumed no doubt can be entertained but that expenses of the kind should be paid by the General government and not by the States. 
I beg leave to refer you to my predecessor in the Office, Mr. Bledsoe now in the Senate of Congress, for more particular information should it be required as to the measures taken by Governor Scott on this subject.---
The Documents are on the files of this office upon Governor Scott and Governor Shelby have made their orders--- They are voluminous, but if required I will have them copied and forwarded to you.
I have the honor &c                                                                                                                                        M D Hardin

From the Montgomery Republican, Dec. 29

From the Montgomery Republican, Dec. 29.

Sackets Harbour.-This is the only post on Lake Ontario, which is garrisoned by militia and which will be in any danger this winter. It would perhaps be interesting to our readers to know the efficient force at that place. In this respect we are enabled from a conversation with an intelligent officer direct from that place to gratify them.-Gen. Dodge’s brigade of militia contains at present only about 600 men fit for duty. Col. M’Comb’s regiment of artillery about 350-The marines and sailors amount to about 500. These are all under the command of Gen. Dodge of the militia, 400 of whose brigade are sick in camp, and perhaps as many more of the regulars and sailors. These troops are continued at the Harbor to protect our vessels laid up there for the winter. An attack from Kingston is expected when the ice is passable-The British have already collected a regular force at Kingston of three thousand men.
The destruction of our fleet will retard the conquest of Canada for at least two years;-its preservation is therefore of the utmost importance.-Why, we would then ask our government, do they not reinforce that place with some regular troops from Greenbush and Plattsburg? Why do they compel the Militia to leave their homes and endure all the severities of a winters campaign, when the regular soldiers enlisted for that very purpose, are lying idle in the centre of our country? The conduct of our rulers is consistent; but consistent in weakness only. We again assert that they are unwilling to continue Peace and unable to carry on war with effect.

 

Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-January 8, 1813.

From the Montgomery Republican, Dec. 29

From the Montgomery Republican, Dec. 29.

Sackets Harbour.-This is the only post on Lake Ontario, which is garrisoned by militia, and which will be in any danger this winter. It would perhaps be interesting to our readers to know the efficient force at that place. In this respect we are enabled from a conversation with an intelligent officer direct from that place to gratify them.-Gen. Dodge’s brigade of militia contains at present only about 600 men fit for duty. Col. M’Comb’s regiment of artillery about 350-The marines and sailors amount in about 500. These are all under the command of Gen. Dodge of the militia, 400 of whose brigade are sick in camp; and perhaps as many more of the regulars and sailors. These troops are continued at the Harbor to protect our vessels laid up there for the winter. An attack from Kingston is expected when the ice is passable-The British have already collected a regular force at Kingston of three thousand men.
The destruction of our fleet will retard the conquest of Canada for at least two years; -its preservation is therefore of the utmost importance.-Why, we would then ask our government, do they not reinforce that place with some regular troops from Greenbush and Plattsburg? Why do they compel the Militia to leave their homes and endure all the severities of a winters campaign, when the regular soldiers enlisted for that very purpose, are lying idle in the centre of our country? The conduct of our rulers is consistent; but consistent in weakness only. We again assert that they are unwilling to continue Peace and Unable to carry on war with effect.

 

 

Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-January 8, 1813.

12.28.2012

Letter From R.G. Beasley To Alexander M'Leay

Mr. Beasley writes to Alexander M'Leay
December 28, 1812

"On referring to that list (which accompanied my letter of the 3d ultimo) you will perceive no other class of persons, namely, mariners, who did not belong to vessels detained or taken; and as your omitting to notice these men in your letter might leave room for some doubt respecting them, I lose no time in requesting to be informed on what terms the board understand that they are to be suffered to return to the United States."

12.26.2012

Blockade Chesapeake Bay and Delaware river

From the London Gazette
Foreign Office
His royal highness the prince regent, acting in the name and on behalf of his majesty, has been pleased
to cause it to be signified by lord Viscount Castlelereah, his majesty's principal secretary of state for
foreign affairs, to the ministers of friendly power residing at this court, that the necessary measures
have been taken, by the command of his royal highness, for the blockade of the ports and harbors of the
bay of the Chesapeake, and of the river Delaware, in the United States of America,
and that from this
time all the measures authorized by the law of nations will be adopted and executed with respect to all vessels which may attempt to violate this said blockade.

Letter From R.G. Beasley To Alexander M'Leay

Transport Office
26th December, 1812

Sir:
I  have received and laid before the commissioners for the transport service, &c. your letter of the 24th instant, and, in return, I am directed to acquaint you that it is the intention of his Majesty's Government that such of the Americans, named in the list which accompanied your letter of the 3d of last month, as belonged to vessels detained or taken, and as are consequently prisoners of war, shall be suffered to proceed to the United States upon your entering into the engagement which accompanied my letter of the 14th instant; but that, for Americans who were resident or traveling in this country, or resorting hither for commercial purposes, not as mariners, no such engagement will be required. 

I am, &c.
Alexander M'Leay

Timeline of letters between Alexander M'Leay and R.G. Beasley

26th December, 1812.

Transport Office

Sir:
I have received and laid before the commissioners for the transport service, &c. your letter of the 24th instant, and, in return, I am directed to acquaint you that it is the intention of his Majesty's Government that such of the Americans, named in the list which accompanied your letter of the 3d of last month, as belonged to vessels detained or taken, and as are consequently prisoners of war, shall be suffered to proceed to the United States upon your entering into the engagement which accompanied my letter of the 14th instant; but that, for Americans who were resident or traveling in this country, or resorting hither for commerical purposes, not as mariners, no such engagement will be required.

I am, &c.

 Alexander M'Leay


Mr. Beasley writes to Alexander M'Leay
December 28, 1812

"On referring to that list (which accompanied my letter of the 3d ultimo) you will perceive another class of persons,namely, mariners, who did not belong to vessels detained or taken; and as your omitting to notice these men in your letter might leave room for some doubt respecting them, I lose no time in requesting to be informed on what terms the board understand that they are to be suffered to return to the United States."


Alexander M'Leay writes to Mr. Beasley
December 29,1812

"By a reference to my letter of the 26th instant, you will observe that mariners are expressly excepted from the description of persons who are the be released unconditionally, and consequently it is necessary you should give a receipt for all the mariners named in the list transmitted by you."


Mr. Beasley to Alexander M'Leay
February 17, 1813

"In your reply of the 9th instant, communicating the result of inquiries made by order of the lords commissioners of the admiralty, relative to the alleged ill treatment of certain seamen claiming to be Americans, in the British service, in consequence of their having requested to be considered as prisoners of war, as represented in my letter to Lord Castlereagh of the 12th October, I have to observe, that, although the statement of those persons, and that contained in your letter, differ greatly as to the degree of this ill treatment, it does appear that some severity was exercised towards them on that occasion, and without any proper investigation of their claim of American citizenship, which, if established, should have exempted them not only from punishment, but from service.  As it may be inferred, however, from your letter, that if proof be produced to support their claim, their request will yet be complied with, I have to inform you, that evidence to that effect was long since transmitted to the lords of the admiralty in behalf of several of these persons." [Here follows the names of persons, and a recitation of the proof of citizenship, &c.] Mr. Beasley proceeds, "I cannot avoid expressing my disappointment and regret that no notice has been taken of the request made to Lord Castlereagh in my letter of the 12th of October, for the general release of the American seamen detained in the British service."

Alexander M'Leay to R.G. Beasley
Transport Office, February 26, 1813

Sir:
I have received, and laid before the Commissioners for the Transport Service, &c. your letter of the 17th of this month, with its enclosure, relative to the alleged ill treatment of certain seamen, claiming to be Americas, in the British service, in consequence of their having requested to be considered as prisoners of war; and the same having been referred to the right honorable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, I am directed by the Board to transmit to you the enclosed copy of a letter which they have received from their Lordship's Secretary, in answer thereto.

I am, &c.
Alexander M'Leay






Courtesy of Library of Congress

12.25.2012

Buffalo, Dec. 8, 1812

BUFFALO, DEC. 8, 1812.

To the Editor of the Buffalo Gazette.
SIR-A friend has just handed me the proof sheet of your paper of this morning, in which is contained what purports to be Gen. Smyth’s official account of the affairs of the 28th of November and 1st of December.
I beg that you will suspend the publication so long as to assure the public that in your next, I will give a TRUE account of some of the most prominent transactions of those days.
When our lives, our property; when the precious and dear bought gift of our ancestors, the sacred honor of our country; When every thing that we prize as men, or ought to hold dear as patriots, are falling and fading before us, it is time to speak out, whatever be the hazard.
In ascribing, as I shall not hesitate to do the late disgrace on this frontier, to the cowardice of Gen. Smyth, I beg to be understood as not intending to implicate the character of the officers whose opinions he has brought forward to bolster up his conduct. Several of them I know to be as brave men as ever wielded a sword, and their advice, if indeed they gave the advice imputed to them, may be accounted for in the obvious consideration with which every one who saw him must have been impressed, that any military attempt under such a leader must, in all human probability, prove disgraceful. Your very humble servant,

PETER B. PORTER.

 

Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-December 25, 1812.

 

More Land Disasters

More Land Disasters.

A detachment of Harrison’s army, under Hopkins, had been defeated near the Prophet’s town, with the loss of 17 killed. Gen. Harrison has sent a force to destroy the wigwams of the Prophet-who it appears had left Tippicanoe, and had erected a town 60 miles therefrom, composed of Potowatimees and Winebagoes. It is stated, that the Americans were decoyed by a stray Indian into an ambush, when they were fired upon, defeated, and suffered the above loss.

 

 

Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-December 25, 1812.

 

Dialogue Between Sambo and Cuffy


This article does not include an explanation as to why it was included in the December 25, 1812 issue. It appears to be a conversation between two African American men on the subject of war and seems to encourage citizens to loan money to the army. While it is offensive to readers today, we have included it strictly because it discusses the war.  

 
Dialogue between Sambo and Cuffy.

Sam. Cuffy, wat you got daer, make you so pleas?
Cuf. Me got hundred dollar, boy; dats wat me make dis year.
Sam. Dats gra deal munce. Wat you do wid um, now you got um?
Cuf. You know munee no make muncee, if he lay still.
Sam.  Let me hav um-he no lay still, I warren you. I gib you good skuritee.

Cuf. No, no; me no trus no man; me uze do so;  me loose gra deal. Bime by you brake-you poor-me loose all; no, me no trus no man.
Sam. How you make munee den?
Cuf, Me tell you how. Buy publik skuritee; dats de way, boy. Me guine scribe to de loan. My ole massa did so.
Sam. I no uncrstan wat you mean.

Cuf. Me spose so; but me tell you all ‘bout um. You see de PRESDEN, Massa Madson, (me know um berry well, me uze liv close to um,) he make de war. He want munee for pay soger, and pay salur, and pay fite de Inglis, and pay for take Canada; an if you len um munee he make all de peepul be sponsebel: don’t you see data better dan trus one man?

Sam. Wat he giv you for you munee? he giv you lan skuritee? he giv you sum ting you can sell gen? Spose you be ole, or hav rumatis, or you wif die, can you git you munee gen, if you want um?

Cuf. Be shure me can; and den dey guine giv seven, eit, nine dollar for hundred dollar for year! ony tink o’dat, Sambo.

Sam. Berry well; but wat he gib you for skuritee? He only gib you peece paper, wid red ink. I no sush fool you tink me. I hear um reed newspaper; I hear um tauk bout it. I hear um say dey guine hav nineteen millon dollar for one yea’s ‘spence! You know, Cuffee, how mush munee dat is? Why if you lay um doun, one dollar arter a nudder dollar, all long in row, dey would reesh way up to whaer Genal Debon, up to Flatsbug, hav so many men die, widout see any enmy, but a barn; an one soger break he’s nek to burn um, you know.

Cuf. Why, Sambo, dats a tumper. He wooden reesh haf way.

Sam. Poh! You don’t know ‘bout eifer. I tell you twood reesh; up daer; an emcee mose to whaer Genal Smyte make great prockulmashon, bout evry body go rite ovur an take Canada; an den wooden go heesef; an he’s own soger mob im, you know; an if you lay um doun in quarter dollar, he wood reesh to whaer Genal Hull uze take Canada. How furs all dat, you tink?

Cuf. Why dats mose to Inglan, ain’t it?
Sam. No, you fool. Inglan lay rite tudder way, cros de watur.
Cuf. Me guess you mestakun, Sambon; dat mus be de way to Inglan. Dats de way dey go to fite de Inglis.
Sam. Poh! you no noting bout jogriffe- But I say, Cuff, if Missa Madson guine borrow so mush, an spen it all rite off, how guine pay you gen?
Cuf. Dats de ting; me bent ink o’(illegible) jess now. But hee guine made de people pay, aint he? Me hear um say daer guine be tax on de farm, howzez, an obry ting ant he so?

Sam. Dan why he no make tax now, and see whedder de peeul like pay tax; caus bime by, when he come make tax, and de peeul no like pay um, as dey did whaer Massa Galtin uze live, how you get you munee gen? How you like pay tax you sef, Cuff?

Cuf. Me no like pay tax. Do you tink y meen make dem gemmen pay tax, dat men um de munee?
Sam. Yes, you fool; and you’l have pay tax for de munee you len um; and you brak c’ildan too, arter you dead.
Cuf. Den me no len um my munee-me to pay tax.
Sam. You no pay tax? Don’t you buy shegar an tee?
Cuf. Yes-dey plagee deer now.
Sam. Dats caus you pay tax. Wat you giver for dat cote you got on?

Cuf. Why, dis cote, he cos plagee deer too. But if me lend is munee, an udder gemmen len munee, me tink den daer won be no tax, if gemmen len um munee nuf. What dey wann so mush munee for?

Sam. Don’t I tell you carry on dis war? Don’t you reed newspaper?
Cuf. No, nor you nudder.
Sam. Berry well, no matter for dat. I hear um read; Miss Suky, she read um, an I know bout same, if I did.
Cuf. Well, wat es de war for?

Sam. I don’t zackly know. Sum say tis caus de Inglis woodun let on hsips go France; and now dey say dey let um go. And peal de audur, or sum ting; I don’t know berry well bout dat. An sum say tis raus de Inglis take ou men.

Cuf. Berry well, sah; if de Inglis take on men, shooden we fite um, sah?
Sam. O Yes, fite um mush you mine too; but den some say de Inglish ony meen to take daer own men.
Cuf. Why, how come daermen mong us?

Sam. Some on um run way, as you did; an don’t you know dat we let ebry body come here, and be natalize, an den say, dey on men, and nobody mus tush um?

Cuf. So we guine pay all dat long row of munee ebry year, caus dees Inglis men come mung us? How long you tink dis war guine las?

Sam. Nobody know but Massn Madson. I spose dey must carree um on, till all de men and munee be uze up, bote sides, and den dey can settle um, I spose, ezee nuf.-Sum peepul uze tink de war wood stop wen daer was aumstiss; but Massa Madson no let um.

Cuf. An wat we guine do all dis war time? Massa cut me down two time reddy. He say he cut me down gen nex mont; an if de war las, shant giv me noting; and I mus take care mysef.

Sam. Well, I spose so. Jess so wid me. Grow wose and wose, more daer is war.
Cuf. Now I tink on’t, seem to me, me won’t scribe.
Sam. O, you better scribe, Cuffee.
Cuf. You don’t tink so?

Sam. Yes, you go skrible; bime by you loose all; den you be poor as me; and won’t hole up you hed so hi, wid you hundred dollar. I no like you hav dat hunderd dollar chinkkin daer. You go scribe, Cuffee. Wat make you skrash you wool, an role you eye, and look sorry, an look glad, all in de same minit?

Cuf. Me tinkin bout it. Me sorry you tink me lose my munee. Me like hab leetel intris too, Sambo.

Sam. Berry well, den I put case, and den you may do as you mine too. Now you hear me argu. Spose you was home to Beginny wid you ole massa-So you see dat you massa mean to hang you, caus you ole man, good for noting-So when he mose get reddy, you say, “Don’t hang me, massa; I poor slave, massa, but me no like be hang.” You massa say, “Why cuffee, wat a fool you be; if you be hang, cuffee, you never be whip any more, an you wont neber want any ting more long as you liv.” Den he take hole you han, and squeeze um; an look rite in you eye, an look so kine an good, and tell you, “well, cuffee, I tell you wat, if you will be hang, cuffee, you shall be hang wid a SILK ROPE, my boy.” Den you say, “Dats not so bad, massa.” But den you massa say, “I got no munee to buy de rope, an you must len me de munee you ben savin so long cuffee.” Wat you say to dat?

Cuf. Gorri! wat! me len massa my munee to buy rope to hang me; speshelly wen me no need to hang me; speshelly wen me no need be hang at all! You tink me sush a fool as dat comes too?

Sam. O yes; you fool nuf I know.-You go len um you munce, Cuffee, and git peece papur, all rit ober wid kopur plate, an red ink, jess if twas munee; an see if you can eber make um think like you hundred silver dollar.  

 

Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-December 25, 1812.