Page images
PDF
EPUB

plunder, and the Landfogued, Mr. Frydensberg, was compelled to deliver up the public money chest of the country, containing two thousand seven hundred rix-dollars.

In addition to the above, the four following circumstances are stated, as the most aggravating acts of violence and oppression that took place, by Count Tramp, who professes to regard the whole as a regular system of plunder, and considers this as the leading object in every thing that was done by Mr. Phelps or Mr. Jorgensen:—first, that Mr. Savigniac proceeded armed to a settlement at Oreback, belonging to a merchant of the name of Lambertsen*, taking with him a number of horses loaded with goods,

* Of this affair, which is by Count Tramp regarded as a case of peculiar hardship, I have just received from Mr. Jorgensen the following explanation: Mr. Lambertsen is owner of a vessel accustomed to trade between Iceland and Norway, for which purpose, early in the year 1808, he procured from the British government a licence, empowering him to convey to Iceland a cargo of provisions. Of this circumstance he had apprised his factor Sivertsen, who, after waiting till August, 1809, in expectation of the arrival of his principal, concluded that he must either be lost, or that he had taken adconsisting chiefly of tobacco and coffee with other articles of luxury, which Mr. Lambertsen's factor was forced to receive, though, far from having ordered any thing of the kind, he

vantage of his licence to carry on an illicit trade, as is often done between the different parts of Denmark, and that he would at all events not appear till the following year. The inhabitants of Oreback being therefore greatly distressed, as two years had now elapsed since any ship had come to them with provisions, and Mr. Lambertsen's own stock of goods, which had been lying all that time in his storehouses, beginning to be injured by keeping, Mr. Sivertsen wrote to Mr. Jorgensen different petitions, begging him to use his interest with Mr. Phelps to supply Oreback over land with things of absolute necessity; to which, after some delay, that gentleman assented, and an agreement was drawn up and signed by both parties, stipulating that a return should be made for goods so sent from Mr. Lambertsen's storehouses. Mr. Sivertsen, in consequence of this, gave an order to Mr. Petreus, Mr. Phelps' agent, for different articles, such as tobacco, coffee, sugar, cloth, &c.; the whole of which was accordingly sent on thirty-five horses, which returned laden with Icelandic produce; the expence of conveyance both to and from Oreback being defrayed by Mr. Phelps. Mr. Lambertsen at this time unexpectedly arrived, and was naturally hurt, as well at finding that the goods with which he had calculated on loading his own ship were in the possession of Mr. Phelps, as that his warehouses were filled with the property of the latter, which would obstruct the sale of what he had had applied to Mr. Jorgensen to be excused from taking them in; and that, in exchange for these, Mr. Savigniac compelled him to give up a quantity of merchandize, of which a return had previously been made to government :—-secondly, that an accusation of oppresion and extortion having been made against Mr. Poulsen, a factor belonging to Mr. Petreus' establishment at Westmannoe, he was, without any inquiry into the grounds of the accusation, or without being allowed to speak in his own defence, summoned to appear at Reikevig, where he was detained for several days, and all the goods upon the island whether belonging to the factory or to any other person were confiscated :—thirdly, a vessel belonging to Mr. Clausen, which had a British licence, was seized and had her cargo confiscated ; it was, however, afterwards restored:—fourthly, Mr. Lambertsen,

himself imported. He therefore refused to ratify the agreement, and complained to Captain Jones of what he called the forcible taking away of his goods, requiring to be paid for them, though it was sufficiently notorious that he had already been over paid, in as much as coffee, &c, are more than equivalent to the same weight of Icelandic produce.

the merchant of Oreback just mentioned, on his return to Iceland from Denmark, confident in the security afforded him by his British Majesty's licence, was in like manner ordered to appear at Reikevig, where he was for some time detained, and the cargo he had brought to the country was confiscated. *

* The second and fourth of these charges are of so notorious a kind, that little as I interested myself in political affairs in the island, it struck me while perusing them, that such facts could not well have transpired without their coming under my knowledge; but as I could not call to mind any such circumstances I thought it best to inquire of Mr. Jorgensen how far they were correct. From his answer, which confirms my own ideas, I have a further proof of the inaccuracy of the information which Count Tramp obtained from the Danes and other interested persons in the island, who in these instances have plainly imposed upon him, "and who," to use Mr. Jorgensen's words, * very probably square their accounts at his expence. "—The situation of Westmannoe is such, that it never would have answered the purpose to have confiscated property there; besides which the goods belonged to Mr. Petreus, who had none of his property touched either there or at Reikevig. Mr. Lambertsen's cargo was exempt from confiscation; or, had it not been so, there would not have been time to have seized it, since it came to the island but just before Captain Jones' arrival, after whose interference nothing was confiscated. It is true,

An event as unforeseen as it was unfavorable to the present state of political and commercial affairs happened in the arrival at Havnfiord of the Talbot sloop of war, commanded by the Honorable Alexander Jones, to whom the factors of the Danish merchants resident in that place lost no time

Mr. Lambertsen had an order to deliver ten thousand dollars, public money, brought in his ship, but it was never done.—The following information is all that I have been able to procure upon the subject of the revolution in addition to what is related in the first edition of this work. It was communicated to me by my friend, Mr. Clausen, whom I have lately had the pleasure of seeing in England, and whom I particularly requested to point out to me any error or mis-statement which he might find on perusing the narrative.—" I know that Mr. Poulsen was detained some days in Reikevig, charged with oppressing the inhabitants in Westmannoe, which, however, never was proved, and that he was not permitted to speak in his defence, or to get any satisfaction for the improper accusation. But if any goods were confiscated I am unacquainted with the circumstance. During my stay in Reikevig I saw a letter from Mr. Jorgensen, in the possession of Mr. Lambertsen, ordering him not to leave Reikevig without his (Mr. Jorgensen's) permission; which letter afterwards was destroyed by Mr. Jorgensen himself, who obtained it from Mr. Lambertsen under pretence of wishing to peruse it."

VOL. II. E

« PreviousContinue »