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distant regions, whom the far-famed beauty of this western Eden had called to see and admire, often assembled at their hospitable mansion. Social parties of the older and more sedate portion of the community, were invited to visit them, and spend several days and nights on the island, especially females of the families where they visited themselves; so that they were as abundantly provided with social intercourse, as if living on the main land. A large portion of their visitors came by water, in row-boats or canoes; as the country was so new, and destitute of bridges across the numerous creeks, that carriages were but little used. If travellers came by land, it was on horseback. A gentleman of taste, who visited the island in 1806, described it as “a scene of enchantment; a western paradise; where beauty, wealth, and happimess had found a home.” The wild condition of the surrounding wilderness, and the rude log cabins in which the inhabitants generally lived, by their striking contrast, added greatly to the marvellous beauty of the improvements on this remote island. Steamboats were then unknown, and travelling on the western rivers was slow and painful. Each man, or family, provided their own vessel, usually fitted for their temporary voyage in the rudest manner. A journey of one hundred miles was a long one, more formidable than five hundred or a thousand at this day. The settlement of Belprie was the only one from Marietta to Cincinnati, that showed marks of civilization, in its well-built houses, nicely cultivated farms, and blooming orchards; indicating an intelligent and refined population, who could appreciate the worth of their accomplished neighbors. A gentleman, who once lived in Marietta, and was a great favorite in the family, from his many personal and mental attractions, says: “I was but a boy when they left the island, but I had been a favorite in the family for years, and had passed many of my happiest days in their society. Myintimacy in the family of Blennerhassett is like an oasis in the desert of life. It is one of those ‘green spots in the memory's waste,’ which death alone can obliterate; but the verdure of the recollection is destroyed by the knowledge of their ruin and misfortunes.”

In an evil hour this peaceful and happy residence was entered by Aaron Burr, who, like Satan in the Eden of old, visited this earthly paradise, only to deceive and destroy. “Like some lost malignant spirit, he went to and fro upon the earth, to harass and sneer at poor humanity. He was always so courteous, so polite and decorous; so interesting, nay, fascinating, when he strove to engage the attention, that it was impossible to resist his influence. It was the atmosphere of his presence, that poisoned all who came within its reach.” In the spring of the year 1805, this intriguing and artful man first visited the valley of the Ohio–his mind restless and uneasy, a disappointed, vexed man, whose hands were still red with the blood of the great and noble-minded Hamilton. No ordinary occupation could satisfy the mind of such a being; but some vast, difficult and grand scheme of ambition must be sought out, on which he could employ his exuberant faculties. Filled with his future project of founding a vast empire in the province of Mexico, with a portion of the valley of the Mississippi, then, as he had ascertained, ripe for revolution—but the plan chiefly confined, at that time, under a cloud of mystery, purporting to be a settlement of the lands he had bargained for on the Washita river—“he descended the Ohio in a boat, landing as a passing traveller, merely to see and admire the far-famed improvements of the island. Mr. Blennerhassett, hearing that a stranger was on his lawn, sent a servant to invite him to the house. The wily serpent sent his card with an apology; but Mr. B., with his usual hospitality, walked out and insisted on his remaining a day or two.”

He, however, made a visit of only a few hours; long enough to introduce the subject of a splendid land speculation on the Red river, and to allude to the prospect of a war of the United States with Spain, and the ease with which the Mexicans might, with a little aid, throw off the foreign yoke which had so long oppressed them. He then proceeded on his way. A large portion of the following winter was spent by Mr. Blennerhassett and his lady in Philadelphia and New York, on a visit to his old friend Emmett; where, it is probable, he saw Burr again, and matured the plan for a participation in the purchase of Baron Bastrop's land on the Washita, as he had addressed a letter to him on that subject before leaving home in December, wishing to become a partner in any purchase he might make of western lands; also offering to aid in the Mexican enterprise, as was afterward ascertained in the trial at Richmond. The next August we find Aaron Burr at Pittsburgh, in company with his accomplished daughter, Mrs. Theodosia Alston, on his way down the Ohio river. He again visited the island, with his daughter, where she spent several days: he in the mean time taking up his abode at Marietta, where several of the inhabitants received him with marked attention, while others looked upon him with contempt and abhorrence, as the murderer of Col. Hamilton, especially the old officers, friends and associates of that excellent man. It was in September, at the period of the annual militia muster; the regiment was assembled on the commons, and Col. Burr was invited by the commander to exercise the men, which he did, putting them through several evolutions. In the evening there was a splendid ball, at which he attended, which was long after known as the “Burr ball.” Early in this month the contract was made for boats to be built on the Muskingum river, six miles above the mouth, for the purpose, as was said, of conveying the provisions and adventurers to the settlement in the new purchase. There were fifteen large batteaux, ten of them forty feet long, ten feet wide, and two and a half feet deep ; five others were fifty feet long, pointed at each end, to push or row up stream as well as down. One of these was considerably larger, and fitted up with convenient rooms, a fireplace and glass windows, intended for the use of Mr. Blennerhassett and family, as he proposed taking them with him to the new settlement; which is an evidence he did not then think of any hostile act against the United States. To these was added a “keel-boat,” sixty-six feet long, for the transport of provisions. A contract for bacon, pork, flour, whisky, &c., was made to the amount of $2000, and a bill drawn on Mr. Ogden, of New York, for the payment. The boats cost about the same sum, for which Mr. Blennerhassett was responsible. One main article of the stores

was kiln-dried or parched corn, ground into meal, which is another evidence that the men engaged in the expedition were to march a long distance by land, and carry their parched meal on their backs; of which a pint, mixed with a little water, is a day's ration, as practiced by the Western Indians. Several hundred barrels of this article were prepared, some of which was raised on the island, and parched in a kiln built for that purpose. The boats were to be ready by the 9th of December, rather a late period on account of ice, which usually forms in this month; but they were tardy in making the contract. Col. Burr remained in the vicinity three or four weeks, making a journey to Chillicothe. His son-in-law (Alston) came out and joined his wife at the island, and with her and Mr. Blennerhassett, who accompanied them, proceeded on to Lexington, Kentucky, early in October. Many young men in the vicinity of Marietta, Belprie, and various other points on the river, were engaged to join in the expedition, of which Col. Burr was the leader. They were told that no injury was intended to the United States; that the President was aware of the expedition and approved of it, which was to make a settlement on the tract of land purchased by the leaders in the Baron Bastrop grant; and in the event of war breaking out between this country and Spain, which had for some time been expected, they were to join with the troops under General Wilkinson, and march into the Mexican provinces, whose inhabitants had long been ready for revolt, and prepared to unite with them. This was no doubt the truth, as believed by Mr. Blennerhassett and those engaged under him, whatever may have been the ulterior views of Burr. Not one of all the number enlisted on the Ohio would have hearkened for a moment to a separation of the Western from the Eastern States; and when the act of the Ohio Legislature was passed to suppress all armed assemblages, and take possession of boats with arms and provisions, followed by the proclamation of the President, th almost to a man refused to proceed further in the enterprise. The batteaux were calculated to carry about 500 men, and probably a large portion of that number had been engaged, expecting to receive one hundred acres of land for each private, and more for officers. As to their being required to furnish themselves with a good rifle and blanket, it was of itself no evidence of hostility; as it is customary in making all new settlements, for the men to be armed, as was the case with the forty-eight pioneers of the Ohio Company settlers in 1788. In the mean time a rumor had gone abroad that Col. Burr and his associates were plotting treason on the Western waters, and assembling an army to take possession of New Orleans, rob the banks, seize the artillery, and set up a separate government, west of the Alleghany mountains, of which he was to be the chief. From the evidence on the trial at Richmond, and other sources, it appears that Mr. Jefferson was acquainted with the plan of invading Mexico, in the event of a war with Spain, and approved it, so that Burr had some ground for saying that the government favored the project. But when no war took place, and the parties had become deeply involved in building boats, collecting provisions, and levying men, to which the baseness and treachery of Wilkinson directly contributed, it was thought a fitting time to punish the archenemy of the President, who, by his chicanery, had well nigh ousted him from the Chair of State, and had since taken all opportunities to vilify and abuse him. Another evidence that the government was supposed to favor the enterprise, is the fact, that nearly all its abettors and supporters in the West, until the Proclamation appeared, were of the party called Republicans, or friends of Mr. Jefferson, who hated and despised Burr and all in which he was engaged, as from the character of the man, they thought it boded nothing ood. By the last of October, rumor with her thousand tongues, aided by hundreds of newspapers, had filled the minds of the people with strange alarms of coming danger, to which the mystery that overshadowed the actual object of these preparations greatly added; and many threats were thrown out of personal violence to Mr. Blennerhassett and Colonel Burr. Alarmed at these rumors of coming danger, Mrs. Blennerhassett dispatched Peter Taylor to Kentucky, with a letter, request

ing her husband immediately to return, where he had gone on a visit with Mr. Alston. The history of this journey, as related by Peter, in his evidence on the trial, is an amusing sketch of simplicity and truth. He was the gardener on the island for several years, and was a singlehearted, honest Englishman; who, after his employer's ruin, purchased a farm at Waterford, in Washington county, Ohio, where he lived many years, much respected for his industry and integrity. During the month of September and fore part of October, there appeared a series of articles, four or five in number, published in the Marietta Gazette, over the signature of “Querist,” in which the writer advocated a separation of the Western from the Eastern States; setting forth the reasons for, and the advantages of such a division. These were answered in a series of numbers, condemning the project, over the signature of “Regulus.” They were well written, spirited articles, and both are now understood to have been furnished by Mr. Blennerhassett, to ascertain the public mind on this subject in the West. As one of these neutralized the other, no direct proof can be adduced from them of his designing such a measure. The result, however, was unfavorable to his project, and roused the public mind in opposition, both to the man and the cause he had espoused. Some of the articles by “Regulus” were much applauded by the editor of the Aurora, a leading government paper of that day, who considered the writer a very able and patriotic man. The last of November, Mr. Jefferson sent out John Graham, a clerk in one of the public offices, as a spy or agent to watch the motions of the conspirators in the vicinity of the island, and to ask the aid of the Governor of Ohio in suppressing the insurrection, by seizing on the boats and preparations making on the Muskingum. While at Marietta, Mr. Blennerhassett called on the agent once or twice; talked freely with him on the object of the expedition, and showed him a letter which he had recently received from Col. Burr, in relation to the settlement on the Washita, in which he says that the project of invading Mexico was abandoned, as the difficulties between the United States and Spain were adjusted. He also mentioned his arrest and trial before the Federal Court, on a charge of “treasonable practices” and “a design to attack the Spanish dominions, and thereby endanger the peace of the United States,” of which he was acquitted. But all this would not satisfy Mr. Graham. He visited the Governor at Chillicothe, laid before him the surmises of Mr. Jefferson ; and the Legislature, then in session, on the second day of December, with closed doors, passed an act, authorizing the Governor to call out the militia, on his warrant to any sheriff or militia officer, with power to arrest boats on the Ohio river, or men supposed to be engaged in this expedition, who might be held to bail in a sum of 50,000 dollars or imprisoned, and the boats confiscated: $1000 were placed at the disposal of the Governor, to carry out the law. Under this act a company of militia was called out, with orders to capture and detain the boats and provisions on the Muskingum, with all others descending the Ohio under suspicious circumstances. They were placed under the command of Captain Timothy Buell. A six-pounder was planted in battery, on the bank of the Ohio at Marietta, and every descending boat examined. Regular sentries and guards were posted for several weeks, until the river was closed with ice, and all navigation ceased. Many amusing jokes were played off on the military during this campaign, such as setting an empty tar barrel on fire and placing it on an old boat or raft of logs, to float by on some dark, rainy night. The sentries, after hailing and receiving no answer, fired several shots to enforce their order; but finding the supposed boat escaping, sent out a file of men to board and take possession, who, approaching in great wrath, were still more vexed to find it all a hoax. On the 6th of December, just before the order of the government arrived, Comfort Tyler, a gentleman from the State of New York, landed at the island, with four boats, and about thirty men, fitted out at the towns above on the Ohio. On the ninth, a party of young men from Belprie went up the Muskingum to assist in navigating the batteaux and provisions of parched meal, from that place to the island. But the militia guard received notice of their move

ments, and waylaying the river, a little above the town, took possession of them all but one, which the superior management of the young men from Belprie enabled them to bring by all the guards, in the darkness of the night, and reach the island in safety. Had they all escaped, they would have been of little use, as the young men engaged had generally given up the enterprise, on the news of the President's Proclamation and the Act of the Ohio Legislature. Mr. Blennerhassett was at Marietta on the 6th of December, expecting to receive the boats, but they were not quite ready for delivery. On that day he heard of the Act of Assembly, and returned to the island, half resolved to abandon the cause; but the arrival that night of Tyler, and the remonstrances of his wife, who had entered with great spirit into the enterprise, prevented him. Had he listened to the dictates of his own mind, and the suggestions of prudence, it would have saved him years of misfortune and final ruin. In the course of the day of the 9th of December, he had notice that the Wood county militia had volunteered their services, and would that night make an attack on the island, arrest him with the boats and men there assembled, and perhaps burn his house. This accelerated their departure, which took place on the following night. They had learned that the river was watched at several points below, and felt serious apprehensions for their future safety; although the resolute young men on board, well armed with their rifles, would not have been captured by any moderate force. The Ohio river, from the Little to the Big Kenawha, is very crooked and tortuous, making the distance by water nearly double that by land. Col. Phelps, the commander of the Wood county volunteers, took possession of the island the following morning, and finding the objects of his search gone, determined not to be foiled, and started immediately on horseback across the country, for Point Pleasant, a village at the mouth of the Big Kenawha, and arrived there several hours before the boats. He directly mustered a party of men to watch the river all night, and arrest the fugitives. It being quite cold, with some ice in the stream, large fires were kindled, for the double

purpose of warning the guard, and more easily discovering the boats. Just before daylight the men, being well filled with whiskey to keep out the cold, became drowsy with their long watch, and all lay down by the fire. During their short sleep, the four boats seeing the fires, and aware of their object, floated quickly by, without any noise, and were out of sight before the guard awoke. They thus escaped this well-laid plan for their capture —arriving at the mouth of the Cumberland, the place of rendezvous, unmolested. On the 13th, Mr. Morgan Neville and Mr. Robinson, with a party of fourteen young men,arrived and landed at the island. They were immediately arrested by the militia before the return of Col. Phelps. A very amusing account of the adventure is given in the “Token,” an Annual of 1836, written by Mr. Neville, in which he describes their trial before Justices Wolf and Kincheloe, as aiders and abettors in the treason of Burr and Blennerhassett. So far was the spirit of lawless arrest carried, that one or two persons in Belprie were taken at night from their beds, and hurried over on to the island for trial, without any authority of law. This was a few days before the celebrated move in the Senate of the United States for the suspension of the act of Habegs Corpus, so alarmed had they become, which was prevented by the more considerate negative of the House of Representatives. After a detention of three days, these young men were discharged for want of proof. Mrs. Blennerhassett, who had been left at the island, to look after the household goods, and follow her husband at a more convenient period, was absent at Marietta when they landed for the purpose of procuring one of the large boats, that was fitted up for her use, and had been arrested at Marietta; but he was unsuccessful, and returned the evening after the trial. The conduct of the militia, in the absence of their commander, was brutal and outrageous; taking possession of the house and the family stores in the cellar, without any authority, as their orders only extended to the arrest of Mr. Blennerhassett and the boats. They tore up and burnt the fences for their watch fires, and forced the black servants to cook for them or be imprisoned. One of them discharged his

rifle through the ceiling of the large hall, the bullet passing up through the chamber near where Mrs. B. and the children were sitting. The man said it was accidental; but being half drunk, and made brutal by the whiskey they drank, they cared little for their actions. On the 17th of December, with the aid of the young men, and the kind assistance of Mr. A. W. Putnam of Belprie, one of their neighbors, and a highly esteemed friend, she with her children was enabled to depart, taking with her a part of the furniture and some of her husband's choice books. Mr. Putnam also furnished her with provisions for the voyage, her own being destroyed by the militia, in whose rude hands she was forced to leave her beautiful island home, which she was destined never again to visit. They kept possession for several days after her departure, living at free quarters, destroying the fences, letting in the cattle, which trampled down and ruined the beautiful shrubbery of the garden, barking and destroying the nice orchards of fruit trees, just coming into bearing; and this too was done by men, on many of whom Mr. Blennerhassett had bestowed numerous kindnesses. It is due to the commander, Col. Phelps, to say, that these excesses were mostly perpetrated in his absence, and that on his return, he did all he could to suppress them, and treated Mrs. Blennerhassett with respect and kindness. This spot, which, a short time before, was the abode of peace and happiness, adorned with all that could embellish or beautify its appearance, was now a scene of ruin, resembling the ravages of a hostile and savage foe, rather than the visitation of the civil law. Before leaving the island. Mr. Blennerhassett, not expecting to return, had rented it to Col. Cushing, one of his worthy Belprie friends, with all the stock of cattle, crops, &c. He did all in his power to preserve what was left, and prevent further waste. Col. Cushing kept possession of the island one or two years, when it was taken out of his hands by the creditors, and rented to a man who raised a large crop of hemp. The porticoes and offices were stowed full of this combustible article, when the black servants, during one of their Christmas gambols in 1811, accidentally setiton fire, and the whole mansion

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