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order of Quartermaster General Thomas, as a place of deposite, for flour of the United States, and continued to be a place of such deposite until it was destroyed."
John G. Camp, in his affidavit of August 29, 1825, says, “he understood and believes that another barn, belonging to said Tupper, and standing in the field apart from his dwelling house, at the time of the destruction of said village, as abovementioned, was also occupied by the United States in the manner, and for the purposes stated in a former affidavit, made by this depondent in relation to the same building; and that said barn was also occupied, at the time of the destruction thereof, as a place of deposite for military and naval stores, belonging to the United States, by order of Col. Thomas, who was then an officer in the service of the United States."
The same witness, in an affidavit of February 26, 1830, says, “ that another barn, the property of said Tupper, and situated some distance from his house, was in the use and occupation of the United States, from the month of October, 1812, up to the period of its destruction by the enemy, in the latter part of December, 1813; that there was stored in this last mentioned barn, a quantity of military and naval stores; that part of the property taken from two British vessels, which were cut out from the harbor before Fort Erie, Upper Canada, by Capt. Angus, or Capt. Elliott, in October, 1812, was stored in this barn. I further certify, that I succeeded Col. Thomas in the Quartermaster General's Department, at Buffalo; that this barn was so used at the time, and that the occupancy was continued in the whole or in part, up to the time of its destruction by the enemy; that a quantity of flour was stored in said barn, which was either burned or taken to Canada by the British.”
David Beard, in his affidavit of January 8, 1830, says, “ he was a resident of said village, (Buffalo,) in the months of November and December, in the year 1812; that, during one of those months, in the absence of Samuel Tupper, he, this deponent, was requested by the wife of said Tupper to call upon Col. Thomas, then acting as Deputy Quartermaster General of the United States, to request said Thomas to permit certain articles, the property of said Tupper, to remain in a certain barn, (then the property of said Tupper, and situate on a farm the East side of Main street, in said village, and distant from the dwelling house of said Tupper about sixty rods,) and this deponent further says, that, from the conversation he then held with said Thomas, he clearly understood that said barn had been taken possession of by the order of said Thomas, for the purpose of storing military property; and that there was, at that time, in said barn, a large amount of public and military stores; and that said Thomas told this deponent, that the property of said Tupper might remain until further orders."
James Thomas, in his affidavit, of January 12, 1830, says, “in the year eighteen hundred and twelve, he served on the Niagara frontier, as a Deputy Quartermaster, in the army of the United States, and was chief of the Quartermaster's Department, at Buffalo, and on the frontier in the Autumn of 1812, and in the Winter and Spring of 1813; that during that period, the public property, from necessity, was greatly exposed, for want of proper store houses to cover and secure it; that the troops occupied most of the buildings in that place for quarters; and that he was obliged, in many instances, to avail himself of such covering as might be had, of any description, to shelter the property from the weather for a longer or shorter period; that it is, at this time, distinctly within his recollection, that David Beard, whose
affidavit is hereto appended, called on him at Buffalo, in relation to the barn in his affidavit mentioned; and that the conversation sworn to by said Beari, is also now distinctly recollected by him, the said Thomas; and the said Tomas further says, that, with all these facts so clearly within his recollection, he has no hesitation in deposing that said barn was occupied for storing public property by his order.
From this evidence, the committee is satisfied that this barn was occupied for military purposes, by order of an officer of the United States, before and at the time of its destruction; and, therefore, report a bill for relief.
MARCH 22, 1830.
Mr. BUCHANAN, from the Committee on the Judiciary, made the following
REPORT: The Committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred the message of
the President of the United States, submiting to the consideration of the House, the memorials which had been addressed to him by Francis H. Nicoll, and John Conard, report:
That a writ of fieri facias, issued out of the Circuit Court of the United States, for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, at the suit of the United States, against Edward Thomson, returnable to its April session, 1826, for the sum of $ 500,000, endorsed thereon as the real debt. This execution was placed in the hands of John Conard, the Marshal, and was by him levied upon the ships Addison and Superior, and their cargoes, as the property of Edward Thomson.
Another writ of fieri facias was issued from the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, at the suit of the United States, against Edward Thomson, returnable to its November session, 1826, for the sum of $50,000, real debt. This execution was also placed in the hands of John Conard, the Marshal, and was by him levied upon the ships Rush and Scattergood, and their cargoes, as the property of Edward Thomson.
The property in these four vessels and their cargoes was claimed by Francis H. Nicoll, and an action of trespass was instituted by him, in the said Circuit Court, against John Conard, for seizing, taking, and detaining, the said ships and their cargoes, under the authority of the executions against Edward Thomson. This action came to trial at the October sessions, 1828, of the said Circuit Court, and after a long and elaborate investigation, judg. ment was entered on the verdict of the jury, on the 24th November, 1828, for the sum of $ 39,249 66 cents. This judgment has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, during their present term, with costs and damages, at the rate of 6 per cent. per annum.
The committee have the authority of the present Secretary of the Treasury for declaring, that, “on information collected from the records of the Department, the proceedings which have resulted so unfavorably for the Marshal, were begun and carried on by direction of the Department, with the advice of the proper law officers, and under the sanction of the late Pre, sident, in the belief that the property levied upon belonged to Edward Thomson."
Under these circumstances, the committee entertain no doubt but that relief ought to be granted to John Conard. It would be a manifest outrage on justice for this Government to direct a Marshal to seize property, on an execution issued by the United States, and then suffer him to be ruined for obeying their order.
They therefore report a bill for his relief.