Colonial Intelligence. Halifax, March 13.
A very numerous and respectable meeting of the inhabitants of this town was held at the Exchange Coffeehouse, on Saturday last, George Grassie. Esq. to the Chair. It was resolved unaminously–That the Legislature be petitioned to authorise the establishment of a bank in Halifax.–That 50,000l be the capital, to be invested in the British funds.–That notes to the amount of 150,000l be issued by the Bank.–That the shares be 100l each, and every five shares, according to a classification, entitled to a vote.–That the Bank be authorised to pay notes presented, either in specie, provincial paper, or bills of exchange on London at the current rate – A Committee was then appointed to prepare the Petition, and cause it to be presetned to the Legislature. The gentlemen present immediately afterwards unanimously agreed to give to the doubloun the value of 4l and to the sovereigh the value 1l, 2s. 6d. currency. The meeting then adjourned.
York, Upper Canada, Feb. 6. Tex v. The Earl of Selkirk and others
A bill of indictment, for a conspiracy to ruin the trade of the North West Company, and impoverish the partnes thereof, was found by the Grand Jury, against Thomas Douglas, Early of Selkirk ; J. B. Chevalier de Lorimer, Captain in his Majesty’s Indian Department ; Captain Pratais D’Orsonnens, late of the De Meuron Regiment ; Captain Frederick Matthey, ditto ; Lieutenant G. A. Fauche, ditto ; Lieutenant Frederick Graffenrad, ditto ; Serjeant Jacob Vichie, ditto ; Captain Miles Macdonnel, late of the Canadian Fecibles ; Lieutenant Alexander Bridport Beecher, late of the Royal Navy ; Doctor John Allen, John Spencer, Donald Macpherson, James Chatelain, John M’Nab, Archibald Macdonald, and John P. Bourke.
The indictment contains three counts ; and amongst the numerous overt acts therein set forth, supported by documentary and oral evidence, the following were particularly prominent :– The engaging and armind a number of disbanded soldiers (foreigners) ; the entry of them, by force of arms, into Fort William, in August, 1816 ; retaining possession of the fort till May 1817 ; sending off as prisoners the partners of the North West Company found there ; getting rid of the clerks, by subpoenas to appear at York at a period when no courts are held there, without ever inquiring whether they know anything of the matters to which the subpoenas related, and without ever bringing them forward afterwards ; stopping of the outfits from going into the interior, and the returns from coming into Montreal ; possessing themselves of all the books and papers of the concern ; sending away the principal clerk under a charge of felony, without examination, and without having ever followed up the charge ; the pretended sale, by Daniel Mackenzie, of the North West property, obtained by his Lordship by means of continued duress ; tampering with, and debauching the North West Company’s servants, and commanding them in the King’s name ; writing circular letters to the partners and clerks in the interior country, advising them to abandon their trust, alleging that the North West Company were ruined, and to carry the furs to Hudson’s Bay ; taking possession of Fort Lake La Pluie, and the property there, and stopping the navigation, &c, &c.
Upon this being returned a true bill the AttorneyGeneral moved the process of the Court against the parties ; and Dr Allen being present, was to be arraigned the following day.
Wm Smith v. The Earl of Selkirk
This was a civil action brough by Mr Wm Smith against Lord Selkirk for false imprisonment.
It appeared in evidence that the plaintiff was undersheriff of the Western District, and as such, the bearer of a writ of restitution founded upon a verdict of a special jury at Sandwich, in October 1816, and granted by the Magistrate, ordering the restoration of Fort William to the North West Company. He was also the bearer of a warrant, for felony, issued against his Lordship, Dr Allen, Captain Matthey, and others, upon an information upon oath before a justice of the Peace. Mr Smith got to Fort William on the 19th of March 1817, and produced his writ of restitution, with which his Lordship refused to comply ; and when the Earl and others were arrested by Mr Smith, upon the warrant for felony, his Lordship laid hold of him and pushed him out of doors ; and he was afterwards kept in close custody in the fort under a military guard. A circumstance which added much to the grievous nature of the offence, and which was particularly dwelt upon by the Judge, in his charge to the Jury, was, that whilst Mr Smith was kept in a rigorous confinement, Charles de Reinhard, though under an accusation of was at large and keeping a school, though nominally under the surveillance of one or two of his former comrades. The Chief Justice also remarked upon another part of the evidence for the defence, by which it appeared that the only option left to Mr Smith to obtain his liberty was that of abandoning his duty, and breaking his oath of office, by a promise not to molest Lord Selkirk. Mr Smith, however, notwithstanding this proposal, persisted in doing his duty, and was not liberated until the evacuation of Fort William by his Lordship and his forces in May, 1818.
The Jury after some deliberation, returned a verdict in favour of the plaintiff.– Damages L.500 Halifax currency.
After narrating the military parages, &c. at Richmond, in America, in honour of the 22d of February, a journal says, ” A melancholy catastrophe closed the day. Colonel W. Tatham, so well known in England and this country, for his acquaintance with civil engineering.–who has been residing in this city for two or three years, but whose utility was considerably arrested by an unfortunate habit to which he had become addicted–was destined on that day to breathe his last.– In a moment of intemperance, as he stood by the piece of artillery which was firing the evening salute, he exclaimed that he wished to die. As the second gun was about to fire, and immediately after the commanding had given the word ” Fire!” Conolonel Tatham presented himself in front of the muzzle of the piece, and by its discharge his abdomen was almost literally blown to pieces. His body was raised a few feet in the air by the explosion, and he fell upon his face without uttering one word that was heard by the byestanders.– Colonel Tatham died without any family. Circumstances had strip life of much of its attractions in his eyes ; but it is impossible not to regard the manner of his death with horroer, and to feel the deepest commiseraton for his melancholy fate. He was a man of great information, of great genius, and of great resource of mine. But to this melancholy end he has arrived.”
Citation: Aberdeen Journal (Aberdeen, United Kingdom), 28 April 1819, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/138.