(Signed) JAMES WILKINSON
By the General’s command,
(Signed) N. PINCKNEY, Major and Aid-de-Camp.
COMMENT: This proclamation (rather standard in its language) was of course made before Nov. 11, 1813, when General Wilkinson’s army of 8,000 (of whom only about 3,000 actually got into the fight) was badly defeated by 900 British and Canadian regular troops and militia at the Battle of Crysler’s Farm, near what is now Cornwall, Ontario. General Wilkinson (1757-1825) was subsequently fired, though a court of inquiry exonerated him. Following Wilkinson’s death in 1825 he was discovered to have been in the pay of the Spanish Government! Theodore Roosevelt, while Governor of New York State, wrote of Wilkinson that, “In all our history, there is no more despicable character.”
Adventures of an Organ
On Saturday afternoon, Mr. Sawyer’s new pilot boat which was employed as a flag [i.e. under a flag of truce] to go down to the [British warship] Plantagenet to ransom the Organ intended for St. John’s Church, returned without effecting the object of her mission.
This organ, it will be recollected, was on board the sloop Ann-Maria, bound from Philadelphia to this port, and was captured by the above ship. This organ was taken out and the vessel burnt....
It appears that a young man, an apprentice to the organ-builder, was sent on in the sloop for the purpose of putting up the organ in St. John’s Church.... The probability...is that he has been induced to remain aboard the Plantagenet until she goes into Halifax or Bermuda, where he may be employed to erect the organ to the “tune” of a few hundred dollars.
As this organ was intended for sacred purposes, we think it would have been more honorable on the part of the Commander of the Plantagenet to give it up, than to have demanded 2000 dollars for it.... This restoration of the organ would be no more than ought to be expected from a gentleman of such high official standing. – NY Gazette. Dec. 5.1813.