Thomas Jefferson Papers

Burr Conspiracy Statement, 31 May 1807

May 1807

Report of James Knox of Meadsville Pensylvania.

It was buzzed about that an expedition was on fact of importance and honor—A letter then came from Colonel Tyler to Hugh Allen of Meadsville inviting him and those who chosed to adventure with him, to meet Tyler at Beaver on the 1st. of December, and to proceed on Some expedition with him; accordingly Knox rendezvou’d with a party and found Tyler at the place which they left on the 4th. or the 5th. of December, with Tyler and about Thirty men in four Batteaux Shenectedy built [. . . .] —Tyler informed them that He could not give them particulars before they Saw their Chief, but that the Expedition on which they were about to enter was destined ultimately against Mexico.— They would however ascend Red River and make a Settlement first, that they had before them the object of delivering a number of distressed People that they were to be all equally Instructed and Should Share alike whatever might be gained, but that every man would be at liberty to return when He pleased, and would have his expenses borne back—The Party made no halt until they reached Blennerhassett’s Island—They remained there one Night— The next morning, information was brought that the Boats on the Muskingum were Seized, and Blennarhassett, Tyler and the whole party escaped, in a hurry—The party proceeded down the River day and night without halt until they reached a place Called Shawanae Town, about twelve miles below the Wabash—It was expected Colonel Burr would join them at this Place, and they remained there four or five days—But they received an express to inform them He would meet them at the mouth of Cumberland—They reached Cumberland about Christmas where they found Colonel Burr with a number of Boats—They left Cumberland a day or two after and came to 8 or 9 miles above Massac when Colo. Tyler went on to the Garrison—Knox received Orders in the night being the lowest Boat, to be ready to put off when other Boats fell down and the whole Sailed by Massac in the night and came to Some distance below— The next morning Colo. Burr Asked Him to remain with a Small Boat to bring off a Man who was to follow him, which He did and about 8 O’Clock in the following morning Dunbaugh came down to embarked—They sailed and got to New Madrid and He did not See Dunbaugh again until they reached Coles Creek—Mr. Knox came down in the Boat with Floyd and Ralston from New Madrid—He heard before He Reached Natchez that General Adair was engaged in the Plot and had come to this place to See General Wilkinson—Knox, Kennedy and Denny, Willy and Harry (Burrs Negro) went up in the wherry from Coles Creek to Colonel Bruins, halted in the Evening a mile below the Colonels. Colonel Burr Went on Shore and did not return, The next morning the wherry went up to Bruins landed Colonel Burrs Baggage there, received from Him two letters, One for Major Floyd, the other for Colo. Tyler, and then Knox and party fell down to Natchez—This was the day before Burr fled from the Territory and that night Knox understood He left Bruin’s—

I extracted the Preceding from Knox, By Interrogatories founded on information previously obtained from Dunbaugh and Morly—It was in truth wire drawn, He was reluctant to Say a Word unless (as He observed) He Should be regularly called on, when He intimated he Could say much— He expressed frequent great indignation against Tyler for his falsehood a[. . . .] and deception and Said He would have Satisfaction [. . . .] Him— He is a man of about thirty six and appears thoughtfull and Intelligent, and has a Brother living at Red Banks in Kentucky, where this informant intends to repair from this City, by way of Natchez. Hugh Allen has returned to Meadsville, has possession of Tylers letter, and is disposed to give information.

Ja: Wilkinson

DLC: Burr Conspiracy Collection.


May 1807

List of Witnesses to be Summond against Aaron Burr—Viz—

Blennarhassett, Tyler, Swartwout, Bollman, Alexander, Adair, Floyd & Ralston; If they are not to be prosecuted as accomplices—

Samuel N.R. Luckett, Falls of Ohio

Joseph Alston and his wife—

Mrs. Blennarhassett—

A Major Smith from the State of New York about 30 Years of age fair complexion & light Hair—

William Prince of St. Vincennes Indiana Territory—It is said He received $1000, but did not join—

Samuel H. Buttler on Big Benson in Kentucky, He was sent by Burr from Nashville by land to Natchez, and is the person alluded to in Danbaughs Deposition—

Stokely L. Hays Tennessee—

Fisk Jeffersonville Indiana Territory,— Walter C. Davidson from Elizabeth Town Kentucky, now Tennessee

Thomas Noland late Sergt. Major first Regiment His family is Said to be in Pittsburgh, but He joined Burr from the Indiana Territory—

John Berry Clark County Indiana Territory

William F. Tuly Clark County Do.—

Robert & James Prior and Richard Lemast from Bullett County Kentucky—

Haymaker, Lamb, King, Fay and Plum from the State of New York—

John and Charles Denny from Bel[. . . .] who came off with Blennarhassett.—

Willy, Burrs Valet, Clerk or Secretary is taken.— He Should be questioned closely respecting Depestre, from the time He joined Burr until he left him—He Should also be questioned respecting Bollman, Swartwout, Spence & Alexander

Thomas Butler the Son of the late Colonel—

Williamson of the House of Meeker Williamson and Patton of this City, His Brother John Williamson also of this City—the friend of Ogden. Major Dayton the Son of General Dayton now in this City—

Captain Samuel Davis of this City—

Robert and A. Swartwout of N. York and   Ogden of the Same Place—

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