Friday, May 15, 2009

Major-General Jacob Brown & Henry Utley. 1813-14.

General Jacob Brown, states that, in the winter of 1813-14, while in command of the army of the United States, then Canadian frontier, a man by the name of Henry Utley, who, in conjunction with his father and family, had been notoriously employed in communicating intelligence to the enemy, was apprehended by a patrol from his camp, when more than two miles within the enemy’s territory, and in direct route to his head-quarters at Cornwall. During the days immediately preceding, the said Utley had been at Malone and the parts adjacent, at the cantonment of our troops at Chateaugay Four Corners, and entirely through the camp of General Brown at French Mills. After exercising these means of examination, he was returning to the enemy to communicate the result of it. When taken by the patrol, he begged, as they valued his life, that they would release him, and offered, as an inducement, his horse, saddle, bridle, and two hundred dollars in money. He was nevertheless brought to head-quarters, and ordered to the provost guard to be tried as a spy. The exigencies of the service did not admit of a court-martial being immediately ordered, in consequence of which the prisoner escaped before he could be tried.

General Jacob Brown, further states that, in consequence of having thus discharged his duty, the aforesaid Utley, in the month of June, 1816, commenced suit against him in the State of New York for assault, battery, and false imprisonment and obtained judgment against him, by which he has sustained a loss of $669 81.

The facts disclosed to the committee appear fully to corroborate the statements of General Jacob Brown, among which are brief statements of the trial, one from the honorable Mr. Palmer of the House of Representatives, from the State of New York, and the other from Judge Spencer, who presided at the trial. These go fully to satisfy the committee that General Brown acted only as a prudent officer would have done in the arrest of Utley, and that he faithfully defended the suit which was instituted against him.

There are two charges of interest, amounting to $47.89, in the claim of General Brown, which the committee think cannot be allowed. Rejecting this, the claim will then amount to $621 92, which the committee think should be granted him. For this purpose they report a bill.

CHAP. LXXII..An. Act for the relief of Major-General Jacob Brown.

Be it enacted, &c., That the proper accounting officers of the treasury department be, and they are hereby, authorized and directed to settle the claim of Major-General Jacob Brown, on account of a judgment obtained against him in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, at the suit of Henry Utley, together with reasonable costs and charges: Provided, That the sum to be allowed on the settlement aforesaid, shall not exceed the sum of six hundred [and] twenty-one dollars and ninety-two cents.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the aforesaid sum shall be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.
APPROVED, April 18, 1818.

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