Joseph Watson to Samuel P. Garrigues, October 29, 1827

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 29 Oct 1827 [unknown]
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Surname/tag: Watson
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October 29, 1827 letter from Joseph Watson to Samuel P. Garrigues, High Constable of Philadelphia, instructing him of his duties in returning the kidnapped children to Philadelphia. Watson states that Mr. Walker has not acknowledged receipt of any of the many documents he has sent.

During his trip, Samuel P. Garrigues sent the following letters to Joseph Watson:

Joseph Watson Correspondence, Mss. 1872, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

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Mayor’s office, Philad. @ October 29, 1827.

Dear Sir,

I now commit to paper the particular matters to which I have already verbally directed your attention during your intended mission to New Orleans and Natchez, and to further the object of which I herewith enclose sundry letters of introduction to Joseph Bennet Eves, John Walsh, Thomas Spellman Lloyd, to the Mayor of New Orleans, also to Duncan J Walker of Natchez, and to John Henderson, and John W. Hamilton of Rocky Spring, all of which you will deliver, or withhold at your own discretion on which together with your energy and industry I greatly rely for success. I have no doubt you will [find] friends wherever you go, when your errand shall become known to them. I particularly recommend the little black boy to your care and attention, and that you will take care that he returns with you. He tells me that he perfectly recollects Ephraim Lawrence and Clem Cox and will never forget Jo. Johnson the kidnapper. — You will deliberately and frequently look over the documents and proofs I have placed in your hands, in relation to the kidnapped persons, the return of whom to this city is the object of your voyage — more particularly the speedy return of Ephraim Lawrence who you will recollect is wanted

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to confront Henry Carr now in jail here. If this boy can be found, as Mr. Loyd supposes, (in his letter to me, a copy of which you have) and the person who has him in possession will not give him up to you after using all the persuasion and reasoning in your power to procure such amicable effect, I think it will be right to commence a suit for him as a stolen boy, and then endeavor to purchase his redemption at as low a rate as possible — for you also know that young Hurst[?] can positively identify him, if his appearance can be served before any of the Courts of Louisiana, and I am fully determined to send him on, rather than fail in the operation, regardless of the expense to be incurred, in which case his holder would lose his whole purchase money; but in the meantime you are aware that Carr may demand his discharge, and thus escape conviction — he has been already 7 or 8 months in jail.

Perhaps however it will be better in the first instance to secure the appearance of the stolen boys before the Court lest they should be put out of the way, as it would seem they have already been smuggled out of the State of Louisiana Mississippi into the state of Louisiana. Mr Loyd describes I think the same names and persons, — or generally so, as now being in the neighborhood of New Orleans that Mr Walker by his previous letter (copy in your hands) assures me that he had the appearance of to answer before the Courts of Mississippi. — I wish you particularly to consult with Bennet Eves as to the character of

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gentlemen you may come in contact, or with whom you may have occasion to do business. He is an old friend of mine, and feels indignant at the infamous outrages that have been perpetrated upon our poor black children and I know he will be glad to serve you.

Query[?]? Who is the man mentioned in Mr Lloyd’s letter as Mr. Thompson? It may possibly be Jo. Johnson, or his brother Ebenezer, both of whom are mentioned in the warrants of our Governor as fugitives from the justice of this state. In these warrants you are named as the Agent of this State, and they have been forwarded by me to the Governors of Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland. You will recollect that $500 Dollars is offered by me as a reward for each individual concerned in the kidnappings of 1825. The two Johnsons are also fugitives from Delaware and Virginia. I need not recommend you to be extremely circumspect in all your movements and conduct while in the slave holding states, for notwithstanding you are on a merciful errand, and sanctioned by law, there will be narrow-souled avaricious creatures, that will watch every step you take, and would gladly fasten their fangs upon you. — I think you must go to Natchez and see Duncan J. Walker almost immediately on your arrival, but of this you can better judge on reaching New Orleans. I much regret that I have not kept copies of my letters to him; they would fully possess[?] you of my

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views and wishes. — I have written to Mr. Walker twelve letters, not one of which has he answered. And this I conceive, he has been grossly negligent, and regardless of his duty as an attorney. At my request he drew on me near a year ago for $100 Dollars, which has been paid, for the purpose of paying necessary expenses in procuring evidence; — having in the most positive manner refused in the first instance to receive any compensation on his own account. I know not how to reconcile Mr Walker’s original promptness with his subsequent neglect of duty; — but I wish you to keep on the right side of him. I have indeed heard that although, a smart and able lawyer, he is terrible lazy.

You are aware that the copies of the depositions in your possession, are for the information of yourself and the persons with whom you may consult. You will take much care of them, but if necessary you may leave them behind you in safe hands. The originals have been forwarded by me per mail, directed to Duncan S. Walker Esq. and to his care. Those for Col. Hickey, & also some for Mr Kendrick, (both these gentlemen are planters at Baton Rouge) he was particularly requested to forward to them. I retained no copies of these first[?] to Mr Kendrick, — nor have I copies of some that related to Peter Hook; particularly of the depositions of Judge Hemphill and Hartman Kuhn Esq, — nor of some that went from the State of Delaware. Nor have I received

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from any of the parties, an acknowledgement of the receipt of any of these documents, although I am fully provided they have received them.

You have in your possession a number of original depositions which don’t seem to apply to any of the persons named, — they may however be useful to you. In relation to Staton and Constant; who I think were said to be corn carriers, I have not been able to obtain any evidence. If you should have access to them, you must try to ascertain what white persons know them here or in Delaware. —

I wish you to make particular inquiries after Patrick Picket, or Pickard, and his wife - Col. Hicky or his overseer, can probably put you on a true scent. —

You will of course frequently write to me and report your progress. You will keep an accurate account of your expenses, which you will render to us a Voucher on the Treasury after your return, which I pray may be safe and speedy. I remain your friend,

(Signed) Joseph Watson,

To Samuel P. Garrigues

High Constable of the City of Philadelphia

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