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now we have become great and powerful. So we are oppressed in all the ways in which littleness seated on high, can reach us. But we will stand our ground on our own legs, on our own soil, relying on our own vast resources. It is, however, honor enough for any common man to be a good and worthy citizen of Ohio, travel where he may, in the Union. We may well contemn all the attempts now made and making to oppress and degrade us. This state of things cannot last long, before Ohio has a voice, and an influence at Washington. No president or attorney general will dare, then, to treat with contempt our citizens, and our members of congress.
During this third period of our history, but two events drew much public attention to them after our state had become properly organized. Of these events we shall treat in their order of time...
The first event, which agitated the public. mind, in this state, after its constitution took effect, and was carried into complete operation, was Barr's expedition. Early in the spring of 1806, rumors of all sorts began to spread throughout this and the adjoining states of an expedition of some sort, about to be set on foot, by Colonel Aaron Burr and his associates, These rumors were circulated through the western country by letter writers in the east, at first, but they soon found their way into the newspapers of that period. In the summer, Burr himself appeared among us awhile, then went to Lexington, Frankfort, and we believe to Nashville, Tennessee and to the Hermitage. The papers were filled with conjectures, as to the Colonel's intentions, views, and ultimate objects. JOAN SMITH, one of our senators in congress, was suspected of being in the horrid plot, whatever it might be, as he had been, all along, on friendly terms with Burr, while the latter presided in the United States senate! Affidavits of conversations with Colonel Burr, were gotten up against him. Many of these willing witnesses, we knew, and would not believe them, even
under oath, then, or at any other time, during their lives, John Smith was beset, on all sides, for his supposed friendship to the late Vice President. He wrote to Burr, then at Frank, fort, Kentucky, inquiring “what his real objects were in visiting the western country?" Burr, answered, and as he said in that answer it would be, so it was; the only one that he ever vouchsafed to give any one, relative to his business in the western country. He said, in substance, “that, he had purchased a large tract of land in Louisiana, on the Washita river, and he wished to engage emigrants, to settle on it. That the position would be a good one for mercantile and agricultural purposes. That these, and these only, were his objects."
Early in the autumn, perhaps, sooner, Burr's associates, began to build boats, along the navigable waters connected with the Ohio, and Mississippi rivers, Provisions were purchased, such as pork, beef and flour, with which to load these boats. The administration of the general government, sent express after express to the west, in order to save the country, from the ruin, which these boat loads of provisions, and nearly seventy men, without arms, could do by descending the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, possibly, even to New Orleans!
The legislature of Ohio, full of patriotic devotion, to Mr. Jefferson's administration, passed a long and complicated act, to detect and punish the boat builders and all connected with them. This was in their session of 1806-7.
To look back upon this farce, now, is like reading an account of the Massachusetts witchcraft; or of the plots during the reign of Charles II. of England. Sergeant Dunbar is a fine parallel of Titus Oates.
At the session of the United States courts for Ohio, at Chillicothe, in the winter of 1807, a vast concourse of people attended, expecting many indictments would be found against all who belonged to the expedition, especially if they had been in the state! and of all, too, who had built boats or sold provisions to load them. MICHAEL BALDWIN, a great wit, then our marshal, seeing a citizen of Ashtabula county, in attendance
on court, in expectation of an indictment against him, for some connection with Burr, (never known what it was) contrived to convey the idea, to this man, that a bill was actually found against him, and that he, the marshal, was actually on the point of arresting the culprit. The terrified man fied, as he supposed, from justice, with great speed, seventy miles, to Zanesville.
Burr's boats started from Blannerhassett's island, in the Ohio river, early in January, 1807, and Blannerhassett, his family, and Burr's friends descended peaceably down, we believe to Natchez, in the Mississippi Territory. His other boats, along both rivers, descended likewise, towards the same point of destination.
Before this time, the president had called on this state for troops, to repel the threatened --(we know not what to call it) A great many troops had eagerly come forward, and offered their services to the government, and were joyfully accepted and enrolled, and held in readiness for instant action. .
In January 1807, Burr" himself had descended to Natchez, and there was summoned to appear before the supreme court, of the Mississippi Territory. Having heard that his agents were arrested at New Orleans, and along the river, he did not obey the summons, but fled from Natchez in disguise. He was arrested, we believe on the Tombigbee river, wending his way, on horseback, across the country, to Georgia. The man who arrested him, had never seen him before, but knew him by his brilliant eye, which shone like a diamond, beneath an old, broad-brimmed, flapped hat, under which Colonel Burr sat, warming himself, by the fire, at a small inn.
Colonel Burr was tried before Chief Justice Marshall, at Richmond, Virginia, in the summer of 1807, on two indictments, to wit: one for treason against the United States; the other for setting on foot, an expedition against the Spanish provinces. On both indictments Burr was acquitted, but he was recognized, we believe, in the sum of five thousand dollars, to appear at Chillicothe, before the United States court to answer to any indictment to be found against him, in Ohio. Not
choosing to appear there, he paid the forfeiture, and went off. to Europe. There he wandered about from one monarch's court to another, until 1811, when he returned to his native country. During the remainder of his life, almost twenty-five years, he lived in retirement, until he recently died, and was . buried, by the students of the college, of Nassau Hall, Princeton, New Jersey, in their burying-ground, with every mark of respect. There he was born and educated, and there his mortal remains rest. . . .
Whatever his projects were, whether for conquest or settlement, they were defeated almost as soon as they were formed. Late events on this same theatre do not hold out the same terror to ambitious men, who would conquer adjoining provinces, that Burr's fate did, in 1806–7. But Burr is now in.. his grave. . . . .
. . . !
The next subject which during three or four years, produced a great excitement, in the minds of our population, was in its day, called, the “Sweeping Resolution.” Our legislature had passed an act, giving justices of the peace, jurisdiction without the aid of a jury in the first instance, in the collection of debts, in all cases, where the demand did not exceed fifty dollars. Inasmuch as the constitution of the United States, gives a jury in all such cases, where the amount claimed, is twenty dollars; and inasmuch too, as any thing in our laws or constitution, contrary to the provisions of the national constitution is utterly void, ånd of no effect; the judges of all our courts, declared this act of our legislature void and of no effect. This independence of our judges inflamed the legisla. ture to a high degree. So they proceeded to punish these honest and conscientious officers of justice. The house of rep
resentatives impeached the judges, and having a majority of two thirds in the senate they proceeded against them in due form and removed them from office. Judges Sprigg, Tod and Pease were successively removed in the years preceding 1809–10 for this cause, and in this way. All things seemed to bend before the arbitrary will of the omnipotent general assembly; but in the autumn of 1809 the people did not elect 66 gweepers” enough to the senate to enable the house to carry an impeachment through the senate. There were fourteen 6 sweepers” and ten conservatives. · Maturing their plan of operations and having determined at all events, “constitution or no constitution,” as one of them said, on the floor of the house, to remove not only all who opposed their will, but all other civil officers in the state, they moved forward to the . work. They set up a new doctrine, “ that in a short time it would be seven years, since the constitution went into operation and certainly all civil officers ought to go out of office every seven years, and so have the field entirely cleared off for new aspirants to office.” In accordance with these “republican ideas," (if they could be believed,) on the 27th day of December, 1809, Samuel Dunlap, a representative from Jefferson county, presented a resolution to the house in these words, to wit: “Resolved, that all civil officers, of government, within this state whether elected to office by the legislature, or by the people, to fill vacancies, shall hold their offices no longer than their predecessors would have done. Resolved, also, that a committee of three members be appointed to prepare a bill defining the manner of commissioning such officers." These resolutions were made the order of the day, for the next Monday. But on that day, January 1st 1810, they were farther postponed to the next Thursday. On that" day they were discussed, and postponed to January the 7th. On that day these resolutions were enlarged greatly and passed. On their passage they read as follows, viz: «Whereas it is provided by the eighth section of the third article of the constitution of this state, that the judges of the supreme court, the presidents and associate judges of the court of common.