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Listed Under:  Know-Nothings  |   Philadelphia Anti-Catholic Riots, 1844

Public Ledger

Additional Evidence in Relation to the Riot

Citation Information:"Additional Evidence in Relation to the Riot," Public Ledger, v. 17, 18 - 24 July, 1844.

PUBLIC LEDGER
PHILADELPHIA, THURSDAY, JULY 18, 1844

Lieut. Thomas D. Dougherty, acting Captain of the Second Company of State Fencibles, deposed as follows before Judge Jones yesterday morning:

I was ordered out about 4 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, the 6th day of July; was stationed in the church that night, to take charge of the prisoners, and I continued there till half past three o'clock on Sunday morning; at 12 o'clock, I had as many as thirty prisoners in charge; there was a guard of twelve men placed over them. The prisoners were very unruly, one threatened to escape; they got into conversation with one of the Sheriff's posse. I stated to Sheriff at one time that I had not sufficient force to keep the prisoners safely. I had a suspicion that they tried to communicate with the outside through the policeman spoken of; I advised the Sheriff not to bring any more in. Charles Naylor was one of the prisoners; his conduct was very orderly. When I left the church, my orders were to proceed to the armory, and be prepared to meet in Independence Square on Sunday afternoon. I reached the church with my command about seven o'clock, on Sunday evening, in front of the frame dwelling, adjoining the West side of the church. Gen. Cadwalader detailed companies from the right and left of the brigade to clear the streets. I was ordered to take possession of the frame house, which was crowded with men; on going to the front door I was hailed by a young man at the window, who told me I could not come in; and that he had the keys of the house. I filed my men in front of the alley alongside of the house, which was also full of men; a man came out, who stated he was the owner of the house, and would not give possession. I gave my name and that of the company I commanded, and said I would be responsible for the house. A young man stepped up, and said he had the keys and would not deliver them up; do not know him, never saw him before, but could recognize him if I should see him again. I then drew my pistol and ordered my command up the alley; the men that were in it fell back; proceeded up the alley and went into the back door of the house, which was open; found the stairway leading into the second story full of men; ordered them down. They obeyed but at the same time, some complained that it was hard to be turned out of their boarding house. There was not an article of furniture in it; examined the house from top to bottom; found three or four men in the second story, who were also ordered out; found no arms of any description. After taking full possession, I formed my command on the pavement in front of the house, and was then ordered by Gen. Cadwalader, to the corner of Second and Queen streets, to take position in the rear of Capt. Hill's company. This occupied about twenty or twenty-five minutes, and it was not 8 o'clock when I took my position; while stationed in the rear, I saw a man fall into the gutter; am under the impression he had on a gray uniform; my men told me that Capt. Hill was knocked down, and at the same moment Capt. H's company brought their pieces to a level and fired; I was not close enough to hear the insults offered by the mob to the military. I ordered my men to make ready and aim, but afterwards brought to a shoulder arms; do not know whether any of them fired, but am under the impression two or three of them did; if so, it was without orders. I did not see any of the committee who had had charge; suppose they had left while I was taking possession of the frame house. Left my post for a moment to go to the Hospital for Dr. Bunting, to assist a man wounded outside the lines, delivered my message to a soldier and returned. Previous to the first discharge of the cannon from Front and Queen, Col. Pleasanton and myself were in conversation; I said to him that I saw a light moving up Queen from the water; afterwards I heard a low rumbling sound; believing it to be a gun, the men were ordered to place themselves against the houses. This had scarcely been done, when the discharge of the cannon took place, accompanied by musketry. I was told immediately afterwards that Capt. Scott and Col. Pleasanton were wounded. A discharge from one piece, under the immediate command of Gen. Cadwalader ensued. Towards morning, I was ordered up to the front of the frame house above the church, and I placed my command in the alley to protect them from the shot.

After the first fire of the military, a large man came in front of Captain Scott's company, and abused them violently, telling them there was no Yankee blood in their veins, and that they would "get hell before long;" one of my men said it was Andrew McClain, and I then recollected his voice; it was too dark to see his face distinctly, but am convinced I am right in the name. After this the man went down Queen street, and I saw no more of him.

Commonwealth against John Turner.

Edward Strane deposed that on Monday afternoon he was engaged, with a friend, Mr. Bradbury, in search of a boat, the latter wishing to purchase one; we heard there was one over at the island; we got a boat and proceeded to the island; as we neared the boat which was said to be for sale, we saw a man (John Turner) coming out of the hold; asked him if the boat was to sell, and what was the price; he answered $200; we offered $120; this he would not take, and we came away; on Tuesday we went again in search of a boat, and as we were going along the wharf, somewhere between South street and the Navy Yard, we met Turner, who hailed us, and inquired if we had met with a boat yet; on being answered in the negative, he said we had better buy his; we left him, promising to come back and go over to the island with him to look at his boat again; on our return, we found Turner waiting for us; we got into a boat, and while we were going over Turner said that he was very much frightened when he saw us rowing towards him the day before; that he was in the act of getting out so as to let us have a chase before we caught him; on being asked why he was frightened, he said he was afraid we were constables; that he had his hand on the cannon either just before or as it was fired; that he saw two men, one an old man, who was killed instantly, and the other a young man; that on seeing this as the smoke lifted, he was frightened and ran down Queen street.

Mr. Bradbury's evidence was pretty much a repetition of the above; he did not hear as much as Mr. Shane, as he was sitting in the boat behind Turner, and did not listen particularly.

John Killion, one of the officers who arrested Turner, gave in evidence that when prisoner was arrested he began to tell that he had nothing to do with the riot; in reply, I advised him to say nothing about it; as we went along we met a dearborn with some friends in; one of them came out, and prisoner told him to send Mike English to him; we went along, and while I had turned round a moment, prisoner dropped an umbrella he had in his hand and ran away; I followed, crying "stop thief;" he was arrested by a citizen, who held him till I came up and secured him.

The counsel for the defendant stated that the accused said he was present at the first firing of the miliary, and that it was then the two men fell. The Attorney General consented to his bail being fixed at $2000.

Commonwealth against John Black.

Ethan Harwood (the man who was sent to prison on Saturday) appeared as evidence in this case. He said:

I was standing at the southwest corner of Water and Queen streets, when Mr. Black came down Water street, with something on his arm covered over with a handkerchief; it was between dark and 10 o'clock; I was about ten steps from the cannon, which was in Water street; Black came up to me, drew the handkerchief off, and disclosed a bag of balls, and said to me put them in, or else load her; he put the bag into my hands, and they were taken by someone else, I don't know who; the bag was nearly full, and the balls were rusty; Black then turned off and went up the street towards his own house, about two squares off; I do not know whether they were put into the piece or not; did not see the sons of Mr. Black there.

Col. Bradford was brought forward to prove that the fire of the mob had resulted in the death of the military, and that no citizens were killed or wounded within the lines of the military.

The counsel of defendant offered to prove by the children of his client that he had refused to sell ball or any other material to the rioters at any price. The Attorney General said there was other evidence against the accused, but that it could not be brought forward now. He consented to the accused being liberated on bail to the following amount—$2000 for high treason, $2000 for murder, and $1000 for riot. The two sons of Mr. Black were ordered to give bail for $2000 each, in their own recognizance, to appear, for a further hearing, when called for.

Thomas D. Grover, sworn.

I reside No. 12 Federal street; I was in the District of Southwark on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; I first heard of the disturbance about the church about 6 o'clock on Friday evening; I walked up to the church where there was a considerable collection of people, who said there were arms in the church; I felt anxious to know the truth of that matter, and went poking around and tried to see the person who lived west of the church in the frame house, and whom I had known for many years; I think his name is Isaiah Robbins, but I am not positive; I found him eventually, and asked him if he knew there were guns in the church, and he said there were, he had seen them in the church; I then asked him if he knew whether any had gone in that afternoon, and he said he had not seen any go in, but one of his family had. Well, sir, then I proceeded down to opposite Alderman Hortz's door; a great collection began to gather, some 300 or 400; I then thought it time to go; I walked away from there down to Mr. Glenn's, at the corner of Somers' court and 2d, and sat there for about an hour; this was near Queen; some persons came down while I was there and wanted to get into the church by the back way, and I told them they had better go away, as there was no communication with the church that way, a brick wall having been built up; these men I suppose were members of the church; after some time had elapsed, Mr. Penrose Ash came down and told me the Sheriff was at the church, and asked me what ought to be done; I told him I thought that the only thing that would quiet the people would be to take the arms out of the church; he agreed with me; there appeared to be a great collection down 2d and up Queen,very much excited; I saw a considerable rush as I was sitting the c; I jumped up and walked up the street, where I saw them bringing guns; my impressions was there were twelve.

I staid till some time after ten; went down home and did not go up again; while in the neighborhood of the church there was a great deal of loud talk, and the temper appeared rough, rather disposed to riot; I do not know any person whom I saw there active and turbulent; did not see Andrew McClain.

On Saturday evening, after tea, I went up Second on the east side of the way; it was the first I knew the Sheriff's posse was there; I looked around; did not stop; saw but one person I knew; Mr. Thomas Mitchell, one of the posse, passed on, and at the corner of Second and Dock met you; (witness referred to the Attorney General;) at about half past 9, on my way down, stopped at Mr. Glenn's; went to the barber and went home; I saw nothing of the disturbance that night.

On Sunday morning I went up the southwest corner of Second and Queen streets, between 11 and 12 o'clock; while there I heard a great battering, and saw a string of boys and men, with a gun on timber wheels, coming down Second to Christian, which they turned up, halting just beyond the range of Second; I suppose there were about a hundred on the rope; there were very few men; they had but one gun; they started ahead and I went home to dinner; did not recognize any one, they came so quick and unexpected to me; I did not at that time learn what they intended to do with the gun; I did not get up far enough to see what kind of a collection there was about the church; I had just sat down to the dinner table, when the bell of my door was rung; this, I should judge was about a minute before 12; somebody went to the front area door; I left the table, and just as I reached the front door the gun went off, and the man I saw, whose face is familiar to me, but whom I don't know, exclaimed, "I am afraid I have come too late, Mr. Grover;" I immediately put on my coat and went up to Mr. Levin's house, was invited into the parlor, and then Mr. Levin came in; I told him that if some one would come and speak to the people we could prevent mischief; we went to Southwark Hall; some person asked where we were going? We said to take charge of the guns, and they said that's right; I told Levin there were two guns, I would take one and he must take the other; we proceeded up the court, in Christian street, in the rear of the church ;there were a great number of people in Christian street, as the Court was full we had some difficulty to get up it; I got up on one gun and he got on the other, I eventually got them quiet; the fellows who were around the guns; they had fired more than once; I don't know how often.

They were in the act of priming when we mounted the cannon; Mr. Levin commenced addressing them, and when they got uneasy, I spoke up and succeeded in quieting them again. He got exhausted and called upon this gentleman, Mr. Titus, who spoke from the gun upon which Mr. L. was; I proposed to take the gun away, and this seemed rather a stumper to them; they said they would if I would let them fire once; but I said, "no, that would never do;" I then appealed to the better part of the citizens, and told them to take hold of the rope; when I got down I found all my magic, what little I exercised, was gone, so I mounted again, when a man came up and said, "Mr. Grover only let us fire this once more and we will go away." I asked a man named Dickhardt if he knew who that man was, and he said no, but he believed his brother had been killed in Kensington; I said that accounts for his industry; he called to me if I would ride, and finding I could do nothing without humoring them, I said yes. So we took the gun to the wharf, where an old gentleman handed me a nail which I drove into the touch-hole. I heard that they had taken the gun into Mr. Neale's yard and I went to spike it, but I found it was dismounted. I was informed they had got it from his yard, and it appeared to belong to him. There were men engaged in these performances whom I have seen, but whose names I don't know.

When I cam up from Mr. Neal's yard, which is in Swanson street above Christian, I went up Second street, and saw a crow rushing into the Hall. I went in, when the people formed a meeting and called me the chair. A resolution was passed to appoint a committee of 25 from each ward to support the law and defend the church. I endeavored to adjourn it as soon as possible, and requested the men to go to their different wards and procure their badges. When I was going down some young man came after me and said that unless flags were brought the church was gone. I went home, got two flags, and came up to the church, the flags waving there were thousands in Queen street. I held the flags from the steps. I soon found that I must get within the church. I went in. Then those outside got a battering ram at the door. We fought them off for some time; got no assistance from those outside, except three or four, and had I 20 such men as Johnson and another; I could have prevented the mob from getting in. I got vexed and told them that they could not get in that way, except over my dead body; they then went away and battered down a wall, where they came in in crowds through the side doors and windows.

I don't think there were over twenty of them men who worked with the battering ram, and some of them appeared intoxicated.; by the time I got through the vestibule towards the library the house was filled; I from that time went all over the house wherever I apprehended violence; the church was on fire twice but we succeeded in putting it out; I saw a young rascal with a couple of bunches of matches holding against the wood-work, and then I got mad and threw half a dozen boys out of the windows; the mob broke the crosses, &c., and we had to humor them and finally we succeeded, after their curiosity had been gratified in getting them out; after we got it all quiet I told the citizens present that I could not stay without authority from the Sheriff; Mr. Germon, I believe, went for the Sheriff; it was quiet an hour or so before the military came, and they brought a large collection of people with them; when they made their appearance I put out my cigar and went into the church; word came to me that General Cadwalader wanted to see me; I sent word back that he must come to me if he wanted to see me; word came to me twice more, and I sent word back that he could see me at the gate; then I said I would go, but those around me said no; I then said I would go as I supposed he wanted to support his dignity and we were nothing but common citizens, that much respect was due to his office; I went out, and as I proceeded out Mr. Bradford said to him this is Mr. Grover; the General said something to me, and asked whether I could get the men out; I said I could; he said "will you get them out?" I replied "I have said so!" At this time the Grays charged with their bayonets; my back was towards them, when the point of the bayonet struck me under the shoulder and cut through my coat; I turned and I think the General said this is Mr. Grover, and they eased off from me; I then went in and proposed to form two by two and come out.

There was some contention as to the right of precedence, and some objected to coming out. I am a little before my story. After I left the General, and was going to the church, I saw a man with his gun cocked and his piece half levelled three times, as if he was going to shoot a reed-bird. This was just opposite the church, and before I had got into it; the soldier was one in a blue dress; I saw men in the ranks who I did not know belonged there; they let men go into the ranks who play thimbles for a living. When I had got the men inside formed, we came out, two and two; I said to the General, "We deliver the church up into your hands, and are now clear of responsibility." He said something, which I took to be a compliment, but don't know, as I am hard of hearing; I requested him to see us safe out of the lines, and he said it should be done; I went down, and at the request of a man, I went to the left to see an officer of the company; the people were very much agitated; I tried to pacify a stout man who was there, when I saw an officer run out toward the mob, six or seven paces in advance; I let go of this man, and immediately he clinched the officer's sword, and they stood wrestling; each had hold of it, the officer by the hilt and point, with both hands, and there was considerable struggling; then some three or four men stepped out and made a charge with their bayonets on this man; then came a couple of stones, one of which struck one of the men on the cap, and as soon as this was done the word fire was given by some one in my rear; they fired; I turned toward the soldiers and saw a man with two or thee muskets pointed at him; I believe he was in the church with me; when the smoke cleared up I saw two or three men down; this fellow who was struggling was down but not dead—he was playing possum, for he got up and went away. I went over to the northeast corner, and scarcely had I got there when they fired in that direction; I saw a man running, he was shot in the leg; I went up Second street, when the thought struck me that there were arms in the hall; I went there, and saw them tearing down the rail and handing out the muskets; they were highly excited, and I never saw such phrensy; I then went home.

When I first went down to the lines, after leaving the church, the crowd were doing nothing—perhaps using violent language. When the officer went out into the crowd with his drawn sword, I think, and this is a matter of opinion, I think I could have cleared that street in fifteen minutes.

The witness then indicated a number of persons who were present at the time of this transaction, for the purpose of having them examined.

Every thing from General Cadwalader will be read a this time with particular interest. We published originally, a few days since, a brief statement, by Gen. Cadwalader, of the events which led to the first fire of the troops on the evening of the 7th instant. We now offer a short letter, addressed to Captain Mallory, in which particular emphasis is given to the conduct and services of that gallant officer and the no less gallant troops from Germantown.

HEAD QUARTERS, FIRST BRIGADE,
1ST DIV. P. M., Philad, 10th July, 1814

TO CAPT. MALLORY,

Com'd Washington Artillery, of Germantown.

Dear Captain—I received your letter of the 13th instant, written at my request, and containing an account of the events which occurred on the 7th inst, at the corner of Third and Queen streets, Southwark, where you were stationed, with several other companies, for the defence of that position against the attack of the mob.

I had given directions to Capt. Page (who was the Senior Captain at the station) to allow each Captain to dispose of and use his command in the most effective manner, in case of being attacked, without waiting for further orders from me, as I was necessarily much at the other end of the square, where the attack was first commenced; and from the circumstance of Col. Pleasanton and Capt. Scott being wounded there, I thought it probable that I should be more useful to be with their command. I had frequently, however, an opportunity of being at your station and witnessing your energy and zeal, especially in rallying the men when you were attacked in Third street, by the very destructive fire which came so suddenly from that quarter; and so well did you perform your duties that no orders were necessary to be given to you. Your firmness and energy, and the valuable assistance given to you by private Crout of your Company, and private Maxwell of the Germantown Blues, are well known to us all, and deserve the highest praise. Privates Ash, Arthur and Idle, of your company, who assisted you in resisting the attack on Queen street also behaved in the most praiseworthy manner.

The loss of private Crawford's arm, who was wounded on that occasion, and the arm since amputated, is much to be deplored. He certainly deserves the thanks of this community, who will always feel for the loss which he has sustained, and they will no doubt give some suitable testimony to that effect.

I have also to regret the injury which private Idle sustained by being run down by the horse, and I should not pass unnoticed the prompt attention of Lieut. Bringhurst to your orders.

Allow me, in bearing testimony to the gallant manner in which you conducted yourself on that occasion, to assure you that I am sensible of the value of the services rendered by you at Third and Queen streets, and to congratulate you that although exposed to a galling fire, from which your pompon was shot off, you escaped unhurt, with the satisfaction that you must feel that you discharged your duty most efficiently, and rendered the public much service.

I write to you now upon this subject as a statement appeared in one of the morning papers which purports to be an official paper from me, but which has no official character, and when my official report is made public you will find that I have not lost sight of the value of your services or of your gallantry in the recent unpleasant duty which we were required to perform. Believe me, in haste, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. CADWALADER, Brigadier General

THE FUNERAL OF THE MURDERED SOLDIERS

The Germantown Telegraph gives the following brief account of the burial of the brave but unfortunate fellows who were killed at their post by the rioters on Sunday night.

"Wednesday last was a gloomy day for Germantown. The last sad honors were paid to the remains of John Guyer and Henry G. Troutman, members of the corps of Germantown Blues, murdered by the mob in Philadelphia, on the 7th inst., while in defence of the laws. Mr. Guyer's funeral took place in the forenoon, and Mr. Troutman's in the afternoon. Both were attended by the Blues, in mourning, who mustered very strongly, notwithstanding the diminution of their numbers in killed and wounded, and never appeared to better advantage. The number of citizens in attendance was greater than ever recollected on the occasion of a funeral. The remains of Mr. Guyer were interred at the upper Lutheran Church, where the Rev. Mr. Richards made an appropriate address, as did also the Rev. Mr. Helffenstein at the interment of the remains of Mr. Troutman, in the Lower Burying Ground. Platoons were fired by the Blues over the graves of both.

Had the military in the city not been on duty at the time, we are assured that the funerals would have been attended by the whole Division. We are also assured that such is the sympathy felt for the loss of these men, that it is designed, as soon as practicable, to erect monuments to their memory."