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To the House of Representatives:
GentleMEN :I would most respectfully ask leave to make the following statement :
That some time aster my arrival in Burlington, which was in the fore part of the month of November last, John Wilson, of Stephenson, Illinois, called on me at Lockwood's Hotel, and informed me that he had a petition for a ferry charter which he wished me to take charge of; that he was going down the river to St. Louis, and up the Illinois river, for the purpose of collecting money, and that he would return in a short time.
Some conversation took place in relation to his petition, in which I informed him that he could leave his papers, but that he knew that public sentiment was against him, and that he could not expect to get a charter. He said that he would leave them with me until he returned, and handed me a bundle, the contents of which I did not examine for several days after. I remarked to Wilson, that as he was going on a collecting expedition, 1 should like to send some notes by him: I then took from a memorandum book a bundle of notes, payable to the proprietors of Davenport, which notes I had put up in a bundle before leaving home for this place, and made an entry of them in a memorandum book. After I had put up this bundle of notes I came across a note I held on an individual by the name of Eades, for three hundred and odd dollars, which note I put in the same bundle with the notes payable to the proprietors of Davenport. Wilson remarked to me that he was in a great hurry, as he wished to go on the boat upon which he came down on. I hastily took my pencil, and from the entries in the book, I made a memorandum of the notes which Wilson signed, and Wilson, in haste, started out of the room, the steamboat bell having rang, (I think, a second. time.) As Wilson was leaving the room it occurred to me, that the note on Eades was in the bundle, and there being no account taken of it, in the memorandum, I called to Wilson to stop, that there was a note in the bundle, on a gentleman whom he would, in all probability, see while below, and I should like him to collect it, and that it was not included in the receipt. Wilson still continued on, and replied as he was leaving, “ I'll collect it, I'll collect it.”
Some two or three weeks after Wilson left, J. W. Parker, Esq., handed me eighty odd dollars, together with several notes, being a part of the notes which Wilson took to St. Louis to collect.
Some time after, Wilson called on me while the House of Representatives was in session, and asked me if Mr. Smith had given me any money. I informed him that Mr. Parker had handed me eighty odd dollars, which I supposed came from him, Wilson. To which he said, “ Yes,” and he said he had collected about three hundred dollars besides. I was engaged at the time, and requested him to call, and we would have a settlement. He called the next morning, and the amount handed to me by Mr. Parker was settled. Wilson then remarked to me, that he had been very unsuccessful in collecting for himself, and that he was out of money, and wanted to know if I could let him keep the three hundred dollars he had collected for me until I returned home. I informed him, that I wished to use a portion of it, that I had promised to send a Mr. Patten, of Davenport, a hundred dollars as soon as I could make it convenient; to which Wilson replied, that he thought he could make some arrangement with Mr. Patten. I then told him, that if he could make a satisfactory arrangement with Patten, he could keep the three hundred dollars until I returned home, and that I would give him the four dollars for his trouble, and I would not charge him any interest for the money, provided he paid it when I returned home; for which he executed to me his note, payable thirty days after date.
When I took his note for the money, it occurred to me I had an account against him,--that he might say that the note included. I wrote under the note a memorandum, that the note did not include my account against him, and that our accounts were still unsettled, which he signed.
During the time intervening his return from below, and the settlement, and the giving of his note, he never, to my recollection, mentioned the subject of his petitions or ferry charter. After I had let him have the money, and the transaction was closed, I gave him his petitions and papers. He then remarked, that he had expected me to attend to them, and said considerable in relation to his having gone to great expense, &c., and that he had a petition. I remarked to him, that the citizens of Davenport were opposed to his having the ferry, and that his petitioners were not of the right kind—that a large portion of them were from Rockingham, some from Crow creek and that neighbourhood, and some from Stephenson, Illinois, and but few from Davenport, but that if he wished it, I would present his petitions, but that I should go against his getting a charter. He made some remarks which I do not now recollect, and stated that he had been talking with Major Smith, of the Council, about his ferry charter, and that Major Smith had promised to assist him in getting it. He then took his papers, and went away. This occurred in the Representative Hall, in the morning, before the house met; but I do not recollect the day. (In a day or two after, he gave me his note, as above stated.) He came into the house about the time it adjourned, at noon, and he said to me, that he would like to get a copy of the note, as he was very forgetful. I went to my desk accompanied by Wilson. 'I drew a copy of the note and memorandum, and gave it to him.
I would here state, that I have used such means as I thought best calculated to procure such testimony as I would avail myself of, (but a very important witness being absent, and I not knowing where he was, rendered it difficult to procure his testimony.) I sent a messenger to ascertain where this witness was, with directions to inform me immediately on his hearing of him. I had reasons to suppose, that this witness, (Eades,) was somewhere on the Illinois river. Not hearing from the
messenger I sent, I left this place on Sunday evening, December 31st, for the purpose of procuring the testimony of Mr. Eades, if to be had. After encountering many difficulties, owing to the state of the roads and high waters, I returned on Friday last, having failed in finding Eades; but I procured his affidavit, which he made before a magistrate, which is herewith submitted.
I consider Eades a material witness in my defence, and that I cannot safely go in to trial in the absence of his testimony.
I believe that I shall be able to procure his testimony in full, and I shall spare no pains in procuring his personal attendance.
Yours, with respect,
ALEXANDER W. M-GREGOR.
Burlington, January 15th, 1838.
STATE OF ILLINOIS,
Cass County. I, William H. Eades, do solemnly swear that I gave my note to A. W. M Gregor, in some time about the month of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six, for three hundred and four dollars and some cents, payable twelve months after date, which I paid in Saint Louis, Missouri, to a Mr. Wilson, as he called himself, about the last of November, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, and he surrendered my note to me.
W. H. EADES. Sworn to and subscribed before me this second day of January, 1838.
WM. W. CLEMONS.
Justice of the peace.
STATE OF ILLINOIS, )
Cass County. k, John W. Pratt, clerk of the county commissioner's court of Cass county, do hereby certify that Wm. W. Clemons is at this time, and was at the time of the foregoing signature, an acting justice of the peace in and for said county, duly commissioned and qualified according to law, and as such full faith and credit should be given to all his acts.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed my seal of office, this sixth day of January, A. D. 1838.
JOHN W. PRATT, Clerk.
TERRITORY OF WISCONSIN,
MUSCATINE County. 1, Stephen Nye, of the town of Montpelier, Muscatine county, Wisconsin territory, being duly sworn by me, deposeth and saith, that he has been a citizen of the present town of Montpelier since May, of the year eighteen hundred and thirty-four, and has known A. W. M Gregor since May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six. And, farther, this deponent saith that since that time, and before the date of these presents, he, this deponent, has been acquainted with the reputation and general character of the aforesaid A. W. M Gregor, and farther this deponent saith that he has heretofore had undoubted confidence in the veracity of the said A. W. M.Gregor, and farther this deponent saith, that he has never known any thing derogatory to the character of the said A. W. M Gregor, much less any thing questioning his character for truth and veracity. And farther this deponent saith not. Dated Montpelier, December 26th, 1837.
STEPHEN NYE. Sworn and subscribed before me, this 26th day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven.
V. R. TOMPKINS,
of Muscatine, W. T.