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the said David R. Porter refused to pay the deponent any money, unless he would sign the certificate--to which the deponent replied that although a poor man he was not to be bought by him or anybody else; and further saith not.
“ SAMUEL STURGEON. “ Sworn and subscribed the 29th June, 1838, before
DAVID SNARE.” “In addition to this it is stated by the Beaver Argus, that, in defiance of the oath which Mr. Porter had to take to obtain his discharge as an insolvent debtor, and which he did take on the 10th day of February, 1819, the records of Beaver county show that, instead of delivering up to his trustees, for the use of his creditors, all his property, debts, and claims, David R. Porter collected, in his own name and for his own use, between eight and nine hundred dollars, from two citizens of that county, to whom he had previously sold land in North Beaver township !-On the 5th of December, 1818, a very short time before he filed his petition, Porter sold a tract of donation land, No. 1778, in that county, to Messrs. James Kidde and Alexander Russell, for the sum of two thousand dollars. The deed acknowledges the receipt of the whole purchase money, while it would seem that but about one-half was paid down, and notes or bonds given for the balance. These obligations were held by Porter when he'swore out,' and were afterwards proceeded upon, and collected as they became due.
“Now if all this be true, and it appears to be substantiated by extracts from the records of the county, we do not see how Mr. Porter or his friends can have the hardihood to ask the good people of this commonwealth to support him for the highest office in their gift.
To the Public. "The undersigned, a committee appointed to proceed to Huntingdon with Messrs. Hughes and Ingram, a committee appointed on behalf of the friends of David R. Porter, to investigate the charges made against him by Mr. Bannan, through the columns of the Miners' Journal, respectfully submit the following brief statement of facts to the public, as their report of what occurred in the discharge of the duties assigned to them by their fellow-citizens,
66 To John WILLIAMSON, Esq.
“ Huntingdon, September 24th, 1838. “Much importance and credit has been attached to your statements, and your position in the present contest. The undersigned, knowing you, from the opinions expressed by the friends of David R. Porter, as a man of honour, and knowing too that you have heretofore been an
opponent of the present and late administration of the National Government, have been induced to propound to you the following queries, and ask of you a candid and definite answer to each :
“ 1st. Was you at one time an advocate of the election of David R. Porter to the Gubernatorial chair? If ay, why?
“ 2nd. Are you now an advocate of his election ? It is said by some you are not—if so, what has changed your views ?
“ 3d. Are you acquainted with John Stonebreaker, and his son John H. Stonebreaker ? If ay, what is their character as men of veracity and integrity ?
“ 4th. Have their statements, in the case of Porter's assignment of certain bonds to the elder Stonebreaker, had any weight in changing your opinions of the integrity of Mr. Porter's conduct ?
“ 5th. We have seen your name attached to certain certificates, published to sustain the character of Mr. Porter, as an upright and just man-Did you sign those certificates ? If ay-do you still adhere to the opinions therein expressed ?
“6th. Is the elder Stonebreaker a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in good standing-was he ever expelled therefrom; and is he generally considered a man of sound mind and disposing memory?'
“ 7th. Have you ever seen anything which convinced you that the general Government was using its influence to secure the election of David R. Porter ?-If ay--what is it?
“8th. Are you acquainted with the characters of Michael Wallace, M. Kinkead, and other signers to certificates of the Stonebreakers ? If aye-what is their character and standing in society ?
“ A definite answer is requested to these questions, because we doubt not the candid supporters of D. R. Porter will accord with honesty of purpose to you, as they always have on all occasions avowed their belief in your statements. “ Very respectfully yours, &c.
Benj. BANNAN." “ To which we received the following reply: “ GENTLEMEN,
“ Huntingdon, September 24, 1838. “ Your note has just been placed in my hands, containing several definite questions, and asking equally definite answers. I am ready to answer openly my sentiments upon any subject, yet on the present occasion, when the enmity of small minds may charge me with being an unsettled and wavering caterer for public favours, you will do me the justice to say, I do so more through a sense of injury inflicted upon the public mind, than through a desire to place myself conspicuously
before that public. I shall then answer your inquiries as briefly and definitely as possible. Conscious of the rectitude of my own course, neither the sneers of the envious nor the lowering brows of the malignant shall deter me.
"To your first inquiry I answer,---I was a supporter of Mr. Porter, because I had been for years intimately acquainted with him : he was my neighbour, and I then believed him honest, upright, and conscientious in his dealings, and he professedly was the opponent, or at least not the friend, of the Sub-Treasury Scheme; a measure which I then and still think fraught with much injury to the people if engrafted upon the institutions of the country.
“I answer your next inquiry by saying, I am not now an advocate or supporter of Mr. Porter, because I found the party to which Mr. Porter is attached distinctly declaring their determination to make his election the test of the people upon the Sub-Treasury. If there had been no other
reason, I was forced to leave his support then, for I never could give my sanction, and my.vote, to paralyze every energy, every enterprise of my country, and to establish an official power equalled only by that of the Autocrat of Russia. I shall consequently vote for and support Joseph Ritner, because he is the friend - of Pennsylvania, and opposed to the above scheme.
"To your third, I reply, I am and have been long and intimately acquainted with both the Messrs. Stonebreakers; their character for truth and integrity is unimpeached, and I believe unimpeachable; they have been free from even the suspicion of want of honesty or truth; their statements have always been considered as good as their oaths, and there is not a man who regards his own character would say that their oaths were not entitled to the fullest credit. they have lived where they now do, and their characters stand without blemish or reproach.
“To your fourth question, I must acknowledge it is difficult to make a definite answer. The great amount of testimony which has been brought to bear, and with convincing weight, upon the reflecting part of the community, renders it difficult to say any one part had a particular effect. It is the whole, united and combined, all verging to the same facts which convinces and must convince all candid inquirers, at least of a want of moral rectitude in the course of Mr. Porter. I am free to admit that I believe every word uttered by them (the Stonebreakers) to be true, and, had I doubted them, the documentary evidence produced fully sustains them. Others who have examined as I have with a desire to do justice to Mr. Porter, yet free from prejudice, must be convinced, as I have been, of his desertion from the path of virtue.
“To the fifth, I say I never signed, neither did I authorize my name
to be signed to a certificate signed by eighty-four citizens of this county, saying all the charges in the celebrated union county letter were false. I did sign a certificate that Mr. Porter was not a blasphemer ; I did not believe he was a blasphemer, for I consider blasphemy the highest grade of impious profanity. I did certify that there were no judgments on the docket against Mr. Porter, because they were of more than 20 years' standing, and in law were not against him. I did not certify that they had been paid.
“ To your sixth interrogation, I must say that I regret that the first clause is introduced: it is with feelings of mingled sorrow and surprise that I saw the name of any Christian sect introduced into any political discussion. The sphere of the professed worshipper, in any form, is around the altar and sanctuary of his God; to him he must render his account for the deeds done in the body, and whether a man is attached to any sect is a matter of small moment ; if he be a sincere and worthy member, he will meet his reward. I cannot violate the precepts of him who says, “Judge not.” I can only say that Mr. Stonebreaker has been for many years, and is now, a member of the church you name, and his continuance there is evidence of his standing, and I never heard of his having been expelled therefrom. In answer to the last clause, I say his mind is sound and as capable of recollecting and relating transactions now as in his more youthful vigour.
“ To answer your seventh query, I can briefly say that, since the Messrs. Stonebreakers have given their testimony to the public, the marshal of the United States has served a writ upon Samuel Stonebreaker, the son and brother of the others, for an alleged defalcation of nine dollars, and that too without previously making any call on him. The execution of which process must add costs to the amount of fifty dollars on a poor, young, honest, correct man, who was prepared at any time to adjust the claim, upon the government giving him the credit to which he was entitled. I consider this an insult and injury upon the people, when hundreds who owe thousands of dollars roam unmolested, and merely because they belong to the dominant party.
In answer to your last inquiry, I say I am acquainted with nearly all of the signers to the certificates for the Stonebreakers, and know them to be men of character and correct habits. Many of them are among the oldest and best citizens of the county. But as you have selected Mr. Wallace and Kinkead, I must add my testimony to their character something more at large. Mr. Wallace served in the Senate of this State, and was selected from this district, and he has ever been respected and honoured by his neighbours. Mr. Kinkead has been for many years a prominent leader of the old Democratic party, and is still a firm, unyielding supporter of Jeffersonian Democracy, and was ap
pointed postmaster at Yellow Springs by President Madison, and has held that appointment ever since, until he was removed by Mr. Kendali
“ Thus I have answered as briefly and as candidly as possible your inquiries; you are at liberty to make what use of it you deem prudent,
“ With expressions of regard,
“I am respectfully yours,
“ JOHN WILLIAMSON. “ To A. Russel and B. Bannan, Esqrs."
“ Your Committee beg leave to say, from the documentary evidence they have examined, and from all the information they could get from the most respectable citizens of Huntingdon county, that the charges published in the Miners' Journal against David R. Porter are substantially true; and we have no hesitation in saying that no candid and honest man can go to Huntingdon, and make the same examination we did, and see and hear the same amount of testimony we did, can come to any other conclusion. If we saw nothing to palliate or contradic the charges; if there could be anything produced by his friends, the fault was theirs—they did not offer us anything: we therefore take it for granted they had nothing to offer. In conclusion, we would merely state, that Messrs. Hughes and Ingram did not examine any of the bonds, the assignments of property, the evidences of debt in Porter's own handwriting, and in fact all the principal evidence on which the charges are based, nor did they express any desire to us to see them after their arrival in Huntingdon.
“ There are a great many other facts which came to our knowledge after our arrival in Huntingdon, which might be embodied in this report, but its great length, and the confident belief that what has already been státed, is sufficient to convince any candid and honest man, desirous of correct information, of the truth of the charges, we have refrained from increasing the length of this our report.
“ ANDREW RUSSEL.
“ BENJAMIN BANNAN. “ Pottsville, Sept. 29th, 1838."
Such, my Lord, is the character of the governor of Pennsylvania. And now let us return to the primary meetings to which he owes his election, and which are left entirely in the hands of the leaders; the rest of the voters being satisfied that if success awaits the party voter will be rewarded according to his electioneering talents, as far as the spoils will go. As to men of probity, they have given up all idea of being able to serve their country: they turn from the scene of politics with horror and disgust, and at the time of voting are to be found by their own