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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 35   View pdf image (33K)
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Eleazer Oswald, Printer and Patriot
England sometime early in 1782 to settle affairs connected with the death
of one of his wife's relatives and while there the news came of the inva-
sion of France. Like a true soldier of fortune, he could not resist the call
to battle, especially when it was in support of liberty:
"In London I purchased a horse for which I gave forty guineas and arrived with him in Paris
the beginning of September last.59 The Minister Servan gave me an order to join the army then
commanded by Dumourier at St. Minchand. A few days afterwards I was announced in general
orders as colonel of artillery. I was in the memorable battle at Geminaps and afterwards in another
the day before the army of France took possession of Liege. At the close of the campaign I had a
cong6 to come to Paris."
He arrived in Paris when there seemed a possibility that the Irish
would revolt against England and perhaps join with the French. "The
executive council were then employing themselves to know what was
the real situation of things in that country, and as I was an American
and could go to Ireland with less suspicion than another person I was
sent by the Minister LeBrun upon that business." He left his horse and
asked for nothing more than his expenses for the trip. On February 20,
1782 he left Paris. Unfortunately for his mission, the war with England
was just beginning and the passage across the Channel was cut off. He
decided that the only way to get to Ireland was to go by neutral vessel
to Norway and from there to go through Scotland to Ireland. By the
time he arrived in Ireland it was too late to do anything for "..... the
volunteers had tamely suffered themselves to be disarmed by the British
soldiery and all prospect of a revolution in that country was at an end
at least for a time." He returned from Ireland to Bordeaux in an Amer-
ican ship about the last of May and hurried to Paris where he made a
report to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the state of affairs in Ire-
land. He then asked for his horse which he had left with the Foreign
Office and also for his travelling expenses. He was given the latter but
was told that the horse had died and he could receive no compensation
for it.
"I was then referred to the war department for my pay as colonel of artillery and after having
attended upon these departments ever since the 8th of June, I am now informed that I cannot be
paid either the arrears of pay due to me or for my horse. Thus circumstanced I have appealed to
the National Convention for justice not doubting but some mode will be pointed out by this com-
mittee to satisfy my claims."
59 Petition to the National Assembly. Paris, September 1, 1793. Reprinted in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and
Biography, Vol. IV (1880), pp. 252-253; Vol. XXXVIII (1914), pp. 506-507.
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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 35   View pdf image (33K)   << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>

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