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the vicious of any party) to apply directly to Lord Cornwallis for redress. Nobody doubted, that he who had power to make such an agreement, would have power to make it respected. Or that he being entrusted with the destiny of so many nations, was equal to give a passport to an individual, who certainly, under the circumstances, had a right to it. But in this my friends, French, Irish, and English, were alike deceived, as the sequel will shew.
A few days after the arrival of Lord Cornwallis, I demanded of him in writing, an audience of a few minutes, and after some days, I was at his desire received by his secretary, Colonel Littlehales. This gentleman professed to be already in possession of my story, at which I was well pleased. But that we might the better understand each other, I begged to know if he was induced from any thing he knew of me, to look upon me as a person who was guilty of any crime? He answered with a frankness that
gave me still a better opinion of him, that I was accused of being concerned in that which had cost so much blood. I replied, that when I was in prison was the time to have examined into that ; then, when I might be truly said to be in the hands of my enemies, in the midst of terror and carnage. When every law, save those of destruction, was suspended : when I had no other possible protection than the courage of honor and innocence, I had boldly and unremittingly, to the last hour, demanded a trial, which had been shamefully refused, For had it been granted, I would have made it too clearly appear against my accusers,
that they were traitors in every sense of the word : and that if I was as they pretended, a rebel, I was a rebel only against the crimes of treason, disloyalty, subordination, murder, torture, kidnapping, arson, and house-breaking ; crimes against which I was bound by my true allegiance to rebel. It was natural, I said, for those who had taken
themselves to be my judges, accusers, and executioners, to propagate zealously, such calumny, because, as their crimes were my defence, so my innocence was their guilt. They might justify themselves in having by bloodshed, which I struggled to prevent, worked the union between England and Ireland. But it was too extravagant to call an Irishman a traitor, how. ever he might be an enemy to such proceedings. And if this great measure is to be followed, as it was preceded, by proscriptions, treaons, and persecutions; it must remain a union certainly in name alone.Lord Conwallis's principal glory, I added, in Ireland, had been the putting a stop to horrors, at which the human heart recoils, and which I have been disgacefully persecuted for opposing. I did not deny, that, under such circumstances, educated as I was in notions of constitution, liberty, and true religion, I might have been bold, or call it mad enough, to have taken the field. But this I never had done, and that all the charges against me, such as being a French general, a traitor, and so forth, were alike contemptible, and undeserving of an answer. I told Col.' Littlehales, moreover, that the best compliment I
could offer to Lord Cornwallis was, to assure him of my firm belief, that in my situation he would have done the same thing; and that upon no pretext whatever he would suffer my countrymen go to over to his country and torture his countrymen or ravish his country-women. If I did not think so, and that he would repel them at the peril of his existence, I should not think of him as I did, and no man should ever have seen me at his door. I also answered Colonel Littlehales, that of all the charges preferred against me, not one happened to be true. But if it was any satisfaction to him at any time, I was ready to say to what degree, and in what manner, I should have consented to repel force by force.
Such were the topics I used, but which I certainly urged with all the deference due to his situation, and to the person of the Marquis Cornwallis, whom I always wished to respect. However, he interrupted me by advising me in the name of Lord Cornwallis, as a friend, to present him a memorial, which he (Lord Cornwallis) would undertake to forward to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; but that I should leave out every thing but what went to prove, that I came involuntarily into France, and that I had not since I had been there joined in any hostility against the government of England. And Colonel Littlehales added, that he himself would be in Ireland as soon as the memorial could be there. And he even advised me to apprise my wife of this, and to prevent her coming precipitately over, as I told him I had invited her to do after my fruitless application to Lord
Pelham. He said, that he could not take upon
himself to promise ; yet, in his opinion, it was likely to be, since my desire was to return home, a useless trouble and expence. He told me, that in a few days the post-office would be open, and I might write freely in that way ; but as I feared the interception of
my letters, that channel having long ceased to be inviolate, he charged himself with the care of forwarding a letter to my wife, to the effect abovementioned. In this letter I advised her to wait a little longer, until an answer to this application should be given. But above all, to be prepared for either event. This letter never reached her. I then drew
and delivered the following me. morial :
To his Excellency the Marquis Cornwallis, his British
Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary in France.
The Memorial of William Sampson, native of
London-Derry, SHEWETH That your memorialist, upon the faith of an agreement entered into with your excellency's government, did go to Portugal for the recovery of his health, where he arrived in the month of February, 1799.
Upon the 22d of March, in the same year, he was, arrested in the city of Oportó, sent prisoner to Lisbon, and from thence transported by force to Bordeaux.
In this latter city he remained until the beginning of the last winter, when he was induced, by the rumor of peace, and the advice of his friends, to come to Paris, in hopes of finding some means of reclaiming justice, such as your excellency's arrival in this country at length seemed to offer.
Immediately after his arrival in France, he took pains to apprise the government of his country of an outrage so flagrant, which was accordingly effected by Mr. Dobbs, a member of the Irish parliament, to whom he begs leave to refer your excellency.
Your memoralist also refers your excellency to his Grace the Duke of Portland, who was very early informed of this transaction, and who in consequence gave orders, that letters should pass between your memoralist and his wife, through the hands of Mr. Cotes ; to which gentleman he also refers.
Upon your excellency's arrival in Paris, he requested an audience, in order, if any doubt remained upon your mind, to remove it. That refused, he must necessarily, to avoid recrimination, pass over details which however mildly stated, could only tend to excite horror ; and shortly beg of your excellency to consider,
That, notwithstanding the inhuman manner of his being cast upon an enemy's shore; surrounded by the snares of perfidy and malice : under every circumstance of aggravated provocation : with precarious means of subsistence, and deprived of all knowledge of the destination, or even existence of his family ; he took counsel, not from his wrongs, but from his