DEPOSITION OF LT. CHARLES GRANT, 1765
Cumberland County, ss.
Personally appeared before me, one of His Majesty’s Justice of the Peace for Said County, Lieut Charles Grant, Who, upon his Solemn Oath upon the holy Evangelist of Almighty God, Declares that on the 9th of March last, James Smith, late Liett in the Pennsylvania Service, did in a Riotous manner, at the Head of a Body of Armed Men appear before this Fort; upon my Seeing Such a Multitude under Arms, I sent a man with a Message to their Commander to come & Speak with me. He, the said James Smith, came & acknowledged that he was the Man that Headed Said party. I asked him what he meant by appearing with Such a Mobb before the King’s Fort? He said that he came to demand the prisoners which I had at that time in Custody, & Escorted by the King’s Troops? He made answer, that his party should first Fire over the Soldiers, & if they would not give up the prisoners upon that, they were Determined to fight the Troops, & die to a Man Sooner than let them prisoners go to Goal.
10th of May last a Body of 200 Men, as near as I could Guess, appeared before this Garrison, the above-mentioned James Smith being one of their Ring-leaders, as did likewise arive at this Fort, the Justices Smith, Reyonald & Allison; Justice Smith & Reyonald desired that I wou’d let them inspect the Goods, & that wou’d Satisfy the Rioters. I told them that the Good were, by the General’s orders, under my Care, & that I had orders from the General at the same time to send for a Magistrate & take an Inventory of all the goods, But cou’d not proceed upon any Such Business at a time when there was Such a Body of Armed Rioters about the Garrison, but wou’d be obliged to call upon Some of them next week for that purpose. To which Justice Smith made answer, that he was not Subject to the General’s Orders, therefore if he did not get livery to take an Inventory of them at that time, he would not Come again to do it.
I then Shewed the Justice the orders which I had from Brigadier General Bouquet for permitting Goods to pass, as likewise the permitt Joseph Spear had from the Commanding office at Fort Pitt for the Carrying of Goods for the Support of the Troops on the Communication; to which Justice Smith answered, that the Commanding officer’s pass was no pas, and that no Military Officer’s pass would do without a Magistrate’s pass. Justice Smith said likewise, that this was not a King’s Fort, nor was this the King’s Road, & said, that five Hundred men wou’d not Escort up these Goods without a Magistrate’s pass.
28th May, I was Riding out, & about a mile from this post as I was Coming home in Company with two other Men, was Waylay’d by five Men Arm’d, Namely, James Smith, Samuel Owens, John Piery, & two others, whose names I don’t know, all under the Command of the aforesaid James Smith, Some called out to Catch me, others to Shoot me; On which I Rush’d thro’ them, & on passing one of them attempted to Catch my Horse by the Bridle, Notwithstandg I passed them all; and when they saw that I was out of their hands, one of them fired a Gun, whether at me or my Horse, I cannot say, at which my horse Started into the Thickett which occasioned my falling, the Rioters then came up to me, made me as they said the King’s prisoner, upon which one of them said, “take the Durk of the Rascall.” I asked them for what? They said they wou’d let me know that before I wou’d go home. I asked them where they were taking me to? They said they wou’d take me before Justice Reyonald. I ask’d if it would not do as well to go before Justice Smith, being the most Convenient? They Said that their orders was to Bring me before Justice Reyonald. They Brought me into the Woods that night Seven Miles from my post, & there Kept me all night without any Manner of Shelter; they told me that they wou’d Carry me away into the Mountains & keep me there, & that in the mean time the Country wou’d Rise & take the Fort by force of Arms, & by that means they wou’d have all the goods in the Fort as well as their Own Arms. I told them that it was not in my power to give up their Arms without orders from my Commanding officer, & told them they would be dealt with as Rebells if they would do what they threatened. Their Commander, James Smith, said that they were as Ready for a Rebellion as we were to oppose it, & they acknowledge that their proceedings were Contrary to law; & after holding a Council Determined to go off to Carolina & take me along. They set out, & brought me about eight Miles farther. I having no Dobt but they wou’d bring me to Carolina, I ask’d them what they would have me do in the Matter, as I told them before how much it was out of my power to Deliver up their Arms? They ask’d them what they would have me do in the Matter, as I told them before how much it was out of my power to Deliver up their Arms? They ask’d me if I wou’d give Security to Deliver up their Arms or pay £40? To which I consented Rather than go to Carolina, on which they agreed to Bring me to an Inn at Justice Smith’s, Where I gave a Bond for £40 if I did not deliver up their Arms in five Weeks.
As they were taking me away they Declared their Determination in firing upon the Troops in Case any of them Shou’d be sent in Quest of Mr. _____.
The aforesaid James Smith was the Ringleader of the party that took Serjt MaGlasken, belonging to the Garrison under my Command, & used him very ill.
Some days after I was Release’d from the Rioters, I was at the House of Justice Smith, Where I met the five Men that took me & Carried me away as above Mentioned, & I told Justice Smith that those were the Men that took me away, & in what Manner they used me, But he took no Notice of it.
PENNSYLVANIA ARCIVES VOLUME IV pages 220-222