MVB to John Armstrong Jr., 23 February 1814

MVB to John Armstrong [Jr.], 23 February 1814


Dear Sir

I write you at the instance of the Court convened here for the trial of General Hull, to obtain your advice as to some points arising from the present and probably future state of the Court as to the number of its Members.

The Court when organized, consisted of fourteen Members; Viz: thirteen sitting Members, and one Supernumerary, (Col: Forbes.) After the cause on the part of the U. States was rested, the Court adjourned for eight days, to give the General time to arrange his defence. In the interim Col: Bogardus, who had returned to New York, met with a very severe private misfortune in the loss of one of his children, by accident, which has hitherto prevented his return to this place. Generals Dearborn and Bloomfield and Col: Fenwick became severely indisposed, but have so far recovered as to meet yesterday. But Bogardus being absent & the ability of the Gentlemen who had been sick, to attend, being of doubtful continuance, it was thought advisable to adjourn until Bogardus’ return, who had been wrote to.

Thus situated, it would be agreeable to the Court to be advised from the War Department,

1st: Whether a Member who has been absent during any material part of the trial can take his seat again after it has been filled by a Supernumerary.

2d: How many are necessary to a valid conviction organized as the Court originally was ^The Number of^ its Members, thirteen.

3d: What would be the most advisable course for the Court to pursue, should their number be reduced to twelve or less.

4th: Will it be necessary for the Court to remain here until their proceedings shall have been submitted to the President of the U. States:

Most of the Witnesses who were summoned on the part of the U. States have attended and been principally examined. There does not remain a material fact necessary to the establishment of the charges of cowardice and unofficerlike conduct, to be proved.

With great respect

Your h'ble Servt:


S:J Advocate

NB. Several of the Witnesses who do not belong to the army are express great Solicitude about their expences. Can any arrangemt be adopted which will enable us to pay them, if it can it would be Just



Albany Feb 23. 1814

M. V. Buren

wishes information relative

to the proceedings of

the Court Martial in

cases which he States

Recd. March. 1814

Editorial Process Complete
Editorial Note:

The letter appears to be in the hand of MVB's brother, Lawrence; however, the postscript was written and signed by MVB.