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boat, and some days afterwards I found his military stock in it. I saved it, and finding it had a valuable buckle, I had it put into one of my stocks; which I wore, hoping one day to have an opportunity of returning it. I wore it on my neck the day I was taken prisoner by your forces. Should you know the buckle without the stock if you could examine it, inquired the stranger ? I think so, was the answer ; but I prefer not to be interrogated on this subject, said the commissary. Yet I will examine the buckle if you have it. The buckle was produced, and at once recognized. The British officer then arose, and with the greatest emotion grasped the hand of the prisoner, and declared himself to be Sir John Castlehouse, of his majesty's service, under Sir William Howe, commander-in-chief in America; and greeted the commissary as among the bravest and most philanthropic men he had ever known, and added, this, sir, is the happiest moment of my life. I have now, thank God, an opportunity of making some return to one who has ventured his life to save mine. You are aware, my dear sir, said Sir John, that you are all considered as rebels, and no exchange of prisoners can be made, but I can effect your escape. To this the commissary objected, as it might be the means of bringing evil on a young officer ; but the reply was, my friends and family connections are sufficient to protect me in such a course. I know Sir William will forgive me, when he is acquainted with my motives and my obligations to you. The love of liberty in a prisoner requires but few arguments to be brought to its aid to overcome many scruples on the score of duty. Sir John wrote a note, and calling his servant who was in waiting, sent it off at once. It was arranged that at midnight a horse should be found behind the fence at the next pasture,-which was where Walker-street now is,-and a guard ready to conduct him to the American camp. The prisoner was covered with the British officer's cloak and hat, and directed, if stopped on the way, to give his name as Sir John Castlehouse, and ride on. The countersign also was communicated. All being in readiness, Sir John inquired if Cæsar was still a slave, and if he was, what sum would liberate him? The commissary answered that Cæsar was a free man, and added, he was with me just before I was taken. I had dispatched him with a load of grain for the camp, when I was surrounded by your forces. A purse of guineas was sent to Cæsar. At this moment the commissary took occasion to name his fellow-prisoner, the parson's son, and the kindness of the doctor. They shall not be forgotten, on my honor, was the brief reply, and adding, as you have brought the stock-buckle for me, I will keep it, but in exchange you must take the one I now wear. After some hesitation it was accepted. The commissary now started, and reached in safety the head-quarters of the American commanderin-chief. The officers were rejoiced to see him, but he was silent on the mode of his escape, not knowing how the event might affect Sir John,
The commissary finding that his health was impaired, returned to his native state, and when recovered, accepted the command of a large armed ship, then ready for sea. He thought himself better qualified for sea service than for the army. During the six years of the war which remained, he followed the seas with various success, but always supporting the character of a man who was as humane as brave. His children have at the present day many acknowledgments from his captives of his generosity and kindness. If for a moment he had the roughness of the sailor, it was only for a moment; the better qualities of his heart always predominated. The history of his adventures during the war, written out, would make a volume. He was once taken and carried to England, and for a while confined in Mill Prison, from whence he made his escape to France, and was sent from thence with dispatches from Dr. Franklin. These were brought and preserved in the crown of a tarpaulin hat, which was not opened until he reached the floor of Congress. That body passed him a vote of thanks for his important services, but forgot to think of any remuneration. Thinking, perhaps, as they afterwards said, that Dr. Franklin must have taken care of that; but nothing was received from Franklin, as the minister's certificate, obtained several years afterwards, states. On the return from his first cruise, which was successful, he saw the collegian, who informed the commissary that he was soon taken from the prison, and set to copying papers, as it was found he wrote an excellent hand, and in a few months released altogether, and suffered to depart for his home, and provided with clothes and money; and he also brought the thanks of the doctor to his friend who introduced his name to Sir John. The baronet instantly took him into favor. The collegian then, is now a venerable clergyman, and often recounts to the children of his benefactor the horrors of his confinement, and the services their father had rendered him.
Several years after the peace of 1783, the commissary, as we shall continue to call him, for so did his acquaint. ances, although he had served but a short time in that capacity, and many years as a mariner, sailed for St. Petersburgh, for a cargo of hemp and iron,—and has often, in the pride of his heart, stated that the ship he commanded was the first American vessel that gave the starspangled banner to the breeze in St. Petersburgh. The event excited no small degree of attention in Russia ; but what gave the commissary the most delight was, to find Sir John Castle house there in a diplomatic character. The minister treated his old friend with every mark of attention and affection, and introduced him as his personal benefactor to the Empress Catharine, to whom the story of his fearless philanthropy was made known. She received him graciously, and turning to Sir John, she with some surprise remarked, “ This native American looks
very much like an Englishman. Are all his seamen of the same complexion? Do they build their own ships, or buy them from the English ?" Sir John replied to these questions with a suppressed smile, in a manner quite satisfactory to his friend, and equally astonishing to the Empress. In a few days the Empress sent for the commissary, and offered him a high command in her navy, saying that she had heard from Sir John the history of his naval exploits, which probably had been a little colored by the warmth of friendship. The offer was met with a flow of gratitude, but the purport of his answer was, that having a family in America, he would consult his wife upon the subject on his return home, and if she approved of it, he would accept of her generous offer ;and added also, we think so much of your sex in our country, that it is a maxim with us, that " A man to prosper in any undertaking, must consult his wife.” The Em. press smiled at the compliment to her sex, and observed, “ Then if your wife consents to visit Russia, I may expect your services--the place shall be reserved for you eighteen months." The Empress issued an order to her revenue officers to give the American captain every facility in obtaining his cargo, and fitting his ship for sea, and he found this of no small importance in securing dispatch and in lessening expenses. He now took leave of - Sir John, with a presentiment that he should never see him again “'till earth and ocean render up their dead.” No class of men indulge these presentiments more than sailors, and in this case it was a true one. Sir John died of the liver complaint in the East Indies, in military command there in 1799. The Calcutta Hucarrah speaks of him in the highest terms as an officer and a gentleman. It was understood that he had made a will, as he was a bachelor ; but it was never found.