Patriot War of 1837

The Canadian Rebellion

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The Way Home

Extracted in part from the L. N. Fuller articles dated 1923
Copyright 1923, Watertown Daily Times

On the 12 October 1844, Samuel Snow received the joyful news that a free pardon had been granted, and that twenty-eight American prisoners, would be liberated.

The Patriots are informed that Mr. Bicheno, the Colonial Secretary, received the following names from Mr. Everett, the American Minister at the Court of London.

Barnum, Henry V. Marsh, Robert
Brown, George Polly, Ira
Cronkhite, John Sharp, Hiram
Darby, Luther Sheldon, Chancey
Delano, Leonard Smith, Orin W
Fellows, Elon Snow, Samuel
Fero, James D. Stevens, Eliza
Garrison, Emmanuel Swansburgh, John
Gilman, John Sweet, Alvin
Grant, John Thomas, Joseph
Goodrich, Gideon Thompson, Bemis
Griggs, Jerry Wilson, Edward A.
Griggs, Nelson Whiting, Nathan
Heustis, Daniel D. Woodbury, Alvin B.
House, David  

Mr. Bicheno informed Mr. Hathaway, the American Consul at Hobart Town, on the arrival of Mr. Everett’s letter; and within a week the convicts named in the letter was cited to appear at the police office, where their parchment of freedom awaited them.

The 28 men were now at liberty to leave Van Diemans Land, to which none had formed attachments that would cause pain in dissolving.

Their anxiety to find a passageway home increased daily. Then after waiting impatiently two long months, an American vessel made its appearance.

On the 15th of January 1845, the Steiglitz, Captain Selah Young’s, an American Whaler from Sag Harbor, New York, came up to Hobart Town for repairs.

They soon formed an acquaintance with the Captain, and entered into a negotiation for a passage to some other part of the world.

He left fourteen of his own men at Hobart Town, on account of their bad conduct on the voyage out, and agreed to take twenty-five of us on board, when he was ready to sail.

His ship was fitted for three years cruise bound to the Northwest coast of America for whales. Captain Young’s had informed the newly paroled American if he should fall in with a ship homeward bound, he would get them aboard; if not, leave them at Otaheite, one of the Society Islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

The Captain was one of the most kind and obliging men, and they readily consented to sail with him. On evening of Monday 27th, the repairs on shipboard being completed, they left Van Dieman’s Land with thankful hearts.

On the 28th, the ship broke ground, and anchored again, and on the 29th, the sails were unfurled to the breeze, and they proceeded down the river.

Now as they rapidly left the shores of this far famed island, after a residence upon it of five years, the men could say with emphasis.

Farewell, Van Dieman, ruins gate,
With Joy we leave thy Shore;
And fondly hope our wretched fate,
Will drive us there no More.