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It seems necessary to make a few remarks on the foregoing document. From the journal of Mr. Williams it appears that the Prince de Joinville and his party left Green Bay, 20th Oct., 1841. Five days after this Mr. Williams addressed to the Prince a letter on some historical subjects connected with the early French settlements on the border of the great Lakes. This was doubtless at the request of the Prince de Joinville. Now I can imagine some one saying, "Eureka." The Prince went to Green Bay to make some historical inquiries of Mr. Williams and this gentleman has fabricated out of this harmless incident a demand to resign the throne of France. It would seem, I admit, that the Prince de Joinville desired to cover up under some such pretext the true nature of his abortive visit, and that Mr. Williams in his unsuspecting simplicity permitted himself to be caught in the snare. The reader will perceive from the following letter, addressed by M. Trognon, the secretary of the Prince de Joinville, to the London correspondent of Mr. Putnam after the receipt of the February number of the magazine, that this is the nature of the ground upon which the Prince has determined to take his stand. As this document is of the highest importance, and defines the position of the Prince, I will give both the original and a translation.
Claremont, Surrey, 9 Fevrier, 1858. MONSIEUR,-Le Prince de Joinville, a reçu le
numéro du Monthly Magazine de New-York, que vous avez bien voulu lui transmettre, et a lu l'article sur lequel vous avez appelé son attention. Sa première pensée était de traiter avec l'indifference qu'elle merite, l'absurde invention qui fait le fond de cet article: mais en réfléchissant qu'un peu de vrai s'y trouve mêlé à beaucoup de faux, le Prince a cru qu'il était bon que je vous répondisse en son nom quelques lignes destinées à faire, au milieu de cet amas de fables la part exacte de la vérité. Vous ferez, monsieur, de cette réponse l'usage qui vous paraitra le plus convenable,
Il est très vrai que, dans un voyage qu'il fit aux Etats Unis vers la fin de l'année 1841, le Prince se trouvant à Mackinac, rencontra sur le bateau à vapeur un passager dont il croit reconnaitre la figure dans le portrait donné par le Monthly Magazine mais dont le nom avait entièrement fui de sa mémoire. Ce passager semblait fort au courant des événements qui se sont accomplis dans l' Amerique du Nord pendant le siècle dernier. Il racontait une foule d'anecdotes et de particularités intéressantes sur les Français qui prirent part à ces évenéments et s'y distinguerent. Sa mière était, disait il, une Indienne appartenant à la grande peuplade des Iroquois fidèle alliée de la France il ajoutait que du côté paternel son origine était Francaise et allait jusqu'à citer un nom que le Prince s'abstient de rapporter. C'était là ce qui l'avait mis en possession de tant de détails curieux à entendre. Un de ces récits les plus attachants était celui qu'il fasait des derniers moments du Marquis de Montcalm, mort entre les bras d' un Iroquois son parent, à qui le vaillant capitaine avait laissé son épée. Les details ne purent manquer d'intéresser vivement le Prince dont le voyage à Mackinac, à Green Bay et sur le Haut Mississippi avait pour objet surtout de rechercher le trace glorieuse des Français, qui les premiers ouvrirent à la civilization ces belles contrées.
Le Prince pria M. Williams (puisque tel était lo nom de son interlocuteur) de lui faire parvenir, sous forme de notes, tous les rensiegnments qu'il serait en mesure de se procurer, et qui pourraient jeter quelque jour sur l'histoire des établissements Français dans l'Amerique du Nord. De son côté M. Williams qui ne paraissait moins curieux de connaitre à fond cette même histoire, demanda au Prince de lui transmettre tous les documents qui y etaient relatifs et qui devaient se trouver dans les archives du gouvernment Français.
Arrivé à Green Bay le Prince y fut retenu pendant une demi journée par le difficulté de se procurer le nombre de chevaux nécessaire au voyage qu'il allait entreprendre, M. Williams le presser vivement de l'accompagner dans un settlement d' Indiens Iroquois établis près de Green Bay, chez qui disait-il se conservait encore le souvenir de leurs Pères d'Orient et qui accueilleraient avec bonheur le fils du Grand Chef de la France. Le Prince declina cette offre, et poursuivit son voyage.
Depuis lors, quelques lettres ont été échangées entre M. Williams et les personnes attachées au Prince, au sujet des documents dont il vient d'être question. Ainsi la lettre de M. Touchard citée dans l'article du Monthly Magazine doit être authentique M. Williams aurait pu egalement en produire une que je me souvienne de lui avoir écrite pour le même objet.
Mais là finit ce que l'article contient de vrai sur les relations du Prince avec M. Williams. Tout le reste, tout ce que a trait à la révélation que le Prince aurait faite à M. Williams, du mystère de sa naissance, tout ce qui concerne le prétendu personage de Louis XVII est d'une bout à l'autre une œuvre d' imagination, une
* Printed October in my first statement.
There is no mystery in regard to this name, as the Prince's words would seem to imply. Mr. Williams spoke of Col. Bougainville, afterwards the French circumnavigator, as a supposed connection of his mother's family.
fable grossièrement tissue, une speculation sur la crédulité publique faite on ne sait à quel propos et dans quel bût. Si par hazard, quelques uns des lecteurs du Monthly Magazine étaient disposés à y avouer créance il faudrait les engager à faire venir de Paris un livre qui vient d' y être tout récemment publié par M. de Beauchesne ils y trouveraient, sur la vie et la mort de l' infortuné Dauphin, du vrai Louis XVII. les détails les plus circonstanciés et les plus positifs. Il me reste à vous offrir en même temps l'assurance de ma considération distingué.
AUG. TROGNON, Ancien precepteur et secretaire des commandements du Prince de Joinville.
Claremont, Surrey, Feb. 9, 1858. Sir,-"The Prince de Joinville, has received the number of the Monthly Magazine, of New-York, which you have kindly thought fit to transmit to him, and has read the article to which you have called his attention. His first thought was, to treat with the indifference which it deserves, the absurd invention on which this article is founded-but on reflecting that a little truth is there mixed with much falsehood, the Prince has deemed it right that I should in his name, give a few lines in reply, to show the exact portion of truth there is in this mass of fables.
"You can make, sir, of this reply, the use which you think proper.
"It is very true, that in a voyage which he made to the United States, towards the end of the year 1841, the Prince finding himself at Mackinac, met on board the steamboat, a passenger whose face he thinks he recognizes, in the portrait given in the Monthly Magazine, but whose name had entirely es caped his memory.
"This passenger seemed well informed concerning the history of North America during the last century. He related many anecdotes, and interesting particulars concerning the French who took part, and distinguished themselves in these events. His mother he said was an Indian woman, of the great tribe of the Iroquois, faithful allies of France. He added, that on his father's side, his origin was French, and went so far as to cite a name which the Prince abstains from repeating. It was by this means that he had come in possession of so many details curious to hear. One of the most interesting of these recitals was that which he gave of the last moments of the Marquis of Montcalm, who died in the arms of an Iroquois, who was his relative, and to whom the great captain had left his sword. These details could not fail vividly to interest the Prince, whose voyage to Mackinac, Green Bay, and the Upper Mississippi, had for its object to retrace the glorious path of the French, who had first opened to civilization these fine countries. The Prince asked Mr. Williams, since such was the name of his interlocutor, to send to him in the form of notes, all the information which he could procure, and which could throw light upon the history of the French establishments in North America. On his side Mr. Williams, who did not appear less curious to understand thoroughly this same history, asked the Prince to transmit to him all the documents which related to it, and which could be found in the archives of the French government.
"On his arrival at Green Bay, the Prince was detained during half a day, by the difficulty of procuring the number of horses necessary for the journey, which he was about to undertake. Mr. Williams pressed him earnestly to accompany him to a settlement of Iroquois Indians, established near Green Bay, among whom, he said, were still many who remembered their Eastern fathers, and who would receive with delight, the son of the Great Chief of France. The Prince declined this offer, and pursued his journey.
"Since then, some letters have been exchanged between Mr. Williams and the persons attached to the Prince, on the subject of the documents in ques tion. Thus the letter of M. Touchard, cited in the article of the Monthly Magazine, must be authentic. Mr. Williams could also equally have produced one which I remember to have written to him upon the same subject.
"But there ends all which the article contains of truth, concerning the relations of the Prince with Mr. Williams. All the rest, all which treats of the revelation which the Prince made to Mr. Williams, of the mys tery of his birth, all which concerns the pretended personage of Louis XVII., is from one end to the other a work of the imagination, a fable woven wholesale, a speculation upon the public credulity. If by chance, any of the readers of the Monthly Magazine should be disposed to avow belief in it, they should procure from Paris a book which has been very recently published by M. Beauchesne. They will there find concerning the life and death of the unfortunate Dauphin, the most circumstantial and positive details. It remains for me to repeat to you, sir, that you can make of this letter such use as you may judge proper, and to offer to you at the same time, the assurance of my distinguished consideration.
"Signed, AUG. TROGNON. Former preceptor, and secretary for the commands of the Prince de Joinville."
This letter has arrived just as my article was going to the press, and I have to stop the printer while I briefly consider it. It is a reply to the statement of Mr. Williams, formal, definite, official. I am glad that the necessity of making such a response was immediately felt. My object in the former article was to call it out. As the friend of Mr. Williams, I cannot permit the imputations which are cast on him, in the letter of M. Trognon, to pass unnoticed. For the Prince I feel the respect to which he may be entitled'; but when the question comes to one of veracity between man and man, statements must be weighed according to their inherent worth, and not according to the name of those who make them. The word of a Prince, with political interests to sustain, is certainly no better than that of a clergyman who has his all both in this life and the next at stake. If the Prince had read my article carefully, he would have perceived the dangerous nature of the ground on which he stands. Having unequivocally, through his secretary, charged Mr. Williams with falsehood and the wholesale manufacture of fables, I must hold him to the rigid letter of his own statements. M. Trognon was at a loss to know for what purpose my article was written, and to what end. The purpose was, the discovery of truth; the end, the righting of
Now the Prince de Joinville represents himself, not only forgetful of the name of Mr. Williams, but ascribes to chance his meeting with him. Finding himself at Mackinac, he met on a steamer a passenger." The suppressio veri is the suggestio falsi. And from the ground which he has taken I cannot permit him to move. The Prince de Joinville, it can easily be proved, sought the interview with Mr. Williams. There was
LETTER FROM CAPTAIN SHOOK.
1 Huron, February 9, 1853. REV. AND DEAR SIR,-Yours of the 4th inst., together with the February number of "Putnam's Monthly," came duly to hand. It gives me great pleasure to communicate any thing, and all I know, of what took place between the Prince de Joinville and the Rev. Eleazer Williams, upon the steamer Columbus, from Mackinac to Green Bay. I have carefully read your article in the Monthly, and so far as matters relating to me go, the Rev. gentleman has stated things truly. I have a very vivid and distinct recollection of the introduction of the Prince to the Rev. Mr. WilHams, and of the apparent surprise manifested by the Prince on the occasion, and furthermore, could not but wonder myself, why he should pay to the humble and unpretending Indian missionary, such pointed and polite attention. I have long known the Rev. Mr. Williams, and seen much of him in our voyages up and down the Lakes, and have always found him an amiable, upright, and gentlemanly man, and to be relied upon in any statement he may make. I would again repeat, that what he has stated in relation to me is literally true. If I have not met your mind in this reply, please to write again, and put the matter to me in the form of questions. You say, "I believe that the Prince gave to you a gold snuff-box upon the occasion." He did, and I prize it highly.
"I am acquainted with many of the circumstances connected with the Prince de Joinville's visit to Green Bay, his meeting with Mr. Williams, &c., having been myself a fellow-passenger with the Prince during the whole of his Lake tour. At that time I was an officer in the Brazilian service, and came home to the United States to visit a brother, then a resident at Fort Howard near Green Bay. I joined the Joinville party in New-York, travelled with it to Green Bay, and, during several conversations with the Prince, heard him express a most particular anxiety to find out this Mr. Williams and have an interview with him."
An Editorial having appeared in the Buffalo Courier, stating that the writer had heard the Prince making inquiries respecting Mr. Williams, I addressed a letter of inquiry to the Editors of that paper, from one of whom, Mr. Jas. O. Brayman, I received a reply, dated Buffalo, March 4, 1858, from which I make the following extract:
"In the fall of 1841, I took steamboat at Cleveland for Detroit. The Prince de Joinville and company were on board, having come up from Buffalo. There were also several gentlemen of French descent from Detroit, aboard. In the evening, while sitting in the cabin, the Prince conversed freely-part of the time in French, and part in English. While conversing with the late Col. Beaubien, he made the inquiries concern
ing Mr. Williams, and spoke of his intention of visiting him at Green Bay. Col. B., who had, I believe, been an Indian trader, knew Mr. W. well, personally or by reputation, and replied to the Prince as to his whereabouts and his occupation. The Prince inquired as to his personal bearing, and asked various general questions concerning him, and had the appearance of considerable earnestness in his inquiries. The conversation continued some minutes, and concluded by the Prince remarking, I shall see him before I return.' This matter has slept in my memory, and having been called up by the late discussions, is not very distinct as to particulars; the general features, however, are as fresh in my mind as an occurrence of yesterday. I have a relative who was some years a teacher in the Indian Mission School at Green Bay. I have heard her relate the circumstance of the visit of the Prince de Joinville to Mr. Williams as some thing involving much of mystery, and that it for a while produced a marked and observable change in Mr. W.'s conduct. He appeared abstracted at times, and excited as by some great emotion. She remarked that the Prince treated him with more than ordinary deference and consideration, for which she could not account at the time."
The editors of the Buffalo. Courier and of the Northern Light show that, long before the Prince got into the neighborhood of Mackinac, he was inquiring about Mr. Williams. Capt. Shook confirms entirely all the statements of Mr. Williams in which he is concerned. It is then a fact that not once, but several times, during the journey from New-York to Green Bay, he had inquired of a variety of persons concerning Mr. Williams, and that, when he saw him he showed surprise and agitation, and paid him such unusual attention that it is remembered vividly by eye-witnesses after the lapse of twelve years. More testimony, of various kinds, can be obtained to prove the fact, that the Prince went to Green Bay to see Mr. Williams, and not to make historical researches. And yet the Prince, who knew his name so well before he ever saw him, and whose memory is so very faithful concerning every thing which he thinks will make against him, now declares that the meeting was accidental, and that his name has escaped his memory. But, in many respects, his statements are important. The Prince says he acknow ledged himself the son of an Indian woman. This shows how erroneous are the misrepresentations in many circles which have charged him with having had a monomania of twenty years' standing, that he was the Dauphin, and confirms by the authority of the Prince, the statement of Mr. Williams that up to this time he considered himself of Indian parentage. As to his being of French extraction on the father's side, Mr. Williams never could have said that, unless he intended to accuse his supposed mother of infidelity, which it is not likely he would have done to a stranger. The Williams family are of English origin. There was a surmise that his mother had French blood in her veins, but it was some generations back. Again: The nature of a great part of the conversations between Mr., Williams and the
Prince, on the steamer, are in substance confirmed; and thus all which Mr. Williams has stated is authenticated, on one hand or the other, except what occurred in the private interview. Here no one but themselves and God are witnesses. But, inasmuch as the letter from the Prince proves him not to be trustworthy in matters open and evident, there is no reason why we should give him credence in those which are secret. The reference to Beauchesne is unfortunate, and proves to my mind that there was a special necessity for the publication of such a work. It is curious that the very copy which I have reviewed was left by some person unknown, in the room of Mr. Williams, at Washington, with an anonymous note, begging his acceptance of it, "though the perusal might give him pain."
Let any one trace on a map the route of the Prince, and ask himself whether historical researches would be likely to take any man to a place like Green Bay, lying off the direct line of travel, leading nowhere, and having in its neighborhood_no important memorials of the French. His natural course when at Mackinac, would have been either to go through the Saut Ste. Marie, to Lake Superior, the shores of which are crowded with mementoes of his countrymen, or to follow the track of La Salle and Hennepin down Lake Michigan to Chicago. Green Bay is a small town in the wilderness, having a palisade fort, and surrounded by a few Indian settlements. There is no historical attraction about it, and the Prince confesses as much by saying that a delay in procuring horses was the sole cause of his staying there even half a day, and declining an opportunity of meeting the neighboring Indians. It is true that Marquette was at Green Bay, but if the Prince had desired to follow his footsteps, he should have pursued the Fox River westerly, and not gone directly south to Galena. On the sixth of the next month, he was at St. Louis, so that his historical researches on the Upper Mississippi could not have been very laborious or profound.
Again, the whole of his account is made to tally with the fundamental misrepresentation that the meeting with Mr. Williams was accidental. Now we know that it was not accidental; that it is an established fact that he went to Green Bay to see him; that he repeatedly and earnestly inquired after him, and can have no reasonable doubt that had Mr. Williams resided in any other place than Green Bay, he would equally have sought him out. But the account of the Prince contains nothing to meet the requirements of that fact. That fact demands that de Joinville should have had some object in seeking an interview with Mr. Williams. It is impossible to evade this. Now no such object is apparent in the Prince's statement, nay, is studiously kept out of sight; and though he solemnly declares that he states the whole truth, yet it is undeniable that he omits
the most important portion of the history of the interview-and not only omits it, but precludes himself by the coloring which he has put on the transaction, from framing any substitute for the simple truth hereafter. But from Mr. Williams we learn why the Prince so particularly inquired after him, and so earnestly sought him out; and I assert and will maintain it, that herein he is entitled to the benefit of all the probabilities, physical, historical, and eircumstantial, which tend to confirm the truth of his account. In other words, if there were no such evidence to sustain him, his cause would be by so much the weaker; but every iota of testimony which makes it probable that he is the Dauphin, increases the probability that he tells the truth concerning the facts of his interview with de Joinville; and yet some will say, the Prince denies the revelation asserted, and therefore Mr. Williams spoke untruly. I say there is no therefore about it, and defy any one to prove that there is. Why should
there be? Because de Joinville is a Prince -the descendant of the Regent Orleans, and of Philip Egalité? The opinion of the New-York Daily Times is far more sensible: it predicted the course which the Prince would take, and the reasons which would actuate him. "If the story be true," it says, "neither the Bourbon nor the Orleans family have any justification before the world for the cruelty of suppressing the truth, always well known to them, for more than half a century, in order to enjoy the inheritance of the legitimate but exiled king. They will be considered as usurp ers, not of the property of a stranger, or of an enemy, but of one of their own household; one whose misfortunes, if not his rights, entitled him to consideration. It will prove to have been a conspiracy of a race against one of its members; a royal conspiracy to defraud. And it is scarcely. likely that de Joinville will readily corroborate a tale which must sentence the Bourbons of either branch to infamy." But I have not yet adduced all the testimony to disprove an accidental meeting; Americans have testified, let Frenchmen speak:
A gentleman of my acquaintance, whose name is at the service of any inquirer, was, in the year 1846, informed at Brest, by one of the officers who accompanied the Prince de Joinville to Green Bay, that there seemed something mysterious in that trip, for that they had met in the backwoods of America, an old man among the Indians, who had very much of the Bourbon aspect, and who was spoken of as the son of Louis XVI. Now, Mr. Williams could not, before the Prince's visit, have spoken of himself as such, for he thought, on the Prince's own testimony, he was the son of an Indian woman. There was no such report current concerning him, to the knowledge of his most intimate friends, and the story must have originated in the party of the Prince, and shows which
way their thoughts were tending. Mr. Williams informs me that the officers of the Prince's retinue asked several of the townspeople if they knew who he was, and on the reply being given that he was an Indian preacher, they said, "He is no Indian-he is something more." The letter of the Prince shows the necessity of further, deeper, and more systematic inquiry, and I trust that the world will not permit investigation on a point of such historie importance to be stifled, when all antecedents, physical and evidential, are in favor of Mr. Williams, and the mere inconsistent ipse dixit of a Prince against him.
As to the letter of Mr. Thomas L. Ogden, spoken of in my previous article, I may remark that this gentleman was the legal adviser of Mr. Williams, with respect to certain Indian claims, and the information respecting the Prince de Joinville was contained in a simple clause in a business letter, which has not yet been found. But I am authorized by Dr. John Ogden, son of Mr. T. L. Ogden, to say that he has known Mr. Williams intimately many years, and places the fullest confidence in his integrity and simplicity of character, and has no doubt, both on that account, and from the close business relations which subsisted between him and his father, that his statement is correct; and Mr. Richard L. Ogden also assures me that, provided Le Ray de Chaumont was in the secret, it would have been entirely unnatural for the Prince de Joinville to have applied to any other man than his father in America, for information concerning Mr. Williams, as he was legal adviser also of Le Ray, who was well acquainted with the business relations which existed between Mr. Ogden and Mr. Williams, and would necessarily refer the Prince to the former.
"3. That Bellanger, in 1848, confessed, when dying, that he brought the Dauphin to this country."
The reader will bear in mind the proof already given that this was the name of the person who, historically, is most likely to have been the agent of the Dauphin's escape, and that this fact was entirely unknown to Mr. Williams until a few days past. Mr. Williams, it has been stated, heard of his dying confession through Mr. Kimball, of Baton Rouge, in the spring of 1848. M. Arpin, editor of the Courrier des Etats Unis, told me in the presence of Mr. Williams, and of several other gentlemen, that he was at New Orleans in the early part of the year 1848, and that he heard then a report that the Dauphin was alive and among the Indians, and that since he has been in New-York, he has seen a paragraph in a Louisiana or St. Louis paper, containing the confession of Bellanger. Mr. A. Fleming, of this city, remembers also to have seen a similar paragraph in a Southern paper. I shall now transcribe the journal of Mr. Williams, written on the reception of Mr. Kimball's letter, in which the reader
will observe Bellanger is not mentioned by name. This is an instance of the loose way in which Mr. Williams kept his journal, which makes no pretence to minute accuracy, and was written without the remotest idea of publication. In his letters, however, for years he has mentioned Bellanger by name.
"Green Bay, March 10. In the letter I have received from Mr. Thos. Kimball, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, my curiosity is somewhat excited, and it may be a novel news.
"He states that the information he received from a respectable gentleman was such a startling news with him, as to induce him to communicate the intelligence to the person who was the subject of it, and with whom he was acquainted. He states by the death (in January last) of an aged and respectable French gentleman, either in New Orleans or Helena, that he made disclosures at the last hours of his life, that he was the person who aided in the escape of the Dauphin, or the son of Louis XVI., King of France, from the Temple in 1795; his transportation to North America; and his adoption among the Indians; all this that he may live and be hidden, and live beyond the reach of his enemies, who had been murderers of his royal parents; and that the person alluded to as the Dauphin is no other than the Rev. Eleazer Williams, the Missionary to the Oneida Indians; and that the gentleman who had the principal agency in the escape of the Dauphin, was strictly and solemnly bound by the sacramental oath of the Roman Catholic Church never to disclose, particularly in Europe, of the descent or family of the royal youth whom he was about to convey to North America; and that it was not until he saw himself drawing near to a close of his earthly career, that he would disclose the secret which had been locked up in his bosom for half a century; and that he would do this the more cheerfully now, without infringing his conscience, because he was in America, and that it may be a benefit to his most dear, beloved, but unfortunate friend, the Dauphin; in uttering the last his whole frame was agitated, and shed abundance of tears; and that near one of his last exclamations was, O! the Dauphin! may he be happy and be restored!
"The intelligence is so improbable it had no weight nor consideration with me; and thinking at the same time there may be mistake as to the person, I shall wait patiently the meaning of all this for a further information from Mr. Kimball upon this new and mysterious subject.
"March 18. Went to Green Bay, and dined with the Rev. Mr. Porter, and had a long conference with Judge Aindt respecting the Oneidas, with whom he is at war in relation to some lumber which he had purchased.
"March 15. Went to the Sugar camp with Mr. Wartmen to make some inquiries. This is a beautiful day, and it was delightful to be among the lofty pines.
"March 16. Received some letters from my friends in Oneida, in one of which I am informed that my father is in a feoble state of health.
"March 18. I wrote to-day to the Rev. Joshua Leavitt, of Boston, in which I recapitulated the intelligence I had received from Mr. Kimball, in relation to the Dauphin of France. On mature reflection upon the subject, I must confess the news is becoming more startling with me. It is true that I have no recollection of my existence in the world until at the age of 18 or 14: what passed with me previous I am unable to decipher. Since my recollection is perfect, there are some incidents connected with my life, I must confess, which are strange, and which I am unable to reconcile with each other. The suspicion in