Article Title: Pensacola. Extracts from the journal of William Ellis, Inspector of the Revenue of Mobile, a prisoner of the British at Pensacola. Diary entries for Sept. 12 to 23. Ends prior to American attack. Ellis taken away aboard ship, leaving journal.
Author:
Published in: National Intelligencer
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Publication Date: 1/3/1815




PENSACOLA.
We have received from an attentive friend who resides on the Mobile, the subjoined extract of the Journal of Wm. Ellis, a man of veracity and good character. It is a document, at this moment, of some importance. It vindicates most satisfactorily, if vindication in this case can be considered necessary, the conduct of the American government, or their general, in entering Pensacola.
This interesting paper also exhibits in a strong light the anti-neutral conduct of the Spanish Governor of West Florida. We should hope, indeed, that Don Gonzales Manrique, does not faithfully represent the King whose commission he holds ; but, whatever be the real temper of the Spanish Monarchy towards the United States, it became necessary to the safety of our territory and people, that some check should be given to the enemy whilst finding an asylum, and countenance and protection, from pretended friends in Pensacola.
In the simple narrative of Mr. Ellis, we find that a force came from Pensacola to scour our territory, to make prisoners of unarmed citizens, and attack our forts ; that they returned with their booty and prisoners to Pensacola : that the prisoners were kept there, as if in a hostile country, contrary to the established principles of the law of nations : that when an American force pursued the enemy as far as the Perdido, the Spanish Governor appears to have considered a resistance to them as the common concern of the British, the Indians and himself, and that he made arrangements for sending a Spanish force to co-operate with the Indians in resisting the Americans, whilst in fresh pursuit of their avowed enemies engaged in the very act of carrying off their property and their people. Is this neutrality ? Was there any chance of security to the adjacent settlements of American citizens, if such infamous partiality, not to say hostility, had been viewed wit awful reverence by the American General ?
How could he plead a regard to neutral rights ? Neutral duties must be observed, if neutral rights would be respected. Every man must be satisfied that there was no real neutrality on the part of the Spanish Governor : and the return of Gen. Jackson to our own territory, after having driven off the Indians and the British, can only be regarded as a solemn sacrifice made by the American government to that love of peace friendship with other nations, which has always marked their character and conduct.
Extracts from the Journal of William Ellis, Inspector of the Revenue at Mobile, who was taken prisoner by the British and Indians, and carried to Pensacola, a Spanish town in West Florida.
[The Journal begins with August 28th, 1814 and states his employment as a Custom House Officer, stationed then at Bon Secour, a river on the east side of the bay of Mobile.]
September 12th. Visited the landing in the forenoonafter dinner, commence fixing some fish-hooks, and about half past two, P. M. casting my eye up, saw two Creek Indians painted, pointing their guns at meand in the space of a moment, the yard and house were crowded with them. Mrs. La Coast and her son (ten years old) Miss Betsey, her two children, and sister, were screaming in the rooms. I continued my seat. Several Indians came up to me, among whom was a chief, who gave me his hand. At this moment a British officer came up, and ordered me to follow him. I arose and observed, ' you are a British officer, I presume.' ' Yes,' said he. ' I may consider myself a prisoner to you.' ' you may say that,' he replied, ' or I cut your head off.' ' I shall expect that humanity from you which belongs to your nation.' ' Its more,' said he, ' than we receive from your nation, a dmned ight.' ' That's not the fault of individuals.'
By this time, we had advanced ten poles towards the river, and the Indians had taken all the canoes, and about forty started over to the landing on the other side of the river. By this time, I suppose, they have been three minutes in the yard, 70 in number, plundering every thing they could put their hands on. I requested the officer to go into the house, and protect the women and children ; which he did immediately, and made the Indians give back almost every thing they had taken. But as soon as his eye was off them, they took the things again, even to the dirty cloutsBy this time, the Indians had returned from the landing, with all James Innerarity's negroes. Mr. Miller, supercarcargo of a Spanish ship in Pensacola, Jacobs, a cooper, Henry, a laborer, Frank, an overseer, and Aaron, a carter. A violent gust came on, and one Indian was struck in the yard with lightning, and died in a few days. Night came onthey put out spies, and went to sleep.
Capt. Cassels of the Royal Marines (for that was his name and appellation) asked me if I knew of any troops being near themand observed my life depended on my telling the truth. None, I told him, nearer than the point. ' Did you hear firing there to-day?' ' None.' An express was sent to the point by an American called Burdue, who had been in the 2d regiment ; a half breed called Sebastian, of Pensacola, and the son of Pancha, who lives at Perdido.
Sept. 13th.Removed to the landings. The Indians indulged themselves in plunder all day.
Sept. 14th By this time, the Indians were out of beef; although they had killed two of La Coast's the first day. A party consisting of an American called M'Gill, who had deserted from the 2d regiment, about three years ago, when at Fort Stoddert, and who now lives at Pensacola, a mulatto, called London, (whom Capt. Cassels told me he had met compelled to come back) a negro called Boston, and some Indians, were sent to Fish River ; who returned in the evening with a drove of cattle, a decanter, a pitcher, and some other things. They then killed a beef. Madam La Coaste comes and sleeps at the landing with all her family.
Sept. 15.The express returns this evening with the news that the marines, 75, and Indians, 130, under the command of Capt. Henry, had landed at the point, and had fired four bombs into the fortthat the Colonel's servant had his head carried off by a cannon ball, and an Indian had his belt cut in two by a grape shot; that the Colonel was on board the ship Armise,; that the vessels were within a league of the fort. Very heavy firing this day. About an hour after night, we heard a great explosionsuppose it to be the fort blown up.
Sept. 16.Sent an express to M'Gill and Burdua to the point.
Sept. 17.A party of Indians arrived (24) from the point at 11, A. M. Told us the ships were beat off, and one blown upthat the balance of the Indians and marines were coming on, which proved to be the case. In about two hours they arrived, halted, killed several beeves, opened two hogsheads of tobacco, and several barrels of flour, refreshed themselves, and went on about six miles, put out spies, and encamped. The Indians refused to obey their chief (Woodbine) and would not stand sentry.
September 18. Arrive at Pancha's on the Perdido, at 3 P.M. all the marines and some few Indians crossed the Perdido Bay.
September 19th.Arrived in Pensacola at half past 12, and quarter with Captain Woodbine ; towards evening Woodbine takes me and old Alexander of Fish river (who has been plundered of all that was dear to him, and brought a prisoner to this place,) before the Colonel, who told me he should make a prisoner of war of me. He though, however, he would look over the cartel arrangements, and, in the mean time, I and Alexander must confine ourselves to Capt. Woodbine's quarters, and we should be well treated. Consequently we did so.
September 20thThe balance of the Indians crossed the Perdido, and got into town
September 21A party of the expedition who where left behind to drive cattle, arrive at 8 A. M. and bring news that they had got over 25 head of bullocks, and that the Americans came on them and compelled them to retire. This occasioned much bustle in the town. The Indians are called into Capt. Woodbine's, and a great talk takes place between him and the head Chiefs, A detachment is sent to the Perdido, where it is said the Americans are crossing.
September 22An express arrives this morning from the Ferry, and brings news that a party of Americans had crossed over the Perdido, and taken all the boats from the eastside, and retired to their encampments on the west. Their number was supposed to be about 500. The Governor calls and observed that he wished Capt. Woodbine to send a party of Indians, consisting of two hundred to the Ferry, and that he would send 50 men with them to impede the crossing of the Americans ; that this measure ought to be particularly attended to. Woodbine not being in, Capt. Henry informed his Excellency, that it should be attended to with the earliest attention. The Governor then went over to Col. Nicholls. In the afternoon a quantity of blankets, linens, c. are hoisted up into the loft of Capt. Woodbine's quarters. About 4 P. M. 65 Indians received 3 days rations, and march, it is said, to the Ferry on Perdido.
Friday 23d. Here the Journal ends. For some reason or other, the British officers became jealous of Mr. Ellis, and sent him on board one of their vessels, (after searching all his papers, of which the above Journal was probably the most material) they put him on board of one their vessels in the Bay ; and have probably carried him to the West Indies. The Journal was handed, I think, by Captain Woodbine to another American citizen, who had been made a prisoner of by the British in Pensacola, but was afterwards liberated.



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Article Title: Pensacola. Extracts from the journal of William Ellis, Inspector of the Revenue of Mobile,
a prisoner of the British at Pensacola. Diary entries for Sept. 12 to 23. Ends prior to American
attack. Ellis taken away aboard ship, leaving journal.
Author:
Published in: National Intelligencer
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Publication Date: 1/3/1815




PENSACOLA.
We have received from an attentive friend who resides on the Mobile, the subjoined extract of the
Journal of Wm. Ellis, a man of veracity and good character. It is a document, at this moment, of some
importance. It vindicates most satisfactorily, if vindication in this case can be considered necessary,
the conduct of the American government, or their general, in entering Pensacola.
This interesting paper also exhibits in a strong light the anti-neutral conduct of the Spanish Governor
of West Florida. We should hope, indeed, that Don Gonzales Manrique, does not faithfully represent
the King whose commission he holds ; but, whatever be the real temper of the Spanish Monarchy
towards the United States, it became necessary to the safety of our territory and people, that some
check should be given to the enemy whilst finding an asylum, and countenance and protection, from
pretended friends in Pensacola.
In the simple narrative of Mr. Ellis, we find that a force came from Pensacola to scour our territory, to
make prisoners of unarmed citizens, and attack our forts ; that they returned with their booty and
prisoners to Pensacola : that the prisoners were kept there, as if in a hostile country, contrary to the
established principles of the law of nations : that when an American force pursued the enemy as far
as the Perdido, the Spanish Governor appears to have considered a resistance to them as the
common concern of the British, the Indians and himself, and that he made arrangements for sending
a Spanish force to co-operate with the Indians in resisting the Americans, whilst in fresh pursuit of
their avowed enemies engaged in the very act of carrying off their property and their people. Is this
neutrality ? Was there any chance of security to the adjacent settlements of American citizens, if
such infamous partiality, not to say hostility, had been viewed wit awful reverence by the American
General ?
How could he plead a regard to neutral rights ? Neutral duties must be observed, if neutral rights
would be respected. Every man must be satisfied that there was no real neutrality on the part of the
Spanish Governor : and the return of Gen. Jackson to our own territory, after having driven off the
Indians and the British, can only be regarded as a solemn sacrifice made by the American
government to that love of peace friendship with other nations, which has always marked their
character and conduct.
Extracts from the Journal of William Ellis, Inspector of the Revenue at Mobile, who was taken prisoner
by the British and Indians, and carried to Pensacola, a Spanish town in West Florida.
[The Journal begins with August 28th, 1814 and states his employment as a Custom House Officer,
stationed then at Bon Secour, a river on the east side of the bay of Mobile.]
September 12th. Visited the landing in the forenoonafter dinner, commence fixing some fish-hooks,
and about half past two, P. M. casting my eye up, saw two Creek Indians painted, pointing their guns
at meand in the space of a moment, the yard and house were crowded with them. Mrs. La Coast and
her son (ten years old) Miss Betsey, her two children, and sister, were screaming in the rooms. I
continued my seat. Several Indians came up to me, among whom was a chief, who gave me his
hand. At this moment a British officer came up, and ordered me to follow him. I arose and observed,
' you are a British officer, I presume.' 'Yes,' said he. ' I may consider myself a prisoner to you.' ' you
may say that,' he replied, ' or I cut your head off.' ' I shall expect that humanity from you which
belongs to your nation.' ' Its more,' said he, ' than we receive from your nation, a dmned ight.' 'That's






not the fault of individuals.'
By this time, we had advanced ten poles towards the river, and the Indians had taken all the canoes,
and about forty started over to the landing on the other side of the river. By this time, I suppose, they
have been three minutes in the yard, 70 in number, plundering every thing they could put their hands
on. I requested the officer to go into the house, and protect the women and children ; which he did
immediately, and made the Indians give back almost every thing they had taken. But as soon as his
eye was off them, they took the things again, even to the dirty cloutsBy this time, the Indians had
returned from the landing, with all James Innerarity's negroes. Mr. Miller, supercarcargo of a Spanish
ship in Pensacola, Jacobs, a cooper, Henry, a laborer, Frank, an overseer, and Aaron, a carter. A
violent gust came on, and one Indian was struck in the yard with lightning, and died in a few days.
Night came onthey put out spies, and went to sleep.
Capt. Cassels of the Royal Marines (for that was his name and appellation) asked me if I knew of any
troops being near themand observed my life depended on my telling the truth. None, I told him,
nearer than the point. ' Did you hear firing there to-day?' ' None.' An express was sent to the point
by an American called Burdue, who had been in the 2d regiment; a half breed called Sebastian, of
Pensacola, and the son of Pancha, who lives at Perdido.
Sept. 13th.Removed to the landings. The Indians indulged themselves in plunder all day.
Sept. 14th By this time, the Indians were out of beef; although they had killed two of La Coast's the
first day. A party consisting of an American called M'Gill, who had deserted from the 2d regiment,
about three years ago, when at Fort Stoddert, and who now lives at Pensacola, a mulatto, called
London, (whom Capt. Cassels told me he had met compelled to come back) a negro called Boston,
and some Indians, were sent to Fish River; who returned in the evening with a drove of cattle, a
decanter, a pitcher, and some other things. They then killed a beef. Madam La Coaste comes and
sleeps at the landing with all her family.
Sept. 15.The express returns this evening with the news that the marines, 75, and Indians, 130, under
the command of Capt. Henry had landed at the point, and had fired four bombs into the fortthat the
Colonel's servant had his head carried off by a cannon ball, and an Indian had his belt cut in two by a
grape shot; that the Colonel was on board the ship Armise,; that the vessels were within a league of
the fort. Very heavy firing this day. About an hour after night, we heard a great explosionsuppose it to
be the fort blown up.
Sept. 16.Sent an express to M'Gill and Burdua to the point.
Sept. 17.A party of Indians arrived (24) from the point at 11, A. M. Told us the ships were beat off,
and one blown upthat the balance of the Indians and marines were coming on, which proved to be the
case. In about two hours they arrived, halted, killed several beeves, opened two hogsheads of
tobacco, and several barrels of flour, refreshed themselves, and went on about six miles, put out
spies, and encamped. The Indians refused to obey their chief (Woodbine) and would not stand
sentry.
September 18. Arrive at Pancha's on the Perdido, at 3 PM. all the marines and some few Indians
crossed the Perdido Bay.
September 19th.Arrived in Pensacola at half past 12, and quarter with Captain Woodbine ; towards
evening Woodbine takes me and old Alexander of Fish river (who has been plundered of all that was
dear to him, and brought a prisoner to this place,) before the Colonel, who told me he should make a
prisoner of war of me. He though, however, he would look over the cartel arrangements, and, in the
mean time, I and Alexander must confine ourselves to Capt. Woodbine's quarters, and we should be
well treated. Consequently we did so.
September 20thThe balance of the Indians crossed the Perdido, and got into town
September 21A party of the expedition who where left behind to drive cattle, arrive at 8 A. M. and
bring news that they had got over 25 head of bullocks, and that the Americans came on them and
compelled them to retire. This occasioned much bustle in the town. The Indians are called into Capt.
Woodbine's, and a great talk takes place between him and the head Chiefs, A detachment is sent to
the Perdido, where it is said the Americans are crossing.
September 22An express arrives this morning from the Ferry, and brings news that a party of






Americans had crossed over the Perdido, and taken all the boats from the eastside, and retired to
their encampments on the west. Their number was supposed to be about 500. The Governor calls
and observed that he wished Capt. Woodbine to send a party of Indians, consisting of two hundred to
the Ferry, and that he would send 50 men with them to impede the crossing of the Americans ; that
this measure ought to be particularly attended to. Woodbine not being in, Capt. Henry informed his
Excellency, that it should be attended to with the earliest attention. The Governor then went over to
Col. Nicholls. In the afternoon a quantity of blankets, linens, c. are hoisted up into the loft of Capt.
Woodbine's quarters. About 4 P M. 65 Indians received 3 days rations, and march, it is said, to the
Ferry on Perdido.
Friday 23d. Here the Journal ends. For some reason or other, the British officers became jealous of
Mr. Ellis, and sent him on board one of their vessels, (after searching all his papers, of which the
above Journal was probably the most material) they put him on board of one their vessels in the Bay;
and have probably carried him to the West Indies. The Journal was handed, I think, by Captain
Woodbine to another American citizen, who had been made a prisoner of by the British in Pensacola,
but was afterwards liberated.




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