General Court Martial of Anthony Allaire
At a General Court Martial held at Charles Town in the Province of South Carolina on Wednesday the 28th day of March 1781 and continued by Adjournment, to Saturday the 31st day of March 1781, by Virtue of a Warrant bearing date the 24th day of March 1781 from His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, General & Commander in Chief of All His Majesty's Forces within the Colonies laying upon the Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to West Florida inclusive &c. &c. &c.
The Prisoner in Order to prove the above Assertions called upon Mr. Danl. O’HARA, who being duly Sworn deposed that on the 18th instant between One and two in the Morning a Negroe came into the Room at York’s Tavern and informed the Company, with which he was setting, that two Gentlemen were murdering each other in the Street, upon which he and the Company went out, and he saw Lieut. ALLAIR and Ensign KEATING laying and striking each other upon the Ground; That Lieut. ALLAIR was uppermost.
That he immediately interfered, parted them, and took Lieut. ALLAIR away from the Company observing they were both warm, and walked home with him to his Quarters and staid there all night, that in the Morning Lieut. ALLAIR hearing Mr. KEATING was pretty much beat, told him (the Dept.) that he was sorry for what had happened, as he believed it was a good deal owing to Liquor and asked him if he would go with him to the Quarters of Ensn. KEATING and endeavour to have the matter settled that he (the dept.) did go with him where he found the Deceased, in Bed seeming a good deal hurt.--
That the deceased and Lieut. ALLAIR had some conversation upon the subject, and both seem’d sorry for what had passed; and from their behaviour to each other, he did not conceive there would be a difficulty in settling the dispute.--
That Ensign KEATING observed as only he (the Dept.) was present, it was necessary to have some other Gentlemen together who saw the Affray,- and proposed the next Morning the Gentlemen’s meeting at his Room, and asked Lieut. ALLAIR to be there.
That the Night following he (the Deponent) was at Mr. KEATING’s Room where was Docter CARTER, Mr. LYNDSEY, a Mr. CAMPBELL, Ensn. KEATING, Mr. DUNWORTH, Lieut. ALLAIR, and himself-- That after some little Conversation, Docter CARTER said if the two Gentlemen would step down stairs, they would consider of it.
That soon afterwards Mr. DUNWORTH was by those Gentlemen desired to inform Lieut. ALLAIR that it was their opinion he should ask Mr. KEATINGs Pardon. when Mr. ALLAIR answered he was sorry for what had happened, but that he would not ask Mr. KEATING’s Pardon, unless Mr. KEATING would ask his, and told Mr. DUNWORTH to deliver that Message to the Gentlemen, which he did, that the Gentlemen then sent for Ensn. KEATING, and informed him that as they found they could not settle the dispute they should have nothing farther to do with it, and then took their leave and went away.--
That Lieut. ALLAIRE in about two Minutes after also went away.
Q.(By the Court) Did you observe any strokes given after they were first parted and by whom?
Q.(By the Court) Did you hear any Sword called for and by whom?
Q.(By Do.) Did you hear any words pass from Lieut. ALLAIR after the Sword was called for?
Q.(By Do.) Did the Prisoner agree to referr the dispute between him and the Deceased to the Opinion of the Gentlemen who were present at the Deceased’s House?
Q.(By Do.) After the Blow was given by Lieut. ALLAIR, did you see Ensn. KEATING make a Blow at him in return?
Q.(By do.) What was Lieut. ALLAIR’s reason to you for not asking Ensign KEATING’s Pardon?
Q.(By the Prisr.) Did you see any part of my Conduct in the course of the Afternoon that could possibly give any Gentleman room to find fault with it?
Q.(By Do) Do you recollect that Mr. DUNWORTH mentioned when he returned with my answer, that I said I did not think them a legal Court of Enquiry, and that I would do nothing contrary to my own feelings?
Captain John LIVINGSTON of the King’s American Regiment was called before the Court, and being duly Sworn deposed that on Saturday last in the forenoon, he was in Mr. HICKS’s Shop, as was Lieut. ALLAIRE. That he saw Mr. KEATING and Mr. AMBROSE coming near the Shop with a Soldier who had a small Sword in his hand.
That Ensign KEATING came into the Shop, and without speaking a syllable to any one, immediately struck Lieut. ALLAIR on the Head with his Cane. That Lieut. ALLAIR returned the Blow, and afterwards several Blows passed within the Shop and without doors.
That about two Minutes after Ensn. KEATING called for his Sword, which the Soldier gave him he thinks drawn.--
That Ensign KEATING then made several Lunges at Lieut. ALLAIR, & said to him, “You Damned Scoundrel, you would not fight me because I was a Prisoner” still making Lunges at him, so as to oblige Lieut. ALLAIR (who was parrying with his Cane) to retreat about Forty or Fifty Yards.
That Ensn. KEATING went up to him a second time and followed him again in the same manner and distance, that while he was making these Lunges, he called out, “You Scoundrel draw, why don’t you draw,” and Lieut. ALLAIR answered he was not used to the small Sword.
That afterwards Lieut. ALLAIR came down the Street and went into the Quarters of Capt. Taylor-- That he (the Dept.) followed him to those Quarters, and having been in a few Minutes, he saw a Servant come in with a Pair of Pistols-- That he expected something was to happen, when Lieut. ALLAIR and Mr. HEDDEN went away.
That he Capt. TAYLOR and Doctor JOHNSTON followed, and at some distance saw Lieut. ALLAIR and Mr. HEDDEN go to Ensign KEATING’s Quarters return and go farther down the Street and afterwards saw Lieut. ALLAIR and Mr. HEDDEN meet Ensign KEATING and Mr. AMBROSE in the same Street Ensign KEATING lived.
That as soon as they met he turned about and went again up the Street, and after having walked about Fifty Yards, he heard the report of a Pistol.-- That he directly turned about and saw Ensign KEATING with his hand on his Stomach standing up.
Q.(By the Court) Did you see Lieut. ALLAIRE in possession of more than One Pistol when you went up to him?
Q.(By the Court) Was that Pistol loaded?
Q.(By do) At the time the deceased was lunging at Lieut. ALLAIRE, what kind of Sword had Lieut. ALLAIRE by his side?
Q.(By the Court) At the period Lieut. ALLAIR told Ensign KEATING he did not understand the Sword, did he propose any other time or mode of satisfying him?
Q.(By the Prisoner) Do you recollect at Mr. HICKS’s Door Mr. KEATING holding my Cane with one hand, and striking me over the Head at the time with his Cane?
Q.(By Do) Do you think if it had not been for my Cane, Mr. KEATING would inevitably have put me to Death with his Small Sword?
Mr. John HICKS Inhabitant of Charlestown was called before the Court and being duly Sworn was examined.
Q.(By the Prisoner) Do you recollect at your Store Mr. KEATING’s holding my Cane with one hand, and striking me with his Cane over the Head?
Q.(By do) Did you see Mr. KEATING with a drawn Sword making Lunges at me?
Q.(By the Court) Did you hear Mr. ALLAIR speak to him while he was Lunging, and what did he say?
Q.(By the Prisr.) What did I say to you relative to the verbal Message which Mr. McDONALD delivered to me at or near your Store?
Mr. HICKS shewed the Sword Mr. ALLAIRE wore, when the Lunges at him were made, which a short Cut and Thrust Sword; and added that Mr. KEATING had a very long old fashioned Silver mounted small Sword, with which he made the Lunges.
Q.(By the Prisoner) Do you think Mr. KEATING would not have run me thro’ the Body if it had been in his power?
Lieut. Isaac HEDDEN of the 1st Battn. of New Jersey Volunteers was called before the Court and being duly Sworn was examined.
Q.(By the Prisr.) Did I not ask you to go with me as my friend to fight Mr. KEATING, and did I not tell you I meant to fight him as a Gentleman?
Q.(By do) Had I one or two Pistols when I went out with you?
Q.(By do) Were they guarded at the time I met Mr. KEATING?
Q.(By do) Did I call Mr. KEATING a damned Rascal before he struck me with his Cane?
Q.(By the Court) After the deceased made that Blow, did Mr. ALLAIRE return it?
Q.(By the Prisoner) Did you not see me put both of my Hands to my Pockets with an intention as you thought to offer him one, but in consequence of the hurry did not one fall on the Ground?
Q.(By the Court) Did you hear Mr. ALLAIRE offer one of his Pistols to the Deceased?
Q.(By Do) What Conversation passed between Mr. KEATING and Mr. ALLAIRE prior to the Pistol’s being fired?
Q.(By the Prisr.) Did I not consult you on the Verbal Message Mr. KEATING sent me, and what was your Answer?
Q.(By the Prisr.) On our going down to meet Mr. KEATING, did I not ask you if it was customary for Gentlemen on such occasions to exchange Pistols?
Q.(By the Court) How far was you from Lieut. ALLAIR and the Deceased when and before the Pistol was fired?
Allaire Court Martial, Part 4
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