Home Search Our Site! Sign Our Guest Book!


List of Regiments Regimental Histories Muster Rolls Orderly Books Courts Martial Loyalists in the Regular Army/Navy Civil Branches Spies & Intelligence Black Loyalists Clothing and Supplies Claims and Memorials Other Facts and Records



&c, &c, &c...
The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies

General Court Martial of Anthony Allaire
Part 3 of 4

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?

        A. One Stroke was given and that by Lieut. ALLAIRE.

        Q.(By the Court) Did you hear any Sword called for and by whom?

        A. Yes by Ensn. KEATING after he had received that blow.

        Q.(By Do.) Did you hear any words pass from Lieut. ALLAIR after the Sword was called for?

        A. There was so much confusion that I cannot say I did-- I was taking him away at the time, but he wanted very much to go back.

        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?

        A. He so far agreed to it, that he walked down Stairs at the Request of Doctor CARTER.

        Q.(By Do.) After the Blow was given by Lieut. ALLAIR, did you see Ensn. KEATING make a Blow at him in return?

        A. He attempted it.

        Q.(By do.) What was Lieut. ALLAIR’s reason to you for not asking Ensign KEATING’s Pardon?

        A. Because he thought him as much in fault as himself.

        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?

        A. Not any.

        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?

        A. Yes.

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?

        A. No, and that I took from his hand.

        Q.(By the Court) Was that Pistol loaded?

        A. I do not know.

        Q.(By do) At the time the deceased was lunging at Lieut. ALLAIRE, what kind of Sword had Lieut. ALLAIRE by his side?

        A. Short cut and Thrust Sword was produced, which the Evidence declared to be the one wore by Lieut. ALLAIRE at that time.

        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?

        A. No, not that I heard.

        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?

        A. Yes, several times he struck you while holding your 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?

        A. From the Lunges he made I really thought he meant to put you to Death, and at one time I thought he had touched you and in consequence ran up to ask you.

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?

        A. Yes.

        Q.(By do) Did you see Mr. KEATING with a drawn Sword making Lunges at me?

        A. I did.

        Q.(By the Court) Did you hear Mr. ALLAIR speak to him while he was Lunging, and what did he say?

        A. I heard him say he knew nothing of the small Sword, and that he would fight him as a Gentleman, and asked him if he was going to Murder him.

        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?

        A. You told me you had received a Verbal Challenge from Mr. KEATING thro’ the Adjutant of the Regiment and that you had sent for answer you could not fight him untill he should procure a Certificate from the Commandant or some other Officer shewing he was not a Prisoner of War, in order that you might be indemnified (in case any accident happened) from the censure of a Court Martial. You also took me up Stairs and told me in confidence that you was to fight Mr. KEATING the next day at 8 in the Morning, and begged of me, in case any accident should befall you from the Duel, that I would charge myself with your Effects and remit their Value to your Brother at New York-- You likewise added that Mr. HEDDEN was to go with you as your Second-- You bound me by my Honour not to mention the matter to any one, and particularly to Capt. Taylor who was below and your particular Friend.

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?

        A. From his Actions, it appeared to me he would.

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?

        A. You did.

        Q.(By do) Had I one or two Pistols when I went out with you?

        A. You had two.

        Q.(By do) Were they guarded at the time I met Mr. KEATING?

        A. They were guarded when you put them in your Pocket, and you did not take them from your Pocket ‘till you met Mr. KEATING.

        Q.(By do) Did I call Mr. KEATING a damned Rascal before he struck me with his Cane?

        A. No.

        Q.(By the Court) After the deceased made that Blow, did Mr. ALLAIRE return it?

        A. No but drew a Pistol from his Pocket and told the Deceased to stand off, and that I think twice or three times, Mr. KEATING still persisted in Caneing him, at the instant the Pistol was fired, Mr. KEATING’s Cane was over his Head-- when Mr. ALLAIRE felt for his Pistols he drop’t his Cane.

        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?

        A. Yes.

        Q.(By the Court) Did you hear Mr. ALLAIRE offer one of his Pistols to the Deceased?

        A. No, the instant he put his Hands to his Pockets, the Deceased began Caneing him.

        Q.(By Do) What Conversation passed between Mr. KEATING and Mr. ALLAIRE prior to the Pistol’s being fired?

        A. When they met, Mr. ALLAIRE told him he no longer could conceive him to be a Prisoner of War, and that he was now come to demand immediate satisfaction. That Mr. KEATING told him he had nothing to do with him, he having reported him to the Commandant and Town Major, and that he was to be reported to his Regiment as a Cowardly Rascal;-- Mr. ALLAIR again repeated his demand of satisfaction, as the insult was such that no Gentleman could put up with. Mr. KEATING asked him if he wanted it there in the Street, and Mr. ALLAIRE answered No Sir, I don’t suppose you are properly Armed, any where, but immediately. That Mr. KEATING then told him he had nothing more to do with him-- That Mr. ALLAIRE answered but I must have some thing to do with you, and as he put his hands to his Pockets for his Pistols, Mr. KEATING immediately struck him-- That Mr. ALLAIRE retired some paces before he could get his Pistols unguarded, Mr. KEATING the whole time giving him some severe Blows with his Cane, that when the Pistol was unguarded, he cocked it and twice or thrice told Mr. KEATING to keep off, before the Pistol was fired.

        Q.(By the Prisr.) Did I not consult you on the Verbal Message Mr. KEATING sent me, and what was your Answer?

        A. You did consult me, and the opinion that I gave to you was that you should not fight him, as I remembered an instance of an Officer of the Jersey Battalions having killed an Officer of the Queens Rangers, and by producing the Deceased’s Challenge, he was Acquitted, Mr. KEATING therefore having sent no written Challenge I thought it would be imprudent for you to accept of the verbal one, least some accident should happen.

        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?

        A. You did.

        Q.(By the Court) How far was you from Lieut. ALLAIR and the Deceased when and before the Pistol was fired?

        A. No one was so nigh as Mr. AMBROSE and myself and I do not recollect any Person being in the Street ‘till after the Pistol was discharged.

The Court Adjourned till next Morning at Nine o'clock.

Click here for ---> Allaire Court Martial, Part 1

                               Allaire Court Martial, Part 2

                               Allaire Court Martial, Part 4

Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 71, Volume 93, pages 287-311.

Spacer Image

Click here for ---> More On-Line Courts Martial

                               Courts Martial Main Page

                               Top of Page

Spacer Image

The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies
For information please contact Todd Braisted

Copyright Restrictions    Document Formatting    Optimal Viewing