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.
Saturday 31st March 1781
Mr. John BEALE Inhabitant of Charles Town was called before the Court and being duly Sworn was examined.
Q.(By the Prisoner) Do you recollect what I told Mr. KEATING at the time he was lunging at me with a small Sword on Saturday Morning in Broad Street?
Q.(By the Court) Do you recollect if the Deceased made any reply to Mr. ALLAIRE at the offer of the Pistols?
Q.(By the Court) Do you think the Deceased was near enough to Mr. ALLAIRE to hear what he said?
Q.(By do) What other Gentlemen were present at the time in Mr. HICKS’s Shop?
Capt. John TAYLOR of the 1st Battn. New Jersey Volunteers was called before the Court, and being duly Sworn deposed that on Saturday last between One and two o’Clock in the afternoon he was Walking down Meeting Street, when he saw Lieut. ALLAIR and Mr. HEDDEN meet Mr. KEATING and Mr. AMBROSE about thirty or forty Yards from Mr. KEATING’s House--
that Mr. KEATING and Mr. ALLAIRE seem’d to be in some dispute, that Mr. ALLAIRE soon afterwards stepped round and faced Mr. KEATING, and at the same time put both Hands to his Pockets, as he imagined to take Pistols from his Pockets, at which moment Mr. KEATING struck him with a large stick, and afterwards caught at a Pistol in Mr. ALLAIRs Hand, and at the same time struck him with the Stick, after which Mr. ALLAIR wrenched the Pistol from him, stepped back and was fumbling at the Pistol, and he (the Dept.) thought, trying to unguard the Pistol, at which instant he presented it and said “keep off” at the words “keep off” Mr. ALLAIR received a Blow from the Deceased, and a second followed it,-- at which instant the Pistol was fired.
Q.(By the Court) At what distance was you from them at the time you first saw the Pistol?
Q.(By the Prisr.) Do you know Mr. BRAMARE?
Q.(By Do) Where did Mr. BRAMARE stand at the time of the Pistol’s being fired.
Q.(By the Court) Was he at the Gate of Mr. KEATING’s Quarters?
Q.(By the Prisoner) Do you think, from the situation Mr. BRAMARE stood in at that time, it was possible for him to judge of the distance I was from Mr. KEATING when I discharged the Pistol?
Q.(By the Prisr.) At what distance was I from Mr. KEATING when I discharged the Pistol?
Doctor Usual JOHNSTON Surgeon to the 1st Battn. New Jersey Volunteers, was called and being duly Sworn was examined.
Q.(By the Prisr.) When I left Mr. HEDDEN’s Quarters last Saturday did I take a Brace of Pistols with me and loose Powder and Ball?
Q.(By the Prisr.) Did not I tell Mr. HEDDEN to take all the Powder with him as I did not imagine there was so good to be got in the Town?
The Prisoner begged leave to remark to the Court that from the Evidence of Mr. AMBROSE, Mr. KEATING first lodged a Complaint of him at the Town Major’s, and afterwards treated him in the Manner mentioned at Mr. HICKS’s, from which it is to be imagined Mr. KEATING meant to put it out of his (the Prisoners) power to demand satisfaction from him and then to insult him.
The Court having duly Considered the Evidence for and against the Prisoner Lieut. Anthony ALLAIRE, together with what he had to offer in his Defence, is of Opinion that he is Not Guilty of the Charge laid against him (Viz.) of the Wilfull Murder of Ensign Robert KEATING of the Prince of Wales’s American Regiment on the 24th day of March 1781; and it doth therefore Acquit him of the same.
Allaire Court Martial, Part 3
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