Today in History:

52 Series I Volume L-II Serial 106 - Pacific Part II


my post daily, accompanied by a judge of the circuit court from Portland. Agreeable to my promise, I shall accompany the Governor to Port Townsend, and should he deem it necessary to call on me for troops I will furnish a detachment from this post for the purpose of preserving law and order until such times as I can receive instructions from the general commanding the Department of the Pacific. Be pleased to call the general's attention as soon as possible to this matter and furnish me with definite directions.

Very respectfully, I am, sir, your most obedient servant,


Major Ninth Infantry, Commanding.

P. S. -Please direct to Fort Steilacoom. A report will be forwarded by me on arriving at Port Townsend.


G. W. P.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.] EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Olympia, Wash, Ter., Saturday Evening, August 2, 1862.

Major G. W. PATTEN, U. S. Army,

Steilacoom, Wash, Ter.:

DEAR SIR: Having heard this afternoon of the unfortunate condition of affairs at Port Townsend, where the commanding officer of the U. s. vessel, the Shubrick, is reported to have ordered the round shot to be taken out of all the cannons on board that vessel and then had them all reloaded with shells, and pointed the cannon at, and threatened to fire upon, that town, thereby threatening the destruction of every house in the whole town, with all the property therein, and also placing in imminent peril the lives of all the population of unarmed, unoffending, and loyal citizens, with all their women and children, this appears to me a great outrage, and also in violation of all known law and usage of a civilized country, and especially of our own country. The records, books, papers, &c., belonging to the U. S. custom-house at Port Townsend were forcibly conveyed on board the Shubrick, and thereby the United States Government is at this time without any properly or legally located custom-house for the entries and clearances of vessels trading to the various ports of Puget Sound. Such are the reports brought here to-day. I therefore intend going to Port Townsend by the first favorable conveyance for the purpose of ascertaining the facts in the case, and to understand by my own observation the truth of this whole affair, and more especially for the purpose of preventing, as far as lies in my power, any further breach of the peace, and to endeavor to prevent any more threatenings of our town being fired upon with cannon shot and shells; for to threaten to shell a town in our country is virtually and positively to threaten the entire destruction of its inhabitants and all their houses and other property. And now, sir, I beg leave to respectfully reuest you will go with me to Port Townsend, for I shall indeed be glad to enjoy the favor of your company, and I shall also feel thankful for the favor and benefit of your experience and advice upon the complicated and delicate questions of law and conventiona usage, or professional etiquette, always to be rightfully observed between officers representing co-ordinate branches of the same Government. In other words, I want to be right and want to do right, and shall feel obliged by the favor of your advice in the whole affair.

I ramain, dear sir, yours, very respectfully,


Governor of Washington Territory.