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lies before me; and, in order to show dence of his guardian in New Orleans. how inconsistent its tone is with the This interview, adds Mr. Iaskins, took disclosures asserted to have been made place in Buffalo, partly in my father's by the Prince, the following extract office, and partly at the Farmer's Hotel, will suflice:
between the years 1837 and 1810; and ·
while I do not remember the precise So well pleased am I with the books, and so high an opiniou do I entertain of your Royal date, I can affirm most positively that Highness' benevolence and friendship, as to this conversation took place more than embolden me to appear before him as a sup- a year and a half before Mr. Williams' pliant for a similar favor. For years I have meeting with the Prince de Joinville." been desirous to acquaint myself with the writ
In connection with this, the fact ings of the French, either in civil or ecclesiastical histories, as well as in theology. If it appears from his journal that Mr. Wilis not asking and intruding too much upon liams was in Buffalo at about that your Royal Highness' goodness, may I hope time; and that he was in the habit of that he will give a favorable hearing to my lodging at the Farmer's Hotel. If this humble request.
testimony be true, it indicates that Mr. From these facts, which thcory seems Williams did not derive his first imto be more likely ;--that they had liad pressions of his royal origin from the a friendly communication together on Prince, but that he had been brooding historical subjects; or that the Prince over the matter long before. It also had revealed to Mr. Williams the awful goes far to cast distrust over all Mr. intelligence that he was the rightful Williams' assertions. Furthermore, it King of France, and he was himself his is noticeable that, although much insubject ? The journal in which the quired after, no original medals or circumstances of the Prince's visit are documents of any kind were ever pronarrated consists of sheets stitched duced by Mr. Williams. Subsequently loosely together; and it would be le said that he had received letters entirely possible to interpellate new from several French bishops and one matter into it, or indeed to write it cardinal, and also one from the secrewholly over.
tary of the present Emperor, all inquirThe New York Courrier des Etats ing into his history. But when these, Unis in February, 1954, says that it had or any other original letters or medals received a letter from an “honorable were asked for, Mr. Williams always citizen of Buffalo, Mr. Gco. H. Haskins, declared that they had been lost, or who affirms that nearly two years before burnt, or been mysteriously stolen. And the journey of the Prince de Joinville while to one person Mr. Williams says to the United States, Mr. Williams had that he immediately answered the Emconfided to him, under the seal of the peror's letter, to another he writes that most profound secrecy, that he was not he lias refused to notice it.. what he appeared to be, and that he But, in 1848, Mr. Williams says that was in reality the Dauphin of France. he received a letter from Thos. Kimball, As proof on this point, Mr. Williams of Baton Rouge, informing him that an showed Mr. Haskins an engraved por- aged French gentleman had just died trait of Marie Antoinette, that he in New Orleans, who, on his death-bed, might judge of the resemblance between had broken the oath of silence which them, and also a small copper medal of he had long before been forced to take; devotion, such as the Indians wear and that he had declared that it was about the neck, and not having any he who had brought the Dauphin to connection with any historical medal of this country, and had placed him the reign of Louis XVI. The story among the Indians, and that the Dauincluded all the imaginary circum- phin was none other than Eleazar Wilstances that Mr. Hanson has collected, liams. -the idiocy of early infancy, the sana- Now, in the first place, there are two tive fall into Lake George, and the resi- copies of this journal among Mr. Wfil
liams' papers; and the copy from which Mr. Williams' claims. They spoke of Mr. Hanson wrote is evidently the later Mr. Williams in the third person, and transcript; and it differs in several re- purported to be founded on well-known markable particulars from the earlier facts in Mr. Williams' life. The public copy. Some things are added, others mind was being educated to wonder are taken away, and there is a change who this person was, and what truth of the words “ New Orleans or Havana," there was in his claims. But, in reality, for “New Orleans and Helena ;” and under whatever names these 'articles there is nothing about Vanderheyden, were sent to the publishers, they. all of Albany, in the first copy. Then, emanated from Mr. Williams himself. while this is all the information which And this manner of writing anonymousthe journal gives, and Mr. Williams ly, or under an assumed name, and as states that he derived all his informa- though great facts were held in reserve, tion on this subject from this letter of was a method by which ever afterward Mr. Kimball's; in another part of Mr. Mr. Williams kept himself before the Williams' papers we have a most elabo- public eye. I quote one letter, out of rate, extra-historical account of the cir- many which could be given, as a specicumstances under which the oath was men, written in December, 1848, to the taken by Bellanger in France, the name Rev. Mr. Clark, of Manlius, New York; of the bishop who administered it,” &c. and this is in Mr. Williams' handwritThen, while Mr. Hanson, in April, 1853 ing: (Putnam's, p. 450), says that “at the
May I add here, to what I have already time that his previous article was pre- stated of Mr. Williams' origiu, that there is pared (January, 1853), Mr. Williams certainly a mystery in the birth and descent was not aware that any person named of this man. The register of the baptisms of Bellanger was known historically to the family of his reputed father in Canada,
which I have received within a few days past have been in communication with the
from the priest, affirms that there is no such Dauphin during the last hours spent in
name as Eleazar in the family of Thomas Wilthe Temple,” I have before me a state- liams. There are circumstances apparently ment written by Mr. Williams before strong in their nature which
induce me to think 1850, in which he uses these words : that Mr. Williams is the Dauphin, or Louis
XVII. of France. • “ The brave and humane Bellanger who had charge of the Dauphin arrived at
And I have before me a letter written Lake George,” &c. I know not how in July, 1848, to Mr. E. Irving, of New we can extricate Mr. Williams in such a York, thanking him for the trouble case without concluding that he was which he had been at in going to half deceiving Mr. Hanson. Then, finally, a dozen offices before he could get the although Mr. Kimball is spoken of as notice of the Dauphin published. A an acquaintance of Mr. Williams in the strong point made by Mr. Hanson in first copy of the journal,-not in the Mr. Williams' behalf was that, so far last, the published copy,—we never from bringing his claims before the meet with any mention of him · before public, Mr. Williams had been strongly or after in his life. Inquiries were averse to it. The facts which I have naturally put to Mr. Williams as to given prove the contrary. It is noticeawhere this person was; but he never ble that, in these earlier publications, answered them. And, although Mr. the point which Mr. Williams insists Hanson searched diligently in New upon mainly is the absence of his name Orleans, he could find no trace what from the register at Caughnawaga, and ever of the death of any such French- the proof that he finds therein that he man as Mr. Kimball mentions.
is not Thos. Williams' son, He barely But from this time, 1848, paragraphs alludes to the Prince's visit and Kimbegan to appear in various newspapers, ball's letter, and asks what these must in New York, Philadelphia, Buffalo, mean. It was left for Mr. Hanson later Albany, and other places, respecting to work up the antecedent probabilities,
and to elaborate and multiply the session of any historical facts in relation to
this wonderful man. proofs.
At length, in July, 1849, an article But a new direction and spirit were appeared in the United States Magazine imparted to the subject when Mr. Hanwhich purported to be a review of a life son took the matter up. Whatever Mr. of the Dauphin written by Mr. H. B. Williams' disposition was, Mr. Hanson Ely. But the book had no existence entered into the subject con amore, and outside of the review, and, although I pursued it with the honest energy which cannot say positively that the article characterized his nature. No hope of was written by Mr. Williams, yet it is ulterior advantages were
needed to very much in his style ;; and, certainly, stimulate the search; Mr. Hanson beno such person as Mr. H. B. Ely ever lieved that Mr. Williams was indeed appeared afterward in the controversy, the Dauphin; that he had been grossly although inquired after. But the article wronged; and he determined to beserved its purpose as a point d'appui, to friend his suit. And the effect of the which Mr. Williams could refer inquir- ' change is as manifest, immediately, in ers, and on which Mr. Williams could looking over the papers, as is the relief support, what was then the more im- in going out of a fetid atmosphere into portant consideration to him, his claims the open air. The anonymous parabefore Congress. A letter sent under graphs and correspondence under asanother name, but in Mr. Williams' sumed names now cease, and the royal handwriting, is before me, addressed to claims are put forth avowedly. a member, in which he refers to the In the meantime Mr. Williams had articles concerning Mr. Williams' high been reduced to such straits in the West hirth, in the public prints, and thinks that in 1850 he came East to endeavor that if, on the strength of them, and of to engage his services to certain parties the assistance rendered to the United for the removal of the Senecas from the States by his reputed father, Louis XVI., Indian territory to the upper waters of a strong speech were made, it could the Mississippi. But, as his overtures hardly fail to help on his suit. In a were declined, and he was bidden to letter written in October, 1850, to a consider the correspondence closed, and gentleman in this city, while he urges as there was nothing left for him in the expediency of throwing out occa- Wisconsin, he went to St. Regis, in the sional paragraphs in the papers about northern part of this State, where a his claims, he only refers to them as portion of his father's tribe had a they may help on his case before Con- reservation, and commenced a school gress. Indeed in several letters he there. Then, as he shortly after reurges his friends to keep his name and ceived a missionary appointment from the subject before the public.
the Diocesan Society of New York, and And in this anonymous way, with a the Boston Unitarian Society, and sucview to its influencing matters at Wash- ceeded in procuring many subscriptions ington, with as many men in buckram for his work, he made up his mind to as he chose to personate, the agitation remain in the East, and resume clerical was kept up until the time when Mr. duty. And this he was the more inHanson commenced his investigations. duced to do as there sprang up under Thus in August 1850, Mr. Williams his hand, directly he came East, a brood wrote, under an assumed name, of of new claims upon Congress and the course, to a Mr. Reed of Buffalo.
Vermont Legislature which he could It so happened that I was at the Eagle Ho. more conveniently prosecute at St. tel, in Philadelphia, when you and Mr. Wil. Regis. Neither his wife nor his son liams (the Dauphin of France) were there.
returned to the East with hin'; nor Curiosity, as well as having taken an interest in the history of the unfortunato Prince, bas
had they, in spite of Mr. Williams' led me to address you, and ask you to have representations to the contrary, even the goodness to inform me if you are in pos- any faith in his royal aspirations.
It is not our business to examine all sentiments have been strengthened and in the new considerations in behalf of Mr.
creased by the everfts of many years up to the Williams' kingly claims which Mr. Han
present hour. We trust we have learned so
much of the Gospel of the Son of God, that son's assiduity unearthed. Many of
whenever an individual of the human race is them exhaust themselves in proving found, we look upon that person as our brother, that the Dauphin may not have died in without regard to his rank or origin. We 1795; whereas the further and more
have bitherto enjoyed the quiet of a private
and retired life; we have no solicitude for a important question for us is whether the facts of Mr. Williams' life, as revealed responsible station in the government
are we insensible to the high trust and arduous by his papers, go to show whether he responsibilities of the Chief Magistrate of a was the Dauphin, even granting that state. But should we be called to the high the Dauphin did not die in 1795. We office which was formerly held by our anceshave passed in review the main grounds tors, we shall endeavor so to discharge the
duties of that station, as to show that the conon which Mr. Williams rested his case;
fidence reposed in us was not misplaced. the facts are as they have been stated; the conclusion from them others may impossible to say. He also declares in
What use he made of this paper it is forin. A noticeable feature as revealed by he has been visited by two French Com
a letter to a gentleman in this city, that Mr. Williams' papers is that, while at
missioners from France, who, he says, first, he rarely ever asserts his own confidence in his claims, his assurance
to all appearance are searching into seems to strengthen itself as the belief
the history of his life; a fact which gained ground in others. And so, for
rests on no other authority than his three years after the appearance of the
word. Although it does not appear first article in Putnam's Monthly, during
that he ever had any foreign correwhich time Mr. Hanson’s book appeared, the Prince de Joinville, he writes to a
spondent, except, in that one instance, and the controversy waxed hot on the subject, as Mr. Williams was flooded
friend that he “had lately received a with compliments and communications, communication from a respectable genhe came to believe himself a veritable
tleman in France who is the nephew of prince in disguise.
Mr. Laurent, who attended upon the Notes are directed to him under the Dauphin for a time in the Temple. title of Louis XVII., and he is addressed
This aged gentleman, now eighty-four in them as “Your most gracious Ma
years old, states that he was the very jesty." He signs himself with the person who took the Dauphin, in the royal cypher, "L. C.;" he says that night when the Dauphin was rescued, "he wishes to maintain the dignity of
from the Temple, and bore him to a his family by manifesting at all times
little boat in the river Seine, where he in his conduct that sense of honor
was received by friendly hands." which becomes his royal race;" he
And in 1857 he says that a letter
from Lyons had been sent, “ in the care confidently anticipates the time when
of the house of Cope, Philadelphia," in he shall be called back to France to restore the government on its old basis ;
which the following information was
contained : he writes anonymously a communication for a newspaper, declaring - that the Monsieur I- says, “With faltering steps Count de Chambord is investigating truckle bed; on this low couch the sovereign
I moved towards a dark recess containing a his claims, and that the Bourbon and
of France was lying, under the effects of a Orleans branches are uniting in self-de- powerful opiate. With a throbbing heart I fence against him. He prepared also a stretched forth my arms, and put one of them royal manifesto in these words :
gently under his shoulders, and raised him up.
* Lend me some assistance for a moment, MonIt is due to ourselves to say that in early sieur,' said I. We wrapped him in a large life we imbibed a sacred regard for constitu- black mantle. The mightiest of the kings of tional liberty, human rights, universal free. Europe was now in our arms a helpless babe. dom, and the good of the race. And these We began to descend. At the second turn,
"Who goes there?' was the challenge. “Hear. of restoratives he revived, and with great simen and earth!' thought I; 'I have been de. plicity entreated his attendants to carry him ceived.' But at the next moment the voice of back. the officer of the guard was heard, “Pass,
Really, at tbis rate, the manufacture pass.'"
of history becomes the easiest thing in But this is not the only point at the world. which information springs up con- But, by reason of his absorption in veniently for Mr. ' William's benefit, this matter, and the continued prosecuwhich no previous historian had ever tion of his Indian claims at Washing. recorded. In a memoir of Louis XVI.
ton, and the consequent absences from and Marie, during their imprisonment, home, Mr. Williams' duties became neg. in Mr. Williams' handwriting, we have lected to such an extent that his misthis incident given on authority which sionary stipend was withdrawn in 1855. he does not recollect to furnish.
Just before this, too, his indefatigable In the night following the baptism of the friend, Mr. Hanson died; and, while Dauphin, that is worthy of notice which is the Bourbon discussion brought him said to have happened to the queen in her notoriety and some presents, it did not sleep, in relation to the infant. She saw her bring success to his suite before Conchild in manhood, and his dress was all black, and he was in the midst of a large concourse
gress, and Mr. Williams began to be in of people, whom he was addressing in the
want. He drew heavily upon the most forcible language, entreating them to generosity of his friends; but he never obey the Word of God. When the queen was very provident, and the Indians related her nocturnal vision to the king and
used to say, with regard to the money and other friends, it was done with an air of pleasantry. “What,” she says,
“ will my son
which he was soliciting for them, that be a minister of religion? Will he proclaim “ he had a hole in his pocket.” the faith of Christ in the fields ? For surely it In 1856 he fancied that poison bail was in the meadow where I saw him and the been administered to him by foreign people, and he was in the dress of the Reformed
emissaries either in Philadelphia or in ministers!”
this city, the effects of which poison he And further, while even Mr. Hanson, had been suffering from for two years. after all his researches, leaves the man- In the Spring of 1858, the public prints ner of the Dauphin's removal obscure, gave out that Mr. Williams had narrowMr. Williams conveniently furnishes a ly escaped assassination at Washington. minute account of it, still, however, re- In writing to a friend, Mr. Williams serving his authority.
gives the following account of the
affair: To effect the Dauphin's liberation, every preparation had been made by the few active For more than two years I have been warned friends in Paris, upon whom a profound secrecy
by my friends in the Atlantic cities to be carehad been enjoined as necessary to the success
ful, and not walk out in the evenings without of their perilous enterprise, and to the preserva
an attendant. I was informed in Washington tion of their own lives. The several parts
that the French Emperor had agents and spies assigned to the actors immediately at the all over the country, under pretence of seeking Temple were most faithfully performed, and
after those who had attempted his life. The this gave a favorable turn to the whole move- police of the city was doubled in the vicinity ment. At two o'clock in the morning, the
of my residence. In the night of the affair my young Dauphin, wrapped up in a bed mattress,
spirit was raised to the highest pitch in de. was conveyed to a house in the neighborhood,
fence of my life. I fell upon my antagonist where he was dressed in clothes made for the
like a furious lion, drove him from one corner journey, and thence to the carriage in which
of the room to the other, until I wrested the he and his attendants were to be carried to
instrument of death from his hands. He then Flanders and Holland, and thence to England.
fled, and left the dagger on the floor, and it is The Dauphin was in such a feeble state that
now in my possession. his little remaining strength gave way as they How much of this was fact, and how were leaving the barriers of Paris; and the attendants became alarmed lest he should ex
much imagination, each one must settle pire in their arms. He sainted several times
for himself. And yet, in this connecand ceased to breathe. But on the application tion, it is but just to give Mr. Hanson's