Affidavit from Daniel Avery, 28 December 1843

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State of Illinois) ss
City of )
On the 28th day of Decr1843, came before me Joseph Smith Mayor of the aforesaid, and after being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that on the 2d day of December 1843, he was unlawfully arrested by force and arms, and Kidnapped And Kidnapped at Doty’s Mill in and aforesaid by Col. , his Son John Williams, <​of ​> , a school master from 4½ miles below , William Middleton and Joseph McCoy of Clark County Missouri and four others. held his bowie knife to his breast. Six of the other stood with their pistols cocked and th[e]ir fingers upon the triggers, muzzels presented at his body, ready to fire, and two stood with clubs, and, amid the most horrid oaths and imprecations, took and bound me with silk handerchiefs, your said and led him away between two men, one holding a savage bowie knife on one side and the other a cocked pistol on the other side, (having taking taken away your said s weapons [p. 1] while binding him in the Mill.) and led Your about a mile: your refused to walk any further, and they put him upon a horse and tied his legs under the horse, and , the aforesaid school Master, led the horse as fast as he could make his way, through a by way thicket and by way to the house of the aforesaid Here the Kidnappers eat and drank, and after they had unbound me, for they had bound me so tight that I was in great pain, I was also suffered to partake
They then put me upon the horse again, and bound me, and started for the . the said schoolmaster leading the horse, when he came near a school house where there was a meeting they came to a halt: sent messengers to the meeting, and, the course of haff [p. [2]] an hour they returned with an armed mob, with rifles and other weapons, sufficient to make the whole company number about 20. Being all on horse back they formed a circle, with your in the center, (who, up to this time had called upon <​acquainted​> every man he saw that “they were Kidnapping him,”) and marched in that order to a house on the piont below , And as I was very cold from being bound they took me into the house and loosed me to warm. I now called for a trial, as I had told them all the way thus I never resisted legal authority: They said they were huntng a magistrate: Says I under stand you, you mean to force me into . McCoy returned, and said we are ready. It was about midnight. We went about 300 yards up the to a skiff. I refused to cross, as they had promised me a trial. They foreced me into the skiff and bound me, and five men put me across. Their names, so far as I could ascertain, are William Middleton, William Clark, Joseph McCoy and the School master from <​and Charles Coolidge​> [p. [3]] 4½ Miles below . The<​y​> landed at the tavern on the south side of the , and took me into a back room: threw down a buffalo robe for my bed, but as my arms were bound so tight that I could not rest I Complained: Told Middleton Middleton thus was not the way he was used at My house. The<​y​> felt of <​at​> my arms and exclaimed:— By God their not too tight. I beg[g]ed to have one arm liberated, and finally they untied both, and I slept (under guard) on the buffalo <​robe​> before the fire.
About noon they got ready and started with me bound <​my guard d​> upon a horse, for McCoy’s about 12 miles distant, in Clark Co Mo. It being night when we arrived, and I unwell through fatigue and confinement, <​and the abuses befor recd​> I went to bed. The<​y​> had sent runners ahead and, after I had been in bed awhile, the Sheriff came up from Waterloo, the County Seat, a distance of about 2 miles to [p. [4]] arrest me and take me before a magistrate that night. but middleton and McCoy objected as I was sick. The Sheriff, however executed his writ and left me in their care till mor[n]ing: It being late before we breakfasted. he came in the Morning and made the second scope of his Authority and took me. He quized me the night before to draw something out for testimony but as innocence can not be effected with truth, he was as wise at one end the story as the other.
At Waterloo I was examined by a M[a]gistrate who committed <​me​> upon <​the substance of​> an affidavit made by my in duress with a bowie Knife at his breast, and <​upon​> a promise thus he should be liberated from Monticello Jail where he was Confined after being Kidnapped as some three or four weeks previous. My bonds were fixed at $1000. And, as I had no bail in such a strange place, I was started for Palmyra Jail in Marion County. The <​dept​> Sheriff took me to Mustgrove, <​the Sherriff​> a distance [p. [5]] of 10 Miles. Here I sued out a writ of Habeas Corpus, but the Jud<​ge​> remanded to <​me​> to prison. At Monticello my chains were taken off and I was at liberty (!) in the midst of a strong guard to view the town. Here a lawyer agreed to take me and my through Court (as the Missourians say) for a horse. Saw my in the prison: said he was forced At the point of a bowie Knife to Make an affidavit against me, but he Knew I was innocent. I tried to be left withe him in Jail, but no, I was complled to go to Palmyra, where I arrived the next evening. The Sheriff thrust me into the dungeon without waiting to eat, warm or anything else. The next morning the blacksmith Came into the jail an<​d​> ironed me to <​the middle of​> a great chain that was fast to the floor— I Where I remained in the horrid gloom of a prison two weeks. From thence the deputy sheriff started with me chained upon the horse in this wise:— [p. [6]] he chained my right leg and then passed the chain under the horse’s belly and So up to my left hand: In this way I travelled 9 miles, when we stopped and he changed the chain from my hand to the horse’s neck: we arrived at Monticello and I was chained all night. The next day I was conveyed to Waterloo and delivered into the Custody of the Sheriff of Clark County. I was kept under a strong guard by day and at night, chained to one of the guard or the bed post. I was informed that Middleston and McCoy procured an indicted <​indictment​> against me by giving bonds to the amount of some two or three hundred dollars, thus they would hunt up testimony to the point for next court, theire b[e]ing nothing against me but the affidavit of my son before alluded to, and so the grand Jury formed a bill. Ellison, my lawyer, deceived me, and put over my case for six months, because, as I suppose, I being Kidnaped [p. [7]] had no fees for him. I objected to having my trial put off 6 months: I did not fancy the dungeon of Palmyra prison. The court concluded to let me to bail under bonds of $1000 but this I could not obtain: subsequently it was reduced to $500, but all in vain for I was unacquainted with the people. This was on Saturday and I was thus left to meditate on the mischief that may be made out of a little matter by meddlesome men: On Monday I sued out a writ of Habeas Corpus and after a fair hearing of the matter I received the following Order
State of Missouri) sct
County of Clark)
ordered by the Clark County Court, Decer. 25th, 1843, that Samuel Morgan, <​Musgrove​> of sheriff of said <​Clark​> County, discharge from imprisonment on an indictment found against him for the alleged crime of stealing a— mare of Joseph McCay’s [p. [8]]
L.S.
By order of Court Witness Willis Card Clerk of said court and seal of Office this 25th Decer. 1843
Done at office in Waterloo Date Above
Willis Card Clerk
Hon John W. Dawellen)
Henry Snively) Judges)
Very early on Tuesday morning your said Started for and arrived the Same evening about Sunday <​Sundown​> a distance of near twenty miles so crippled from the Iron bondage and hard usage of that he is hardly able to walk. To those whose assisted your said to obtain his release from bondage he tenders his greatful acknowledgements, and further your saith not.
Subscribed and Sworn to before me this 28th day of Decr. 1843
Clerk M. C— [p. [9]]
Decr. 28. 1843
Drt. Affidavit of relative to his being kidnapped.
 
Decr. 29. 1843
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Footnotes

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    Insertion in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

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    Insertion in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

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    Insertion in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

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    Insertion in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

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    Insertion in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

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    Insertion in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

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    Insertion in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

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    Insertion in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

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    Docket in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.