Primary tabs

Depositions of John Walker and Martha Ash, Respecting the escape of Colonel Kirkland


Deposition of JOHN WALKER.

"On the 31st day of July, 1776, before the Council of Safety of the State of Pennsylvania, came John Walker, of the City of Philadelphia, and being sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, did depose and say, that about six or eight days after the time of Colonel Kirkland' s escape from the Jail, John Hale ordered this deponent to fill a pair of new saddle-bags with oats, and John Hale himself put into the saddle-bags a bottle, (which this deponent apprehended to be a bottle of brandy or other spirits,) and put a cloth over it; that the saddle-bags, thus filled, were put on a horse belonging to John Hale, and the horse delivered to a son of Arthur Thomas, and the horse was in the evening, about four or five o' clock, taken away by Mr˙ Thomas' s oldest apprentice; that some time afterwards, the deponent heard Arthur Thomas, Jr˙, say, that he had assisted Colonel Kirkland in his escape; and also that the deponent did hear the said Arthur Thomas, Jr˙, say to John Hale, that Colonel Kirkland rode the first night after his escape forty miles to the house of a man in New Jersey, who, Mr˙ Thomas said, had been taken up the day before for having entertained a soldier at his house; that Mr˙ Kirkland made his escape, through some surprise, out of a window; that Mr˙ Kirkland was lost for several days, and when he was found he did not know the person who found him, and drew his knife, charging him to keep off, but that on his giving the watchword, Kirkland went with him; that Colonel Kirkland had attempted to go on board the man-of-war by means of a boat, but that the man-of-war was gone too far off, and the boat was obliged to return; that he also heard the said Arthur Thomas tell Mr˙ Hale that Captain Bauger


refused to break his word of honour, which he had pledged for the liberty he enjoyed; that the said Thomas damned him for talking of honour to or among thieves and rogues; and that the said Arthur Thomas said to Mr˙ Hale, that it was not the thing for him (meaning Captain Bauger) not to go off after the trouble they had taken to send him a horse; that Mrs˙ Ash told this deponent that she had heard one, of the Thomases say to Mr˙ Hale that he (Mr˙ Thomas) had furnished Colonel Kirkland with a rope for the purpose of making his escape from jail; that this deponent understood the horse above-mentioned was intended for the use of Colonel Kirkland to facilitate his escape; and further this deponent saith not.

"JOHN WALKER, his mark."