General Hull's Capitulation: Kingston Gazette, October 17, 1812, page 3
From the United States.
From the Boston Centinel.
General Hull's Capitulation.
All the railers of the Administration agree, that infamy must attach to some of their party, in consequence of the Capitulation of Detroit. We add our "so let it be." But let Justice be done, and the Truth be exposed to the face of day. Let facts be known before sentence be pronounced. The Administration, or General Hull, are unquestionably the authors of the disgrace which has befallen the country.—But if newspapers are to determine the question, most powerful are the odds against the individual General. Already have an hundred hireling pens denounced him as the sole cause of the disgrace, and branded him, unheard and untried, as a "traitor," a coward," and a "blockhead." Whilst not one of the pens which so recently eulogized his unfortunate Proclamation, and so flippantly trimmed up his deservings as a soldier, a schollar and a Patriot, now sheds one drop of ink to expose the gross contradictions, the glaring falsehoods, and the apparent forgeries, which have marked the charges of his outrageous accusers. They have not even inquired why the Commanders of Mackinac, Forts Wayne and Dearborn are not entitled to a proportionate share of the democratic odium which has been so liberally issued to the commander of Detroit! Not a word of this. But such is the instability of political friendships! As soon as the disaster was known, it was also known that a sin-offering would be required:—And the Administration, and the hankerers after their "loaves and fishes," were simultaneous in their chice of the victim. They know from experience, that the great portion of the People had been "left to believe lies," and they soon found hirelings who could force and circulate enough to satiate the most credulous appetite. By one general shout, the charges of "treason," "cowardice" and "incapacity" were preferred against Gen. Hull—the man whom the administration had long delighted to honor—from every democratic press and pen:—and even the "former friends" and "political copartners" of the victim, were among the foremost to furnish sticks to kindle the fire at the altar on which their "dear friend" was to be immolated. But innocence shall have the power to vindicate itself. Much as we disagree with General Hull in politics, we are decidedly of opinion that in the act of surrendering Detroit he did no more than what duty and humanity required of a General situated as he was; who had never been furnished with the means essential to the capture of Malden; who was left, by the gross improvidency of the Government, without resources to defend himself a half day longer; and when it was reduced to a certainty, that this defense could not avert the fate of the post, but would have justified, by the laws of war, the indiscriminate sacrifice of the whole Garrison, and the pillage of the inhabitants; we feel satisfied even he stands acquitted by his own heart of the base charges which his political friends have brought against him; and we believe he will be also acquitted by any military tribunal which may be instituted to inquire into his conduct—if that Tribunal, as it ought to be, is composed of officers who are men of honor and independence—who are not ignorant of the circumstances and rights of war; and who know what are the obligations of duty on an officer who has the lives of thousands in his keeping; and will rightly appreciate that courage which dares to do its duty at any hazard. We do not utter this on light ground. The most malignant charge against our countryman—that of having surrendered an army without firing a gun, has already been proved to be an atrocious falsehood. We know, too, that the reported disapprobation of Colonel Miller is false; and that he advised and negotiated the capitulation, as did also Col. Bush, an officer of the militia. If charges of this sort are so soon proved false, those of minor import will speedily vanish. We have not time nor room to dwell on this article.—But we leave sufficient materials to prove, that not only the surrender of Detroit, but the fall of the Forts of Mackinaw, Wayne and Dearborne, (not ominous we trust) are solely attributable to the criminal improvidence and utter incapacity of the present Administration to conduct the war.