St. Albans, Vt - Confederate and Fenian Raids.
Franklin County, VT Biographies





St. Albans has been the scene of several exciting events. On the 19th day of October, 1864, occurred what has since been known as the St. Albans raid. A band of twenty two confederate guerillas came from Canada, and gathered at the hotels as guests and strangers to each other, and, at a concerted hour, robbed the banks in open daylight, killed one man, and escaped with their plunder into Canada. The entire amount taken by the robbers was $208,000. They were arrested in Canada, examined, and discharged by the magistrates, on the ground that it was out of their jurisdiction to hold them, it being in time of war. The Canadian government, however, did not sympathize with the magistrates in their decision. The governor general, Lord Monck, recommended to the provincial parliament, that they appropriate $50,000 in gold, to be paid to the banks as an equivalent for thee money found upon the captured robbers, and which had been restored to them by the order of Justice Coursel. This was voted by the parliament and paid to the banks, being equivalent to $88,000 in currency, so that the banks lost about $120,000. Many shots were fired by the raiders, and it seems almost a miracle that a number of the citizens were not killed or wounded. Minus J. Morrison, the only victim, was a resident of Manchester, N. H., and was engaged as a contractor in erecting the brick work of the Welden House. Morrison was in the street, and the firing becoming general in his vicinity, he undertook to escape in a millinery store, and had his hand upon the door knob, when one of the robbers, named Young, fired at him, the shot passing through his hand into the abdomen. Morrison died two days later.

In June, 1866, St. Albans was again the scene of considerable interest and excitement, by the concentration here "of the right wing of the army of Ireland," more commonly known as the Fenian organization, for the invasion of Canada. On the 6th of the month they gathered at Franklin, and on the 7th, their commanding officer, Gen. Spear, ordered an advance, and they crossed the line into Canada, where the "headquarters of the army of Ireland " was located, the force amounting to about 1200 men. The project of invading Canada, however, was given up by them a few days after, and the men returned to their homes.


From:
Advantages, Resources and Attraction of
St. Albans, VT.
Published for the Board of Trade
1889


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