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DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the tenth day of January, in the forty-eighth year of the Independence of the United States of America, AMMI ROGERS, of the said District, hath deposited in this Office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Author in the words following, to wit: "Memoirs of the Rev. Ammi Rogers, A. M. a clergyman of the Episcopal Church, educated at Yale College, in Connecticut, ordained in Trinity Church, in the City of New-York, &c."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled "An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the cop"ies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of "such copies during the times there in mentioned."
CHAS. A. INGERSOLL, Cle.k of the
District of Connecticut.
A true copy of Record, examined and sealed by me,
CHAS. A. INGERSOLL, Clerk of the
From a paper printed in the city of Hartford in Connecticut, January 31st, 1824, entitled THE FREE PRESS AND INDEPENDENT REPORTER, intended to review and give an opinion of every new publication in that State.
"We have just finished reading the Memoirs of the Rev. Ammi Rogers, late an Episcopal Clergyman of this state. If we have entertained unfavourable impressions in regard to his innocence, they are now entirely obliterated. We sincerely believe him to be an unfortunate, persecuted man, and hope every one who has spoken and thought ill of his character, will do their consciences the justice to read his feeling appeal to the public. If, as he says, he had been a federal presbyterian minister, [that is a federal congregational presbyterian minister in Connecticut, who was in favor of an established sect, in favor of a union of church and state, in favor of compelling people by force of law to support that which they did not believe to be true,] "his character would have been shielded, and his person defended from all prosecutions, yea the plotters and abettors of this unparelled per secution held up to everlasting contempt. How far this remark is true, let the circumstances be given in evidence.”
TO THE READER.
WHEN a citizen, by groundless prejudice, by false representations and by palpable perjuries, has been made a victim to ecclesiastical denunciations and civil prosecutions when the privileges arising from civil liberty and religious freedom have been wrested from him, he still has one privilege left, the privilege of complaining. A statement of his case, and an appeal to the public, is the dernier resort of an injured man; such an appeal, supporten by satisfactory evidence, secures a sentence in favour of the oppres ed. To disregard such a sentence would not be just, and even if it were just, it would not be possible. There has been, for years past, much animadversion on the union of Church and State. I have practically felt the operation of this two fold cord which is now happily broken in Connecticut, and which has almost prostrated me in the destruction of it. But I still survive, and amidst the heavy artillery of a departed Bishop, and the artful machinations and cruel batteries of a Connecticut State's Attorney, I have been sustained by a consciousness of my innocence, and by the blessing of that merciful Being" who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb." I live to make this my last effort through the press, which, Heaven be praised, is still untrammelled, to evince my innocence and my integrity.Equal justice is due to all men, and the lovers of truth are so far the lovers of God. I cannot therefore but indulge the hope, that an enlightened and compassionate public will give the following pages an attentive reading, and an impartial consideration. To render railing for railing is no part of my profession, and to expose the real faults of iny fellow citizens is no pleasure to me, and I intend not to do it, any further forth, than a religious regard to duty shall compel ine. All human tribunals, whether civil or ecclesiastical, may and do err, and that which has been solemnly approved and sanctioned at one time, has been no less solemnly disproved and discarded at another. But without referring to former examples, those of a recent date will serve my purpose.
In the year 1819, Stephen and Jesse Bourn were arrested,
tried and condemned, in the state of Vermont, for the murder of one Colvin, the time and place of their execution were appointed, and no doubt of their guilt was indulged: but behold, just before the hour of their execution arrived, the said Colvin returned home hearty and well, and had not been injured! Here was much smoke, but no fire--no murder, no crime had been committed on the said Colvin, or on any other person by any one. In the year 1820, John C. Decker and Gideon Braman were arrested, tried and condemned to hard labour in the State Prison of New York during their natural lives, for a burglary committed in Kinderhook; and after having been confined and laboured there about four months, it was undeniably proved that the said burglary was committed by George Lanman, and that they were entirely ignorant and innocent of the whole transaction. They were released, and Lanman is now in their place. Here again was smoke but no fire, as it respected them. It is not long since Joseph Inman was arrested. red and condemned to be hung. within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, for the murder of Oliver Holmes; but before the time of execution arrived, Judge Arnold, in passing through the town of Dedham, or its vicinity, met the said Holmes on the road, hearty and well, and had not been injured. The Judge knew bim, took him into his carriage, conveyed him to the proper authority, and saved the life of the said Inman. It is not long since a man of East Hartford was arrested, tried before the Superior Court of Connecticut, for forging a note; he was declared guilty, condemned and imprisoned in Newgate. But it was afterwards proved that the said note was forged by one Peck, and that he was innocent of the crime; he was released and Peck run away. It is not long since two men by the name of Saow were arrested, in the county of Windham and state of Connecticut, for burning a paper mill in that place. They were tried before the Superior Court, declared guilty, and sentenced to imprisonment in Newgate, in Simsbury mines, for life, and there they both died, constantly protesting their innocence to their last breath; and it is now beyond a doubt that they were falsely accused and unjustly condemned, and that
building was burnt by one Salter, who, it is said, has since
confessed it. It is not long since a Mr. Berger was arrested, tried, condemned, and underwent the most exemplary and severe punishment in Baltimore, in the state of Maryland, for stealing $1,000 from a widow woman; he was whipped, cropped and branded; but within a few weeks the money was found and recovered from a man in Virginia; and undeniably proved that Berger was entirely innocent of the crime.In the year 1819, James Lanman, Esq. brought an information against me for committing crimes with Aseneth Caroline Smith, a single woman, in Griswold in the county of NewLondon, and state of Connecticut. In October, 1820, I had my trial, (if it can be called a trial,) the particulars of which will be stated hereafter. I was declared guilty, suffered two years imprisonment in the common jail in Norwich in said county; and within a few months after I was released, 1 proved beyond all contradiction, before a joint committee of both of the honourable General Assembly of Connecticut, in the Senate chamber, in the city of Hartford, that I was not, and for a long time had not been within about one hundred miles of Griswold, or of the said Aseneth, where, and when the crimes were committed, if they ever were committed by any one; nay, she herself appeared in person before the said committee in the said Senate chamber, and made solemn oath, which certainly was true, that I was absolutely innocent of the whole transaction, for which, on her account, I had unjustly suffered two year's imprisonment; that she had been overpersuaded, and hired by the said Lanman and others, to accuse me falsely, and to commit perjury,which had broken her peace of mind, and caused her more sorrow, trouble, and tears, than all the transactions of her life beside.
This her confession and testimony were supported' by the testimony of others, and my innocence could not but be apparent to every unprejudiced mind. Oh, how I fear! how I tremble! how I feel for those poor, unfortunate, miserable creatures who have committed, and been accessary to the dreadful sin of perjury! have they indeed formed a plan! have they devised means! have they effected their dreadful purpose of the disgrace, imprisonment, and utter ruin, in this world, of an innocent man, of a minister of the Gospel, of one
who had always been their friend! Oh, how I lament, how I deplore and bemoan their sin, their ingratitude, their baseness!"Oh, that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people."
For courts of law to err, is not uncommon; but the injustice of which I here complain, is neither common nor small; I feel to forgive my enemies, persecutors and slanderers, but I desire that truth and justice may come to light; that perjury, wickedness, and vice may be suppressed. "He that hath an ear to hear let him hear." In this world the justice and goodness of the divine government will often escape the satisfaction of the most pious and diligent inquirer; the innocent are often condemned, while the guilty go clear, and with a fair character. Virtue is condemned to the punishment of vice. and vice receives the reward of virtue. Jesus Christ, himself, is born in a manger, while the murderous Herod, who had put 14,000 children to death, who were two years old and under, ascends the throne of Israel. The good St. Paul is a prisoner in chains while the bloody Nero sways the sceptre of the whole Roman Empire. The good John Rogers is burnt at the stake in Smithfield, by the Roman Catholics, while the infamous Bonner is the first bishop in England.The good Lewis the sixteenth is beheaded, while the ambitious and hypocritical Bonaparte, who had drenched Europe with blocd, murdered 6000 men between Java and Gaza in Asia, and changed God's holy Sabbaths to the tenth day, ascends the throne of France. The amiable Major Andre is hung at West Point, like a thief, and a murderer, while the traitorous and detestable Arnold is a Major General. The Rev. Ammi Rogers is a prisoner in Norwich, in Connecticut, while the hypocritical, coxcomical and detestable James Lanman is a Senator of the United States, while the suborners of perjury in the case of Mr. Rogers are at the bar, or in the faculty; but now by the just judgment of God, are stripped of the small portion of respect which they once received.
That equal justice is always done to all men in this world, is not true; and on this ground, even the heathen philosophers very justly argued the existence of a God, and the immortality of the soul; for say they, if there be a God, he must be