To Colonel Isaac Clark Commandant of champlain District.
We the undersigned persistently [sp.?] and humbly pray you would take our unhappy and deplorable case into consideration, by your merciful interposition arrest the execution of the sentence of death about to be consummated.
We have offended and broken the laws of our country, and by them, we are condemned to suffer the most ignominious punishment justly merited by us; and necessary to others, as an example, not to be guilty of a like offence. - the end of punishment is the reforma - tion of the criminal, and a warning to others; if consistent with your duty, we ask you, under god, to open to us the doors of mercy: to lengthen out our span of escis - tence, that by our penitence, and example, we may be as monuments of mercy, escorting all, late our brethern in arms, to obedience to the laws, both civil militancy and divine. ‘We are fully sensible of the forlammers [?], of our situation, for we of ourselves can give no assurances of better conduct. We have nothing to give, our crimes have swept from us the least refuge of the afflicted; but if we are worthy of being considered as objects of pity, and com-passion, we pray you to consider our situation, can we as active living men, grateful for mercy extended to us, be better living than dead; to us your decision is of eternal importance.
We are sensible of the heinousness of our offences, for we have all sworn before our - God, faith - fully to serve our country - we have broken that oath! We have been regarless [sp.?] of its obligation and solemnity! For this, we fervently hope that thee opportunity I perciod [sp.?] of necessary atonement may not be stinted but prolonged our feelings are alarmed to agony, in the fear that our peace is not made with heaven! We are awfully impressed with the distracting idea of entering into a boundless eternity unprepared! of passing that bourne from which there is no return, with all our transgressinos upon us! O dear Colonel! is there no respite, no pardon for us?! Must we appear before the tribunal, unannoited, unaneded [sp.?]?
Tis it necessary that you say we have sinned out the day of our repentance and our opportunity of reformation, and pardon is gone - Never to return 31 are we last past redemption! May God direct you in your decision, and incline you to that mercy which is consistent with your duty ad for our eternal good.
We pray you hear us further altho’ language can - not reach the horror we feel, or describe our area? at thot’s the of our ignominious death, and this to a certain and hor - rid death, due to a manifest crime against our country - a crime too against our God, the breach of our solemn oaths! we should not fear as soldiers to run the hazard of an honorable and useful death! But to die disgraced - a dishonor to our friends, and hundred, and remembered only as a reproach to our surviving relatives, gives a lummlife [sp.?] to our feelings which nothing can blunt! have we so far transgressed that it is necessary that we should be instru - ments of wounding our friends and connexions? We our had hoped that the sympathy and blessings of our friends would have followed us beyond the grave! - Unless your mercy interposes to snatch us from impending disgrace, a dis - grace that nothing can wash away. We have nothing to take one sting from death! Cannot you afford us consolation! Must we drink of the bitter cup to its dregs and is there nothing left to lessen its bitterness?!
We cannot ask you to do a wrong, we would not move you to it. But we fervently and solemnly solicit your attention to our situation! and if upon reflection you think the ends of punishment can be answered - if the day of re - pentance for our crimes against our God and our country be not forever past, and if our friends can be spared that portion of the punishment, they must participate if our sentence is executed - we do as our only hope cling to the belief we shall be spared - and we pray God that if we are pardoned; it may terminate for good - and if otherwise that we may be supported in the hour of execution, with that consolation which God alone can give -
and while we live we shall ever pray!
Thomas X Lethbridge
Original Document from Special Collections at the University of Vermont
Transcribed by Paul Fischer
Isaac Clark Papers 1781-1821. Special Collections, University of Vermont Bailey/Howe Library, Burlington, Vermont. 48.