30 OCTOBER 1841, Page 1

The trial of Mr. M`Lson at Utica has begun, and

the proceed- ings of nearly three days have reached us. They extend no, further than the address of the prosecuting counsel, Mr. WILLIS HALL, the Attorney-General of New York State, and part of the evidence for the prosecution. Mr. HALL laid down the law of the case, according to his view, with much emphasis. The boat, he said, which MiLson was accused of helping to destroy, was employed solely in the ordinary occupation of a steamer, and had nothing to do with Navy Island, the stronghold of the Britis 'ents ;. and

even if American citizens did join the rebtlisPC, (4--they did


no more than the Swiss had been licensout o do in inhaling in foreign armies, or than LA FAvErrs and re, `Wiwi; had done in

their love of liberty : but irrespectively of ttle nie,lessness of the injured parties, their slaughter within the 690 of lissw York wits a violation of her laws, and of hers alone. The evidence hitherto adduced touches upon these points—the character of the boat's oc- cupation, of the passengers on board, of the attack, the mode of Duarss's (the "murdered" man's) death, and Mr. M`Lnon's presence and participation in the attack. Concerning the nature

of the boat's occupation, the principal witness was Mr. WELLS, the

owner : and it is shown by his evidence, not only on cross-examina- tion but on his examination in chief, that the steamer was employed

in a very different service from that admitted by Mr. Harz,. WELLS attended a public meeting, at which LYON MACKENZIE delivered an address, and means were concerted for giving succour to the Cana-

dian rebels. He caused his boat to be dug out of the ice, after it bad been laid up for the winter-season ; but before he did so, he took part in negotiations with the " Commissary " of a "Com- mittee of Thirteen" enrolled to aid the insurgents, respecting a bond of indemnity ; and that bond, though he says he did not mean to take it, was actually signed by some of the citizens of Buffalo. His boat plied between the American shore and Navy Island re- peatedly in one day, the day preceding the night of the attack. Be- fore leaving Buffalo, he took the opinion of the Collector of the port as to what licence the law allowed, "knowing what would be wanted on Navy Island." He was told that he might carry arms or ammuni- tion, but that he ran a risk while he was in the British waters : and be actually did carry a cannon, and some muskets—perhaps ten-

-perhaps a hundred. Such are the facts proved by the chief wit-

ness called to show that the steamer was employed only in an ordi- nary and peaceful occupation ! The passengers on board were to be proved holyday-makers : the train of evidence seems to have gone beyond that point without a single proof of the kind : it was only attempted to show that the commanders of the steamer did

not know who their passengers were, except that some of them

asked for a night's lodging, as the inn at Schlosser was full ; the said Schlosser being a solitary landing-place at a convenient dis- tance from Navy Island, but no resort for holyday folks. Nor is there as yet any evidence as to the object of the attack, but this, that the assailants came in search of the identical cannon which

the boat had carried to Navy Island. As to DURFEE'S death, there

is no evidence as to who killed him—nothing to show whether he was shot by the British or in mistake by his own side, or indeed that he was killed at all, except that he was found dead with a wound that seemed to exclude the supposition of suicide. One witness " thought " he saw APLzon among the attacking party ; but on being confronted with the prisoner, he said, " I do not say so now." A Canadian builder and two public-house-waiters say that they saw M‘Lson among the soldiers who attacked the boat on the day before and after its destruction ; the two waiters saw bim return in the boats which conveyed the assailants, and one of them saw him go : but they saw him by a bad light ; and it will be remembered that a brother of Mr. M‘Lson has avowed his parti- cipation.

Such is the evidence on all the points of fact : what is to come on the same side must be of a very different character if any thing is to be proved against Mr. M'Lson. The question of international law, the technical violation of territory, remains. The witnesses for the prosecution have made it clear that the steamer was em- ployed in a piratical service, of that nature, that had she and all in her been sunk or blown up by the British while she was within the British waters, there would have been no blame to the destroyers. The question of time as well as of place becomes important here : was the attack an unprovoked, isolated act ? On the contrary, the steamer had been engaged all day in running for Navy Island : there was a good deal of firing from the island upon the British that day : we believe, though it has not yet come out in the evi- dence, that the identical boats which attacked the steamer were fired at from the island : the British were aware that more arms and men were to be carried to their enemies by the steamer ; and, with all the beat of people chased and chasing in turn, they sought a favourable opportunity of intercepting one of those pieces of ordnance that actually were supplied to the foe. In the chance-medley a man was killed. Now it is main- tained for the prosecution, that although the steamer may have formed part of the hostile force, yet every time she retreated within the American boundary she lost that character and became a friendly vessel. This abuse of the privilege of territorial inviola-

bility is contrary to practical common sense : that combatants in the heat of a day's warfare should be required to respect an ideal

boundary, which was not respected by the opposite party, in the centre of a region whose common character was disorganization and anarchy, is absurd. If the Americans have nothing better to plead than the rules of this deadly burlesque of the child's game Tom Tiddler's ground," they may perhaps have the right to de- mand some formal apology for its breach by Great Britain, but any substantial injury is out of the question.