"BURLINGTON, August 5.
"We have to record a very melancholy event, which took place in this vicinity on Wednesday last. A revenue Cutter from the lines, commanded by Lieut. Farrington, with a sergeant and twelve privates, was dispatched by the Collector of the Customs, in pursuit of a large batteau called the Black Snake, owned by persons near the lines, well known there to have been some time employed in smuggling. The Cutter pursued her up Onion river, where she was found and taken possession of by Lieut. Farrington, while her crew, who were armed, stood on the bank of the river and threatened to fire on the first man who attempted to go on board. The Black Snake was manned by a part of the crew of the Cutter, who proceeded with her down the river, while the smugglers repeatedly declared they should never take her out of the river. They had not gone more than 100 rods, before they were fired on from the shore, through the bushes, and one man on board the Cutter, by the name of Ellis Drake, was shot through the head and immediately expired. Several more shots were made, when the Lieut. ordered his men to steer for the shore.
"Scarcely had they landed, when the whole contents of a large gun, called a wall piece, about ten feet in length, carrying 16 ounce balls was discharged upon them, which proved fatal to Asa Marsh, another of the crew of the Cutter and Mr. Jonathan Omsby, an inhabitant of this town, who returning from his work happened to be present at this unfortunate moment. The Lieut. also received a ball through his left arm and was slightly wounded in the head. By the spirited exertions of the people of this village eight persons were apprehended and are safely lodged in the common Gaol which is guarded by a detachment from the town militia. A jury of Inquest was immediately summoned who after a view of the bodies and a careful examination of witnesses, returned their Inquisition that the deceased came to their death by WILFUL MURDER. Two of the persons apprehended will probably make it appear that they were not concerned in this horrid transaction.
"The funeral of these unfortunate victims was attended yesterday, by a vast assemblage of persons from this and the adjacent towns. An appropriate and pathetic discourse was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Williams. The procession proceeded from the Court-House to the burying ground, and extended nearly half a mile. The militia of this town under the command of Capt. Justus Warner, rendered martial honors to the memory of the deceased.
"An examination of the prisoners has not yet taken place. As soon as an enquiry is made, the public will have a minute detail of the facts ; in the mean time it is hoped that all opinion will be suspended. There are fear of these desperadoes who have not yet been taken, but the greatest exertions are making to apprehend them.
"Just as this paper was going to press, Capt. Harmon, and a detachment of soldiers from the lines, arrived here with a person called Captain Peas, one of the crew of the Black Snake. He was apprehended on Hogg Island.
"We learn that a sloop loaded, with 69 barrels of Potash, was taken near the lines, the day before yesterday."
—The Connecticut Courant (Hartford, Connecticut), Wednesday, August 10, 1808, p. 3, cols. 4–5.
NOTE: Place of burial not known, but cemetery was walking distance of courthouse.