June Jottings: Miscellaneous
June 9, 1814 Sketch of Sackett’s Harbor, New York
“You may have some curiosity to know what sort of a place Sackett’s Harbor is–I consider it as the greatest fulcrum on which the levers of war are to rest at present. The village is considerable; formed of stores, groceries, inns, grog shops, armories, &c.–The army, navy, ship carpenters and citizens amount, I think, to more than 10,000. Such astonishing activity in building ships, rigging, hauling great guns, anchors, cables, cannon, balls, grape and cannister shot, bar shot, &c. from daylight till dark–the yo heave ho of the sailors, the hammering of the carpenters, the ox drivers, sweetened with the drums and fifes, bugle horns, & interrupted several times each day with the solemn knell of funerals, attended with the honors of war, altogether form a scene of noise and confusion incomprehensive to those not present.
On the 4th instant the British fleet lying in sight of the harbor fired a royal salute, it being the birth day of King George. On the 5th the enemy’s fleet left us. On the 7th instant the militia conveyed the great cable of the new ship Superior, of 64 guns, 19 miles on their shoulders. The number of men was 200, and the weight of the cable was 5 tons–56 lbs. per man. The sight was truly grand and patriotic.” –Essex Register, July 16, 1814
More Rhyming Advertisements
It seems the people of the early nineteenth century just plain loved to read–and to write poetry. The following is from the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Adams Centinel of June 22, 1814.
Near Millerstown, that thrifty village,
Where lands so well repay the tillage
There I’ve a well contriv’d machine,
To card your wool and pick it clean.
At the Eagle sign, the thrifty host
Will soon direct you to my post.
If you to Gettysburg do go,
Or any other place below,
Bring on your wool, as you come back
It shall be carded, roll’d and pack’d.
Bring a little oil my dear, do,
A quart to twenty pounds or so.
For when Matilda comes to spin it
Sh’ll surely find a profit in it.
I will charge for each pounds carding
Ten Cents, and thank you in the bargain.
The following may or may not have been intended for an advertisement. It is from the Adams Centinel, January 4, 1815.
An Ale-House Sign.
I, John Thomas, liveth here,
I sells good porter, ale and beer;
I’ve made my sign a little wider,
To say I also sells good cider.
Proclamation of Blockade by the Honorable Sir Alexander Cochrane, Knight of the Bath, &c. &c.&c.
This proclamation was issued April 25, 1814, and followed the usual recitation of inlets available to ship owners: “I do, therefore, by virtue of the Power and Authority in me vested, declare, in addition to the sail Ports and Places blockaded as aforesaid [by Admiral Warren’s Proclamation of November 16, 1813], all the remaining Ports, Harbors, Bays, Creeks, Rivers, Inlets, Outlets, Islands on Sea Coasts of the said United States of America . . . to be in a state of strict and rigorous blockade.” Some wit, on receiving this proclamation, furnished the following satire to the newspapers.
Boston, June 18, 1814
By a late arrival from England via Halifax, we have received the following Decree and Order in Council. We are sorely afflicted for our beloved country, particularly New England, which will suffer the most from this dreadful calamity. Our countrymen will not forget to whom it is imputable. We have long expected that some retaliatory measure of this kind would be taken. And we have never ceased to admonish our improvident administration of the necessity of making concessions to England, before her anger should be provoked beyond the possibility of appeasing it.–Alas! we fear the day of grace is past forever. We wash our hands of the consequences of this awful visitation; for, we repeat it—we foresaw it, and warned the government to avoid it.
Decree and Order of Council.
WHEREAS by her natural, inherent, and indefeasible right, all the Oceans, Seas, Bays, Gulfs, Sounds, Friths, Straits, Harbours, Rivers, Coves, Inlets, Outlets, Lakes and Ponds under Heaven are the domain of England; and whereas by virtue of such her natural, inherent and indefeasible right, in furtherance of the will of Heaven, and according to immemorial usage, she may justly and lawfully forbid, restrain and prevent all vessels whether Ships, Snows, Barques, Brigs, Schooners, Sloops, Brigantines, Shallops, Lighters, Scows, Yawls, or Boats of any description whatsoever, from navigating any part or portion of our said domain; and whereas divers ships and vessels belonging to ‘that froward people’ who are subject to the government of the United States of North America, without our royal leave and consent first had and obtained, and in violation of the will of Heaven, have for a long period in a most audacious, rebellious, impious and infidel manner, traversed the Oceans, Seas, Bays & aforesaid; and whereas we have at various times lay our royal blockades and Orders in Council, solemnly warned and commanded ‘that froward people’ aforesaid, as they would avoid our royal displeasure, and the vengeance of our royal arms, to desist from navigating the Oceans, Seas, Bays, &c. aforesaid; and whereas ‘that froward people’ aforesaid, not heeding or regarding our royal mandates, continued to traverse the Oceans, Seas, Bays, &c. aforesaid, in a most audacious, rebellious, impious, and infidel manner, in defiance of our royal pleasure, and of the will of Heaven aforesaid,–we thereupon issued our royal commands unto our royal Admirals, Commodores, Captains, Lieutenants, Sailing Masters, Midshipmen, Boatswains and Cockswains, to pursue the ships and vessels of ‘that froward people’ aforesaid, with our royal Ships, Razees, Frigates, Corvettes, Sloops, Brigs, Schooners, Yachts, Bomb-ketches, Gunboats, Barges, Rowgallies and Cockboats, and sink, burn, destroy and annihilate the same, so that they should no more be seen on our said royal domain; and whereas the ships and vessels of ‘that froward people’ aforesaid, have eluded the search of our royal Admirals, Commodores, Captains, &c. aforesaid, and still continue to traverse our royal domain aforesaid, in a most audacious, rebellious, impious and infidel manner, in defiance of our royal pleasure expressed in our royal blockades and Orders in Council, and in the most infidel and sacrilegious defiance of the will of Heaven, of which we, being the ‘Bulwark’ of the christian religion, are the only proper expositors; and whereas the said audacious, rebellious, impious and infidel conduct of ‘that froward people’ aforesaid, is highly derogatory to our royal rule, sovereignty, and omnipotence, and has caused us great disappointment, regret, sorrow, mortification, chagrin and vexation, and has operated to our great inconvenience, disadvantage, harm, damage and injury, whereby our royal name and dignity have been gainsaid, and are likely to be brought into great insignificance, disrepute, neglect, dishonour, shame, disgrace and infamy;–Therefore,
We, George Prince of Wales, and Regent of the United Kingdom of G. Britain and Ireland, in behalf of our crazy royal sire, and by and with the advice and consent of our royal council, have thought fit to publish this our royal Decree and Order, to wit–
1. It is our royal will and mandate that the winds and waves of our royal domain aforesaid forthwith give chase to all the ships and vessels of what description soever, belonging to ‘that froward people’ aforesaid, which may be found traversing our royal domain aforesaid, and them with whirlwinds, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms and tempests to sink, destroy, overwhelm and annihilate so that they no more be seen upon our said royal domain.
2. It is our royal will and mandate that the winds and waves of our royal domain aforesaid, maintain and carry on perpetual, interminable and everlasting war against the ships and vessels of ‘that froward people’ aforesaid, and that whenever any of them shall hereafter have the audacity to venture upon the bosom of any part or portion of our said royal domain, they be immediately sunk, destroyed, overwhelmed and annihilated.
3. It is our royal will & mandate that the inhabitants of our royal domain, whether Whales, Porpoises, Grampuses, Sharks, Halibuts, Sturgeons, Cod, Haddock, Salmon, Shad, Sheep’sheads, Pike, Herring, Perch, Trout, Pouts, Shinners, or of any other name or description whatever, take care and never get in the way of, or get caught by ‘that froward people’ aforesaid, and that if any encroachments should ever be made upon their rights and privileges by ‘that froward people’ aforesaid, that they ‘resist even unto blood.‘
Our trusty and well beloved Cousin and subject Neptune is hereby charged with the execution of this our royal Decree and Order, who will be assisted by our faithful and well beloved Admiral Cockburn and General Proctor, as also by the ghosts of our much lamented General Tecumseh and Captain Stackpole, whose aid is in so much request at this conjuncture that we have though proper to recall them from the Tartarean regions.
Done at Carlton House, this 9th day of May, A. D. 1814 GEORGE, Regent
–printed by the National Aegis, June 22, 1814
About the Author
Mary Bowden is a researcher working at the Texas Collections Deposit Library at the University of Texas. A little-known but invaluable treasure of U.S. history and the history of American journalism is archived in the collection of bound United States’ Newspapers at the University of Texas at Austin. The collection began more than a century ago and has been stored in recent years in the Texas Collections Deposit Library on the campus of the University of Texas. The sizeable archive is currently in the early stages of being digitized before being moved to a more climate-controlled environment at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus of the University, on the north side of Austin.