News of the US: April 1814

April 1:  From Salem — “The private armed ship America, Chever, of this port, arrived at Portsmouth at 8 o’clock last evening, from a cruize of 4 months, having captured 12 prizes, 8 of which we have before given an account of.  . . .The America has brought in about 50 prisoners–also 40 packages dry-goods, and other articles taken from her prizes.  She has been chased several times during her cruize by British ships of war, and outsailed them with ease.  The last chase was three days since, by a frigate which she sported with.”–National Intelligencer, April 12, 1814

April 1:  From New York’s Circuit Court — Judge Livingston delivered a charge to the Grand Jury, instructing them of what the crime of treason consisted.  “The treasonable complaint alluded to by the Court, is understood to be against Judge Ford, of Ogdensburg who was lately arrested and brought to this city upon a charge of treason, in adhering to the enemies of the U. S., giving them aid and comfort.”—Baltimore Patriot, April 4, 1814

April 2:  Proclamation of Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, Bermuda — “This is therefore to Give Notice: That all those who may be disposed to emigrate from the United States will, with their families, be received on board of his Majesty’s ships or vessels of war, or at the military posts that may be established, upon or near the coast of the United States, when they will have their choice of either entering into his Majesty’s Sea or Land Forces, or of being sent as FREE Settlers, to the British possessions in N. American or the West Indies, where they will meet with all due encouragement.”–National Intelligencer, June 11, 1814

April 3:  Response of the Boston Patriot to Vice Admiral Cochrane’s Proclamation — “we hope that all those who prefer ‘GREAT BRITAIN MONARCHY AND ALL,’ to their own country, will speedily accept it, go on board the British blockading squadrons, and if they please, immediately ‘enter into his Majesty’s sea or land forces.‘  The sooner they expatriate themselves the better.  The republicans are willing to furnish the barges, and bear all the expense of the transportation.”–Eastern Argus, June 16, 1814

The USS Constitution fires a cannon shot as the Blue Angels fly overhead in the waters off Marblehead during the ship’s first sail in over 100 years on July 21, 1997.

April 3:  From Boston — “An express has just arrived in town from Marblehead, to Com. Bainbridge, with  the information that the Constitution frigate was chased into that port by a British squadron, about 1 o’clock this day, consisting of two frigates and a brig, and requesting assistance, as the enemy threaten, that unless the Constitution is surrendered, they will attack the town.  . . . P. S. 8’oclock, evening.  A gentleman just arrived from Salem, informs that the Constitution has succeeded in getting into that port, and now is considered safe.”–National Intelligencer, April 9, 1814

April 4:  Advertisement from Cincinnati — “I wish to purchase Five Thousand Barrels of Flour, and Two Hundred Barrels of Whiskey, deliverable at different times, from the first of June next until September following, as may suit persons to contact to a certainty, at Fort Meigs or at any convenient place on the Lake shore, to same transportation by land.  JOHN H. PLATT.”–Scioto Supporter, May 14, 1814

April 4:  From Erie — “The U. S. sch. Somers arrived at Erie on the 4th inst. having left Malden on the 1st, at which time nothing had been heard from the enemy since their defeat on the Thames by Capt. Holmes.  Provisions were scarce; the army on half rations of flour.”–ProvidencePatriot,  April 30, 1814

April 4:  From Burlington – “A body of our troops, under the command of Gen. Wilkinson, proceeded on Thursday last as far as the river Lacole, where, after an obstinate resistance, they drove the British pickets into a Stone Mill, which was strongly fortified.  . . .  It was then found, that another item had been added to the long list of army blunders; and that the heavy cannon had been left behind.  After receiving a great number of discharges from the enemy’s ordnance, our troops were ordered to retire.”—United States’ Gazette, April 16, 1814

April 5:  From the Salem Gazette — “Yesterday arrived in this town and immediately embarked on board the cartel ship Bostock, 260 British troops, prisoners of war 160 of them belonged to De Watteville’s German regiment and were captured last fall on Lake Ontario by commodore Chauncey.  They left Pittsfield ten days since.  The Germans were remarkably stout, hardy looking men.  About 20 of them have made their escape during the march; the Germans having a great aversion to returning to the British service.”–Ohio Register, April 12, 1814

April 6:  From New York  — “On Monday the famous Judge Ford, of Ogdensburg, who had been arrested on suspicion of treason, and bailed by Judge Livingston, was discharged, in consequence of the want of sufficient evidence to the grand jury upon which to find an indictment.  Judge Livingston took occasion to compliment Mr. Ford on his acquittal from an imputation, which from the manner of its removal, should, in justice, reflect no discredit on his character.”--National Advocate, April 6, 1814

April 7:  From the Plattsburgh Republican — “ATTENTION.  Pursuant to General Orders, all officers and privates under my command, are ordered to hold themselves in constant readiness, to fight or run, as the occasion my require.  SETH SHERRY, Capt. of Militia.”–Alexandria Gazette, April 7, 1814

April 7:  From Herkimer, New York — “Gen. Brown, as was stated in this paper of the 24th ult. marched with about 1600 men in the direction of Niagara, as far as Geneva, when he received a counter order, and according returned with the troops as far as Salina.  Here he was again ordered ‘to the right about,’ and at the last date was making the best of his way towards Niagara.  So, if the General goes on at the rate he has done, we may expect to hear, perhaps as soon as the middle of August, that he has reached either Sackett’s Harbor, or the place where Buffalo once stood.”–New York Spectator, April 16, 1814

April 8:  From London — “Twenty-five thousand troops are to be immediately transported to America, and already the publick mind is prepared for the exertion of all our strength in bringing that froward [“habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition”] people to unconditional submission.”–Massachusetts Spy, June 8, 1814

April 8:  Of the British attack on the Connecticut River — “Seven barges and launches, having on board about 250 men, arrived at Pttipaug about day light on Friday morning, fired 2 guns upon the town, and landed upon the wharves.  . . . the British proceeded in their work of destruction.  They succeeded in burning from 27 to 30 sail . . .  and remained at Pettipaug during the whole day amusing themselves on shore by pitching quoits.”

April 9:  From New Orleans, relating to the revolution in Mexico — “The most intrepid of our fellow citizens, who have embarked in that astonishing expedition, met at Natches, a few days ago, in a publick and constituent assembly.  . . . they agreed to confer the favour of liberty on the Mexicans, and to appoint Dr. Robinson viceroy of the four provinces of Mexico.”–United States Gazette, April 9, 1814

April 9:  From New York — “The noted Judge Ford, of Ogdensburg, who was recently arrested on a charge of High Treason has been acquitted, the testimony not being of such positive nature as to satisfy the Jury ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ of his guilt.  This is the same Ford that blackguarded, in the tory papers, Generals Dearborn & Wilkinson, in the most intemperate and vulgar manner, when they passed through Ogdensburgh.”–Baltimore Patriot, April 9, 1814

April 9:  From St. Louis — “It is a fact well ascertained, that Robert Dickson is now collecting a large body of Indians, on or near the Winabago lake; it is also known as a fact that he has in his interest the Sioux, Winabagoes, Folsavoine, and a considerable portion of the Ottowas, Chippewas and Kickapoos.  Does it not become the guardians of the common weal to ward the impending blow?”–The Gleaner, May 20, 1814

April 11:   From New York – “For several days past, the new Ferry-boat, invented by Moses Rogers, Esqr. Of this city, propelled by the draught of six horses, has been plying between this city and Brooklyn, a distance of three quarters of a mile.  On slack water she crosses in seven minutes.  In one of her passages she had upwards of 300 persons on board.  For short distances, she answers all the valuable purposes of Steamboats.”—United States’ Gazette, April 16, 1814

April 11:  Napoleon abdicates the crowns of France and Italy. –Maryland Gazette, June 16, 1814

April 12:  From Newburyport — “A letter from Portsmouth by last evening’s stage, says that late accounts have been received there direct from Halifax, that an armament of three 74’s and a number of frigates were preparing at that place to attack Portsmouth, and destroy the 74 building there.”--American Watchman, April 20, 1814

April 12:  From Philadelphia — “The sloop of war Erie, lately commanded by capt. Ridgley, not being able to proceed to sea, in consequence of the superior force of the enemy, lying in the Chesapeake, returned to Baltimore, and has been dismantled.  The crew arrived here last night in the steam-boat, under the care of Lieut. Dallas, on their way to Sackett’s Harbour.”–National Advocate, April 15, 1814

April 13:  In the House of Representatives, speaking on the bill ‘to prohibit the exportation of specie, gold or silver coins, or bullion” — “Mr. Pickering of Mass. said he was too hoarse to make himself heard, and therefore did not rise to oppose the bill, but merely to require the yeas and nays, that he might at least record his vote against this remnant of folly and mischief.”–National Intelligencer, April 14, 1814

April 13:  From New York — “Progress of luxury and extravagance.  At the sale of a part of the cargo of the prize Neried, on Monday, among other articles, a lot consisting of three decanters and twelve tumblers, went off at auction for one hundred and ten dollars!  . . .  What a miserable country, and lamentable scarcity of money!  The avails of the whole cargo of this prize (to the Governor Tompkins) will amount to nearly 300,000 dollars.”–National Advocate, April 13, 1814

April 14:  From Plattsburgh – “Our troops, engaged in the late expedition against the Stone Mill on the river La Cole, excepting a small detachment under Maj. Forsyth, at Chazy, have returned to their winter quarters.  . . .  Gen. Wilkinson still commands here in person, but it is understood, he will shortly leave this to attend a Court of Inquiry, to be convened at Fort George.”—United States’ Gazette, April 30, 1814

April 15:  From Plattsburg — “Lake Champlain is clear of ice, and the British flotilla is almost finished, but ours will not be ready for service until some time in May.  We therefore expect they will shortly take command of the lake and keep it until com. M’Donnough is ready to drive them out of it.”–Scioto Supporter, May 7, 1814

April 15:   From a London paper — “nothing is wanting to set the seal to the pacification of the world, but the severe chastisement of the Transatlantic nest of the Atheists and Felons, who have usurped the government of the United States, and plunged the inhabitants into a most unjust, unnecessary, and unnatural war.  Now that the high priest of Jacobinism has been kicked out of Europe, it is time that the illiterate expounder of the law of nations to the Americans, Mr. James Madison, should be attacked with the same weapons which consigned his fellow jurist to everlasting infamy.”–National Advocate, June 15, 1814

April 16:  From New York — “General Wilkinson is recalled, from the Northern Army.  General Macomb assumed the command on the 16th inst. & established his head quarters at Plattsburgh.”–Alexandria Gazette, April 28, 1814

April 17:  From Col Jesse A. Pearson, Fort Hall, Alabama – “So overwhelming is the force now in this country, opposed to the Indians, that they are every day coming in and begging terms.  Ten towns, we learn, have in the last ten days, surrendered to Gen. Jackson, who is now descending the Coose river, and, is, in a day or two, to force a junction with Colonel Milton, and Lieut. Col. Russel, somewhere near the Hickory ground.”–United States’ Gazette, May 11, 1814

April 18:  From Boston — “The United States’ frigate Constitution Captain Stewart, sailed from Salem this day at 12 A.M. and anchored in this port at 7 P.M. at which time several thousands of citizens had assembled on the wharves, and gave her nine hearty cheers, which were returned from the frigate.  We have now no anxiety for the safety of this excellent vessel, as she is moored in a port which feels no apprehension of attack.”–National Intelligencer, April 26, 1814

April 19:  From Philadelphia — “Times are beginning to look squally here–thirty sail of British vessels are again in the Chesapeake, and some have arrived within 14 miles of Baltimore–the Packet boats are stopped between this place and Baltimore, &c.”–Scioto Supporter, April 28, 1814

April 19:  From Washington — “THE CONGRESS Will adjourn this day.  Both houses have for some days transacted business with great dispatch and regularity; and less business will be left unfinished, as it is termed, than we have known at any former session.  Every bill of a public nature has been acted on, with the exception of two or three of questionable policy.”–National Intelligencer, April 19, 1814

April 19:  From Boston — “We are informed from New-London, that an unsuccessful Torpedo expedition for blowing up the La Hogue was fitted out at or near that place, a day or two previous to the burning the vessels at Pettipague and that it was understood the avowed object of the enemy was to retaliate for this attempt.”–New York Spectator, April 23, 1814

April 20:  From Plattsburg — “General M’Comb has taken the command here, and, by his activity and judicious arrangements, has already inspired confidence.  Signals have been established, by which to give notice, night or day, the moment the enemy crosses the line and enters the lake.  We shall be so well prepared to receive him, I am almost certain he will not come, or, if he does, he will be obliged to stay in the middle of the lake or on some uninhabited island; it therefore will not be worth the time, trouble and expense, which it will cost him to come out.”–National Intelligencer, May 5, 1814

April 20: From London — “A number of the largest class of transports are fitting out with all possible speed at Portsmouth, as well as all the troop ships at that port, for the purpose, it is supposed, of going to Bordeaux, to take the most effective regiments in Lord Wellington’s army to America.”–National Intelligencer, June 30, 1814

April 21:  From New York — “A regular meeting of the Ugly Club will be held at Baker’s, No. 4, Wall street, on the 21st inst. at 7 o’clock, P. M. precisely.  The quarterly election for officers will take place on that evening.”–The Gleaner, May 6, 1814

April 23:  From Sackett’s Harbor — “We have ascertained that the enemy’s intention to attack us, arose from a report he had received from our side, that our fleet had sailed up the lake . . . . the expedition was abandoned as soon as it was found that our fleet was still in the harbour.”–Salem Gazette, May 5, 1814

April 23:  From New York — “The Steam-Boat question, between Messrs Livingston and Fulton, and Col. Ogden, which has excited much interest in this city for many weeks, and consumed several days in debate in both houses of the legislature, was on Tuesday evening decided by the senate, in favour of Livingston and Fulton.”–National Advocate, April 23, 1814

April 23:  From Pittsburg — “This morning the steam boat Vesuvius, intended as a regular trader between New Orleans and the falls of Ohio, left Pittsburg.  . . .  the boats are built by Mr. Fulton under the agency of Messrs. Livingston and Latrobe, for companies, who have vested very large capitals in the establishment.  The departure of the Vesuvius is a very important event, not only for this place, but for the whole western part of the union, and its influence will be felt over the whole U. States.”–Baltimore Patriot, May 4, 1814

April 24:  From Milledgeville — “the great body of the Hostile Indians have dispersed and fled precipitately towards the Spanish ports of St. Marks and Pensacola–that in their flight they were met by Col. Russell’s army, who killed a great number of them–their principal Prophet Francis was among the slain.  Our armies have concentrated in the neighbourhood of Hoith-le wau le.”–Raleigh Register, May 6, 1814

April 25:  From Utica — “The recruiting goes on in New York state, with unparalleled success.  Young men of good characters, education and talents are joining the standard of this, their country.  And, at the same time, the army of the United States is not only becoming respectable for numbers, but efficient in stamina.”–Ohio Register, May 31, 1814

April 26:  “The Cincinnati Spy, says that the steamboat VESUVIUS arrived at that place on the 26th of April, in forty hours from Pittsburgh!”–Pittsburgh Mercury, May 11, 1814

April 26:  From New-Haven — “On Friday last 4 seamen were brought to town by a patroling party of horse that had been ordered out a few days past as a guard to ride along the coast near this city. . . . They were suspected of being spies, but on being examined in this town they gave satisfactory evidence of being deserters, and were set at liberty.  They say they deserted from the British sloop of war Sylph, lately arrived on our coast.  One of them had attempted to desert three times before, and had received 40 lashes, which fully appeared by examination.”–Providence Patriot, April 30, 1814

April 26:  From Col. Hawkins, at the confluence of Talapoosa and Coosa — “I believe you know this is the name of an old French fort at Tusteagee.  . . .  The terrible chastisement inflicted by the army of militia, regulars, Creeks and Cherokees, under Gen. Jackson, at Newyaucau, on the hostile indians, has alarmed the whole party.”–Nashville Clarion, June 7, 1814

April 27:  From New London – “A few days since, two men in a boat from this place, bound into Connecticut river for fish, were taken on board the enemy’s ships and examined as touching Torpedoes.  . . .  The officers are much enraged and alarmed by the torpedoes.  A few weeks since one exploded under the spirtsail yard of La Hogue, and threw a volume of water over her foretop.”—United States’ Gazette, May 4, 1814

April 28:  From Bremen, Prussia — “The works of Art belonging to Prussia, which Bonaparte purloined for the decoration of Paris, have been given up, and sent to Berlin.  The ‘Grand Car of Victory’ which adorned one of the gates of Berlin, loaded six wagons drawn by 12 horses each.”–National Advocate,  June 25, 1814

April 28:  From Westport, Massachusetts, letter of thanks to supporters from Paul Cuffee – “He further avails himself of this occasion which he has long desired, of expressing the grateful sensibility which, in common with many of his brethren, he has felt towards those distinguished persons both in Europe and America, who have exerted their talents and influence to the accomplishing the abolition of the African slave trade.”—United States’ Gazette, May 7, 1814

April 29:  From Lt. Nicholson from Savannah — “I have the honor of informing you of my arrival here in late his Britannic majesty’s brig Epervier, of eighteen 32 pound carronades, Capt. Wales, captured by the sloop Peacock [Captain Warrington], on Friday morning the 29th, off Cape Canaveral, after an action of 15 minutes, in which time she was much cut up in hull, spars, rigging and sails, with upwards of 5 feet water in her hold, having the advantage of the weather gage.”–Providence Patriot, May 21, 1814

April 29:  From Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — “A great many Raftmen have been taken sick on their return from down the river.  Their cases too are generally severe, for, being eager to get home, they travel long after they should be lying by and taking care of themselves.  It cannot, we hope, be necessary to urge on the good people of the county, to be kind to them.”–The Gleaner, April 29, 1814

April 30:  From Rogersville, Tennessee — “By a gentleman direct from Huntsvile, we are informed that an engagement took place about the 15th instant, between the troops under Maj. General Jackson, and the hostile Creek Indians, at or near the Hickory Ground, in which near twelve hundred Indians were killed, and on our side about thirty, chiefly officers.  The Indians are said to have been about 3000 strong”–National Intelligencer, May 10, 1814

April 30:  “By private letters from Natchitoches of the last of April, we learn that the revolutionists were again assembling on the west of the Sabine under General Toledo.  Five hundred had embodied, and their number was rapidly encreasing, determined on again attempting a revolution in the Mexican provinces.”–National Intelligencer, June 7, 1814

April 30:  “A Baltimore paper mentions that the Governor of St. Augustine has challenged President Madison to single combat, for improperly interfering in the affairs of West Florida.”–New York Spectator, April 30, 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.

Mary Bowden