News of the US: August 1815

August 1: From Buffalo — Major General Brown, accompanied by his aids-de-Camp, Col. Jones and Maj. Frasier, arrived at this village on Tuesday last. The general received national salutes at Black Rock and Buffalo. General Brown visited the battleground at Bridgewater on the anniversary of that action.”–Baltimore Patriot, August 11, 1815

August 1: From the Delaware Gazette — “The U. S. ship Neptune arrived in the Delaware, off this place last evening, 43 days from Plymouth, having on board Messrs. Bayard and Crawford. Messrs. Gallatin and Clay were in London, forming a commercial treaty.”–Adams Centinel,August 9, 1815

August 1 : From Nashville — “An express arrived at Gen. Jackson’s head-quarters on the 31st ult. bringing despatches from Gov. Clarke, Edwards, &c. Commissioners appointed to negociate with the Indians upon the Mississippi and its waters. The despatches brought leave strong ground to suppose, that we shall again be compelled to wage war against those Savages.”–Adams Centinel, August 30, 1815

August 2: From New York — “we are indebted for a copy of Lord Wellington’s official account of a series of desperate and sanguinary actions fought on the 15th, 16th, 17th, & 18th of June, in which Bonaparte was defeated with the loss of 20,000 men in killed and wounded, 210 cannon, and 2 Eagles.”–New York Spectator, August 5, 1815

August 2: From Gettysburg — “The season having returned for reassuming our public internal improvements, and the attention of the Citizens being directed towards making a permanent Road to Philadelphia, every information relative to the subject will be highly interesting . . . .”–Adams Centinel, August 2, 1815

August 3: From London — “The first operations of the American squadron have been followed by the recession of the Algerine pirates from their infamous, but, until hitherto, usual demand of tribute. The example of the United States government, we trust, will not be lost on the other maritime powers of Europe.”—Baltimore Patriot, September 21 1815

August 4: From the Boston Palladium — “HIGHLY IMPORTANT NEWS. The Emperor Napoleon Reported to have Abdicated again.”–National Advocate, August 7, 1815

August 4: From Liverpool, England — “We have seen a letter from an American in Liverpool, which states that press-gangs, although constantly employed, no longer visit American ships; and, that our sailors are even respected in the town, at all hours. The same writer states, that he has heard many Englishmen admit, that they lost more by the war with America, than they had gained in Spain and France.”–Albany Argus, August 4, 1815

August 4: From Washington — “Mr. Crawford has arrived in this city, and I am informed by a Gentleman who was with him yesterday, that Messrs. Gallatin & Adams have commenced an indirect negotiation with the British Government on the subject of a commercial treaty.”–Richmond Enquirer, August 9, 1815

August 5: From Providence — “The weather has been excessively hot for some time past, occasionally chastened by reviving showers. From every quarter, we are assured of a most abundant harvest–fruits and vegetables were never more plenty. The apprehension of a scarcity of hay is much lessened. Peace, so happily restored to our beloved country, is attended by innumerable and unlooked-for blessings.”–Providence Patriot, August 5, 1815

August 6: From a gentleman in Paris to the editor of the Boston Patriot — “I cannot describe to you the wretched state of disgraced and dejected France. Her army composed of 300,000 men, has been melted down by desertion and disorganization. This is the wish of the allies; they have persuaded the good old king to the measure of disbanding them, and thus the country falls an easy prey to these hordes . . . .”–Columbian, October 17, 1815

August 7: From New Haven — “Postscript. JOY TO THE WORLD, The Reign of the ‘Common Disturber’ [Napoleon] is at an End.”–Connecticut Journal, August 7, 1815

August 9: From New York — “The Steam boat Fulton left this city yesterday morning, landed her passengers at New-Haven, and arrived here at an early hour this morning, making her trip from this to New-Haven and back in 24 hours.”–New York Spectator, August 12, 1815

August 9: From Sackett’s Harbor — “a British officer, lately from Kingston, stated the determination of Gen. Robinson to hold Michilimackinac. Two battalions he said were ordered up to garrison that Fort. We understand, that the excuse alledged for holding Michilimackinac, contrary to the treaty, is, that we hold some post in the Floridas, to which Britain lays claim.”–Adams Centinel, August 9, 1815

August 10: From New York — “We understand that the United States schr. Nonsuch, capt. Trant, is shortly to proceed to Halifax and Jamaica, to bring home the blacks taken from the southern states by the British naval commanders during the late war, and who are to be delivered back to their owners.”–Augusta Herald, August 10, 1815

August 10: From Boston –“On the 10th inst. 361 American prisoners arrived at Boston from Dartmoor prison. Two ships were to sail from Plymouth on the 5th ult. with the remainder of the prisoners, about 500, one to Charleston, the other to Philadelphia. About 4000 French prisoners had arrived at Dartmoor on the 3d ult.”–Adams Centinel, August 23, 1815

August 11: From Washington — “Washington-City, has like the Phoenix risen again from its own ashes. It is considered now that the seat of government is permanently fixed. The inhabitants seem to be inspired with new life and energies: more than ever engaged in trade–many new houses are building. The value of property has taken a great rise both in the city and vicinity. . .   A steam-boat now plies between the city and Fredericksburgh, Va.–She goes and comes every day, and rests several hours at each landing, calling at Alexandria (distance 40 miles).”–The Gleaner, August 11, 1815

August 12: From Detroit, via Pittsburgh — “General Brown, with 5 or 6 vessels full of troops went up the lake on the 2d inst. and it was generally believed that he would proceed to repair and garrison the works at Chicago, and to build a new post at a place called Greenbay, or its vicinity, between Chicago and Michilimackinac.”–Aurora, August 21, 1815

August 12: From St. Louis — “Fifteen Pyttowattimie chiefs and warriors from Mille-Wakee, have arrived at Portage des Sioux, to settle affairs with the commissioners; others are soon expected.”--Green Mountain Farmer, September 18, 1815

August 12: From New Orleans — “New Orleans is menaced with disease, from the number of carcasses imperfectly buried below the town, after the defeat of the British army by that of General Jackson. Every breeze from the eastward arrives at New Orleans tainted with putrefaction and loaded (it is feared) with infection.”–Missouri Gazette, August 12, 1815

August 14: From Boston — “Rights of Old Ironsides.–We are happy to learn, says a correspondent, that the Navy Board at Washington have taken into consideration the peculiar merits of this ship, particularly in her last capture, of twins; and agreed to reward the gallant crew, by estimating the Cyane at $100,000, which is considered equal to a full compensation for the two prizes.”– New York Spectator, August 19, 1815

August 15: From Buffalo — “The brig Niagara is ordered again to Michillimackinac, and she will probably visit Michigan. The Americans are to build a fort near the ruins of old fort Dearborn at Chicago, and another at Green bay, also in lake Michigan. Great numbers of Indians are in and about Detroit, but they are peaceably disposed.”–Vermont Mirror, September 13, 1815

August 15: From New York — “A report, (which we hope has no foundation) reached this city yesterday, that Gen. Jackson had been massacred by Col. Benton, with whom the General would not fight a duel.”–New York Gazette, Augus5 15, 1815

August 16: News from Natchitoches, via Natchez, an extract — “A republican officer lately arrived here through the interior provinces; he left Montel Rey, the 29th of June last, but had been a considerable time from the seat of congress; the Republicans are again in possession of Guanahuato, since the 3d of April, with almost all the country north of Mexico, as far as Saltillo, Durongo and San Louis Potosi–all the coast on the Pacific ocean and adjacent country.”--SciotoSupporter, October 3, 1815

August 16: From Vermont — “The BATTLE OF BENNINGTON on the 16th of August, 1777, will be celebrated at Bennington, on Wednesday the 16th inst. A procession will be formed at the courthouse at 12 o’clock, and proceed to the meeting house where dinners and other refreshments will be provided by Mr. Cushman.”–Green Mountain Farmer, August 14, 1815

August 16: From Augusta — “We understand by advices from the Creek Nation, that that unfortunate people have again taken up arms against the Whites, and that they have destroyed all the forts from Fort Jackson to Fort Mitchell . . . .”–New York Gazette, October 26, 1815

August 18: From Boston — “Why is Gov. Strong better than President Madison? Because he did not retreat from the enemy. Why did not Gov. Strong retreat from the enemy? Because, keeping from first to last, at the remotest distance from the enemy, he had no room to retreat!”–Yankee,August 18, 1815

August 19: From Detroit –“the Indians were collecting in considerable numbers to attend the commissioners appointed by our Government to treat with them, and it was supposed there would not be a less number assembled than from 5 to 10,000 men, women and children.”–New York Gazette, September 15, 1815

August 21: From Philadelphia — “The Franklin, of 74 guns, was . . . launched from the stocks in the Navy Yard of this city–the operation was conducted with the same skill and effect which had constructed one of the most beautiful and complete pieces of naval architecture, which has ever been formed by the united efforts of science and art.”–Providence Patriot, September 2, 1815

August 22: From Cincinnati — “Many a mechanic, who is walking about the streets of the old towns of New England for a job, would find it better for him to spend that time in travelling to the western country, where he is wanted, and where he will get plenty of work, and be well paid for it.”–National Advocate, August 22, 1815

August 23: From Onondaga, New York — Died, at the Onondaga Castle, on Sunday last, one of the chiefs of the Alleganies, well known through this country as the Indian Prophet. . . . It will be proper to observe, that he was called the peace Prophet, in contra-distinction to the brother of Tecumseh who was called the war Prophet.”–New York Spectator, September 2, 1815

August 23: From Long Island — “An Alligator, measuring 5 feet 6 inches, was shot in a swamp about three quarters of a mile from Bushwick Ferry (L. I.) on Saturday afternoon last by John T. Brouwere. While in the act of levelling his piece at a flock of snipes he discovered the Alligator within a few yards of the spot where he stood, making towards him, when he instantly lodged the contents of the piece in the throat of the monster, who now adds to the catalogue of natural curiosities exhibited in Scudder’s American Museum in this city.”– National Advocate, August 23, 1815

August 24: From Cadiz, Spain — “We arrived here yesterday after a very boisterous passage, in 21 days from N. York. About half an hour after we came to anchor, we were informed by Mr. John W. Barker, of Salem, Massachusetts, of a Treaty of Peace being settled between the United States and the Dey of Algiers, and of Bonaparte’s defeat and dethronement.”–Richmond Enquirer,November 8, 1815

August 25: Letter from an American in Bordeaux, France — “The Allies have begun by levying a contribution of one hundred millions in France . . . . notwithstanding all their singing, dancing and shouting in the streets, I believe the French at this time are a most miserable people. . . . There is no doubt, I shall return well satisfied with my native country;–indeed the people of the United States do not know how happy they are.”–New York Evening Post, October 11, 1815

August 25: From Philadelphia — “We are happy to inform the citizens, that the Steam Engine for supplying the city with water, from the Fair Mount Water Works, was put in operation yesterday; and the city now receives water from that source.”–New York Gazette, August 28, 1815

August 25: Latest from Gibraltar — “There were various reports respecting the number of American merchantmen captured by the Algerines since the war, but they originated more from conjecture than from any ascertained facts. It remains a question if they have captured one, except a Salem brig a great while since.”–New York Gazette, August 29, 1815

August 26: From a London paper — “An American gentleman who is lately arrived from New-York, states that there is just completed in that harbor, a steam frigate, the length of which is 100 yards, and breadth 200 feet, her sides which are alternately composed of oak plank and cork wood, are 23 feet thick. She carries 44 guns, four of which are of very large bore, the others 42 pounders, and in case of being boarded, she is enabled by machinery to discharge 100 gallons boiling water per minute, and at the same time 300 cutlasses branch over her gunwales, and an equal number of pikes dart out from her sides!!!!–Eastern Argus, Maine, November 1, 1815

August 27: From a London paper — “The number of American mercantile agents lately arrived at Liverpool from the United States, exceed all precedent. Fifteen stage coaches now run daily from that port to Manchester, and in general return heavily laden with cotton goods of every description.”–Shamrock, October 21, 1815

August 28: From Philadelphia — “We are happy in being able to state, that Capt. Gardner, of the ship Hope, from Gibraltar, has brought dispatches for Government from com. Decatur, announcing the capture of two Algerine Frigates and a brig, by the squadron under his command.”–Providence Patriot, September 2, 1815

August 29: From Rock River, to Gov. Edwards of Illinois– “Since I left Portage des Sioux nothing occurred except the death of one or two Sioux (by sickness) who had accompanied me. On arrival at the river de Moin, I met six Sacks, a war party, who said they resided on the Missouri, and were on their return to see their women and children.”–Baltimore Patriot, October 21, 1815

August 30: From Norfolk — “Arrived–The United States cartel ship Perseverance, Capt. Dill, in 41 days from Plymouth, (Eng.) with 25 prisoners of war; a part of them are of that number who were inhumanly wounded at the Dartmoor Massacre.”–Providence Patriot, September 9, 1815

August 30: From Milledgeville — “Six hundred troops are about to march from Fort Hawkins to attend the commissioners appointed to run the boundary line of the Creek nation, which it is thought will not be completed in less than six or eight months.”–Carthage Gazette, October 10, 1815

August 31: Letter from Commodore Decatur, from Messina — “During the progress of our negociations with the states of Barbary, now brought to a conclusion, there has appeared a disposition on the part of each of them, to grant as far as we were disposed to demand.”–Shamrock, November 15, 1815

August 31: From Detroit — “Gov. Cass had received official information of the intention of our government to place our fleet on Lake Erie in an immediate state of readiness for service. A part of our armed vessels which were ordered to be scuttled and sunk last spring are now to be raised and refitted.”– Louisville Western Courier, August 31, 18152

August 31: From New York — “Five of Bonaparte’s Generals, viz. Carnot, Regnault de St. Jean d’Argely, Clausel, and two others have arrived in this city from Bordeaux. We have just heard that Messrs. Gallatin and Clay arrived at Sandy Hook this morning.”–Adams Centinel, September 6, 1815


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