News of the US: January 1814

January 1:  From Batavia, New York — “The last 30 hours has presented a continual scene of families flying from a victorious and savage enemy.  The road for many miles in extent, is literally covered with various carriages loaded with women and children, and the few effects a moment, and the limited means of conveyance, suffered them to snatch from destruction.”–Albany Argus,January 11, 1814

January 2:  From Canandaigua — “Information has just reached town, by express, that the enemy are 18 miles this side of Lewiston, on the Ridge Road, marching towards this place, with a force of above 2,000, including Indians.  Our force consists only of about 4 or 500 effective men.  We are almost destitute of ammunition and guns.  Our force is at or near Batavia.  We are very much alarmed here for the safety of this village.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, January 14, 1814

January 2:  From Nashville – “We have this evening heard from General Jackson’s Army, the movements of which have been unimportant since the battle of Talladega—prevented from decisive operations by the want of supplies.  These are however becoming better regulated, and by the sixth instant he will proceed to form a junction with the victorious army of Georgia, under General Floyd.  The command of the whole of the forces moving against the Creeks has been conferred on Maj. Gen. Pinckney.”—United States’ Gazette, January 26, 1814

January 3:  From Mercer, Pennsylvania — “The enemy, whose course is marked by every species of depredation, calculated to distress our fellow citizens, is progressing towards Erie, laying waste every thing that comes in their way.  Already has Buffalo, fort Schlosser, Manchester, Lewistown and fort Niagara, been swept from the earth by conflagration, the cries of infants, women, the aged and infirm, call loudly for protection and redress, and every man having a single drop of American blood flowing in his vein, will not refuse to repair to the protection of Erie, and shipping at that place.”–Raleigh Star, January 21, 1814

January 3:  From Albany — “The Court Martial which was so pompously ordered to convene in Albany the 3d inst. for the trial of Gen. Hull, met there on that day; but letters from thence state, that on proceeding to business, it was found, that the administration had neglected or forgotten to summon the witnesses on the part of the prosecution!”–Boston Weekly Messenger, January 14, 1814

January 4:  From Fort Strother, Mississippi Territory — “Our camp is again in confusion.  The 4th January has arrived, and the militia of W. Tennessee claim their discharge.  The general [Jackson] issued an order commanding and ordering them not to leave camp–that if they did return home, they should be treated, as deserters from the public service of the U. States.”–New York Spectator, February 16, 1814

January 5:  From New Haven — “Two persons have been detected in Fort Trumbull, New London, as spies, (one of them dressed in women’s apparel) by a private of that Fort.–They had been on board of the American squadron and in Fort Griswold.  They were sent on board the frigate United States, Com. Decatur.  The one in women’s clothes proves to be the second lieutenant of the Ramillies.”–The Gleaner, January 21, 1814

January 6:  From Le Roy (near Batavia), New York — “I met between Cayuga and this place, upwards of 100 families in wagons, sleds and sleighs, many of them with nothing but what they had on their backs–nor could they find places to stay in.  . . . The Tuscarora Indians are in the woods, less than a mile from where I am, without any other shelter than the heavens.”–Mercantile Advertiser,  January 17, 1814

January 7:  In the House of Representatives — “Mr. Wheaton presented the petition of Paul Cuffee, a freeman of colour who states that from motives of religion and humanity, he hath been induced to attempt the civilization and amelioration of the inhabitants of the African continent, and praying permission for a vessel to depart from the United States to Sierra Leone, for the purpose of carrying a number of families of free coloured people to effect the object of his undertaking.–Referred.”–Raleigh Register, January 14, 1814

January 10:  From New York — “We, the undersigned, have this day examined the model and plans of a vessel of war, submitted to us by Robert Fulton, to carry 24 guns, 24 or 32 pounders, and use hot shot, to be propelled by steam at the speed of from 4 to 5 miles and hour, without the aid of wind or tide.  . . .  We therefore give it as our decided opinion, that it is among the best interests of the U. S. to carry this plan into immediate execution. (Signed) STEPHEN DECATUR,  JACOB JONES,  J. BIDDLE”–Scioto Supporter, February 9, 1814

January 11 — From New York — “BAD NEWS–if true.  The following is a Postscript to a letter received this morning from Lancaster, (Penn) dated the 11th inst.  ‘P. S.–News has just arrived by the Cross Roads Mail from Erie, that the British and Indians had landed at ERIE, and BURNT the TOWN, also that they have destroyed the whole FLEET lying at that place, consisting of the squadron that Com. Perry commanded, and those taken by him.'”–New York Herald, January 15, 1814

January 12:  From Milledgeville — “General Jackson with the Tennessee troops are at camp Strother, on the Coosa, and will probably advance in the direction of the Hickory Ground, in a few days.  May his usual success attend him.”–National Intelligencer, January 27, 1814

January 12:  From Governor Strong’s address to the Massachusetts Legislature — “Peace, however, must be ardently desired by the people of this Commonwealth, as the present state is unfavorable to their morals, and ruinous to their prosperity; and besides, a large national debt has been already incurred, and is continually increasing, which will probably have the same continuance as the union of the States, and must entail upon the present generation and their posterity the burdens of direct and oppressive taxes.”–Eastern Argus, January 20, 1814

January 14:  From New Orleans — “Our city has been considerably agitated during the last week, by the refusal of the militia (particularly if not exclusively the French) to stand a draft for a call made by the Governor, at the request of Gen. Flourney, for 1000 men.  They say they will defend the city if attacked; or if the enemy should happen to get as near the town as English turn, they may possibly turn out; but they will not place themselves under the command of United States officers.  It is supposed that the Governor, being fond of a quiet life, and not willing to irritate his friends, will revoke the General order.”–Raleigh Star, February 18, 1814

January 14:  From Washington — “After misspending so much of their invaluable time in idle debates about French affairs, the House of Representatives have, at last, resumed the real business of the nation, and turned their attention to the measures necessary for filling the ranks of the army.”–National Advocate, January 18, 1814

January 15:  From St. Louis — “Some few days ago Black Partridge, a chief of the Pottawatomie Indians, with nine or ten of the warriors of his nation arrived overland from Fort Clark (Peoria) with an escort of regulars from the garrison.  Governor Clark held a council with them. . . .  They were perfectly chopfallen when governor Clark reminded them of the good advice he formerly gave them and of their atrocious subsequent behavior.”–Gettysburg Adams Centinel, March 9, 1814

January 18:  From a conversation with Gen. Cass at Erie — “our troops of different descriptions at Detroit were 1700 strong; the fort had been thoroughly repaired and considerably improved:  was amply supplied with provisions and every necessary of war.”–Gettysburg Adams Centinel,February 9, 1814

January 18:  From Washington — “Mr. Gaston, (of N. C.) on the 18th inst. offered the following resolution in Congress:  ‘Resolved, That pending the negociation with Great Britain, it is inexpedient to prosecute military operations against the Canadas for invasion or conquest.’  It was rejected, by 92 to 67.”–Salem Gazette, January 25, 1814

January 20:  From Herkimer, New York — “‘Uncle Sam’s’ hard bargains.–On Thursday afternoon of last week, about thirty sleighs, ‘more or less,’ loaded with the ‘weak and wounded, sick and sore,’ of our armies on the frontiers, passed through this village for Greenbush.  Never before have we beheld such a picture.  half-naked, half-frozen, and by their looks half starved:  some with and some without legs, others upon crutches, or supporting each other from falling, with their heads or arms bandaged, and the blood still oozing from their half-dressed wounds . . . .”–New York Herald, February 5, 1814

January 21:  From Nashville — “Glorious–If true.  A report reached here on Saturday last, that Gen. Jackson, in conjunction with the Georgia troops, had a battle on the 21st ult. with the Indians at the junction of Coosa and Tallapoosie rivers; and that the whole of the Indians, 1000 in number were killed.”–Scioto Supporter, February 16, 1814

January 22:  From Annapolis – “CELEBRATION OF THE EMANCIPATION OF THE WORLD.  Thursday last being the day set apart for celebrating the brilliant victories of the allied armies of Europe, over the Imperial despot of France, whose ambition was only bounded by an extravagant desire of enslaving the world, a large concourse of gentlemen from different parts of the state, and from the District of Columbia, assembled in this city for that purpose.”—New York Spectator, January 29, 1814

January 22: From Nashville — “On Friday last, between 3 and 400 U. States troops, of the 39th Infantry, marched from the Cantonment near this place, under the command of Lieut. Col. Thomas H. Benton, for the Creek Nation.  They will be joined by about 200 more, of the same regiment, at Fort Deposit [Alabama].–And will immediately go on to the main army;–Col. Williams will command them.”–Carthage Gazette, January 22, 1814

January 24:  From the West — “The Canadians have mounted their artillery on runners of a peculiar construction, and literally fight by sleigh parties.”–National Intelligencer,  February 5, 1814

January 24:  From Richmond — “This morning very early ten [British] barges were seen in York river; in its mouth, going out, and it is presumed they had been higher up.  They want wood, water and provisions, and say they mean to have them.”–New York Herald, February 2, 1814

January 25:  From Utica — “Our army at French Mill, we understand, are leaving their encampment, having destroyed their boats, and are making the best of their way by forced marches, to Sackett’s Harbour. . . .  We are happy to learn that the donations and contributions in this and the neighboring villages for the relief of the sufferers on the Niagara frontier, have been unprecedentedly liberal, and afford ample testimony of a beneficence that is a credit to human nature.”–Aurora, February 2, 1814

January 27:  From 43 miles west of Chatahouchee, letter from General Floyd to Major General Pinkney — “Sir–I have the honor to acquaint your Excellency, that this morning at 20 minutes past 5 o’clock, a very large body of hostile Indians made a desperate attack upon the army under my command.  They stole upon the centinels, fired upon them and with great impetuosity rushed upon our lines:  in 20 minutes the action became general, and our front, right and left flanks were closely pressed:  but the brave and gallant conduct of the field and line officers, and the firmness of the men, repelled them at every point.”–Scioto Supporter, March 2, 1814

January 27:  From Norwich, U. S. Deputy Commissary’s Office — “The subscriber will receive proposals for furnishing the United States with Muskets, on a new and improved plan; the pattern to be seen at the subscriber’s office.  Elisha Trascy”–Providence Patriot, May 7, 1814

January 28:  Letter from an American at Paris, delighted to get out of Italy — “with no small joy found myself at last  out of such a country of scoundrels! a country where honesty is scarcely known even by name–a country where there is so much devotion that there is no religion–where there are so many priests that there is no morality–and where the prostitute often starves to death, because her profession is the profession of almost every woman in the country!”--Scioto Supporter, April 23, 1814

January 28:  From Falmouth, Massachusetts — “On Friday morning last, 28th inst. the Nimrod British brig of war anchored off the town of Falmouth, Mass.  Shortly after she sent on shore a flag, and demanded the two field pieces, and a sloop lying at the wharf, and in case of non-compliance threatened to bombard the town . . . .  About the time set, the cannonading began, and continued, with very little intermission, till night . . . .  fortunately no lives were lost, and no person hurt.”–Providence Patriot, February 5, 1814

January 29:  Letter from Andrew Jackson to Governor Blount, from Fort Strother –“I returned from an incursion against the hostile creeks on the Tallapoosa on the evening of the 27th inst.  The enclosed report will give you a history of the whole and the causes which gave rise to this incursion.–I have had some hard fighting, lost some fine fellows, but whipped them at every point and on every attack. . . ..  I should do injustice to my feelings, if I omitted to mention that the venerable Judge Cocke at the age of 65, entered the engagement and continued the pursuit of the enemy with youthful ardor:  and saved the life of a fellow soldier by killing his savage antagonist.””–Scioto Supporter, February 23, 1814

January 29:  From Bordeaux — “The pope has been at last set at liberty and has set out for Rome.  Napoleon with one hundred and twenty-five thousand men, the remnant of his enormous force, has set off to oppose himself in the plains of Champaigne to the progress of three hundred thousand coalesced Prussians, Russians, Austrians and Germans.–New York Spectator, April 13, 1814

January 30:  “Extract of a letter from a distinguished American in the north of Europe,” [John Quincy Adams] — “The English government and nation have been told, and have probably believed, that Mr. De Witt Clinton would be elected president instead of Mr. Madison, and that he would instantly make peace with England upon English terms.”–Weekly Aurora, June 22, 1813

January 31:  From Charleston — “A Charleston paper of Jan. 31, mentions an attack on the schooner Alligator, Capt. Bassett, lying in Stone river, by 6 boats of the enemy.  After a gallant action of 30 minutes the boats were repulsed; 2 men killed on our side.”–Raleigh Star, February 11, 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