News of the US: June of 1814

June 1: A Tennessee editorial — “The barbarians have reached Paris. We deplore the event if it be attended with the consequences we dread–the reduction of the power of France. . . . Reduce the power of France and the continent will be overrun by the Cossacks and barbarians. Science and civilization would again be banished, and the collected wisdom of ages be consigned to the flames by the Vandals of the north.”–Nashville Clarion, June 1, 1814

June 1: From Kaskaskia, concerning the loss of a ranger — “The first of those rangers was in the habit of going out to kill ducks without the knowledge or permission of his officer–in one of those little excursions upon Peoria Lake, he discovered 3 Indians, from whom he attempted to escape by running, but was unfortunately intercepted by 4 others who shot him, mangled his body, cut off his head, legs and arms, and hung them upon trees.”–National Intelligencer, July 14, 1814

June 3: From Boston — “On Tuesday night last arrived at Portsmouth the privateer Fox, from a cruize. On the 15th of May she captured the brig Balize from Cork for Quebec. The Balize sailed from the former place on the 23d of April, and her officers and seamen informed that on the night of the 21st there was a general illumination on account of the war having come to an end in Europe; Napoleon having yielded the crown to the Bourbons–himself and family consenting to retire to an island in the Mediterranean on an annuity!!” —National Intelligencer, June 9, 1814

June 3: From Fort Hawkins — “an express from Gen. Graham reached Milledgeville on Friday morning last bringing the information that the hostile Indians (FIFTEEN HUNDRED strong) had returned to the Alabama and Talapoosa from Pensacola, with a supply of arms and ammunition, and were determined to renew the war.”–Alexandria Gazette, June 17, 1814

June 4: From St. Louis — “By information just received from Peoria we learn that a party of Indians had arrived there from Rock river who state that our little fleet under the command of governor Clark had passed that place on their way to Prairie du Chein.”–Louisville Western Courier, June 20, 1815

June 6: From London — “The expedition for America, drawn from the army of Wellington, is prepared with the greatest activity. Tuesday last, the first division of the expedition sailed from Bordeaux under the orders of gens. Robinson, Ross and Kempt.”–National Advocate, July 28, 1814

June 7: From Salem: “Wonderful Events in Europe! Bonaparte banished–the mild Race of the Bourbons restored–and Peace and Joy in France, and throughout Europe!”–Salem Gazette, June 7, 1814

June 7: From Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania — “Mrs. Rose Wright has been appointed to the office, in this town, of Postmaster, in the stead of her late husband, John Wright, dec. And why not a lady! If women in England can be constables and churchwardens, why not post-mistresses in the United States?”–Nashville Clarion, June 7, 1814

June 8: From Burlington — “The war-men in Washington appear determined to have some more blood shed before Peace takes place–and that another attempt shall be made to take Upper Canada at least. All the troops in this vicinity and at Plattsburg, have been marched off, ostensibly to Lake Ontario–and all the war apparatus are taking that direction.”–The Gleaner, July 1, 1814

June 9: Privateer General Armstrong captures the schooner George Canning, formerly the Matilda, of Philadelphia; the Matilda was sent into and arrived at Thomastown, Maine. The Matilda was captured almost two years ago by a British privateer, was recaptured off England by the U.S. brig Argus; was recaptured off France by a British 74, “and re-re-re-captured by the Armstrong!!!”–Providence Patriot, August 13, 1814

June 9: From Apalachacola — “The Orpheus frigate and king’s schr. have arrived at Apalachacola bay, with about 300 regular troops, twenty two thousand stand of arms, a sufficient quantity of fixed ammunition, a quantity of cloathing, &c. all of which they are landing, and have commenced a fortification near a store house owned by Inararety, & Co at the bay.”–Nashville Clarion, July 12, 1814

June 10: From Salem — “Yesterday a British 74 and frigate were coasting all day near our shores, and made a magnificent appearance.–About 3 o’clock a tender chased a topsail schooner into Mackeral Cove Beverly) and set her on fire. Our fort fired a few guns at her which she saucily disregarded, as well the musketry from Beverly hills. Thousands stood witnessing the insult on our heights, but we had nothing that could move to take vengeance for it.”–American Daily Advertiser, June 15, 1814

June 10: News of Texas — “Private letters from Natchitoches of the last of April, state, 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.”–American Daily Advertiser, June 10, 1814

June 10: From Salem — “General Jackson, of the Tennessee militia, is appointed a Brigadier General in the army of the United States, and by brevet has the honorary rank of Major General. This exterminating hero will probably be ordered to Canada, that he may still further exercise his humane and courageous feelings, by slaughtering the defenseless Indians “in style.”–Salem Gazette,June 10, 1814

June 11: “The Proclamation, [of Admiral Cochrane, of April 2, 1814], inviting British adherents in the United States to a participation in British freedom and prosperity . . . is probably the same we noticed a short time since, as having been promulgated at Bermuda . . . . We are disposed to give as wide a circulation to this document as in our power, ardently hoping that those to whom it is addressed will accept its benignant terms, and speedily relieve themselves from the tyrannical yoke of the Frenchified Madison, and his Frenchified people. Such of them, who have not the wherewith to convey them to the promised land, shall be supplied, by making their wants known; and, we presume, on application to the government, with promise not to return, flags of truce to ensure their safe passage may be obtained.”–Providence Patriot, June 11, 1814

June 11: From Sackett’s Harbor — “The British fleet have left us, and gone to Kingston, where we shall return their visit, I hope, in a short time, in a manner they wont like. The Superior is now complete and ready for sea. She is one of the finest vessels I ever say. This day the new frigate Mohawk, of 54 guns was launched.–Gettysburg Adams Centinel, June 29, 1814

June 12: From Detroit — “Our inhabitants are much alarmed in consequence of the proceedings of the Indians at Sagenan, and near Detroit. . . . Our Fort at the Rapids, under Colonel Cotgreve, we consider secure.”–Alexandria Gazette, July 2, 1814

June 12: From the Creek nation — “The old Tallassee or tame king that has made so much noise, lived until the present morning, when I believe, he really died of old age. It has often been said that this noble Indian has been killed by gen. Floyd, and in fact almost every man who has been in the nation has killed him, yet he still lived until the present morning.”–Raleigh Minerva, July 22, 1814

June 13: From Commodore Barney, in St. Leonard’s Creek — The British, in attacking the gunboat flotilla, “left only 200 men and one small boat on board the Dragon, at the mouth of the Patuxent, so that there must have been in the affair on Friday, upwards of 800! they came with a band of music playing.”–Providence Patriot, June 25, 1814

June 14: From Providence — “The Newport mail brings a letter from the postmaster, dated this morning, an extract from which follows: ‘An express has just arrived from New Bedford, bringing the melancholy news, that the English sent in their barges in the town of Wareham, (Ms.) yesterday, and burnt the whole town about 60 houses, and all the manufactories, to the ground. The fleet could not get within three miles of the town. They attempted to get into New Bedford, but the wind blowing ahead, they proceeded to Wareham.”–National Intelligencer, June 21, 1814

June 15: From Boston — From the sermon delivered by William Henry Channing at the Solemn Festival in Commemoration of the Goodness of God in Delivering the Christian World from Military Despotism” — “I consider the fall of the usurper, and of his power, as the death blow of Atheism, and infidelity, which has been the chief source of the miseries of Europe.”–New York Spectator, July 13, 1814

June 15: From the Boston Patriot — “The enemy are hovering on our coast, destroying our shipping, and the produce of our labor and our land, and what has been done for our defence? Nothing. Is it possible? What! nothing? No: your governor, your senate, and your house of representatives, are debating how to celebrate with the partizans of Great Britain and a few crazy, moon-struck priests, a pompous and fantastic Te Deum in honor of the dethronement of Bonaparte, while the enemy are desolating our coasts.”–Aurora, June 20, 1814

June 16: From Quebec — “Captains Davis and Hicky, of the Royal Navy, have reached Kingston with the reinforcements of Sailors and Artificers from England. . . . Lake Ontario is likely to be soon the scene of much blood-shed, as our 50 gun ship is equipping with all possible expedition, which will place Sir James Yeo in a situation to meet Chauncey, although not on equal terms.”–Baltimore Patriot, June 18, 1814

June 17: From Milledgeville, Georgia — “”An Express from Colonel Hawkins to the Executive has this moment arrived, and confirms the landing of the British in Florida. . . . The British Officer delivered a talk to the Indians, informing them that he expected a further supply of articles for them in 25 days, having dispatched a vessel for them; and requesting them to co-operate with their friends, the British, who will occupy Mobile, Perdido, Yellow water, Choc lau hatche, an Island near to, as well as the town of Savannah; and an Island near Charleston.”–Providence Patriot, July 9, 1814

June 18: From Charleston — “The News, the ‘Glorious News,’ copied from the Charleston papers, recording the brilliant triumphs of Napoleon and the capture of the allied monarchs, said to have been received by the Spencer at Savannah, proves to be a most villainous Hoax.”–Scioto Supporter, June 18, 1814

June 18: From St. Louis — “On Monday evening last a barge arrived here from Prairie du Chien with governor Clark and a few gentlemen who accompanied him on his expedition to that place. We are happy in being able to announce the fortunate result of that hazardous enterprize. . . . As soon as the troops landed at the town, notice was sent to the inhabitants (who had fled into the country) to return, all came back, but a few scoundrels who knew they deserved a halter.”–Aurora, July 20, 1814

June 19: From the Chesapeake — “By a letter from Nottingham, of the 19th, it appears the enemy were in possession of Benedict, and had pickets 3 miles in the country. They were shipping tobacco from the warehouses there. Their force, a brig, two schooners, 13 barges and about 800 men. They have carried away 4000 hhds. of tobacco, worth 250,000 dollars. Barney’s flotilla was safe at the last date, and the British had disappeared.”–Providence Patriot, July 2, 1814

June 19: From Sackett’s Harbour — “John Bull appeared off this harbor the day before yesterday, but soon went out of sight again. It is reported that six thousand men at Kingston are now ready to embark for this place. If this news be true, (and we have strong reasons to believe it) we shall have bloody times at this place.”–The Gleaner, July 15, 1814

June 20: From Massachusetts — “The legislature has appropriated one million of dollars for the purpose of defending the state.==However tardy, she ought to be congratulated on returning sanity. . . . On another ground also, it is true, however humiliating, that she ought to be greeted. her legislature, after doing this good act, adjourned for about six months.”–Baltimore Patriot, June 20, 1814

June 20: From Knoxville — “On authority entitled to the fullest credit, we are enabled to state that General Jackson will command the seventh military district, composed of the states of Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, and the Mississippi Territory, and that, as commanding officer, he will be the sole negociator of whatever adjustment may be made with the hostile Creeks.”–National Intelligencer, July 16, 1814

June 21: THE BRITISH NAVY Consists at present of 1040 vessels of different descriptions; of which 760 are in commission. –Of these 161 are of the line, 24 from 50 to 44 [guns], 155 frigates, 130 sloops of war, 9 fire ships, 133 brigs, 41 cutters, and 54 schooners..”–Weekly Aurora, June 21, 1814

June 21: From Philadelphia — “Yesterday afternoon, about 15 minutes past 4 o’clock, the United States’ Frigate Guerriere, Commodore Rodgers, was launched into the element of which, we trust, she will hereafter be an ornament.”–National Intelligencer, June 23, 1814

June 22: From Boston — “Yesterday we had the pleasure in common with nearly twenty thousand highly gratified spectators, of seeing the U. S. ship INDEPENDENCE, of Seventy-Four guns, move majestically into her element, in perfect safety, from the Navy-Yard in Charlestown.”–Providence Patriot, June 25, 1814

June 22: From Benedict, Maryland: “Perceiving that the enemy were all on board his barges, and that we therefore could not reach or injure him, the order to retire was given by General Stuart; and we all retired in good order, and re-occupied the heights, in the midst of a heavy cannonading. I is astonishing and appears like a Providential interference, that not one of the large or grape shot, which fell all around us, touched a man or horse.”–Baltimore Patriot, June 25, 1814

June 22: From the Georgia Argus — “By a gentleman direct from Fort Hawkins, we learn, that Col Pearson, of the North-Carolina militia, who was lately dispatched down the Alabama, in pursuit of the remaining hostile Indians, has returned with 450 of them prisoners!–they were taken without the least opposition–only one gun was fired.”–Connecticut Mirror, July 25, 1814

June 22: From New London — “On Monday last about, 1 o’clock P. M. a most terrible explosion was heard, and a shock felt here which some people supposed to be caused by distant thunder, and others that it was an earthquake. We have since heard that the torpedo fitted in N. Y. called the Turtle, in coming down the Sound, was driven on shore near Oyster Ponds in the late heavy blow; & that the enemy having learned the fact, on Monday proceeded there and blew her up.”–The Gleaner, July 22, 1814

June 23: From Nashville — “A Mr. Overton, of Murray county, who has been detained for some time contrary to his inclination on board the British fleet, has returned home, having been landed from the vessel he was detained in at Pensacola. He states, that there were at Pensacola when he left there about 1000 Indians, encamped on the bay opposite the town. That they were well armed, and had received their arms fro the British; that about 17,000 stand of arms had been sent there by the British, and 300 British soldiers had landed.”–National Advocate, July 19, 1814

June 24: From Plattsburg, news from Champlain — “on Tuesday last, Lt. Col. Forsyth with his Rifle corps passed over the line as far Odletown when he discovered a party of the enemy endeavoring to prevent his return to the line. . . . a short but spirited engagement took place; and though the enemy were superior in number, he was compelled to retire, and followed back to the line.”–Raleigh Register, July 8, 1814

June 25: From Plattsburg — “Capt. Pring commands the British flotilla. We understand he stated to the officer who had charge of the prisoners, that Sir James Yeo, in consequence of a wound would be compelled to retire from the command of Lake Ontario . . . . When and where Sir James received this wound, or whether it is a bodily wound or a more fatal contusion of his reputation, which renders him unfit for service, we did not learn.”–Western American, July 29, 1814

June 26: Letter from Commodore Barney — “Sir–This morning at 4 A. M. a combined attack of the artillery, marine corps and flotilla, was made upon the enemy’s two frigates at the mouth of the creek. After two hours engagement, they got under way and made sail down the river. They are now warping round Point Patience, and I am moving up the Patuxent with my flotilla. My loss is acting midshipman Asquith killed, and ten others killed and wounded.”–Providence Patriot, July 9, 1814

June 26: From Washington — “I have nothing new to give you; every thing remains in status quo. We are pestered a little here by the robbers of hen-roosts and burners of negro huts, who are engaged in blockading Com. Barney’s little squadron. It is said a detachment of the British fleet has left the Patuxent and are coming into the Potomack.”–Kentucky Gazette, July 4, 1814

June 26: From Detroit — “You have no doubt been informed, that on the 11th ult. a party of regulars were sent to the rapids of St. Clair, for the purpose of building a fort; and that they have been subsequently reinforced by five hundred Ohio militia,, &c. Well! the fort is nearly completed, in a very commanding situation, and has been named after the gentleman who superintended its formation, viz. capt. Gratiot.”–Massachusetts Spy, July 27, 1814

June 27: From Annapolis — “I rejoice to find that Com. Barney has fought his way out of St. Leonard’s Creek, and has gone up the river. He lost 11 men in the action and set a frigate of the enemy on fire three times, with hot shot.–Baltimore Patriot, June 28, 1814

June 28: News from Louisville — “The Steam Boat Vesuvius, arrived at Natchez, May 12th, and at New-Orleans on the 14th inst. making the passage from this place to New Orleans (of about 1500 miles) in seven days. She is expected to return to this place about the 15th next month.”–Chillicothe Weekly Recorder, July 19, 1814

June 28: From a letter received at the War Office — “I regret exceedingly to be obliged to state that the Government has lost the services of that valuable officer, Lt. Col. Forsyth. He was killed while advancing on a party of the enemy about 200 strong. The enemy was driven back by the riflemen and one company of the 12th Infantry. Our loss was Lt. Col. Forsyth killed, and one soldier wounded. The enemy’s loss is stated at 17.”–National Intelligencer, July 12, 1814

June 28: From New York — While 300 gentlemen were at dinner celebrating “the restoration of the Bourbons, the return of peace to Europe, and the downfall of Bonaparte,” “a mob of near two thousand people collected in front of Washington Hall. They appeared much enraged, used much severe and insulting language, and broke a number of the windows.==Some of the stones thrown into the Hall, struck one or two of the gentlemen at the table.”–Massachusetts Spy, July 13, 1814

June 29: From Commodore Macdonough — “Sir–I had information yesterday, that two spars intended for the masts of a ship building at Isle-au-Noix were on their way to Canada, in charge and under the management of four citizens of the United States. I sent sailing master Vallette to destroy them, which he did near the lines. The persons who were towing them made their escape on shore.”–Providence Patriot, July 30, 1814

June 29: From New York — “A gentleman who arrived here last evening from Sag Harbor informs us, that on Thursday last the Torpedo Boat was run ashore at Horton’s opposite Faulkner’s Island, and on Sunday she was destroyed by the Sylph sloop of war, and a frigate. One man in attempting to swim ashore from the Torpedo was drowned, the others made their escape. The cable of the torpedo was cut for the purpose of saving the man who attempted to swim ashore, which was the cause of her getting ashore. It was also reported, that four men belonging to the barges were killed by the Sag harbor militia.”–National Intelligencer, July 2, 1814

June 30: From Murfreesborough, Tennessee –Maj. Gen Jackson past through this town on Tuesday last, on his way to the Creek Nation. It will soon be ascertained by him whether the Spanish government is friendly or unfriendly to the U. States. If they have been so unfortunate as to arm the savages against us or have permitted the British to do it they will soon atone for it with the loss of their possessions in North America. Gen. Jackson will never hunt shadows–if he ever moves against the Spaniards no excuse will be taken; their towns will be ours; their territory will soon be settled by American freemen.”–Scioto Supporter, July 16, 1814

June 30:  Editorial from Annapolis — “If Mr. Madison will abdicate the presidency, from a conviction of his inability to discharge its high duties, and retire into the humbler walks of private life, he will be followed by the blessings of thousands; we shall then believe his career has been the course of error and not of cold-blooded mischief.”–Maryland Gazette, June 30, 1814

June 30: From Plattsburgh — “On Wednesday the remains of Col. Forsythe were interred at Champlain, with the solemnities and honor of war. Arrived at this post a few days since, Major Apling, of the Rifle Corps, who commanded the American troops at Sandy Creek. Since the death of Col. Forsyth he has passed down the lines and will command the detachment of Riflemen stationed there.”–National Intelligencer, July 14, 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