News of the US: March 1814

March 1: On board the United States Ship Superior, at Sackett’s Harbour — “A most splendid ball was given on board the United States ship Superior, on the first inst. by the wardroom officers of that ship. That fine vessel was fitted up for the occasion in a style of uncommon elegance and taste. . . . The whole world may be challenged to produce another instance of a country so new, so remote, so lately a howling wilderness, exhibiting such an assemblage of beauty, fashion and taste, as the ladies presented on this occasion.”–New York Spectator, March 18, 1815, also Maryland Gazette, March 30, 1815

March 1: From Fairfield, Connecticut — “We learn that at Fairfield, on the celebration of peace, an Ox was roasted whole, and at evening their joy was illuminated by the blaze of 15 barrels of tar.”–Columbian, March 1, 1815

March 2: From Washington — “The House of Representatives have removed the injunction of secrecy from their proceedings. The two Houses of Congress have passed a law, declaring war against the Dey of Algiers; and a sufficient navel force is to be forthwith sent into the Mediterranean to carry the act, when it shall be approved by the President, into execution.”–New York Spectator, March 11, 1815

March 2: From Savannah –“Thursday before, a squadron of British barges from Cumberland, went up the St. Mary’s river, manned with 300 seaman & marines, for the purpose of burning Clark’s mills: that within a mile of the mills the enemy were met on the bank of the river by about forty of our men, who engaged the barges, drove them back, & are said to have killed and wounded upwards of one hundred of the enemy. . . . on the American side none killed or wounded.”–Green Mountain Farmer, March 27, 1815

March 3: From Boston, news from Castine, Maine — “An English gentleman (the captain of a transport lying at Castine,) arrived in town yesterday, from that place, which he left on Saturday last. . . . The above captain has come here for the purpose of procuring English seamen from the prison ship at Salem, to man the transports (8 or 9 in number) at Castine, their crews having mostly run away, or deserted to the States.”–Connecticut Journal, March 6, 1815

March 3: From Salem — “Last night, about half past 9 o’clock, some of the British prisoners confined here on board of the prison ship, succeeded in cutting a hole through her bows, and 8 precipitated through, directly under the fire of the guard on deck. . . . This is the third attempt they have made to escape since the news of Peace. A number on board have declared their intention never to embark for England.”–Baltimore Patriot, March 10, 1815

March 4: From Washington — “After 11 o’clock last night, the two houses of Congress separated, after having within the last ten days but particularly on yesterday, gone through a great mass of public business. Much harmony has prevailed during the latter days of the session, and many measures have passed through the prevalence of a spirit of concession, which would otherwise have been rejected.”–Western American, March 18, 1815

March 5: From Charleston — “”The U. S. schr. Alligator, Sailing-Master Ashbridge, arrived here on Saturday evening, in 3 days from Cumberland Island, where she had been with a despatch from Major-General Pinckney, announcing to Admiral Cockburn the cessation of hostilities. Admiral Cockburn had received no despatches from his government on the subject of Peace, and intimated that he should retain his position upon Cumberland until he received official advices of the ratification of the treaty.”–New York Spectator, March 18, 1815

March 5: From Savannah — “A British prize to the Chasseur has arrived in the river to-day; also, a British gun brig (the Manly) from Admiral Cockburn, for provisions; more likely to give us an earnest, that he does not mean to trouble us.”–New York Spectator, March 18, 1815

March 6: From Charleston — “Major General Thomas Pinckney has received from Admiral Cockburn information, that in consequence of the General’s having communicated to him the Ratification of the Treaty of Peace, the Admiral derives great pleasure from having it thereby, in his power, to give immediate orders for stopping all further hostilities on the part of his Britannic Majesty’s forces on this division of the station against the United States.”–Maryland Gazette, March 23, 1815

March 6: From Baltimore — “Our wharves are once more crowded with vessels, and enlivened with the active bustle of busy citizens with cheerful countenances. . . . Articles of country produce are also arriving in abundance, and we may reasonably expect that the prices of Marketing will be at the old rates in a few days.”–Augusta Herald, March 23, 1815

March 8: Reprinted from the New York Courier — “‘The war has ended gloriously–our arms have been brilliantly successful.’ I grant you, Mr. Madison, every where, where you and your heads of departments were not present, brilliant indeed. . . . But at Washington where the genius of the government exerted itself with paralytic energy, total discomfiture and disgrace were witnessed.”–New York Spectator, March 8, 1815

March 8: From New Orleans — “The enemy still hovers on our coast, and although the last accounts are so favorable as to leave no doubt of a Peace, still our city is under martial law; Gen. Jackson alledging that the enemy are only waiting to make an attack, while he is off his guard, in which I think he is right. There has been a little trouble lately with some of the partisans of Louis 18th, they refusing to serve against his Britannic majesty; in consequence of which the general has ordered them and their consul, who first began it, out of the city.”–Raleigh Register, April 21, 1815

March 8: From the Mississippi Republican — “Judge Poindexter was arrested on Saturday last, on a Territorial Warrant, for an assault on the Editor of this paper, in the door of his office; and being brought before the justice who issued the warrant, refused to enter into recognizance for his appearance at court . . . “–New York Spectator, April 5, 1815

March 9: From New London — “A gentleman from New-London, states, that 13 seamen deserted from the barges which brought the British officers on shore last Thursday. In consequence, the Admiral had ordered that the boats of the squadron should not land again; and the elegant packet sloop Cordelia, captain Taber, had been chartered to bring the officers on shore when they wished to come, and convey them back again.”–Augusta Herald, March 30, 1815

March 9: From Amelia — “It is expected that all the slaves, taken here by the British, as well as those who went voluntarily to Cumberland, will be restored to their owners.”–New York Spectator, March 29, 1815

March 9: From the Aurora — “Several unfortunate accidents have occurred to the eastward, in firing salutes for ‘Madison’s peace’–more guns have been fired and more men wounded in Massachusetts on these occasions, than during the whole of the war.”–Baltimore Patriot, March 9, 1815

March 10: From Norfolk — “On Saturday last, the colored gentlemen of Portsmouth [Virginia], (having previously obtained the sanction of the Magistracy) celebrated the return of Peace by a Dinner. The company that met on this joyous occasion was numerous, and the table was well provided with the comforts of life.”–American Daily Advertiser, March 17, 1815

March 10: From Major General M’Intosh at Mobile — “I take this opportunity of informing you I did not receive an account of the ratification of the treaty of peace between the U. States and Great Britain, until last evening from General Jackson at New Orleans, and the commanding officer of his Britannic majesty’s forces at that place has not yet received it officially from his government in consequence of which he refuses complying with an article of said treaty to surrender any conquests on either side, or to deliver slaves who have deserted their owners and taken protection with them, until he shall be officially notified by his own government to do so . . . .”–Centinel of Freedom, April 25, 1815

March 11: Advertisement — “The Steam Boat AETNA, Leaves Pittsburgh for New-Orleans, on Monday the 13th instant. For Freight or Passage apply on Board.”–Pittsburgh Gazette, March 11, 1815

March 13: From London — “On the evening of the 13th March, 1815, the Treaty of Peace between the United States, ratified by President Madison, was received in London, where the American Commissary of Prisoners, Mr. Beasley, then resided.”–Columbian Centinel, August 2, 1815

March 13: From New Orleans — “On the 13th, a copy of the Treaty bearing the President’s signature reached that city. The martial law was revoked; the militia were discharged; and business of every kind had begun to exhibit its former spirit of activity and enterprise.”–New York Spectator, April 19, 1815

March 13: From New York — “Yesterday our harbor presented the most interesting and pleasing spectacle we have witnessed for many months.–About noon, from 25 to 30 sail of merchantmen, ships, brigs, schooners and sloops, were standing down the bay, bound to Europe, the West Indies, and Southern ports.”–Baltimore Patriot, March 15, 1815

March 14: From New Orleans, from Andrew Jackson — “Farewell, fellow soldiers. The expression of your general’s thanks is feeble; but the gratitude of a country of freemen is your’s–your’s the applause of an admiring world.”–New York Spectator, April 22, 1815

March 15: From Castine, Maine, via Boston — “An English gentleman has arrived in town, who left Castine on Saturday last . . . . The above gentleman came to procure seamen from the prison ship in Salem to man the transports–the crews of which having mostly deserted.”–AmericanWatchman, March 15, 1815

March 15: From Albany — “The ice in the Hudson broke up on Monday last–Its movement opposite this city, was one of the most grand and majestic spectacles which the human eye perhaps ever beheld–Several vessels from Troy, and the neighborhood of this city, were caught in the ice, and moved with it some miles, but have been recovered without being materially injured.”–Vermont Mirror, March 15, 1815

March 16: From New York — “Yesterday morning about one hundred riggers and seamen went up in the Steam-Boat Fire Fly, to bring down ships and brigs from Esopus Creek, and other places on the Hudson. We understand that there are at least one hundred sail of ships and brigs up the river, which will probably be down in the course of the ensuing week–Those will help to fill up our docks, which from the late numerous departures of vessels are almost empty.”–Richmond Enquirer, March 25, 1815

March 17: From David Porter, giving news of the fate of the Essex provided by David Adams, who had just returned in a cartel from England — “After avoiding cautiously the usual track of vessels, (for even our privateers were the cause of much alarm to this timorous squadron) they [the Essex and the Phoebe] reached Plymouth on the 13th of November, when the poor Essex, although she had undergone two expensive repairs, was condemned as unfit for service. She was therefore sent to Homoaze, where she was constantly visited by carpenters and draftsmen, who were endeavoring to procure her model.”–Richmond Enquirer, March 25, 1815

March 17: “When the news of Peace reached Sacket’s Harbor, 600 ship Carpenters were at work upon 1 ship of 98 guns, one of 74 guns, one frigate of 44 guns! The keels had been laid, and the other work in some forwardness.”–Raleigh Register, March 17, 1815

March 18: From Savannah — “Sketch of British Plunder and depredations committed on St. Simon’s Island, (Geo.) by Cockburn’s Banditti” “Instead of attacking our military posts, and acquiring honour and renown, they steal into the farm-yards, creeks and sound, and there riot in infamy and meanness. Great God!–and those men, if so they may be called, have been held up as the ‘Bulwark of our religion.'”–Richmond Enquirer, March 29, 1815

March 18: From St. Louis — “Capt. Callaway was defeated and killed last night about sunset. . . . The savages lay in ambush–five men are missing and two wounded. I have given the alarm along the frontier.”–Western Spy, April 1, 1815

March 18: From the Montreal Herald — “It is not from any standing army which the United States can raise that Great Britain ought to be alarmed for the safety of her possessions in North America for some years to come. It is the character of the American population which should direct our measures and future precautions. A people who individually consider themselves sovereigns must naturally be ambitious and intriguing, and always making innovations of their neighbours . . . .”–New York Spectator, April 1, 1815

March 20: From Charleston — “The hum of business again cheers us with its pleasing sounds at our wharves; and, besides the stars and stripes, the flags of most of the commercial nations of Europe are seen, almost daily entering our port. Already those of Russia, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Hamburgh and Bremen enliven the busy scene.”–American Daily Advertiser, March 30, 1815

March 20: From New Haven — “The Steam-Boat Fulton, Capt. Bunker, is advertised in New-York to start on her first trip to this place to-morrow morning, at 5 o’clock. We understand she is to come to at Tomlinson’s wharf, at the Bridge.”–Connecticut Journal, March 20, 1815

March 21: From Troy, New York — “General Wilkinson’s defence before the Court-Martial, was commenced on Friday last, and occupied the attention of the court the whole of that and the following day; yesterday the Judge Advocate was heard in reply.”–Richmond Enquirer, April 5, 1815

March 21: From Norfolk –Capt. Stout informs, that Midshipman Dale (son of Com. Dale) who was wounded in the action between the U. S. frigate President, and a British squadron died in Bermuda a few days before the Catherina sailed–It was generally admitted by the public officers at Bermuda, that the British grand expedition against New Orleans received a complete drubbing; and that their loss on the memorable 8th of January, was 2700.–“Scioto Supporter,April 11, 1815

March 21: The Trustees of the Ohio University will meet at the Academy, in Athens, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of May next. On the succeeding day an Examination of the Students will be had. All Members of the Board are earnestly solicited to attend.”–Scioto Supporter, April 18,1815

March 22: From an American in Paris — “Rest assured that Napoleon is fixed for life, if I may judge from the enthusiasm of the Parisian, particularly the military. . . .There are very few Englishmen in Paris, most of them having fled immediately on hearing of the escape of Napoleon fro Elba.”–Scioto Supporter, May 23, 1815

March 22: From Milledgeville — “A cession of the Floridas was actually made to great Britain by the king of Spain, Ferdinand VII, but the Cortes refused their assent to the grant, and directed the captain general of the Havanna not to deliver over the provinces, who had determined to abide by their instructions.”–Aurora, April 13, 1815

March 23: Off Tristan de Acunha — “Another brilliant Naval Victory, achieved by the U. S. sloop of war Hornet, Captain Biddle, (mounting but 20 guns, and 128 men) in the capture and destruction of his Britannic Majesty’s sloop of war Penguin, Captain Stickinson, (mounting 23 guns, and a complement of 158 men) after an action of twenty–two minutes, on the 23d of March last, off the island of Tristan de Cunha.”–Providence Patriot, July 8, 1815

March 23: From the Intelligencer — “The officers of the Penguin relate, that during the late action with the Hornet, a thirty-two pound shot came in at the after port of the Penguin, on the larboard side–carried away six legs, killed the powder boy of the division, capsized the opposite gun, on the starboard side, passed through the port and ”sunk in sullen silence to the bottom.'”–New York Spectator, August 19, 1815

March 24: “”From Natchez — “Our accounts from Natchez are to the 24th ult. and we are concerned to learn that the troops returning from New-Orleans to their homes, were very sickly, and much mortality prevailed, notwithstanding the attention of their fellow-citizens. On the 22d the Steam Boat Vesuvius arrived at Natchez, with five hundred troops on board, 5 or 6 dying daily.”–Pittsburgh Gazette, May 6, 1815

March 24: From Alexandria — “The benefits resulting from peace begin to manifest themselves in a super-eminent degree in our market. Within these ten days we have had a number of arrivals from northern and eastern ports, which have stocked our market tolerably well with the article of salt, which has borne such an enormous price during the last winter. –From 5 dollars it has fallen to 90 cents–and brown sugar, which stood at 30 to 35 dollars per hundred, is retailing at 16 1/4 cents per pound. Fry goods have fallen in a proportionate degree.”–Carlisle Gazette, March 31, 1815

March 25: From Salem — “On Thursday last, arrived here, the British transport brigs Union and Hope, 8 days from Halifax, with 360 released prisoners . . . . About 700 were left in Halifax. There was no news of any kind at Halifax, and no American vessels had been sent in for a long time. Fifteen or twenty failures had taken place in consequence of the peace.”–Columbian, March 30, 1814

March 25: From St. Louis — “The Sacks, Kickapoos, Winebagoes, Foxes, and Iaways will shortly be called upon by their English allies to bury the hatchet, and it is expected by many, that hostilities will cease on the frontier. For our part, we cannot for a moment believe, that the Ghent pacification will restore security to the frontier.”–Richmond Enquirer, May 10, 1815

March 26: From Paris –The old guard presented to the Emperor its ancient eagles, which they had preserved. His Majesty embraced them. He addressed the officers. The troops manifested the most lively enthusiasm.”–New York Spectator, May 6, 1815

March 26: From Philadelphia — “Francis B. Shaw, Esq. formerly of Easton, Pennsylvania, having for upwards of two years been deprived of sight by Cataract, on the 26 ult. submitted himself to an operation on one of his eyes, performed by Dr. Physick, which succeeded in an instantaneous & wonderful manner.”–Richmond Enquirer, April 15, 1815

March 26: From New York — “The steamboat Fulton left this city Sunday morning at 5 o’clock, and arrived at New-Haven at half after 4 P. M.–a distance of more than eighty miles in eleven hours and an half.”

March 27: From London — “Orders, we understand, have been dispatched to Sir A. Cochrane, and the other Naval Commanders on the West India and American stations, and to the British Military Commanders, to take measures immediately to secure the French Colonies for the King, and prevent them from being transferred to Napoleon.”–New York Spectator, May 6, 1815

March 27: From New Orleans — Beginning of the trial of Gen. Andrew Jackson “for opposing the execution of a writ of habeas corpus, issued for the release of a person who had been imprisoned for a breach of the martial law proclaimed in Orleans while the enemy were threatening the city.”--Scioto Supporter, May 1, 1815

March 27: From Boston — “Put in for a harbor, schr. Oscar, Nickerson, Castine, 36 h. hardware and dry goods, bound to Philadelphia–brings information that the British evacuated Castine the 27th inst. . . . Col. Starks with about 30 soldiers took possession the same day, and hoisted the Yankee stripes.”–Louisville Western Courier, May 25, 1815

March 29: News from Havana — “By the mail from Havana of the 20th March, advices were received that the Captain General had received orders from Spain to enforce the laws of the Indies, and that no foreign vessels would be allowed to trade with the colonies.”–New YorkSpectator, April 22, 1815

March 29: “Israel Wheeler, mail carrier from Tarlton to Chillicothe, was drowned in attempting to cross Salt Creek on the morning of the 29th ult. The mail and horse were both lost. The mail was taken up about a half hour afterwards, so much damaged by wet that it could not be sent on. The lad was found within about six hours.”–Kentucky Gazette, April 10, 1815

March 30: From Liverpool — Arrived this day from Boston, the ship Milo, the first American vessel to arrive since the ratification of peace, with a short voyage of 18 days.–Columbian Centinel, May 20, 1815

March 30: From London — “England and all the principal powers of Europe have united in declaring war against Bonaparte, and were making every preparation for the prosecution of hostilities.”–New York Spectator, May 6, 1815

March 31: From Norfolk — “We have it from an authentic source that commodore Decatur is appointed to command the first squadron now fitting out at New-York, destined for the Mediterranean. . . . the commodore will display his broad pennant on board the Guerriere.”–Columbian, April 8, 1815

March 31: Advertisement — “Those persons who received Rifles, (the property of the U.S. ) at the hands of the subscriber, on the 6th of Sept. last, are requested to return or account for them, without delay. A. C. Flagg”–Plattsburgh Republican, April 1, 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