News of the US: March 1814

March 1:  From New Orleans — “The smuggling at Barataria has greatly injured all honest traders.  La Fiete, the pirate and smuggler, is fortified on an island in the Lake Barataria, distant about 30 miles from this city.  . . .  In consequence of his piracy and smuggling a great variety of goods are very cheap here.  Flour is $7 per barrel, pork 10, bacon 10 cents per lb. tobacco $5 per cwt.”–Mercantile Advertiser, April 9, 1814

March 2:  From Ohio — “To Germans.  A German Newspaper is published weekly on a large sheet of royal printing paper, at Lancaster, Fairfield county, Ohio.  Terms one dollar fifty cents per annum . . . .”–Scioto Supporter, March 2, 1814

March 3:  From Philadelphia – “Celebration of the Emancipation of Europe.  On Thursday last, was celebrated by Germans, Hollanders & Swiss, the Emancipation of their Native Countries from Foreign Oppression.”—United States’ Gazette, March 5, 1814

March 4:  From Detroit, encounter with the British — “Our force consisted of no more than 160 rangers and mounted Infantry.  The enemy, from their own acknowledgment, had about 240.  . . . In killed, wounded and prisoners, the enemy lost about 90–whilst on our part there were but four killed and four wounded. . . .  P.S.  We took one hundred head of cattle also from the enemy, intended for Long Point or Burlington.””–Providence Patriot, April 9, 1814

March 4: From Washington — “On the passage of the bill authorising the building of one or more floating batteries to a 3d reading, the amount of the appropriation was objected to, as it was merely an experiment.  To which it was replied, that however desirable it was to husband our resources, there were other considerations of more imperative character, such as the siege of our cities, the infesting of our waters by the enemy, &c. which required the House to adopt any plan of defence presenting itself under such auspices as this and so strongly recommended by several of the most respectable officers of the Navy, as well as the Naval Department.  The bill passed 82 to 44.”–Raleigh Register, March 11, 1814

March 5:  From New York – “The Grand Ball, in Honour of the Emancipation of Holland.  Last Night, the Grand Ball, which has, for some time, occupied the attention of the upper circles, was given at Washington Hall.  This occasion brought together the largest and most brilliant assemblage of Ladies and Gentlemen ever collected in this City; whose rich dresses were tastefully decorated with Orange colors.”—United States’ Gazette, March 16, 1814

March 5:  From Salem –‘Yesterday arr. in this town, & immediately embarked on board the cartel sip Bostock, 260 British troops, prisoners of war–160 of them belonged to De Watteville’s German regiment, and were captured last fall on Late Ontario by commodore Chauncey.  . . . About ___ of them have made their escape during the march, the Germans having a great aversion to returning to the British service.”–Richmond Enquirer, March 16, 1814

March 6:  Letter from Governor Edwards, of Illinois — “Colonel Tramel with one party & Major Hargrove with another, are at present in pursuit of the Indians that made their appearance near the Saline–in the vicinity of which Major Nelson Rector (who was one of my aids in my expedition to Peoria) was wounded with two balls and his horse with three.  He however made his escape, but I fear he is too badly wounded to recover.”–Scioto Supporter, April 2, 1814

March 7:  From Detroit — “By Lieut. Shannon, of the 27th regt. U. S. Infantry, I have the honor of informing you, that a detachment of the troops under my command, led by Captain Holmes, of the 24th regt. U. S. Infantry, have obtained a signal victory over the enemy. . . . In killed, wounded and prisoners, the enemy lost about 80–whilst on our part there were but 4 killed & 4 wounded.  This great disparity in the loss on each side, is to be attributed to the very judicious position occupied by Capt. Holmes, who compelled the enemy to attack him at great disadvantage; this even more than his gallantry merits the laurel.”–Eastern Argus, April 7, 1814

March 7:  From Philadelphia — “The Legislature of Pennsylvania have passed a law, appropriating a part of the Penitentiary in Philadelphia, for the safe keeping of British prisoners of war, on the request of the President of the U. S. addressed to the Governor.  It is presumed that this relates to the reception of the British prisoners of war now confined in the jails of Massachusetts, the Legislature of that state having passed a law authorising their discharge in thirty days, if not removed by the General Government.”–New York Herald, March 9, 1814

March 8:  From Baltimore — “At a meeting of a number of citizens at the Mayor’s office in Baltimore, a few days ago, a committee was appointed to collect subscriptions to the amount of 50,000 dollars, for the purpose of building a floating battery for the defence of that harbor on the plan of Fulton’s war ship..”– National Intelligencer, March 8, 1814

March 8:  Of Plattsburgh — “It is said that Gen. Wilkinson has taken permanent lodgings in Plattsburgh, and will tarry there until the campaign opens.  He is very popular among the inhabitants on that frontier.”–Nashville Clarion, March 8, 1814

March 9:  From Plattsburgh — “The newspapers lie; gen. Wilkinson is not arrested.  I know he received a letter last mail, from the war office, which was postmarked at Washington, Feb. 24, and I have been told by several gentlemen, that they heard him afterwards say, that he was not arrested, and that he had no intimation of an intention to arrest him.”–Richmond Enquirer, March 23, 1814

March 10:  From Nassau, on board the prison ship — “Myself and a great many of my brave countrymen have been suffering every deprivation, on board of this old prison ship, for twelve months and more . . …  the provisions of the very worst kind–we have not a second shirt to our backs, and those we have on mostly in tatters.  We are used with as much barbarity as though we were Turks, and are obliged to fetch wood and water with a gang of African soldiers with naked bayonets at our backs, and are hardly allowed to say our lives are our own.”--Aurora, April 22, 1814

March 11:  From Burlington — Colonel Isaac Clark [65 years of age] has gone North, having under his command 1500 picked men.  We understand that the Colonel has been again into Missisquoi Bay [in Franklin County, Vermont].”–New York Herald, March 19, 1814

March 12:  From Alexandria, Louisiana — “the Mexican Patriots are collecting in considerable force, and about to possess themselves of Nacogdoches a frontier post of the State of Texas.  Doctor Robinson, formerly a citizen of Lexington and a companion and friend of the late Gen. Pike, is among the most conspicuous leaders of the revolution.  He and suite were at Alexandria on the 12th ult. on their way to Nacogdoches.”–Raleigh Register, April 8, 1814

March 14:  From Boston — “A passenger in the sch’r Morgiana, arrived at New Bedford from Porto-Rico, which place she left on the 26th Feb. informs that the Constitution had been cruizing off Surinam, and had captured and destroyed several vessels.”–National Intelligencer,March 22, 1814

March 14:  From New London — John Thayer, father of Hiram Thayer, born in the town of Greenwich, Massachusetts, applied to Commodore Decatur  “for assistance in procuring the release [from being impressed] of his son.  The commodore instantly dispatched a flag accompanied by the father, furnished with certificates from the minister, town clerk, and selectmen of Greenwich, to Captain Capel, the commanding officer before New London.”  The son was not released.–Mercantile Advertiser, March 21, 1814

March 15:  From Chillicothe — “By the last express from Detroit, we learn that a foraging party sent up the river Thames, under the command of capt. Holmes, fell in with a detachment of 400 British regulars near Delaware, 100 miles from Detroit; and killed and wounded seventy, among whom are two officers, and one taken prisoner.  Our loss in killed and wounded amounts to seven.  Captain Holmes’s party, had erected breast works.  This accounts for the difference in killed and wounded.  The British gave ground and retreated.”–Pittsburgh Mercury, March 23, 1814

March 16:  From Maryland — “On the 16th of last month a small British squadron anchored off the mouth of the Great Wicomico river; and about 12 o’clock on the same day they sent a detachment ashore in six barges, which plundered the houses of Capt. Thos. Edwards, Robert Edwards, Wm. Lattimore, Richard Toolson and John Robinson, of the chief of their contents, stock, poultry, &c.”–National Intelligencer, April 5, 1814

March 17:  From Chillicothe – “We understand General Cass has resigned his command in the army of the U. States, and that he has been appointed Governor of the Michigan Territory.”—United States’ Gazette, April 6, 1814

Fort Strother

March 17:  From Fort Strother — “On the 17th the militia Infantry took up the line of march–they go by Talladego, direct, towards the place where the principal force of the enemy are.  The 35thRegiment United States’ Infantry marched on the 18th, in boats, down the Coosa; and on the 19th the horsemen were to cross and follow the militia Infantry.”–Carthage Gazette, April 9, 1814

March 18:  From Washington — “The House resolved itself into a committee of the whole, on the bill from the Senate for authorizing the President to permit the departure of Paul Cuffee with a cargo to Sierra Leone; together with the report of the committee of Commerce and Manufactures against the same . . .  On the passage of the bill to a third reading, it was negatived 72  to 65.”–Raleigh Register, March 25, 1814

March 18:  From Plattsburgh — “Major Forsyth has his head quarters at Chazy.  He has been over the lines and within three or four miles of Isle aux Noix.  The enemy’s picket, it would seem, were called in on learning of his approach.”–Raleigh Register, April 8, 1814

March 19:  From off Wilmington, N. C. from an officer of the U. S. Rattlesnake — “The cruize will prove to you that although G. Britain possesses the largest navy in the world, she cannot prevent us from going out of our ports, & what is more they cannot prevent us from making them feel that we are enemies.  The number of prisoners has compelled us to shorten our cruise.”–Richmond Enquirer, March 23, 1814

March 19:  From Montreal — “On Monday last, a party of about 200 American troops, under the command of Major Forsythe, came over the lines . . . and plundered the inhabitants, carried off horses and merchandize, to the amount of 2000 l. with several inhabitants.  It is said by an eye witness to the scene, that the redoubtable Major Forsythe carried off upon his horse, a number of sheepskins, (partly tanned).”– Plattsburgh Republican, March 26, 1814

March 19:  From Nashville — Col. Thomas H. Benton arrived in town last evening from Fort Strother.  He informs us the whole army, estimated at 5000 men had left the Fort the 19th inst. and that he thinks it highly probable that before this time there has been a battle.”– Nashville Clarion, March 29, 1814

March 21:  From Philadelphia — “An intelligent friend suggested to me the other day the expediency of forming a Geographical society in Philadelphia; and indeed the utility of such an institution is so evident, as to render any demonstration almost unnecessary.”--Aurora, March 21, 1814

March 21:  From New York — “KINE POCK.  Ripe living matter will be ready at No. 84 Washington street, this day; when mothers that bring their children may have them vaccinated [against smallpox] without expense.”–National Advocate, March 21, 1814

March 22:  From Nashville — “A gentleman arrived in town last evening from Fort Strother, informs us that Gen. Jackson’s army was taking up the line of march on Monday the 14th instant, and the General expected, on last Wednesday, to move himself.  . . .  Mr. John Woods of Bedford county, was shot for deserting his post.  Col. Wm. Carroll was mending fast, and had proceeded on to the army.  In the camp there is now considerable harmony, and every thing appears to be going on well.”–Scioto Supporter, April 7, 1814

March 22:  From Albany — “The last advices from the west lead us to believe, that the enemy have no force west of the Niagara streight, except a small detachment may have been sent to Mackinaw, to reinforce their garrison there.  Dickson and other British agents are understood to have gone among the western Indians, to excite anew their hostility against us.”– National Intelligencer, March 29, 1814

March 22:  From Nashville — Mr. Granger’s removal [as Postmaster-General], after nearly thirteen years of public life completes the entire change of heads of departments since Mr. Madison’s accession to power.–This rotation of great offices is very proper.”–Nashville Clarion,March 22, 1814

March 23: From the Pacific — “On the 23d of March, off the island of Tristian de Cunha, the Hornet, captain Biddle . . . fell in with his majesty’s sloop of war Penguin . . . with a crew of 158 men, and after an action of 22 minutes, succeeded in capturing her, with the loss on board the Hornet of only one man killed and 11 wounded.  The loss on board the Penguin was 17 killed, including the captain and boatswain, and 28 wounded.”–Weekly Aurora, July 11, 1815

March 23:  Proclamation of Wm. C. C. Claiborne, Governor of Louisiana, against those seeking to aid Mexican Patriots:  “whilst the United States shall be at peace with Spain, it is highly improper for any citizen to violate that relation . . . .”– Columbian, June 1, 1814

March 24:  From Washington — “The account of the Proceedings of the Senate for several days past, which are not very important, are unavoidably postponed for want of room.”–National Intelligencer, March 24, 1814

March 25:  From New York — “The upper part of the head of a large Whale, lately caught on the south side of Long-Island, was brought to the city of New York on Friday last.  It weighs between three and four thousand pounds.”–American Daily Advertiser, March 29, 1814

March 26:  From Savannah – “We understand that major general Pinckney will take the command of the army destined against the hostile Indians.  The force consists of 2400 militia from North Carolina, 1500 regular troops, and 5000 Tennessee militia, making in all a force of 8900 men.”– United States’ Gazette, April 13, 1814

March 26:  From the Albany Court Martial — “The court in consequence of their determination respecting the second and third charges, and the specifications under these charges, exhibited against said brigadier general William Hull, after due consideration, do sentence him to be SHOT to death, two thirds of them concurring in the sentence.  The court in consideration of brigadier general Hull’s revolutionary services and his advanced age, earnestly recommend him to the mercy of the President of the United States.”–Scioto Supporter, May 14, 1814

March 27:  From Boston — “We yesterday received from our Baltimore Correspondent, General Jackson’s official account of a bloody victory obtained over the Creek Indians on the 27th of March.  He stormed their encampment, where they had collected to the number of about 1000.  . . .  Not more than 10 of the party escaped.  The American loss is 106 wounded, and 26 killed.”–Providence Patriot, April 23, 1814

March 28:  From Andrew Jackson at the bend of the Tallapoosa —  “Sir–I feel particularly happy in being able to communicate to you the fortunate eventuation of my expedition to the Tallapoosa.  . . .According to my original purpose, I commenced my return march to Fort Williams to day, and shall if I find sufficient supplies there, hasten to the Hickory Ground.  The power of the Creeks is, I think, forever broken.”–Raleigh Register, April 15, 1814

March 29:  Letter from Detroit — “Amherstburg will be evacuated by our troops to-morrow.  The British are in considerable force on the Thames and the adjacent country.  It is the opinion that they will be here soon.  As for myself, I do not pretend to know any thing about it.”–Weekly Aurora, April 12, 1814

March 29:  Added to the letter above, as found in the Ohio Register of April 12, is this paragraph describing the fort at Detroit:  “The fort at Detroit, which is now called Fort Shelby has been secured by four lines of pickets, two of them made of trimmed brush, presenting a close front of sharp points; and a surprise or an escalade was deemed impossible.  Heavy cannon on the walls of the fort, carronades and musketry to rake the ditches and pickets, with a garrison of about 1400 regulars make fort Shelby a post of great strength.”

March 31:  From Odle-Town, Quebec — “The enemy met us yesterday near Smith’s with great spirit, but not in the force we expected.  He amused us with Congreve Rockets, but was easily beaten at several points of attack from thence to La Cole Mills, into which he threw a strong detachment, and which we found impenetrable to our cannon after three hours fair experiment, at the distance of 300 yards.  . .  .  having waited on them until six o’clock, we marched off with our killed and wounded, before their eyes, and returned to this place.”–Providence Patriot,  April 16, 1814

March 31:  From Paris — “The Emperor Alexander with the King of Prussia marched into Paris this morning, where they were received by all ranks of the population with the warmest acclamations.”–Connecticut Mirror, June 13, 1814

March 31: From Andrew Jackson, at Fort Williams — “The conduct of the militia on this occasion, has gone far towards redeeming the character of that description of troops.  They have been as orderly in their camps, and on their line of march, as they have been signally brave in the day of battle.  In a few days I shall take up the line of march for the Hickory ground; and have every thing to hope from such troops.”–Carthage Gazette, April 23, 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