News of the U.S.: November 1814

November 1:  From a camp near Buffalo — “Dear Sir– When I last wrote you, I expected by this time to have it in my power to send you some cheering news relative to our campaign in Canada, but we remained in that Country not more than ten or fifteen days, when we recrossed the Niagara and will winter in or about this place, greatly to my mortification.–Thus you see, my friend, we have been at war, between two and three years, and in my opinion, we are not so near the avowed intention of government, as we were at the declaration of it.”–Augusta Herald, December 22, 1814

November 1:  From Capt. J. Odione, of the Frolic from Dartmouth Prison — “I still have to address you from this accursed place, where Four Thousand seven hundred as fine fellows (all Americans to the back bone) as ever lived, are immured alive.  Two thousand one hundred of the above number have been given up from British men of war!  So much for Gov. Strong’s ‘Bulwark.'”–Charleston City Gazette, reprinting Salem Register, April 4, 1815

November 2:  From Milledgeville — “It will be seen by the following communication from col. Hawkins to the governor, that the Seminole Indians have raised the tomahawk and menace our frontier below with an immediate attack.–Measures will be promptly taken by the executive to repel and chastise them.”–American Watchman, November 19, 1814

November 3:  A letter from Norfolk states — “that a vessel has arrived there from Barraco which passed a British fleet, of upwards of FIFTY SAIL, bound, as they said, to New Orleans.  This formidable force had actually passed the Havanna.  They are supposed to consist chiefly of the late Chesapeake fleet.”–Maryland Gazette, November 10, 1814

November 4:  From New Orleans — “Some few days ago a British brig at Barrataria sent 18 of her men on shore for water.  A scouting party of drafted militia, consisting of only nine men, was behind the bushes, watching their motions.  The eighteen were deliberately counted, when the commander of the militia said to his men, ‘Well, what will you do?  There are only 2 to 1.  We can take them, if you will.  Here’s at ’em.’  So at it they went, killed 2, and brought 16 to town yesterday, who are now in the fort.”–Weekly Aurora, December 13, 1814

November 5:  From Boston — “The privateer Prince of Neufchatel, which has arrived in Boston, has bro’t in a cargo of immense value, and her cruize has been the most brilliant of any one since the war.  She has made 28 prizes on her homeward cruize, some of which were burnt, some given up to the prisoners, and the remainder manned.”-Scioto Supporter, November 5, 1814

November 5:  From Ohio — “We have no news of importance to present our readers with this week.  . . .  The two last mails brought us no information from Washington city; we are, consequently deprived of the principal source of correct intelligence.  The post rider brings a report that that place has again fallen into the hands of the British.  We trust not.”–Western American, November 5, 1814

November 6:  From Commodore Macdonough at Chazy — “I have the honor to inform you, that about six tons 8 inch shells have been taken out of the lake by us at this place, which was thus secreted by the enemy in his late incursion into this country.  A transport sloop has also recently been raised at Isle La Motte, which was sunk by the enemy loaded with their naval stores, and various instruments of war.”–Kentucky Gazette, December 12, 1814

November 6:  From Pensacola — “On Sunday the 6th inst. our army approached it, and a flag was sent in, summoning a surrender–but from the reception it met with, the fire of six or eight round of cannon, it could not make the demand, but was forced to retreat–as it was very late in the evening when the flag was sent, the matter was deferred for adjustment until morning.”–Farmer’s Cabinet, December 26, 1814

November 7:  News of Halifax by the cartel sloop Janus — “There were nearly two thousand negroes at Halifax, who had been stolen by the British in the Chesapeake–they were in a most wretched condition.  In consequence of the crowded state of the prison at Halifax, numbers of Am. prisoners had died.”–Columbian, November 14, 1814

November 8:  From London –“The American prisoners of war are far from orderly and quiet–they are continually laying plans of escape, not occupying themselves as their predecessors the French did, in different works and amusements to while away their time–and it has been found necessary to have an efficient military force there.”–Scioto Supporter, April 10, 1815

November 9:  From Rutland, Vermont — “We are highly pleased to learn, that our (Vermont) Legislature have treated the treasonable invitation of the Legislature of Massachusetts, to send delegates to Hartford, with no other attention, than a prompt and unanimous refusal, without debate, to elect such delegates.  We understand that New-Hampshire also refuses to join in theleague.”–Providence Patriot, November 19, 1814

November 11:  From New York — “The privateer Chasseur of Baltimore, has returned to New-York, from a cruize, during which she made 18 valuable prizes.  Captain Boyle while on the British Coast issued a formal Proclamation declaring the United Kingdoms in a state of blockade!”–Raleigh Register, November 11, 1814

November 11:  From Erie — “Arrived on Sunday last the cartel schooner Union, R. Martin, master, 16 days from Mackinaw, and 3 days from Detroit, laden with furs and peltry, the property of John J. Astor.”–Trenton True American, November 28, 1814

November 11: From New York — “The legislature of New-York, has passed a law for raising two regiments of Black Troops, for the defence of the country.”–Raleigh Star, November 11, 1814

November 13:  From Tennessee — “Governor Blount has just received orders to call out 5000 militia, to be sent immediately to Gen. Jackson.  The men from West Tennessee to rendezvous at Columbia, the 13th of November next, and those from East Tennessee, at Knoxville the same day.  Major General Carroll will command the requisition . . . .”–Raleigh Register, November 11, 1814

November 13:  From an American in Buenos Ayres — “All the country of Chili is completely revolutioned; that is the Chili revolutionists are defeated, and taken prisoners by the Limanian European troops.  A terrible convulsion took place here last night.  A general, two colonels and a consellor of state, were arrested in their bed by order of government, put into a coach, guarded and sent into the interior 500 leagues, for expressing a different opinion from the general in chief.”–Louisville Western Courier, May 25, 1815

November 14:  Letter from Andrew Jackson on his taking of Pensacola –“The steady firmness of my troops has drawn a just respect from our enemies–It has convinced the red sticks that they have no strong hold or protection, only in the friendship of the United States–the good order and conduct of my troops whilst in Pensacola, has convinced the Spaniards of our friendship and our prowess, and has drawn from the citizens an expression that our Choctaws are more civilized than the British.”–Scioto Supporter, December 17, 1814

November 15:  From New York —  “Yesterday his excellency the captain-general[Governor Tompkins]  reviewed the brigades of city militia, commanded by general Steddiford and Mapes, accompanied by major-general Stevens and their respective suites.  His excellency is attended by adjutant-general Van Rensselaer, and his aides, colonels Macomb, Lamb, and  [Washington] Irving.”–Columbian, November 16, 1814

November 15:  From Savannah — “Major general Thomas Pinckney and suite, and major general John M’Intosh and suite left this city on Sunday evening last.  The former for the southward, the latter for Fort Hawkins, to take command of the Georgia troops which are to march from that place on the 21st instant for Jackson’s army.”–Aurora, November 26, 1814

November 16:  Letter from John Quincy Adams from Ghent —  “Left by a concurrence of circumstances unexampled in the annals of the world, to struggle alone and friendless, against the whole colossal power of Great Britain; fighting in reality against her for the cause of all Europe, with all Europe boldly looking on, basely bound not to raise in our favour a helping hand, secretly wishing us success, and not daring so much as to cheer us in the strife, what could be expected from the first furies of this unequal conflict, but disaster and discomfiture to us.  Divided among ourselves, more in passions than interest, with half the nation sold by their prejudice and their ignorance to our enemy, with a feeble and penurious government, with five frigates for a navy, and scarcely five efficient regiments for an army, how can it be expected that we should resist the mass of force which that gigantic power has collected to crush us at a blow?  . . .  We must go through it all.  I trust to God we shall rise in triumph over all . . . .”–Philadelphia National Gazette, July 24, 1827

November 16:  From New York — “We are happy to state, that the brave and gallant General Macomb, arrived here in the Fulton, in perfect health, on a visit to this family.  The general has attached to him an excellent band of music, made up, (like Com. Decatur’s) of natives of various countries, enlisted, seduced, and impressed into the British service.”==Baltimore Patriot,November 19, 1814

November 17:  “Little Britain. In days of yore and a long time before, ‘the fast anchored isle’ was called and acknowledged to be the island of Great Britain, and supported this title until war was declared by these United States; subsequent to which, our brave tars and soldiers have so frequently handled those islanders without gloves, that justice requires a change of title.  Therefore, from and after this time every printer and others possessing an American feeling, uninfluenced by [Governor of Massachusetts] Strong’s ‘Bulwark of our religion,’ are requested no longer to call the fast anchored isle Great but Little Britain. Sine qua non [suspected pen name of Washington Irving, whose essay “Little Britain” appeared in his Sketch Book.]–Columbian,November 17, 1814

November 17:  From New York — Major gen. M’Comb came down in the Fulton, and crossed the ricer to Belleville, to visit his family.  The general has attached to him an excellent band of music, made up (like Commodore Decatur’s) of natives of various countries, enlisted, seduced, and impressed into the British service.”–Democratic Press, November 17, 1814

November 18:  From General M’Arthur, from Detroit — “The militia detached from Kentucky and Ohio having arrived, they were assigned for the immediate protection of this place; it was then deemed expedient, from the ardor and species of the force, that the mounted volunteers should be actively employed in the territory of the enemy, with a view to destroy their resources and ultimately paralize any efforts which might be made against this place this winter.”–National Intelligencer, December 22, 1814

November 19:  From Washington — “It is with pleasure we observe that a resolution has at length passed the House of Representatives offering one hundred acres of land to every deserter.  This ought to have been done long before; and instead of one hundred acres, the number ought to have been doubled as a sufficient compensation.”–Western American, November 19, 1814

November 19:  From St. Louis — “Between three and four hundred rangers and volunteers are on their way to intercept the Indians who menace the upper Missouri settlements.  Report say, that the Indians are in considerable force some distance above the ruins of fort Madison; and that traders from Canada are arrived at several points on the Mississippi and its eastern tributary streams; with supplies of clothing and ammunition for the different tribes.–Louisville Western Courier, December 7, 1814

November 20:  From New-Orleans — “We congratulate ourselves as having been very fortunate to have General Jackson to command this district.  He has now upwards of 17,000 troops, and expects considerable reinforcement from Kentucky.  If he does receive them as calculated on, I think we may rest perfectly safe, even if the enemy should send all his forces.”–National Intelligencer, January 5, 1815

November 21:  “The Kentucky detachment, left the Falls of the Ohio on the 21st Nov. for the south.  The Tennessee detachment, passed Dover on the 27th Nov. same destination.”–AdamsCentinel, January 11, 1815

November 21:  From Georgia — “Two thousand five hundred men, have been ordered by Governor Early of Georgia to rendezvous at Fort Hawkins on the 21st inst. from whence they will be marched to the aid of General Jackson, subject to his disposition.  They will be under the command of Major Gen. John M’Intosh.==Raleigh Register, November 11, 1814

November 22:  From New York — “Yesterday morning the steam vessel, Fulton the First, was moved from the wharf of Messrs Brown’s, in the East River, to the Works of Mr. Fulton on the North River, to receive her machinery, which operation was performed by fastening the steam-boat Car of Neptune to her larboard, and the steam-boat Fulton to the starboard side.   Both engines being put into action at the same time, they towed her through the water from 3 1/2 to 4 miles an hour.”–National Intelligencer, November 26, 1814

November 22:  From Gettysburg — “Those Gentlemen wishing to form themselves into a corps of Horse Artillery will meet on Wednesday the 30th instant, for that purpose, at the Court-House in Gettysburg.”–Adams Centinel, November 23, 1814

November 23:  From Washington — “A letter from Mr. Creighton to a gentleman in this place, announces the death of Mr. Gerry, the Vice-President of the United States.  He was apparently in good health, on the morning of the 23d ult. and got into his carriage to go to the senate.  He then complained of being unwell, was immediately taken to his room, and died in a few minutes.”–Scioto Supporter, December 3, 1814

November 23:  From Louisville — “The troops of the detachment assembled at this place, at length on yesterday the 21st inst. embarked on their way to join the army of Gen. Jackson.  Since writing the above arms and tents have passed this place from Pittsburg for the complete equipment of the troops.”–Nashville Clarion, December 5, 1814

November 23:  From Milledgeville — “A dispatch from Col. Hawkins to the Governor by the last mail states, that the trails of several parties of hostile Indians have bee recently seen near our frontier–it is not known with certainty what induced them to return without doing mischief.  The most infamous attempts continue to be made by the British to incite the Indians against us.”–Boston Independent Chronicle, December 15, 1814

November 25:  From New York — On this day “the celebration of the anniversary of the evacuation of this city by the British in 1783 took place.  . . . The number of troops under arms exceeded twelve thousand.”–National Intelligencer, December 1, 1814

November 25:  From Washington — “In conformity with previous arrangements, the corpse of the late Vice-President was, about one o’clock yesterday, conveyed from Mrs. Wilson’s to Congress Hall, in charge of the Serjeant-at-arms and Door-Keepers of both houses.”–Boston Daily Advertiser, December 1, 1814

November 25:  From Wilkes-Barre — “The Militia–Who marched from this place a few days ago, were dismissed at Danville, and are returning home.  The wisdom of our rulers is every day displaying itself.  How admirably are our affairs managed!  While our fellow citizens of the militia, whose interests–feelings and rights have been thus sported with, deserve high praise for the spirit manifested by them to serve their country–the conduct of the men, who have dragged them from their homes thus uselessly, is a subject of universal indignation and censure.”–The Gleaner, November 25, 1814

November 26:  From New York — “the number of garrison and battering cannon and mortars now mounted for the military defence of this post and city, amounts to five hundred and seventy pieces.  The largest we have seen is the Columbiad, of 100 lbs. whether mounted we know not, though a number of the same pieces, of 50 lbs. calibre are mounted in Fort Greene.--American Watchman, November 26, 1814

November 26:  From Judge Toulmin at Mobile — “The people of Pensacola were extremely mortified on the retiring of General Jackson, and made, it is said, informal efforts to procure his return, for the purpose of protecting them from the arrogance and cupidity of the British officers . . . .”–Raleigh Register, January 6, 1815

November 27:  From Dr. John Sibley, Superintendant of Indian Affairs in Louisiana — “Indians from the Missouri, have been among the Indians of Red River, and south of it, with Britishmedals, flags, talks and tokens.”–National Advocate, January 14, 1815

November 28:  Editorial comment on report of A. J. Dallas, Secretary of Treasury, to Congress — “Pause reader==after perusing the following letter and answer in the sincerity of thy heart, this simple question:  Are the statesmen who have brought your beloved country into this deplorable situation, capable, honest and faithful to the Constitution?”–Scioto Supporter, December 24 1814

November 28:  From Fort Massac, Ohio River:  “The greater portion of the Tennessee army are this far on their way to the lower country–consisting of three thousand men, under major general Carroll.”==American Watchman, January 4, 1815

November 28:  From Savannah — “On the 1st November the Saucy Jack spoke a Spanish schooner from Jamaica, which informed that several ships full of troops had arrived at Barbadoes, and that they were to proceed to Louisiana.”  Providence Patriot, December 24, 1814

November 29:  From Chillicothe — “The curious and lovers of Natural History are most respectfully informed, that there will be exhibited, nearly opposite the Market House, in Chillicothe, for ten days from the 29th of Nov. instant, The Royal Tyger, of Asia.  . . . Also the African Ape . . . likewise the Long-Tailed Marmoset, &c.”–Scioto Supporter, December 3, 1814

November 29:  Extract from a London paper — “Sir E. Pakenham takes his departure immediately for America, to assume the command in the room of the late Gen. Ross.  The Satira frigate is preparing for the accommodation of the Lt. Gen. and his suite.”==National Intelligencer, November 29, 1814

November 29:  From Savannah — “Arrived yesterday, at this port, the fine, fast sailing privateer schooner Saucy Jack, John P. Chazel, commander, from a cruise of 70 days==with her prize the British schooner Jane, with rum, sugar, shrub, &c. The Saucy Jack has had a very severe engagement with a bomb ship, in which she lost 8 men killed and 15 wounded, among the latter is Mr. Johnston, her first lieut.”–Richmond Enquirer, December 8, 1814

November 30:  From the Rappahannock — “From the Richmond papers and other sources, we learn that a large British force, consisting of one 74, five frigates, and a number of schooners and barges, containing, it was estimated, about 2000 troops, suddenly entered the Rappahannock on the 30th ult. and ascended that river, as high as Tappahannock, where they anchored and fired some time upon the town.  . . . The purpose of the enemy appears to be, as heretofore, to steal negroes, stock, tobacco, &c plunder the houses within their reach, and burn what they cannot carry off.”–Scioto Supporter, December 24, 1814

November 30:  “A General Court Martial for the trial of Major General James Wilkinson, is ordered to assemble at some suitable place in the village of Utica, state of New York, on the 3d January next.”–Ohio Federalist, November 30, 1814

November 30:  From Col. Hawkins at Fort Hawkins — “I have just received the following:–‘Gen. Jackson HAS TAKEN PENSACOLA.  There were a few of the inhabitants only who gathered in a part of the Town, fired a few rounds, and surrendered.  The British fixed a slow match to the Magazine, of which the General was apprized and kept back till it blew up.  He then marched in, stayed a few days only, and returned to Fort Montgomery, report says on his way to New-Orleans.  The hostile Indians are quite silent since this blasting of their hopes.”–Raleigh Register, December 16, 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