News of the US: September 1815

September 1:   Letter from Bordeaux — “The allies are beginning to strip the Louvre of all its proudest ornaments, and I much fear, that soon but little will remain of that immense display of imperial magnificence and taste, but the bare walls.  I look upon this dismemberment of the arts, as one of the greatest calamities attending the overthrow of Napoleon.”–Augusta Herald, November 30, 1815

September 1:  From New York — “Our late ministers, Messrs. Gallatin an Clay, arrived yesterday morning, in the revenue cutter, capt. Cahoone, having been taken from the ship Lorenzo, wind-bound below.”–National Advocate, September 2, 1815

September 1:  From Washington — Proclamation by the President warning those who “are conspiring together, to begin and set on foot, provided and prepare, the means for a military expedition  or enterprize against the dominions of Spain, with which the United States are happily at peace” to stop doing so.–Raleigh Register, September 15, 1815

September 2:  From Providence — “That notorious incendiary and bandit, the infernal Cockburn, and the Scotch pillager of Alexandria, Gordon, have been rewarded for their villanies by the British government, by being created Knights of the Bath!  What shall we think of a nation whose nobles are composed of such ignoble wretches!–Providence Patriot, September 2, 1815

September 2:  From the London Morning Chronicle –“By the last mail we have received a long letter, under date of 6th and 8th July  ult. from a valuable correspondent in Jamaica . . . .  The doughty expedition, lately sent from Cadiz under General Morillo, composed of 10,000 men and a large naval armament, for the purpose of subjecting the independent provinces of Spanish America, is nearly all frittered away already, and soon scarcely a remnant will be found.”–Scioto Supporter, December 5, 1815

September 2:  From New York — “Our late minister, Messrs. Gallatin and Clay, arrived yesterday morning, in the revenue cutter, capt. Cahoon, having been taken from the ship Lorenzo, wind-bound below.  . . .  It is with sincere pleasure we announce their safe arrival.”–National Advocate, September 2, 1815

September 4:  Announcement –“To testify the joy felt by our fellow-citizens on the safe return of our distinguished countrymen, Messrs. Gallatin and Clay, to the city of N. York .  . .  a DINNER will be given at Tammany Hall on Tuesday the 5th inst at 4 o’clock.–New York Gazette, September 4, 1815

September 5:  “An address from one ‘Henry Perry,’ whether genuine or not we do not know, has appeared in print, inviting volunteers from the S. W. states to join him in an expedition on behalf of the Mexican patriots.  Sabala [Zavala ?] the proscribed independent, he says, accompanies him, with a number of men from Kentucky and Tennessee, and some officers of our late army.”–Columbian, September 5, 1815

September 5:  From Washington — “We understand that dispatches have been received from commodore Decatur, announcing the pleasing intelligence of his having, on the part of the United States, concluded a Treaty of Peace with the Dey of Algiers.”–Providence Patriot,September 9, 1815

September 5:  From Baltimore — ‘The commercial treaty or convention, lately concluded between our ministers and those of Great Britain, has been forwarded from New York, by Mr. Cutts, who arrived here in the Steam Boat yesterday afternoon, and proceeded in the stage this morning for Washington.”–Richmond Enquirer, September 9, 1815

September 6:  From Charleston — “We learn from various quarters that much injury was done to the interests of our planting friends in the severe storm of last week–In many places the banks have been overflowed, and the crops of Rice nearly destroyed–indeed the planters of this staple on Cooper River, had suffered so much by the preceding drought, as to leave little for the gale to destroy.”--Columbian, September 18, 1815

September 6:  From the captain of the steam boat Fulton — “”Yesterday I started from New Haven as usual.  When I got out on the sound, found a heavy gale from the eastward . . . . this last experiment of yesterday, has proved beyond all doubt, that steam boats properly constructed, would be the safest vessels at sea, inasmuch as the manager would always have an 8 or 9 knot breeze, to use at his will.”–Aurora, September 19, 1815

September 7:  From Detroit — “On the 7th, 280 troops, of the new third, embarked at Erie for Detroit.  During the embarkation, six soldiers were drowned.”–New York Spectator, September 23, 1815

September 7:  From Fort Clark [Peoria] — “The Pottowatomie, named Shawenoe reached this place yesterday, on his way to Portage, with the prisoners John Shark,, Abbey Cannon and Perthy Cannon:  taken on the Wabash last February.  The Indians were anxious to deliver these people at Portage des Sioux, but fearing accidents, together with the request of the prisoners themselves, I have thought proper to retain them at this post.”–Alexandria Gazette, October 31 1815

September 8:  Letter from Commodore Decatur to the Secretary of State of the King of Naples — “I have the honor to inform your Excellency, that in my late negociation with the Bashaw of Tripoli, I demanded and obtained the release of eight Neapolitan captives, subjects of his Majesty the King of the Two Sicilies.  These I have landed at Messina.  If affords me great pleasure to have had it in my power, by this small service, to evince to his Majesty the grateful sense entertained by my government of the aid formerly rendered to us by his Majesty, during our war with Tripoli.”–Shamrock, December 2, 1815

September 9:  From St. Louis — “Maj. Chouteau, with the Osages and Missouri Sacks and Foxes, have arrived at Portage des Sioux.  The work of pacification will be finished in a few days with the Indians, except the Rock River Sacks, Follsavoines, Winabagoes, and some straggling Kickapoos retained by the Sacks.  These latter Indians are so puffed up, that they laugh at the idea of coming to any terms.”–New York Spectator, October 7, 1815

September 9:  From Detroit — “If the British have given up the right of search at sea, they have in this quarter commenced it on land.  A few days since, several British sailors deserted, and landed about 10 miles from this place.  Two officers and a boats crew followed, landed, and examined several houses, and at length got one man, and sent him on board–placed centinels on our highway, one of which fired at a citizen.  The citizens flew to arms, arrested the officers and men–“–Western American, October 21, 1815

September 9:  From Capt. Philips at Fort Clark — “I have the pleasure to inform you that on the 6th instant, three American prisoners, John Stark, Abbey Cannon and daughter, taken by the Pottawattamies on the Wabash in February last, were delivered into my hands.  . . .  They are in good health, and speak much of the humanity of the Indians.”–Commercial Advertiser, December 20, 1815

September 10:  From Detroit — “Yesterday the treaty was concluded with the Indians, with the exception of those attached to the British government, who declined signing the articles–they are consequently debarred of any privileges from our government.  In about six days they will disperse to their respective territories or as soon as they receive their presents from the Indian agents.”–Vermont Mirror, October 18, 1815

September 11:  From London — “The ships Newcastle and Leander, constructed and equipped to be able to contend, with some chance of success, with the American frigates, are undergoing some alteration in their form.–They are enlarging their sterns, and making cabins for the accommodation of admirals.  They are destined for the ports of Halifax and Barbadoes.”–Providence Patriot, November 18, 1815

September 11: From Buffalo — Treaty between the Chiefs of the Senecca Nation and Governor Tompkins, selling “all the Islands in the Niagara river, between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and within the jurisdiction of the U. S.”–Adams Centinel, October 11, 1815

September 11:  From New Orleans — “The affairs of Europe have excited most extraordinary interest in this section of the union.  Party contentions have arisen to an unbounded degree; skirmishing and even assassinations take place among the hostile powers of this city, at least weekly.  Last week of eleven burials, five were caused by the poignard.”–New York Spectator,October 25, 1815

September 12:  From New York — “There is now in this city a remarkable human mummy; it is thus described in a letter from the hon. Saml. L. Mitchell, to the Secretary of the American Antiquarian Society.  ‘It is a human body found in one of the limestone caverns of Kentucky.  It is a perfect exsiccation; all the fluids are dried up.”–Scioto Supporter, September 26, 1815

September 12:  From Buffalo — “Detroit is now garrisoned by 12 or 1300 men, under the command of Gen. Miller.  Maj. Gen. Macomb is shortly expected at Detroit, when he will assume command.  . . .  On account of the lateness of the season, and the deficiency of provisions in the advanced depots, it has been determined to omit re-establishing Fort Dearborn, at Chicago, until another year.”–Kentucky Gazette, October 9, 1815

September 12:  From Buffalo — “We announce to the public the safe arrival of Maj. Gen. Brown and suit, on Saturday morning last, in the brig Niagara, in 8 days from Detroit, having touched a day at Erie on the passage.  . . .  by this arrival, we learn, that the affairs of the west assume a very pacific aspect.”–Baltimore Patriot, September 27, 1815

September 13:  From Wilmington — “Lorenzo Dow proposes preaching on Friday next at three o’clock and on Saturday following at eleven o’clock, at the new Free Meeting House at the farm of John R. Phillips, in Christiana hundred.”–American Watchman, September 13, 1815

September 14:  From Baltimore — “We understand that Mr. Joseph Bonaparte, Ex-King of Spain, has arrived in this city from Philadelphia, and is now at Mr. Gadsby’s Hotel.”–Newport Mercury, September 23 1815

September 14:  From Boston — “The unnatural distemper which has for some time prevailed at Boston, and of which some symptoms had appeared in the adjoining states, is about to find a proper treatment, as it was intimated in the Centinel, a short time ago, that an asylum for theinsane, is about to be established only two miles from  Boston town.”–Aurora, September 14, 1815

September 14:  From Pittsburgh — “Major general William Carroll, the hero of New-Orleans, having arrived in Pittsburgh, a number of citizens, desirous of manifesting their respect for the eminent services performed by their gallant townsman, invited him to partake of an excellent dinner, provided for the occasion, at Kerr’s hotel.”–Pittsburgh Mercury, September 16, 1815

September 16:  From Buffalo — “Desertions are frequent from the British army on the frontier.  Seven of their soldiers arrived here yesterday morning.  They state that 16 started, but were discovered and fired upon after leaving the Canada shore, when four of the number were killed, and the remaining five taken.”

September 16:  From Charleston — “The British Frigate Araxes, Captain Blythe, anchored off our bar yesterday, and sent her boat to town with a letter to the British Consul.  It is said that she was ordered on this station to search for Buonaparte–a practice that has grown quite fashionable, and which has already lasted nearly two months after Buonaparte was safe in England.–But although the Araxes did not find the Ex-Emperor–she has lost, we understand, two of her crew–who deserted directly they reached the shore.”–Richmond Enquirer, September 23, 1815

September 17: From Carthagena, Colombia — “Morillo has acted with great impolicy in the province of Santa Martha, having dismissed all the native officers, from having no confidence in them, which has very much disgusted the native troops, as they are now commanded by Spanish officers.”–Richmond Enquirer, October 4, 1815

September 17:  From Charleston — “The deaths in the city of Charleston, from the 10th to the 17th September, were EIGHT!–four of whom died of infantile diseases–4 were white and 4 black.  The world, we think can hardly produce such another instance of health, in a hot climate and a compactly built city.”–Baltimore Patriot, September 30, 1815

September 18:  “Col. Boerstler, one of the American officers, reported to have been seized at Carthagena, is now in Baltimore:  The whole story is evidently false, and was probably hatched to prevent Americans from migrating to any of the Spanish provinces.”–Columbian, Sept. 18, 1815

September 18:  From Lancaster, Pennsylvania — “Ex-king of Spain.–Joseph Bonaparte arrived a Lancaster about 5 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, from Baltimore.  . . .  He stopped at the house of Mr. Slaymaker, where many persons with full as much curiosity as diffidence or politeness, crowded to see him; and yet they could see nothing more than a man.”–New York Spectator, September 27, 1815

September 18:  From New York —  “A company of gentlemen of this city have projected the plan of a Steam Boat, to ply between this city and Charleston, South Carolina, for the conveyance of passengers.  . . .  Mr. Bronson is at the head of it, and the project is deemed feasible by nautical men.”– Baltimore Patriot, September 20, 1815,

September 20:  From St. Louis — “Doctor A. F. Saugrain has politely given us the perusal of a letter from Doctor Robinson, dated at Watusca, 20 leagues S. W of Vera Cruz, on the 3d of July last.  It seems by this letter, that the Mexican Republic has formed a constitution, and organized a deliberative body, under style of the Supreme Congress.  The ardor of the patriots remains unabated and a speedy termination of the revolution would be effected, if the Republicans were better furnished with the munitions of war.”–New York Spectator, October 21 1815 

September 21:  From St. Francisville, Louisiana — “The steam boat Vesuvius, John DeHart arrived here this day, Friday at 1 p.m.  She left New Orleans on Wednesday, at 12, M. arrived at Baton-Rouge on Thursday, between 10 & 11 p. m.  She landed considerable freight and passengers, and took in wood twice on the way—and performed her passage (150 miles against the current of the Mississippi) in two days.”–Western American, October 28, 1815

September 22: Advertisement inserted by the Librarian of Congress — “It is desirable, that American Authors, Engravers and Painters, who are solicitous to preserve their respective productions as Mementos of the taste of the times, would transmit to the Library a copy of such work as they may design for the public eye–this will serve not only as a literary history of this now interesting country–but will also tend to exhibit the progress and improvement of the arts.”–Raleigh Register, September 22, 1815

September 22: From Havana — “The report of the day is, that a Carthagenian privateer, called the Popa De Los Insurgentes, not aware of the blockade of Carthagena by the Royal [Spanish] Arms, fell amidst the blockading squadron.  . . . .  the commander of H. C. M. frigate the Vengeance, ordered, as she was a pirate, that all the crew should be put to the sword; which was immediately executed.”–Boston Daily Advertiser, October 24, 1815

September 23:  From New Bedford — Hurricane– “Almost every vessel in the harbor is wrecked and stove to pieces or on shore.  A new brig of S. Peek’s upset and sunk; a gunboat drifted on the rocks near Messrs. Lewis’s and was beat to pieces.  The wharves are almost demolished.  5 or 6 buildings between the water and my house are totally carried away.”–Salem Gazette, September 29, 1815

September 23: From Boston, of the storm — “The venerable pear tree, imported and transplanted by Governor Endicott, A. D. 1630, escaped with the loss of about half of its branches.  . . .  ‘Old Iron Sides’ rode out the storm at the navy yard wharf, uninjured by the assault of wind or waves.”–Commercial Advertiser, September 30, 1815

September 24:  From Sag-Harbor — “Yesterday we experienced one of the most tremendous gales ever known in this climate.  It blew a hurricane.  Trees are strewed in every direction about our streets. . . .  The tide rose six feet higher than it was ever seen.  All the cellars and many of the houses in the lower parts full of water.”–Salem Gazette, October 3, 1815

September 24:  From a London paper — “The question of indemnity which England demands for the efforts which she made in the war of Spain, has terminated, after long discussions, by the cession of the two Floridas, east and west.”–Eastern Argus, Maine, November 11, 1815

September 25:  From J. H. Laffite from Baltimore, to the editor of the Aurora — “Several calumnies having appeared against me for two years past, in various gazettes of the United States, I take this method to give them a formal and public contradiction.  It has been asserted that privateer vessels belonging to me committed acts of piracy . . . .  In answer to such assertions, I offer the inspection of the letters of marque, under which my privateers sailed, to all persons who may wish to examine them.”–Boston Patriot, October 12, 1815

September 25:  From Trenton — “On Thursday evening last, Joseph Bonaparte, formerly king of Naples, and late pretender to the crown of Spain arrived in Trenton . .    Governor Pennington, and one other admirer of crown’d heads (provided the head crown’d be a Bonaparte) we understand paid their personal respects to him, with bows, scrapes and shakes of the hand–and thus welcomed his majesty to Trenton.”–New York Gazette, September 27, 1815

September 29:  From Kaskaskia — “We understand that the Commissioners appointed to treat with the Indians of the Mississippi river and its waters are about to close their negociations and terminate their business without effecting any pacification whatever with the Rock River Indians.”–Louisville Western Courier, October 19, 1815

September 30:  From Philadelphia — “Capt. Paul Cuffee, a man of colour, is about to proceed to Africa, with several families to form a settlement there.  He will sail in the brig Traveller, now at Philadelphia, receiving two families there–afterwards touch at New-Bedford and receive the remainder of her company–and proceed the latter part of October on her voyage.”–Newport Mercury, September 30, 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