News of the US: Week four of April 1812

April 22:  From the House of Representatives — “The petition of Eli Whitney was presented and read, praying for an extension of his patent right for his machine for clearing cotton–referred to a select committee.”   “The House went into a committee of the whole, on the bill for the establishment of corps of engineers, Mr Stanford in the Chair.  The bill fixed the Military Academy at West Point,  It was amended so as to leave it to the President to locate it where he thinks best.”–New York Spectator, April 29, 1812

April 23:  “Order of Procession, for the funeral of the Honourable George Clinton, late Vice-President of the United States” published.–American Daily Advertiser, April 23, 1812

April 23:  From Washington  — “The Vice President has been just now interred with all the pomp of which the place is susceptible.  He declared in his last moments, that the only thing which troubled him, was the mad policy which now presided over the destinies of the country.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, May 1, 1812

April 23:  From the Boston Patriot — “The Embargo terminates on the fourth of July, 1812!  Is this accidental?  or is it Providential?  On that holy day it is hoped, that every American will consult his best feelings, and stand ready to obey the commands of his God and his country, in sternly supporting, and manfully defending that first of earthly blessings, National Independence!”–National Intelligencer, April 23, 1812

April 24:  From New York — “The frigates President and Essex went to sea yesterday, on a cruise to the Southward.”  From Philadelphia — “Yesterday arrived ship Gen. Washington, 68 days from Rio de Janeiro and informs that a body of troops having been sent from the Portuguese settlements to settle or quell the dispute between the Buenos Ayrians and the Montevideans; on their arrival found that they had settled it between themselves without the interference of the Portuguese.” —National Intelligencer, April 28, 1812

April 24:  From Norfolk — “The United States Frigate Congress, Capt. Smith, returned to Hampton Roads yesterday from a short cruise off the coast.  We understand that the Congress did not fall in with any belligerent ship of war.”–National Intelligencer, April 30, 1812

April 24:  From New Orleans – “Half horse half alligator”— has heretofore been the boast of our up country boatmen, when quarreling.  The present season however, has made a complete change.  A few days ago two of them quarreled in a boat at Natchez, when one of them jumping ashore declared with a horrid oath he was ‘a Steam Boat.’—His opponent immediately followed him, swearing he was ‘an earthquake, and would shake him to pieces,’ and in fact almost literally executed his threat.”–United States’ Gazette, June 8, 1812

April 25:  From St. Louis — A short time since another of our soldiers at Fort Madison was mortally wounded by the Indians having been shot through a port hole, and is since dead.”–Scioto Supporter, May 16, 1812.

April 25:  From St. Louis — I have seen, with great mortification and regret, in some of the Atlantic prints, the opposition which is given to the admission of the usual Indian supplies:  the want of them  will, I fear, add materially to the mischiefs which already threaten us. . . . the loyalty of most of the tribes is much to be suspected.”  New York Spectator, May 30, 1812

April 26:  From Savannah — “Gov. Mitchell arrived here this morning, and set off in a few hours afterwards for Darien, with all speed, on his way to Amelia Island, to take the command from Matthews, and deliver up the Island to the Spanish Commandant, together with any other ports of Florida which may be in the possession of the troops of the U. States and to assure him of the disapprobation of our government with the proceedings of Matthews and Campbell.”–New York Spectator, May 13, 1812

April 27:  In the Senate — “The Senate resumed the consideration of the bill concerning merchant vessels armed for defence, and on motion the further consideration thereof was postponed till to-morrow.”–National Intelligencer, April 28, 1812

April 27:  From Pittsburgh — “Brigadier-general Hull arrived here on Saturday last, and descended the Ohio for Cincinnati on Wednesday.  We are informed that he will take command of the Ohio volunteers assembling at Cincinnati, and proceed to Detroit.”–National Intelligencer, May 14, 1812

April 28:  From Norfolk — “The U. S.  frigate President, Commodore Rodgers, and Essex, Capt. Porter, anchored in Hampton Roads, yesterday.”–New York Spectator, May 6, 1812

April 28:  From Salem — “The ship America has arrived at Salem on the 28th ult. in 27 days from Gottenburg–late accounts from St. Petersburg state, that there will be no war between France and Russia—British goods will therefore be excluded from the Baltic.”–Raleigh Register, May 8, 1812

April 29: From Demerara, South America – “All Spanish America is in an uproar—civil war in all quarters—fighting and slaughtering each other like tigers.  There was a sanguinary battle fought a few days ago, at Guiana, in our neighborhood, when the regulars got the better of the independents, and slaughtered every soul, not one prisoner made.”—Raleigh Register,  June 19, 1812

April 29:  From Vincennes — “I presume that the Garrison will be removed from Fort Knox, to Vincennes.  Such has been the request of our Citizens to Governor Harrison and Col. Miller.  . . .  Instead of building Block-houses around town, the Citizens are collecting in small parties or groups, and endeavouring to fortify private houses.”–New York Spectator, May 27, 1812

April 29:  From Washington — Signed in to law, “An Act making further provision for the Corps of Engineers.”–New York Spectator, May 9, 1812

April 30:  From the House of Representatives — “The bill from the Senate concerning associations for maritime security, and the bill concerning merchant vessels arming for defence, were read twice and referred to a committee of the whole tomorrow.”–New York Spectator, May 6, 1812

April 30:  From Arlington — “On Thursday last the 30th ult. being the 8th anniversary of the Arlington Sheep Shearing, a number of gentlemen who have encouraged the laudable purposes of that useful institution, assembled with their sheep as competitors for the various prizes to be distributed on the occasion.”–National Intelligencer, May 7, 1812

April 30:  From Quebec — “The Voltigeurs.–About 100 young men of this corps marched out of Town yesterday, to be quartered at Lorette.  They were accompanied by the Band of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, and proceeded through the streets, repeatedly cheering and exclaiming ‘Vive le Roi!’ with other expressions of loyalty and ardor for the service in which they have engaged.”–Salem Gazette, May 19, 1812

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