News of the US: Week One of August 1812

August 1:  From Boston — “Note form Capt. Hull of the Constitution –“Capt. Hull, finding his friends in Boston are correctly informed of his situation when chased by the British squadron off N. York . . . takes this opportunity of requesting them to make a transfer of a great part of their good wishes to Lt. Morris, and the other brave Officers, and the Crew under his command, for their very great exertions and prompt attention to orders while the enemy were in chase.”–New York Spectator, August 3, 1812

August 1:  From New York – “An experiment is to be made  this day on an old ship which has been purchased for that purpose—She is to float down the North River with the tide, while the forts and gun boats are to fire at her.”—United States’ Gazette, August 6, 1812

August 2:  From Milledgeville, Ga. — From an editor just returned from Florida:  “The disaffection of the slaves in the neighborhood of Florida, encreases daily.  In consequence of the alluring offers of Gov. Kinderland, many have been induced to quit their homes and join the Spanish camp.  No sooner are they enrolled than they become denizens, and have arms put in their hands.  This is a serious evil, and if not speedily checked, may lead to very pernicious effects.”–National Intelligencer, August 22, 1812

August 3: “A British vessel, with a flag of truce, arrived at Detroit, on the 3d inst. conveying the American prisoners taken at Michilimackanack.”–Richmond Enquirer, September 4, 1812

August 3:  From New York — “We understand that a letter has been received in town this morning, from Capt. Porter, of the Essex, stating, that he had captured an English brig from the West-Indies, and sent her into Baltimore; and that he was in pursuit of the British frigate Thetis,of 36 guns, with a large quantity of specie on board.”–New York Spectator, August 3, 1812

August 4:  From Natchitoches — “A force of 2000 Republicans are now collected on the river Sabine.  General Adair, who leaves this place to-morrow with 300  (all Americans) goes to meet them.  Mr. Johnson of Rapide, who is appointed a colonel, will also very soon join with him about 300 men.  When these parties are united they will form a respectable force; indeed such is the present power of the Republicans that all communication with the interior is so impeded, that for the last three months not one Spaniard has arrived here for the purpose of making purchases.”–Raleigh Register, October 2, 1812

August 4:  Extract of a letter from Norwalk, Conn. — “A hurricane was experienced here, on Saturday last, at 5 o’clock, which has done considerable damage.  It swept every thing before it.  Two or three buildings in this neighbourhood were destroyed; and many apple trees, and other fruit trees, twisted up.  I have seen one tree, more than a foot in diameter, which was twisted off several feet from the ground.  The inhabitants of this village were greatly terrified.”–New YorkSpectator, August 8, 1812

August 4:  From Gibraltar — “The [American] ship Allegany arrived on July 17, and all things continued favorable until the 20th, when the Dey sent a massage to Mr. Lear, the consul, with an order to depart from Algiers with the ship and cargo within three days, and the only reason given for this unexampled conduct was, that the ship had not so much powder as he wished, or rather expected!  The Allegany is the vessel that carried the stores.”–Boston Patriot, October 3, 1812

August 5:  New York — “Yesterday afternoon was sent into this port by the privateer Marengo, the French–built British brig Lady Sherbrooke, capt. Spilliard, burthen 250 tons laden with fish and lumber.  . . .  the first prize that has been sent into New-York since the commencement of hostilities.”–Richmond Enquirer, August 18, 1812

August 5:  From  London — “One hundred American vessels were licensed on Wednesday by the board of trade on condition that they proceeded to the ports of Spain and Portugal.”--Connecticut Gazette, October 7, 1812

August 5:  From Chillicothe, Ohio – “We understand, that gen Winchester has received orders to reenforce gen. Hull, with 1500 men.  This detachment will consist of Kentucky Volunteers and regulars, recruited under the late act of congress.”– United States’ Gazette, August 24, 1812

August 6:  From Washington —  “A number of Indian Chiefs, from the Missouri territory, arrived here on Saturday, under the conduct of Gen. Clarke, on a visit to the President of the United States.  They appear to be very respectable and are remarkable for their gigantic figures and fine proportion of their forms.”–National Intelligencer, August 6, 1812

August 6:  From Portsmouth, N.H. — “Yesterday there was a meeting of the friends of Peace, in the County of Rockingham, at Brentwood, a town about 20 miles from Portsmouth.  . . .  It was the most numerous ever known in this State, more than2000 persons attended from every town in the county, more than 500 carriages conveyed them there, besides horses, &c.  . . .  They chose Samuel Tenny Esq of Exeter (formerly member of Congress) their Chairman, and were addressed by N. A. Haven, George Sullivan, Daniel Webster, Esqrs. and a number of others, in Speeches that are highly spoken of by good judges.”–Newport Mercury, August 15, 1812

August 6:  A letter from Capt. Wm. O. Allen from St. Genevieve, Missouri: “Without either officers, or cloths, and with bad music, I have twenty four good fellows in my company, and I expect every mail, to receive orders to stop the recruiting service—because the whole of the twenty-five thousand new troops, have been already raised.”–Missouri Gazette, August 15, 1812

August 7:  From Charleston — “The elegant privateer schooner ‘Saucy Jack,’ of 170 tons, pierced for 16 guns, to be commanded by capt. Thomas H. Jervey, was launched yesterday . . .  We understand she has already shipped nearly her complement of men, which is intended to be 150.”–Charleston City Gazette, August 7, 1812

August 7:  From Salem — “The licensed democratic printers, who are appointed to instruct the People in the spirit of ’76, are BINNS, a renegado Englishman, Editor of the Democratic Press at Philadelphia–he is Aid-de-camp to Gov. SNYDER,–DUANE, of the Aurora, JEFFERSON’s Lieut.-Colonel–a foreigner, who has grown rich under the patronage of democracy; –GALES, an Englishman, the Editor of MADISON’s National Intelligencer; WILLIAM PECHIN, a Frenchman, Editor of the Baltimore American; and BAPTIST IRVINE, a wild Irishman, Editor of the Baltimore Whig, and printer to the Majesty of the Mob.”–Salem Gazette, August 7, 1812

August 7:  From Vermont — “We have lately heard from Burlington, (Vt.) that the enlisted soldiers under col. Clark amount to six hundred, that they are constantly employed on parade service and are fully supplied with arms and ammunition.  New recruits are constantly arriving.”–Plattsburgh Republican, August 7, 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