News of the US: Week One of January 1812

January 1: From Natchez — “We have conversed with a gentleman who came passenger, in the Steam Boat lately arrived here from Pittsburg, and are informed that the Earthquake, shocks of which were felt here a week or two since, has done great injury to the settlements on the Ohio and Mississippi, by throwing down houses, chimnies, &c. and in one or two instances, islands in the Mississippi, of considerable magnitude had been sunk or destroyed; that the bank of the river on both sides fell in to a prodigious extent, and at one place about 300 acres caved in of a solid body.”–Raleigh Register, February 14, 1812

January 1: From France — “The Hornet, Capt. Lawrence, arrived at Cherbourg on the 1st of January, in a passage of 24 days–18 days from land to land.”–National Intelligencer, February 25, 1812

January 1: From the House of Representatives — “A petition was presented by Mr. Jennings from the legislature of the Indiana Territory, praying to be admitted as a state into the Union–referred to a committee of seven.”–New York Spectator, January 6, 1812

January 1: “About the first instant 2000 hogs were driven into Canada, from the American side of the lines, intended for the Montreal market.–Richmond Enquirer, February 6, 1812

January 2: Signed into law –“An Act Authorising the President of the United States to raise certain companies of Rangers, for the protection of the frontier of the United States.”–New York Spectator, January 15, 1812

January 3: “Gen. Andrew Jackson, Maj. Gen. of the 2d Division of Tennessee, has issued a most animated order to his Division. He calls upon them to place themselves in a state of readiness to support their government, in wresting that justice from G. Britain which she had so iniquitously withheld.”–Raleigh Register, January 3, 1812

January 3: From Philadelphia — On Friday last, as a labouring man was digging gravel from a bank on Tacony creek, near the entrance of Frankford Creek, for the purpose of erecting a stone Wall, he fortunately discovered, at the distance of three feet from the surface of the earth, a small pitcher containing 100 pieces of antiquated Silver Coins, of various nations (amongst which are two of New England) the latest date of 1652 . . . .a tale has been handed down by tradition from father to son that, Blackbeard, the noted pirate, deposited his treasure in the vicinity of the borough of Frankford–New York Commercial Advertiser, January 9, 1812

January 4: From the House of Representatives — “Mr. Gold presented a petition from certain inhabitants of the territory of Louisiana, praying to be placed under the second grade of territorial government–Referred.” National Intelligencer, January 7, 1812

January 4: From St. Louis — “The account from the Spanish frontiers in the south west confirm the statements heretofore published. All is confusion and contention in the province of Texas, and the young me from Orleans territory are daily joining the republican standard in that province.”–Louisiana Gazette, January 4, 1812

January 6: “Buffaloe Skins, of the first quality for Sleighs, in fine order–ALSO, a few sacks Iceland WOOL, very low, for sale by Normand Smith.”–Connecticut Mirror, January 6, 1812.

January 7: The following resolution was passed by the House of Representatives of Kentucky on the 7th inst. by a vote of 52 to 4: “Resolved, . . . That in the late campaign against the Indians upon the Wabash, Governor Wm. Henry Harrison has behaved like a hero, a patriot and a general: and that for his cool, deliberate, skillful and gallant conduct in the battle of Tippecanoe, he well deserves the warmest thanks of his country and the nation.”–Richmond Enquirer, January 28, 1812

January 7: A letter from an American in London — “AARON BURR is in London, and endeavours to scrape an acquaintance with every American, for the purpose of begging them for money. He walks the streets unobserved.”–New York Spectator, March 21, 1812


These excerpts are taken verbatim from various American newspapers in the University of Texas’ Bound Newspapers Archive, now in the process of being digitized and returned to safe storage in the Library Storage Facility on the J.J. Pickle Research Campus of the University of Texas in Austin.  To see the current inventory of digitized files of this important historical resource, visit UT’s online Digital Repository (Library Owned Content).

For insights into the collection and the preservation process, visit researcher Mary Bowden’s blog in Viewpoint.

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