News of the US: Week One of March 1812

March 2: From Washington — Signed into law “An Act To authorise the Secretary of the Treasury, under the direction of the President of the United States, to purchase of Winslow Lewis, his patent right to the new and improved method of lighting Light-houses, and for other purposes. —National Intelligencer, March 12, 1812

March 3: Letter from Shawnee town (below mouth of the Wabash) — “I embrace this moment of my stopping at this place, to inform you that the Indians are embodied about 200 miles from this place, to amount of near 1500, with hostile intent–principally of the Kickapoo tribe and stragglers, headed by the Kickapoo chief.” —National Intelligencer, April 4, 1812

March 3: “ADVERTISEMENT. A REWARD of twenty-five cents, and no questions asked, will be paid to any man, woman, or child, in Bedlam or out, who will tell us for certain, what Parson Bentley means in the following sentence in the Essex Register of February 15: ‘Activity is every where: and though the earth tremble under us, industry ceases from none of its cares, and speculation riots, in the wealth it collects only from the public confidence in the resources of the public virtue.'”–Salem Gazette, March3, 1812

March 4: “Our domestic affairs wear a most gloomy aspect. The unsettled state of affairs with the Indians–the Comet–the Earthquakes of the West and South.–The storms on our sea coast–the fires in every part of the United States–the gloom thrown over the whole of our cities, from the stagnation of Commerce, and the want of confidence and energy in our administration, excite in the whole nation the most fearful apprehension of some great calamity.” American Daily Advertiser, March 4, 1812

March 6: From Washington — “The Senate have refused to authorise the building of an additional number of frigates, and have reduced the appropriation made by the House of Representatives, for the repair of vessels, to 300,000 dollars.”–New York Spectator, March 14, 1812

March 6: From Washington — “The Senate have concluded to build no more frigates. Well, they have lessened the appropriation for fortifications one half. Can they have any serious apprehensions of war?” —Boston Weekly Messenger, March 13, 1812

March 7: “All those desirous of becoming Soldiers in the army of the U. States may be accommodated by applying at the Recruiting Rendezvous in Chillicothe, corner of Second and Walnut Streets, where good Quarters are prepared to receive all able bodied young men—I wish to hire a good DRUMMER AND FIFER, to whom liberal pay will be given by J. S. SWEARINGEN, Capt. Artillerists.”–Scioto Gazette, March 7, 1812

March 7: “The example of Virginia has been followed in Pennsylvania. The Legislature of the latter state, as stated in the Democratic Press of Monday, assembled in Caucus on Saturday evening last, and nominated JAMES MADISON as President, and GEORGE CLINTON as vice-president, without a dissenting voice. —New York Spectator, March 14, 1812

March 7: From St. Louis — “Nothing important from head quarters by last mail, the messengers dispatched to London and Paris have not yet arrived; but every one believes that war will commence in the summer.” –Louisiana Gazette, March 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