News of the US: Week Three of February 1812

February 16: “In the small town of Stockbridge, in the county of Berkshire, 130 dollars have been contributed in aid of the Asiatic Mission. In Park street Church, Boston, on Sunday evening 338 dollars were collected. The Hon. William Phillips, of Boston, has given One Thousand Dollars towards the expense of translating the Scriptures into the oriental languages”–Salem Gazette, February 18, 1812

February 17: From the Attorney General of the State of Connecticut –“The general officers and their aids, and also the brigade inspectors, and quarter-masters, are to wear blue coats, faced, lined, cuffed, and caped with buff; buff vests and breeches and yellow buttons. All general officers and their suites, and all field officers are to wear long boots with russet tops.”–Connecticut Mirror, April 6, 1812

February 18: From Kaskaskia — “I am sorry to find that we have the appearance of an Indian war on the Mississippi. I have just received information from Fort Madison that a party of Indians, supposed to be the Puorts (Winnebagoes) and some of those that had escaped from the battle of Tippecanoe, had killed a family of Americans about 100 miles below Fort Madison by the name of Neil, and declare that they will continue to destroy all the Americans they meet with.”–National Intelligencer, March 21, 1812

February 18: In the House of Representatives — “Mr. Porter introduced a resolution, that a committee be appointed to prepare and report a bill, to authorize the President of the United States to raise, organize and equip, a provisional army of 20,000 volunteers in addition to the additional regular force to be raised.–Mr. Porter observed that his object was: that we might obtain a force immediately, for immediate operations.”–Salem Gazette, February 25, 1812

February 19: From Washington: “Yesterday was launched from the Navy Yard at this place, the brig ENTERPRIZE, which has undergone a thorough repair and renovation. . . . After the launch, many of the ladies and gentlemen present partook of a plain but plentiful cold repast, provided, in seaman’s stile, in one of the workshops.”–National Intelligencer, February 20, 1812

February 19: From Kentucky –“We have seen a statement made by a couple of gentlemen just from New-Madrid, which says that place is much torn to pieces by the late Earthquake; so much so, that it is almost impossible to get along in any way, but entirely so on horseback. . . . The citizens have fled to the mountains, and were, when the informants left there, waiting for an opportunity to move to Kentucky. It is said they are near one thousand in number!”–Salem Gazette, March 20, 1812

February 20: From Albany — “On Thursday last, the Council of Appointment met, and appointed Mr. Preserved Fish Harbour Master for the port of New-York, vice Mr. Gabriel Havens, removed.”–New York Spectator, March 4, 1812

February 21: “The Birth-Night Ball [celebrating Washington’s birthday] will be celebrated on Friday the 21st inst. at the Union Tavern. Those Ladies of Georgetown, Washington and the vicinity, who have received tickets for the Assemblies, and their visitors, are respectfully invited.”–National Intelligencer, February 13, 1812

February 22: From New York — “WASHINGTON’S BIRTH DAY. On Saturday last, this memorable Anniversary was celebrated by the Washington Benevolent Society. The members assembled at Harmony Hall at 10 o’clock, and having installed their Officers for the current year, . . . formed, under the direction of Col. Mapes, as Grand Marshall of the day . . .”–New York Spectator, February 24, 1812

February 22: From Washington — “The United States’ frigate CONSTITUTION, Capt. Hull, has arrived in Hampton Roads. Charles Morris, Esq. the First Lieutenant, reached this city on Saturday night last, at 10 o’clock, with despatches from our Minister in France and Charge d’Affaires in England. The frigate had a passage of 41 days from France.”–National Intelligencer, February 25, 1812

February 22: From St. Louis — “Nuisances. For the last six or eight months, this town has been infested by a gang of the most unprincipled scoundrels, that ever disgraced any town or village, that we have yet heard of. We learn that most of these worthies have been drum’d out of the U. States, and have came here as a last resort, to gull the flats, as they term it.”–Louisiana Gazette, February 22, 1812

February 23: “A gentleman who arrived in the last cartel from Morlaix, has favored us with a long list of American vessels which have been lately liberated in France, and which are now loading for America. Restitution of great quantities of American property, which had been confiscated, also expected, and the measures of the French government seemed to be decidedly amicable towards America.”–New York Columbian, February 23, 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