News of the US: Week three of July 1812

July 15:  From Washington — Approved by the Board of Aldermen and Board of Aldermen and Board of Common Council of the city of Washington, “That the sum of eight hundred dollars, be and the same is hereby appropriated for removing nuisances, and for the casual repairs of streets, bridges, and drains, to be charged to each of the respective wards in equal proportions, and expended in that proportion in each ward under the direction of the Mayor.”--National Intelligencer, July 28, 1812

July 15:  From Bennington, Vt. — “This looks like doing business.–The Commissary returned from Springfield on Saturday last, with one thousand Guns, for the use of the drafted militia.  We hope they will be immediately forwarded to the line, to supply deficiencies.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, July 31, 1812

July 16:  From New York — Arrived this morning the Pilot-boat schooner Sally, Capt. Johnson, in 6 days from St. Mary’s.  Captain Johnson informs us, that five British Merchantmen had been taken at Amelia Island, and carried up to St. Mary’s by gun-boats Nos. 10 and 62.”–New York Spectator, July 18, 1812

July 16:  From New York– “The privateer Marengo, sailed from this port yesterday afternoon on a cruise.”–Richmond Enquirer, July 21, 1812

July 17:  “The following Advertisement appears in one of the late N York papers:  ‘A. Burr, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, No. 9, Nassau street.'”==Raleigh Register, July 17, 1812

USS Constitution returns to her pier after an underway to celebrate her 213th launching day anniversary. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald/Released)

July 17:  From Newport –“last Friday week the [British] fleet began a chase of the Constitution, capt. Hull, in lat.’37, long. 72, which lasted until the Sunday morning following when it was given up.  . . . Capt. Hull excited the warmest admiration among the British officers for  the excellent management of his ship during the whole chase.”–Connecticut Mirror, August 3, 1812

July 17:  From Norfolk — “Since the declaration of war three schooners have been converted into privateers, in this port, manned and equipped; one of them has sailed on a cruize, and the other two will probably sail this day.–A number of other vessels, we understand, are in a state of forwardness, and will be got ready for sea with all speed.”–Richmond Enquirer, July 21, 1812

July 18:  From New York — “We understand, that, among the new Recruits who arrived yesterday morning are a father and brother, and six sons  . . . Who has the honour to command this patriotic company we have not heard.”–New York Spectator, July 18, 1812

July 18:  “The British armed brig Plumper, has recently captured a number of American vessels, and robbed them of several thousand dollars in specie.”–Newport Mercury, July 18, 1812 [From a captured letter of James Bray, Captain of the Plumper, July 6, after his capture of the merchant ship Margaret , which was later re-captured by the US privateer Teazer –“I took out of the latter vessel two bags, said to contain 2000 dollars, for the better security thereof; and, as dollars are things which speak for them selves, I shall share them out as soon as I can.  So I will thank you to send me a scheme of sharing as soon as you can . . . and I will thank you to ask the Admiral if I shall send him his share in cash or bills from St. Johns.”  From a letter from Bray, July 7 —  re dollars:  “there is no difficulty in sharing them, and our people are very poor, some of them having had no money for these nine years past.”–Newport Mercury, July 25, 1812}

July 19:  From Lake Ontario — “On Sunday the 19th inst. at 9 A.M. the Royal George, the Prince Regent and two brigs, entered Sacket’s Harbor, came within one and a half mile from the town and commenced an attack–and continued the cannonade about one hour, during which time one ball only (a 32 pounder )reached shore.  The brig Oneida lay in shore . . . with two  [of her] nine’s mounted upon a redoubt . . .  Two shot from the nine’s hulled the Royal George–and one shot carried away the foretop gallant mast of the Prince Regent, when the British squadron bore away.”–New York Spectator, July 29, 1812

July 20:  Letter from Captain Isaac Hull to the Secretary of the Navy, off Nantucket — “Sir, The Constitution is on her way to Boston for your orders, having been chased by a British squadron off New York and very near been taken.  The chase continued three days and nights, by a line of battle ship, four frigates, a brig and a schooner.”–National Intelligencer, July 30, 1812

July 21:  “Eight Privateers have sailed from Salem on cruizes.  They carry upward of 300 Men.”–Richmond Enquirer, July 21, 1812

July 21:  From Boston — “On the 21st inst. Gen Dearborn, from his headquarters in Boston, issued his General Orders for accepting of Companies of Volunteers, in conformity to act of Congress.  The companies are to consist of 66 privates, and to be completely organized as to officers.  They are to be armed and equipped at the expense of the U. S. and retain their arms when discharged.”–Salem Gazette, July 31, 1812

July 22:  From Zanesville, Ohio — “We are happy to announce the glorious news that gen. Hull and his army have landed safe in Canada, with little or no opposition and taken possession of the town of Sandwich, two miles below Detroit on the English side.–Maryland Gazette, August 6, 1812

July 22:  From New London — “Capt. Wood of the engineer Corps (we learn with pleasure,) has arrived here for the purpose of superintending and directing repairs on the old fortifications at Groton, and if though proper to add new works for the defence of the harbor.”–New York Spectator, July 25, 1812

July 22:  “It is said a military Corps consisting wholly of Frenchmen, have been established both at Savannah and Charleston.”--Massachusetts Spy, July 22, 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