News of the US: Week Three of May 1812

May 15:  From Salem — “The quota of the Militia of this town, to be drafted for the Canada War, is 112.  The drafts are making; we do not hear of any volunteers from the democratic ranks presenting themselves.”–Salem Gazette, May 15, 1812

May 15:   From Albany, on the late election in New York — “The republican column of the state of New-York is now prostrate in the dust.  The breath of the people has withered it, it has fallen, and its scattered fragments, from Long Island to Genesee, fill the mind of the patriot with painful retrospects and melancholy presages.”–Boston WeeklyGazette, May 15, 1812

May 16:  From Washington –- “We introduce to the attention of the public, the following important section of an act, which passed both Houses of Congress, and was approved, May 16, 1812.  ‘Sec. 7th.  And be it further enacted, that so much of the act for establishing rules and articles for the government of the armies of the United States, As AUTHORISES THE INFLICTION OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT, BY STRIPES OR LASHES, be, and the same is hereby repealed.’” –Raleigh Register, July 10, 1812

May 16:  “Advertisement — BEST VIRGINIA.  Lorillard’s Maccauba Snuff, in pound and half pound bottles.  Also smoaking and Chewing Tobacco in papers, from the above manufacturer.  Sold wholesale and retail at the SNUFF WAREHOUSE, near the Union Tavern, Georgetown.”–National Intelligencer, May 16, 1812

May 16:  Editorial from New York — “Scarcely a day passes, but brings along one of our members of Congress on his way home.  Is this a time, I ask, for northern members to abandon their seats and go home? But their private affairs, their convenience, require their presence.  I know it, but if, in the meantime, the Kentucky hot-heads they have left in possession of Congress, should involve us in war, would they not severely blame themselves that they had not been in their places to do their duty, and lift up their voices against it?”–New York Herald, May 20, 1812

May 17:  From Buffalo — “Col. Swift, of Ontario county who is appointed to command on the frontiers, arrived in this village on Sunday last.  Lieut. O’Connor, has enlisted for the term of 3 years, Twenty-One Soldiers.–They are all, we believe, native Americans.”–New York Herald, May 30, 1812

May 18:  From Washington — “the [Republican] Caucus Nomination at Washington was made on Monday evening.  Mr. Madison is nominated as President, and Mr. Langdon, from New Hampshire, as Vice President.”–New York Spectator, May 27, 1812

May 18:  From Savannah — “a few days before, the house of a Mr. Dill (one of the Patriots) near St. John’s had been attacked by a party of four Spaniards, for the purpose of obtaining provisions.  There were two other Patriots in the house with Mr. Dill, who remained to guard the door, while he proceeded up stairs; and from a window succeeded in killing three of the assailants, but unfortunately lost his own life by a shot from the surviving Spaniard, who immediately made off.”–New York Spectator, May 30, 1812

May 19:  From Washington —  “The Speaker of the House of Representatives (the Hon. Henry Clay) being disabled by a fall from his horse from attending to his duty yesterday and the day before, the House of Representatives has adjourned, without electing a Speaker pro. tem. in the expectation that Mr. Speaker will be able to attend the House this day.” National Intelligencer,May 21, 1812

May 19:   From Cowes, England — “Arrived, the United States sloop of war Wasp, from Cherburg.  Bonaparte left Paris with his Empress on the 9th inst. for Germany–Capt. Jones, commander of the Wasp, saw him at the Opera at Paris on the 5th.”–National Intelligencer,  July 11, 1812

May 20:  From St. Augustine (Fla.) –“Yesterday was a hot day for us.  The Spaniards made an attack upon our corps with 24 pounders from a vessel which they brought up the North River, on our left flank.  We lost nothing but a little ground, being obliged to retire having no artillery, and they being out of reach of our small arms.” –Scioto Supporter, June 27, 1812

May 21:  From Frankfort, Kentucky — “On Thursday last, the company of Volunteers raised in this county for the purpose of marching immediately to the Indiana territory, assembled in this place, to the number of between 50 and 60, and elected John Arnold capt. Anthony Crockett, lieut. and Berry Searcy, ensign.  In the afternoon of the same day they left this place for Louisville, where we understand they arrived and crossed the Ohio on Saturday, and proceeded directly to Vincennes, to receive their orders from Gov. Harrison.”–National Intelligencer, June 6, 1812

May 21;  From Frankfort, Kentucky — “VOLUNTEERS Are permitted by me to go from this state to the aid of the governors of either Indiana, Illinois, or Upper Louisiana Territories; as they seem to be, from the best information, exposed to the hostile depredations and incursions of the Indians.  It is however, to be understood, that no orders can be given to them by me.  But it is recommended that any volunteer corps going into any of said territories should immediately report themselves and their object to the Governor of the same, and obey his orders.  . . . CHA.  SCOTT” —National Intelligencer, June 9, 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