News of the US: Week two, November, 1811

November 8:  Extract of a letter from an officer of the United States’ army, dated “Camp, half a mile from the Prophet’s town, Nov. 8, 1811′  “Through divine goodness I have been spared, and hope yet to see you this winter. . . It rained all night.  We expected an attack, and were prepared.  At 4 in the morning, we were assailed on all sides by numerous savages, with horrid yells.  We were formed in a moment, and in less than five minutes our picquets were driven in, and the savages were in the centre of our camp.  By sunrise we completely defeated them.  But our loss has been great”.–New-York Columbian, December 6, 1811

November 9:  From Boston –We are enabled to remove the anxiety of our readers to peruse the PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE, which reached this town yesterday morning, at four o’clock, in 64 hours from Washington city—an instance of despatch unequalled we believe in the records of express riding; the distance being 500 miles, and the progress by land.  It was immediately issued in a handbill from the Gazette office.–Columbian Centinel, November 9, 1811

November 9:  From St. Francisville, La. “I have been informed from a source which is respectable, that 200 Americans have crossed the Sabine near Natchitoches, and are marching against Nacogdoches , a garrison town in the province of Texas, now occupied by Spanish troops.”– Nashville Clarion, Nov. 26, 1811

November 10:  From Boston —   We understand that Claude, the black man, who went from the United States to Cronstadt, as a seaman or cook of a vessel, and for whom at first sight, the Emperor of Russia conceived a strong regard, and engaged in his service, has returned to Boston on furlough, for the purpose of conducting his wife and family to St. Petersburg.  The Emperor has been very liberal in his equipment; and he appears in considerable style being attired in a showy manner, wearing a sword, and attended by several servants.–National Intelligencer, December 3, 1811

November 11:  — From Pennsylvania –The following extract of a letter from a gentleman in Robbinstown, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, shews the immense emigration from the eastern states to the state of Ohio:–“From the 6th day of October last, to the 6th day November inst. 236 waggons and other wheeled carriages, passed through this place to Ohio with families–with 4 of the small waggons were 60 persons–within the same time 600 Merino sheep passed in the same direction.”–Weekly Boston Messenger, December 13, 1811

November 11:  From Mississippi —  A letter addressed to the editor of the Aurora of the 11th Nov. says–“The news of this day is, but probably it will reach you before this, that the Cherokees have driven in the troops employed in cutting the road in the southern part of the Mississippi territory, and that 13 of our troops have been killed by them–I cannot assert that this is actually the case, but from the quarter whence it is received, I have no doubt of the truth of it.”==New York Commercial Advertiser, December 11, 1811

November 12:  From Indiana —   A letter received by a member of congress from a gentleman at Vincennes, in the Indiana territory, under date of Nov. 12, 1811, states that news had  just reached that place of an engagement having taken place between governor Harrison, commanding a body  of Unites States’ regulars and western militia, and Indians who adhere to the party of the prophet.  The governor had marched up to prophet’s town in the evening, had a short conference with him, and an agreement was entered into to hold a council on the following morning.  In the interval a negro had deserted to the Indians, informed them that the governor had but about 300 men, that he had a deal of goods with him, and that the next day, when in council, the governor intended to fall upon and destroy the prophet and party.  The Indians are supposed to have been influenced by this information, for during the night they commenced the fight, and maintained the conflict for about two hours.  The regulars sustained the honor of the country; they charged the Indians, broke their order of battle; burnt the prophet’s town and laid waste the corn plantations of his party.–New-York Columbian, November 29, 1811

November 12:  From Tennessee —  Colonel Benj. Hawkins has obtained from the Indians permission to open a waggon road, to erect ridges, and to establish ferries, from Georgia to New-Orleans. –Nashville Clarion, November 12, 1811

November 12:  From  New York —  A letter from Washington states, “that some warlike resolutions have been brought forward in the Senate by Mr. Giles; but though there are many war-hawks, it is hardly expected there will be a majority.”–Providence Gazette, November 23, 1811

November 13:  From Indiana — Translation of a  letter from capt Dubois, of the Indiana Militia, now on command in the army of Gov. Harrison, dated Vincennes 13th Nov. 1811–“I have at last returned to my family, after having witnessed a most bloody battle.  We were attacked by the savages on the morning of the 7th Inst. two hours before day.—We have burnt their village, after having repulsed and pursued them.—Unfortunately, we have lost some of our men.”–Louisiana Gazette, November 23, 1811

November 14:  From Nashville –On Thursday Evening Nov. 14th the Thespian Society will perform the way to get MARRIED.  A comedy in five acts by Thomas Morton, Esq.  And the Ghost a Farce.–For further particulars see the bills of the day.–Nashville Clarion, November 12, 1811

            November 14:  From Savannah –On Thursday evening last about 60 French privateersmen belonging to La Vengeance and other picaroons, which to the disgrace of our administration, are permitted to skulk into and refit in our harbours, collected near their rendez-vous, and being armed with long knives, &c. sallied forth and attacked about 20 American seamen, when the mate of the brig Hetty of Philadelphia, was stabbed to the heart, and instantly expired.—Columbian Centinel, November 30, 1811


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