News of the US: Week Two of December 1811

December 7:  St. Louis–We understand that the governor since his arrival, has ordered out spies upon the most exposed parts of our frontier, to prevent surprise should the prophets party pursue their hostilities farther.–Louisiana Gazette, December 7, 1811

December 8:   Mr. Pinkney has resigned his seat in the Senate of Maryland.  Report says he is to be appointed Attorney-General of the U. States, in the room of Mr. Rodney, who is said to have resigned in disgust.–Providence Gazette, December 14, 1811

December 9:  The House resumed the consideration of the report of the committee of Foreign Relations.  The question being on the agreement to the second resolution, authorising the raising an additional regular force.  . . .Mr. Grundy then explained at some length his views of the subject.  He considered the passage of this resolution as passing the Rubicon, as pledging those who supported it to a war against Great Britain.  He called upon all those who had a different object in view to vote against the resolution; for after that was passed it would be too late to retreat.==Boston Weekly Messenger, December 20, 1811

December 9:  From Louisville —  The Ohio Steam Boat, the property of Messrs. Livingston, Fulton & Co. which had been lying at this place for six weeks waiting for the rise of the water, has passed down the Falls in fine style without the least injury, and may now be considered out of danger.  She took in some passengers and about fifty tons of cargo, and has proceeded on her voyage to New Orleans.  It is impossible to express the general satisfaction which the performance of this fine Boat has given to the people of this country.–National Intelligencer, December 24, 1811

December 10:  In the Senate —  The bill for completing the existing military establishment; the bill to raise for a limited time an additional military force, the bill appropriating a sum of money for procuring munitions of war; and the bill for the establishment of a quarter-master’s department, were read a second time, and, on motion of Mr. Giles, were made the order of the day for Friday next.–National Intelligencer, December 12, 1811

December 11:  A letter from governor Harrison, from the Western ‘Argus’ of December 11–“Even in the event of a war with G. Britain, I think that the Indians will now remain neutral; they have witnessed the inefficacy of British assistance, for that assistance has been afforded in an ample a manner as it could have been, if war had actually prevailed between us and that power.  Within the last three months, the whole of the Indians on this frontier, have been completely armed and equipped out of the king’s stores at Malden.  Indeed, they were much better armed than the greater part of my troops; every Indian was provided with a gun, scalping knife, tomahawk and war club, and most of them with a spear, whilst the greater part of my riflemen had no other weapon than their rifle.”–New-York Columbian, December 30, 1811

December 11:  MARRIAGE DENIED. We are desired by Mr. James Macomb to contradict the account of his marriage with Miss Chi Altangi Hoam, of Canton, inserted in the papers the beginning of last month–and to request such editors as have copied the notice to give place to this contradiction; as the report was an imposition on the public.–New-York Columbian, December 11, 1811

December 12:  From Washington —  “War, War, with England appears to be the settled determination of a large majority of Congress.—If we must have it, I hope in God it will be prosecuted, on a large and dignified scale.  It will indeed be a calamity; but worse may befall a nation.—War has its uses; one of which is that it will call into action, virtues and talents ‘which lie concealed in the smoothe seasons and the calms of life.’”—Columbian Centinel, December 18, 1811

December 13:  The House again resumed the consideration of the report of the committee of foreign relations (2nd resolution.)  Mr. Boyd was opposed to going to war.  We had heard a great deal (he observed) about American blood being spilt by the British; but he did not see why we should make this a plea for spilling more.  He believed that England and France were proper checks upon each other, in case either should be overcome by the other, the world would fall before the conqueror.  The people of this country at present lived happily under their own vines and fig trees, with no one to make them afraid; infinitely happier than they would be at the close of a war.  He should vote for the resolution, as the President had recommended an additional force; but he saw no necessity for rushing into war.–Providence Gazette, December 28, 1811

December 14:  A Committee of Congress, we understand, have agreed to report a bill for building six seventy-fours and twenty frigates, in addition to our present Naval Establishment.


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