News of the US: Week two of March 1812

March 8: From Fort Madison — “A very friendly chief of the Sac nation told Mr. J. and myself, that unless we were reinforced within a short time, we should be massacred without discrimination! and that there were five nations had joined to take this fort and Fort Chicago, on Lake Michigan . . . that they wit for the river to open, so that they can descend in canoes. From appearances, the ice will break in the course of a few days.” —New York Spectator, April 18, 1812

March 9: From New York — “The Wasp [the U. S. sloop of war] sailed from this port on Monday morning, for France and England. The messengers are–Lieut. Brooks, of the marines, and Mr. Brevoort, a young gentleman of this city. It is said, that this vessel has been dispatched with the utmost secrecy–a circumstance which has given rise to much speculation among our citizens.” —New York Spectator, March 14, 1812

March 9: From Washington — James Madison lays before Congress documents of the Henry affair, demonstrating that “a secret agent of that government [Great Britain] was employed in certain states, more especially at the seat of government in Massachusetts, in fomenting disaffection to the constituted authorities of the nation . . . and eventually, in concert with a British force, of destroying the Union and forming the eastern part thereof into a political connection with Great Britain.” —National Intelligencer, March 10, 1812

March 10: In the House of Representatives — “The bill from the Senate ‘concerning the enrolling & licensing of steam boats,’ was read the third time and passed.” —National Intelligencer, March 12, 1812

March 11: In the House of Representatives — “Sundry petitions relative to the affairs of the Orleans territory, &c. were presented and referred–The house went into committee of the whole on the bill relative to the admission of the territory of Mississippi into the union as a state. After reading the bill and documents the committee rose and the house adjourned.” —Salem Gazette, March 20, 1812

March 12: In the House of Representatives — “Mr. Bradley, from the committee to whom was recommitted the bill to incorporate Moses Austin, John Reed, Henry Austin and others, into a company, by the name of the Louisiana Lead Company, reported it with amendments.” —National Intelligencer, March 14, 1812

March 12: From Salem — “Last evening the Federalists of this town held a meeting in Washington Hall to consult upon measures for securing a fortunate result of the Town Meeting on Monday next. We were happy in beholding the patriotic spirit and zeal with which our fellow townsmen were animated; and look forward with confidence to such a termination of the Election as will fill our municipal offices with honest, able and impartial men, the firm friends of pure Elections, and inexorable foes of fraud and corruption and double voting.” —Salem Gazette, March 13, 1812

March 13: From Washington — “The Senate are making progress in the appointments for the new Standing Army. It is believed they will vote to build as many as six additional frigates. The taxes are hurried through the House so that the question may be fairly put to the people whether they will take them with war or have peace and not the taxes.” —Salem Gazette, March 13, 1812

March 14: “The Supreme Court of the United States adjourned on Saturday last, after deciding on about forty of the cases, referred to that tribunal.” —New York Spectator, March 21, 1812

March 15: Letter from Canton, China, from an American merchant — “I am completely at a loss what to do, not having made the least progress in procuring a cargo; nor do I see at present the most distant prospect of it. Neither Hanqua nor Causequa have a single chest of Tea for sale of any king, nor can they procure one; nor has any other merchants here any, except some most infamous stuff, called Old Singlo . . . Every chest of the old Congo that was on hand last year, has been bought up by the English Company.” —National Intelligencer, September 8, 1812

March 16: House of Representatives — “The bill to enable the people of the Mississippi territory to form a constitution and state government, and for the admission of the same into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, was read a third time and passed, without debate . . . .” —National Intelligencer, March 17, 1812

March 17: From Darien, Georgia — “We have news that the revolutionists have planted the standard of liberty and independence on Rose’s bluff, opposite St. Mary’s, in East Florida. A long way this from St. Augustine, where they are apprized of the scheme, and are prepared to give their revolutionising friends a warm reception.” —Raleigh Register, April 10, 1812

March 17: From Washington — “The Festival of St. Patrick was on Tuesday last, the 17th instant, celebrated by a number of the natives of Ireland, and their American friends, of the Navy Yard, in this City, at an entertainment furnished by Mr. Moss. They exercised the proud prerogative of American citizens of accompanying the festive scene with the free and unrestrained expression of their feelings by sentiment and song. —National Intelligencer, March 28, 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