News of the US: Week Two of May 1812

May 8:  From Raleigh — “A light frost appeared on the ground at this place on the morning of the 5th instant.  A like appearance has not been observed for many years.  There was frost on the morning of May the 4th, about 30 years since.”–Salem Gazette, May 19, 1812

May 8:  News from Buenos Aires – “Another insurrection had broken out at that place about the latter end of November . . . . An army of insurgents was marching from Chile, and had reached within about 500 miles of Buenos Ayres.  This army was rapidly increasing as it advanced; the inhabitants were in a distressed situation owning to the heavy contributions that were laid on them.”—Raleigh Register, May 8, 1812

May 9:  From Cuba — “Admiral Apodaca, the new Captain General of Cuba, was received on his arrival and installed with marks of the greatest respect and the most general satisfaction.  . . . He is stated to be invested with unusually extensive and discretionary powers, and it is believed that one of his earliest acts will be to combine and render efficient, means of restoring the Flordidas to the allegiance, from which thy have been violently torn.”–Newport Mercury, May 9, 1811

May 9:  From St. Louis — “Since our last, the Gov. has received information from fort Mason, that the Indians are still lurking on our frontier . . . .  Captain Boon [Nathan Boon] has given a good account so far of those who have visited our frontier, and no doubt will continue to do so.”–Louisiana Gazette, May 9, 1812

May 10:  From New York:  “Yesterday morning, arrived within Sandy-Hook, the ship Whampoa, capt. Conklin, in 45 days from Amsterdam, with a valuable cargo of dry goods and gin.  The Whampoa is one of the ships that were sequestered at Amsterdam by the French nearly three years since; and was recently restored by order of the French Emperor.”–National Intelligencer,May 12, 1812

May 10:  From Natchitoches — “Col. Bernard who left this place last fall for the seat of our government has returned here again, and some persons with him, and are communicating with the generals of the revolutionary armies of Mexico relative to future operations.  The present moment is pregnant with important events–a few weeks will unfold them.”–National Intelligencer, August 6, 1812

May 11:  From  Connecticut — “The annual State Election of Connecticut was held at Hartford on the 11th inst.  We are sorry to state, that his Excellency Gov. Griswold was prevented from attending by sickness:  The executive duties of the day of course devolved upon his Honor John Cotton Smith . . .  The votes for Gov. Griswold at the late election were 11, 721; for all others, 1974.”–Newport Mercury, May 23, 1812

May 12:  New York — “A procession of 840 (out of 1026) children of both sexes educated in the New York Free School was yesterday morning formed in Chatham-street, and proceeded from thence . . . to the school, where they underwent an examination in Reading, Writing and Public Speaking . . . .”–Richmond Enquirer, May 22, 1812

May 12:  From Oregon — “A letter from Mr. Nath’l Woodbury, of Danvers, dated at Kegharni (in the South Seas) Sept. 5, 1811, contains the following melancholy report:–“That in June last the ship Tonquin, Thorn master, was lying at anchor at a village near Nootka Sound . . . .  that a number of Indians were on board, when, on some misunderstanding, they suddenly attacked the crew, killed every one on board . . . . The ship brought out a large number of persons, part of a company who have commenced a settlement on Columbia River [at Astoria] . . . .”–Richmond Enquirer, May 22, 1812

May 12:  From New Orleans – “At the bay of St. Louis, on Thursday morning last, in a severe gale of wind, the United States’ schooner Alligator was sunk.  Unfortunately midshipman Thomas and six seamen were drowned—one only of the crew saved. The little schooner was built by commodore Porter, when he commanded on this station, and was intended and used as an express-boat.”—United States Gazette, June 25, 1812

May 12:  From Natchitoches — “A Spaniard who arrived here yesterday has made oath before Dr. Sibley, that he was an artillerist some time since at St. Antonio, (capital of Texas) in the service of the republican party, and that the corps to which he belonged had deserted and joined the royalists:  that the colonels Manshac and Bernard, with other officers in the republican party, had been empowered to go to the United States, with instructions to treat for arms and ammunition.”–Nashville Clarion, May 12, 1812

May 13:  From Washington — “The House of Representatives yesterday passed a resolution directing the Speaker of the House to request the attendance of each member of the House in his seat forthwith.” —National Intelligencer, May 14, 1812

May 13:  From Norfolk — “We have to congratulate our townsmen upon the prospect at length opened to them, by the completion of the Dismal Swamp Canal. Boats can now pass from Norfolk to Albemarle Sound . . . To North Carolina the advantages which will result from a direct intercourse with Norfolk are incalculable. “–National Intelligencer, June 4, 1812

May 14:  From Boston — “A Cartel.–On Thursday arrived at this  port the ship Cyrus, Capt. Thompson, with a full cargo of unfortunate American seamen, whose vessels have been captured and carried into England, under the British Orders in Council.”–National Intelligencer,May 23, 1812

May 14:  From Savannah — “Information received by the last southern mail, states that Col. Cuthbert, (aid-de-camp to Gov. Mitchell) had been dispatched to the fortress of St. Augustine, in order to negociate with the commandant; and that it was the general opinion, at St. Mary’s that the country in possession of the patriots would be given up to the Spaniards and the troops of the United States withdrawn.”–National Intelligencer,  May 26, 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