News of the US: Week Four of April 1813

April 22:  From the Charleston Courier — “A gentleman who arrived here yesterday in the privateer Hazard, in one day from St. Mary’s, informs us, that the troops of the United States were to evacuate the Province of East Florida on the 27th inst.  Gen. Pinckney was at Point Petre; his Aid-de-Camp had been on to St. Augustine, and arranged with Gov. Kindelan the manner of evacuation.”–New York Spectator, May 5, 1813

April 22:  From off Massachusetts — “Last week, a Beverly fishing boat was brought to by the British frigates Shannon and Tenedos, who bought all their fish at the highest market price, and filled their keg with good old Jamaica.”–American Daily Advertiser, April 26, 1813

April 22:  From the Creek Agency — “We received news last night, that M’Intosh had an engagement with the party that done the mischief on the mouth of the Ohio.  He killed eight of the party, and he had two wounded.  Other information is speedily expected.”–Niles’ Weekly Register, May 15, 1813

April 23:  From Baltimore — “A letter from Baltimore, adds that the British squadron have taken Pool’s Island, on which they have erected a Battery, Hospital, and Gallows.  It was said two men had been hung as spies, but it was not believed.”–       `   April 27, 1813

April 23:  From the London Star — “It appears from the Halifax papers that it was the Indian warrior Roundhead who took GEN. WINCHESTER prisoner.  The Indian, according to his notions of the law of nations, and the courtesy due to Prisoners of War, first stript the American General of his fine coat and waistcoat, and then applied a covering of paint over his bare skin.  In this ludicrous state, having dressed himself in the Regimental trappings of his prisoner, he presented the latter to Col. Proctor, who with much difficulty succeeded in recovering for the discomfited General his Coat and Sword.”–Democratic Press, August 4, 1813

April 23:  From San Antonio — “At the time the enclosed letter was written, we had it in contemplation to send an express immediately to the United States,  but information we received relative to the movements of our enemy, caused us to protract its mission, until we either effected the conquest of St. Antonio, or perished in the attempt.”–Aurora, July 20, 1813

April 24:  From St. Louis — “On hearing that the few regulars in this territory were ordered away, a gentleman remarked, that he was afraid that Dr. Eustis [former Secretary of War] had inoculated Gen Armstrong [present Secretary of War] before he left Washington, otherwise he would not commit such a blunder as to strip a country of its force at the moment it was being invaded.”–Missouri Gazette, April 24, 1813

April 24:  From New York — “Two distinguished lovers of the human race, have taken upon themselves to secure the votes of the people of color at the approaching election.  For this purpose they have been very assiduous in attending at every nightly meeting of those people . . . after which a paper is handed round the room for signatures pledging themselves to vote for the war ticket.”–New York Herald, April 24, 1813

April 24:  For New York — “People of colour: once more — The colored men who are electors will do well to recollect when the war party solicit their votes, that this party are the Virginia party; and it is hardly necessary to tell them, at this time of day, there is scarcely a man in Virginia who does not think they are only fit to be slaves.”–New York Herald, April 24, 1813

April 25:  From Milford, Delaware — “About 7 o’clock yesterday morning, the British attempted to land at the mouth of Mispilion creek, but being fired upon by our guards, they stood up the bay and landed on the upper side of the creek about 100 men; they took 13 head of cattle and some hogs, 3 of the cattle they shot, and carried off all the rest alive; they had 5 barges, one sloop and a schooner, and their men amounted to from 3 to 400.”–Maryland Gazette, May 13, 1813

April 25:  From  Z. M. Pike, at Sacket’s Harbor, conclusion of brigade orders — “All those found in arms in the enemy’s country, shall be treated as enemies, but those who are peaceably following the pursuits of their various vocations, friends–and their property respected.”–Boston Patriot, May 29, 1813

April 25:  From New York — “We learn by the passengers in the North River Steam boat, that it was reported at Albany on Saturday that the fleet under the command of Com. Chauncey, had sailed from Sackett”s harbor, with Col. Pike’s regiment on board, supposed to be destined for Kingston.”–Hagers-Town Gazette, May 4, 1813

April 26:  From Philadelphia — “In consequence of orders to expedite the sailing of the flag Neptune, Captain Jones, with the embassy of Peace for Russia, received on Saturday, and extra number of hands were employed all yesterday in bending sails, filling water and other preparations for the voyage; by which we are led to believe that she will sail in a few days.”–New York Spectator, April 28, 1813

April 26: From General Flournoy at Fort Stoddart — “In passing through the country of the Creek Indians, and within a few miles of the town where the Grand Council of the Nation were in session, I sent them a letter, making known my intention to pass through their country, & who, and what I was.  They ordered out a guard to attend me as long as I should think fit to keep them–declaring at the same time, that they felt no apprehension for my safety, as the Indians who killed the man on the post road, and all the Indians except one, who were concerned in the murder of the families near the mouth of Ohio, had been put to death by the order of the Council.”–Carolina Star, May 28, 1813

April 27:  From New Orleans — “The long contemplated negociation has at length succeeded—the Town and Fort of Mobile was given up to Gen. Wilkinson on Wednesday last, the 14th inst.  The Spanish troops and munitions of war are to be transported in American vessels to Pensacola; and every other point, we presume, lies over for future negociation.  The Spaniards here declare that the commanding officer who negociated for the delivery, did not receive a douceur; that it was produced by dire necessity, having neither provision, money, nor credit.”–Missouri Gazette, June 5, 1813

April 27:  From Niagara County — “On Tuesday, the 27th April, at sunrise, Commodore Chauncey, with a squadron of 10 or 12 vessels, appeared before York with Gen. Dearborn and near 3000 men.  The Infantry under Brig. Gen. Pike, landed, attacked the town and batteries in the rear, while the squadron attacked them by water.  At 2 P. M. they carried the place, taking a great number of Indians and militia prisoners, 1000 Indians being engaged.  . . . Immense quantities of military stores and Indian goods were taken at York, which seems to have been the depot for these articles.  The vessels of the squadron are not sufficient to bring them away.”–Charleston City Gazette, May 18, 1813

April 27:  From Charleston — “the troops of the United States were to evacuate the Province of East Florida on the 27th inst.  Gen. Pinckney was at Point Petre; his aids-de-camp had been on to St. Augustine, and arranged with Gov. Kinderlan the manner of evacuation.”–National Intelligencer, May 1, 1813

April 28: From Bardstown, Kentucky — “The editor has received a letter from an officer at Fort Madison, which states that Main Poque, (the Pottawatomie chief) is at Chicago with a large number of Pottawatomies, Kickapoos, Shawnees, Ottawas and English.  . . . The mail has to be guarded from Kaskaskia to Kentucky.  Dickson the emissary promised to furnish the Indians with guns and ammunition so soon as the lakes can be navigated.”–Knoxville Gazette, May 10, 1813

April 28:  “On the 28th of April, and explanatory letter was written from the Admiralty to Sir John B. Warren, in which he was told, ‘That their Lordships expect, and direct him to maintain a blockade de facto of every port of the United States of America, to which his force may be adequate.”–Salem Gazette, September 24, 1813

April 28:  From a letter from York, Canada, to Governor Tompkins — “On reaching the open ground they [our troops]advanced and carried a battery by assault, and were advancing towards the principal works in open column, when a tremendous explosion took place of an immense magazine prepared for the purpose, which threw in the air such a quantity of stones as almost covered the buildings and ground for from 60 to 80 rods in all directions . . . . and what is to be more especially lamented is the death of brigadier gen. Pike, occasioned by a severe contusion by a stone; he survived the wound but a few hours.”–Centinel of Freedom, May 11, 1813

April 29:  Extract from a letter to the Trenton Federalist, dated Cape May — “the British squadron blockading the Delaware, still continue with the same force as heretofore.  . . . Between two and three hundred of the British landed at Fishing Creek . . . on Thursday morning last, and took off 129 head of sheep and 45 cattle.”–Richmond Enquirer, May 20, 1813

Map of Fort Meigs

April 29:  From Fort Meigs – “The Postmaster in this city, has received a letter from the Postmaster General, stating that an express had arrived at Washington from fort Meigs, with intelligence of an attack having been made upon that position by the British and Indians, on the 29th of April, and that the fighting continued until the 3d of May, when the express came away, and the result remained doubtful.”—United States’ Gazette, May 12, 1813

April 29:  “Yesterday about 600 of the enemy in barges took possession of Spesutic Island near the head of the Chesapeake; at the time of their landing there were a number of persons (it is supposed nearly one hundred) on the island, where they had went to fish–two of them escaped to the shore of Hartford county and brought the above intelligence.”–Democratic Press, May 1, 1813

April 30:  From a letter from Frenchtown [Md.] —  “I now undertake to inform you of the British arriving here yesterday morning about 8 o’clock.  But five or six barges were at first seen; in a few minutes the river appeared full of them—the whole number was 12 large barges. “–Missouri Gazette, June 12, 1813

April 30:  From Boston — “the President and Congress sailed from Boston Bay on Friday last.  The two British frigates [the Shannon and the Tenedos] were out side.”–Charleston City Gazette, May 13, 1813

April 30:  From Sackett’s Harbor — “The large frigate at this place had her keel laid five weeks since and is now planked up, and will I think be launched in five weeks.  One hundred of the brave crew of the Constitution arrived here yesterday for that ship.  It is believed she will be an overmatch for the whole British force on the Lakes.”--National Intelligencer, May 15, 1813
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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