News of the US: Week Four of August 1813

August 22:  From Boston — “Three waggons arrived in town on Saturday, from Charleston, S. C. 60 days passage.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, August 27, 1813

August 22:  From Charleston — “In the dreadful gale of the 22d ult. at Charleston, S. C. damage was sustained in that city and neighborhood it was conjectured to the amount one million of dollars.  . . .  Of the vessels in the harbor, only the U. S. schooners Nonsuch and Carolina, and the Guard Ship, rode out the storm–and the latter had to cut away her masts.”–Connecticut Gazette,September 15, 1813

August 22:  From Dayton, Ohio — “We understand that Colonel Johnston’s regiment of Kentucky mounted volunteers passed through Dayton on the 22d and 23d instant, on their way to the frontier.  This regiment, now 1200 strong, will be eminently useful in repelling the incursions of the hostile Indians, which have of late become very troublesome to the inhabitants of our western and northwestern frontier.”–Gettysburg Adams Centinel, September 15, 1813

August 23:  From Sackett’s Harbor — “It appears by the latest accounts from this place, that Gen. Wilkinson was preparing for some expedition on the Canada side of the Lake; that he had reviewed the troops at that station, who were supposed to be 4000 strong, that Com. Chauncey had completed the repairs of his squadron, and was expected to sail immediately, having added to his force the new sch. Sylph, mounting 20 guns.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, September 10, 1813

August 23:  From Kent Island, Maryland – “19 have deserted to this place since the enemy came to Kent Island, among them a midshipman.  The enemy has evacuated Kent Island, their intention not known; two deserters sent here by gen. Benson last night say they are certainly going to Lynhaven Bay.  They have committed great depredation on the Island, having taken off the whole stock, and many negroes—took away the fencing, and in many instances cut down the corn.”—United States’ Gazette, September 1, 1813

August 23:  News from Smyrna, Turkey — “We have received intelligence of a dreadful calamity having overtaken the largest caravan of the season, on its route from Mecca to Aleppo.  . . .  On the 15th of August last they entered the great Arabian Desert . . . .   On the morning of the 23d just as they had struck their tents and commenced their march, a wind rose from the Northeast, and blew with tremendous violence . . . .  Of 2000 souls composing the caravan, not more than 20 escaped this calamity.”–New York Spectator, March 19, 1814

August 24:  From Natchitoches — “There has been lately here an extraordinary outrage committed by the U. S. troops.  One of them was put in jail for assaulting and beating Judge Carr, at a late hour in the night, at the door of the Judge’s house.  The next night upwards of twenty men of the garrison, headed by the Sergeant-Major, passed out of the fort with the knowledge of the guard, with guns, bayonets, battle axes, sledge hammers, &c. went to the jail after the people were generally gone to bed, broke open the jail, took out the soldier who was prisoner, wounded the jailer with a bayonet, and snapt two guns at him, and returned again to the fort in good order, without the loss of a man.”–Louisiana Courier, September 17, 1813

August 24:  From Buffalo — “Our volunteers have some of them returned from Fort George, their occupations being of such a nature as to render it difficult to be absent from their homes any considerable length of time.  A few of the Indians have also returned, but in case their services are wanted they will be prompt to take the field.  Our Indians have certainly acquired the reputation of being good soldiers; their conduct is not marked by that savage barbarity which we have experienced from those of the enemy.”–Maryland Gazette, September 9, 1813

August 25:  From Natchitoches via Connecticut — “We learn by letters from New Orleans that there exists in that city and in the Island of Barrataria, a corps of about 600 men, composed principally of mulattoes, for years past exercised in every species of robbery and violence, who are in a state of readiness to depart for the coast of Texas, to reinforce the governor and protector, as he stiles himself, of that state.  These honest folks are as we understand, to be commanded by one Colonel Savary, a Frenchman of color from St. Domingo and Member of the Legion of Honor.”–Connecticut Gazette, August 25, 1813

August 25:  “Our Erie flotilla had arrived in Sandusky Bay at the last accounts.  Com. Perry has been up to Gen. Harrison’s head quarters and required of him 80 of his ablest men, to act as boarders on board his ship.  The requisition was immediately made up of volunteers, and he has returned with them to the bay, and would proceed directly on a cruise for the enemy’s vessels.”–Portsmouth New Hampshire Gazette, September 28, 1813

August 26:  From New York Justice’s Court — “The plaintiff claimed a quarter’s rent of a house in Cherry street, due on the first instant, amounting to forty two dollars or there about.  The defence was, that the house was haunted by ghosts, and therefore untenantable by man.  . . . The jury retired under the charge of the court, and returned with a verdict of ten dollars as a compensation to plaintiff for the time defendant had occupied his house before he was routed by the ghosts!”–Raleigh Register, September 10, 1813

August 26:  From Alexandria, Louisiana — “I learn by express that Gen. Toledo was received at St. Antonio by all parties with great demonstrations of joy on the 1st inst.  It then became a subject of enquiry who should be Governor & Commander in Chief.  On the 3d the Junta determined that he should be elected by the several captains, and the Junta by both.  Toledo was elected almost unanimously–and on the 6th, Bernardo deserted and is at Nacogdoches on his way in.”–Richmond Enquirer, October 12, 1813

August 26:  From Easton, Maryland — “The enemy landed this morning men from 11 barges at Leeds from a schr. at Hambleton’s Point, and stretched a line from thence to Harris’s creek, on which Leeds is situated, and  raised the British standard.  About 600 militia at St. Michaels–the inhabitants are leaving Easton, all that can; four deserters got into Easton, who say 1000 have deserted since they landed this morning.”–Baltimore Patriot, September 1, 1813

August 27:  From the Chesapeake — Re:  Commodore Barney — “We have at length ascertained the real nature of the command which this gallant seaman is to occupy.  He has been appointed to take charge of the flotilla of barges, gun boats, and other vessels destined for the defence of the Chesapeake bay.  His command is one entirely separate from the navy; and he is to receive his orders immediately and exclusively from the secretary of that department.”–Aurora, August 27, 1813

August 27:  From Boston —  “An express arrived here yesterday bringing a despatch from the Navy Agent in Portland, and forwarded by com. Hull from Portsmouth . . .  The United States’ brig Enterprize, Lieut. William Burrows, on Friday last, . . . fell in with his Britannic Majesty’s brig Boxer, captain Blyth . .  . which she captured after an action of 45 minutes.”–Maryland Gazette, September 16, 1813

August 27: From Sackett’s Harbor — “One of the pilots and some of the men from Mr. Trant’s vessel who was taken in our late rencontre with sir James Yeo, have arrived here; they made their escape from Kingston and brought off their guard with them.  The pilot states that our fire in that instance proved very destructive, and that the Wolf (sir James’ flag ship) was very much cut to pieces.  . . .  Eckford (the master builder) has built and launched a new schooner of 348 tons in 21 days.”–Aurora, Sept. 11, 1813

August 27:  From St. Louis — “An expedition is formed at this place to route the savages from the Illinois and Mississippi Territories, to rendezvous on the 30th instant, about 30 miles above this place and take up their line of march on the 1st of September.  . . .  Reports say Dixon is come to the Upper Mississippi with cannon.  I hope in my next to be able to give you a good account of him and his savage associates.”–Maryland Gazette, October 7, 1813

August 28: From Fort Meigs, Ohio — “Gen. M’Arthur arrived here yesterday, and has superceded Gen. Clay.  At 10 o’clock he took the command, and issued an order to raise volunteeer seamen for our fleet, it being deficient in men.–About fifty volunteered–“–Commercial Advertiser, September 18, 1813

August 28:  From Sir Thomas Hardy, HMS Ramilies, off New London — “having received positive information that a whale boat, the property of Thomas Welling and others, prepared with a torpedo, for the avowed purpose of destroying this ship, a mode of warfare practised by individuals from mercenary motives, and more novel, that honorable, is kept in your neighbourhood . . . I beg you to warn the inhabitants of the towns along the coast of Long Island, that wherever I hear this boat or any  other of her description has been allowed to remain after this day, I will order every house near the shore destroyed.”–New York Herald, September 3, 1813

August 29:  From Upper Sandusky — “Gen. Harrison has advised Gov. Meigs that the services of the Ohio Militia were no longer necessary, excepting enough to garrison two or three forts.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, September 24, 1813

Governor Isaac Shelby

August 29:  “His Excellency Gov. Shelby left Frankfort on the 29th ult. for Newport, the place of rendezvous for the Kentucky troops.  The Legislature of North Carolina, several years since voted this gentleman a Sword, testamentary of their sense of his good conduct at the battle of King’s Mountain; the actual presentation of which, from several causes, has been delayed.  He has just received the same, at a very proper time to stimulate him to deeds of valor in defence of his country, and her cause.”–Baltimore Patriot, September 20, 1813

August 30:  From Fort St. Stephens, Ala. — “On Monday last the Creek Indians commenced hostilities against us, and on that day reduced one fort at Tensaio [Fort Meems, or Mimms], about fifteen miles from Stoddert; in which there were between three and four hundred persons of every description.  Of these, about one hundred and thirty-five were volunteers in the service of the United States and local militia. . . .Not an officer of the fort survived . . . .”–Charleston City Gazette, October 6, 1813

August 30:  From Stonington —  “A gentleman at my house who left the [HBM] Ramilies yesterday, and who has been a prisoner on board about three weeks, says that the sloop Endeavor, of Newport, which the officers said was an old acquaintance, was, on the 24thor 25th of August, voluntarily along side the Ramilies, and he saw them put on board potatoes, onions, corn and other vegetables, and a plenty of fruit.”–Eastern Argus, Maine, September 8, 1813

August 30: From Tennessee, Brigade Orders — “From information received through various channels by his Excellency Governor Blount, of the hostile disposition of the Creek Indians . . .. the Militia of Tennessee, together with the late volunteers, will undoubtedly soon be call’d on, to chastise in an exemplary manner, that insolent and savage nation, for their late wanton, cruel and unprovoked murders committed on the peaceable and unoffending citizens of our government.”–Carthage Gazette, September 3, 1813

August 31:  From Fort George — “Our troops are sickly at the fort, and their sickness is increasing.  The friendly Indian chiefs at the fort are dissatisfied with Gen. Boyd’s conduct, and reproach the regular troops with want of courage, in not assisting their Indians in the skirmish at the out posts, on the 17th and 18th inst.”–Richmond Enquirer, September 17, 1813

August 31:  From the Portsmouth New Hampshire Gazette — “One of our brother editors well observes, ‘If it were solely to communicate News that we issue our sheet, we might as well suspend the publication this day’–for in fact we have none to communicate.”

August 31:  From Kentucky, from Governor Shelby — ” I have appointed the 31st day of August next, at Newport, for a general rendezvous of Kentucky volunteers.  I will meet you there in person.  I will lead you to the field of battle–and share with you, the dangers and honors of the campaign.   Those who have good rifles and know how to use them, will bring them along.  Those who have not, will be furnished with muskets at Newport.”–Aurora, August 19, 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