News of the US: Week Four of February 1813

February 22:  From Hartford — “The defeat of Gen. Winchester, which is confirmed, adds one more item to the account of disaster and disgrace, which so emphatically characterises this fatal war.  Another detachment of troops is annihilated; and as far as we can learn, under the most distressing and shocking circumstances.”–Salem Gazette, February 26, 1813

February 22:  “On the 22d, Sir George Prevost crossed the river at Ogdensburg–burnt and destroyed all our public stores, &c.  The enemy were said to be 3000 strong–Forsyth had 300.  The cannonade lasted some hours; Forsyth made a masterly retreat, killed half as many of the enemy as his own whole force consisted of.”–New York Spectator, March 13, 1813

February 22:  From Ogdensburg — “The commanding officer at Prescott [Canada], (col. M’Donald) sent over a flag on Wednesday, and informed that ‘HE WILL PERMIT us, to keep a guard of from 50 to 100 men for the purpose of keeping off marauding parties!!!’“–Democratic Press, March 8, 1813

February 23:  From Col. Macomb at Sackett’s Harbor to Gen. Dearborn —  “I have this moment received an express from Capt. Forsyth informing me of the enemy’s having succeeded in driving him out of Ogdensburg.’  . . .  The captain retreated with all his force to Black Lake, about nine miles this side Ogdensburg.”–Missouri Gazette, April 24, 1813

February 23:  From the Charleston Times — “A Thought respecting our Frigates.  Names are sometimes ominous.  The United States and Constitution have done wonders; The President andCongress have done nothing.”– reprinted by the Hagers-Town Gazette, February 23, 1813

February 23:  From Nashville — “THIRTEENTH CONGRESS.  It is truly surprising to observe how easily a certain description of people are gulled by the ‘factious prints;’  We have heard men seriously declare their belief, that there would be a federal majority in the next Congress!  For the satisfaction of some, and the confusion of others, we briefly state the fact–than an augmented majority in the senate, & a much greater number of ‘war hawks’ in the House, than in the present, will pursue the Republican system with ‘a hand steady as time, and an eye keen as death.'”–Nashville Clarion, February 23, 1813

February 24:  From Ogdensburg — “Whilst the [British] officers were employed in removing the public, and such as they chose of private property, to the other shore, their Indians, soldiers and women, (or rather furies) commenced the destruction of the property of the villagers.  It would be a difficult task (and one to which we confess ourselves wholly inadequate) to describe this scene of lawless violence.”–New York Spectator, March 10, 1813

February 24:  From Frankfort, Kentucky — “We are informed that the misfortune which befell our fellow citizens at the river Raisin, had so deranged the volunteer corps, and other concurrent circumstances, that the propositions made to the by the  egislature to induce a continuance in service for a longer period than they had engaged for, were not acceded to; in consequence of which the remaining parts of the three first regiments viz. Scott’s, Lewis’ and Allen’s, may soon be expected home.”–Weekly Aurora, March 16, 1813

February 25:   From Ogdensburg — “The British have retired, having promised to remunerate the inhabitants for all loss of private property–and a committee had made out an estimate for that purpose.  A flag of truce arrived on the 25th, stating that the United States might keep a guard here, but that the town must not be again garrisoned under the penalty of another attack!”–New York Spectator, March 10, 1813

February 25:  From the Massachusetts Legislature — “A resolve passed to authorize the Governor to furnish towns on the Maine seaboard with ordnance, &c.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, March 5, 1813

February 26:  The port of Charleston is blockaded by the Aeolus, Lord Townsend, who said, “that he intended to destroy, as far as it was in his power, the coasting trade of the Southern ports . . . .”–Charleston City Gazette, February 26, 1813

February 26: From New Orleans — “A creole of Ayaqua in the province of St. Ander south of the Rio bravo, arrived in a small bark, states that in the beginning of Dec. last general Rayon took the city of Mexico.  . . .  The Padre Goutieres, brother to the general of that name had under his command 10,000 men in the province of St. Ander, destined to make their junction with Mc’Gee’s corps.”–Louisiana Courier, February 26, 1813

February 26:  “We have pleasure in stating, from an authority on which we rely, that the Postmaster General is about to establish, during the War, a daily line of Stages from Petersburg to Charleston.  . . . The Stages, when this regulation takes place, (which may probably be within a month or six weeks from this time) will run daily from New-Hampshire to South Carolina.”–Raleigh Register, February 26, 1813

February 27:  “An Act to encourage Vaccination” was signed this day by James Madison.–Charleston City Gazette, May 7, 1813

February 27:  From Kaskaskia — “The people of St. Louis are much alarmed by the defeat of Gen. Winchester, on account of the encouragement it will give to hostile Indians . . . .  They have determined to fortify, and have also sent out for 400 Osage warriors, who are considered friendly–but I can hardly approve of the latter policy.”–Maryland Gazette, April 22, 1813

February 27:  From New York – “The Hornet sloop of war, captain Lawrence, has arrived at New York from a cruise February 27, off Demarara, fell in with, engaged, and sunk, in 15 minutes, the British sloop of war Peacock, of 21 guns and 130 men, Captain Peake, and 9 men killed and 33 wounded, on board the Peacock—1 killed and 2 wounded in the Hornet.”—United States’ Gazette, March 27, 1813

February 28:  From St. Marys, Ga. — “the Tennessee troops, and those under Col. Smith, have returned from an expedition against the Indians, whom they have defeated.  They took from them one hundred horses, a great many cattle, and some prisoners, having killed 20,  (some say 60) and burnt the Lotchaway town, and several small Indian villages.”  “This detachment, in the first action was between 240 and 250 strong, consisting of Colonel Williams’ regiment from East-Tennessee, and volunteers from this state—they were all mounted.”–Charleston City Gazette, March 5, 1813

February 28:  From Dayton, Ohio – “I feel very much alarmed for Gen. Harrison.  He is fortifying at the Rapids and has abandoned his excursion to Malden.  His men are daily leaving him in companies and regiments, and no reenforcements going in.”—United States’ Gazette,March 13, 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