News of the US: Week Four of January 1813

January 22:  From Ohio –Notice from Duncan McArthur — “Thanks be to Heaven I am again a freeman.  The officers of the three regiments of Ohio volunteers and militia, surrendered at Detroit, on the 16th of August last are exchanged.  I regret much that the men are not also exchanged:  was it so, I should again rally my regiment and immediately join Gen. Harrison.  Under him, I doubt not, such men would do honor to themselves and country.”–Scioto Supporter, January 23, 1813

January 22:  News from the North – “The rifle company of Capt. Forsyth, now on the waters of St. Laurence, which was originally enlisted in North Carolina, has been augmented, by enlistments for five years, to 185 men.—We are requested to state that the North-Carolinians enjoy high health in that country, not one having died since their arrival there.—Raleigh Register,  January 22, 1813

January 22:  From the editor of the Kentucky Argus — “For our part we are free to confess that, upon examining the whole ground, the motives of Winchester in marching to the river Raisin, were laudable–and that his defeat and the destruction of his army on the 22d, was one of those unfortunate disasters, that frequently happen with the best generals.”–Nashville Clarion, February 23, 1813

January 23:  From St. Louis — “The Indian chief Logan is dead—his family at his request, were to be sent to this state, as their only place of safety.”==Missouri Gazette, January 23, 1813

January 23:  From Annapolis — Arrived on Saturday morning the private armed schooner Rolla, from a cruise: “She experienced severe gales, and threw over all her guns except the long one; had sixty men; the loss of her guns did not at all cool the ardor of her gallant officers and crew; for from the 12th to the 15th of December, near Madeira, they took seven vessels without the loss of a man, all of which have been ordered to France.  They were of the Cork fleet.”–Charleston City Gazette, February 4, 1813

January 23:  From Washington — “By particular request, the Rev’d Lorenzo Dow, will deliver a Sermon in the Capitol on Sunday next.”–National Intelligencer, January 23, 1813

January 24:  Letter from Governor Harrison to Governor Meigs — “The detachment under Colonel Lewis was reinforced by Gen Winchester with 250 men.  He attended it, and took command at the River Raisin on the 20th, and on the 22d, he was attacked at reveille, by a considerable British and Indian force, with six pieces of artillery; the troops being surprised and the ground unfavorable, had but little opportunity of forming to advantage.  They were surrounded and broke in 20 or 25 minutes.  A major and captain and about 25 privates were all that effected their escape.  . . . . I know not what proportion the prisoners of General Winchester’s late troops bear to the killed; some of French who have come in report the latter at 500 and others at 800.  The detachment amounted to near 1000.”–Charleston City Gazette, February 22, 1813

January 25:  From New Orleans  — “Yesterday arrived in our port a schr. from Carthagena de los Indios, on board of which came passenger, the Bishop of Carthagena.  The prelate appears to have been compelled to leave that city, of which the insurgents had taken possession.”–New YorkSpectator, March 20, 1813

January 25:  From Washington — “The bill for raising an additional military force of 20,000 men for one year, having finally passed both Houses, awaits only the signature of the President to become a law.”–National Intelligencer, January 25, 1813

January 25:  From Washington — “The Senate have approved of the nomination of Capt. William Jones for Secretary of the Navy, and of Gen. Armstrong for Secretary of War–the latter by a majority of 3 votes.”–Connecticut Mirror, January 25, 1813

January 26:  From Buffalo — “On Saturday last, two soldiers and three subjects, came across Lake Erie on the ice, from Canada.  They state that sickness and famine continue to ravage Upper Canada . . . that the 41st regiment is very much reduced by desertion, sickness &c.”–Charleston City Gazette, February 19, 1813

January 26:  From Nashville — “By a gentleman who arrived here a few days past, from the state of Georgia, we are informed that Col. Smith has had a late rencounter with a large body of Indians, Negroes and Spaniards within sixty miles of St. Augustine.–The contest was bloody and Smith victorious.”–Kentucky Gazette, February 16, 1813

January 26: From New York — “Six British seamen, who lately belonged to the privateer Rover, and composed the prize crew of a sloop from Connecticut River, captured by that privateer, arrived in this city last evening, and were delivered to the commander at the west battery.  During the late storm they purposely ran the sloop ashore and surrendered themselves at Brookhaven from whence they were escorted to this city.”–Alexandria Gazette, January 26, 1813

January 27:  From Boston, message of Governor Caleb Strong to Massachusetts Legislature — “as the principal alledged cause of hostility against England has been removed by the repeal of the British Orders in Council . . .  we can hardly suppose that the war will be continued to protect in our merchant vessels the seamen of Great Britain against the claims of that government; –or to conquer the adjoining territories, the acquisition of which must be expensive and of very doubtful advantage;–and still less to aid the triumphs and support the usurpations of the unrelenting oppressor of Mankind.”–Boston Patriot, January 30, 1813

January 27:  From the House of Representatives — “The President has transmitted to that body all the documents in relation to the Floridas–the doors have been closed for two days past, it is supposed that the house was engaged in reading the communications–The committee on foreign relations are now in session and will no doubt report a bill for the immediate occupation of both the Floridas.”–Nashville Clarion, February 9, 1813

January 27:  From New York — “yesterday arrived in the Sound, and anchored a few miles above hell-Gate, the British ship Rio Nouva [of 18 guns] . . . .  The ship was captured on the 14th of Dec. off Madeira, by the privateer Rolla, of one gun, Capt. Dooly of Baltimore, after an engagement of 29 minutes, and none killed or wounded on either side.”–Richmond Enquirer,February 4, 1813

January 28:  Letter from General Smyth to the editors of the National Intelligencer — “If Congress desire that our armies should conquer, they will consider that ‘an army is an edifice of which the basis is the belly;’ and they will prescribe some effectual mode of honestly and amply supplying our armies with good and wholesome provisions.”–New York Spectator, February 17, 1813

January 29:  “On the Marriage of Captain Hull, to Miss Ann M. Hart”– “Brave Hull first won the hearts of all / Who wish Columbia’s glory, / By forcing Briton’s flag to fall– / Well known in recent story.  But not content with victory, / His joy he must impart; / And after conquering foes at sea, / Now gains a female Heart.”==Raleigh Register, January 29, 1813

January 29:  From Col. John Williams of the East-Tennessee Volunteers, Camp in East Florida — “The services of the East Tennessee Volunteers have been accepted by General Flournoy in behalf of the U. States, in a manner highly gratifying to our feelings.  . . . I confidently hope that some one of the Tennessee Volunteers will plant the American Eagle on the walls of St. Augustine, before we return.”–Nashville Clarion, March 2, 1813

January 29:  From a letter on board the H. B. M. Marlborough — “the Americans have become abundantly haughty, and elated with their success they have lately launched a 74 gun ship, called the Venus . . .   Unfortunately no British frigates on this station are equal in strength and appointment  to the frigates of the United States, any of which pour a heavier broadside than an English ship of 50 guns, and their complement of men equals that of a 74.”–National Intelligencer,May 22, 1813

January 30: “Gen. Armstrong yesterday received his commission as Secretary of War, with orders, no doubt, to repair to the seat of government with all possible expedition.”–Charleston City Gazette, January 30, 1813

January 30:  From Buffalo —  “A flag has come across from Black Rock, and states to Col. Boerstler, that Gen. Winchester, with   his whole army, are prisoners of war . . . .  The flag states that Gen. W. was taken after a hard fought battle on the Rapids of Miami..”–Charleston City Gazette, February 24, 1813

January 30:  “Extract of a letter from a distinguished American in the North of Europe [John Quincy Adams] — ““I never entertained very sanguine hopes of success to our first military efforts, by land—I did not indeed anticipate that within six months from the commencement of the war they would make us the scorn and laughter of all Europe, and that our national character would be saved from sinking beneath contempt only by the exploits of our navy upon the ocean.”–Boston Patriot, June 9, 1813

January 30:  From Washington — “Lorenzo Dow, God willing, will certainly preach at the Capitol tomorrow morning.”–National Intelligencer, January 30, 1813

January 31:  From General Harrison, at Portage River — “This morning two spies whom I had sent to the River Raisin, have returned.  They give a still more favorable account of the action [of Winchester’s force on the 22nd] than that before received.  They say, that a considerable larger number of the enemy were killed, than of our men, and that after resisting every assault of the British, and charging the latter, successfully, several times–they did not surrender until after the return of the Indians from the pursuit of those who had retreated in the commencement of the action.”–Democratic Press, February 16, 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