News of the US: Week Four of July 1813

July 21:  From Charleston — “The privateer sch. Saucy Jack opened a rendezvous yesterday, at 11 o’clock, for the enlistment of her crew.  Before 5, one hundred and thirty able-bodied seamen were shipped.  Probably such a thing is unprecedented even in this country, however remarkable for her maritime enterprize.  The privateer will sail in a few days.”–Boston Gazette, August 4, 1814

July 21:  From Petersburg, Va., which had sent a company of volunteers to the North West Army — “We have letters from our volunteers to the 21st ult. which confirm the re-investment of Fort Meigs by the British and their worthy savage allies.  The number is supposed to be very considerable, as a large quantity of boats, with troops, had arrived in the Miami, during the night of the 20th.”–Charleston City Gazette, August 17, 1813

July 22:  From Maryland — “NOTICE            .  The friends of Peace and Commerce of the 4th election district (Spurrier’s) in Anne-Arundel county, are respectfully invited to attend a meeting at a spring on Mr. Thomas Worthington, junior’s farm, about four miles above Rummels’s Tavern, on the last Friday in July, it being the 30th inst.”–Maryland Gazette, July 22, 1813

July 22:  From Buffalo — “two of our vessels, the Lady of the Lake, and Pert, had arrived off there with 170 seamen, destined to Lake Erie.  &0 of the seamen were landed at Buffaloe.  Intelligence had been received of the arrival of four vessels of our fleet at Niagara.”–Centinel of Freedom, August 3, 1813

July 22:  From London, from the Speaker of the House of Commons — “In our contest with America, it must always be remembered that we have not been the aggressors.–Slow to take up arms against those who should have been naturally our friends, by the original ties of kindred, a common language, and, (as might have been hoped) but a just zeal in the cause of national liberty, we must, nevertheless, put forth our whole strength, and maintain with our antient superiority on the ocean, those maritime rights, which we are resolved never to surrender.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, September 24, 1813

July 23:  From Sandusky –“An express from Gen. Clay to Gen Harrison, Gov. Meigs and Col. Cass, reached Sandusky on the 23d July, informing them that on the 21st a small force of British and Indians landed under over of the night . . . . On the morning of the 22d, the enemy landed from their boats fifteen hundred men, within two hundred yards of the fort, that an assault was momentarily expected.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, August 13, 1813

July 23:  From Limestone, Alabama — “I have this moment received positive information of the Creek Indians.  There was a talk held yesterday at Ditto’s landing, with some friendly Creeks who had made their escape.  They state that the war party have murdered all the Whites that could be found among them, even those who were raised from their infancy.  All the Creeks that are friendly towards us, have left their Nation.–There are now six or seven hundred in the Cherokee nation, begging protection.”–Carthage, Tennessee, Gazette,  August 6, 1813

July 23:  From Norfolk — The few [British] ships stationed in Lynnhaven bay, have not been reinforced . . . .  The loss of their barge and men some few days past (which were captured by our militia) has irritated them exceedingly, and, to be revenged, they sent a tender close in shore on Saturday last and opened a fire on the Pleasure house!  They were within a mile of the building, but as they fired with their usual accuracy, their balls passed over and under, and on each side of it without doing any injury.”–National Intelligencer, July 29, 1813

Richard Mentor Johnson

July 24:  From Portland, Maine –I have seen a young man direct from Halifax, who informed me, that he saw the men who brought the survivors of the Young Teazer’s crew, prisoners to Halifax.  They stated that Captain Dobson, while holding the tiller in one hand and the trumpet in the other, called all the officers to him on deck, to consult what was best to be done [in face of capture by the enemy] when one of the sailors called out, that Lt. Johnson had gone into the cabin with a coal of fire; in an instant the Young Teazer [a privateer] blew up, and all the crew except 7 sailors perished.”–Maryland Gazette, August 5, 1813

July 24:  From Paris, Kentucky — “The Secretary of War has ordered col. Johnson’s regiment to Vincennes.  They left Lake Erie at the mouth of Huron river on the 4th inst. and intended going by the way of Lower Sandusky, Upper Sandusky, Piqua and Greenville, and thence through the wilderness to Vincennes, to be there by the 20th of August.”–Green Mountain Farmer, August 17, 1813

July 24:  From Canandaigua — “On Saturday last, (24th ult.) passed through this village, on his way to the Niagara Frontier, Brig. Gen. David R. Williams, the man who so earnestly wished in Congress he had the ‘Red Artillery of Heaven’ at his command, that he might drive the ‘fast anchored Isle’ of Britain from ‘her moorings.’“–Independent American, August 3, 1813

July 25:  Letter from Natchitoches —  “I with pleasure avail myself of a presenting opportunity to communicate to you whatever worthy of note has fallen into my hands since my tour abroad.  Events of the utmost importance, and which no little interest the political world, are daily transpiring in the north of Mexico.  That territory which was once the Spanish province of Texas, has been erected into a Republican State by the natives.  They there cherish printing—defend the engine, and support the shield of national liberty.”–Charleston City Gazette, September 14, 1813

July 25:  From the Creek Agency — “The civil war among the Creeks has raged with great fury.  The fanatics have destroyed Tuckabachee, the chiefs and inhabitants having previously left it, under an escort of warriors from Cusseta and Cowetaw, and moved down to Cowetaw.”–Democratic Press, September 22, 1813

July 25 — From Albany “2 American boats, privateers, had made a dash on the St. Lawrence, and succeeded in capturing 15 batteaux, loaded with provisions and military stores, and one gun boat, carrying a 12 pound carronade, that the same party were afterwards attacked by three gun boats having 250 men, and finally succeeded in repulsing them.”–Portsmouth New Hampshire Gazette, August 3, 1813

July 26:  From Boston — Capt. Howard, late master of the brig William, burnt by La Hogue, arrived in town on Thursday.  . . .  Capt. H. states, that the treatment he received from capt. C. [Capel] was very ungentlemanlike; he had many reflections cast upon him by Capt. C. who probably never would have destroyed the William (which had a regular license) had he not been in a state of inebriety.  . . . Capt. H. was robbed of his quadrant, charts, compasses, &c.”–Boston Gazette, July 26, 1813

July 26: From North Carolina — “A British force, consisting of two 74’s, frigates, 3 brigs, 3 schrs. and 15 barges having landed about 750 men, have taken possession of Ocrocoke and Portsmouth, and were expected at Newbern, where a force of 8800 men had assembled to meet them.–Mrs. Gaston, wife of the member of Congress, was so much alarmed that she died in a fit of convulsion . . . .  the admiral offers money for provisions.”–Centinel of Freedom, July 27, 1813

July 26:   Letter from an American in Plymouth, England — “In a conversation with admiral Durham, I was astonished to hear him say, that he thought peace could not be made unless we gave up the British town of Boston!  Such ignorance respecting  local situation and relative connexity of the State, is unpardonable in an admiral.”–National Intelligencer, October 11, 1813

July 27:  From Nashville — Address of General Jackson to his Volunteers — “It is contemplated that the Paymaster will pay each Dragoon forty cents per day, for the use and risk of his horse, in addition to his own pay.  Every justice that has been extended to others, will be extended to the volunteers by the government. . . .  The country to the South is inviting.  Let us consolidate it as part of our Union.”–Nashville Clarion, July 17, 1813

July 27:  From Creek Agency — “It is reduced to a certainty by the concurrent testimony of a number of respectable Indians, that the civil war which has raged for some time among the Creeks, originated with the British in Canada–that as soon as the chiefs friendly to the plan of civilization are destroyed or put to flight with their adherents, they will be ready for active hostility against the friendly Indians on Chatohoche and the exposed parts of our frontier settlements, and will attack them without delay.”–Nashville Clarion, August 10, 1813

July 27:  From Tall Pine, Maryland — “Our situation is extremely critical.– From two to three thousand of the enemy are in complete possession of the point of land below the Ridge, which is two and a half miles from Point-Look-Out.  They have been 5 or 6 miles higher up procuring stock, and have now in Mr. Armstrong’s corn field about 200 head of cattle, &c.–Several of our most respectable inhabitants have been taken by the enemy . . . .”–National Advocate, August 2, 1813

July 27: From Buffalo — “Three of our armed schooners have arrived at Fort Niagara which brought up between 2 and 300 sailors, who passed here on Friday last, to enter on board Commodore Perry’s squadron at Erie.”–Eastern Argus, Maine, August 12, 1813

July 28: Extract of a letter from Major Noah, to the editor, dated Plymouth, Eng. –“You will perceive that we have been captured and brought into this port, much against our inclination.  We expect passports to day which will enable us to visit London, and from thence arrange our departure, which I apprehend will be for Cadiz.  We have received the unwelcome account of the capture of the Chesapeake, and the death of Lawrence..  . . .  I, however, was consoled by observing the extravagant demonstrations of joy on the occasion, and saw in the illuminations the name of Broke [Captain of H. B. M. Shannon] associated with Wellington and Nelson.  They could not pay us a higher compliment!—and they now evidence, by all their measures the estimation in which we are held.  They have indeed found us no contemptible foe.  My treatment here has been invariably good . . . .”–Charleston City Gazette, October 14, 1813

July 28:  From Connecticut — “The Students of Yale College have offered to form a company of infantry, provided the state will furnish them with arms.  The plan we understand has the approbation of the College authority.”–New York Spectator, August 4, 1813

July 28:  From London — “The partial victories of the American ships at the commencement of hostilities, over the British frigates, are said to be attributable in a great measure, to an improvement in their shot.  The cartridge (instead of being made in canvass,) is ascertained to have been cased with lead.  This enabled them, it seems, to load with greater dispatch, and to fire with additional effect–hence the destructive havoc of their broadsides.”–New York Herald, October 9, 1813

July 29:  From Cincinnati, Ohio — “Daniel Debettaz respectfully informs his friends and the public in general, that he has just received a supply of good Red Wine, growth of the N. Switzerland (Indiana Territory) vineyards, superior in quality to the common Bordeaux Claret, and besides possessing the precious advantage (in case of sickness) of being exempt from the mixtures usually mingled in the imported wines.  He offers his wine at 2 dollars per gallon . . . ..”–American Daily Advertiser, July 29, 1813

July 29:  From Sacket’s Harbor –“It is with the highest satisfaction we earn that Gen. Hampton is introducing the most salutary reform in our army at Burlington, particularly in that branch where the reform was most imperiously demanded–we mean among the officers.”–Democratic Press,  August 6, 1813

July 29:  From Ensign Green B. Field, US Rangers, returned from an excursion to the Wabash:  “As to the country through which we passed, there cannot be too much said in favor of it, I have I believe been thro’ every territory in America, and the States, famed for the goodness of their lands, and I never saw any to equal the Indiana territory, particularly on White river and Wabash . . . .”–Cincinnati Western Spy, August 14, 1813

July 29:  From New Orleans — “Accounts from Pensacola via Mobile, state that 300 Creek Indians had arrived there, with three United States mails from New Orleans, which they had taken from the mail carrier in his route through the nation; that they wished the Governor of Pensacola to open the mails, examine the letters, and give them any bank  notes that might be found; also to inform them what the Americans wrote about them, if it were good or bad.”–Portsmouth New Hampshire Gazette, September 14, 1813

July 30:  From Vermont — “Two men have been arrested and brought into the camp at Burlington, charged with having smuggled horses into Canada.  We were told by a gentleman of veracity some weeks ago, from the north part of Vermont, that 500 horses had actually been smuggled into Canada, to mount the enemy’s cavalry which have arrived at Quebec.”–Albany Argus, July 30, 1813

July 30:  Letter from Miss Barron, near Hampton — “the purport of this letter is to request the favour of you  to procure the money due my aunt Barron, which you will be pleased to remit as soon as possible–for she has been plundered of every thing her house contained, even to cutting open the beds and carrying off the ticks, sparing neither furniture or provisions–having only time to escape, with her little family, as she saw the barges approach the landing.”–National Advocate, August 7, 1813

July 30:  From Fort St. Stephens, Mississippi Territory — “About a week ago the colonel of this county, (having been satisfactorily informed that the party of Indians, who had gone to Pensacola for ammunition . . . had actually been supplied by the Spanish governor with a quantity of powder) collected about 180 militia . . . met with the party, had a battle with them, and succeeded in taking away a considerable quantity of powder . . . ..”--Centinel of Freedom,September 14, 1813

July 31:  From Burlington — The British captured Plattsburgh and burned the public buildings there.  “As there were no troops stationed at Plattsburgh, of course there was no resistance.”  The editor of the Charleston paper quoted, for the benefit of his readers, from a description of Plattsburgh in Morse’s Gazetteer:  “Polite circles may here be found, and the genteel traveller may be entertained with the luxuries of a sea port, a tune on the harpsichord, and a philosophical conversation.  It contains 1400 inhabitants.”–Charleston City Gazette, August 15, 1813

July 31:   From upper New York — “We, the chiefs and councillors of the Six Nations of Indians, residing in the state of New-York, do hereby proclaim to all the war chiefs and warriors of the Six Nations, that war is declared on our part, against the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada.”–Weekly Aurora, August 17, 1813

July 31:  From Washington — “On the 31st day of July last, at the close of the Extra Session of Congress, the Senate  . . .  removed the injunction of secrecy from the Proceedings of that Body during the last winter on the proposition then agitated for authorising the Executive to take and hold possession of East as well as West Florida.  It appears that the proposition to take possession of East Florida was rejected on the 2d February by a vote of 19 to 16.”–Albany Argus, September 24, 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