News of the US: Week Four of October 1812

October 21:  From Albany, from Maj. Thomas Chrystie – “About sixteen  hundred of our men crossed at Lewistown, and carried the British batteries, after a tremendous conflict.  Gen. Brock came up with a reinforcement of regular troops . . . and succeeded in retaking the ground and fortifications.  Four hundred of our men were killed, and eight hundred wounded and taken prisoners—among the latter is your brother, who was wounded in the hand.”—Shamrock,October 24, 1812

October 21:  From Plattsburg — “our prospects change here since my last.  Two fine troops of cavalry have arrived, and a superb troop of light artillery.  Two regiments of infantry, the 16th and 25th, are expected every moment.  Something is meditated above, I suspect; perhaps about Niagara, or in that quarter.   The British have disciplined troops; but here we are, and we must beat them, if it were only with our broom sticks.”–National Intelligencer, November 10, 1812

October 22:  From Savannah — “Arrived yesterday from a cruise, the privateers schrs. United we Stand, and Divided we Fall.  They were chased a few days since by three frigates, but outsailed them; and the next day fell in with and retook a schr. prize to one of the frigates.”–New York Columbian, November 7, 1812

October 22:  From New York — The disastrous intelligence, respecting the Battle of Queenstown, we regret to say, is confirmed by this morning’s Steam Boat.”–Salem Gazette,October 27, 1812

Image of the death of General Brock at the Battle of Queenston Heights by John David Kelly (1862 – 1958) published 1896.

October 23:  From Camp at Greenbush, New York — “Enclosed is an Extra Gazette with the partial particulars of the battle of Queenston, the remaining particulars will I expect be received on to-morrow and I shall endeavor to forward them in time for your next paper.–BenningtonNewsletter, October 28, 1812

October 23:  From Fort St. Stephens, Mississippi Territory — “The affairs of this country are in a state of commotion.  Our quota of militia have been drafted.  . . .  The Spaniards have received reinforcements at Mobile and Pensacola, and are fortifying those places with great activity.  The lower Creeks have killed several families on the frontier of Georgia; of course we shall have them to fight, also.”–Nashville Clarion, November 10, 1812

October 23:  From Boston — “Francis Xavier Muller, of Baltimore, while attempting to swim to the shore, from the privateer Paul Jones, was taken down by an Alligator, in the Savannah River.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, October 23, 1812

October 24:  From Albany – “From some of the passengers who arrived yesterday  in the steam boat from Albany, we learn that the schr. Caledonia was bro’t into Black Rock harbor:  and that our brave sailors had burnt the brig in consequence of her getting aground.  It is said that the brig and schr. had on board 500,000 dollars worth of furs belonging to the North West Company.”—Shamrock, October 24, 1812

October 24:   From Baltimore — “Arrived, the private armed schr. Rossie, com. Barney, from a cruise; this schr. has taken, sunk and burnt, eighteen prizes . .   The crew are in high health and spirits, not a man sick, except the wounded in action; the most of them are nearly recovered.”–Plattsburgh Republican, November 6, 1812

October 24:  From Marietta, Ohio — “We regret to learn that the choice spirits of  Louisiana are intermeddling with the affairs of a Spanish Province.  If the inhabitants of Mexico can attain a happy independence, we shall rejoice at it..  But the United States have no need to suffer their neutrality with Spain to be violated.”–American Daily Advertiser, November 3, 1812

October 25:  Defeat of the H.M.S. Macedonian, Captain John S. Carden, by U.S. S. United States,Stephen Decatur.–Richmond Enquirer, December 12, 1812    The Macedonian struck to the United States after 17 minutes.  “The Macedonian had 106 killed and wounded, the U. S. 5 killed and 6 wounded.  The Macedonian was built in 1810, is rated 38, but mounts 49 guns, and 306 men.  During the engagement she lost all her masts.”–Scioto Gazette, December 26, 1812

October 25:  From Quebec — “The prisoners taken at Detroit and brought down to Quebec, are on the point of embarking for Boston, for the purpose of being exchanged.–Connecticut Gazette, November 25, 1812

October 26:  From Richmond — “The citizens of this place gave a public entertainment to their brethren, the Petersburg volunteers, on Saturday last.  Upwards of six hundred sat down to dinner, at which col. Barbour, the governor, presided.”–National Intelligencer, October 31, 1812

October 26:  From Charleston — “Arrived privateer schr Saucy Jack, capt Jervey, from a cruise of upwards of 50 days—has made seven captures in all, one a British brig from London bound to Demerara, named William Rathbone,  mounting 14 18 pound carronades, with 30 men . . .  put a prize-master and 27 men on board, and ordered her for this port, 27 days since”–Charleston City Gazette, October 26, 1812

October 27:  From New York City — “The steam boat has just arrived [half past twelve] from Albany.  Capt. Ogilvie of the regulars, who was taken prisoner at Queenstown, is a passenger.  He was paroled, and left there the 18th.  He says, that about 60 Americans were killed–160 wounded–700 prisoners–total 920; which was the whole who went over to fight the British and would have succeeded, if they had been reinforced.” –-National Intelligencer, October 31, 1812

October 27: From London — “Four Proclamations were directed to be issued; one respecting American prizes and prize money–another declaring English Sailors traitors who are found on board American vessels.”–Bennington Newsletter, December 30, 1812

October 27:  Letter from St. Augustine, Florida — “We have got a new Constitution* in this colony, and have been for a week past engaged in Elections, &c.  *By the new Constitution of Spain the Spanish Colonies are placed upon the same footing, in relation to the mother country, with the British Colonies–they are to have their Legislative Assemblies and other Executive Officers.”==New York Herald, November 18, 1812

October 28:  From Bermuda == “The Boatswain and Boatswain’s Mate of the [USS] Wasp [captured on the 18th by HMS Poictiers], were recognized as deserters from H. M. Naval service; the latter from the Cleopatra, and the former had been Sir J. P. Beresford’s [Captain of the Poictiers] coxswain when in the Cambrian;–they are both in irons.”–New York Spectator,December 2, 1812

October 28:  From Milledgeville — “We learn from a respectable and unquestionable source, that preliminary arrangements are entered into between the Secretary of State, on the part of the United States and the count D’Onis, in the name of Ferdinand VII for ceding, with certain restrictions, the Floridas to the U. States.”–National Intelligencer, November 19, 1812.

October 28:  From Nashville — “A letter was received a few days ago by his excellency from Gen. Jackson, apprising him that we was on the 28th ult. within 16 miles of the camp of the hostile Creek Indians, who he imagines cannot exceed one thousand.  Gen. White had not united with him.  Old Chineeby, the friendly Creek chief, was with him–having brought in as prisoners two hostile Creeks.”–Nashville Clarion, November 9, 1812

October 29:  “The Chillicothe Colt Races will commence on Thursday the 29th of October next, at Mr. Robert Smith’s course near Chillicothe.  The first day’s purse will be at least one hundred dollars, two miles and repeat–“–Scioto Gazette, October 3, 1812

October 30:  From New York == “Military line of Express–Captain Morgan’s company of Light Dragoons are to be employed on this service–each dragoon to be stationed at the distance of about 10 miles from each other, and to extend from the head-quarters at Greenbush to Niagara–24 hours is the time calculate to be taken up in transmitting despatches from one post to the other–the distance about 320 miles.  Gen. Dearborn’s last despatches for Gen. Van Rensselaer, were sent by this line.”–National Intelligencer, November 3, 1812.

October 30:  From Connecticut — “The Legislature of Connecticut adjourned on the 30th ult. after passing a law for organizing a STATE CORPS of 2,600 troops, to be paid when in the service of the state, and subject to the orders of the Governor only.  The bill passed 130 to 37.”–National Intelligencer, November 10, 1812

October 30:  From Quincy, Mass. — “The Association for encouraging the breed of fleet horses, dined together at Peirce’s Hotel on Thursday.”  One of the toasts:  “The frigate Constitution–She has nerve and bone; and speed and bottom, to run the field in the race of Glory.”–Boston Weekly Gazette, November 6, 1812

October 31:  From Bermuda — “Yesterday, came into this port, his Majesty’s ship Poictiers, Capt. Sir John Paul Beresford, with the Wasp and Frolic, sloops of war.  The Frolic was taken by the [USS} Wasp on the 18th instant, soon after the capture both ships were taken possession of by the Poictiers.”–New York Spectator, November 25, 1812

October 31:  The choice of Electors of President took place in Pennsylvania this day week.  It is doubtful how the election has turned, but we consider Clinton’s election as highly probable without that State.”–Salem Gazette, November 6, 1812

October 31:  From Camp Russell, Illinois — “This will inform you that I arrived at this place from Vincennes, after general Hopkins had marched his mounted riflemen up to Fort Harrison.  I took with me part of three companies of the U. S. Rangers, where I was joined by [Illinois] governor Edwards with his mounted riflemen.  The whole of our strength only amounted to 360 privates.  We penetrated very far in the Indian country, with an expectation of co-operating with general Hopkins, who by appointment was to meet us at the Peoria, on the Illinois river.  In this we were sadly disappointed, as we could get no intelligence of his army.”–Weekly Aurora, December 15, 1812

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