News of the US: Week One of April 1813

April 1:  From Fort Stoddart, Ala. — “Be assured, the disasters of the north will never be repeated in our South Western Army; for its commander [Gen. Wilkinson] prefers death to defeat; and all his officers are equally emulous of distinction.”—New York Spectator, April 28, 1813

April 1:  From Fort Meigs, Miami Rapids –“To-day, the term of service of the Pennsylvania and Virginia Militia expires.  . . . I trust we shall be able to march to Malden before long.–If we had possession of Lake Erie, this army could be much more easily supplied with every necessary, and a vast expence at present incurred, could be curtailed.”–Georgetown, Kentucky, Telegraph, April 22, 1813

April 2:  From St. Louis — “By last accounts from Harrison’s army, they were still at the rapids of the Miami and inactive. We expect about as many exploits from this army as from Gen. Smith’s army of the centre.  A radical change must take place before we can expect any brilliancy to attend our land force.”–Missouri Gazette, April 2, 1813

April 2:  From Alexandria — “We understand that major gen. Wilkinson is ordered on to the city of Washington, with a view of giving him a separate & important command to the North.  He is to be succeeded in the command on the Mississippi, by brigadier general Flournoy of Georgia–and general Wade Hampton is ordered tot he command of the troops, at Norfolk.”–Knoxville Gazette, April 19, 1813

April 2:  From Boston — “”The report of a Mr. Livingston having been shot at Sacket’s Harbor as a spy, proves to be a gross fabrication.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, April 2, 1813

April 3:  From the London Evening Star — “The American Navy must be annihilated–her arsenals and dock-yards must be consumed; and the turbulent inhabitants of Baltimore must be tamed with the weapons which shook the wooden turrets of Copenhagen.”–National Intelligencer, April 3, 1813

April 3:  From Augusta —  “A machine for shelling Corn, or separating it from the cob, invented by Mr. Joseph Eve, has lately been brought into operation.  It is perfectly simple, is constructed of wood, and may be made by a common carpenter in a few days—It is impelled by a horse, and will clean or separate five or six hundred bushels of corn in a day, and requires no more hands to attend it than are necessary for carrying the Corn to and from the machine.”–Charleston City Gazette, April 3, 1813

April 3:  From New Orleans — “A boat, in which general Wilkinson and suite took passage for Petite Conquille, upset in the lake, and were picked up by a fishing boat, after having been three or four hours on the keel.”–Massachusetts Spy, May 19, 1813

April 4:  From Urbanna, Va. — “Yesterday, pretty early in the morning anchored within four or five miles of this place, two British frigates, two gun brigs, or rather sloops of war, and two schooners.  They chased up, and took, after about one or two hours conflict, the American privateer Dolphin, two Letters of Marque, and several merchant vessels.  . . .  Between twenty and thirty shot reached the shore, and are sticking in the bank of the river–no lives were lost except in the engagement [for the ships].”–New York Spectator, April 14, 1813

April 4:  From Fort Meigs — “Four Americans deserted from Detroit arrived here yesterday.  They state that the English are determined to attack us at this place by the 10th or 12th instant; that their force consist of about 18 or 1900 regulars and militia, and a few Indians.  As my return at the expiration of our time, with my fellow soldiers, would leave this important place weak, 200 of the Pennsylvania line have volunteered fifteen days.  The Virginia and Pennsylvania militia having gone home, our force at present amounts, 1000 effective men.”–Weekly Aurora, April 27, 1813

April 5:  From Natchitoches — “A person arrived at this place to day, who is stiled General Toledo.  He was a representative from Santa Domingo (Hispaniola) in the Cortes; but, being suspected by that body, of having views favorable to the Bonapartian cause, was upon the point of being arrested, when he wisely made his escape from Cadiz.  Gen. Toledo is on his way, it is said, to take command of the Republican Army in the internal provinces of Mexico; he has with him an aid-de–camp and Interpreter, who compose the whole of his suite; but, it is said, there are nine officers now on their way to this place, by water, to join him.”–Richmond Enquirer, May 20, 1813

April 5:  From Natchez —   “By the latest information from Natchitoches it appears that the communication is open between the armies of Rayon and Don Bernardo—that St. Antonio, with the forts and Military stores have been taken—that at every step the army acquires fresh strength in volunteers—and that the ports of Matagorda and Labadie are open to trade and no apprehensions need be entertained in proceeding there.”–Missouri Gazette, May 1, 1813

April 6:  From S. B. Davis, Commander at Lewistown to the Captain of HMS Belvidera — “Sir,–In reply to the renewal of your demand, with the addition for a ‘supply of water,’ I have to inform you, that neither can be complied with.  This, sir, you must be sensible of; therefore I must insist the attack on the inhabitants of this town is both wanton, and cruel.”–National Advocate, April 10, 1813

April 6:  From British Captain R. Byron to the Magistrate of Lewistown — “No dishonor can be attached in complying with the demand of Sir John Beresford to Lewis, in consideration of his superior force.  I must therefore consider your refusal to supply the squadron with water, and the cattle that the neighbourhood affords most cruel, on your part, to its inhabitants.  I grieve for the distress the women and children are reduced to by your conduct, and earnestly desire they may be instantly remove.”  Verbal reply from   the magistrate — “Col. Davis is a gallant man, and has already taken care of the Ladies.”–Raleigh Register, April 16, 1813

April 6:  From Albany — “The report that a British Spy has been lately hung at Sackett’s Harbor, is going the rounds of all the papers–and the name of Livingston is given as the man.  We deem it a duty due to the family of Livingston, and to the public at large, to contradict this report, in the most pointed terms, and to state, that no British or other spy has been hung at Sackett’s Harbor, or at any other military post in this state.”–National Intelligencer, April 6, 1813

April 7: From Dover, Delaware, on the state of defensive artillery at Lewistown — “We have two 18 pounders, but no ball:  we have two 9 pounders, but the ball is too big for the calibre.  We had but 15 casks of powder when the attack commenced.  The young man that came with the last express tells me that one of the 18 pounders was mounted yesterday, which was played on a sloop and silenced her.”–Hagers-Town Gazette, April 13, 1813

General Green Clay.

April 7:  From General Orders of Brigadier General Green Clay to his Kentuckians — “Should we encounter the enemy–Remember The Dreadful Fate of Your BUTCHERED BROTHERS at The river Raisin–that British treachery produced their slaughter.  The justice of our cause–with the aid of an approving Providence, will be sure guarantees to our success.”–Cincinnati Western Spy, April 17, 1813

April 7:  From Boston –MASSACHUSETTS Herself Again.  We have inexpressible pleasure in being able to announce the moral CERTAINTY of the triumph of the Deciples of Washington–the friends of honorable peace–in the re-election of their first and second beloved Chief Magistrates, by immensely increased majorities; and likewise of a decided Majority of Senators–their friends and associates.”–The Gleaner, April 23, 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