News of the US: Week One of January 1813

OLD TIME, that busy moving codger, Like dunning Creditor, a nimble dodger; Who never stops to bait his cattle, Or hear the world’s officious prattle; Who never halts in his career, Has ushered in another year –Portland Eastern Argus, January 7, 1813

January 1:  From Boston —  “Yesterday the specie, amounting to about 163,000 dollars, captured by Commodore Rodgers’ squadron, on board the British Packet Swallow, bound from Jamaica to England, was landed at the navy-yard in Charlestown, under the direction and orders of the marshal of the district, who caused it to be placed in six wagons, which, with colors flying, and drums beating, attended by the boats’ crews of the squadron, and protected by a guard of marines, proceeded thro’ Charlestown, and this town to the State Bank, where it was deposited, amidst the huzzas of a large collection of spectators.”–Scioto Supporter, January 23, 1813 January 1:  From Urbanna, Ohio — “It is with pleasure we announce to our readers that a great part of the northwestern army is now on the move for Detroit.  General Winchester, with the left wing, it is said, is now at the Rapids of the lake of the Miami.  From the last accounts the Virginia and Pennsylvania troops were at Lower Sandusky, within twenty-five miles of the Rapids and will proceed on in a short time, if not already there.”–Aurora, February 5, 1813 January 1:  From New York City — “On Friday last the citizens of New-York, as well as many of the inhabitants of Long-Island, were presented with a spectacle no less novel than gratifying.  For the first time since America has held a rank among the nations of the earth, a British frigate (the Macedonian) entered our harbor with the American eagle proudly soaring above her national flag.  It was New-Year’s day, and a more acceptable compliment could not have been presented to a joyful people.”–Plattsburgh Republican,    January 15, 1813 January 2:  From St. Louis — “We find that the Kentucky editors, give all the credit of the expedition to the Kickapoo and Pottawatamie towns to col. Russel without even mentioning the name of Gov. Edwards [of Illinois].  It is well known that col. Russell had only a command on the expedition, and that the whole was planned and executed by Gov. Edwards.”–Missouri Gazette, January 2, 1813 January 2:  From Chillicothe — “In the Supporter of the 12th inst. we stated that Gen. Harrison had been appointed a Major General in the army of the United States.  It now appears that the information we then received was not correct.  The Senate have only confirmed his appointment as Brigadier General which commission, we understand Gen. Harrison has declined accepting because he would then be the youngest officer, but one, of that grade, in the United States; and of course could not take the command of the North Western army over Gen. Winchester, who is a senior officer.  But, we are informed, he intends to continue in the command during the present campaign, under his commission as Major General of the Kentucky quota.”–Scioto Supporter, January 2, 1813 January 2:  From Washington — “The bill for the more perfect organization of the army was read a third time, and on the question, shall the bill pass?  It was decided in the affirmative–Ayes 65, Noes 34.”–Connecticut Mirror, January 11, 1813 January 4:  Letter from Natchitoches — “It states that the brother of Don Bernardo Gutierrez, general of the insurgents, had arrived at Labadie [Texas], bringing with him the wife of the general and a reinforcement of 300 men.”–National Intelligencer, February 22, 1813 January 4:  Beginning lines from the Connecticut Mirror:  “The Day is past–th’Election’s o’er, / And Madison is King once more! /  Ye vagabonds of every land,/ Cutthroats and knaves–a patriot band== / Ye demagogues lift up your voice–/Mobs and banditti–all rejoice!”–Connecticut Mirror, January 4, 1813 January 4:  From a London paper — “Macedonian Frigate.– This noble frigate supposed to be the largest in the British navy . . . was lately refitted and repaired at Plymouth, and excited the admiration of professional men.  Referring to the capture of the Guerriere, it has been often observed, that if any British frigate could cope with the large American frigates that frigate was the MACEDONIAN.”–Baltimore Patriot, March 3, 1813 January 5:  From Albany — “On Thursday, the 5th inst.  at 1 o’clock, a detachment of the volunteer militia of Troy, entered this city, with the British colors taken at St. Regis.  The detachment, with two superb eagles in the centre, and the British colors in the rear, paraded to the music of Yankee Doodle and York Fusiliers, through Market and State-streets to the capitol.”==Charleston City Gazette, February 6, 1813 January 5:  From Charleston — “Five American prisoners, all of whom had been officers in different privateers, made their escape from the Prison Ship in Kingston, (Jam.) harbour, on the 5th Jan. last.  A canoe being kept upon a stage alongside the ship, with which, after having let themselves out of a port hole, they rowed off.  This was done at night; and the next morning, having got hold of an old musket in their passage out, they captured a copper bottomed coasting schooner, and gave the crew (negroes) the canoe, with some provisions and water, to go ashore with, and made the best of their way to the Island of Cuba, where they all arrived safe.  One of them is now in Charleston.”–New York Spectator, April 14, 1813 January 5:  From Buffalo — “Several soldiers and others, lately deserted from Canada, represent that province to be in a most deplorable condition.  Their supplies are cut off by reason of Commodore Chauncey occupying the outlet of Ontario–and flour and salt were not to be bought at any price.”–Salem Gazette, February 2, 1813 January 6:  From Alexandria — “General Alexander Smyth has arrived at his residence in Wythe County, Virginia.  The General prosecuted his journey with all possible expedition and secrecy, prudently avoiding all the towns and villages where he would probably be exposed to insult and indignity.”–Charleston City Gazette, January 14, 1813 January 6:  From the House of Representatives — “Mr. Randolph’s motion for a roll of persons holding offices under the United States, was taken up and rejected!”–Massachusetts Spy, January 20, 1813 January 6:  From Philadelphia — “PENNSYLVANIA.  The hopes of the nation rested on this great democratic state, during the pendency of the late Presidential Election.  She did not disappoint its hopes.  She gave a vote which laid prostrate the views of an aspiring faction.  And, in the same spirit, has chosen to represent her a phalanx of two and twenty good men and true, and one only suspected of swerving from Republican principles.”–Democratic Press, January 6, 1813 January 7:  From Washington — “Another petition was presented from several inhabitants of that Territory [Illinois], stating, that the Kentucky Riflemen and Volunteers had committed great depredations upon their property, by stealing and destroying their Hogs, Cattle, Corn, Potatoes, &c. &c. when they avowed they had come for the philanthropic purpose of defending them against the Indians–praying for compensation–referred to a committee of five.”–New York Spectator, January 13, 1813 January 7:  From an American in London, on the taking of the Macedonian — “I hope to God our little Navy will always conduct in such a manner, that 54 guns may impress the enemy with as much respect as a 74 of any other nation.  The highest compliment yet paid them, is a remark in the Courier, that it should be considered “no disgrace for the largest British frigate to shun an engagement with these dangerous nondescripts.”–Boston Patriot, February 27, 1813 January 7:  From Pinkneysville (future Alabama) re skirmishes in Texas — “my correspondent observes, ’tis worthy of remark, that in a late action we had with the royalists, in which we killed 20 of their men, when examined, they were found all shot through the head.”–Baltimore Patriot, 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