News of the US: Week One of November 1812

November 1:  From Newbern, N. C. — “The Legislature of the State of Louisiana have adjourned to the constitutional day of meeting ( January next) without having been able to agree upon a mode of appointing Electors of President and Vice President of the United States.–Mr. Madison thus loses three of the votes upon which his friends have calculated.”–New York Spectator, November 14, 1812

November 2:  From Washington — “This being the day fixed on by law for the meeting of Congress, about 12 o’clock, William H. Crawford, Esq. of Georgia, the President pro tempore of the Senate, took the chair.”–Connecticut Mirror, November 9, 1812

November 2:  From Philadelphia — “By the ship Bengal, from Lisbon, arrived last Saturday information has been received, that the U. S. sloop of war WASP, captain Jones, of 16 guns, had met H. B. M. sloop of war FROLICK, of 18 guns, and, after a severe action of 43 minutes, captured her!!! . . .  the Frolick was completely dis-masted  and of her crew there were between 50 and 60 killed and wounded, and only 5 killed on board the Wasp.”–Nashville Clarion, December 1, 1812

November 2:  From New Orleans — “Besides the regular troops which are stationed over the Lake, and can soon assist us, we have here three companies under the volunteer act, four companies of coloured troops, six companies of uniform militia, and several other companies of militia.  I am told that Governor Claiborne arrived in town last night, and will soon be followed by his brother, General Claiborne at the head of 500 volunteers and drafted militia of the Mississippi Territory.”–Boston Patriot, December 9, 1812

November 3:  “The Baltimore Whig, of Saturday last says–“The idea of Kentucky giving a vote to Clinton will astonish many of Madison’s friends; but the fact may be relied on.  The people of that state and Ohio, have seen the deplorable state of the western frontier, and have had the good sense to charge that neglect to the President.”–American Daily Advertiser, November 3, 1812

November 3:  From Nashville — “The mails received since our last furnish very little interesting.  The north western army progresses very slow; our last accounts left the advanced division under general Winchester 72 miles this side of Detroit.  The eastern army appears to be nearly organized, it is understood the commander has said he will winter in Montreal.  We should be gratified to hear of his safe arrival there.”–Nashville Clarion, November 3, 1812

November 3:   From Manlius, New York – “The militia corps on the lines have dwindled, and are dwindling, to mere skeletons—some of the companies containing a less number of privates than of officers.  The rifle corps from this county is reduced by sickness, prisoners to the British, &c. to less than the compliment of a company—and major Mosely has in consequence returned home.”–United States’ Gazette, November 19, 1812

November 4:   From Fort Jennings, Ohio — “We arrived here on the 1st day of October, and were moved on towards Defiance, but before we got there were ordered back; and here we have lain since that time.  Our regiment a week or so ago received orders several times from Gen. Winchester, to march to Defiance; but before we could get waggons for our transportation, the orders were countermanded.  This, I much regretted being anxious to get up with the front regiments.”–Nashville Clarion, December 8, 1812

November 4:  From Bennington, Vermont — “Now or Never.  A Living ELEPHANT, to be seen in Bennington, At Mr. Isaac T. Robinson’s, Wednesday, 4th Nov. 1812, and no longer in this place.”–Bennington Newsletter, October 28, 112

November 4:  From Buffalo, from a member of the New York City Republican Greens — “We are, since Sunday night encamped about a quarter of a mile from this village in a kind of semi-circle formed by a forest and bordering on a part of lake Erie nearly opposite the fort of that name our situation in camp I am happy to inform you is more comfortable than even my most sanguine expectation could admit of, we have a complete tent, the canvas of which is not susceptible of rain, it is well boarded and plenty of clean straw, it contains 5 men, it is the first of the kind I ever slept in, and yet was never more content.” —The Shamrock, November 28, 1812

November 5:  From Washington — “A collection of people at Savannah have destroyed a vessel at that place, loaded with supplies for St. Augustine; & at a meeting of the citizens of Savannah, resolutions have been entered into expressing their detestation of all who engage in furnishing supplies to those who have proved themselves so inimical to the U.S.  In the affair first mentioned, one or two persons were unfortunately killed.”–National Intelligencer, November 5, 1812

November 5:  From Paris:  “Orders are given to all the ports, to admit prizes made by American vessels, on the same footing as if captured by the French.”–Boston Patriot, January 27, 1813

November 5:   From Burlington, Vermont — “Rufus Hatch, Deputy Quarter Master General, has received orders from Morgan Lewis, (Q. M. Gen.) to  open the road from Plattsburgh into the province of Lower Canada.  The bakers at Plattsburgh and in this town are ordered to make an additional supply of Bread.”–Bennington Newsletter, November 18, 1812

November 6:  From Sacket’s Harbor –“We learn from an officer who arrived on Thursday in the steam-boat, direct from Sacket’s Harbor, that a naval force, consisting of 11 schooners and a brig, was to have sailed from that place last Monday, under the command of Captain Chauncey, who had hoisted his broad pendant on board of the Oneida, of 18 guns, capt. Woolsey.  This force, it was believed, was sufficient to scour the Lakes, and a few days may bring us the news of some brilliant affair.  The vessels were manned by upwards of 400 sailors, besides a suitable number of mariners.  The U. S. frigate, whose keel was laid at Sacket’s Harbor but a few days since, was in a state of great forwardness, and expected to be finished in about two weeks after our informant left there.”–National Intelligencer, November 10, 1812

November 6:  From Fort Harrison, Indiana — “By a letter from General Hopkins to his friend in this place, dated, the 6th inst. at Fort Harrison, we learn, that on the 5th the general gave orders for a regiment to file off towards Tippecanoe–but a most violent rain setting in an continuing, he countermanded the order, and employed the time in making cartridges–“–Nashville Clarion,December 1, 1812

November 7:  From Frankfort, Ky. — A letter from Major General Hopkins at Fort Harrison:  “The expedition of the mounted gentlemen has terminated.  The Wabash was recrossed yesterday, and the whole corps are on their way to Busseron, where the adjutant general will attend in order to have them properly mustered and discharged; and where their horses may get forage during the delay necessary for this object.  Yes, sir, this army has returned without hardly obtaining the sight of an enemy.”– New York Spectator, November 28, 1812

November 7:  Extract of a letter from an American at Smyrna, Turkey — “all the wonders of the times do not occupy as much conversation as the capture of his Britannic majesty’s famous frigate the Guerriere . . . .  The British officers here say it’s false, that she could be taken by officers and men who never smelled gun powder from an enemy’s gun.  Honored be the name of Capt. Hull and his gallant companions in battle.  The surrender of general Hull does not augur much.  The country abounds with brave men, and a little experience will ensure victory.”–Richmond Enquirer, March 23, 1813

November 7:  From Paris, Kentucky — “In my last, I gave you as full a detail of the proceeding of the army as it was prudent for me to do at that time.  . . . We were almost out of provisions and had no intelligence of any coming on.  . . . those that were to bring them, heard that we were surrounded by Indians and British, and that we were afraid to proceed.–This false report prevented our supplies from coming on for six or eight days, and caused us to have small cakes and thin soup.”– Bennington Newsletter, December 2, 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