News of the US: Week One of October 1812

October 1:  “About 690 men under the command of Gen. Winlock, were on their march to Vincennes on the 16th.  It is supposed, when these forces are concentrated, they will move towards Detroit, retrieve the disaster at that place, and retaliate on the invaders–a service in which all the troops display the greatest anxiety to be engaged.”--National Intelligencer, October 1, 1812October 1:  From Daniel Glover of Salem, at Algiers — “Dear Mother–I am very sorry to inform you of my unfortunate situation; we were taken on the 26th August, by an Algerine frigate; were all taken on board the frigate and stripped to our shirts, in which situation we remained five days before we arrived.  On our arrival we were directed to this dark and gloomy hole; and here to remain until the United States government redeems us.”–Columbian, February 16, 1813

Ali Khoja, ruler of Algiers 1816-1818, resplendent in a green turban and wearing a fine sword, is surrounding by the severed heads of vanquished enemies after the bombardment of 1816.

October 2:  From Boston — Mr. Barrell, who came passenger in the Mark and Abigail, Captain Foster, from Algeziras, arrived at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, informs that the ALGERINES are at WAR with AMERIACA.  That he saw Mr. Consul Lear in the Bay of Gibraltar, on board of the store ship which was sent to Algeziras, and which the Dey would not receive, but ordered Mr. Lear and his family immediately away.”–Raleigh Register, October 16, 1812

October 2:  From Boston — “General Hull arrived at his seat in Newton, on Saturday evening last, in good health.  We learn, he still considers the act of surrendering Detroit as a measure dictated by imperious necessity; and that he enjoys the satisfaction of having saved a gallant army and a garrison from inevitable destruction.”–National Intelligencer, October 8, 1812

October 2:  From New York — Col Delacroix, a Frenchman, an alien, and a minion of Bonaparte, has been appointed a Colonel in the United States army!–On this most daring, most humiliating, most unparalleled, most portentous outrage on American feeling, we shall make a few remarks in our paper of tomorrow.  Our blood curdles when we record it–our cheeks are suffused with splashes for the dishonour of our country.–New York Spectator, October 3, 1812

October 2:  From Boston — “I saw some notice of the appointment  of col. Delacroix, a Frenchman nursed and bro’t up in the school and principles of Napoleon Bonaparte, to a colonel in the U. S. army. . . .  What American is there, who would be commanded by a minion of the great enemy of the human race–of the would be tyrant of the world?”–Boston Weekly Museum,October 16, 1812

October 3:  From Marietta, Ohio — “On Monday last about 300 Virginia militia embarked at Little Kanhawa, for Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Great Kanhawa.  . . .  On the same day arrived 1 light infantry and 1 rifle company from Pittsburg, (12 months men) in complete uniform.  Their appearance was very good.  In company with the last, was General Clarke and the Indians who accompanied him to Washington.  We are told they were much pleased with their visit.”–National Intelligencer, October 10, 1812

October 3:  From Ogdensburg — “The village was bombarded for near three hours from the batteries at Prescott, a small village opposite to this–between twenty and thirty 12 and 9 pound balls were picked up in the gardens and street.–A number struck the ground within 3 and 4 yards of Mr. Parish’s house . . .  which has however again escaped unhurt, nor have any lives been lost.  . . .  Our garrison consists of about 500 men, including capt. Forsyth’s rifle company, from N. Carolina–the whole under the command of brig. gen, Jacob Brown from Jefferson county.”–Weekly Aurora, October 20, 1812

October 3:  “Southern papers affirm that Col. Cass’ famous letter was written by Richard Rush, Comptroller of the Treasury.       Late Letters from Plattsburg, say, ‘We shall winter in Montreal.'”–Newport Mercury, October 3, 1812

October 4:  From Detroit — “the [Canadian] expedition which went against Fort Wayne on the 14th of September, had returned to Malden on the 4th of October, unsuccessful.  The expedition consisted of about 400 regulars and militia, and 1500 Indians–they had proceeded towards Fort Wayne until they came within 16 miles of an American army, which they learned from a prisoner their spies took, to be Harrison’s.  They then precipitately retreated, leaving much of their ammunition, &c. on the ground.”--Scioto Gazette, Oct 31, 1812

October 4:  Extract of a letter from George Tittle to his Mother in Beverly, Mass., dated Algiers Prison — “On the 26th of August we were taken by an Algerine on our passage home, and on that fatal day I lost my liberty and all that I held dear to be made a slave in this cruel country.  When taken, we were stript and plundered of every thing and without friends or any one to assist us.”–Richmond Enquirer,  March 2, 1813, reprinting Salem Gazette

October 5:  From New York —  “Last evening arrived at this port, the ship Hanibal, captain Hunt, in 160 days from Canton, with a valuable cargo of teas, silks, china, nankeens and cassia, to John Jacob Astor, owner, and others.”–New York Columbian, October 5, 1812

October 5:  From Maryland — “The election of members of congress, Delegates to the General Assembly, and Sheriffs of the different counties, was held throughout Maryland, on Monday last.  The returns, as have been received, promise a very fair result.  They justify a decided expectation, that there will be a decided Federal majority in the State Legislature; and that the number of Federal Members of Congress from that state will be increased.”–New York Spectator, October 10, 1812

October 5:  “The numerous remarks made on gen. Dearborn’s $500 coat, are not very pleasing to his friends; and we are of opinion they are improper, because we believe it is the only proof we shall ever have of the general’s being an officer.”—United States’ Gazette, October 5, 1812

October 5:  From Georgia –“The election for Members of Congress took place in this state on the 5th inst.  There is not a vile submissionest elected.  Every one in true to the heart’s core.”–Boston Patriot, October 24, 1812

October 6:  From Chillicothe — “Colonel James Dunlap, who returned last evening from St. Mary’s, reports, that an express arrived at that place to gen. Harrison from gen. Winchester, urging him to repair immediately to Fort Defiance . . . The express stated that gen. Winchester was at or near Fort Defiance with about 3000 Ohio and Kentucky volunteers and that a body of Indians and British, amounting to 2500 or 3000, with six pieces of artillery, law encamped about 6 miles distance.”–New York Spectator, October 21, 1812

October 6:  From New-Orleans —  “Gen. Wilkinson has availed himself of all the influence of Gov. Claiborne, to persuade the militia to volunteer in the U. States service.  Only one company had been obtained, and they are already sick of the employ.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, November 20, 1812

October 6:  From Milledgeville, Georgia, re: Florida — “With the circumstances which led to its occupation by our troops, you are already acquainted.  It has been considered by the Governor, (who is a man of energy and decision, and acting Commissioner of the United States) inconsistent with the safety of this state to withdraw them.  They were directed to maintain their ground, and act offensively in case of an assault.”–Bennington News-Letter, November 11, 1812

October 7:  Norwich, Connecticut —  Last Thursday passed through this town on their way to Fort Trumbell, the Tolland company of volunteers commanded by captain Ives.  They compose a part of the fifty thousand volunteers, which the President is authorised to accept.  This patriotic company consists principally of very young and active men, sons of farmers and freemen who have left their homes and harvests to protect this state from their threatened invasion, and our government from threatened dissolution.”–National Intelligencer, October 15, 1812

October 7:  From St. Augustine —  “The Indians, they add, had defeated a party of Georgians who had invaded their country.  . .   A Savanna paper announces the return of the above Georgians under Col. Newman who had had 7 of his men killed and 18 wounded; and adds with the utmost sang froid, that he had brought with him sixteen Indian scalps!”--Columbian Centinel, November 18, 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