News of the US: Week Three of April 1813

April 15:  From Lewistown — “The armament that lately carried on the attack against Lewistown, consisted of 4 launches of 24 & 18 pounders; two sloops 32 pounders and a mortar, pilot boat with six pounders, and the schooner Paz, of 12 twelve pounders, covered by the frigate Belvidera; on the 6th and 7th inst. fired above 600 shot at that place, & have wounded two or three houses, killed a chicken and have made fine sport for the boys in digging the shot out of the sand . . . .”National Intelligencer, April 20, 1813

April 15:  From Camp Meigs –“We suffered excessively from cold and wet in descending the river to this place from Amanda.  We rushed on over rocks and sand bars upsetting some of our crafts and arrived here, fearful that the garrison might be attacked before our arrival, and which we yet daily look for  . . . A part of the Pennsylvania militia volunteered for 15 days until we should arrive here.  Now their time is out, and when they depart, we shall be as badly off as they were before we came.”–New York Spectator, May 12, 1813

Plan Profile and Elevation of Fort Condé at Mobile.

April 15: From Mobile — “The fortress of Mobile surrendered on the 15th of April, to a detachment of the United States army under the immediate command of major-general Wilkinson.  . . .  Our troops made their landing on the 12th April, and the first intimation which the Spanish garrison had of their approach was the music of Hail Columbia by a full band, and followed by a summons to the commandant to evacuate the place as part of the U. S. Territory.”–Carlisle Gazette, May 28, 1813

April 16:  From the Pittsburgh Gazette — “intelligence had been received at Fort Meigs, from a deserter, that the Indians intended to intercept the mail for that place–it was therefore thought expedient to send an escort, with the last mail.  Between Fort Meigs and Sandusky, a party of Indians were discovered–they were immediately fired on, and 6 killed.  Our loss was two Canadian Frenchmen.  Deserters say the British have offered the Indians 500 dollars for the mail.”–New York Spectator, April 28, 1813

April 16:  From San Fernando (previously, St. Antonio) — Proclamation of Jose Bernardo Gutierrez, Governor of the State of Texas, and the members of the Junta, welcoming “the friends of science, and the children of art and industry,” to “this highly favored land, this seat of republican liberality and valor.”–Cincinnati Western Spy, July 17, 1813

April 16:  From New London — “On Wednesday the smack Hero, of Mystic, with a number of volunteers, under command of Captain Burrows, sailed in pursuit of the smack Fox, which has annoyed our coasters so much; she decoyed her so near that she was unable to escape.  . . . this evening her crew were brought in here, consisting of a lieutenant, midshipman and 11 men, good looking fellows, and as merry as though they had landed in old England–probably more so.”–Nashville Clarion, May 25, 1813

April 17:  From Halifax — “In our extracts from American papers, our readers will find an account of the capture of the Peacock; the good fortune of the Americans has not forsaken them; on the contrary, it is more conspicuous in this than in their previous actions; every one conversant with gunnery must know, that had a vessel been moored for the sole purpose of making an experiment, it is not at all likely she would have been sunk in so short a time.”–New York Herald, May 5, 1813

April 17:   From a gentleman in Kentucky — “On reaching Shawneetown I found the Ohio river rising rapidly and then nearly going over its banks.  We looked for a check every day to its further rise, but looked in vain. . . An immense quantity of stock, as horned cattle, horses, hogs, &c. perished in the waters.  Some lost all they had, and all lost some.”–New York Spectator, June 5, 1813

April 17:  From Mercer, Pennsylvania, with news from Erie — “Capt. Dobbin is gone to Buffalo for four 32 pounders for the gun boats; this job has been deferred too long, the ice is thought to be too much weakened to bear such a weight; it will take one month to convey them by land–“–Nashville Clarion, May 25, 1813

April 18:  From Newport — “By several Block Island boats which arrived yesterday, we learn that the British squadron, having completed their watering on Wednesday last, sailed, (with the exception of two frigates) as was supposed for Boston Bay, or for the Southward.  The report of their having built a wharf, and hoisted the British standard at Block Island, is totally untrue.”–Richmond Enquirer, May 7, 1813

April 18:  From Boston — “a requisition of 120 men of the Constitution’s crew, 6 officers included, was made by the order of government, for the purpose of manning our vessels at Sackett’s Harbor.  Fifteen Stage Coaches, it is said, were employed to convey them to the place of their destination.  Two hundred infantry it is added, were ordered to the same place.”–Charleston City Gazette, May 5, 1813

April 18:  From Mobile, from an address to Gen. Wilkinson — “Sir,–The committee of the citizens of the town of Mobile approach you with feelings of profound respect, and ask leave to congratulate your excellency, and through you also the American government and people, on the auspicious event which has unfurled the national flag of the United States over the ramparts of Fort Charlotte; which will spread the sacred mantle of the laws, and their protecting influence, over this long neglected town and country; and which has excluded from this section of ancient Louisiana, the last vestige of despotic government.”–Charleston City Gazette, May 21, 1813

April 18:  From Bennington, Vermont — “Immediately after the soldierlike capture of the fort and town of Mobile, James Lyon, esq. formerly a citizen of Vermont, issued a paper there, replete with  national sentiment.  We hope the public will reap much advantage from his useful labors.–Green Mountain Farmer, June 8, 1813

April 19:  From Kaskaskia — ” Yesterday Gov. Edwards received information, that a party of Indians had waylayed a house in this Territory, S. East of this place, had caught a boy about 12 years old at the corner of it, and had scalped and tomahawked him but not entirely killed him, and its thought he will recover.”–Missouri Gazette, May 1, 1813

April 19:  From Rochelle, France — “This morning arrived the schnr. Spark, Read, 30 days from Rochelle  . . .  Capt Read did not bring any newspapers.  He, however, informs that conscripts from every part of the Empire were continually marching for the north.  That the French Squadron at Rochelle had been laid up, and the men marched to join the Army in Russia.”–Richmond Enquirer, May 7, 1813

April 19: From Amelia Island — “General Pinckney arrived here a few days ago to make an amicable settlement, and deliver the place and province to the Spanish government.  The American troops are to withdraw on the 26th of this month, when our flag will again be hoisted.  A general pardon has been proclaimed to all the rebels; they are now flocking into St. Augustine fast.”–Aurora, May 19, 1813

April 20:  Letter from the postmaster at Kaskaskia —  “For several weeks past the mail from this place to the U. States Saline, has been escorted by a guard furnished by Gov. Edwards, without which it surely must have stopped; owing to the number of Indians that have been discovered between this and the Ohio and other places.  I learn that the Governor cannot any longer spare men for that purpose, therefore there can hereafter be no certainty, and probably not much regularity in the mail, until some other plan shall be adopted.”–Missouri Gazette, April 24, 1813

April 20:  From an American prisoner on Barbadoes — “We are now on board the prison ship, in a truly suffering condition, being confined all night between decks, that are only 3 1/2 feet in height! and the beef sent to us is often so putrified and black, that it is not eatable.  Many of our companions are sick, and I fear much from the increasing heat of the climate.”–National Advocate,June 17, 1813

April 21:  From Halifax — Halifax had received papers from Boston: “they contained, we understand, an account of a slight bombardment of Lewistown, a town on the borders of the Delaware, by the squadron under the command of Commodore Beresfored, in consequence of the refusal of that place to furnish some cattle demanded by the Commodore; however, the white flag was soon displayed, and the cattle furnished.—[False]–Charleston City Gazette, May 13, 1813

April 21:  From Chestertown, Maryland — “The enemy have as yet made no attempt to land.  Three of their men deserted in a cock boat.  There was a fourth man in the boat who hesitated to leave his majesty’s service.  The three threw him overboard.  By this expedient they escaped, as the time necessarily delayed by the boat in pursuit of them in taking him up, afforded they time to gain the shore.”–Democratic Press,  April 26, 1813

April 21:  From Massachusetts — “The keel of a 74 was laid at Charlestown, (Mass.) on the 21st ultimo.”–Niles’ Weekly Register, May 1, 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