News of the US: Week Three of August 1813

August 15:  “from a distinguished American in the North of Europe [John Quincy Adams[” —  “I lament the weakness which our internal divisions spread over the nation; but I trust that our cause will ultimately prove successful, and that the day will come when no Legislature or Governor in the United States will enquire HOW MANY VICTIMS to the most degrading, as well as the most oppressive foreign thralldom, must be abandoned to the Tyrant of the Ocean, before their country shall assert her rights of Independence, and perform her duty of protecting them by war.”–Boston Patriot, January 5, 1814

August 15:  “Colonel Richard M. Johnson’s Regiment of Mounted Volunteers [of Kentucky] will rendezvous at the Great Crossing on the 15th inst. and return immediately to the North Western Army.  A number of new recruits have joined this regiment, which will, without any doubt, make it one thousand strong.”–Democratic Press, August 30, 1813

August 15:  From Richmond — “we were indulged by a respected friend with the perusal of a letter from Tappahannock, dated on Sunday, (15th) from which it appears that the enemy still menaces the shores of the Rappahannock . . . .    The dread of our Riflemen, and the desertion of him men operates powerfully to confine him on board his ships, except when ‘obliged by hunger’–we cannot add ‘and request of friends,’ for he has none or very, very few in Virginia.”–Connecticut Gazette, August 25, 1813

August 16:  From New York — “Gen. Wilkinson, we are informed, is going to take the command of the Northern Army, in the place of Gen. Dearborn.”–Charleston City Gazette, August 25, 1813

ugust 16:  From Fort Madison, Iowa — “On the 16th inst. the enemy carried a Block house at this place, lately erected by the commanding officer [Barney Vasquez] , to command a ravine of which they take advantage in all their attacks upon this place; four men were killed and butchered in this Block house; they kept up a fire upon the garrison for about two hours, this is the 9th or 10th rencounter that has taken place on our frontier between the 4th and 18th of this month.”–Cincinnati Western Spy, September 4, 1813

August 16:  From the East Shore of Maryland — “The British advanced as far ass Queen’s town on Friday morning, where they remained but a short time and returned back to Kent Island.  It evidently appears from the force which they brought with them, that they were deceived as to the number of militia at Queen’s town.  . . .  we calculate their strength at about 3000.  . . .  The militia were 280, including infantry, cavalry and artillery, the whole under the command of Major Nicholson.”–Raleigh Star, August 27, 1813

August 17:  Letter to the Secretary of War from Brig. Gen. Boyd, Fort George, describing a minor skirmish with the British —  “The principal Chiefs who led the warriors this day were, Farmers Brother, Red Jacket, Little Billey, Pollard, Black Snake, Johnson, Silver Heels, Captain Halftown, Major Henry O. Ball (Cornplanter’s son) and Capt. Cold, chief of Onondaga, who was wounded.  In a council which was held with them yesterday, they covenanted not to scalp or murder; and I am happy to say, that they treated the prisoners with humanity, and committed no wanton cruelties upon the dead.”–Scioto Supporter, September 8, 1813

August 17:  From Fort George of an engagement in which the US used Indians –“The British soldiers, officers and privates, betrayed the utmost consternation, and fled precipitately when they discovered the Indians.  If the government will but encourage this species of force, a compromise with the British commander will be easily effected in relation to their employment.  Rely upon this, they will shrink from the horrors they have so barbarously inflicted upon us.”–Commercial Advertiser, August 28, 1813

August 17:  From the Marietta (Ohio) Spectator — “We have no pleasure in the misfortunes of Kentucky–but it is certainly ridiculous to hear the blusterings of these champions for sailor’s rights–who, in one hand hold the slave driver’s whip, and in the other a pompous scroll, with the inscription of–‘sailor’s rights and free trade'”–Commercial Advertiser, August 17, 1813

August 17:  From Albany — “Gen. Wilkinson arrived here in the steam boat on Sunday, and has proceeded to the frontiers.  . . .  It has been intimated, that Gen. Hampton would refuse to serve under Gen. Wilkinson on account of some old differences, which are said to have existed between these officers.” —Centinel of Freedom, August 24, 1813

August 18:  Letter from Capt. Richardson from Seneca Town —  “Upon our arrival off Sandusky Bay, a British sail was discovered at anchor near one of the Islands by a pilot boat which was sent out.  Signal for chase was made immediately and I discovered that our vessels in general sail one third faster than those of the enemy.”–Missouri Gazette, September 11, 1813

August 18:  From Nacogdoches — “The Mexican expedition has completely failed.  A Battle took place the 18th August about 25 miles west of St. Antonio, which ended in the total defeat and dispersion of the Revolutionists.  A horrible carnage ensued, not a single person taken on the first day was spared.”–American Daily Advertiser, November 11, 1813

August 19:  Extract of a letter to Com. Bainbridge from New Bedford —  “The Yankee (privateer) arrived here, who spoke a Spanish ship from South America, who informed the captain of the Yankee, that he left captain Porter in the Essex, all well, in Rio de la Plata, with a great quantity of specie on board (about 70 days since.)”–Richmond Enquirer, August 31, 1813

August 19:  From a letter from New York — “You may shortly expect to hear of the Dolphin Torpedo (of which I gave a hint in my last) being put into operation in all our waters, infested by the British ships.  They are a combination of the principles of the Steam Boat and Torpedo, and are certainly the most powerful, efficacious, and cheapest engine ever invented . . . .”–Knoxville Gazette, September 13, 1813

August 19:  From Montreal — “We are happy to announce the safe arrival at Quebec of the fleet from Malta, having on board Menron’s regt. upwards of 1100 strong.  This corps is principally composed of Germans & Swiss, and we are informed have a handsome appearance.”–New York Commercial Advertiser, August 19, 1813

August 20:  Letter from Baton Rouge — “The army of the Mexican patriots of the North, as they stile themselves, after meeting with successes as wonderful as that of Cortez, less fortunate however, in the result, have at length met with a reverse.  On the 20th of last month, they were, it is reported, entirely defeated, about twenty miles from St. Antonia.  They have made a stand at Nacogdoches, but it is very questionable whether they will be able to maintain it long.”–New York Spectator, October 16, 1813

August 20:  From Massachusetts — “The annual Cattle Show and Fair will be held in Pittsfield, on Tuesday, the 12th of October next.  . . . By order of the Society, Samuel D. Colt, Recording Secretary.”--National Intelligencer, September 16, 1813

August 20:  From Charleston — arrived the privateer Decatur, of 7 guns, with her two prizes, the London Trader and the Dominica, “mounting 16 guns, and 84 men, 18 of whom were killed, and 44 wounded . . . .  The Decatur lost 3 men killed and 16 wounded.”–Pendleton (SC) Messenger, September 4, 1813

August 21:  From Harvest Home — “Captain Robert’s Volunteer Rifle company met at Mr. John Jamisons, in Newton township, and after exercising a few hours the officers presented some good old Whiskey, with the following Toasts, which were drank, viz:  1.  James Madison, the most illustrious & truly famed magistrate, he is virtuous without pride, victorious without cruelty, his universal fame shall bury churches, out live time, and stand up with eternity.”–Carlisle Gazette, September 3, 1813

August 21:  From Plymouth, England — “On Saturday last, the 21st, was interred with military honors, William Henry Allen, Esq. late Commander of the U. S. sloop of war Argus, who lost his left leg in an action with H. M. sloop of war Pelican, J. F. Maples, Esq. Captain, in St. George’s Channel, the 14th inst. whereof he died in Mill Prison Hospital, on the fifteenth following.”–Salem Gazette, October 12, 1813

August 21:  From Fort Meigs — “Gen. M’Arthur arrived here yesterday, and has superceded General Clay.  At 10 o’clock he took the command, and issued an order to raise volunteer seamen for our fleet it being deficient in men.”--Green Mountain Farmer, September 28, 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