News of the US: Week Three of March 1813

March 15:  From Natchitoches — “In my last I informed you of the victory obtained by Bernardo’s army over that of Salcisdos, which news has been confirmed by letters received from various persons in B’s army, and by deserters from Listodo’s camp, and we have this morning received Bernardos’ official dispatch to Col. Ross, stating that on the 10th ult. the army under his command, consisting of 500 troops and one piece of artillery, defeated Salcidos’ whole force in a general battle.”–New York Spectator, May 1, 1813

March 15:  From Lancaster, Pennsylvania — “The war, to prevent the impressment of British seamen, is now carried on in this vicinity by impressing all the American farmers, their horses and sleighs, in their power, we find here that there are some American officers as well as British, when clothed with a little brief authority, can abuse it with impunity.”–Hagers-Town Gazette, April 27, 1813

March 15:  From Hopkinton, New York — “Part of the northern army are on the move, post haste, to join the army of the centre at Sackets Harbor.  Col. Pike of the 13th regiment, with 70 men, in 150 sleighs, were quartered on us the night of the 8th inst.–They made us great trouble and we received but very little pay.”–New York Herald, March 31, 1813

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March 16:  Letter from Commodore Beresford of the British squadron, to the magistrate of Lewistown, Delaware — “Sir–As soon as you receive this, I must request you will send twenty live bullocks, with a proportionate quantity of vegetables and hay to the Poictiers, for the use of his Britannic Majesty’s squadron, now at this anchorage, which shall be immediately paid for at Philadelphia prices.  If you refuse to comply with this request, I shall be under the necessity of destroying your town.”–Raleigh Register, April 2, 1813

March 16:  From Tennessee — “The Tennessee volunteers remain at their camp between Natchez and Washington.  They have no other occupation but the military exercises in which they are continually engaged.  . . .  On the 2d inst. Gen. Wilkinson nor Gen. Jackson had any orders about the destination of the troops.”–Pittsburgh Gazette, April 2, 1813

March 16:  From the Loyalist Prison-ship, Kingston, Jamaica — “A cartel is to sail from here for America in a few days; but there is so many on the list before my turn, that I have no the least prospect of going in her.  . . .  A proclamation of the prince-regent has been stuck up in conspicuous part of the ship, which declares that any Englishman or Irishman found on board an American armed vessel, shall suffer death; this excited great uneasiness in the minds of some.”–Columbian, May 4, 1813

March 17:  From Canada — “All the Americans, who were citizens of Michigan territory, under the U. States government, have been required by Col. Proctor, governor of Michigan, to take up arms or quit the country.  Upwards of 100 citizens who refused have been sent to Fort George, and may be expected across shortly.”–New York Spectator, March 17, 1813

March 17:  From Chillicothe — “Gen. Harrison, we are informed, is now in the interior of the state, in order to organize the reinforcements destined for the north western Army, and hasted their departure.  The General is expected in town this day.  The time of service of the Virginia troops expires in a few days.”–Centinel of Freedom, March 30, 1813

March 17:  From Plattsburg — “Our roads are beset with press-gangs, pressing all the horses and sleighs, for the transportation of the troops, which are expected to go to-morrow.”–The Gleaner,April 30, 1813

March 18:  From Union, Ky. — “I have but a few days returned from Kaskaskia.  The inhabitants of that village, as well as the frontier, are very much alarmed.  Information that can be relied on states a force at the mouth of the Ouisconson river of upwards of three thousand Indians, exclusive of British, headed by a Scotchman of the name of Art, who had been naturalized, and held a commission, under our Government at St. Louis.”–New York Spectator, April 10, 1813

March 18:  From New York — “A letter from Sackett’s Harbour, dated the 8th inst. mentions that sir George Prevost was at Kingston with 8000 men –and, it was said, had pledged himself to destroy our flotilla.  Troops were pouring into Sackett’s Harbour to repel the threatened invasion.”—United States’ Gazette, March 20, 1813

March 18: From Washington –“Some gentlemen of taste and learning in Congress, having once or twice introduced into their speeches, an occasional classical quotation by  way of adorning and illustrating an argument, it has become a fashion with every illiterate blockhead in the house, who takes a fancy to deliver a speech, to have it duly garnished with quotations.”–New York Herald, March 20, 1813

March 19:  From Pinckney-Ville, La. — “Yesterday I received letters from Natchitoches, which inform me that an action took place on the 19th ult. between the Patriot or Republican army, and the Royalists at Labahia–the latter lost ninety killed.  So complete has been their defeat, that the Spaniards under Herara – Salcedo have broken up their camp, and retired–the former to the Province which he commands, and the latter to San Antonio, where it is said the inhabitants are prepared to oppose him, and join the Republican standard.”–New York Spectator, April 17, 1813

March 19:  From Charleston, news from New Orleans — “Accounts of the arrival at that port of the privateer schooner Saucy Jack, of this port, with her prize, the ship Mentor, of London, with a cargo invoiced at 66,000 l sterling.  The Saucy Jack was preparing to continue her cruise.”–Richmond Enquirer, March 30, 1813

March 19:  From London, in House of Lords — “Lord Darnley adverted to the capture of another of our Frigates by the Americans, which convinced him of what he had before suspected, viz. that Parliament had been extremely remiss in its attention to the administration of the navy.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, May 7, 1813

March 20:  From St. Louis — “Mr. Charles [editor of the Gazette], We have now nearly finished twenty-two family forts, extending from the Mississippi nearly opposite Belle Fontaine to the Kaskaskia river a distance of about 60 miles.  Between each fort spies are to pass and repass daily and communicate throughout the whole line which will be extended to the US Saline, and from thence to the mouth of the Ohio.  Rangers and mounted militia to the amount of 300 men constantly sour the country from 20 to 50 miles in advance of our settlements so that we feel perfectly easy as to an attack from ‘our red brethern’ as Mr. Jefferson very lovingly calls them.  An Illinois Farmer”–Missouri Gazette, March 20, 1813

March 20:  From the London Times — “The public will learn with sentiments, which we shall not presume to anticipate, that a third British frigate has struck to an American.  This is an occurrence that calls for serious reflection—this, and the fact stated in our paper of yesterday, that Lloyd’s List contains notices of upwards of five hundred British vessels captured, in seven months, by the Americans.”–Charleston City Gazette, May 17, 1813

March 20:  From Newport — “Arrived in this harbor on Friday last, private armed brig Yankee, Wilson, of Bristol,(Rhode Island) from her second cruize, ballasted with gold dust, ivory and dry goods–having captured EIGHT valuable prizes, taken 195 prisoners, 52 carriage guns, 406 stands of small arms, and property to the amount of two hundred and ninety-six thousand dollars.”–National Intelligencer, March 30, 1813

March 21:  From Burlington — “The 9th, 21st and 25th regiments march from this place to-morrow morning, under the command of General Chandler, supposed for Ogdensburgh and Sacket’s Harbor.  They will move with from three to four hundred sleighs, if they can be obtained; they are collecting from every direction for twenty miles from this place.”–New York Spectator, April 3, 1813

March 21:  From Albany — “Mr. Van Buren, on this Bill [the Catskill Bank Bill] made a speech of an hour and 35 minutes, in very neat language, and although done on the spur of the moment, very correct. . . .  In short, this speech was calculated to arouse the attention of the members, who, as though callous to every argument, immediately passed the bill by a majority of five.”–New York Spectator, March 31, 1813

March 21:  From Richmond, from a letter dated Camp Pinckney, St. Mary’s River — “We have had a smart brush with the Indians, taken some scalps and one thousand head of horses and cattle, and burnt 475 huts.”–Baltimore Patriot, April 16, 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