News of the US: Week Three of November 1812

November 15:  From Savannah — “On the 15th ult. the barges of the British frigate Southampton, with 70 men, were sent into Savannah river about 5 miles–boarded several vessels, but did not take any of them.  The object appeared to be to cut out a gun-boat.  Alarm guns were fired at Savannah, the drums beat, and the military were under arms during the night.”–Salem Gazette, December 11, 1812

November 16:  From Savannah, in the Georgia Legislature, a  “bill was yesterday reported in Senate by Dr. Proctor of Savannah, authorizing the immediate occupation of East-Florida.”  Charleston City Gazette, November 20, 1812

November 16:  From Sacket’s Harbour – “To day a flag of truce arrived from Kingston for captain Brock, who will be sent home to morrow on parole.  By a letter he received, it appears that the Royal George was greatly damaged in the late action.”—United States’ Gazette,December 9, 1812

November 16:  From Charleston — “On the 16th ult. twelve British seamen were taken from on board the prison-ship in Charleston harbour and conducted to jail, as hostages, to abide the fate of those six men taken from the crew of the privateer Sarah-Ann, Capt. Moon, of Baltimore, (carried into Nassau some time since) and sent to Jamaica to be tried for their lives as british subjects; although five of them were stated by Capt. Moon to be American born, and the other a naturalized citizen.”–Bennington Newsletter, December 23, 1812

November 17:  Proclamation of General Smyth, near Buffalo — “The time is at hand when you will cross the stream of Niagara, to conquer Canada, and secure the peace of the American frontier.  You will enter a country that is to be one of the United States.  You will arrive among a people who are to become your fellow-citizens.  It is not against them that we come to make war.”–Salem Gazette, December 8, 1812

November 17:  From Petersburg, Virginia — “The company of volunteers from this place arrived at Charlottesville on the 10th inst.  On the preceding day, an elegant entertainment was given them by Mr. Jefferson, at Monticello.  The company had received the greatest attention during their march.”==National Intelligencer, November 21, 1812

November 17:  “The British privateer Liverpool Packet having been recently seen off Cape Cod, capturing our vessels, a schooner with 4 guns and 70 volunteers sailed from this port on Thursday in quest of her:  she has not yet returned.”–Salem Gazette, November 17, 1812

November 18: “A Savannah paper announces the return of the above Georgians [from Florida] 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

November 18:  “Allan B. Magruder, a Senator from the state of Louisiana, appeared, produced his credentials and took his seat.”–National Intelligencer, November 19, 1812

November 18:  From Buffaloe — “the night before last, an expedition was organized, under the command of colonel Winder of the 14th regiment to storm the enemies batteries opposite to Black Rock.  . . .  To the astonishment of friends and enemies, they achieved the most valiant feats of real heroism ever witnessed.  The whole of the batteries from fort Erie to Chippewa, were silenced, the cannon spiked, 3 officers and about 50 privates taken prisoners, and the whole Canadian frontier for 16 miles in extent laid waste and deserted.”–Weekly Aurora, December 15, 1812

November 19:  From Gen. Harrison:  “The general [Harrison] is sorry that any circumstance in an affair which reflects honour on almost the whole of the troops engaged in it, should deserve his censure; such, however, is merited by the small detachment, which, in the face of a positive order from their commander, left their ranks to gather corn and pursue a drove of hogs.”–New York Spectator, December 2, 1812

November 19:  From Salem — “The British privateer Liverpool Packet took her 29th prize off Cape Cod yesterday week.  She has since looked into Marblehead, passed Salem, and hove about again towards Cape Cod.”  Salem Gazette, November 16, 1812

November 19:  From Champlain –“Yesterday General Dearborn arrived at this post . . . .  To=morrow we expect to march; our advanced guard is already over the lines; indeed a scouting party last evening passed the River Laracole, routed a body of Indians, and fired their encampment.  We had one man killed and several slightly wounded, among whom is capt. Biddle.”–Augusta Herald, December 24, 1812

November 20:  In the House of Representatives — “A bill was yesterday under discussion in the House of Representatives, embracing four distinct provisions, viz. 1. An increase of the pay of the privates in the Army of the U. S. to eight dollars per month, and non-commissioned officers in proportion; and exemption of the same description of persons from arrest for debt, whether contracted previous or subsequent to their enlistment; and authority to enlist any man over the age of eighteen years, instead of twenty-one; and an authority to enlist for the term of duration of the war with Great Britain instead of five years, at the option of the recruit.  To the first and last provisions there appeared to be no objection.  The two others were warmly opposed, but prevailed by a considerable majority; and the bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading to-morrow, when it will probably pass.”–National Intelligencer, November 21, 1812

November 20:  “A museum-keeper in NYork advertises the exhibition of “Wax Statutes.”  Differing widely in durability, one would suppose, from the laws of the Medes and Persians.”–Salem Gazette, November 20, 1812

November 20:  From Champlain – “I now write on my knapsack to inform you that the 15th regt. under the command of col. Pike marched last night over the line, and had an action with a party of English regular troops and Indians.  They say a number were killed on both sides:  but the Americans routed the enemy.”—United States’ Gazette, December 12, 1812

November 21:  From Washington — “The bill for increasing the pay of the army, &c. passed the House of Representatives on Saturday last, after a warm debate, the publication of which will be commenced probably in our next.  The main objection to the bill, is, that it authorises the enlistment of all young men over eighteen years, who desire to enter the service.  The debate on this occasion was characterised by an acrimony which we are sorry on any occasion to hear used in the Hall of Representatives.”–National Intelligencer, November 24, 1812

November 21:  “On the 21st ult. the following munitions of war left Pittsburg for the North-Western Army, UC.  Twenty-eight gun carriages for eighteen pounders, including several brass twelves, sixes and howitzers.  A large quantity of fixed ammunition for cannon, and a very extensive supply of musket cartridges.  Several travelling forges, and a vast quantity of different articles necessary for a winter campaign.  These supplies employ a train of nearly one hundred wagons and teams.”–Scioto Supporter, December 5, 1812

November 21:  From the Red River Herald, Alexandria, La. — “It is asserted that upon the arrival of Dr. Robertson , the accredited agent of the United States at St. Antonio, Salcedo, the governor of the province of Texas, claimed of him the protection of the American government, and that the province was placed into his (Dr. Robertson’s) hands . . .”–reprinted by the United States Gazette, January 23, 1813

November 21:  From New Orleans — “The smuggling trade, the only trade that has been carried on to this city with any degree of success for some years, received a very severe check some days ago.  Capt. Holmes, of the U. S. Infantry, with a detachment of men, was ordered down to Barrataria the latter end of last week; and early this week the detachment fell in with a party of smugglers, who, not willing to undergo an examination, sheered off; the captain ordered one man to fire, whose aim was so direct as to kill one of the smugglers; not being accustomed to such salutations, and fearful of a renewal of the compliment, they surrendered.  The prisoners, 25 in number, with several boats with merchandise, were brought to the city on Thursday morning last.”–Charleston City Gazette January 12, 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