News of the US: Week Three of October 1812

October 15:  Proclamation of Governor Prevost of Canada — “all citizens of the United States are ordered to quit Canada by the 15th of October . . . .  After that time every citizen of the U. S. found in Canada will be considered as a prisoner of war, unless he has taken the oath of allegiance.”–Connecticut Mirror, October 5, 1812

October 15:  From St. Salvadore, Brazil, by an officer on board the U. S. Hornet–“At 8 A. M. came to opposite the city of St. Salvadore.  Fired a federal salute, which was returned by one of the forts.  The Hornet is the first United States vessel of war, that ever entered a South American harbour.  Found the temperature of the air to be 80 degrees.”–National Advocate,March 15, 1814

October 15:  Near the Grand Bank, from Commodore John Rodgers == “the Congress in company, captured the British King’s Packet Swallow, Joseph Morphew, commander, bound from Kingston, Jamaica, to Falmouth.  . . .  She had no cargo in, except eighty-one boxes of gold and silver, amounting to between one hundred and fifty and two hundred thousand dollars . . . . We have not seen a single British vessel of war as yet, except one frigate, which the want of wind and the approach of night prevented our chasing with any effect . . . .”–National Intelligencer,November 10, 1812

October 16:  “Our war, if not better managed than it has been, will injure us more than England.  As long as Gallatin and Eustis are in the cabinet, ruin must follow.”–New York Columbian, October 16, 1812

October 16:  From Trenton — “It is with pleasure I announce to you, that New-Jersey is Federal–the returns in both Houses of our Legislature stand as follow, viz. . . . . Fed.30.  Dem. 23”–Newport Mercury, October 24, 1812

October 16:  From Plattsburgh – “Yesterday, William Henman, a soldier of the 15th U. S. regiment; in pursuance of the sentence of court Martial, was shot.  His crime was desertion, with intent to go over to the enemy.”—United States’ Gazette, October 29, 1812

October 17:  “At a numerous meeting of the Citizens of Charleston, held at the Exchange, on Saturday evening last, the 17th instant, it was resolved, unanimously, ‘That a Committee be appointed, to open a subscription, for the purpose of purchasing and equipping two twenty gun ships for the defence of the Harbour of Charleston.'”–Richmond Enquirer, November 3, 1812

October 17:  “Among the volunteers from  the state of Kentucky are the following Members of Congress and Members elect:  Samuel Hopkins, major-general, Richard M. Johnson, commanding a battalion of mounted infantry, John Simpson, captain, Wm. P. Duvall, do., Samuel McKee, private, Thomas Montgomery, do.”–National Intelligencer, October 17, 1812

October 17:  From Queenston — “Gen. Hull has just informed us that our loss in  killed and captured at Queenston is about fifteen hundred,–but in what proportions had not been ascertained.  There has been a culpable negligence somewhere in not giving particular returns.  Private letters say that many of our country have fallen, and many are prisoners.”–Columbian Centinel, October 31, 1812

October 18:  U. S. Wasp defeats H. B. M. Frolick, is then taken by H. B. M. Poictiers.  Letter from J. Biddle –“The Frolick was of superior force to us.  She mounted 18 thirty-two pound carronades and two long nines.  The Wasp you know had only 16 carronades.  The action lasted 43 minutes.  We had five killed.  The slaughter on board the Frolick was dreadful.”–Scioto Supporter,November 14, 1812

October 19:  “The editor of the Baltimore Federal Gazette has received from a correct private source the following latest news from the Mexican Provinces.  Don Bernardo’s army, about 1000 men, left the Trinity, 90 miles from Nacogdoches, on the 19th October for St. Antonio.”–New York Columbian, December 23, 1812

October 19:  From Albany –“Captain Dox has just arrived express from Lewiston [NY]. He confirms every thing contained in Gen. Hull’s account of the disaster which has befallen our army.  Eight hundred men are prisoners  . . . We have lost many brave officers.”–Scioto Gazette, November 7, 1812

October 20:  “There is a State somewhere to the westward (we know not its name, but it is not one of the thirteen United States of America) whose Legislature has met at New- Orleans and chosen a Mr. Destrehan and a Mr. Magruder to be members of the Senate of the U. States:  this is under the auspices, as we understand, of Bonaparte, who has provided that the people of that foreign State shall come in and participate with us in the privileges of our constitution, and he is their guardian to see that they are actually invested with them.”–Salem Gazette, October 20, 1812

October 20:  “Major General Van Rensselaer has resigned his command of the troops on the western frontier; and General Smith, inspector general of the army, has been appointed his successor.”–Connecticut Mirror, November 9, 1812

October 20:  “On the 20th of October, early in the morning, lat. 30, long. 26, the United States discovered the Macedonian to windward, and gave chase.  The enemy bore down upon her and about 10 o’clock a distant and partial exchange of shot commenced, when the Macedonian, having her mizen-to-mast shot away, bore down for closer action.  In seventeen minutes after, she struck her colours to the United States.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, December 11, 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