News of the US: Week Three of September 1812

September 15:  New York — “The privateers ‘United We Stand,’ and ‘Divided we Fall,’ were chased into the Bay a second time on Friday evening, by the three British frigates–but, as soon as it was dark, they put to sea again, and have no doubt proceeded on their cruise.”–Richmond Enquirer, September 22, 1812

September 15:  Extract from the Rev. Mr. Gardiner’s Fast Sermon — “As Mr. Madison has declared war, let Mr. Madison carry it on.  We shall suffer enough in our property, without risquing our lives in an impious contest, in which our administration has thought proper to league with the tyrant of the world against its remaining liberties.”–Salem Gazette, September 15, 1812

September 15:  From New York:  “Yesterday Captain Chauncey of the Navy Yard went on board the John Adams and inquired for volunteers for a particular piece of service, and was answered by three cheers from the whole crew, not one of whom, or of others to whom he applied, declined offering themselves.”–Salem Gazette, September 22, 1812

September 16:  From Baltimore — “A rumor prevails in the city this morning, that col. Monroe is about to be appointed a brigadier-general in the army of the United States, and that the late president Jefferson will succeed him in the department of state.”–New York Columbian, September 18, 1812

September 16:  From General Harrison’s headquarters at Piqua, Ohio — “The Indians of Piqua were wavering–and for a long time would not come to positive conclusion:  they, however, at last, promised to remain peaceable.–Nashville Clarion, September 16, 1812

September 16:  “Account of American prisoners in Halifax. Aug. 30, 1812.–In the Hospital 40.  In Lower Prison 1075.  Officers on parole 153.  Total 1268.”–Columbian Centinel, September 16, 1812

September 17:  From New York — “The United States ship of war Alert, commanded by Lieutenant James P. Wilmer, arrived at this port yesterday in 14 days from St. John’s, Newfoundland, with 232 prisoners.  She was captured on the 13th of August by Captain Porter, of the United States’ frigate Essex, who on the 19th stripped her of all her armament excepting one gun, and sent her as a cartel to St. John’s with her officers, crew and other English prisoners of war amounting to 120 men.”–National Intelligencer, September 22, 1812

September 17:  From Louisville — “A part of col. Miller’s regiment, being destitute of blankets, and not likely to receive a supply in time, the citizens of the town, on Friday last, supplied them by a voluntary contribution.  The number wanted was about one hundred, which was promptly made up.”–National Intelligencer, October 1, 1812

September 18: The challenge of Sir James Yeo to Captain Porter:  he  “would be glad to have a tete a tete any where between the Capes of Delaware and the Havana, when he would have the pleasure to break his own sword over his damned head and put him down forward in Irons.”  The answer, Sept 18, 1812:  “Captain Porter, of the United States frigate Essex, presents his compliments to Sir James Yeo, commanding his Britannic Majesty’s frigate Southampton, and accepts with pleasure his polite invitation.  . ..  The Essex may be known by a Flag bearing the motto—‘Free trade and sailor’s rights.’—And when that is struck to the Southampton, Captain Porter will deserve the treatment promised by Sir James.”–Columbian Centenel, September 23, 1812

September 18:  “On the night of the 18th September a great illumination took place in the town of Pensacola, on account of the publication of the Spanish Constitution.  Such parts of it as related to the provinces of Spain, were read with loud acclamation.  The joy of the people continued through the night, and it was expected to continue two days longer.”–Connecticut Mirror, November 30, 1812

September 19:  “To the people of Ross County.  Gentlemen,  It is so indelicate for a man to speak much of himself, and tell you as much as he is such a good republican and knows how to make laws, which, like myself, perhaps, he never tried, that I cannot advertise in the common way, but only tell you I am a candidate for the House of Assembly of the state of Ohio, at the next election–if you want to know any thing more, I can only refer you to those who are acquainted with me.  Your’s, &c. John G. Macan.”–Scioto Supporter, September 19, 1812

September 19: From Mercer, Pennsylvania — “A number of the unfortunate prisoners taken by the British at Detroit, arrived here, mostly in a miserable condition as to clothing.  They lament that it is not in their power to join the army again.”–New York Herald, October 7, 1812

September 19:  From the Baltimore Whig – “Such Irishmen, or descendants of Irishmen, as are desirous of forming a volunteer company for the public service, are requested to meet at Mr. Thomas Ryan’s Tavern, North Gay street, this evening at 7 o’clock.  . . .  No invidious design is conceived by composing a corps of Irish, or descendants of Irish exclusively; but on the contrary, the evident purpose is, to give an instance of devotion to the cause of America; and at the same time, to afford the sons of the Shamrock an opportunity of chastising the myrmidons of England.”—Shamrock, September 19, 1812

September 20:  Of Mobile — “There, in that American town, the new constitution of the new [Spanish] Cortes, was announced on the 19th of September, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, in the public square.–On the next day (Sunday) it was again read in the church . . . . –New York Spectator, November 21, 1812

September 20:  From Piqua, Ohio – “Every department, with which we have any thing to do, is most abominably managed.  I fear nothing so much as being obliged to run a foot race to get an ear of corn, or of dying for want of it—a death which a man of my appetite would dread above all others.  . . . more men will be lost this campaign for want of provisions and other necessaries than will perish by the sword.”—   October 22, 1812

September 20:  From Albany —  “On Friday and Saturday the crew of the U. S. frigate John Adams, consisting of about 400 men arrived here, from New-York, and proceeded on for the lakes.  Give these brave fellows good ships, and they will seek a tete-a-tete with the royal family of the  lakes (vide the names of the British vessels) and triumphantly dispute the dominion of the inland seas with Mistress John Bull and her children.”–National Intelligencer, October  6, 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