News of the US: Week Two of August 1813

August 8:  From Natchitoches — “I was imprisoned at St. Antonio, and condemned to death by the Insurgents, when Elisondo advanced with a considerable detachment of Spanish regulars and militia.  The notice of his arrival threw that unhappy town into confusion, and overwhelmed the presumptuous crowd of rebels with dismay; so that I found no difficulty to make my escape, and reach the Spanish field.”–New York Spectator, October 9, 1813

August 8:  From Fort Madison — “On the 8th inst. fort Madison [future state of Iowa] was attacked, the enemy commenced by firing on a party going out to cut wood, one soldier was killed, another mortally wounded (since dead) a brisk fire instantly took place from the garrison, which secured the safe retreat of the remainder of the party, the firing was kept up by the enemy on the garrison about an hour, when they retired.”–Centinel of Freedom, August 24, 1813

August 8:  From Albany — “Yesterday 58 Canadian prisoners, from Watertown, on their way to Greenbush, passed through this city.  Their situation was deplorable, many of them being without shoes, and barely sufficient clothes to cover them.”–Carolina Federal Republican, August 14, 1813

August 9: From London — “A letter received yesterday of the date of London, Aug. 9, mentions the arrival of Gen. Moreau at Gottenburg, in the ship Hannibal.”–New York Gazette, October 2, 1813

August 9:  From Erie – “I mentioned to you in my letter by the last express mail, that Capt. Perry had sailed in pursuit of the enemy’s fleet—he returned here on Saturday evening having only went over to Long Point.  He had on board about 50 or 60 militia to make up his crew, who had volunteered only for 48 hours, and was obliged to return with them within the time stipulated.”—United States’ Gazette, August 21, 1813

August 9:  From Dayton Ohio — “About fifteen thousand of the militia of the upper part of this state are now on their march to join Gen. Harrison; but as the enemy has raised the siege of Fort Meigs, they will probably, many of them, assist in the invasion of Canada, as the fleet at Erie must now be in ample readiness, and the day of retaliation rapidly approaching.”–New York Commercial Advertiser, August 27, 1813

August 10:  From St. Michaels, Maryland — “The enemy, with 11 barges, made an attack on the little fort at the mouth of the harbor at St. Michaels, on Tuesday morning, 10th inst. about one quarter before 4 o’clock, and under a dark cloud, and were not seen until they were landing. . . .  Some of the houses were perforated, but no injury to any human being–this showeth the hand of a Protecting Providence.  P. Benson, B. G.”–New York Gazette, August 27, 1813

August 10:  From an officer on Lake Ontario — “10th.  At day light, received from the Army 150 Volunteers, as sharp shooters, and immediately got under way, and stood out, with every prospect of compelling him [Sir James Yeo] to action; but, as usual, when we got near him, the wind shifted in his favor, and he again kept out of gun shot, to windward.”–Wilmington American Watchman, August 28, 1813

USS General Pike

August 10:  From York, Canada — “The inhabitants upon the arrival of the fleet were panic struck, but before our forces left the place, they were convinced that women and children had little to fear from our troops.  . . .  The General Pike is said to be an excellent ship, as staunch as any in the service, and out-sails every thing on the lake.”–Aurora, August 21, 1813

August 11:  From New London — “On Sunday evening a small sloop which had been out with a sailing party was chased into port by the Orpheus, who fired a great number of single guns at her, and wound up the chase by firing two broad sides.  None of the shot came within 40 rods of the sloop.  The guard fired a six-pounder at the frigate which was cordially returned without any injury.”–New York Spectator, August 14, 1813

August 11:  From Lancaster, Ohio — “On Saturday last the following friendly Indians breakfasted with gov. Meigs, viz. the Crane, capt. Anderson, Black Hoof, and the Snake.  Two hundred and fifty nine of their warriors have joined gen. Harrison, and intend fighting in defence of the U. States.”–Plattsburgh Republican, September 4, 1813

August 11:  From Milledgeville — “We have just been favored with the subjoined information from which it will be seen the Indians are still carrying on against one another a murderous and destructive warfare.  As both parties have now mustered nearly their whole strength, a decisive battle, if not already fought, may be expected to take place in a few days.”–Democratic Press,August 25, 1813

August 12:  From Sackett’s Harbour– “There was no general engagement, but our fleet was fairly out-maneouvered by Yeo, who did not deem his force strong enough at the first to bring them to battle, when he could cut them off in detail by skill–in which he has unfortunately succeeded.” [Com. Chauncey lost two schooners and the Growler and the Julia.]–“New York Gazette, August 23, 1813

August 12:  Result of the British blockade:  Port of Augusta — “Arrived on Wednesday last, one five Horse Waggon, 47 days fro New-York, cargo, Dry Goods, Fancy Articles, Mill Saws, &c. . . . Same day, one six Horse Waggon from Baltimore, 40 days, cargo, Tea.”–Charleston City Gazette, August 18, 1813

August 12:  From Annapolis — “Since the enemy’s squadron came up the bay, calls have been so frequently made upon the hands who work in our office, to do military duty, that we find it impracticable to issue more than a half-sheet this week.”–Maryland Gazette, August 12, 1813

August 13:  From the Kentucky Gazette — “For several weeks we were interested in the marching of Volunteers, to join Gen. Harrison’s army.  Between one and two thousand from Fayette and the adjoining counties passed through this place to rendezvous at Newport agreeably to the orders of Governor Shelby.  They were generally well mounted and handsomely equipped.  We noticed with much pleasure some of our most distinguished citizens among the number, who have thus promptly obeyed the call of their country.”–Wilmington American Watchman, September 18, 1813

August 13:  From Erie — “Our fleet sailed yesterday for Sandusky where it will cooperate with Gen. Harrison in his movements on the upper part of the lake–it was reinforced a few days ago with about 100 sailors from Lake Ontario, and takes along all the military and ordnance stores which were sent here for the northwestern army.”–Centinnel of Freedom, August 31, 1813

August 13:  From Philadelphia — “This morning gen. Wilkinson passed this city on his way to camp.  Himself, servant and luggage occupied a whole stage, the fare of which was 70 dollars.  Among his luggage are said to be an incredible number of cigars.  It seems by this, if the general cannot do better, he means to smoke the enemy out of Canada; and if Fame speaks true, the general is no slouch in taking a Can-ada.–Massachusetts Spy, August 25, 1813

August 14:  From Plattsburgh — “We observe a disposition in some of the southern papers, to palliate the outrages of the British at this place.  Some accounts deny that any private injury was done–whilst others attribute the trifling irregularities that took place to ‘evil minded inhabitants,’ of the town.  Whatever evil minded inhabitants may have done, it can be proved, that the Britishplundered & destroyed private property to a vast amount.”–Plattsburgh Republican, August 14, 1813

August 14:  From Cadiz — ““The Algerines are fitting out vessels to cruise off Cadiz and Lisbon for the Americans.  The English Consul at Algiers has been endeavoring to effect an arrangement with the Dey to prevent the capture of American licensed vessels!”[vessels licensed to carry flour and grain to the British troops in Spain and Portugal.]  “There are only eleven American captives in Algiers, viz. Mr. James Pollard, of Norfolk, and Captain Smith, mate and crew of the brig Edwin, of Salem.  By the kind exertions of the different Consuls and Foreign Agents, near his Barbarian Highness, their condition is rendered tolerable comfortable.”–Charleston City Gazette, August 14, 1813

August 14:  From Sackett’s Harbour – “Com. Chauncey returned yesterday morning from a long cruise, in which he has, to say the least, been most unfortunate; having lost four schooners—20 guns and upwards of 100 men.  Two of the schooners, the Hamilton and Scourge, were upset in a gale, and with all hands, except sixteen who were saved, went to the bottom.  The other two, the Julia and Growler, were captured, sir James having succeeded in cutting them off from the fleet.”—United States’ Gazette, August 25, 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