News of the US: Week Two of March 1813

March 8:  From Pottsdam — “Mr. Dewey, a respectable man belonging to this town, was, while on a journey to Vermont, with his sleigh and horses, impressed at Plattsburgh to carry troops to Sacket’s Harbor . . .  I could name a great number of other sufferers, which would shew what blessings we receive for fighting for the freedom of the seas.”–New York Spectator, April 7, 1813

March 8:  From Boston – “On Saturday afternoon, we understand, Mr. Beath the inventor of the Spring Rocket, made trial of several compositions, in the presence of com. Rodgers, capt. Hull and others, to ascertain the greatest range his Rockets could be made to perform, and we are happy to state, that he succeeded in throwing one of six pound weight the great distance of two thousand yards . . . .”–United States’ Gazette, March 17, 1813

March 9:  From Chillicothe — “By a letter from an intelligent gentleman at Upper Sandusky, we learn, that part of the detachment of militia from this state now on its march to join Gen. Harrison, had arrived there.  The remainder were expected shortly to arrive, when the whole were to proceed immediately to the Rapids, if the state of the roads (which are now impassable, on account of high waters) would permit them.”–Hagers-Town Gazette, March 30, 1813

March 9: From Philadelphia — “The reported victory of capt. Porter turns out to be incorrect.”–National Intelligencer, March 16, 1813

March 9:  From Nashville — “By the last mail his Excellency Governor Blount received a letter from the Secretary at War, dated, February 10, 1814, covering an order to Major Gen. Andrew Jackson, saying ‘that the causes for which the detachment of Tennessee militia and volunteers, have been called into service, having ceased, the President is pleased to direct that the troops be discharged.”–Nashville Clarion, March 9, 1813

March 10:  From Boston — “On Tuesday evening a splendid entertainment was given at Mr. Jones’, in Pearl-street, by Mr. Pelug, a Russian gentleman, in honor of the glorious successes of his gallant countrymen.  The company, which amounted to 200 persons, was of the first respectability and fashion.  The rooms were brilliantly decorated, and music and dancing added to the feelings of hilarity which the occasion was calculated to inspire.  . . .  At 11 o’clock the doors of the supper room were thrown open, and the company were invited to partake of a choice collation of the most exquisite wines and viands of the season.  The dresses of the Ladies were singularly tasteful and magnificent–and rarely have we seen so striking a display of grace and beauty.”–New York Spectator, March 24, 1813

March 10:  From Georgia — “Yesterday I met with a party of the Tennessee volunteers, on their return home.   . . .  The volunteers are all likely men, and returning in high spirits.  Each man is armed with a musket, bayonet, and two large knives, in cases.  The inhabitants of the country through which they pass treat them with hospitality, furnishing the with every necessary, without charging a cent.”--Aurora, April 7, 1813

March 10:  From Norfolk — “Yesterday the masters and mates of ships in this port, formed themselves in a company, and . . . marched to head quarters and tendered their services to the general, who delivered to them a handsome address.  Their services were accepted, and they were to be stationed in Fort Norfolk, for the management of the artillery.”–Carlisle Gazette, March 26, 1813

March 11: From Nashville — “The volunteers who marched from this state for New Orleans, we understand, have been ordered home to be dismissed.  The cause not known by us or our representatives.”–Baltimore Patriot, April 20, 1813

The chapel of Presidio La Bahia by Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia.

March 11:  From Labahia, Texas — “The friends to the Republican cause have left St. Antonio and joined us, they state that 109 soldiers, badly wounded, were brought there in carts the day before they left the place.  I sometimes feel guilty for having left my country at a time when every arm ought to be raised in avenging her wrongs; there is, however, a consolation in knowing, if this revolution succeeds, it will be a benefit to the U. S.”–Nashville Clarion, May 11, 1813

March 11:  From Norfolk, late at night — “An Express has just arrived, with information that the British squadron had landed 800 men, and were continuing to disembark more when he came away.  I have not time to add more, as our town is in great confusion–every one trying to get off with what little property they can collect.”–National Advocate, March 17, 1813

March 12:  From Shawneetown, Illinois Territory, news by an arrival from Kaskaskia —  “He also saw despatches to Governor Edwards, rendering it certain, that a body of 2000 Indians were assembled at Pioria, and another body of 3000 Indians, British and Canadian voyageurs, with considerable artillery, were at the Prairie du Chien, under the famous Dixon, all to descend on the breaking up of the rivers for the attack of St. Louis, and the subjection of all that country.”–New York Spectator, April 17, 1813

March 12:  From Virginia — “Eighteen American prisoners escaped from Nassau in a king’s barge, which they had permission to go a fishing in.  Off the harbor they captured the British schooner Betsey, on board of which they went, and arrived at Campeachy, and from thence proceeded to Pensacola in safety.”–Richmond Enquirer, March 23, 1813

March 12:  From Albany, debate on the resolution to loan the federal government half a million of dollars — “Mr. Platt then opposed the loan on the ground that the war was unnecessary and inexpedient in its origin; that it was wantonly waged by our government at a time when they knew our country was defenceless; and that the administration had conducted the war in such a manner, as could only promise the most ruinous disasters in it future prosecution.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, April 16, 1813

March 13:  From Providence — “On Wednesday last, the inhabitants of this town were gratifiedwith the sight of a large British ship standing into the harbor, having the American stars and stripes flying over the red cross of England–being the first vessel belonging to the “mother country” which has entered our waters since the commencement of hostilities on our part.”–Farmer’s Repository, April 2, 1813

March 13:  From Lt. Sinclair, Chesapeake Bay – “I have the satisfaction to inform you that I have this day received information that the unknown vessel we engaged on the 10th at night, and of which I gave you the particulars in my letter of the 11th, was his Britannick majesty’s schr. Lottery, and that she sunk that night, before she could reach the fleet at New Point Comfort.”—United States’ Gazette, March 27, 1813

March 13:  From Norfolk — “The British fleet are no doubt about making an attack on this town–There are now two 74’s and one frigate in Hampton Roads, and on e74 abreast of Point Comfort Light–they are buoying the channel out under cover of their guns, and proceeding slowly towards the town.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, March 19, 1813

March 14:  From Washington — “The news from the North West is not as gratifying as we could have wished.  The expedition sent out by Gen. Harrison, under the command of Capt Langham, for the purpose of destroying the shipping at Malden, had returned, having found the ice so far open as to defeat their object.”–New York Spectator, March 31, 1813

March 14:  From Providence — “His Britannic Majesty’s Brig Emu, of 12 guns, a prize to the privateer Holkar, of New-York, arrived on Sunday last, and saluted the town.—She is an uncommonly strong and well found vessel, burthened upwards of 200 tons, was fitted with a new patent defence surmounting her bulwarks, composed of Spring Bayonets, and had a great quantity of ammunition and provisions for Botany Bay, whither she was conveying a number of convicts.  She was commanded by an arrogant Lieutenant of the British Navy, who could not persuade his crew to fight the Yankees.  The ammunition and provisions were taken on board the Holkar; the crew and convicts, with his Majesty’s commander, were landed on one of the Cape de Verde Islands.”–Charleston City Gazette, April 6, 1813

March 14:  News From Mexico — “The Petersburgh Intelligencer says, ‘that a letter from Pinckneyville, Mississippi Territory, dated 14th of March, states that the revolutionary troops in New-Mexico, were at Labahia, surrounded by a host of Spanish troops, and it was supposed the former would be taken and sent to work in the mines.  Col. M’Gee, their commander, is dead.”–Pittsburgh Gazette, April 30, 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