News of the US: Week Two of November 1812

November 8:  From Albany — “On Sunday the 8th inst.  the squadron at Sacket’s Harbor, under Com Chauncey, consisting of the brig Oneida and seven schooners, mounting (in all) 44 guns, sailed, and chased into Kingston Bay the Royal George and schooner Simede; and after a severe cannonade from the Fort, the fleet returned with the loss of one seaman killed by the enemy, and several wounded on board one of the American schrs. by the bursting of a gun.”–New York Spectator, November 21, 1812

November 8:  From Albany — “This day general Dearborn went on to Plattsburg; and colonel Macomb, of the heavy artillery, with a division of his regiment amounting to more than three hundred , accompanied by two companies of light-artillery, marched for Niagara.  A speedy attack on Canada is confidently anticipated.”–Columbian, November 11, 1812

November 9:  From Albany –“4 o’clock P. M.  The important question is this moment decided.  Twenty-nine electors are chosen, all in favor of Mr. Clinton for president.”–New York Columbian, November 12, 1812

November 9:  From Vermont — “An Act, assessing a tax of one cent, on each acre of land in this state for the purpose of defraying the expences of Government.”–Bennington Newsletter, December 16, 1812

November 9:  A letter from Washington — “You will perceive by the papers that the southern Indians are constantly skirmishing with Col Newman of Georgia, and the soldiery of Col. Thomas Smith.  It is stated those Indians are the Lockways, and of course from the Lockway towns,  but are in fact, I learn CREEKS, and under the government and controul of that nation.”–Nashville Clarion, December 1, 1812

November 10:  From Brig. Gen. Alexander Smyth near Buffalo — “Men of New York!– The present is the hour of renown.  Have you not a wish for fame?  . . . Yes.  You desire your share of fame.  Then, seize the present moment.  If you do not, you will regret it, and say ‘the valiant have bled in vain;” the friends of my country fell ‘and I was not there.’–Weekly Aurora, December 1, 1812

November 10:   From Philadelphia —  “Marshall’s Sale . . . will be sold by public vendue, on Tuesday, the 10th inst. at 10 o’clock, A. M. at Stile’s wharf in the Northern Liberties, the cargo of the Prize Schr Sylvia, consisting of jerked beef, half boots, lamp black, teas and black bottles.”–American Daily Advertiser, November 6, 1812

November 10:  From Richmond — “By a letter from captain Zuell, of the cartel brig Isabella, of New-York, dated at Bermuda, we learn that he had  arrived safe at that place, and landed about 100 British prisoners.  Captain Z. states, that soon after he left N. York, the prisoners, to induce him to put into some place where they might make their escape, went into the hold and bored several holes in the bottom of the vessel . . . .  Capt. Z. perceiving how things were going, took an opportunity, when the prisoners were below, to fasten down the hatches; he then told them that they should stop the holes they had made or he would leave them to sink.  . . . they soon stopped the holes . . .”–Richmond Enquirer, November 10, 1812

November 10:  From the House of Representatives — Mr. Poindexter offered the following:  Resolved, that a committee be appointed to inquire into the expediency of authorizing the people of the Mississippi territory to form a constitution and state government, and to admit them into the union on the original footing, and that they report by bill or otherwise.”—United States’ Gazette, November 16, 1812

November 11:  From New-York — “On Saturday the 18th inst. a detachment from Col. M’Comb’s regiment of artillery, consisting of 500 effective men, passed through State-street, Albany, on their way to Sacket’s Harbor, for the purpose of co-operating with Capt. Chauncey.   Also, 40 British prisoners from the lines, passed through on the same day, for Greenbush.”–National Intelligencer, November 12, 1812

November 11:  From Russellville, Kentucky — “We have received information from the Illinois Territory, which we deem correct, stating, that Colonel Wm. Russell of the 7th United States regiment has defeated a party of Indians at the Peoria Towns.”–Augusta Herald, December 17, 1812

November 11:  From Washington — “Mr. Speaker Clay has received a letter from Kentucky, stating that Gen. Hopkins, with about 3000 men, after a search of 8 or 10 days for the Indians on the frontiers near the Wabash, has been obliged to return without success, and that his men have been disbanded and have returned to their homes; not being able to continue any longer for want of provisions.”–The Gleaner, December 4, 1812

November 12:  From Massachusetts — “It appears from the Boston papers, that probably not one War Candidate will be elected, either to Congress or as Elector of President, in all Massachusetts.”– Maryland Gazette,  November 12, 1812

Portrait of Zebulon Pike, about 1810.

November 12:  From Plattsburg — “Perhaps you do not know how the 25th Regiment is to be armed.  Each subaltern is to carry a pike and a sword.  The men are to form three deep–the tallest in the rear rank.  The rear rank have lately had their gun barrels cut off about 12 inches, and not fitted for a bayonet.  They are to be slung on the back, when they proceed to a charge.  The rear rank are to carry a pike, somewhat of the form of a spontoon, attached to a pole 10 feet in length.  Col. Pike thinks much of this kind of weapon, while others condemn them.”–New York Spectator, November 28, 1812

November 12:  From London — “A report prevailed in London about the 12th of Nov. that Mr. Barlow, our minister in France, had proceeded to the headquarters of the emperor, to obtain the loan of 12 sail of the line and 36 frigates, for the use of the United States during the present war with Great Britain.”–Niles’ Weekly Register, January 16, 1813

November 13:  From Charleston — Yesterday, a Young Lady shot a Bald-Eagle in the vicinity of this city; which, tho’ evidently a Bird of the present year, measured upwards of seven feet six inches to the extremity of the wing when expanded.  It is somewhat singular that this gigantic Bird was killed at a considerable distance with a small gun of Manton’s make, and only of the length of two feet eight inches in the barrel and loaded with no other than mustard seed shot.”–New York Spectator, November 25, 1812.

November 13:  From Sackett’s Harbor to the Secretary of the Navy — “Sir–Since the enclosed letter from the Commodore was written, the Growler has returned with a prize, and in her captain Brock, brother to the late General of that name, with the baggage of the latter.  By the prize we learned that the Earl Moira was off the False Ducks, and the Commodore has put off in a snow storm in the hope of cutting her off from Kingston.” National Intelligencer, November 24, 1812

November 13:  Off Cape Hatteras — “On the 13th of the present month, between Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout, was observed, an immense number of Dead Fish, supposed to be of the species called the Trout.–The distance run within which these fish were observed, was nearly 50 miles.  They were so much decayed as to fill the atmosphere with putrid effluvia.”–Augusta Herald, December 3, 1812

November 13:  From Zanesville, Ohio — “A Mr. Dorastus Snow, one of the inhabitants who fled from Lower Sandusky after Hull’s surrender and now residing in Clinton, informs us that a party of nine men including himself, had returned to the settlement, on the 13th Nov. were engaged in digging potatoes, while one man stood sentry.  A party of 17  Indians approached undiscovered, and fired on them, killed a Mr. Pomeroy, & wounded a Mr. Shannon.”–Plattsburgh Republican, January 15, 1813

November 14:  “Eight waggons loaded with specie, guarded by a party of soldiers, under the command of Lieut. Craig, arrived at Pittsburg on Saturday the 14th instant, intended for the troops on the frontier.”

November 14:   News from Texas — “Letters have been received from Col M’Gee up to the 14th Nov.  He had taken Labadie on the Bay of St. Bernard. . . .  They march direct to St. Antone, where they expect a more firm defence, and from whence I expect shortly to hear some very interesting news.”–Boston Patriot, February 6, 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