News of the US: Week Two of October 1812

October 8:  “Dr. Robinson (the Messenger from the U. States government) left Nacogdoches, 8th October for Chiuahua, on his mission to the commander in chief of the Northern Provinces, Salcedo.”–American Daily Advertiser, December 22, 1812

October 8:  Uniontown, Pa. — “We are informed by Capt. T. Rowland, express from Gen. Harrison to our militia now lying at Pittsburg, that they are to march to Wooster in the state of Ohio, in order to join the army now on its way to Detroit.  They are to march in two or three days.  It is also stated that they will take with them about seventeen pieces of artillery; six 6’s eight 12’s and three howitzers.”–National Intelligencer, October 17, 1812

Sketch of Joel Barlow, from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Library Of The World’s Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4, by Charles Dudley Warner.

October 8:  From Paris — “at the request of the emperor, Mr. Barlow left Paris on the 8th October for Wilna–he arrived at Frankfort, 144 leagues, in 3 days and nights.  These particulars place it beyond a doubt,  that something important is in contemplation, or the Emperor would not have requested the American ambassador to meet him at the distance of 650 leagues from Paris.”–Richmond Enquirer, January 30, 1813

October 8:  From the Louisiana Gazette — “The state of Louisiana will not, we suppose, have a vote in the choice of president of the United States, as no provision has been made for electors.”–Niles’ Weekly Register, November 21, 1812

October 9:  “The United States’ frigates PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES, CONGRESS, and the brig ARGUS sailed from Boston on the 9th inst. on a cruise.  They are to be joined at sea by the frigate ESSEX, and the ship WASP from the Delaware.  The frigates CONSTITUTION and CHESAPEAKE and the sloop of war HORNET remain in the port of Boston.”–National Intelligencer, October 15, 1812

October 9:  From Buffalo — “About 1 o’clock on Friday morning last, three armed boats with 102 men, crossed from this shore to Fort Erie on  the opposite side, for the purpose of attacking two British vessels, the brig Adams of 6 guns, and the schr. Caledonia of 2 guns, at anchor near that place  . . .  The Adams was soon after retaken by the British, but the destructive fire of musketry from the Island and our artillery on shore soon compelled them to abandon her.”–Salem Gazette, November 3, 1812

October 9:  From Ogdensburgh — “On Sunday last, the British made an attack upon the village of Ogdensburgh.  . . .  When they arrived within a short distance the American troops, under gen. Brown, commenced a warm fire upon them, which continued, on both sides, for about two hours, at which time, the British . . . were compelled to relinquish the unprofitable contest, and fled precipitately to Prescot.  No damage was sustained on our side, except the injury of some buildings, by their cannonading.”–Columbian, October 16, 1812

October 10:  From Chillicothe — “We are informed that the van guard of the North Western Army, consisting of about 3000 men, under the command of Gen. Winchester, left Fort Wayne last week, on their route to Detroit–they advanced as far as Fort Defiance where they met the British and Indians, amounting to about 3000, on their march to Fort Wayne, with six field pieces.  Both parties lay encamped, at the last advices, about three miles apart.”–Scioto Gazette, October 10, 1812

October 10:  From New Bedford — “Six ships and two schooners belonging to New-Bedford, and valued (vessels and cargoes) at 158,000 dollars, have already been captured by the British cruisers since the mad declaration of war.–A heavy three months tax to support an unjust and unnecessary war!”–Newport Mercury, October 10, 1812

October 10:  Advertisement — “FOR SALE On Thursday the 15th :  the Household and Kitchen Furniture of Charles P. Polk, in F street, an insolvent debtor, consisting of the following articles:  Two Mahogany dining Tables, Two Card Tables, Mahogany, One Mahogany Bureau, Two Carpets and some Carpeting, Two Looking Glasses, Two pair brass Andirons, Tongs and Shovel, Five Landscapes painted in oil, 2 pair Candlesticks, 3 dozen Windsor Chairs, 1 Wash Stand and Ewer, 1 Poplar Closet, Some China, Glasses, &c, A variety of Kitchen Furniture, 1 Walnut Cradle, 1 Pine Chest, and a variety of small articles not enumerated.  Sale to commence at 11 o’clock.”–National Intelligencer, October 10, 1812

October 11:  From Plattsburgh — “It is some weeks since we saw the snow capt hills of New Hampshire, but I did not expect we should so soon have it under our feet; a heavy snow storm commenced early this morning, and it continues to fall very fast; however it does not affect our Pennsylvania constitutions; the tents and marquees all around are pretty well covered with snow already, and there is no danger of the wind piercing beneath the selvidge.  The troops here are i the most excellent spirits and health, and eager to enter upon a winter campaign.”–National Intelligencer, October 24, 1812

October 11:  From Lewiston – “Yesterday afternoon gen. Wadsworth beat up for volunteers to cross the river at this place, Lewistown,  at 12 o’clock last night.  Some companies volunteered without officers, of others, officers without soldiers, and some neither officers nor soldiers.  . . .  The whole marched to the river at the hour appointed for crossing.  They remained on the bank of the river during a tedious, rainy night; but no suitable preparations having been made, they returned at the approach of day, without having fired a gun.”—United States’ Gazette, November 5, 1812

October 12:  From Rapide, LA Oct 12  “On my arrival at this place from the legislature, I was very much surprised to find the country in the situation it then was; all the laboring men & mechanics had left it; a number of the drafted militia from the Mississippi territory were and are daily going to join Col. Magee and Don Bernardo, who are by this time at St. Antonio, they having left the river Trinity some days since, with near a thousand men, of which six hundred are armed:  all of which, except one company under the command of Mr. Davenport, are Americans who have left this and the adjacent counties.–National Intelligencer, November 26, 1812

October 12:  From New York – “The Privateer Marengo has captured an English Merchantman, which has arrived at Hurl Gate this morning, on her way to this port.”—United States’ Gazette,October 15, 1812

October 12:  From Philadelphia — “A Dr. Lorton, of Philadelphia, travelling through that country for amusement, arrived at Lewistown at 9 o’clock the night before the battle of Queenstown, volunteered his services, and fought in the ranks until captured.  The butt of his musket was shot off.  . . .  He was paroled, and left at liberty to proceed on his diverting tour.”–Niles’ Weekly Register, November 21, 1812

October 13:  From Buffalo –“That on Tuesday morning (the 13th) about 1000 troops crossed the river, under the command of Col. Solomon Van Rensselaer; gen. William Wadsworth volunteered under him.  . . . The result of the action, from the most correct accounts, is, that the Americans had 400 killed, and 400 surrendered at discretion for want of ammunition.”–Maryland Gazette, October 29, 1812

October 13:  In the National Intelligencer, a list of 179 British ships, captured and arrived in American ports; 15 ships burnt or sunk, and 15 released or ransomed, 1 of the latter being the Alert, ransomed by David Porter of the USS Essex.

October 13:  From London —  The ship Diligence brings “the Declaration of War by Great Britain against the United States, which took place on the 13th of Oct. last; andOrder from the Prince Regent for the condemnation of all American vessels and property hitherto detained, or which may hereafter be brought in as prize.  . . . “–National Advocate, December 29, 1812

October 14:  From Lewiston, to Stephen Lush — “Your son Major Lush, was in the terrible battle of yesterday–he acted as aid to col. Van Rensselear, and proved his genuine stuff.  As I had the honor to direct the fire of the battery which covered the landing, I had the best possible chance to see every thing.  . . .  his is now with us, well but exhausted.  The battle was long and severe–Col. Van Rensselear had three shots through and through, and one severe contusion.  Many are killed, many wounded on both sides.  Brock has fallen, his Aid-de-Camp mortally wounded.  I am well, but exhausted.  Yours very truly, John Lovett.”–Boston Patriot, October 28, 1812

October 14:  “Eckford, a ship carpenter, with a gang of 70 or 80 hands left N. York in the steam boat for the Lake, where they are by contract to complete a force, in a given number of days, adequate to the command of that important section of our frontier.–Nashville Clarion, October 14, 1812

October 14:  From New York:  On the 14th, an arrangement was made between Major Gen. Van Rensselaer and Gen. Sheafe for the liberation of all the militia prisoners on parole, not to serve during the war.”–Bennington Newsletter, October 28, 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