News of the US: Week Two of September 1812

September 8:  A Letter from the first lieutenant of the US frigate Essex — “We have arrived here after a cruise of 65 days; and having taken eight prizes, two of which we burnt, being in ballast.  The last vessel we took was the British government ship Alert of 18 guns, Capt. Laugharne.  She struck after an action of eight minutes.  We had no person hurt, but several small shot through our sails, and in our starboard quarter.  The Alert received several shot through her hull, and one between wind and water, and had her sails and rigging much cut.  She had five men wounded; and they said they had nine killed, which had been thrown overboard before we took possession of her.  We threw her guns into the sea, and sent her into Newfoundland as a cartel.  We have made 500 prisoners during our cruise.  Our officers and crew are all in good health and spirits.”–Newport Mercury, September 19, 1812

September 9:  “On Wednesday the 9th inst. the annual Commencement of Yale-College, was celebrated at New-Haven.  The exhibition was attended by a large and respectable assembly, composed of the inhabitants of New-Haven and its vicinity, and of strangers from the neighbouring States.”  There were seven orations during the morning service, and three during the afternoon, after which the degrees were conferred.–Connecticut Mirror, September 21, 1814

September 10:  “The drafted Militia of Vermont have been ordered to the frontiers, and were to have marched on the 10th inst.”–Richmond Enquirer, September 25, 1812

September 10:  From Washington — “It is much to be regretted that there has yet been no regular or proper mode adopted for the cure of that valuable fish, the Sturgeon, in the manner which it is done in the north of Europe, or as they kipper the Salmon in Britain.  The number of Sturgeon taken has been unusually great of late in the Potomac, and some few days past quantities of them have been taken on their spawning ground on each side of Fort Warburton, at times above 500 in a night.”–National Intelligencer, September 10, 1812

September 10:  Conclusion of letter from Lewis Cass, Col., 3d Regiment Ohio Volunteers, under command of General Hull at Detroit — “Confident I am, that had the courage and conduct  of the general been equal to the spirit and zeal of the troops, the event would have been brilliant and successful as it now is disastrous and dishonorable.”–National Intelligencer, September 15, 1812

September 11:  “On the 11th inst. twenty waggons each drawn by 5 horses from Pennsylvania laded with clothing &c for the army, crossed the North river from Powles Hook in the steam boat and passed through New-York, on their route to Plattsburgh.”–Nashville Clarion, October 14, 1812

September 11:  From Boston — “The Cartel brig Endeavor, sailed from here last night for Halifax, with upwards of 160 prisoners, part of the officers and crew of the late Guerriere frigate–In beating out yesterday afternoon she was brought to by the Commodore’s ship and twelve men of the Guerriere’s crew taken out, and retained as hostages for six men belonging to the late United States brig Nautilus, sent to England in the Thetis frigate, to be tried for being found in arms against his majesty, and as Englishmen.  They are said to be Americans.”–American Daily Advertiser, September 18, 1812

September 12:  From Frankfort, Ky — “The British have given Tecumseh a brigadier general’s commission.  Every thing also necessary for an army is wanting by Miller’s reg. which has been laying at Louisville 8 or 10 days.”–Maryland Gazette, October 8, 1812

September 12:  From Baltimore — “Ordered, That all the Members of the First Baltimore Volunteers, appear at Camp, This Afternoon at five o’clock.  S. H. Moore, Capt.”–Baltimore Whig, September 12, 1812

September 12:  From Baltimore — “The privateer United We Stand, of this port, have taken a schooner . . . loaded with copper, tin, &c. and has sent her for an eastern port, where she has arrived.”–Baltimore Whig, September 12, 1812

September 13:  From Darien, Georgia — “Yesterday arrived at this place, Mr. M’Lean and Mr. Cook, with their families and negroes, from East Florida.  They have left their beautiful and highly improved plantations in a complete state of waste and desolation, and escaped only with their lives from the savage hands of the Indians.”–Newport Mercury, October 3, 1812

September 14:  From Lewiston — “we are informed that the whole number of troops in service, on that part of our frontier, viz. at Niagara, Lewiston, Buffalo, &c. does not exceed from 800 to 1000 men–while on the British side is affirmed that the number of regular troops is not less at this time than 2200, and reinforcements daily arriving . . . .”–Richmond Enquirer, September 25, 1812

September 14:  From Detroit — “From several of the American prisoners who were captured on board of the Adams, we have the following account from Detroit: . .. .    They state that the expedition which went against Fort Wayne on the 14th of September, had returned to Malden on the 14th of October unsuccessful.–The expedition consisted of about 400 regulars and militia, and 1500 Indians–they had proceeded towards Fort Wayne until they came within 16  miles of an American army, which, they learned from a prisoner, their Spies took to be Harrison’s.  They then precipitately retreated, leaving much of their ammunition, &c. on the ground.”–Salem Gazette, November 3, 1812

September 14:  From New Orleans — “We have received intelligence that St. Antonia, in New Mexico, has been taken by Colonel Manchiaco.  Salcedo, Governor General of the interior provinces, has been taken in that town.  Colonel M’Gee took Nacogdoches on the 12th of August, and I suppose is now with Manchiaco at St. Antonia, or perhaps further on.”–National Intelligencer, October 17, 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