News of the US: Week Two of September 1813

September 8:  From Milledgeville, Georgia — “Gen. Floyd arrived here on Sunday, and will proceed to the Frontier immediately to take command of the expedition against the Indians.  . . . When the remainder of the troops will take up their line of march, is still uncertain.–We hope, however it will be in a short time.  Should the British arrive on our coast before the hostile Indians are subdued, we may calculate on experiencing miseries ‘not felt before.'”–RichmondEnquirer, September 21, 1813

September 8:  From Portland, Maine — “A letter from a gentleman at Portland, belonging to this town, states, ‘that he had been on board both vessels–they appear to be of equa force–both vessels much cut to pieces.  . . . Twenty-six killed on board the Boxer, and 18 wounded.  Tow killed on board the [U. S.] Enterpprize, and eight wounded.”–Raleigh Star, September 24, 1813

September 9:  News received at Boston from Buenos Ayres, May 8 — “You will have heard ere this will come to hand, of an attack made by a body of troops from Chiloe . . .. on the town of Conception.  . . .  Mr. Poinsett, the American consul general had been preparing for a trip to Conception; in this case, had it been carried into effect, he would have fallen an unsuspecting sacrifice, together with the president of the Chili Junta.  The arrival of the U. S. frigate Essex at Valparaiso, on the 6th of March, had detained him.”–Boston Gazette, September 9, 1813

September 9:  From Commodore Thomas Macdonough from Plattsburg — I “sailed from Burlington on the 6th inst. with an intention to fall in with the enemy, who were then near this place . . . soon after, they weighed and stood to the northward out of the lake–thus if not acknowledging our ascendency on the Lake, evincing an unwillingness . . . to determine it.”–Democratic Press, September 23, 1813

September 9:  From Chillicothe — “The fleet under commodore Perry, has compelled the enemy’s vessels to seek protection from the guns at Fort Malden.  The Commodore’s visit had a terrible effect upon his Majesty’e subjects..  The red allies were disposed to fight, but Proctor thought better on the business.”–Commercial Advertiser, September 20, 1813

September 10:  From O. H. Perry to Maj. Gen. Harrison, from the U. S. Brig Niagara — “We have met the enemy and they are ours.  Two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop.  Yours with great respect and esteem, O. H. Perry.”–Boston Weekly Messenger

September 10:  News from the revolution in Texas — Magee (the American) [from Massachusetts] is dead, and is succeeded by colonel Kemper, once a Carpenter in Fauquier County, Va. who is aided by col. Ross, once a sheriff in Washington County, Va. and Major Perry, and Odd enough! from the ‘land of steady habits,’ Connecticut–all men of nerve and enterprise, ‘fit to conduct the storm.”–Raleigh Minerva, September 10, 1813

September 10:  Letter from Commodore Hull — “I yesterday visited the two brigs, and was astonished to see the difference of injury sustained in the action.  The [U. S. S.] Enterprise had but one 18 pound shot in her hull, one in her mainmast, and one in her foremast . . . .  The Boxer has 18 or 20 18lb shot in her hull, most of them at the water’s edge . . . .  Her masts, sails and spars are literal\y cut to pieces, several of her guns dismounted and unfit for service; her top gallant forecastle nearly taken off by the shot, her boats cut to pieces, and her quarters injured in proportion.”–National Advocate, September 20, 1813

September 11:  From O. H. Perry to Maj. Gen. Harrison — “We have a great number of prisoners, which I wish to land:  Will you be so good as to order a guard to receive them; and inform me of the place?  Considerable numbers have been killed and wounded on both sides.  From the best information, we have more prisoners than we have men on board our vessels.  In great haste, yours very truly.  O. H. Perry.”–Niles’ Weekly Register, September 25, 1813

September 11:  From Nashville — “An Express arrived in this place the evening before last, from Fort St. Stephens, to the governor, with the melancholly intelligence that about 760 Creek Indians had attacked and taken a Fort on the Tombigby–in which there were about 300 persons, all of whom were murdered, except eight, who made their escapte.”–Gettysburg Adams Centinel,October 6, 1813

September 11: From Norfolk — “On the 11th inst. the citizens of Norfolk bave a Barbecue to their patriotic fellow citizens, whose military duty expired on the preceding Thursday.  . . .  The day was spent most pleasantly.”–New York Gazette, September 21, 1813

September 12:  From Canandaigua — “It appears that on Wednesday, the fleets [on Lake Ontario]  approached each other, ours consisting of eleven sail and the British of eight.  They manoeuvered for the windward till Saturday, when Com Chauncey obtained the weather gage, keeping the British fleet between him and the lake shore. . . ..  by all accounts it appears our fleet have had the advantage throughout.  Our informant is certain that our shot did much more execution than the enemy.”–Maryland Gazette , September 23, 1813

September 12:  From  Natchez, reporting on a letter from Natchitoches, reporting the loss of the Patriots at San Antonio — “W. B. Wilkinson, who was in the battle acting as aid to Toledo, arrived here yesterday and returned this morning with ammunition, to enable such as were at Nacogdoches to make a stand, and, as far as possible, cover the retreating remnant of the army, who are hourly coming in.”–Cincinnati Weekly Spy, October 9, 1813

September 12:  From Upper Sandusky — “Our fleet [on Lake Erie] is victorious.  . .  We are now on our march to take charge of the prisoners, and to meet the enemy across the Lake, who have so far retreated that our hot-blooded Kentuckians will have no opportunity of trying their strength.”–Pendleton (S.C.) Messenger, October 2, 1813

September 13:  From Cleveland –“The Mail Carrier has this moment arrived from the West, and brings the pleasing intelligence that Commodore Perry has CAPTURED SIX OF THE ENEMY’S VESSELS; the Queen Charlotte was among the number.”–Democratic Press,September 21, 1813

September 13:  From Commodore Perry at Putin-Bay — “The Lawrence has been so entirely cut up, it is absolutely necessary she should go into a safe harbor.  I have therefore ddirected Lieutenant Yarnell to proceed to Erie in her, with the wounded of the fleet, and dismantle and get her over the bar as soon as possible. . . .  I also beg your instructions respecting the [enemy] wounded.”–Vermont Mirror, October 6, 1813

September 13:  From Lower Sandusky — “It is supposed we have ttaken 900 prisoners.  The British officers say it was with reluctance the fleet came out, but the Indians forced them to it–for they were determined to know which of the big canoes had command of the Lake, or they would commence a general massacre.”–New York Gazette, October 4, 1813

September 14:  From Nashville — “An express arrived on Sunday last to His Excellency Governor Blount from Fort St. Stephens, bringing certain information of the dreadful slaughter of several hundred of our fellow citizens by the Creek indians, headed as some have imagined by Spanish or British officers.  . . . .  The inhabitants of the Mobile country have abandoned their dwellings and retreated to the forts.  General Claiborne is in the country with about 300 twelve months men . . . .”–Missouri Gazette, October 2, 1813

September 14:  From Norfolk — “On Saturday last, about 15 men volunteered from a militia company stationed near the inlet to go and attack a party of the British, who were said to be on shore at the cape.  When they came to the Cape, and were mounting one of the sand hills, they found themselves in full view, and within musket shot of a large body of marines who were exercising.  A cluster of officers were standing some distance off between their main body and our militia, the latter had not a moment to spare, they took deliberate aim at the officers and fired–four of them fell!  The militia then made the best of their way back to camp, while the enemy’s shot whistled over their heads in all directions, but without effect.”--Aurora, September 21, 1813

September 14:  From Sackett’s Harbour – “Chauncey has chased Yeo all around the lake and has got him penned up in Amherst Bay.  [Amherst Bay is 3 miles west of Kingston.] The knight refused to come to action.  The Lady of the Lake has this moment arrived with the information.”—United States’ Gazette, September 22, 1813
The Headliners Foundation appreciates and supports efforts to preserve our national journalistic legacy and suggests that Texans and others who love journalism and its rich history in this country consider donating to their state’s efforts to put these early newspapers online.  Contact your state library, historical society or university.  For a list of historic newspapers online, use this link: 

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