Another Gallant Achievement

Another Gallant Achievement.

Philadelphia, Saturday Evening, Oct. 31.
By the ship Bengal, Warwick, from Lisbon, arrived here this morning, information has been received, that the U.S. sloop of war Wasp, carrying 18 guns, commanded by Capt. Jones, had met the British sloop of war Frolic, of 20 guns, and after a severe conflict of 43 minutes, captured her. The fire of Capt. Jones was certainly more skillfully directed than that of his antagonist, for the Frolic was completely dismasted, and of her crew there were between 50 and 60 killed and wounded, and only 5 killed on board the Wasp. After capt. Jones had manned his prize, the Wasp and the Frolic had the misfortune to fall in with the Poicteurs of 74 guns, capt. Beresford, and both were captured, and ordered for Bermuda.
Capt. Jones is a native of the state of Delaware, and was deemed a brave and able officer before this brilliant victory added additional laurels to his brow. His first lieutenant is a brother of commodore Rodgers, and is in all respects a worthy associate of his gallant commander. Our distinguished and meritorious follow citizen, Mr. James Biddle, who ranks as a first lieutenant in the navy, was on board the Wasp as a volunteer, and has briefly narrated the occurrence in the subsequent letter to his father, Charles Biddle, Esq. of this city.

“H.B.M. ship Poicteurs, (74)

Oct. 21, 1812-at sea.
“My dear father-The fortune of war has placed us in the hands of the enemy. We have been captured by this ship, after having ourselves captured his Britannic Majesty’s brig Frolic.
“The Frolic was superior in force to us; she mounted eighteen 32 pound carronades, and two long nines. The Wasp you know, is only 16 carronades. The action lasted 43 minutes; we had five killed, and the slaughter on board the Frolic was dreadful. We are bound into Bermuda. I am quite unhurt.
“In great haste, your’s very affectionately,



Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-November 6, 1812


"Must the sword, forever, be the only arbiter of right and wrong?" Samuel Harrison to James Madison, October 30, 1812

Chittenden Vt. Octr. 30th. 1812

Dear Sir
                        While the direful calamity of War is scourging our once happy Country, I shall not apologise for troubling your Excellency with my Lamentations upon the Horrific subject. I was in hopes that the hint I communicated in May last, would have led you into a Train of Reflections, by which the woful miseries, to which, we are now subjected, might have been procrastinated; if not prevented.
            The Reasons I penned in June, and sent to you in September why it was improper to go to War; with many other, still continue permanent; and are yet powerful Arguments against its continuance; What were Reasons, then, against it Commencement, are Reasons, now, against its prolongation.
            I could wish for the Tongue of an Angel, or the Pen of a Seraph; that I might be enabled to communicate to your Excellency my views of the misseries to which we are subjected by the Ferocity of Man.
            Dear Sir Must the Sword, forever, be the only Arbiter of Right and Wrong?
            Must Evils be, forever, multiplied? Because Evil exists.
But you are at a distance, and do not feel them, and thus remain callous to the Misseries of your fellow Creatures.
            Place yourself, Dear Sir, for a Moment, in a Frontier situation; either in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, N York, or Vermont, listening for the dreadful War hoop, and Savage Yell of the ferocious Indian! as the only Warning of the Awful, and ensuing Massacre, of your Wife, and helpless Children! And the Conflagration of your only dwelling! Behold the dreadful Tomahawk! lifted up over your darlings! ready to cleave their innocent heads! – Or the Arm of the Barbarian stretched out! with the bloody scalping knife! reeking with the Gore of your next Neighbor! ready to plunge into the broom of your best beloved Wife!!!Or the suspended War Club! bespattered with the Blood, and Brains of your nearest Relation! ready to break your own Scull! And dash out your own Brains!!! And then say, I am unconcerned at the Consequences – And then say, if you can, That the Calamities of War are Exaggerated by those that oppose it, and its direful effects will not enhance the Calamities of the Nation!!! This is not Painting.
            This, Sir, is not Idle Preaching. it is what must, and will, take place; in many, too many, instances, should your present Measure continue.
            But Why Should I be only answered with a Sneer, and my Letters be thrown by with a Bundle of uninteresting Papers, without Notice, like the Petitions of the Americans, by the Court of Great Britain, before the Commencement of the Revolutionary Contest? I know not.
            My Introduction to your Excellency merits better treatment.
            Why have you not, either, answered my Papers? Or sent them back as requested?
            You cannot say that I have exaggerated any of the Subjects; Or the tendency of your Measures. Or deny one point of Fact that I have represented.
            Are Despots, alone, to be reproached with feeling uninterested at the flowing of the Blood, and the squandering the Treasures; and sporting with the feelings; and lives of their Subjects?
            I thought Republicans were amenable to their Constituents, for their Conduct, in Order to ensure the tranquility of their Country; and the Confidence, of those who Placed them in their Stations.
            If I have Erred in any respect I am Sorry. It must be imputed to an excess of Zeal – to an Independence of Sentiment I contracted when Fighting, and Bleeding, and Suffering for FREEDOM which has not been eradicated, by being placed in the vicinity of the Green mountain; I Glory in the Appellation of Green Mountain Boy; of being a VERMONTEER who has never crouched at the Frowns; or been seduced by the Flatteries; of either Sycophant, or Tyrant. I yet feel a spirit of Independence;That I will write my Sentiments, and will warn you to Flee from the Wrath to come. Whether you will hear, or whether you will forbear. My Writings will arise against you, in Futurity and Historians will point at this Beacon, which has warned you of Destruction.
            Had your Excellency been advised by me and paid attention to my Letter of May 11th, 1812, there would not have been such a cry of Treachery in our Land. Had you listened to Me, General Hull would not have disgraced the Annals of your Presidency by the inglorious Surrender of Detroit, his Army, Cannon, scanty stores, and the whole territory of Michigan.
            Had you considered the Reasons, I penned in June, why it was improper to declare War – The Unfortunate Vn Ransalear might, now, have had whole limbsSoctt, Christie, and Finwick might have, now had their Liberty, and Wadsworth, and Stranahan, been employed in Ameliorating the Miseries of Man; and the Blood of fifteen hundred brave Heroes would not have Deluged, and fattened the Corn fields, and Orchards on the heights of Queenstown.
            Would you yet, Sir, hear to my Advice. The Defeat and Disgrace of Generals Dearborne, and Bloomfield, and their companions in Arms, in our Northern Army may still be prevented.
            What I wrote to your Excellency on the 14th of Sepr. and to Genl Gideon Granger on the 15th, and 16th, days of the same month, which I desired him to show you, are facts.
            “Soldiers are not made in one Day.”
            And Soldiers must be taught; before they can perform wonders; They must be taught; before they can get to Montreal; They must be taught; before they can arrive at Quebec; They must be taught, and a great number must be taught; before they can conquer Canada; They must be taught before they can [become] Veterans.
            And were I General, I should not feel so much disgrace to take seven Trumpets of Rams horns, and March, in Procession, seven times, Seven times around, that well provided Fortress, and attempt to prostrate the Walls of Quebec, As I should, to command our Present Army, with their present numbers, their present Discipline, and their present supplies, and their present support, from our present Lacual Force, to attempt the Conquest of the Canadas in their Present situation. The Arrangements of the Campaign – The method of supplying the wants of the Troops – The transporting Connon Ball from Philadelphia 400 Miles when they might be purchased at a cheaper Rate in Plattsburg, Highgate, Sheldon, Newhaven, Vergennes, Pittsford, Clarendon, Tinmouth, Bennington, and Albany, &c. &c. Must, to a Person acquainted with Military Operations, appear like a revivial of the Days of Chivalry; And the appeal of my Namesake Genl Harrison – to the Patriotism of the Ladies of Ohio to furnish his Southern Brethren, with Lindsey Doublets to enable them to brave the Borean Blasts of Canada, must appear Quixotic, and look more like Knight Errantry – Than a well digested Economical System calculated to subjugate those Frozen Regions of Canada to the government of the United States – and drive the British Government to our own terms – Soldiers must have Blankets and plenty of thick woolen cloathing or they will Freeze in Canada instead of Conquer them. You must excuse me I can Negotiate, but I hate to Fight it is so with 3/5 of the Country and although I speak plainly I am really your Friend; a true friend to the U.S. and you Obt Servant
                                    Sam. Harrison

U.S.S. United States, at Sea, Oct. 30, 1812

U.S.S. United States, at Sea, Oct. 30, 1812.

The Hon. Paul Hamilton,
SIR-I have the honour to inform you, that on the 25th inst. being in the lat. 29 N. long. 29 80 (illegible) W. we fell in with, and, and after an action of an hour and an half, captured his Britannic Majesty’s ship Macedonian, commanded by Capt. John Carden, and mounting 49 carriage guns (the odd gun shifting.) She is a frigate of the largest class, two years old, four months out of dock, and reputed one of the best sailers in the British service. The enemy being to windward had the advantage of engaging us at his own distance, which was so great, that for the first half hour we did not use our carronades, and at no moment was he within the complete effect of our musketry or grape-to this circumstance and a heavy swell, which was on at the time, I ascribe the unusual length of the action.
The enthusiasm of every officer, seaman and marine on board this ship, on discovering the enemy-their steady conduct in battle, and precision of their fire, could not be surpassed Where all met my fullest expectations, it would be unjust in me to discriminate Permit me, however, to recommend to your particular notice, my first lieut. Wm. H. Allen. He has served with me upwards of five years, and to his unremitted exertions in disciplining the crew, is to be imputed the obvious superiority of our gunnery exhibited in the result of this contest.
Subjoined is a list of the killed and wounded on both sides. Our loss compared with that of the enemy will appear small. Amongst our wounded you will observe the name of Lieut. Funk, who died a few hours after the action-he was an officer of great gallantry and promise, and the service has sustained a severe loss in his death.
The Macedonian lost her mizen-mast, fore and main-top-masts and main-yard, and much cut up in her hull. The damage sustained by this ship was not such as to render her return into port necessary, and had I not deemed it important that we should see our prize in, should have continued our cruise.
With the highest consideration and respect, I am, sir, your obedient humble servant,



Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-December 18, 1812.

Second Invasion of Upper Canada

Second Invasion of Upper Canada.
The Western papers, for the last three or four days, have teemed with the news of war, and the dreadful conflict of opposing armies. The following particulars of the reported attack on Queenstown, by the Americans, are probably the most accurate of any that have been given.
At 4 o’clock in the morning of the 13th inst. Col. Solomon Van Rensselaer, at the head of 300 militia, and Lieut. Col. Christie, at the head of 300 regulars of the 13th reg’t embarked in boats to dislodge the British at Queenstown-They crossed under cover of a battery of 2 eighteen and 2 six pounders-Their movement was discovered almost at the instant of their departure from the American shore-The detachments landed under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry-Col. Van Ransselaer received a wound through his right thigh soon after landing, but proceeded on until he received two other flesh wounds in his though and the calf of one of his legs, and a severe contusion on one of his heels, when he ordered the detachments to march on and storm the first battery, and was himself carried off the field-The order for storming, was gallantly executed, and a severe conflict ensued-Lieut. Col. Christie received a wound in the hand, but got over the works-At this time both parties were reinforced-The enemy soon gave way and fled in every direction-Maj. Gen. Van Ransselaer crossed over to sustain the attack, and ascended the heights at Queenstown where he was attacked with great fury by several hundred Indians, who were, however, such routed and driven into the woods. The reinforcements ordered over from the American side began to move tardily and finally stopped. This induced the Major General to return in order to accelerate their movements-He mounted a horse, and used every exertion in his power to urge on the reinforcements, but in vain-Whereupon the General perceiving that a strong reinforcement was advancing to support the British, ordered a retreat, but before the order reached Brigadier General Wadsworth, the battle was renewed by the enemy with great vigor and increased numbers, which compelled the Americans, whose strength and ammunition were nearly exhausted by hard fighting for eleven hours, and with very little intermission, to give way.-The number of killed is considerable on both sides, but the Americans have lost many prisoners, including about sixty officers, most of whom are wounded. Among the prisoners are Lieut. Cols. Scott, Christie and Fenwick of the U.S. troops, Gen. Wadsworth and Col. Stranahan of the militia-Major Gen. Brock of the British is among is among the slain, and his Aid de Camp mortally wounded. The whole number of Americans said to have been engaged is about 1600, of which 900 were regular troops and 700 militia.
On the 14th an arrangement was made between Major Gen. Van Rensselaer and Gen. Sheafe to the liberation of all the militia prisoners on parole, not to serve during the war.
Further particulars will be given as soon as they can be ascertained. It appears that our troops behaved valiantly, and were overcome by superior numbers, in consequence of the indisposition of a large body of the militia to join in the conflict.
Another account of the battle, from an officer of the army engaged, says-“Among the prisoners taken by the British, are Lt. Col. Fenwick, (thrice wounded) Lt. Col. Scott, Lt. Bayley, Lt. Col. Christie, and Maj. Mullany. Col. Gibson is either dead or a prisoner. The enemy had nearly thrice our force; upwards of 60 officers are either killed or taken. Our loss in killed, wounded and prisoners is about 800. It is said that Col. Christie, with 300 infantry, drove, at the point of the bayonet, several miles, between 500 and 600 British, of the Egyptian regiment (the 42d.) Never was there a greater effort of valor by Americans.”
A letter of a subsequent date, states, “that 1600 of our men crossed at Lewiston, and carried the British batteries after a most tremendous conflict; but Gen. Brock coming up with a reinforcement of regular troops, succeeded in retaking the ground and fortifications; 400 of our men were killed, and 800 wounded and taken prisoners. It was at first conjectured that Gen. Brock was killed; but it is now reported that he was not, and that he will survice his wounds.”

Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-October 30, 1812

From the Ohio

From the Ohio.
Letters have been received from Gen. Harrison of as late date as the 12th of October, at which time his head quarters were at Franklinton, Ohio. On reaching Gen. Winchester with the army under him at Fort Defiance, on the evening of the 2d inst. He had the mortification to learn that the enemy had passed that place three or four days before. Gen. Winchester met them the day after his departure from Fort Wayne, but kept his force so well prepared for action that they dared not attack him. In the course of the march, in skirmishing, he lost an ensign and six privates killed, and one wounded. Gen. Harrison was employing himself with the greatest zeal in arranging deports of provisions, clothing, &c. preparatory to his march to the borders, whither he proposed to proceed in a day or two-Fort Wayne had been again besieged by the Indians, after the main body of the army left it, and again relieved. Several of the Miami and other Indians had come in to Gen. Harrison, and thrown themselves on the mercy of the government, agreeing to abide by the decision of the President in relation to them whatever it might be.
[Nat. Intelligencer.

Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-October 30, 1812

Grand Army

Grand Army.

Accounts from the frontier state that all the forces destined for a third invasion of Canada, were concentrating at Plattsburg; and would amount (so say letter writers) to 10,000 men; who will be commanded by Generals Dearborn, (who had left Albany,) Bloomfield, and Chandler of the regulars, and some militia Generals. Some of the regulars are very excellent troops. The British commanders were on the alert; and it was confidently expected that a great battle would be fought immediately after our troops have invaded the province.
It is reported, that a British officer from Queenstown to the American lines with a flag, has confirmed the account of the death of Gen. Brock, and stated that a great number of English officers were killed and wounded in the battle of Oct. 13-and that the number of American prisoners amounted to 900.
A gentleman who was at Mackinaw, at the time of its surrender, informs us, that Capt. Hanks, the American Commandant, on the morning of the capitulation, called together the principal inhabitants, for their advice, when he stated to them, that the summons he had just received, contained the first intimation that had been given him of the declaration of war; and that, strange as it might appear, it was that day nine months since he had received a single line from his government either of instruction or orders.”
A Military Line of Express has lately been established between H Q at Greenbush and Niagara, distance 320 miles. Light dragoons are stationed at the distance of 10 miles from each other and 24 hours is calculated in transmitting-Gen. Dearborne’s last despatches for General Van Renssalaer, were sent by this line.

Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-October 30, 1812


William Eustis to James Madison, October 29, 1812, regarding the Clothing Department

War Dept:
October 29. 1812
            I have the honor to inform you that the existing appropriations applicable to the Clothing Department are nearly expended & to request that you will be pleased to direct that the sum of Five hundred Thousand Dollars appropriated for the pay of the Army be applied to defray further expenses in the Clothing Department.
                                                                                                W. Eustis

Courtesy of James Madison's Montpelier and the Library of Congress.

Timeline of R.G. Beasley's Attempts to Retrieve Prisoners of War

October 29, 1812

Mr. Beasley states to J. W. Croker, of the admiralty office, that Lord Castlereagh had referred him to the commissioners for prisoners of war; that he had accordingly applied to  them, and learnt that the instructions which that board had received from the lords of the admiralty were not sufficiently explicit enable them to proceed in the matter. Mr. Beasley requests that their lordships would be pleased to give such further to the transport board as might be found necessary.

October 30, 1812

John Barrow, of the admiralty office, informs Mr. Beasley, that his letter of the 29th October had been laid before the lords commissioners of the admiralty, and that the business had been referred to the transport board.

October 29, 1812

Mr. Beasley informs Alexander M'Leay, of the transport office, that he had requested the lords of the admiralty would be pleased to give the further instructions necessary, and presuming that these instructions would be immediately given, requests Mr. M'Leay to inform him at what time it will be convenient for the commissioners that he should confer with them on the subject.

October 30, 1812

Alexander M'Leay informs Mr. Beasley that he is directed to desire that Mr. B. would transmit to the transport office a list of all the persons whom Mr. Beasley proposed to send to America, stating their several qualities, and when, and how, they respectively came into Great Britain.

November 3, 1812

Mr. Beasley transmits to Alexander M'Leary, of the transport office, a list of American citizens whom it is proposed to send to the  United States in the ship William and Eliza, stating their several qualities, and when, and how, they respectively came into Great Britain. This list contains one hundred and ten names. To these are added a list of six persons, being other passengers in the same vessel. Mr. Beasley remarks to Mr. M'Leay, "Iam well informed that many a persons of the description, and under the circumstances, of those mentioned in the first of these lists, (being seamen) who were awaiting the result of my late application to Lord Castlereagh for a cartel for their conveyance to America, have, within a few days past, been seized by the impress offiercs, and taken on board the tender of the Tower; and I beg to know what are the intentions of the British Government respecting them."

November 6, 1812

Alexander M'Leay informs Mr. Beasley that he had received and laid before the commissioners for the transport service, the list of persons proposed to be sent to the United States in the William and Eliza catrel, and adds, "In return I am directed to request that you will inform the board whether you will engage, that the above mentioned persons, on their arribal in the United States, shall be exchanged for an equivalent number of British subjects, who may have fallen into the hands of the Americans.  I am at the same time to acquaint you, that the prisoners above alluded to must sign engagements not to serve against this country or its allies until regularly exchanged."


Head-Quarters, Lewiston
Oct. 14, 1812.

   Your son, major Lush, was in the terrible battle of yesterday - He acted as aid to Col. Van Renselaer, and proved his genuine stuff. As I had the honour to direct the fire of the battery, which covered the landing, I had the best possible chance to see every thing; the fire of three batteries, and a shower of musketry was poured upon the first 100 men who landed; of whom Stephen was one.- He is now with us, well, but exhausted.- The battle was long and severe. Col. Van Renselaer had three shots through & 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,

(To) Stephen Lush, esq.

Published in the Maryland Gazette - October 29, 1812


From E. Cooke To R.G. Beasley

Foreign Office
October 28, 1812

Having laid before Lord Castlereagh your letter requesting that you may be allowed to send a cartel to America, with citizens of the United States who wish to return to their country, I am directed by his lordship to express his consent to his proposition, and am to desire you will confer with the commissioners for prisoners of war with regard to the account you are to give for such parts of the crew as shall appear to be combatants, and on that principles much be exchanged.
I am, &c.
E. Cooke

Courtesy of Library of Congress

From James Monroe to John Borlase Warren

Department of State
October 28, 1812

I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 30th September, complaining that Commodore Rodgers, commanding a squadron of the United States' navy at the port of Boston, had taken twelve British seamen, lately belonging to His Britannic Majesty's ship the Guerriere, from a cartel in the harbor of Boston, and that he detained them on board the President, a frigate of the United States, as hostages.
I am instructed to inform you that inquiry shall be made into the circumstances attending, and the causes which produced, the act of which you complain, and that such measures will be taken, on a knowledge of them, as may comport with the right of both nations, and may be proper in case to which they relate.
I beg you, sir, to be assured, that it is the sincere desire of the President, to see (and to promote, so far as depends on the United States) that the war which exists between our countries be conducted with the utmost regard to humanity.
I have the honor, &c.
James Monroe

Courtesy of Library of Congress


BERMUDA, OCT. 28.-On Sunday the 18th inst. the Poictiers fell in with the Americans sloop of war Wasp, having possession of H.M. brig Frolic which she had captured about two hours before, after an obstinate resistance on the part of the Frolic and a hard fought engagement of 45 minutes; both vessels were taken by the Poictiers, and ordered for this Island.
It appears, from the most correct statements we have been enabled to obtain, that the Frolic, when fallen in with by the Wasp, was in a very disabled state.-Having suffered severely in a gale of wind, and having her main yard in deck for the purpose of fishing it, her main topmast sprung, and being unacquainted with the existence of the Am. War she was totally unprepared for the contest; yet, notwithstanding these untoward circumstances, the vessel was fought till her mast and bowsprit were gone, her 1st Lieut. and Master killed, the Captain and 2d Lt. wounded, and 65 of her crew killed or wounded, when she was boared by the Wasp, and her colors were struck by the crew of that vessel.
The gallant manner in which the Frolic was defended, when attacked by a vessel every way her equal, and rendered doubly her superior by good condition, reflects the highest credit on the captain, officers, and crew of the Frolic, who thereby enabled her convoy to effect its escape, and perhaps accomplished the ultimate capture of both vessels, by the Poictiers.
The Boatswain and Boatswain’s Mate of the Wasp, were recognized as deserters from H.M. Naval service; the letter from the Cleopatra, and the former had been Sir J.P. Beresford’s coxswain when in the Cambrian;-they are both in irons.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-November 27, 1812.


Tarhe to Return Meigs

Fort Meiggs 
Octob. 28th. 1812

Sir & Brother

I am about to Inform you of an Unfortunate Circumstance that hapned yesterday near Fort Manary A Sineca Chief came from Capt Lewises town on a Visit and Returning Was wounded by one of your men in the arm and [illeg.] he Returned this Morning and Made his Complaint I called the different Chief together and after Counciling I cannot lay any blame to Your. We have healed the wound as it ware in the nation and no animosities shall subsist on account of it your Orders was communicated in due time by Brother McCord setting a bound which we Obeyed knowing it to be for our good altho We have collected and healed the National Wound the Cheifs have requisted that the nation of the white people Would consider that the accident cannot be now avoided the Unfortunate Cheif is randred incapable of hunting for his family and self -- and if some restution could be consistently made it would be verry Pleasing to the nation altho that is Left with your self as he belongs to Capt Lewis camp I am to Start tomorrow Morning with tile different nations who through me tender their Cincear thanks to Governor Meiggs & Genl Tupper
Your Friend--

Saml. McCord

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society


Report from Louisiana, William Garrard to James Madison, October 27, 1812

Opilousos Octr 27th 1812
            The very extraordinary movements of the People from this State and the adjoining Territory, in the invasion of the Spanish Province of Texas was my only inducement in making any direct communication to you heretofore, on the State of our affairs in Louisiana. being personally unknown to you, and my situation humble in life, perhaps I may have been thought busy and and officious in doing so, but I trust however a proper construction on my views will do away any impression of that kind; and of its being attributable only in the zeal I have for the honour, the interest, and happiness of my Country. the open declaration those People make of the approbation of the Government, is what I do not credit, but consider as a scheme oi draw the ignorant, and innocent People to the West, to subserve the ambitious and interested motives of a few individuals. information very recently recvd from the West, state that Colo Magee is in quiet possession of St Antonio, with a force of at least One thousand Men, where he intends making his stand untill reinforc’d by such numbers as will justify and insure success in penetrating into the interior Provinces. I still am of the opinion, that the project of cooperating with the Spanish Patriots must eventually fail; a Gentleman of information lately arriv’d from that from that Country, informs me of the little disposition great numbers of the party have to submit to military dicipline, I am not surpris’d at it, for the greater part I have seen are such characters as can’t possibly be restraind by any regulation whatever altho their safety so much depends on it. Genl Adair has been two of three times expressly sent for to take the command but refuses I am told unless the expedition was sanction’d by Government. it is suppos’d this Army would have more confidence in him than their present commander; they are frequently passing by this place in considerable numbers, I am informd lately that frequent desertions take place, they find their dreams of plunderd wealth all vanish, the Country they have invaded is said to be miserably poor, and the inhabitants very little more civiliz’d than the neighboring Savages. the absence of such numbers to the Spanish Country, leaves their own greatly expos’d nothing as yet has transfer’d to create alarm. great indignation is express’d by the real Americans at the cowardly conduct, (to give it no harsher term) of Genl Hull in the surrender of Detroit. But, it gives me infinite pleasure to state to you Sir that no censure has been thrown on the Executive; not even by those stiled Federalists and who are suppos’d innimical to the Administration. The whole Nation have been obscur’d in the character of Genl Hull the first annunciation of his appointment to the command of the North Western army; gave us in this quarter great pleasure, his military talents, his good name, and his suppos’d Geographical knowledge of the Canadys, induc’d a belief that his appointment was a very judicious one and I do most sincerely wish that yr enemies Sir, may derive no more advantage in the ensuing Presidential election from the misfortune attending that Army, than they will in this State. sorry I am to see malignant opposition arising at this momentous crisis of our affairs, but I trust the good sense of the People will prevail and that you will soon have high evidence of their confidence in yr worth, talents, and services.
            I have the honour to be Sir with great
                        respect yr Ob Sert
                                    Wm Garrard

Courtesy of James Madison's Montpelier and the Library of Congress.


James Timmonds to James Madison, October 26, 1812, praising the administration and that of Thomas Jefferson

Cumberland Alleganey county October 26th 1812

Honoured Sir and Earthly father of this our country
            I Transmit This To your honour complying with all the duties claimed By A parent or gardeen accompanied with My fervent prayers and Wishes for your prosperity and in the Re Electing you at our Next Election which will depend on our countrys welfare or its ruin. Tho we are sirounded with Enimies and the very worst that Ever any country Produced by speaking the Greatest Evil against our ruling Men and and agt. Goverment. To My Great Astonishment That such caracters should Not be Made Examples of, to the publick. But I am in hopes such proseedings will in A Short Time be checked as it is contrary To Law and Gospel Leaves those rulers in The sight of God with the Same Guilt as A parent To suffer his child To abuse him or Injure his property without due Corection as he is the only man That has Jurisdiction over his Child or children. Therefore often an Indulgent Parent was the Ruin of his house hold and also his family.
            It was my wish and often prayed in publick and private while sufering severly by the Enlish That was would be Proclaimed To retaliate, I Thank God I Got my wish. But what was the Language of our Enemies in our own country. Jefferson and Madison was Two Great cowards to fight England and if she Demanded ten times as Much dare Not Refuse her But Glory be to God that has not yet Abandond our contry nor Taken from us the Blessings of 1776. Cheerd up the spirits of our leading Men checked Those Tyrants To their shame and confusion and if we would Not be Deceived by hull all my Plans would be fuly Efected. See Rodgers A youth unexperenced with fighting on the high seas was there Ever More damage done by france Than Rodgers has done Like unto David when he slew Golia very uneaquil in size and strenth untill God strenthend David and soon slew his Antagonist. So we are not to Boast of ourselves as of our selves But our sufitiency is from God, and I hope his all seeing Eyes will aid Direct and Instruct us to fight those Tyrants and the Enemy of our country as the Depradations comitted was not by us. Therefore They begun The fray and wee shall End the contest.
            And compell Great Britain To Except That Office of cowardice which the federlist charged our Brave Jefferson and Madison. But May god of his Mercies guide and direct the citizens of These U.S. in Prudence wisdom and Knowledge in Shewing and Proving Their zeal and paying Their homage as dutifull Children to their parents Espetially at the Time of Need which is at hand To come chearfully and freely to aid Sucour and assist Them and cary That Medisen with us to heal and secure our father our Guide and our Guardien from all Danger and from all Maner of diseases and the Medicen I Recomend as A Good Phisition is A True Republican Ticett which the only Balsom of Life.
            I also pray That Good and Brave Men May be Recomended To you for officers that will Be capable of Preserving your fame and the honour of our contry, by observing your Instructions and obeying your commandments with the same prayers and hopes That God will Reveal to you instructions to conquer any hostile Unprotected Enemy That would attempt to Invade our peacefull country.
            No More at Present But wishes To See all The Tallow That I Procured Illumating at the close of our Election and if the Election will not Go with my wishes I shall not Give as Much light as to Eat Supper or go to bed.
            But in Love to my country and the Inhabitants thereof I wish the Best and Greatest Look that Ever attended More.
                                                James Timmonds
Contractor for the Mail from Hagerstown to Uniontown

I hope there will be no offence Taken in my freedom. please To Exscuse hast Errors and bad writing owing to sickness in my family was cawled on several Times before I could finish.
            But with the aid of washington county wee will gain in this District as this county alone is chiefly A damd Tory one To my Grief and sorow. But I Shall Keep a stiff uper Lip as your friends here well Knows There is Nothing Left undone on my side.
                                                            James Timmonds

John Armstrong to James Madison, hoping that "your Excellency will not suffer a peace to be made with that haughty and domineering nation"

Maysville Oct. 26th 1812

            Sir I feel myself in duty bound to return you my Sincere and ardent thanks, for that Wisdom and Magnanimity, that have marked all your proceedings, as the Chief Magistrate of this flourishing and Extensive Continent. Since yr. Inauguration to yr. Station – and trust in that God Who rules the destinies of nations that this Happy Land will be So greatly Blessed as to have the Same Chief Magistrate to conduct us thro. the toils & Calamities of War, and through whose benign administration of the Laws we hope to have an Honourable Idea of the present Contest before the Lapse of four more revolving years, and Sir, permit me as a warm friend to your administration to Express a hope that your Excellency will not Suffer a peace to be made with that haughty and Domineering nation (the Brittish) and their murderous allies the Savages. unless we first obtain full and ample compensation for the multiplied Wrongs, that this highly favored but much Injured country have Suffered, for a number of years past, not wishing to dictate to yr. Excellency my own Sentiment but I believe the Sentiment of the Greatest number of the Citizens, of the West we could be content to lend our Support to the present administration untill Such times as the Brittish Government Compleatly revoke her orders in Council, Relinquish the Right she pretends she has, to Scorch the Vessels of Neutral Nations thereby impressing our Brave Seamen. Make Such compensation as our Government may deem Sufficient for the Insults and Injuries already received and for a further Security for the Peace and Happiness of our frontier Citizens the Intire Abandonment of at least upper Canady. I am Happy to Inform your Excellency that the State of Kintucky have furnished her Quota of men & also have provided & forwarded a Sufficient Quantity of Cloathing for her Brave Sons & have no doubt in their patriotism of furnishing more men & Cloathing when they are Called on.
            Shall Esteem it as a particular favour If yr. Excellency will allow yr. Secty. to Drop me a line for our Encouragement.
                                                With Sentiments of profound
                                                            Respect I am Sir
                                                            Jno. Armstrong

Letter From BN Hallowell to Montgomery

His Majesty's Ship Malta, in Alicante Bay
October 26, 1812

I find upon inquiry that there is on board the Indefatigable transport, the man mentioned in your letter of the 23d. As there is no objection to a foreigner going in the station of mariner, on board a vessel of that description, and as he has signed articles of agreement to serve on board the Indefatigable, I shall not molest him while he continues in her: but the moment he gets his discharge, I shall deem it my duty to take hold of him, and put him in confinement, as a prisoner of war.

I have the honor to be, &c.
BN. Hallowell

Courtesy of Library of Congress

The Border War


CAMP, BUFFALO, (N.E. end of Lake Erie)
OCT. 26.-We are making preparations for another descent on Canada, though there is an armistice existing on the river between the lakes. We have nearly 2000 men, and depend upon it, we shall be in Canada by the middle of November!


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-November 27, 1812.

Letter from William Henry Harrison to William Eustis

Head Quarters Franklinton
26th Octr 1812

Brigadier Generals Perkins and Beall of the detachment under the Command of Genl Wadsworth arrived here last Evening. I learn from them that the directions which were given by Gov. Meiggs for opening a road from a point near Mansfield to lower Sandusky has not been executed. Genl beall was in the Execution of this order and was stopped by General Wadsworth the order was reiterated by the Governor and again counter- manded by Gen Wadsworth. His singular motives for doing this are explained in the enclosed extract of his letter to me received last Evening. I have repeatedly been informed that the road which was laid out in July last from Sandusky to the Miami Rapids would prove a very good one when pro- perly opened I now find from General Beall who was one of the Commiss- ioners that it will not be passable for Waggons after the autumnal rains unless it is causewayed for fifteen Miles. This intelligence is extreme- ly embarrassing and leave me only a choice of difficulties. There can however be no doubt that the swamp may easily [be] passed after it becomes Frozen, but this cannot be calculated upon as Genl Perkins informs me before the first of January. There is however a possibility of using the beach of the lake from Sandusky to the Miami bay. It is so important that I should correctly understand every thing which relates to the San- dusky route that I have determined to proceed thither immediately. I have the Honor to enclose you a letter from Major Genl. Hopkins explaining his situation and prospects. I also enclose a letter from Mr. Johnson containing a similar account of the Conduct of the Miamis with that formerly forwarded from Mr Stickney. I believe that a majority of Chiefs are desiruous to remaining Neutral and two or three of them are no doubt our friends, but the hostile disposition of the greater part of the Tribe cannot be doubted. Their declining to send in Hostages after having positively engated to do it has been occasioned by their being relieved from the fears of General Hopkins's Army, which they informed William Conner had returned from Fort Harrison. It remains for the Pre- sident to say what shall be done with the Miamis. I should be pleased to save a few of the Chiefs but the base ingratitude with which the greater part of the Tribe have conducted themselves towards us merits in my opinion the severest Chastisement. And in my opinion every motion of justice and policy demands its infliction. The Honbl. Mr McKee and I believe Colo. R. M. Johnson was present at my agreement with the Miami Chiefs upon the subject of the Hostages. Colo Johnson will also inform you that the proofs of their Hostility was so decided that a Council of War at Fort Wayne unanimously advised that they should be considered as Enemies. The Gentlemen who recorded the proceedings of the Council has never put them into my hands and he is at present with the left Wing of the Army. Nothing can be more easy than to surprise the Miami Town of Mississiniway with Mounted Men. I have engaged Colo. McArthur to under- take it if it is not considered a violation of his parole. Indeed the force of the Expedition would principally be composed of those who served in Gen Hulls army if they are authorised to undertake it. It must be observed that the Miamis have never joined the British and their Hostility has been confined to our Territory.
I am sorry to inform you of the failure of another Expedition of the Ohio Mounted Men. Colonel Trimble whom as I informed you was sent to surprise the White Pigeons Town on the head warers of the St Josephs of the lake was abandoned at Fort Wayne by nearly half of his command and was prevented from accomplishing his object with the ballance by the Treachery of one Guide and the Cowardice of the other. He destroyed however two small villages and would have killed and taken the Inhabitants but they were intentionally alarmed by one of the Guides. I have not yet received Col. Trimbles official report. The determination of the Presid- ent with respect to the Miamis will I hope meet me at Upper Sandusky on my return from the lake, The Conduct of Manarys Company of Rangers has been such as to destroy all confidence in it. I would have arrested him and his officers if I were not in hopes that the President would direct the whole Company to be disbanded. There certainly could be companies raised of that description that would be emenently useful but to be so the officers must be selected in a different manner from what they have been. Both the Companies raised in this state and that in Kentucky are entirely worthless because the officers are deficient in every quality which is necessary for their stations. Perry is a fool, a Coward and a Drunkard, Manary a poor old imbecil Creature and Gov Scott assured me that his Captain was as bad a one as could have been selected. The Companies have been uniformly recruited amongst their friends and neighbours and it is the principal object of the officers to screen them from duty. Amongst the Volunteers there are officers of tried Merit and with a little attention Men might be procured of the like Character. Genl Wadsworths whole command amounts to about 1000 Men, he is him- self a Major General and he has two Brigadiers in service also. The old Gentleman I believe full of Zeal but his age and infirmities under him unequal to the fatigue of a Winter Campaign. I believe he thinks him- self called into service by your. But I am persuaded that he has mis- understood your instructions.
I have the Honor to be &c. Wm Henry Harrison

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society


Update from the Army, Henry Dearborn to James Madison, October 24, 1812

Dearborn H.
Greenbush Octobr 24th 1812
            The Secretary of war has undoubtedly informed you of the unfortunate event at Niagara. It undoubtedly originated with two or three indiscreet ardent spirits, whose political and personal feelings could not brook the Idea of having any share of the honour of an effective movement attached to those officers and men that were more immediately under the direction of the U.S. But Genl Van Renssellaer did not, I presume, partake of those feelings, he was pressed into the premature measure by being deceived into a belief that the Militia Generally were so eager for the measure, that unless he consented, they would all leave him; several officers of the regular Troops that happened to be near, were induced to volunteer their services, probably from an apprehention that they might suffer in reputation by declining, but that he should have countenanced such a premature and extraordinery measure, is not easey to account for, especially after having been fully informed by me, of the strength of the force destined for his command, and of the object contemplated, and having been reminded of the expediency of consulting the principle officers, on the time & points of attack, and that it would be necessary to be prepared if possible for crossing with 5000 men at once, with artillery &c. instead of being so prepared, only 13 boats out of from 80 to go, were collected at the point of crossing, and instead of being prepared to act in concert with Genl Smith & the main body of the Troops which were at Buffalo, the attempt was made with from 800 to 1000 men, with boats sufficient for transporting not more than 500 men, at once. GenVan Renssellaer having intimated a desire to be relieved from his command, I have directed him to give the command over to Brigadr Genl Smyth, and I have authorized Genl Smyth to take upon himself the command, and I have been explisit in my directions to him, I have proposed his giving Col Parker the command of a Brigade; ever effort in my power has been made for sending on reinforcements, and Military stores, and I do not yet dispair of some effective movements, boith at Niagara, and towards Montreal, but from some strange fatality, I have not been able to obtain the necessary supply of market cartridges and have been compelled to the necessity of sending powder & lead to be made up by the respective Regts. I have not deemed it practicable to leave this place without exposing the service to such imbarrasments as would probably much more than ballance any services I could contemplate at any one point – and until the respective commands are defined, and within such limits, as to enable each commander to actually superintend tend and direct in person, whatever relates to his command, we must expect misfortunes and disappointments. I have not been insensable of the difficulties & imbarrasments that we must unavoidable encounter at the commencement of a war, especially an offencive war, but we shall ultimately overcome all difficulties and shew the world that altho’ we make a clumsey begining, we are nevertheless capable of prosecuting a war with rigour & effect. perhaps it is best, all things considered, that we should find it difficult to commence war, we might otherwise be too ready to ingage in wars.
                        with the highest respect
                          I am Sir your Humbl Servt
                                    H. Dearborn 


The Britle Bits Trade: Abijah Peck to James Madison, October 23, 1812

Warwick. Orange County NY Ocr 23 1812
            I am aware of the novelty if not the impropriety of an obscure individual adressing you. But the deep interest that I have in the line of conduct that goverment will follow after Congress shall meet must plead an excuse. I have in the course of last Spring & Summer went into manufacturing of common bridle bits to considerable extent with but a very small Capital and succeeded finely with it till the great influx of English bits arrived this faul I have now returned from a Jounrey to New York & Philadelphia where I have sold to great disadvantage a pretty large quantity. I hope the Goverment will conduct so as to make the English Merchant regreat that he has shipped so many goods and I hope you will make the American Merchant wear a longer face than at present. Why Sir the English Government nor the English Merchant had not an idea that the partial repeal of the Orders in Council would have the least effect on the Nonimporation Act – in fact they knew that War had commenced before the repeal of the Orders in Council would be known or why did they give licences nor does it make any difference when they know that War actually exists. If Goverment do not put a stop to the importation of English goods – I shall be obliged to abandon my infant Manufactory and I think it will be the case with a number of others within my knowledge. In about thirty or forty days I shall be Oblidged to raise about five Hundred dollars by selling bits to a loss – after that I can keep the business going on till the English bits is out of Market if Goverment will now make it the Interest of the Merchant not to import any more. I think they do not ought to ask any lenity from the Goverment for they make use of every exertion in their Power to embarass them. They are too inimical to every kind of impovment in our own manufactories. I offered to sell some to a hardware Merchant in Newbury he said “No I won’t encourage that D—n Democratic Spirit” “well but what will you do if you can’t get English goods” “Why I will give up the business and follow something else.” The Merchants are generally more prudent than he was but act upon nearly the same principle. If English goods could be kept out of Market one year longer I should have got so far improved that with the double duty I could under sell them. I am informed by [Fadlers] that there is not an instance where they have bridles made of English bits and of mine but the Farmer will give mine the preferance at the same price. I cannot give my bits so good a finish as the English but every other way they have a preferance. I hope Sir that you will not be terified by the clamour let loose upon you by Newspapers. They certainly do not convey the sentiments of the People. There is not one to Hundred of Mr Clintons friends that will argue in favor of his Election. They dislike the company that they are oblidge to keep so much if they do it. I know they extreemly regret of ever putting him in nomination and I beleive will almost to [Man] dessert him if he persists in his claim to the Presidency. I Sir have never been able to discover that wavering in your conduct that has been attributed to you by your enemies and can therefore subscribe
myself Sincerely
your Friend
                                                                        Abijah Peck

From R.G. Beasley To E. Cooke

Wimpole Street
October 23, 1812

I have now the honor to repeat to you what I stated in conversation this morning, that the persons for whose return to the United States I requested the necessary passports, are, for the most part, American masters and mariners; that some of them, in consequence of the loss of their vessels abroad, have come here on their way to America; that other of them, having been employed in British orders in council, and others, through all the casualties to which this class of men is always exposed, are left without the means of conveyance. None of these persons have been, in anyway, engaged in hostilities against Great Britain. They are almost wholly destitute, and, for some time, have been chiefly supported at the expense of the United States. There are also, I believe, some American merchants and supercargoes, who are anxious of availing themselves of the same opportunity of returning to their country.
You are, I presume, aware, that the American Government has afforded every facility to the departure of those British subjects in the United States who were under similar circumstances with the persons included in my request.
With regard to the ship William and Eliza, in which these persons are to embark, I beg to observe, that I am well assured by those who have charge of her, that there is no impediment to her departure.
I am, &c.
R.G. Beasley

Courtesy of Library of Congress

From R.G. Beasley To Secretary of State

October 23, 1812

"I have informed you that I had addressed Lord Castlereagh on the subject of our citizens who have been impressed, and are now held in the British naval service.  I demanded their release, and complained of the treatment which some had received on offering to give themselves up as prisoners, or refusing to serve when they heard of the war. In reply, I have received a short note from Mr. Cooke, one of the under secretaries, stating that he was instructed to require of me the names of the men who had received the treatment complained of, and the vessels in which they were, which I immediately furnished, and urged a reply to the other part of my letter. In an interview I have since had with Mr. Cooke, I took occasion to remind hi of it, when he intimated that the Government did not intend to answer me on that point; adding, that England was fighting the battles of the world; we had chosen to go to war, and so aid the great enemy, and that England had as much right to recruit her army and navy, in every possible manner, as France." 

Courtesy of Library of Congress

War in the North West

War in the North West.
The Canandaigua Messenger (Extra) of the 10th Oct. advises, that the brave sailors who had just arrived on the lines, with other volunteers, were immediately put on board a number of boats at Buffalo, and succeeded in capturing the brig Adams, and sch. Caledonia, from under Fort Erie; they were taken to Black Rock, and there run aground. During the operation, the fort opposite Black Rock, kept up a heavy cannonading on the vessels, in which Maj. Cuyler and two of the volunteers were killed, and seven others wounded. The writer, in closing his account of this affair, says, the British continue an incessant firing.

Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-October 23, 1812


From the office of the Military Monitor

Thursday afternoon.
Oct. 22, 1812.

Extract of a letter from an officer in the army, to the editor, dated Camp at Greenbush, Oct. 23, 1812.

   "Enclosed is an Extra Gazette with the partial particulars of the battle of Queenston, the remaining particulars will I expect be received on to-morrow and I shall endeavour to forward them in time for your next paper.
   "Among the prisoners taken by the enemy are lieut. col. Fenwick of the flying artillery (thrice wounded). lt. col. Scott of the 2d reg U.S. artillery, lt. col. Chrystie of the 13th infantry, and maj. Mullany of the 23d infantry.
   "Capt. Gibson of the flying artillery is either dead or a prisoner. The enemy had nearly thrice our force; upwards of 60 officers are either killed or taken.
   "The battle would have terminated in our favour had the militia been up in support of their invading brethren in arms.
   "Our loss in killed, wounded and prisoners is about 800. Never was there a greater effort of valour by Americans.
   "'Tis said that col. Chrystie, with 300 infantry drove, at the point of the bayonet, several miles, between 500 and 600 British of the Egyptian regiment (the 42d.)
   "All our men were raw and inexperienced, and the victory is such that the enemy will weep over - BROCK is certainly dead.
   "Two hundred of the flying artillery will march on Thursday (22d Oct.) and we expect that the remainder of the regiment that is here (300 in number) will march in a very short time for Niagara; you may rely every information in my power shall be collected and forwarded for your paper, which is highly esteemed here."

Published in the Maryland Gazette - October 29, 1812

"To describe the malignity & virulence with which party rages in this... State would require the pen of Thucydides," David Howell to James Madison, October 22, 1812

Providence 22d October 1812.
            To assure you of the steady & persevering adherence of Governor Fenner & all his Friends, who are more than ninetenths of the Republicans in this State, to your person & Administration, I have enclosed The Providence Patriot of October 17th instnat containing resolutions passed at a Republican Convention of Delegates from all the Towns in this County.
            These Resolutions were written by Governor Fenner & presented to the meeting in his own hand writing as the Chairman has informed me – for I was not present: but at Boston on publick business.
            The depression of our party here could not have been effected by Embargoes, nor by restrictive regulations of Commerce, however grievously felt in this little commercial State, without the aid of a Faction, or Schism among ourselves, which, openly, & in a printed circular Letter dispersed throughout the State, denounced Governor Fenner; by which means and by their own corrupt practices, the adverse Party Succeeded, by a very lean majority in May 1811.
            We consider these Schismaticks, tho’ few in number, more bitter enemies to our Cause than Federalists. The Clintonian Schism of N. York, fatal as the Trojan Horse, threatens a like Catastrophe to the United States. Our faction stands on tiptoe, eager to join Clinton, hoping thus to gain the ascendency over us at Washington, of which they despair during the continuance of pure Republicanism in the U.S. Cabinet. For Several years past they have openly & contumaciously refused to accord with the proceedings of our General Republican Convention – and, it is said, they have Some organ, though which they labour to thwart our nominations at Washington. One of their number hath lately been to New York – spent some time there & returned here a Clintonian Agent!
            To describe the malignity & virulence with which party rages in this Town, & State, would require the pen of Thucydides, which painted the plague, at Athens, in the time of the Peloponnesion War.
            My very dear & only Son will have the Honor to deliver you this Letter: and to present you with my highest respects. I have the Honor to remain, Sir, your assured Friend and obedient Servant.
                        David Howell

Letter from William Henry Harrison to William Eustis

Head Quarters Franklinton
22nd Octr 1812

Every exertion has been made since I last wrote to you to procure and forward the supplies for the Army to the advanced posts. Very little has however been purchased for the Commissarys Department as Major Denny had engaged every Manufactoring Mill from the Sciota to Pittsburg having dispatched an order for that purpose as soon as he received your first order for the 1098000 Rations Under these circumstances I thought it ad- visable to suffer him to go on to procure the w hole quantity which you had ordered and have instructed him accordingly. I have not heard from the Virginia Troops since they left the Ohio but have heard from pretty good authority that they were to march on Sunday last. I set out this morning for Mansfield when I expect to meet the Brigade from Pennsylvania and the greater part of the artillery Gov. Meiggs informs me that there are no Artillerists in Genl. Wadsworths Division who have any practical knowledge of their duty. One or two Companies have been formed but they never had a field Piece until a few Weeks ago. I regret exceedingly that a Detachment from one of the Regular Regiments cannot be spared for this army.
A report has prevailed in this Country that a number of Indians and British Troops had been landed at Sandusky eight or ten days ago. I learn that it has been the cause of General Wadsworths advancing from the Port- age to the Huron River with all his force. I am persuaded however that the report is entirely unfounded.
I am not able to fix any period for the advance of the Troops to Detroit. It is pretty evident that it cannot be done upon proper princi- ples until the Frost shall become so severe as to enable us to use the Rivers and the margin of the lake for the transportation of the Baggage and artillery upon the ice. To get them forward through a swampy Wilder- ness of near two hundred miles in Waggons or on Pack Horses which are to carry their own provisions is absolutely impossible. The Enclosed extract of a letter just received from the Commissary Piatt will give you some Idea of the State of the road and the difficulty of getting provisions even to Defiance but that route of reaching Detroit can be accomplished by using the Margins of the Lake as above mentioned. If the Troops are provided with warm Clothing and the Winter such as commonly are in this Climate. It is certain however that no species of supplies are calculated upon being found in the Michigan Territory. The farms upon the river Reisin which might have afforded a quantity of forage are nearly all broken up and distroyed. This article then as well as the provisions for the Men is to be taken from this stated circumstance which must at once put to rest every Idea for a land Conveyance at this season since it would at least require two Waggons with Forage for each one that is loaded with provisions and other articles. I am informed that from eight to ten thousand Bushels of Corn may be obtained at Cleveland and a few thousand between that place and Sandusky. My present plan is to occupy Sandusky accumulate at that place as much provision and forage as possible to be taken from thence upon Sleds to the River Reisin. At Defiance, Fort Jennings and St Marys Boats and Sleds are preparing to take advantage of a rise of Water or a fall of Snow. Genl. Tupper with one thousand Ohio Militia is advancing to McArthurs Block House 44 miles from Urbanna upon Hulls Trace to cover the provisions which the Commissary is deposit- ing there and which by the Middle of November will amount to 200,000 rations, he has also directions to prepare Sleds for taking it forward. It has been my object to Keep as many of the Troops as possible within the 41st degree to save the provisions purchased by the Commissaries which are intended for the army the Troops when they shall advance. But Not withstanding my urgent demands the Contractors have done little or nothing towards the Deposits which I have required to be made at McArthurs and Jennings's Block House (upon the Auglaize) and at the latter place the two Regiments there are subsisting upon the Commissaries Stores. Major White has let out his contract for the North Western part of the state at so low a rate that the sub Contractors are unable to furnish the supplies, and one at least of them is as great a Scoundrel as the world can produce, indeed I am very far from being satisfied with Major White himself He will it is said make $100,000 by the Contract from this state and I am very well persuaded that he had rather see the Army starve than that his profits should be lessened five hundred dollars. He merits no indulgence from the Government and he has certainly forfeited the penalty of his bond.
The Troops at Fort Defiance to the Miami Rapids in a few days, I do not believe however that any great advantage would arise from it until the other Columns are ready to support them & it would be productive of the certain disadvantages of consuming provisions forwarded with immense labour and expense without essentially contributing to the Main design. I Know of no arrangements which could be better calculated to protect the Frontiers and support each other than that where the several corps of the army at present form Depredations by small parties of Indians may and will be made but it is impossible that any considerable body can advance against the settlements without being in danger of being inter- cepted in their retreat. I am persuaded that the Indians have done less Mischief upon the Frontier since the Declaration of war than they did in the same length of time preceding it. It was suggested to me a few days ago by a member of Congress that the possession of Detroit by the Enemy would probably be the most effectual bar to the attainment of peace, if this was really the case I would undertake to recover it with a Detach- ment of the Army at any time. A few hundred Pack Horses with a drove of Beeves (without artillery and heavy Baggage) would subsist the 1500 or 2000 Men which I would select for the purpose until the residue of the army could arrive. But having in View offensive operations from Detroit, an advance of this sort would be premature and ultimately disadvantageous. I have the Honor to enclose you Genl. Tuppers report to me which himself or his Friends have very improperly caused to be printed in a hand Bill. Since I began to write this letter I have received information that the Troops from Pittsburg had not set out from thence on Sunday last and of course they cannot be expected at Mansfield for four or five days yet. I shall therefore remain here which is much more convenient for superintending the Tuppers than any place further in advance until Monday of Tuesday next. I have not received certain information of the Virginia Troops crossing the Ohio. Capt Adams is not at Cincinnati, as soon as he arrives a return of all the Troops shall be forwarded
I have the Honor to be &c Willm Henry Harrison

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society


John George Jackson to James Madison, October 21, 1812, Updates from the Northwest Army

Franklinton October 21st 1812
Dear Sir,
            I arrived at this place a few days since with a small party of my friends from Clarksburg to join the Northwestern army destined to Detroit; & cooperate with them as a corps of mounted Riflemen. On our arrival we found Govr Meigs here: Genl Harrison returned from Chelicothe on Monday, I communicated to them our wishes & expectations namely that we were anxious to be actively employed in the service of our Country, & we expected to be furnished with forage & rations on public accounts as it was impossible for us to supply ourselves. On finding that Genl Harrison was vested exclusively with authority in relation to the ulterior operations of the army my application was made conformable to that state of things, & I had the pleasure to learn from the General that he would employ us, altho the laws made no provision for any such case. In reply to his intimation that he had no authority to engage any compensation to the party, I stated that altho some of them might expect & wish it I would obviate any difficulty on that score by assuming upon myself the responsibility of paying them. I am anxious therefore to hear from you how far I may expect an indemnity for the expence I shall thereby incur as it may be necessary for me to discharge some of them if my pecuniary resources are incommensurate to it. For myself I neither wish, nor will accept any compensation whatever. Having long been convinced of the justice & necessity of the war, & determined to participate in it if my strength enabled me, I shall find in the consciousness of having aided its success with my best exertions, an adequate reward. General Harrison intends setting out for Mansfield on the waters of Muskingon tomorrow, I shall follow him in a few days, & would accompany him were I not prevented by an arrangement made with some of my friends to meet with them at Urbanna which I expected would be in the [road] to Genl Harrison’s head quarters. I have sent on today for them to join me here & on their arrival will pursue the route of the Genl. Your letters undercover to him will reach me with most expedition & safety. The interest I take in the success of his campaign has led me to make the most minute enquiries in relation to his force; supplies &c &c. I find that there are at Fort Defiance under Genl Winchester about 1800 effective men. On their way from Urbanna to Fort McArthur under Genl Tupper about 1000 men marching by Chelicothe on to this place 1500 Virginians under Genl Leftwich – and about 1300 Pennsylvanians on their march from Pittsburg to Mansfield; & exclusive of these about men principally Cavalry. for these the supplies of all kinds coming on are unquestionably ample, including a fine train of artillery. but on enquiry I find that the Genl has no artillerists & but one Officer qualified for the command or capable of teaching them. This is an obvious defect which should be remedied: otherwise the Artillery are worse than useless, for it is a fact that among the militia Officers not one in not on in an hundred knows how to load a Cannon, much less the art of annoying the enemy or protecting our Army with them. Among my associates is a Capt. Dairsson who commands an artillery company of Militia & altho he is a fine intelligent Officer he knows nothing of the practical use of cannon; and I hazard little when I express my belief that few if any of them know more. It seems to me of the utmost importance that proper Officers be sent on without delay. & as many of them are doubtless at your disposal they can join the army before it reaches Detroit. I know my dear Sir you will excuse the freedom of my remarks because you know the sincerity with which they are communicated. Previous to my departure from home I resigned the Office of Commissioner to ascertain the boundary line of the Virginia Military reservation with which I had been entrusted by the Executive of Virginia, as it is, I regret that I ever accepted the appointment or solicited the delay of commencing that business which you were pleased to grant. Offer my affectionate regard to Mrs Madison tell her that I left Mrs Jackson & little Mary in good health at Marietta, & that when the war is over I will bring them to see her.
                                    Dr Sir yours truly
                                                J G Jackson

From R.G. Beasley To E. Cooke

Wimpole Street
October 21, 1812

Agreeably to the request contained in your letter of the 19th instant, I now transmit to you a list of impressed American seamen on board British ships of war, who, having heard of the war, offered to give themselves up as prisoners, and for doing, or for refusing to do service, have been punished.
I beg you to remind Lord Castlereagh, that the other part of my letter of the 12th instant, requesting the release of the American seamen detained in the British service, is still unanswered.
I am, sir, &c.

R. G. Beasley

The list referred to in the preceding letter, states the cases of the following persons:
John Ballard, on board the Zenobia, offered himself a prisoner, refused, and was put in irons for one night.
John Davis, on board the Thistle, gave himself up as a prisoner, and refused further service, for which he was flogged.
Ephraim Covell, on board La Hogue, gave himself up as a prisoner, and refused further service, in consequence of which he was kept seven days in irons.
John Hosman, on board La Hogue, gave himself up as a prisoner, and refused further service; was put in irons, still kept therein, and was threatened by the commander with further punishment.
Russell Brainard, on board La Hogue, gave himself up as a prisoner, was put in irons, and still kept therein.
Thomas W. Marshall, Peter Lazette, Edward Whittle Banks, and Levi Younger, on board the Royal William, gave themselves up as prisoners, and were in consequence thereof put into close confinement for eight days.

Courtesy of Library of Congress

From John Borlase Warren to Mr. Mitchell

October 21, 1812

I had the honor to receive your letter and its enclosures, relating to Thomas Dunn, and get leave to inform you, that it appears the said man is married in England, has been eight years in His Majesty's service, and received a pension from Government; under these circumstances, and the man never having made any application for his discharge from prison, he continues on board the Statira.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
John Borlase Warren

Courtesy of Library of Congress

News from Montreal

Oct. 21.

   On the morning of the 10th inst., a company of Voyageurs, consisting of 45 men, were surprised at St. Regis and taken prisoners, after having 3 killed, 4 wounded, and 7 escaping. The company was commanded by capt. McDonnell, and among the killed was ensign Rotte.
   Upwards of 400 American prisoners taken at Queenston, have arrived here.

Published in the Maryland Gazette - November 19, 1812.


Washington City

Washington City
Tuesday, October 20. 

     We have noe news since our last from the North-Western Army under the command of Gen. Harrison. 

     The Legislatures of the states of Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut, are now in session.
To the District Attornies of the United States.
                Treasury Department,             
Comptrollen’s office      
Oct. 16, 1812.

     Sir – As cases may arise in which the claims of public and private armed vessels of the United States to vessels which they capture, may be adverse to the claims of the United States to the same vessels, under the non-importation act, it is deemed proper to submit to you the viaws taken at this department of the government of such conflicting claims. 

     How far trade of every description on the part of citizens of the United States with the enemy is, by the general law of war independetly of any statutes of our own, absolutely prohibited; and how far all vessels with their cargoes belonging to citizens of the United States, and coming from a port of the enemy, on a trading voyage, since the declaration of war, are, by the same general law, liable to capture by vessels of the United States having commissions of war, and to condemnation as lawful prize of war; are questions not material to the purport of this letter. For, allowing to both affirmative answers, the effect of such answers is, it is conceived, controlled by the actual state of the country under its own statutes. 

     Every vessel now arriving in a port of the United States, in violation of the non-importation act, is, by the positive, prior, and existing municipal regulations of that act, forfeitable to the use of the United States and certain of their officers of revenue embraced within its provisions. This, therefore, it is apprehended, supervenes the general law of war in its application to every vessel so arriving, and intercepts, by its paramount authority, the right of capture otherwise vested in the national or armed vessles, and which, but for such paramount authority, they might have been at liberty, in the abstract, beneficially to exert. The act of Congress of the 6th of July, 1812, “to prohibit American vessels from proceeding to or trading with the enemies of the United States, and for other purposes,” makes no change in this operative character of the non-importation act. 

     To every vessel, therefore, arriving in any port of the United States, in breach of any of the prohibitory or penal clauses now in force of this act, you will be pleased to assert the claim of the United States for forfeiture, as soon as a seizure can be made; and this whether the arrival be voluntary, or whether it be the case of a bringing or sending in on capture by any of the public ships or privateers, the claim of the United States applying equally to captured or seized property under this predicament, and whether it be British or American. It is not perceived that the supposed claim of the captors can, either in law or equity, supercede that of the United States. Not in law, for the fifth section of the act has this provision, “that whenever any article or articles, the importation of which is prohibited by this act, shall be put on board of any ship or vessel, boat, raft, or carriage, with intention of importing the same into the United States, or territories thereof, all such articles, as well as all other articles on board the same ship or vessel, boat, raft, or carriage, belonging to the owner of such prohibited articles, shall be forfeited; and the owner thereof shall moreover forfeit and pay treble the value of such articles.” Thus it appears, that the forfeiture to the use of the United States attaced and may be considered as having had its inception prior to the capture. Not in equity, for the instumentality of the public ship or privateer in aid of the execution of the act, was merely gratuitous and not necessary to secure its enforcement. The claims of the United States and of the captors being wholly adverse, the libels on the part of the former must embrace all vessels circumstanced as above, with every species of property on board. With the courts will rest the final decision on the contending claims. 

     I have the honor to be, 
                With great respect,
                     Your ob’t servant

                                RICHARD RUSH

Published in the National Intelligencer - October 20, 1812.