Fort Meigs

The express who carries the mail to and from Fort Meigs, approached near enough to the fort on the 30th April, to hear an incessant firing of cannon and small arms, but returned without reaching the fort, and before the firing ceased. A letter from Washington says-“A steady onset continued till noon, May 3, when our express came away-issue unknown.”


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-May 14, 1813.


Blockading Squadron

Blockading Squadron.

The late Philadelphia papers give the following articles, on the subject of the British blockade of the Delaware and Chesapeake:
“The blockading squadron in the Delaware, have sent up to Bombay Hook three schooners and two barges, which intercept every thing bound up and down the bay. On Sunday they burnt an oyster boat, and another vessel laden with clay.
“A letter from Elkton (Chesapeake) dated the 11th mentions that all was bustle there in consequence of the appearance up the bay of a British squadron. The directors of the Bank had a meeting, and agreed to move the specie of the bank to Eancaster. Goods and other valuables were removing to the country.
“The inhabitants of French-Town were also busy in removing their effects. The shores on both sides were lined with people in arms.”


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-April 30, 1813.



Baltimore, April 29

Baltimore, April 29.

Yesterday about 600 of the enemy in barges took possession of SPECUCI Island near the head of the Chesapeake-at the time of their landing there were a number of persons (it is supposed nearly 100) on this Island, where they had gone to fish-two of them escaped to the shore of Harford county and brought the above intelligence.

We hear from Kent county in this State, that two persons were taken up a few days since on suspicion of having supplied some of the enemy’s ships with provisions-they were sent under guard to General Chambers, at Chestertown, where they were recognized by three British deserters, who declared that they had supplied the vessels from which they had deserted, with provisions.-The names of the persons arrested are not mentioned in the letter giving the above information.

April 30.

It is stated on the authority of some of the passengers in the Philadelphia Stage, that 9 or 10 of the enemy’s Barges yesterday proceeded up Elk River to French Town, where they burnt 2 (some say 4) of the Packets, and one or two Warehouses. A more particular account is expected in the course of to day.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette-May 7, 1813.



(The Capital of Upper Canada) taken.

Extract of a letter from Major Gen. Lewis, to the Post Master at Utica, dated
Niagara, April 29, 1813-Sir, our troops from the harbour arrived at Little-York at sun rise on the morning of the 27th, where after a sharp conflict, we Succeeded in carrying the place and all the out works. We lost by the explosion of a mine several men, and unfortunately Gen. Pike among the number. Sheafe made his escape with what regulars he had left.

Yours, &c.



Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-May 14, 1813.


John Armstrong to William Henry Harrison

28th April 1813 War Dept.


I did propose doing myself the honor of writing to you at some length -- but as the post hour presses, I am constrained to refer you to the copy of a letter written to B. Gen Cass as containing some portions of the views intended for you.

I beg you to accept the assurance of my great respect. John Armstrong

Major Gen. Harrison.


Worthington, April 28

Worthington, April 28.

A skirmish took place some days since, on the Lake, between a small party of Gen. Harrison’s men, and an equal number of Indians. They were in skiffs on the water, for what purpose we have not learned. Our men were victorious: The Urbanna paper says, the enemy had 8 men killed; and our party 2.


Extract of a letter to the editor of the Democratic Press, dated “Sackett’s Harbor, 30th April.

“Detachments are arriving here daily from different directions. It is expected that on the return of the fleet from York we shall pay the enemy a visit at Kingston. It is understood they are in a high state of preparation and have about 3000 troops.

The large frigate at this place had her keel laid five weeks since and is now planked up and will I think be launched in five weeks. One hundred of the brave crew of the Constitution arrived here yesterday for that ship. It is believed she will be an over-march for the whole British force on the Lakes. General Chandler, commanding at this place, is a fine, firm, zealous old gentleman. Col. Macomb of the third artillery is here, Lieut. Col. Miller the hero of Brownstown has just arrived and is to command the 6th regiment. Colonel Dennis and his detachment arrived here yesterday.”


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-May 21, 1813.

The following is from a distinguished Officer, who was present in the Expedition

The following is from a distinguished Officer, who was present in the Expedition.


DEAR SIR-After having been delayed several days by adverse winds, we arrived here yesterday morning at sunrise. We commenced landing our troops at eight o’clock, A.M. under very unfavorable circumstances. A very high wind which continued to increase all day, prevented our armed vessels for some time from gaining proper positions for covering our landing as effectually as they otherwise would have done; and the same unfavorable wind prevented our boats reaching the shore at the place intended, and compelled our troops to land where the bank was covered with woods, in which Gen. Sheaffe had collected his whole force of regulars, militia and Indians, amounting to about 750 or 800 total; but our troops, with great coolness, sustained as heavy fire from the Indians and others from the time they approached within gunshot of the shore until they landed and mounted the bank, where a very sharp contest was kept up about half an hour. In the mean time other troops were landed and the enemy were compelled to give way and retreat through the woods to their works. As soon as the whole of the troops were landed and formed, under the immediate command of Gen. Pike, they marched through a thick wood about half a mile to the open ground, annoyed by the Indians as they moved. 

On reaching the open ground, they advanced and carried a battery by assault, and were advancing towards the principal works, in open column, when a tremendous explosion took place, of an immense magazine prepared for the purpose, which threw into the air such a quantity of stones as almost covered the buildings and ground for from sixty to eighty rods in all directions; but it had been so contrived as to discharge much the greatest portion of stones in the direction our column was advancing. It made very considerable havoc in our columns; and what is to be more especially lamented, is the death of brigadier-general Pike, occasioned by a severe confusion by a stone: he survived the wound but a few hours. His loss will be severely felt-he was a most excellent officer. Gen. Sheaffe had taken measures for going off with what regulars he had left previous to the explosion. He left the town and militia to make the best terms they could. They are in our possession.

A large ship of war, nearly planked up, and all the naval stores, were set on fire before our troops had advanced far enough to prevent it. A capitulation was agreed on, surrendering the militia as prisoners of war, and the whole of the public property not destroyed.

Com. Chauncey’s armed vessels had an active share in annoying their works; they kept up a very heavy cannonade on their batteries, until they were taken or blown up. The commodore is one of the best men in the world, and peculiarly suited to the command that has been confided to him.

P.S. The enemy set fire to their magazine too soon; they destroyed many of their own men.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-May 14, 1813.


Capture of York

Capture of York.

Copies of letters from Major General Dearborn, to the Secretary at War.

Head Quarters, York, Capital of Upper Canada, April 27th, 1813,

8 o’clock P.M.

SIR,-We are in full possession of this place after sharp conflict, in which we lost some brave officers and soldiers.

General Sheaffe commanded the British troops, militia and Indians in person.

We shall be prepared to sail for the next object of the expedition the first favorable wind.

I have to lament the loss of the brave and active Brigadier General Pike.

I am with the heist respect, &c.



Secretary of the Navy, Washington.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-May 21, 1813.


Copies of letters from Commodore Chauncey, to the Secretary of the Navy

Copies of letters from Commodore Chauncey, to the Secretary of the Navy.

U.S. Ship Madison, at anchor off York, 8 o’clock, P.M. 27th April, 1813.
SIR-I have the satisfaction to inform you that the American flag is flying upon the fort at York. The town capitulated this afternoon at 4 o’clock. Brigadier General Pike was killed.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant.

Hon. William Jones,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-May 21, 1813.

From the National Intelligencer



Copies of letters from Major General Dearborn, to the Secretary at War.

Head-Quarters, York, Captial of Upper Canada, April 27th, 1813-8 o’clock, P.M.
SIR-We are in full possession of this place after a sharp contest, in which we lost some brave officers and soldiers.
Gen. Sheaffe commanded the British troops, militia and Indians, in person.
We shall be prepared to sail for the next object of the expedition the first favorable wind.
I have to lament the loss of the brave and active brigadier general Pike.
I am, with the highest respect, &c.


The Hon. Gen. John Armstrong,
Sec’y at War, Washington.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-May 21, 1813.



Letters from Comm. Chauncey, to the Secretary of the Navy

Copies of letters from Comm. CHAUNCEY, to the Secretary of the Navy.

U.S. ship Madison, at anchor off York, 8 o’clock P.M. 26th April, 1813.
SIR-I have the satisfaction to inform you that the American flag is flying upon the fort at York. The town capitulated this afternoon at 4 o’clock.-Brigadier General Pike was killed.

I have the honor to be, &c.

Secretary of the Navy, Washington.


Possession taken of Mobile.

Issued by General Wilkinson on the debarkation of the troops at I’Ance Mouville.

To the Inhabitants of the Town of MOBILE.
Be not alarmed by appearances, but rest tranquil within your dwellings, and take no part in the scenes which may ensue the display of the American standard in your vicinity.
I visit you under the order of the President, to enforce the laws of the United States and give effect to the civil institutions of the Mississippi Territory.
The public faith is pledged for the protection of your persons and property; and those which may be disposed to retire from the place or from the country, will be permitted to depart in safety, with their goods and chattels.
Done at Camp near the town of Mobile, April the twelfth, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and thirteen.



Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-May 21, 1813. 



Letter from Andrew Jackson to John Armstrong

April 24th 1813

     I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 10th instant covering a copy of yours to me of the 22nd of March last the original of which has not yet come to hand. This I exceedingly regret--the difficulties I experienced in procuring means of conveyance for my sick--forage for the cattle and horses that carried and drew them would have been much aleviated, and what was still equally desirable, the heart burnings occasioned by the apparent neglect of the Government towards this detachment, and impressions, that they were intended by that neglect to be reduced by want to enlist into the armies of the United States. The number of officers of the regular army ordered up to my encampment for this purpose, all combined to embitter their minds, all of which would have been prevented by the receipt if your letter of the 22nd of March last. However the promulgation of your letters of the 10th of April and 22nd of March, received by last fridays mail will do away those impressions and convince them if they were for a short time neglected by the agents of Government they were not forgotten. I reached Columbia on the evening of the 19th instant and finding from advices which I received from Major Hynes, my aid de camp, (whom I had sent on to Nashville and there rejoined me) that there were no orders for payment. On the 20th. I halted and discharged the second Regiment of Infantry and part of the first--On the 22d. I reached this place and discharged the residue of the first Regt. with the Guards, and on this day agreeably to my order the Regiment of Cavalry are to be mustered out of Service (at the clover bottom nine miles distant from this place) and discharged. On the discharge of the Infantry I obtained their pledge that if Goverment ordered and I gave the call they would rally again under the Eagles of their country and march to any point required. I shall on the discharge of the Cavalry hold them bound to rendezvous at any point that may be ordered. I have no doubt but the Infantry, should Goverment order, can be again brought speedily into the field. I could have marched them on to Malden without a halt had a received your orders before they were discharged. I could have reached Malden, being well supplied, in thirty days, with sixteen hundred effective men, as well disciplined as any troops in the United States. This may not be credited--from the shortness of the time and a water voyage of 800 miles--but nevertheless is it true. Industry, with the capacity of my Major of Brigade has introduced this discipline into the detachment. We had taken the field raw and undisciplined with the intention to fight the Battles of our country and experience had taught me to know that without discipline, courage alone would not do. My own reputation, the reputation of the detachment and the benefit of the service required that discipline and subordination should be introduced, or disgrace and defeat would be the consequence--hence all our exertions and industry was bent to that object and we succeeded.
    I am happy to find that the expence of the return march will be paid. I found some difficulty in procureing funds to meet the expence, but your order has relieved me, and the Quarter Master of this Department has as far as he has had the funds applied them. You will find that oeconomy has been strictly attended to, and the expence of the Cavalry on their return march has not come up from the sum due from the Assistant Deputy Quarter Master of the Mississippi Terrritory, and Pr his due Bills for Forage, not issued to the Cavalry on returns made to him, which he refused to furnish in kind or pay for when I was about to march notwithstanding he had compleat returns, for the whole forage ration, and the Regimental Quarter Master of Cavalry held his due Bills for the quantity not delivered.
      I have the pleasure to inform you I have the whole of my detachment on except six sick men I was obliged to leave on the way and their attendants--Those have recovered and are on their way.
      I am Sir with due respect yr most obdt Svt.

                                                                                   Andrew Jackson


Accounts from Annapolis

Accounts from Annapolis, of April 10th, says, that the citizens are kept in a state of alarm and apprehension; that the enemy appear every day in the river and completely obstruct its navigation; the force assigned for this purpose, is 7 sail, two of the largest of which are 20 gun brigs, and the other smaller vessels; that the American armed vessels in the harbor, are seven sail of privateers and letters of marquee, who are drawn up in a line between the forts and in every respect prepared to meet the enemy who are hourly expected.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-April 23, 1813.

The War in Virginia

The War in Virginia.

The British cruisers are passing up all the branches of the Chesapeake, landing on the plantations, taking the cattle, &c. They capture all the vessels and craft they can reach.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-April 23, 1813.

Federal opposition to the War

Federal opposition to the War.

We are told that federal opposition has been the cause of our defeats on the frontiers, by discouraging enlistments, withholding the conscript militia, and in various other ways. But no one could expect success without preparation, and this the federalists have been disposed to make for two or three years past. They have attempted to fortify our ports, increase the navy, and provide ample means for defence; but the democrats said no-keeping in view the sentiment of Mr. Jefferson, in his inaugural message, that is was unwise “to accumulate treasure for wars to happen we know not when, and which might not, perhaps, happen, but from the temptations offered by that treasure.”-And so they plunged us into a war without preparation, and what could we expect but defeat? However, it is believed that federalists have in all cases done their duty, and when they have had an opportunity, have done honour to their country. With one or two exceptions, there has not been a victory gained, or a battle well fought, by sea or land, since the commencement of this war, where the commanding officer was not a federalist. And yet the ill success attendant on ill concerted measure is to be charged to federal opposition.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-April 23, 1813.


Boston, April 21

Boston, April 21.


On Sunday last about 120 of the brave few of the Constitution set off from Charlestown, in large coaches with four horses, for Sacket’s Harbor. These sailors will infuse skill and confidence into the navigators of the lakes. There they will act over again the conquest of the Guerriere and the Java. Yesterday morning several more carriages started off with more sailors for the same place. We must approve transporting our seamen to the interior in carriages for a sailor does not know how to walk like a soldier; the former makes lee-way while the latter marches straight on.-Pat


Published in the Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette-May 7, 1813.



New-York, April 20

New York, April 20.

A Narrow Escape-The sch’r. Spencer, Captain Moss, of Philadelphia, arrived here this morning in 39 days from Bayonne. A few hours after leaving that port, she was chased by several British frigates, and escaped by superior sailing. Yesterday, on entering the Capes of the Delaware, she was chased by the Squadron consisting of a 74, a frigate and several smaller vessels. She immediately tacked and stood for this port; and the squadron pursued her as far as Egg Harbor. In the night, she passed a 74; and this morning, on entering the Hock, she was fired upon from the fort, under the apprehension that she was a British tender, and a 32 b. ball passed through her main sail. Having thus literally run the gauntlet, and escaped every hazard, she has brought her valuable cargo safely into port.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette-May 7, 1813.

Boston, April 20

Boston, April 20.


On Thursday afternoon Commodore RODGERS got under way and saluted the town as he passed by it down the harbor amidst the huzzas of a large concourse of people whose hearts go with him, his fine corps of officers and excellent crew. Few officers court popularity less than Com. Rodgers, yet few have entertained more of it than this accomplished commander. If he be not a consummate naval officer, the people of Boston have formed a wrong opinion of him. His officers down to the youngest midshipman have acquired the respect of the inhabitants by the propriety of their behavior-and the sober and orderly conduct of his crew when ashore, has given a new idea of men-of war men. When we speak of his officers and crew, we mean of his squadron in the harbor of Boston without confining our commendations to the ship President.

Captain Smith is an highly meritorious officer, and commands a ship and crew that do honor to him and to our country. It was particularly observed of the Congress that she got under way in a most masterly manner. Her sails were displayed with the rapidity of the scenery of a theatre which excited a burst of applause from the spectators.

May health and success attend the officers of the squadron and the highly disciplined crew, in their resolution of enforcing the doctrine of “Free trade and no impressments.”

The President and Congress yesterday in the Roads. The wind was directly ahead; consequently they could not proceed to sea if they were so disputed. It is said that two British frigates were in sight the first part of the day, but we feel satisfied they were not.



Published in the Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette-May 7, 1813.  


The War


Easton, April 20.

The Queen’s Town Packet was captured on Friday last by two barges from the British squadron up the Bay, between North Point and the Fort-the Capt. and some for the passengers made their escape in the boat; the rest, among whom were some women and children, were detained all night near the Admiral’s ship-in the morning they were put on board an old sloop and allowed to proceed home, detaining the Packet, and property to the amount of between 3 and 4000 dollars, principally belonging to Mr. Meredith and Mr. Bromwell of this town.

The squadrons have been during the past week, literally spread on our shores, while their small vessels have entered several rivers, but without effecting a landing on the main, being opposed at all points by infantry and cavalry, whose determined valor they seem loth to test.  Sharp’s Island has been invaded now about a week, and a partial supply of water and provisions have fallen into the hands of the captors. Tilghman’s and Poplar Islands are also in their power, and out of the protection of the militia. From those prisoners whom they have released, it is understood they intend making their rendezvous on those Islands so long as they furnish supplies. The cause will sufficiently apologize to our readers the effect it has on our columns this morning-this may not occur again during the pleasure of British Admirals.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette-May 7, 1813.


John Armstrong to William Henry Harrison

War Department

18 April 1813.


Enclosed is an order recalling Brigadier General McArthur to the discharge of the duties to which he had been specially assigned by this Department.

Letters from Fort Meigs of the 9th. instant have been received from Major Stoddard. The enemies parties besetting the approaches to the fort have been small, and might have been chastised had the detachment sent in pursuit of them been larger. When your whole force is collected, it would be desirable that Colo. Proctor should make an attempt to dislodge or to ihvest you. He can neither bring into the field, nor keep in it -- more than two thousand effectives. The regular force sent to him from the Niagara, and arriving after his defeat of General Winchester, did not exceed the number he lost in that affair. His field train consists of six or eight six pounders.

I am Sir, with great respect, your most obedient servant

J. Armstrong

Major General Harrison



Lexington, K. April 17

Lexington, K. April 17.


It gives us great pleasure to understand that the regiment of mounted volunteers, authorized to be raised in this state, and commanded by Richard M. Johnson, Esq. will probably be ready for marching orders in a few weeks.-The spirit of the western people remains unbroken and they feel more determined, since the slaughter of our friends at the river Raisin, to do everything for the cause in which we are involved. The service of a mounted force suits the habits, temper and genius of the people of Kentucky, and the celerity of movement for which it is remarkable, gives it a decided advantage in operations against Indians alone, or when combined with the British. It is indeed certain, that without a considerable mounted force, a defeat of any part of the savages cannot be improved to advantage, but will be merely nominal.

In a crisis like the present, it becomes the duty of every freeman to turn his attention towards the study of military science, and more particularly those whose situation in life gives them command of their time. The success of our arms depends much upon military discipline and subordination, and, with that, no nation on earth had better materials for an army than the U.States. The reason is obvious. Our soldiers are citizens and freemen, intelligent, and inspired with the seal, the honor, and noble sentiments of officers. They are well acquainted with the cause for which they are fighting; and the freedom they enjoy fortifies the mind for deeds of valor and heroism, as is witnessed in the splendid naval victories which have so far exceeded the most sanguine expectations of the most confident and zealous.



Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-May 14, 1813.


Compulsory service of impressed Americans on board British ships of war

No. 4

I, Beekman Verplanck Hoffman, of the town of Poughkeepsie, do certify, that I am a lieutenant in the United States' Navy; that I was a lieutenant on board the Constitution frigate in the action and capture of the Guerriere; that, after her surrender, I was sent on board; and after taking out the crew, fired and blew up the ship; that eight impressed American seamen were among the crew of the Guerriere, who were liberated at Boston. I was also on board the Constitution, in the action and capture of the Java, and was sent on board that vessel, and after the crew were removed, set her on fire and blew her up. Amongst the crew of the Java, thirteen impressed American seamen were found, three of whom had entered the British service, and were left, the other ten were liberated as Americans.

B. V. Hoffman
Poughkeepsie, April 16, 1813

Dutchess County, ss.

Richard Thompson, being sworn, saith, that he is a native of New Paltz, opposite Poughkeepsie; that he sailed from Wilmington, about the 28th of April, 1810, on board the brig Warren, William Kelly, captain, for Cork. On the homeward passage, in September following, he was impressed and taken on board the Peacock, a British sloop of war, and compelled to do duty. That, while on board that vessel, he made many unsuccessful attempts to write to his friends, to inform them of his situation. He further saith, that, after he had heard of the war, himself and two other impressed American seamen, who were on board the Peacock, went aft to the captain, and claimed to be considered as American prisoners of war, and refused to do duty any longer. They were ordered off the quarter deck, and the captain called for the master-at-arms, and ordered us to be put in irons; we were then kept in irons about twenty-four hours, when we were taken out, brought to the gangway, stripped of our clothes, tied and whipped, each one dozen and a half lashes, and put to duty.
He further saith, that he was kept on board the Peacock, and did duty, till the action with the Hornet; after the Hornet hoisted American colors, he and the other in went to the Captain of the Peacock, asked to be sent below, said it was an American ship, and that they did not wish to fight against their country. The Captain ordered us to our quarters; called midshipman Stone to do his duty; and if we did not do our duty, to blow our brains out. "Ay, ay!" was answered by Stone, who then held a pistol at my head, and ordered us to our places. We then continued at our pieces, and were compelled to fight till the Peacock struck: and we were liberated after an impressment of about two years and eight months.


Poughkeepsie, April 17,1813
Read over and signed in presence of
Joseph Harris, John S. Frear

Dutchess County, ss.
James Tompkins, being sworn, saith, that he is a native of Ulster county, opposite Poughkeepsie; that he sailed out of New York , in the month of April, 1812, in the Ship Minerva, bound to Ireland; that, on her homeward bound passage, in July after, this deponent, with three other American seamen, Samuel Davis, William Young, and John Brown, were impressed and taken on board the British ship Acteon, David Smith, Captain.  We were taken on Saturday evening; on Monday morning we were brought to the gangway, and informed that we must enter on board the ship and live as other seamen, or we should live on oatmeal and water and receive five dozen lashes.  This deponent says, himself and the other three impressed with him, did refuse to enter, and each of them were then whipped five dozen lashes.  On Wednesday following, we were again all brought up and had the same offer made to us, to enter, which we refused, and we were again whipped four dozen lashes, each.  On Saturday after, the like offer was made to us, and on our refusal we were again whipped three dozen lashes. On Monday following, still refusing to enter, we were again whipped two dozen, each. On Wednesday following, we were again whipped one dozen each , and ordered to be taken below, and put in irons till we did enter; and the Captain said he would punish the damned Yankee rascals till they did enter. We were then put in irons, and laid in irons three months. During the time of our impressment the ship had an action, and captured a French ship. Before this action we were taken out of irons and asked to fight, but we refused; and after the action we were again ironed, where we remained till the ship arrived at London. After arriving there we first heard of the war with America, and that the Guerriere was taken.  This deponent took his shirt, and Samuel Davis and William Young took their handkerchiefs, made stripes and stars for the American colors, and hung it over a gun, and gave three cheers for the victory. The next norming at six o'clock we were brought up and whipped, two dozen lashes each, for huzzaing for the Yankee flag. Shortly after this, we were all released by the assistance of the American Consul and Captain Hall, who knew us.
This deponent further saith, that all had protections, and showed them, and claimed to be Americans, at the time they were impressed.

James Tompkins.

Sworn before me this 17th day of April, 1813; at which time the said James Tompkins showed me his wrists, which, at his request, I examined, and there appeared to be marks on both of them, occasioned, as I suppose, from his having been in irons.

WM. W. Bogardus, Justice of the Peace.

No. 5.
Violation of Flags of Truce.
Montreal Prison, May 6, 1813

I am an unfortunate American, who was taken by the Indians, on my way to Malden, with a flag of truce, from General Harrison, on the night of the 31st of January, and after a variety of indignities, too tedious to mention, I was brought here, and put in the dungeon for thirty-three days, and have been up on the centre floor a week. I wish to see you, if possible, and have your advice, &c. &c.

In haste, yours, &c.
Saml. M'Keehan,
Surgeon's Mate, 2d Reg. 2d Brig. Ohio Militia

Lieutenant Dudley

Courtesy of Library of Congress

From the Secretary of State to John Borlase Warren

April 16, 1813

"It appears by your letter (of the 8th of March from Bermuda) that five only of the seamen that were taken on board the Nautilus and sent to England, in confinement have been returned.  No account is given of the sixth. Orders have been issued for the release of ten of the twelve men, who, on the principle of retaliation, were confined by Commodore Rodgers at Boston.  You will be sensible that it will be impossible, on that principle, to discharge the other two men until the sixth American seaman is returned, or such an explanation given of the cause of his detention, as, according to the circumstances of the case, regarding the conduct of the British Government towards American seamen under similar circumstances, ought to be satisfactory."

Courtesy of Library of Congress

Philadelphia, April 9

PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 9.-Three of the British armed boats are said to have been as high up the Delaware as Bombay Hook on Tuesday last, and from the best observation of those who saw them, they were taking the soundings of the Western Channel. On Wednesday last the gun boasts left New Castle for Bombay Hook.  


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-April 16, 1813.

Extract of a letter from the Post-Master in Philadelphia to the Post-Master in New-York

Extract of a letter from the Post-Master in Philadelphia to the Post-Master in New-York, dated

SUNDAY, 2 o’clock, P.M.
The following is a copy of the note on the Wilmington bill to this office:-

Copy of the Note.
“Lewistown is free from the British cannon, after 22 hours incessant attack with 18 and 32lb. balls-only a few houses were injured. The enemy made an attempt to land, but gave up their design and left their stations, and anchored on the outer side of the Light-House. It was supposed to be their design to destroy the light, or procure water from a pond one quarter of a mile from the shore. The militia went down to oppose their landing on the 8th inst.”


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-April 16, 1813.

The War

The War.

The following article from the Baltimore Whig, plainly tells us what we are fighting for, and what we must gain before we cease fighting. Let our republican yeomanry count the cost. Are they willing to exchange their treasure, their sons, their own blood for such useless objects? We will venture to answer for them in the negative. They would as soon barter their farms acre for acre for lands in the moon.

“It would be strange, I had almost said monstrous, if in a just war, the constituted authorities who are to conduct it, should not combine all the force at their disposal. The losses we have sustained, in time, blood and treasure, ought to be retrieved by redoubled diligence, increased zeal, and an augmented army; for, I assume it to be impossible for America to negociate a peace until the success of her arms shall have brightened her sullied honor; nor then, until all her national rights be acknowledged, nor even then, until we exact from the enemy, complete indemnity and security,-and these, not to be composed of wax, promises, and parchment, but the absolute possession of the Canadas, Nova Scotia, &c.”


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-April 16, 1813.

The Deposition of Caleb Loring

The Deposition of CALEB LORING.          

I reside in Boston. I have been engaged in commerce and navigation between 18 and 19 years. I have employed upon an average, annually, about forty seamen in foreign trade.
I recollect, at present, but one instance of any of my seamen being impressed by the British; in July, 1809, two seamen, belonging to the ship Hugh Johnson, while she was lying at Palermo, were taken from her by a British brig of war; I do not know their names-one of these men was an Englishman, the other was an American.- When the British officer boarded the ship, Capt. Eames, who was the master of her, said to them, that if they were determined to take any, as he found they were, they must take that man, and pointed at the same time to the Englishman abovementioned, and told the officer that the man was an Englishman. The officer, however, took the American. I do not know whether either of these two men had protect tions; but Capt. Eames told the officer, that he had known the American from a boy. We have always been very careful to select American seamen for our vessels, and such as had protections. I cannot undertake to say, whether these two men were shipped in Boston; for the vessel went to City Point, on James River, Virginia, and there had to make up her crew, on account of some having left the vessel, according to the best of my recollection. I do not know whether any application was ever made for the discharge of the man impressed as above, nor whether he has been discharged or not.*  I do not personally know of any American impressed from any other vessel belonging to the town where I reside, other than the case above mentioned.
The number of men employed on an average, including large and small vessels, in foreign trade, is about six for every hundred tons of shipping.
In saying as above, that we have always been very careful to employ American seamen, I mean to be understood that we have carefully avoided employing Englishmen; we have employed Danes and Swedes, and of other nations.
I have never had any men impressed or taken by any other nation, except when my vessels have been taken, which has been by the French as well as English.


Suffolk, ss. Feb. 15th, 1813.

Sworn to before

*This is the only American, impressed from the employ of either of the gentl-men examined by the committee, who has not returned-En.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-April 16, 1813.


Prisoner exchange

April 15, 1813
Saturday the American Consul was informed by the government, that no cartels would be permitted to leave this country for the U. States until further orders; and we learn, that in consequence of this determination, a vessel which was on the point of sailing with passengers and prisoners has been stopped. This departure from the lenient system upon which ministers have hitherto acted, is said to have been occasioned by the receipt of intelligence from Sir J.B. Warren, that the exchange of British subjects naturalized in the United States had been peremptorily demanded by the American government under a menace of detaining all the British prisoners that might fall into their hands. To this demand Sir J.B. Warren returned a prompt refusal.

Letter from Andrew Hynes to Andrew Jackson

April 15. 1813.

Dear Genl.,
       I was extremely happy in seeing Mr. Armstrong to day, who was the bearer of your Letter of the 9. inst., by which I have learned your rapid advancement towards home. I congratulate you and all those with you on the safety of yr. journey thus far. I hope no difficulties may intervene to prevent your & their speedy arrival and happy meeting with your friends.
      There will be no chance of payment for the Troops, untill Capt. Kingsley gets his instructions from the war office. I transmitted his Letter to me on that subject by the post Rider. Perhaps you have not recd it--I now send you another copy.
      I wrote a subscription Paper to raise money for the employment of Ten waggons immediately after the asst. dep. qr. master said that he could not act, and Mr. Lewis carried it round town and almost every body subscribed to it. There are near one hundred & fifty subscribers. It will be a small portion to each man to pay. Mr. Woods went out to Columbia & sent them on with the provisions in them under the care of Mr. Compton. I hope they have reached Tennessee River in proper time.
     Colo. Coffee has ordered his Calvalry to Rendesvous at Clover Bottom on the 24. instant.
     I have seen Mr Grundy since my return--He regrets that there should be any imputations of misconduct alledged to him about the discharge of the Volunteers. He asserts that their discharge was determined  on by the Cabinet and the order issued several days before he knew it--that application was immediately made to Mr. Monro by a note addressed to him by Mr Grundy to know the causes of their recall. Mr. G. has permitted me to take a copy of this note which I will submit to you when we meet.
    I hope you may be blessed with health--comfort & as little trouble as is possible, untill you reach Home. Yr. friend
                                                                                             A. Hynes

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers


Letter to James Madison re: defenses for the city of Baltimore

April 13, 1813
Letter to James Madison re defenses for the city of Baltimore
Baltimore 13th April 1813
Permit me to introduce to your attention my nephew, Major Isaac Mc Kim aid to General Smith, who goes to Washington for the () purpose of representing to you, the near approach of the (British) Squadron in the Chesapeake, the …condition of our city; and to endeavor if possible to procure from the general government those supplies of money that are deemed essential to its safety – implicit reliance may be placed in the representations Wm. Mc Kim will make you on this subject; and allow me to add that I feel confident that everything in the power of the government, not incompatible with its other duties will be done for the safety of the city of Baltimore. I have the honor to be with the greatest consideration and respect your most obedient servant.
A.      Mc Kim


Extract of a letter, dated "N. Orleans, April 12."

Extract of a letter, dated “N.Orleans, April 12.

“Gen. Wilkinson took command of the town and of Mobile some days ago, without firing a gun. They were absolutely in a state of starvation there previous. There is upwards of two years pay due them by the Spanish government. Wilkinson had liked to have been drowned going over-he was several hours on the keel of the boats.

“It is reported that the post-rider has been murdered by the Creek Indians.”


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-May 28, 1813.


John Armstrong to William Henry Harrison

War Department

11th April 1813.


Your dispatch informing me of your return to Fort Meigs and the motives under which you took [torn] step, has been received. That the indians will be trou [torn] on the frontier is to be expected and that your post [torn] take may invite their approaches of the enemy [torn] is not improbable. These last are no doubt your [torn] and require your attention. The enclosed extract from [torn] received this morning from Canada shews however that Col. Proctor is not in condition to carry on any distant or formidable expedition -- While other advices lead to the belief that the present policy of Sir George Prevost is to hazard his western posts, and in the event of their falling, to occupy Kingston on the right of his line of defense. He has now at that point between six and eight thousand men.
The alarm which has for some time spread itself over the Western territories, and the clashing of authorities within them, has induced the appointment of another Brigadier General, who will be specially charged with the duty of countering and describing[?] their military resources and of commanding such auxiliary force as may be assigned to them. My own opinion is that so long as Malden is menaced, the whole [torn] the enemy will be confined to its defense and that the practices of Dixon among the Western tribes, which have produced so much uneasiness in Illinois tr. have an object very froeign from them.

You have recently and in two instances detached [torn] from duties of the most important kind, so [torn] they had been specially assigned by this Departt. [torn] rendered necessary the adoption of the following [torn] that no general officer commanding a District [torn] United States, of a division of the army, shall on any [torn] take an officer from the discharge of duties to which he has been specially assigned by the War Dept. In one of the cases referred to, a substitute was found -- but in that of General McArthur, the business is entirely suspended and the funds deposited in bank. With regard to this office it ought also to have been recollected, that though declared to be exchanged by an Act of our govern- ment, the validity of the exchange is appugued[?] by the British commander in chief and is now under discussion between him and General Dearborn. In any decision of this question, the recruiting service would be a safe one.

I am sir, with great respect, Your Most Obedient Servant

John Armstrong

Gen. Harrison



Henry Clay to James Taylor

Ashland 10h. Apl. 1813
        I am greatly indebted, my dear Sir, by your obliging favor of the 26h. Ulto. Profiting as you always do by the opportunities which your intercourse with the President & Secretaries affords, its contents were particularly gratifying. 
Our detachment of 1500 men marched from Lexington on the 31st of March, and is hastening on to the relief of Harrison.  Rumours afloat here represent him as besieged, and his situation highly perilous, but I do not think they are in a shape entitling them to credit.  Gen. Green Clay commands the detachment, consisting of two regiments commanded by Dudley and Boswell.
        There is I find on coming home unfortunately a state of the public mind to be much regretted.  There seems to be general dissatisfaction with the conduct of the War, without an accusation agt. of any one in particular.  There discontents will I fear unless removed, ultimately concentrate and fall somewhere with a dreadful concussion.  I do what I can to allay public feeling, and not being able to defend our Washington friends as fully as I could wish in the past, I point to the future and endeavor to place the hopes and attention of the public there.  I pray you, whatever influences you may have, to exert it in realizing these favorable predictions.  Of the importance of the command of the Lakes  they were sufficiently aware, but I apprehend there may have been some omissions as to that great point.  At Pittsburgh I saw a number of artisans who I was told had been there weeks waiting for tools from Philadelphia, or Washington, which could have been as well if not better and cheaper supplied in the borough.  The recruiting officers tell me that never until a few days ago did they receive instructions to use the additional bounty.  Do suggest these things to the Secretaries of the War and Navy Departments and to them only. 
I shall be glad to hear frequently from you.  Yr friend
                                                                                        H. Clay