News of the US: Week Three of March 1812

By Mary Bowden, Researcher, UT Bound Newspaper Archive

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Mathew Carey's 1811 Map of the U.S., Florida inset courtesy of the David Rumsey Online Historical Map Collection

March 18: In the House of Representatives — “On a motion of Mr. Dowson, the House resolved itself into a committee of the whole, Mr. Bassett in the chair, on the bill for the admission of the state of Louisiana (now Orleans territory) into the Union, and for extending the laws of the U. States to the same.” There was no decision. —National Intelligencer, March 19, 1812

March 18: From Charleston — Amelia Island was taken “without opposition, on Wednesday the 18th, by the Spanish revolutionists, conjointly with the United States troops.” —Charleston City Gazette, March 27, 1812

March 19: From the Georgia Journal, describing traffic on the road through the Creek nation to Fort Stoddart –“You will be correctly informed of the current of travelling on the post road through this agency, by the following account of carriages and persons who passed here going westwardly, from the 16th of October to the 16th inst. 120 Waggons, 80 Carts, 30 Chairs, 3 Four wheel carriages, 3,726 persons.” —National Intelligencer, April 11, 1812

March 19 [a Thursday]: From Springfield, Mass –“The Editors of the Centinel, Gazette, Palladium, Repertory & Messenger are informed, that not one of their papers have arrived at the Post office in Springfield of later date than Friday last. . . . If the error is with the Editors of those papers we are confident it will speedily be remedied–if with any post-master between this and Boston, pains ought to be taken to ascertain whether it be intentional or not. This is not the first time that, on the eve of an election, a similar irregularity has taken place.” —Boston Weekly Messenger, March 27, 1812

March 20: Letter from St. Mary’s –“The United States’ troops are now in possession of the Island of Amelia; the country of East Florida in possession of the patriots; and the town of Augustine and the Garrison in possession of the soldiers of Ferdinand the 7th. The Governor of that place is determined to hold out to the last extremity.” —National Intelligencer, April 22, 1812

March 21: From St. Louis, March 21 — “Since Christmas last, the following murders have been committed by the Indians in this country: two persons near the mines on the Mississippi, nine in the district of Saint-Charles, within the settlements, supposed to be killed by the Kickapoos, one man at Fort Madison, on the 3d inst. by the Winebagoes.” —Maryland Gazette, April 23, 1812

March 21: From St. Louis — “The ravages of the Earthquake on the west bank of the Mississippi are described as having been very destructive, completely impeding all travelling in some cases.” —National Intelligencer, April 11, 1812

March 22: “It has been reported that a body of American and Spanish revolutionists have taken possession of Amelia Island . . “ on March 22 “the American flag was flying on that place—the island being in possession of the revolutionists and Georgians, and that the United States gun-boats had orders to protect them in their possession.” —Columbian Centinel, April 8, 1812

March 23: “A Convention of the Citizens of Boston was held in Fanuiel-Hall, on Monday, the 23d March . . . .Resolved, That the Federalists of this Metropolis, and its vicinity, regard with indignation and contempt the credulity and ignorance of a British Governor who could believe in the possibility of a disposition in the Federalists of the Eastern States to loop up to England or to enter into a connexion with a Foreign Power under any circumstances for the purpose of effecting a Separation of the Union.” —New York Spectator, April 1, 1812

March 24: “The bill to abolish the punishment of death in Pennsylvania, was, on its second reading in Senate, recommended to the early attention of the next Legislature, yeas 23, nays 7.” —National Intelligencer, March 24, 1812

March 25: In the House of Representatives — “Mr. Milnor submitted the following resolution: ‘Resolved, That the Attorney General of the United States be directed to examine and report to this House whether the penal code of the United States requires any and if any what alterations, amendments and additions, to render the same less sanguinary and more efficient.'” —National Intelligencer, March 28, 1812

About the Author

Mary Bowden is a researcher working at the Texas Collections Deposit Library at the University of Texas. A little-known but invaluable treasure of U.S. history and the history of American journalism is archived in the collection of bound United States’ Newspapers at the University of Texas at Austin. The collection began more than a century ago and has been stored in recent years in the Texas Collections Deposit Library on the campus of the University of Texas. The sizeable archive is currently in the early stages of being digitized before being moved to a more climate-controlled environment at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus of the University, on the north side of Austin.