Friday, October 31, 2014

Near Peoria

Below is a letter about Russel's Indian Expedition.

Camp Russel, October 31st, 1812.

This will inform you, that I arrived at this place, from Vincennes, after general Hopkins had marched his mounted riflemen up to fort Harrison. I took with me, a part of three companies of United States' rangers, where I was joined by governor Edwards, with his mounted riflemen; the whole of our strength amounted to 360 privates. We penetrated very far into the Indian country, with an expectation of co-operating with general Hopkins, who, by appointment, was to meet us at the Peoria, on the Illinois river. In this, we were sadly disappointed, as we could get no intelligence of his army. This prevented us from tiding as much damage to the Indians, as otherwise we could have done. As our numbers were too weak to make any delay in that quarter; as this was farther than any troops had hitherto penetrated, we stole a march upon the celebrated Pimartam's town, situated about 21 miles above Peoria, and immediately at the head of Peoria lake. This was a well built town, and contained a number of Indians; between the town and river, was a
dismal swamp, in which they immediately flew for shelter, returning a few scattering shots. Our men nobly pursued them through the swamp; and also others, as they were crossing the Illinois river. 

Riverbank Near Peoria

The men also pursued them to the opposite bank, and brought back some of their canoes, and several dead bodies — the governor states, to be upwards of 20 killed, of the enemy. This was a flourishing town, with an immense deal of Indian plunder in it, together with a great deal of corn; all of which was committed to the flames. I believe not less than 80 horses fell into our hands belonging to the enemy. Several white persons' scalps were also found among their plunder. I had the immediate command of the battalion, and the superior command was retained by his excellency the governor. On this expedition we were fortunate; we had but 4 men wounded, none of which is mortal. This tour was performed from camp, and back to the same place, in 13 days.

I have the honour to be yours, &c.

Colonel 7th Dist. Comdg.

[To] The Secretary of War.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Treaty And John Quincy Adams


A little sarcasm?:

"WHO has not heard of the triumphant result of the negotiations at Ghent? Who does not know that the glory of the triumph is claimed by John Quincy Adams? He is the intellectual giant who prostrated with ease the sophistry and the arguments the arts schemes and stratagems of a superannuated Admiral and two mere diplomatic machines."

John Quincy Adams diary* entry, October 30, 1814, mentioned the subject of fisheries:
Oct. 30.—...Mr. Gallatin proposes to renew the two articles of the Treaty of Paris of 1783, the stipulation for our right to fish, and dry and cure fish, within the waters of the British jurisdiction, and the right of the British to navigate the Mississippi. To this last article, however, Mr. Clay makes strong objections. He is willing to leave the matter of the fisheries as a nest-egg for another war, but to make the peace without saying anything about it; which, after the notice the British have given us, will be in fact an abandonment of our right. Mr. Clay considers this fishery as an object of trifling amount; and that a renewal of the right of the British to navigate the Mississippi would be giving them a privilege far more important than that we should secure in return.  [Source]

*Available online at the Massachusetts Historical Society website

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Second Regiment Of York Militia


Also see:

Transcripts of Documents of the 2nd Regiment of York Militia 
During the War of 1812 
Taken from 
Library and Archives Canada 
R1022-11-6-E, Upper Canada Militia Records 
Volume 16 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

28 October 1814

From Chronological Tables...:

[1814 October] 28. Six soldiers of the U. States army shot at Plattsburgh for desertion.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Before The War - Governor John Graves Simcoe


John Graves Simcoe (1752 - 1806) was the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.

"He was Upper Canada's first lieutenant-governor and the most effective of all British officials dispatched from London to preside over a pioneer society. Simcoe was denied the opportunity to serve his country in a military capacity and became instead a stubborn, strong-willed autocrat presiding over a forested fiefdom deep in the heart of North America."

"In a letter to Joseph Brant in 1791, the Duke of Northumberland called Simcoe "brave, humane, sensible and honest." These qualities shine forth from the military journal Simcoe kept. About Simcoe's performance as lieutenant governor of Upper Canada there may be divided opinions, but as a military man there can be no doubt at all. His talents were surely wasted during a very tense and trying period of British history."

"...the sovereign's "trusty and well-beloved John Graves Simcoe" accepted the position as lieutenant governor of Upper Canada at a salary of 2000 pounds a year, the appointment to be effective on December 24th, 1791.

Simcoe's Military Journal recounts his service as commander of the Queen's Rangers in the American Revolution. While taking part in the siege of Boston, Simcoe purchased a captaincy. His subsequent promotions were all based on merit.

Per the United States NPS:

"Realizing the tension between the United States and Great Britain would only grow, Simcoe began preparations for war as early as 1794. He supplied Indian allies with weapons, fortified the fleet on the Great Lakes, and established a capital further inland at the Indian settlement of Toronto, renaming it York after King George III’s second son, the Duke of York."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Worthless Mother?

Source - Unknown Ship

"On the 25th of October [1812] off the Western Islands she [The United States commanded by Commodore Decatur] fell in with the [HMS} Macedonian.... ."   "The superiority of the American gunnery in this action was very remarkable both for its greater rapidity and effect."

"The commodore arrived at New York on the 4th of December with his prize."

"....the generous conduct of our heroick seamen has uniformly drawn forth the praise of the enemy; all the private property belonging to the men and officers on board the Macedonian was restored to the captured..." "...their treatment was the most polite and humane."

The carpenter, who was unfortunately killed* in the conflict with the Macedonian, had left three small children to the care of a worthless mother. When the circumstance became known to the brave seamen, they instantly made a contribution amongst themselves to the amount of eight hundred dollars and placed it in safe hands, to be appropriated to the education and maintenance of the unhappy orphans. [Source]

John Archbold, ordinary seaman, Of wounds in action
Thomas Brown, boatswain's mate, In action
John M. Funk, Lieutenant, Of a wound
William Murray, seaman, In action
Henry Shephard, seaman, In action