Friday, August 31, 2012

The Peter Navarre Chapter Of The Daughters Of 1812

From the Toledo Blade, November 1, 1953, the Daughters of 1812 To Honor Founding Of Peter Navarre Chapter (in 1903).  The article mentioned that Peter Navarre, an American scout during the War of 1812, was born in Detroit of French parents in 1785.  Peter and his brother settled in East Toledo [Ohio] in 1807.  He was a fur trader and a friend of Chief Little Turtle.

Caulk's Field In Kent Co., Maryland

The publication Kent's Part In the War, 1812-1814 presented a 1914 celebration of The Battle of Caulk's Field, which took place on August 31, 1814.

"Of the land battles of the war with Great Britain, 1812-1814, this one was of signal importance upon the result of the Battle of North Point, and the defence of the City of Baltimore, (September 12th, 1814)."

British Officer Sir Peter Parker was killed in the Battle of Caulk's Field.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Poetic Tribute To Sir Peter Parker

From The Poems Of Philip Freneau: poet...

Sir Peter Parker, commander of the British Frigate Meneions [Menelaus], was prominent for a month in the blockading squadron in Chesapeake Bay during the summer of 1814. After the burning of Washington he was ordered down the bay "but Sir Peter said he 'must have a frolic with the yankees before he left them' and on the 30th of August after dancing and drinking they proceeded to the sport and made a circuitous route to surprise Col. Read encamped in Moore's fields not far from Georgetown X Roads on the eastern shore of Maryland. The Colonel was fully apprised of their proceedings. . . . The ground was obstinately contended for nearly an hour when the enemy retreated leaving thirteen killed and three wounded on the field. It is ascertained that they carried off seventeen others among whom was Sir Peter who, with several others, are since dead." —Niles' Register.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Colonel Nicolls' Proclamation

From Jim's blog, Palms-Americana:

During the War of 1812 the British sent Colonel Edward Nicolls to the Apalachicola River region located in Spanish Florida to build a British post. Its purpose was to recruit and train Seminole Indians and runaway slaves he built the fort just 60 miles south of the US territory line. When the British pulled out of Florida at the end of the war they left the fort well equipped with cannons, ammunition, guns and kegs of black powder.
At Pensacola on August 29, 1814, Nicolls issued a widely disseminated proclamation to the people of Louisiana, urging them to join forces with the British and Indian Allies against the American government. 

Note:  The original proclamation can be seen at the Louisiana Digital Library online.
Nicholls exhorts Louisianians to rise up against their "faithless, imbecile government" and assist the British "liberation" effort. The manuscript copy is certified by Governor W. C. C. Claiborne.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Battle Of N.O. 175TH Anniversary Quilt

Was this quilt commemorating the Battle of New Orleans in the now destroyed visitor's center?  I remember seeing it years ago (obviously, that's why we have the picture), but where?

Thinking of New Orleans with Hurricane Isaac coming its way....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pre-War Rhetoric: Playing A New Game With The Americans

From the Illinois River Potawatomi in the War of 1812:

"American apprehensions were well founded.  Main Poc had returned to northern Illinois after visiting Malden; and assisted by White Pigeon, a Potawatomi chief from southern Michigan, he held a council with the Potawatomi and Kickapoo of the Peoria region.  His purpose was to form the scattered villages of Potawatomi and Kickapoo into an effective military force, and he exhorted the warriors to violence, assuring them that he would 'play a new game with the Americans.'"

The Peoria, Illinois, Riverfront

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mother Nature To The Rescue

Washington saved by thunderstorms...

Soon much of Washington, including the Capitol building, the White House, and other federal buildings, was in flames and President James Madison was forced to flee. Only severe thunderstorms saved the entire city from burning to the ground.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Burning Washington, D.C.

From Eyewitness To History: The British Burn Washington, DC, 1814:

"...the city found itself the target of an invading British army slowly making its way from the Chesapeake Bay.
Washington had little strategic value - the thriving port of Baltimore was much more important. However, as capital of the nation, the British hoped that its burning would have a psychological impact on the will of the Americans to continue the conflict."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

British Activity At Green Bay

The preface of the Dickson and Grignon papers--1812-1815, stated that "the following letters [of Robert Dickson and Louis Grignon]...throw much light on the history of what is now Wisconsin, during the war of 1812-15....".  An example of the letters below, this one from Dickson (to John Lawe from Dickson's station at Sandwich [Canada] on August 21, 1813):

Robert Dickson was a British Indian agent for the Western District and Louis Grignon was a fur trader and lieutenant under Robert Dickson in the Indian Department, among other vocations in early Wisconsin.

A more thorough history of the Grignon family here, including Charles A. Grignon, whose mansion is now an historic site.

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Frigate Action

August 19th battle:

The USS Constitution versus The HMS Guerriere 

A blogger commemorated the military action.

Described as the first Frigate Action in the War of 1812.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fort Dearborn Massacre Survivor Cooper Who Settled In Detroit

The story of old Fort Dearborn told of the fate of members of the Cooper family:

"The story of John Cooper, surgeon's mate at Fort Dearborn, was similar in many of its details to that of others in the battle.  Cooper was accompanied by his wife and two young daughters... . Cooper was among the killed, and when the Indians made a rush for the women and children in the wagons, a young Indian boy attempted to carry off Isabella, but encountered so lively a resistance that he was obliged to throw her down.  He succeeded in scalping her and would have killed her outright had not an old squaw prevented him. The squaw, who knew the Cooper family, took Mrs Cooper and her children to her wigwam and cured the girl of her wound. The family remained in captivity two years when they were ransomed. They afterwards lived in Detroit. The mark of the wound on the girl's head caused by the young Indian's scalping knife was about the size of a silver dollar and of course remained with her through her life."

Some names and details have changed according to the EarlyChicago website:

Cooper, Ezekiel  settler who built a house on the N side of the river close to the Forks in 1809; with wife, Mary, had four children: James (1797), Isabella (1800), Anne (1806?), and Frances (1809?); died early in 1811...; later that year, Mary remarried discharged Fort Dearborn soldier Thomas Burns, and gave birth to Catherine...; only Mary, Isabella, and Catherine would survive the 1812 massacre... .
Cooper, Isabella  born in 1800; daughter of Ezekiel and Mary Cooper, stepdaughter to Thomas Burn...later married George Fearson of Detroit, younger brother of Mary Julia Fearson, wife of William Whistler... .

George Fearson was the son of John and Mary Amable Fearson.  There is a marriage listed between George Fearson and Elizabeth Cooper here.

United States Census, 1830
name: George Fearson
event place: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan Territory
page number: 39
nara publication number: M19
nara roll number: 69

George Fearson died in 1846 and Elizabeth (Cooper) Fearson died in 1847 according to records at Ancestry records.

Monday, August 13, 2012

When The Essex Met The Alert

This War of 1812 timeline included the USS Essex vs. HMS Alert (North Atlantic) for August 13, 1812.

...on the 13th of August the Essex fell in with the British sloop of war Alert which engaged her apparently with out perceiving the difference in force. The action lasted only eight minutes. After a few broadsides the Alert surrendered the men deserting their guns in a panic. The sloop had seven feet of water in her hold and three men wounded. The Essex had no injuries or casualties. This was the first capture of a public ship of the enemy made by us during the war.

The capture of the Alert was looked upon by English officers as an accident, a thing of no moment, which was only to precede the extinction of the little American navy.

[Source (Naval history. War of 1812: pamphlet collection)]

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Naval Song About The Battle Of Stonington

From Naval,  By William McCarty:

 THE BATTLE OF STONINGTON An attack upon the town and a small fort of two guns on the sea board of Connecticut by the Ramillies seventy four gun ship commanded by Sir Thomas Hardy the Pactolus thirty eight gun ship Despatch brig of twenty two guns and a razee or bomb-ship.--August, 1814.

This link has a nice little video including a part where the poem is being sung.

This source indicated that the author of the above poem is Philip Freneau (with additional stanzas).

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Commemorating The Battle Of Stonington

From the Stonington Historical Society:

This August marks the 185th anniversary of the Battle of Stonington [written in 1999], the encounter during the War of 1812 when a substantial British naval squadron attacked a small coastal village... . On August 12, 1814, having failed to do whatever it was they intended to do, the British withdrew. ...Still, the story of the battle was trumpeted about the nation, one of the few instances of heroism in a war largely lacking either victories or heroes.
From the first anniversary, August 10 [1815], the second day of the battle, has served as the centerpiece of Stonington's own unique holiday, often celebrated with greater fervor than Independence Day itself.

The New York Times weighed in on the 1883 celebration.

A defender of Stonington featured on this blog.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Consequences Of Colonel Miller's Illness

 A day in General Hull's campaign from Ohio History:

1812, August 10. Col. James Miller [4th U. S. Infantry] becomes ill and the whole detachment returns to Detroit rather than continuing on to relieve Capt. Henry Brush at River Raisin, only 22 miles away.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Battle Of Maguaga

From The War of 1812 Website:

On the afternoon of August 9th the Americans arrived at the Indian [Wyandot] village of Maguaga [now Trenton, Michigan]. The column was surprised and ambushed by Tecumseh who had about 70 warriors with him, 60 Canadian Militia and a detachment of 75 British regulars from the 41st Regiment. This force was under the command of Major Adam Muir. In the confusion of the battle the British mistakenly fired at the Indians on their right flank. Facing heavy American fire power the British were forced to withdraw making their way quickly to the boats they retreated back to Fort Malden.
The battle as described at Wikipedia.

From The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812; Or, Illustrations:

The battle from the Canadian point of view.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Not The City's Finest Hour

The Detroit News published an article entitled "The War of 1812: Bombs over Detroit," that included the following excerpts:

" ...the War of 1812. Detroit played a significant role, and it was not the city's finest hour."

"[Territorial Governor of Michigan] Hull realized he needed to reinforce the military presence at Fort Detroit immediately; Detroit had a mere 94 regular soldiers. He headed for Washington to make his request. It was in Washington that he learned of the government's plan to invade Canada."

The article has much more information, most of it focused on William Hull's pivotal role in the Detroit theatre of war.  There's also "Legacy of the War - place names," including Shelby, Gratiot, Brush, Tecumseh, etc.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Soldier's Life Story

William Fulton's story in a genealogical context.  William was born in 1787 and died in 1874. [I am not related to Mr. Fulton; I simply found his story online.]

WILLIAM FULTON enlisted at Chillicothe, Ohio and served from 14 September 1812 until 14 October 1812 in the War of 1812 as a private in the Ohio Militia, under Captain Henry Brush.  According to his obituary, [he]...was involved in the battle of Thames when Chief Tecumseh was killed.

WILLIAM FULTON was honorably discharged at "Urbanna in the Wilderness" in October 1812.  [He] again served in the War of 1812 from 28 July 1813 until 17 August 1813 as a private in Captain John Eutrican's company of the Ohio Militia.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Forts Nelson And Norfolk

Fort Nelson, Fort Norfolk and the Marine Hospital:

Norfolk in 1813 was covered by Fort Norfolk on the right and Fort Nelson on the left bank of the Elizabeth River. These two feeble works and two small redoubts, called Forts Tar and Barbour, protecting the land approaches, being entirely insufficient for a good defense, Armistead threw up some additional intrenchments on Craney Island... .

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Land Grants For Canadian Officers

Cross posted at my In Deeds blog.

Officers of the British forces in Canada during the war of 1812-15  By Canadian Military Institute, compiled their list of officers through grants of land records.  The book does provide a mini-bio for the soldiers listed.

"The accompanying list of officers, who served during the War of 1812-15, are compiled from the records of the grants of land made in Upper Canada to officers, non-commissioned officers and men who had served in "the first flank Companies, the Provincial Artillery, the Incorporated Regiment, the Corps of Artillery Drivers, the Provincial Dragoons, the Marine and General Staff of the Army," and in Lower Canada, to "the officers and men of the Embodied Militia, discharged troops and others."  All those who participated in the Prince Regent's Bounty, as these land grants were called, are indicated by a star* in front of their respective names."

*An example of those with stars in front of their names

#4: Captain Stephen Jarvis died at Toronto in 1840.  Here is a screen shot showing (partial) results for Stephen Jarvis (who may or may not be the individual found in the book above) named in land petitions in a search for Upper Canada Land Petitions (and here's my tutorial about how to find the actual petition(s)):

Looking for the petition found on item #6 in the results (C-2109, Bundle J10, Petition 34).  The petition started on Image/Page 906 and ended on Image/Page 911 of C-2109. 

Jarvis was used as an example in an effort to connect an individual listed in the book with their land petition(s).  If he was one of my ancestors (he isn't), I would look for all 10 petitions listed under Stephen Jarvis (7 shown in screenshot above).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Queen Charlotte

From "The Battalion":

In August, General Brock would lead his British forces in an attack on Fort Detroit and General Hull’s American Army. They would begin this siege with the help of the provincial Marine. The “Queen Charlotte” (18 Guns, Elting) and the “General Hunter” (10 Guns, Elting) began shelling the fort. The bombardment would fall off through the night and then continue the next day. Fearing for the safety of his Army and the citizens of Detroit, Hull surrendered.