Sunday, June 30, 2013

Brock Leading The Way

Source of Portrait Of Sir Isaac Brocki

When in our national gallery of the future, miles of canvas attest the progress of Canadian art, no picture will compel more attention than Brock erect in his canoe leading the way to battle at Detroit, or the same gallant captain, shouting while the fatal lead whizzes to his heart: "Push on the brave York Volunteers." 

First Heard Of War On The March

A chapter of the history of the War of 1812 in the Northwest: ...:

The marches [from Cincinnati, through Dayton, Urbana and further north] were easy as a wagon trace had to be opened and block houses as posts had to be built at several points. The army passed through the wilds of Ohio, reaching and crossing the Maumee River at the foot of the rapids in fine health on the 30th of June, and on the 3rd day of July, first heard of the Declaration of War which had been made on the 18th of June.

Insurmountable Invading Difficulty

Travels through Canada, and the United States of North America: in the years 1806, 1807, and 1808:

Besides its [Quebec's] local advantages, it is separated by immense forests and rivers from an invading army of the United States, the only country from which Quebec has any thing to dread while it remains in the hands of the English.

Should a war ever take place between Great Britain and the United States, it is more than probable that the latter would attempt to conquer Canada. Their great object would be to drive us from the American continent, as much as to obtain an equivalent in the event of peace. 

The difficulty of bringing with it a large battering train would, I think, prove insurmountable; and without that all their attempts to get possession of the city must fail, provided the works were well-manned. As long as we retain the capital in our hands the country can never be conquered.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Samuel Clements, Of Crook's Company, Who Saw Brock Fall

From The Irishman in Canada:

"Samuel Clements, eighty years of age, formerly of Crook's Flank Company, who was present at Queenston Heights, who fought under the solemn stars at Lundy's Lane would have made a good central figure for a historical picture as he told, with uplifted finger, how he saw Brock fall." 

Captain J. Crook's flank Co., 1st Lincoln Militia, listed below:


Was he the Samuel Clement(s) who married Martha Porter?  Probably.  

By license, Samuel Clement and Martha Porter, both of ye Township of Niagara, married in Township of Niagara, the 23rd December, 1824. 

If he was the son of James and Catherine (Crysler) Clement, he was also a distant relative of Hugh Clement, who married a member of my Cameron family, and was also related to this family.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Report On Craney Island

Report of the Select committee, in obedience to ... . Virginia (courtesy of Hathi Trust digital library):

"About five miles west of Norfolk, near the mouth of Elizabeth river, and commanding the approach from Hampton Roads to that city, lay CRANEY ISLAND, a small island, nine hundred yards in length and two hundred and thirty-three in width, without a house and with but a single tree (cedar) upon it, and separated from the main land by a narrow inlet, fordable at low or even half tide."

The British force:

The American force:

"The whole force upon that morning, on the island, consisted of two companies of artillery, Capt. Emerson's and Capt. Richardson's, under the command of Maj. Faulkner of the state artillery; Capt. Roberts's company of riflemen and 416 militia infantry of the line, commanded Lieut. Col. Beatty of infantry, assisted by Maj. Andrew Waggoner, also of the infantry."

The defence of Craney Island was regarded during the war, and by all historical writers who undertook to embody the events of that period, as amongst the most striking and important achievements of our arms, there is most abundant evidence to shew.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Salmon Steele's Family

From the Memorial. Genealogy, and ecclesiastical history [of First church, New Britain, Conn.] To which is added an appendix, with explanatory notes, and a full index ...

SALMON STEELE, to church Jan. 26th, 1817, and baptized same time; was son of Ebenezer, jun., and his wife Lucy (Wright,) born April 7th, 1780; was a brass founder by trade, learned of Barton, of Wintonbury; married Nov. 29th, 1803, Nelly Williams, of West Brookfield, Mass., daughter of Samuel, and his wife Nelly (Wright,) born Sept. 12th, 1786. They lived in various localities, raised a large family on small means. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was in the battle of Lundy's Lane. He fell under censure of the church, and, April 12th, 1824, they, after much labor and delay, passed sentence of excommunication. He was a skillful mechanic, with an active and inventive mind. He died June 22d, 1836, aged 55. His widow lives now, 1863, in Almont, Lapeer county, Mich., with her son.

1. Samuel Williams
 2. Mary Darling, married Sept. 1st, 1836, Philip Recor
 3. Ebenezer
4. William Moloneaux, at North Port, Mich.
6. Marinda, died unmarried, aged 25, at Hartford.
7. Jason
8. Emri, married Laura Judd, resides at Imlay, Mich.
9. Martha, married William Wilson, lives in Iowa.
10. Amzi Hart
11. Albert Lewis is a cabinet maker and lives in Almont

United States Census, 1850
Event Place: Coldwater, Branch, Michigan, United States
Household Gender Age Birthplace
William Wilson M 33 Pennsylvania
Martha Wilson F 28 Connecticut
Ellen E Wilson F 7 Connecticut
Sarah A Wilson F 2 Michigan
Mary I Wilson F 2 Michigan
Etellia M Wilson F 0 Michigan
Nella Steel F 64 Massachusetts

In 1860, Nellie Steele was still living in Coldwater, but was with her son, Albert, and his family.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Detroit's Pre-War Stockade


In 1806 the second Indian conspiracy for the destruction of Detroit was hatched. Tecumseh and his brother, the Prophet, encouraged by the British, sowed disaffection amongst the Wyandots and other tribes near Detroit, and in 1807 matters became so threatening that the governor ordered the inhabited portion of the new city to be inclosed with a strong stockade.

The eastern boundary of this stockade was at Brush street and the western was near Cass street. There was a gate at Brush and Atwater streets, and a block house just east of the Biddle House. The western gate was on Jefferson avenue about 100 feet west of Cass street. From The centennial celebration of the evacuation of Detroit by the British

For the purpose of building this stockade it was ordered on August 9, 1807, that fifty officers and men be detailed from the First Regiment and fifty from the Legionary Corps to be marched to the works.  [Source]

Monday, June 24, 2013

England's Opportunity

From the Albert Gallatin biography:

"And there is on record the expression of Lord Sheffield, when he heard of the rupture in 1812, "We have now a complete opportunity of getting rid of that most impolitic treaty of 1794, when Lord Grenville
was so perfectly duped by Jay.""

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Defence Of Craney Island

Note:  The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Craney Island will be commemorated this weekend.

A critique of an historical account from the Virginia Historical Register, in an article entitled The Defence Of Craney Island:

"Mr. Editor, — In looking into Howison's History of Virginia, I have been surprised to see what a slight and incorrect account he has given of the Defence of Craney Island, which I have always regarded as a very brilliant affair, and highly honorable to our State; and I cannot help feeling it to be a duty which I owe to the Commonwealth, and to the memory of a gallant man who has been strangely overlooked by this narrative, to point out its errors and defects."

"Mr. H.'s account is in the following words:" 
" Craney Island lies near the mouth of Elizabeth river, and commands the approach from Hampton Roads to Norfolk, Its defence, therefore, became all important; and Commodore Cassin resolved that it should not be taken without a desperate conflict."

"Now it is really curious to see how many errors, both of omission and commission, Mr. H. has contrived to make in this short passage; and I will briefly indicate them for his correction in his next edition.

1. "Commodore Cassin resolved that it should not be taken without a desperate conflict."  "This implies that Com. C., was the commanding officer on the occasion, and the hero of the day; but the fact is, that General Robert B. Taylor, was the commander-in-chief of the military district in which the island was situated, and of all the land forces within it ; and of course ordered and directed the defence of the position on that day."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

General Thomas Sydney Beckwith

Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Sydney Beckwith (1772 - January 15, 1831); married Mary, eldest daughter of Sir William Douglas, sister to Charles, Marquis of Queensbury; Governor of Bombay.

From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online:

 In January 1813...Beckwith was named an assistant quartermaster general in North America.

Source at Hampton, Virginia

At the same time he was given command of the landing forces in an amphibious operation intended to harry the Chesapeake Bay area and reduce American pressure on the Canadas. The expedition was troubled by a command that was shared among Beckwith and admirals Warren and George Cockburn. Captain Charles James Napier, Beckwith’s second in command, blamed this “republic of commanders” for a failed attack on Craney Island, Va. Napier felt that Beckwith had “wanted neither head, nor heart, nor hand for his business; but he was not free to do what he thought wise, and run sulky when required to do what he deemed silly. . . . He is certainly a very clever fellow, but a very odd fish.” The expedition went to Halifax in September 1813.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Samuel Black Who Kept A Diary

An introduction to The Diary of Captain Samuel Black, War of 1812, published by the Clark County Historical Society’s says he “returned after his tour of duty, hopelessly ill of tuberculosis, and here, on 19 June 1814, he died.”  [see story linked below]

From my blog post entitled Urbana In The Wilderness:
From the Springfield News-Sun, a story that sprung from an 1812 war journal kept by a soldier, Samuel Black. 

More biographical information can be found here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Homage To Agent 13

Not only was General James Wilkinson the U.S. Army's commanding officer, he was also "Agent 13 in service to the Spanish Crown."  

A scholastic work entitled "Agent 13 In The North Country, mentioned that the author "...entered the archives with some previous knowledge of Agent 13’s malfeasance [and was]...astounded by the fact that several of General Wilkinson’s letters of correspondence were among its [the archives's] contents.  An exhibit was designed that highlighted General Wilkinson and his activities in the War of 1812.

More about that colorful character, James Wilkinson can be found here

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cass Papers At The Clements Library

Taken from the University Of Michigan's Clements Library's Finding Aids:

Abstract: "The Lewis Cass papers contain the political and governmental letters and writings of Lewis Cass... . At the outbreak of the War of 1812, he enlisted as a colonel in the 3rd Ohio Infantry under General William Hull."

"War of 1812 items include 16 receipts of payments to soldiers for transporting baggage, a payment of Cass' troops approved by Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, and a report made up of eyewitness accounts of General Hull's surrender at Detroit (September 11, 1812)."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Maine Soldier: Ammi R. Lane



United States Census, 1850
Name: Ammi Lane
Oxford, Oxford, Maine, United States
Birthplace: Maine
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Ammi Lane M 55 Maine
Eliza Lane F 41 Maine
Tenas Lane M 24 Maine
America Lane M 18 Maine
Philena Lane F 14 Maine
Franklin Lane M 7 Maine
Francis A Lane M 5 Maine

Maine, Veterans Cemetery Records, 1676-1918

Death Date: 16 Jun 1863
Birth Date: 07 Mar 1794
Captain Ichabod Reynolds' Co.; Lt. Col. Ryerson's Reg't

Ammi R. Lane wa the son of Francis Lane.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Colonel Joseph Wanton Morrison

Joseph Wanton Morrison - britischer General

From The Gentleman's Magazine:

"Colonel J.W. Morrison, Feb 15, died at sea (1826)...This distinguished officer was born at New York May 4, 1783, and was the only son of John Morrison, esq. at that time Deputy Commissary General in America.  He entered the army in 1793."

"In 1811 he was removed to his former regiment, the 89th, and the following year embarked with the second battalion for Halifax. In the spring of 1813 the battalion proceeded to Upper Canada; and in Nov. of that year, Col. Morrison was entrusted with the command of a corps of observation to follow the movements of the American army under Maj.-Gen. Wilkinson, descending the River St Lawrence, and which having landed on the Canadian territory, below Fort Wellington, a division of that force under Brig.-Gen. Boyd, amounting to between 3 and 4,000 men, was on the 11th defeated by the corps of observation* at Chrystler's Farm, Williamsburgh; and after the action the Americans retired to their shores.
*This corps consisted, according to the official dispatch of Sir George Prevost, of the remains of the 49th regiment, the 2d battalion of the 89th, and three companies of Voltigeurs (comprising in the whole not more than 800 rank and file), with a division of gun boats."

"In July 1814, during the engagement Lundy's Lane near the Falls of Niagara, he was so severely wounded that 1815 he returned with his battalion to England... . "

Friday, June 14, 2013

Captain Lemuel Harvey....

....Of North Yarmouth, Maine:

Source: Remains Of Fort Castine, Castine, Maine

During the War of 1812-14 his [Captain Lemuel Harvey's] vessel was taken by the British near Castine and sent into Halifax. Capt. Harvey, at an opportune moment when the officers were below, fastened the hatchways and regaining control of his vessel with a fair wind carried her safely into Castine. He had lost his hat during the melee and as he entered the port with his hair streaming on the breeze he was greeted with tremendous cheers. The next day, however, Castine was captured, and he, falling again into the hands of the enemy, was taken to Halifax and kept there until an exchange of prisoners at the close of the war brought his release.  Source

See related Enoch Harvey deed.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Gallatin Cipher

Jefferson appointed him [Albert Gallatin] Secretary of the Treasury... . His communications from Europe on public affairs at that time were mostly written in cipher, composed of numbers, of which (copied from one of them in the State Department at Washington) a facsimile is here given from a letter dated at London June 13, 1814.  Each number represents a word or sentence perfectly intelligible to a person with a key.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gunboat Inventory At Quebec, Pre-War

Title: British Military and Naval Records (RG 8, C Series) - DOCUMENTS

Microform: c-2932
Page 23


Return of Six Gun Boats With Their Materials, 
In Charge Of The Quartermaster General's Department At Quebec
Quebec, June 1811

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pre-War Provocation: The 1806 Murder Of Pierce....

...and the case of the Leander::


The murder of [John] Pierce by order of a British naval officer although from the tranquillized and almost paralized state of public feeling it did not excite the same indignation as the massacre of Boston citizens by British troops before the revolutionary war yet it was no less an outrage upon humanity and national dignity than that barbarous deed. Source

Capt. Henry Whitby of the Leander was acquitted.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Major Croghan And Fort Stephenson

There is a Battle of Fort Stephenson scrapbook with letters from the Sandusky County, Ohio.  See Major Croghan's letters here.  [Images of the originals are online]

For additional information, see Frances Hunter's blog post, George Croghan: Tragic Hero of Fort Stephenson, Parts 1 and 2, complete with pictures and maps.


Haudenosaunee And Butler's Rangers


Butler's Rangers from the Real Peoples History site:

These warriors, both Haudenosaunee and Butler’s Rangers, continued a friendship that lasted throughout the War of 1812. Though not officially Butlers Rangers during that period, the ex-rangers of the American Revolution still maintained their friendship and alliances with their Haudenosaunee allies.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cook's Collection

The William C. Cook War of 1812 in the South Collection in the Historic New Orleans Collection "...includes rare books and pamphlets published from ca. 1800 to ca. 2006.  There are government reports, military manuals and histories, travel accounts, memoirs, scholarly monographs, reference works, and printed ephemera relating to the war and related subjects."

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Vote For War

The vote on the Declaration of War in the House of Representatives was on June 5th, 1812. It was as follows :

Source:  "The battle of Plattsburg; a study in and of the war of 1812. To remind our troops of the actions of their brave countrymen.--General Macomb, in his report of the battle of Plattsburg"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

General James Wilkinson

Wilkinson was commissioned as a Major General in the War of 1812.  He was acquitted at a court martial.


18 Nov 1814 court martial
General Wilkinson, ever the ambitious master of intrigue....duplicitous...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bennett C. Riley

An excerpt from My Military History blog:
"In the biography of Bennett may link the legacy of the "old" Rifle Regiment of the War of 1812 with that of the two "Rifle Regiments" of the Mexican War...".
More about Bennett C. Riley from Wikipedia and FindAGrave.  Fort Riley was named after General Bennett C. Riley.

A letter from B. Riley, Lt., U.S. R Reg't, regarding his name being on the Peace Establishment roster and his acceptance of the same, dated June 3, 1815 (from Letters Received By The Office Of The Adjutant General, 1805-1821, NARA as seen at Fold3):

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Gov. George Madison

Gov. George Madison (1763 - 1816)

"His heroic service in the War of 1812 helped propel him to governorship."

From the Kentucky Digital Archive, the George Madison Papers:
"In the War of 1812, Madison won distinction on the field before being wounded and taken prisoner at the Battle of the River Raisin."