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December 13, 2012

A miraculous rescue

Cooperstown Crier

---- — From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, Dec. 12, 1812

Compiled, with comments



Weather: Utica 1812 Almanack: Now flying clouds & chilly winds.

NOTE: The abbreviated date is 12/12/12. It would be almost a century before we again got a matching date like this! [01/01/01 on January 1, 1901]

Fight with Indians

Franklinton, Nov. 19, 1812. An express arrived here this morning with a dispatch from brigadier-general [Edward W.] Tupper, containing his report to Gen. [William Henry] Harrison, of his late expedition to the Rapids of the Miami, for the purpose of driving off a body of Indians and British, who had assembled there to take off a quantity of corn which remains in the fields of the place.

Gen. Tupper arrived with his command at the rapids, undiscovered by the enemy, in the night of the 13th inst. [Nov.]. He immediately made a disposition for passing the river, and some few of our men got over, but the greater part of them missed the ford, and many of them were in great danger of drowning. They were however rescued by the few horses which Gen. T. had with him, but lost a part of their arms.

As soon as the day appeared, and they were discovered by the enemy, the gun and other boats that were in the river, slipped their cables and escaped down the Lake.

The Indians, however, more brave than their allies, crossed over on horses and made several violent attacks upon our troops. They were received with firmness, driven back and forced to recross the river with considerable loss.

General Tupper finding it impossible to cross the river, and being entirely out of provisions, as the men took nothing with them except what they carried on their backs, was obliged to return. Four were killed on our side, and one wounded. The enemy were seen to carry off many of their dead and wounded in the action on the land, and many more were knocked off their horses in recrossing the river.

The Indians were commanded by the Wyandot chief, Splitlog, who was very conspicuous, being mounted upon a fine white charger. This chief was supposed to be killed or wounded, as another Indian was seen upon his horse at the close of the action.

COMMENT: Brig.Gen. Edward W. Tupper (d. 1823) was the son of Revolutionary General Benjamin Tupper (1738-1792), and had raised a regiment in Ohio to fight in the War of 1812. Thomas Splitlog (Indian name Sou-Neh-Hoo-Way) (1755-1838) was a Wyandot Chief from Sandusky, Ohio, who became one of Britain’s chief Indian allies during the War of 1812. The report of his death in 1812 proved inaccurate, and he fought actively until the end of the War.

Naval expansion

A bill was yesterday introduced into the House of Representatives, for increasing the Navy of the United States. The bid is in blank; but it is understood the committee propose recommending the building of four ships of 74 guns; four large frigates; and four vessels of 16 guns. It is impossible to say what will be the fate of this proposition; but we are inclined to think the Navy will receive an augmentation of its present force. — National Intelligencer

COMMENT: A number of large ships were begun, but few if any were completed before the war ended.

A miraculous rescue

Philadelphia, Nov. 28. Brig Rattlesnake: It was our melancholy duty to state that the brig had been upset by a hurricane between Ready Island and the Piers about two o’clock in the morning of Tuesday last, and that 17 persons had been drowned.

It is with peculiar satisfaction we now correct this statement, and record a most extraordinary interposition of Divine Providence. At early day-light the boatswain went on board the brig to see if he could recover his trunk. While standing on a part of the bow out of water he heard the cries for help of the people in the forecastle, who were unable to get to the scupper, as the ship lay on her starboard side.

The boatswain hailed the Revenue Cutter who sent her boat with people, and an ax to assist in getting the unfortunate people out. They instantly went to work, and in seamen’s phrase, scuttled her, that is, cut a hole for the seamen to get out. 

The men had been four hours up to the chin in water, some being obliged to hold back their heads to keep the water from running into their mouths. They were almost exhausted for want of air when the hole was cut.

Not the least interesting circumstance in this truly interesting affair is, that the seamen, faint and expiring as they were, had borne up the head of the little boy above the water, determined that, so long as they lived, he should not perish. — Democratic Press.

COMMENT: The men were saved by the Revenue Cutter General Green, on Nov. 23.

Congressional nomination

By a Law of this State, passed the 10th June, 1912. the counties of Otsego, Chenango, and Broome, compose the 15th Congressional District, and are to elect two Representatives; and whereas the Republican Delegates for the several towns in the county of Otsego have nominated ROBERT ROSEBOOM, Esq., for one of the said Representatives, and the joint Committees of the Counties of Chenango and Broome, have nominated AMOS PATTERSON, for the other Representative:

Therefore, Resolved, that Robert Roseboom, Esq., of the county of Otsego, and Amos Patterson, Esq. of the county of Broome, be, and are hereby recommended to the Electors of said District, as suitable persons to represent them in the next Congress....

COMMENT: Alas, neither was elected.