Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

Otsego Herald

August 15, 2013

Americans imprisoned

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, August 14, 1813

Compiled, with comments



Facts are daily transpiring tending to show the extent and enormity of this practice upon the seamen of our country. No man not lost to every sense of shame, can resist the mass of testimony which is daily unfolding; or longer view with indifference, unless his bosom has become callous as well to every impulse of humanity, as to the glow of patriotism.

The last Salem Register furnishes the names of 127 impressed American seamen, now on board the British prison ship San Antonio, at Chatham, England, who having refused to fight against their country after being repeatedly flogged, have been discharged from the British service, and are now being held as prisoners of war ... 20 of these seamen are natives of New-York — two have been in slavery 18 years — and seven 15 years — and 41 others from 5 to 15 years ... They were discharged from less than 50 ships, and left on board ... one hundred and seventy-seven American seamen, still retained in bondage! ...

There were on board the other Chatham prison ships, 320 discharged in like manner, and an immense number on board the prison ships at Portsmouth, at Plymouth and other places. Four hundred Americans were discharged from the Toulon blockading squadron alone.

John Nichols [see below]

These facts are studiously kept from one half the nation, and lest they should excite in Americans a spirit worthy of their fathers, they are denied, palliated and justified with a pertinacity and hardihood disgraceful to our country, and insulting to the understandings of our citizens.

COMMENT: The seizure (or “impressment”) of American seamen by the British navy, on the grounds — often false —that they were really British, was one of the major causes of the American declaration of war in 1812. Now some such seamen had their status changed to prisoner-of-war, when they refused to fight against their country.

Text Only
Otsego Herald
  • American victories at Chippewa From an authentic source, we are happy to be able to state, that our army under the command of maj. gen. Brown, crossed from Buffalo to the Canada shore on the 3d of July inst. and that Fort Erie surrendered to our arms at 6 o'clock in the morning.

    July 17, 2014

  • Civil War breaks out in Haiti The Baltimore American (extra) of the 22d, contains translations from the Royal Gazette of Hayti of the 23d of March; being official details of the capture of Fort Sabourin, by the troops of Christophe, from those of Petion, in a report of the Prince of Limbe, minister of war and marine, having under him the Duke of l’Arbonila and Duke of Grand Reviere, and 8 battalions of troops.

    July 10, 2014

  • Sacket's Harbor saved Dispatch from Brigadier-General Brown, to the Secretary of War ... June 1, 1813. SIR--You will have received my dispatch of the 29th [May] written from the field of battle ... that this post had been attacked by Sir George Prevost, and that we had succeeded in repulsing him ...

    July 3, 2014

  • Attack on Wareham undertaken Wareham [near New Bedford], June 14.... Yesterday morning we were informed of the approach of the enemy, and at about eleven o'clock A.M. they landed at the village called the Narrows, with a flag. There were six barges containing two hundred and twenty men.

    June 26, 2014

  • Victory won at Sandy Creek "I have the honor to transmit herewith Major Appling's report of the gallant affair which took place yesterday morning between a detachment of the 1st Rifle Regiment and Oneida Indians under his command, and a detachment from the British fleet, consisting of sailors and marines commanded by Captain Popham of the Royal Navy.

    June 19, 2014

  • Downfall of Napoleon Boston, June 4, 1814: We are able to give in our paper to-day the history of another surprising revolution in France.

    June 12, 2014

  • New ferryboat speeds travel Progress of the arts -- For several days past, the new ferry boat, invented by Moses Rodgers, Esq. of this city, propelled by the draught of six horses, has been plying between this city and Brooklyn, a distance of three quarters of a mile.

    June 5, 2014

  • Jackson victorious in Creek War Despatch from Gen. Jackson to Tennessee Governor [Willie] Blount, [from] Camp at the junction of the Coosee and Talapoosie, April 18th, 1814.

    May 29, 2014

  • Passing out bibles The annual meeting of the Otsego County Bible Society, will be held at the Meeting-House in Cooperstown, on Thursday the 9th day of June next. A sermon will be delivered by the first Vice-President at half past ten o'clock A.M.

    May 22, 2014

  • Oswego held for 15 hours A letter from Onondaga, dated 9th [May]...says: "On Thursday the enemy's fleet appeared off Oswego, consisting of 3 ships, 2 brigs, 2 schooners, and 11 gun boats, full of men.

    May 15, 2014