From the Otsego Herald
for Saturday, Feb. 19, 1814
Compiled, with comments
by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL
The camp at French Mills, we understand, has been broken up. Two thousand troops were expected to reach Sackett’s Harbor on Friday last. The residue have proceeded to Malone and Plattsburgh, at the former of which places the sick had arrived on the 2d inst. [February]. The boats had been removed by land.
Three vessels of war are building with all possible dispatch at Sackett’s Harbor; one a ship, intended to mount 44 guns, the other two heavy brigs. The troops are remarkably healthy. – Albany Argus
COMMENTS: The American troops which had sought to capture Montreal were in total retreat, following their rather dismal defeats at the battles of Chateaugay on October 26, 1813, and of Crysler’s Farm on November 11.Not only had the attempt to conquer Montreal failed, but the large number of troops removed from Fort George in Upper Canada and Fort Niagara in New York State had led to the surrender without a fight of those important posts on the Niagara River frontier. The fault was primarily due to the incompetence and quarrelling of the two principal American commanders, Major General James Wilkinson (1757-1825)—incompetent, corrupt, and probably an enemy spy, and Major General Wade Hampton (1752-1835)—an incompetent politician from South Carolina.
This effort to build new warships at the American naval base at Sackett’s Harbor proved no more successful. The 18-gun brigs Jefferson and Jones were launched in April of 1814, but saw no action and were disposed of before 1821. The “ship”—actually the 44-gun frigate Superior, also saw no action during the war. Both the British and Americans then began a race to build even larger ships on Lake Ontario—but the only real naval fighting in 1814 would take place on the much smaller Lake Champlain.
New York Refugee Aid
Western Sufferers—The bill for their relief has been amended in [the New York State] Assembly, by...substituting a new one...to pay $50,000...to be distributed...to the indigent sufferers of the counties of Niagara and Genessee, without any reference to the Indians or Canadian refugees. The Senate non-concurred in the bill, and sent it back to the Assembly.
The points of collision between the two houses relate principally to the manner of distributing the money.... The Senate seems to think that the overseers of the poor...will make the most judicious distribution, inasmuch as they are best acquainted with the circumstances and losses of the inhabitants of their respective towns.... Thus the bill hangs in suspence....
COMMENT: Thus a quarrel between the two houses of the New York State Legislature prevented anyone along the Niagara frontier from getting any relief—and both Indians and Canadian refugees were evidently to be literally left out in the cold.
I HEREBY forbid all persons trusting Daniel Ireland on my account, as I shall pay no debts he may contract after this date. DAVID NEWCOMB. Edmeston, Feb. 14, 1814.
COMMENT: David Newcomb (b. Sept. 17, 1769, in Wellfleet, Mass., d. Jan. 9, 1838, Burlington, NY), was probably living in Edmeston in early 1814. He was (like your compiler) a descendant of William Brewster of the Mayflower Pilgrims. He was described as “an honest, upright man, respected by all who knew him,” and with his wife Mary Kelsey (1774-1838) had eight children. I have not identified Daniel Ireland—as is common with runaways.
Propositions of peace have been made between the Allied Monarchs and Bonaparte, and have been accepted:—
A Congress has been proposed to assemble in Manhein to treat of the terms.
Lord Castlereagh was to leave London on the 27th December, to repair to the continent.
These are the prominent facts. Our papers contain numerous speculations on the subject which we cannot copy. The Allies guarantee to the Emperor a larger domain than any of the Kings of France have ruled over, and Bonaparte is to relinquish the Confederation of the Rhine, and acknowledge the independence of Spain and Portugal.
COMMENT: Ultimately, Napoleon Bonaparte was forced to abdicate as Emperor of France, and was given only Elba, a small island off the coast of Italy, as a “kingdom.” His attempt from there, in 1815, to return to power was ended at the Battle of Waterloo, and he was finally exiled for the rest of his life to the tiny British island of St. Helena in the middle of the Atlantic. But the end of Napoleon’s military career was to have dramatic effects on the War of 1812 between America and Great Britain.
The Republicans in the different towns of Otsego county, are requested to meet on Friday the 4th day of March next, in their respective towns, for the purpose of selecting Delegates to meet in County Convention on the second Tuesday of the same month, at Ostrander’s Coffee-House, in Cooperstown, to nominate members of Assembly for the county, and also to nominate a Congressman to represent this district in the 14th Congress. Each town is entitled to three Delegates.
JEDIDIAH PECK [1748-1821, Revolutionary veteran, politician, Judge, preacher, “father of NY public school system,” of Burlington], JOHN RUSSELL [1772-1842, Congressman and merchant, of Cooperstown], ARUNAH METCALF [1771-1848, Congressman, State Assemblyman, of Cooperstown], J[abez]. D. HAMMOND [1778-1855, Congressman, State Senator, Judge, author of “History of Political Parties in the State of New York,” of Cherry Valley], L[awrence]. M’NAMEE [1772-1854, Cooperstown merchant,—his home now The Tunnicliff Inn]