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

Otsego Herald

January 2, 2014

Burning Of Niagara-On-The Lake

OTSEGO HERALD

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, Jan. 1, 1814

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

AMERICAN ATROCITY

BAD NEWS. The evacuation of Fort George, and the burning of Newark by our troops, has had the effect we feared. We can see no possible good that could have been expected by the destruction of private property when abandoning that post. We were extremely sorry to hear of that procedure, because we do not wish to see the bad examples of the enemy followed by our government. The British, as usual, have retaliated upon our defenceless inhabitants on the Niagara frontier, in the most ferocious manner. Whenever they obtain an ascendency, they seem to delight in deeds of barbarity that one would suppose would shock the humanity even of the most ruthless savages.

We have given below some of the details relative to this melancholy affair.—Most sincerely do we commiserate the sufferings of those who have to abandon their homes at this inclement season, to seek that protection for their lives which had ought to have been rendered them by government.

COMMENT: Fort George the principal British fort on the Niagara Peninsula had been captured by the Americans on May 27, 1813. General George McClure (1771-1851) had been left in command with only about 100 men, when most of the American troops had been sent east for an notably unsuccessful attack on Montreal. Among those still with McClure was Joseph Willcocks (1773-1814), a Canadian politician who had switched sides and led a small group of similarly inclined Canadian defectors.

When it became clear that McClure could not defend Fort George, he abandoned it and (in defiance of his orders but evidently urged on by Willcocks) burned down the town of Newark [today’s Niagara-on-the-Lake]—giving its inhabitants only an hour or so to abandon their homes and flee into the wintry and snowy night. The British quickly began a series of drastic reprisals, causing much panic.

Text Only
Otsego Herald
  • British bomb Connecticut The inhabitants of Stonington have again distinguished themselves by their gallant and heroic defence of their little village and battery against the most "fearful odds" of the enemy. With a sufficiency of musketry and lighter field-pieces, we presume, to meet any attempt at landing their means of annoying the enemy consisted of only two 10 pounders, worked by militia or raw troops.

    August 21, 2014

  • British annex Maine Islands Royal Proclamation, by Capt. Sir Thomas Hardy, Baronet, commanding the Naval Forces, and Lt. Col. Andrew Pilkington, commanding the Land Forces of His Britannic Majesty, in the Bay of Passamaquoddy.

    August 14, 2014

  • Battle of Lundy's Lane The Late Bloody Battle. -- Extract from a letter from Dr. E. L. Allen, of the 21st Regt....Buffalo, 26th, July 1814

    August 7, 2014

  • NAVY IN SOUTH AMERICA British Perfidy New York, July 15th,1814--letter to Secretary of the Navy Sir--There are some facts relating to our enemy, and although not connected with the action, serve to shew [sic] his perfidy and should be known.

    July 31, 2014

  • General Swift killed Ontario Repository, July 19, We have received ... orders ... announcing that on Tuesday evening, July 12, Brigadier General John Swift, of Palmyra, in this county, was killed in a most perfidious manner, by one of the enemy. The General had volunteered to reconnoiter the enemy's positions and works at Fort George, and took with him 120 men.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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