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

Otsego Herald

January 9, 2014

The attack on Buffalo

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, Jan. 8, 1814

Compiled, with comments



Letter from U.S. Major General Amos Hall to N.Y. Governor Tompkins, Dec. 30, 1813:

“I only have time to [say]...that this frontier is totally desolate. The British crossed over, supported by a strong party of Indians, at a little before day this morning. Near Black Rock they were met by the militia under my command with spirit, but overpowered by numbers and discipline of the enemy, the militia gave way and fled on every side. Every attempt to rally them was ineffectual. The enemy’s purpose was obtained, and the flourishing village of BUFFALO IS LAID IN RUINS.

“The Niagara frontier now lies open and naked to our enemies.... I am exhausted with fatigue, and must defer particulars till tomorrow. Many valuable lives are lost. A. HALL, Maj. General.”

Utica Gazette, Jan. 4 [1814].


It is with the deepest regret that we announce to our readers the distressing intelligence, that the British and their allies, the Indians, succeeded in burning Buffalo, on Thursday night last. The Inhabitants, it is reported had mostly removed with some of their most valuable effects, previous to the attack on the place. The distresses occasioned by such brutal outrages, we leave our readers to imagine.

COMMENT: The British invasion of far-western New York State, and the deliberate destruction of villages there from Lewiston south to Buffalo, was in specific reprisal to the American destruction — shortly before —of the Canadian village of Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario). Three weeks later the British Commander in Chief, Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost, issued a proclamation expressing regret that “the miseries inflicted on the inhabitants of Newark” had made necessary such a reprisal by British troops.

The author James Fenimore Cooper — then a young man in Cooperstown — is said to have composed a long ballad entitled “Buffalo Burnt, or the Dreadful Conflagration!” as a gift to a poor itinerant peddler — and was astonished a few years later to hear a young women singing it. Alas, the text has never been found.

Text Only
Otsego Herald
  • Fire Prevention The Trustees of the village of Cooperstown, are determined rigidly to enforce the following Bye-Law:

    April 17, 2014

  • British Spy Executed Plattsburgh, March 26. At length, by redoubled vigilance, in spite of the defects of our own laws, the corruption of some of our citizens, and the arts and cunning of the enemy, one Spy, of the hundreds who roam at large over this frontier, has been detected, convicted, and sentenced to Death.

    April 10, 2014

  • Fasting, humiliation and prayer The Presbytery of Oneida, having met at Whitesborough, on the 3d day of February, 1814, took into consideration the present calamitous state of our country, the war, its disastrous and demoralizing effects, the prevalence of immorality, of irreligion, drunkenness, sabbath-breaking, and vices of various kinds,

    April 3, 2014

  • Recovering after the fire HAVE again commenced business, in the white building south of the Bookstore of H. & E. PHINNEY, where they hope their friends and the public generally will please to call, in order that they may be enabled to forget the loss which they have so recently sustained by fire.

    March 27, 2014

  • A fire in Cooperstown On Thursday morning last, between the hours of 3 and 4 o’clock, our citizens were aroused from their slumbers by the alarming cry of fire, which proved to be in the building occupied by Mr. Joseph Wilkinson as a store and dwelling.

    March 20, 2014

  • British Attack in North The Plattsburgh Republican, of the 26th ult. [February] says, that on the 19th, the enemy from Cornwall and Coteau de Lac, having learned that our troops had left French Mills, on the15th, crossed the St. Lawrence, and visited the French Mills, Malone and Chateaugay, and had “carried off between 150 and 200 barrels of provisions, good and bad, public and private.â€�

    March 13, 2014

  • A futile patriotism SPEECH OF THE HON. MR. HOLMES, in the Senate of Massachusetts, During the Debate on the reported Answer the Governor/s Speech [A Republican State Senator, John Holmes strongly objected to the anti-war attitude taken by the Federalist-controlled State of Massachusetts].

    March 6, 2014

  • Making maple sugar The sap begins to run -- farmers, look out; it is all important that every effort should be made to obtain a national supply, the present year, from our own resources.

    February 27, 2014

  • Back to Sackett's Harbor 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.

    February 20, 2014

  • 'A Tale of Horror!' "A Tale of Horror!" New-London, Jan. 26. Three weeks since we heard of the following murder...but so great was our reluctance to give publicity to a tale of such enormity... that we have heretofore deferred publishing it. The following letter is from of [a] gentleman of our acquaintance, whose veracity is unquestionable. Other attendant circumstances have come to our knowledge equally monstrous, but sufficient is stated to harrow up the feelings of the human reader.

    February 13, 2014