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

Otsego Herald

April 11, 2013

River Raisin Massacre

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, April 10, 1813

Compiled, with comments


The Murder of the Wounded

Those whose feelings have been harrowed by the narration of the murder of the wounded, by the allied forces the day after the defeat of gen. [James] Winchester at Frenchtown, will duly esteem the callous wretch (calling himself an American, and, perhaps, unfortunately, born in the United States) that could insert such an article as the annexed, in his paper.

But it is more to be lamented that a deep and desperate foreign influence countenances the miserable creature in his assassin jest.

We shall not (says the intelligent editor of the Weekly Register) give to the infamous being the pleasure to know that his name will be as celebrated as his cold blooded zeal in behalf of the allies [the British and Indians]: but we insert the paragraph to show the lengths to which a British influence proceeds, descending even to a hoggish insensibility at a deed, that faithful history shall record to the indelible disgrace of the British name.

“We would advise the recruiting officers of government to enlist FAT MEN for the western market, that the Indians may not BUTCHER LEAN UNPROFITABLE STOCK.” – From the National Intelligencer.

COMMENT: This item was originally printed in Niles Weekly Register for March 20, 1813, p. 54. At the Battle of Frenchtown (on the River Raisin south of Detroit), on Jan. 22, 1813, the incompetent American General James Winchester (1752-1826) had been ignominiously defeated by the perhaps equally incompetent British Colonel (and later General) Henry Proctor (1763-1822).

Winchester’s American force, largely composed of Kentucky militia, suffered 300 casualties and 600 prisoners. Proctor returned to British-occupied Detroit, leaving behind 68 prisoners too badly injured to march, under the care of a handful of British Canadian militia headed by the American-born Capt. William Elliott. But despite Elliott’s protests, on the following morning (to quote an official American Army document of the time): “The savages were permitted to commit every depredation upon our wounded which they pleased. An indiscriminate slaughter took place, of all who were unable to walk, many were tomahawked, and many were burned alive in the houses.

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