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August 30, 2012

U.S. Navy exploits

HUGH C. MACDOUGALL
THE OTSEGO HERALD

— From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, Aug. 29, 1812

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

Weather: Utica 1812 Almanack:

Some want of rain

War News from Niagara

UTICA, August 25. A young man, a native of Boston, has just arrived in this village, who left the town of Niagara (Upper Canada) on the night of the 13th inst. Having been ordered to join the Canadian militia and not liking to oppose  his native country, he, with two others, fled, and had the good fortune to procure a boat and cross the Niagara river unobserved. He states that Gen. [Isaac] Brock had gone to Long Point, 100 miles above Fort George [on  Lake Erie], where he was collecting and sending on troops to Malden (aka Amhurstburg). The number of regulars, militia and Indians which he had already collected was understood to be about 1500. The British forces remaining at Fort George consisted of 150 regulars and about the same number of militia, besides one company of local artillery.

Our informant further states that one hundred of the militia, under the command of Maj. Sammons, while on their march from Long Point to Fort Malden, had formed a resolution to desert and join the American army. Their  intentions being discovered 70 of them fled to the woods and 30 surrendered. Those who fled were pursued, and five of them taken and brought to Niagara, where they were confined in goal [jail]. -- Gazette

COMMENT: Hopes that Americans living in Canada, most of them recent immigrants, would refuse to join the Canadian militia and/or desert to the American side, remained high at the beginning of the war. Many cases did occur,  but as American military activity began to affect residents of Upper Canada (now Ontario), they declined considerably.

More Mobs More Mobocracy.

The house of Benjamin Austin, Esq. of Boston, a distinguished republican, was on Thursday evening last, wantonly attacked by persons unknown, by throwing stones, which broke a number of squares of glass. He had often  before been threatened, by anonymous letters, and experienced the destruction of his property. The selectmen have offered fifty dollars for a discovery of the offenders. — Boston Chronicle.

US Navy Exploits

Latest from our Squadron. — The prize master of the British brig Harmony, (sent into this port by the privateer Yankee) informs us, that previous to his leaving the Yankee they spoke and boarded an American vessel the captain of which informed them that he was boarded on the thirteenth of July, by an officer from one of Com. Rodger’s squadron. The boarding officer states that they had captured and destroyed thirty-one sail of English vessels during their cruise. -- Columbian Commodore [John] Rodgers — it is stated in a Newport paper that a letter has been received from an officer on board the [US Frigate] President, dated July 19, announcing that the squadron had captured and   destroyed 160 English vessels.The letter also mentions, that a few days before leaving port, the Hornet had a brush with an English frigate, supposed to be the Belvidera. — Mercury Advertiser, August 20.

British Capture of Mackinac

“...a letter...dated Sandwich, July 28,...states that Mackinac has been taken by a party of about 1000 Indians, headed b 30 English, under the command of one Askins. The Indians were Soux [sic], Delawares, and Chippewas.   The two latter were hitherto considered friendly to the United States.... Two fine vessels were taken at the same time.

COMMENT: The capture (without a fight) of the American Fort at Mackinac, at the head of Lakes Michigan and Huron, was a severe loss to the United States.