American lose Detroit. Michigan Aug. 16, 1812.
General William Hull has not only failed to defeat the British at Detroit with bombastic language, but he has also managed to lose his luggage and the fort as well. Hull, who is both the Governor of Michigan and the military commander of the area, left Dayton, Ohio on May 25 with a force of 1500 Ohio militiamen and 400 regulars with a mission aimed at driving the British back into Canada. But he put his plan of campaign and his muster rolls o a schooner that promptly fell into the hands of the British. Lt. General Isaac Brock, the British commander, with 730 redcoat regulars and 600 Indians, captured Fort Detroit without a fight.
American History, cock-and-bull style. New York 1812.
The history of the United States is a laughing matter to judge from The Diverting History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan by one Hector Bull-us. A three century romp it starts with a religious debate between the Church of England (Bull) and the Puritans (Jonathan). This cock-and-bull tale may remind us of another comic jape, Washington Irving’s History of New York
Spanish surrender city without a fight. Mobile, Mississippi Apr. 15, 1813
Major General James Wilkinson and a force of 600 men seized the city of Mobile today without firing a shot, but they are believed to have acted against the wishes of the government. Wilkinson’s troops landed three miles below the fort that guards the city and later anchored five gunboats nearby. Far outnumbered the Spanish commander surrendered. Officials in Washington report that Wilkinson had been ordered to steer clear of the Spanish city, but that the order had not reached him.
“Uncle Sam” first used in newspaper. Troy, New York Sept. 7, 1813
Those who regard the phrase “United States Government” as too dry or too much of a mouthful may want to substitute the sobriquet “Uncle Sam” which appeared for the first time today in an editorial in the Troy Post, an upstate New York daily newspaper. No one is certain how the expression originated but people here today say that it combines two references - one to the “US” that is stamped on all government property, the other to a local army supply inspector, one “Uncle Sam Wilson”.
Battle of Horseshoe Bend ends Creek war. Mississippi Ter. Aug. 9, 1814
General Andrew Jackson signed a treaty with the Creek Indians today, obtaining 23 million acres of land for the United States. The pact a direct result of the March 27 Battle of Horseshoe bend on the Tallapoosa River ends the year long Creek War. The Creeks, who had been allied with the British in the larger conflict, signed away half of their lands in Georgia and the Mississippi Territory. Jackson said the beaten Creeks were so hungry that hey ate discarded corn from the ground.
Lawyer writes “Star Spangled Banner”
Baltimore Sept. 14, 1814
At day break the defenders of the city of Baltimore were exultant to discover British land forces in full retreat. Three Americans, Francis Scott Key, an attorney, and two companions, disembarked from a British ship in the harbour where they had been held captive and hailed the immense American flag - 42 feet by 30 - that still waved over Fort McHenry. Through the blackness that was lit by the flames of red Congreve rockets, the men strained to see the “star spangled banner” often hidden by the drifting smoke. As he stood there, Key wrote on the back of an envelope a few poetic lines in praise of the free and the brave that serve for the basis of an inspiring hymn
Barbary pirates neutralised
Tripoli Aug.15, 1815.
The marauding along the Barbary Shore is now a thing of the past, thanks to t he salvoes, both diplomatic and real, fired by the naval hero Stephen Dacatur. During his June encounter with the Algerian fleet, in which admiral Hammida was killed, Captain Dacatur seized two ships.
Limit of 10,000 put on US Army. Washing. Mar. 3, 1815
The executive and congressional arms of government have been bargaining over the military. President Madison and Secretary of State Munroe sought a 20,000 man peacetime army. Worried over the $5 million p.a this requires the House countered with a 6,000 offer. After haggling a compromise 10000 was agreed.
First Steam-powered warship launched. New York Oct. 29 1814
It’s heavily armed and it protects New York. The “it” is the world’s first steam-engined warship, a 38-ton vessel with a paddle wheel tucked between its twin hulls, where it is safe from enemy fire. Mobile enough to ward off attack, it has a steam-pumped hose to defuse enemy guns. And its fire power is reassuring to a city vulnerable to a British raid.
Mississippi with slaves, 20th state.
Natchez Dec 10, 1817.
Mississippi became the 20th state today with Natchez as its capital. The area is the western half of the Mississippi Territory, now split between Alabama and Mississippi.
Honolulu mourns the death of King Kamehameha. May 8, 1819.
Kamehameha the Great, Conqueror of the Islands and first chief of a united Hawaiian people, died today. Death came at his palace where relatives, courtiers and soothsayers gathered two days ago when an ominous red tide appeared in Honolulu harbour. The 71-year-old monarch’s crown passes to his son Lilihilo, who becomes Kamehameha II. Dowager Queen Kaahumanu shares the throne. As word of the death spread among the people there was frenzied activity - the knocking out of teeth the burning of homes, assaults on women and strangers, and other mourning procedures customary with the death of a chief.
American acquire all of Spanish Florida. Washington Feb 22, 1819
All of Spanish Florida is now officially under American authority, according to a treaty signed today with Spain. The accord settles larger issues relating to American control of Spanish claims in the west.
Under treaty terms the United States is assuming $5 million in claims against Spain. The Spanish, in turn are ceding all territories east of the Mississippi river, regions known as East and West Florida. The treaty was signed just two weeks after Congress declined to censure General Andrew Jackson for his unauthorised military conquest of Spanish settlements in Florida last year.
The United States has long been claiming Florida as its own, and conflicts have periodically surfaced between the two nations over the Florida territories. Americans have been plagued by Florida Indian raids, and the Southern states have rankled over the runaway slave strongholds that the Spanish permitted to develop. The treaty ends more than 300 years of Spanish domination of Florida.
Free Negroes sail to colony in Africa. New York Feb. 6, 1820
A ship christened the Mayflower of Liberia left New York harbour today for Sierra Leone in West Africa with 86 free Negroes aboard. Sierra Leone is the home of a colony of freed slaves, founded about 30 years ago by British abolitionists The “colonisation” of Africa by free Negroes has been a hotly debated issue in recent years.
Nation at 10 million; New York 124,000. 1820
The population of the United States is 9,638,453, according to the nations fourth census. This figure includes all inhabitants except Indians, who do not pay taxes. New York is the largest city with 124,000, and Philadelphia ranks second with 113,000. Since the last census, 10 years ago, the country has admitted 5 more states, to a total of 22. Over the decade the population has grown approximately 30 percent.
U.S. Recognising Latin American states. Washington Dec. 12, 1822
Mexico’s new revolutionary government headed by Augustine de Iturbide, was granted formal recognition today. This initiative is the latest American effort to aid the rebellions of the Latin American colonies against Spain. The Munroe administration asked Congress for $100,000 in March to set up diplomatic missions in the newly independent Latin countries . In June, President Munroe extended diplomatic recognition to Gran Colombia.
Free Negro hanged for plotting revolt.
Charleston, South Carolina, July 2, 1822.
With the betrayal of an elaborate plot for a slave uprising, conspiracy leader, Denmark Vesey was hanged today along with 34 other revolutionaries. Vesey, a former slave who purchased his freedom with money won in a lottery, organised a revolution based on a system of cells, with only cell leaders having full knowledge of the full plot. The city and military installations of Charleston were to be seized and Whites eradicated. In spite of the plotters secrecy and careful planning, authorities learned of the revolt, set for July 16, and arrested Vesey and 130 other Negroes.
Whites convicted of killing Indians. Indiana March 22, 1824
The trial of 4 white men charged with brutally murdering nine Indians ended today with a guilty verdict from a white jury. The four men will be the first whites ever executed in the United States for killing Indians. The nine Indians - men, women and children - were actually murdered by 5 men. Four were swiftly captured, but one has not been apprehended. At the trial, in a crowded courtroom, the prosecution followed a two pronged strategy, appealing to the jurors respect for the equality of all men under the law and playing on their fear of revenge by other Indians in the region.
Erie Canal - East-West link.
New York Oct. 25, 1825
The Erie Canal linking Lake Erie with New York City via the Hudson River, was completed today, and newly elected Governor De Witt Clinton, who has pushed this project witnessed the great day.
As new Congress meets, old party expires. Dec. 12, 1825
As the new Congress convened today, one fact becomes startlingly clear: the Federalist Party is dead. Once dominant in the early days of the republic, the party of John Adams and John Hay, of Alexander Hamilton and John Marshall had been fatally ill for some years. In the new administration of John Quincy Adams, son of one of its founders, the old party has expired
Jed Smith crosses Southwest to the Coast. San Diego, California Nov. 27 1826
The first Americans to cross the south western part of the continent arrived in San Diego today. Their leader, who is already a legend among the mountain men and the fur trappers of the West, Jedediah Smith, whose expedition of 16 men trekked from the basin of the Great Salt lake up the Colorado River, over the western slopes of the southern Rocky Mountains, through the Mojave Desert, then on to the mission San Gabriel in Calafornia.
Jim Bowie’s knife kills major in duel. Vidalia, Louisana, Sept. 19, 1827.
Using a fearsome new knife, Jim Bowie killed major Morris Wright in a duel on a sandbar in the Mississippi River today. Spectators from Natchez watched from the bluffs. Before he was knifed the major had wounded Bowie with his sword. Bowie’s knife is of tempered steel with a handle and blade so balanced that it can be thrown as well as used for stabbing. Some claim Bowie’s brother, Resin, developed it, but other say the inventor was James Black a blacksmith on Resin Bowie’s plantation.
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