Page images
PDF
EPUB

without opposition, and that the squadron are now at anchor of the town.

I have the honour to be, &c.

0. H. PERRY. The Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. FRIGATE PRESIDENT,

Newport, eptember 27u1, 1819. SIR,

Your having been informed of my leaving Boston on the 230 of April last, and of my departure from President Roads in company with the Congress, on the 30th of the same month ; it now only remains for me to make you acquainted with my proceedings since the latter date.

In a few hours after getting to sea, the wind, which had been light from the westward, shifted to the south-east and obliged me to beat, consequently prevented our getting clear of the bay until the 3d of May, when, in the afternoon, while in chase of a British brig of war, near the shoal of George's Bank, we passed to wind- . ward of three sail, two of which, from their appearance and the information previously received, I judged to be the La Hogue 74, and Nymphe frigate, and the third à merchant brig. After getting clear of George's Bank the wind veered to the north-eastward, and we continued along east-southerly, in the direction of the southern edge of the gulf stream until the 8th of May, in longitude 60 west, latitude 39 30 north, when I parted company with the Congress. After parting company I shaped a course as near as the wind would permit, to intercept the enemy's West India commerce passing to the southward of the Grand Bank. Not meeting with any thing in this direction except American ves. sels from Lisbon and Cadiz, I next pursued a route to the northward on a parallel with the eastern edge of the Grand Bank, so as to cross the tracks of his West India, Halifax, Quebec, and St. John's trade. In this route, experiencing constant thick fogs for a number of days, and not meeting any thing, after reaching the latitude of 48 north, I steered to the south-east towards the Azores, off which, in different directions, I continued until the 6th of June, without meeting a single enemy's vessel, or any others, except two Americans. At this time falling in with an American ship bound to Cadiz, and receiving information that she had, four days before, passed an enemy's convoy from the West Indies bound to England, I crowded sail to the north-east, and, although disappointed in falling in with the convoy, I nevertheless made four captures, between the 9th and 13th of June.

Being now in the latitude of 46 north, and longitude 28 west, I determined on going into the North Sea, and accordingly shaped a course that afforded a prospect of falling in with vessels bound to Newfoundland from St. George's channel, by the way of Cape

Clear, as well as others that might pass north about to the northward of Ireland. To my astonishment, however, in all this route I did not meet with a single vessel, until I made the Shetland Islands, and even off there, nothing but Danish vessels trading to England under British licenses. At the time I reached the Shetland Islands, a considerable portion of my provisions and water being expended, it became necessary to replenish these, previous to determining what course to pursue next; and I accordingly, for this purpose, put into North Bergen on the 27th of June ; but, much to my surprise and disappointment, was not able to obtain any thing but water, there being an unusual scarcity of bread in every part of Norway, and, at the time, not more in Bergen than a bare sufficiency for its inhabitants for four or five weeks. This being the case, after replenishing my water, I departed on the ed of July and stretched over towards the Orkney Islands, and from thence towards North Cape, for the purpose of intercepting a convoy of 25 or 30 sail, which it was said would leave Archangel about the middle of July, under the protection of two brigs or two sloops of war; and which was further confirmed by two vessels I captured on the 13th and 18th of the same month. In this object, however, the enemy had the good fortune to disappoint me, by a line of battle ship and a frigate making their appearance off the North Cape on the 19th of July, just as I was in momentary expectation of meeting the convoy. On first discovering the enemy's two ships of war, not being able, owing to the haziness of the weather, to ascertain their character with precision, I stood toward them, until making out what they were, I hauled by the wind on the opposite tack to avoid thein; but owing to faint, variable winds, calms, and entire day-light, (the sun in that lati tude, at that season, appearing at midnight several degrees above the horizon) they were enabled to continue the chase upwards of 80 hours; during which time, owing to different changes of the wind in their favour, they were brought quite as near to us as was desirable. At the time of meeting with the enemy's two ships, the privateer schooner Scourge, of New York, which I had fallen in with the day before, was in company; but their attention was so much engrossed by the President that they permitted the Scourge to escape without appearing to take any notice of her.

Being thus disappointed in meeting the convoy, and a still further portion of my provisions being expended, I determined to proceed to a more westerly station, and accordingly steered to gain the direction of the trade passing out of, and into, the Irish channel. In this position, betiveen the 25th of July and the 2d of August, I made three captures, when, finding that the enemy had a superior force in that vicinity, I found it expedient to change my ground; and after taking a circuit round Ireland, and getting into the latitude of Cape Clear, steered for the banks of Newfoundland, near to which I made two more captures, and by the latter one found that the Bellerophon 74, and Hyperion frigate

were on the eastern part of the bank, and only a few miles to the westward of me; I however did not fall in with them. From the eastern edge of the Grand Bank, to which I had beat all the way from the north-west coast of Ireland, (the wind having prevailed, without intermission, from the 1st of August to the middle of September from west to southwest) I steered for the United States, without seeing a single vessel of any kind until the 22d of the present month, being near the south shoal of Nantucket, I met with a Swedish brig, and an American cartel (the Russian ship Hoffnung) from London, bound to New-Medford.

By this time my provisions, and particularly bread, was so nearly consumed as to make it indispensibly necessary that I should put into the first convenient port after gaining the requisite information of the disposition of the enemy's cruizers, as could enable me to steer clear of a superior force; and this I was enabled to do in a manner which I shall communicate in another letter. On the 23d instant I captured his Britannic majesty's schooner High Flyer, (a tender to admiral Warren) with which vessel I now have to inform you of my arrival at this port.

Annexed is a list of vessels captured and destroyed, in which were made 271 prisoners. I have now, however, only 55 prisoners on board, having sent to England, on parole, 78 in the Duke of Montrose; 76 in the Greenland ship, Eliza Swan, and 60 in the barque Lion, of Liverpool.

During my cruize, although I have not had it in my power to add any additional lustre to the character of our little navy, I have, nevertheless, rendered essential service to my country, I hope, by harrassing the enemy's commerce, and employing to his disadvantage, more than a dozen times, the force of a single frigate.

My officers and crew have experienced great privations since ! left the United States, from being nearly 5 months at sea, and living the last three months of that time upon a scanty allowance of the roughest fare ; and it is with peculiar pleasure I acquaint you that they are all in better health than might be expected, although you may well suppose that their scanty allowance has not been of any advantage to their strength or appearance.

The High Flyer was commanded by lieutenant Hutchinson, second of the St. Domingo. She is a remarkable fine vessel of her class, sails very fast, and would make an excellent light cruizer, provided the government have occasion for a vessel of her description. Just at the moment of closing my letter, a newspaper

has been handed me containing captain Broke's challenge to iny late gallant friend captain Lawrence, in which he mentions, with considerable emphasis, the pains he had taken to meet the President and Congress with the Shannon and Tenedos.

It is unnecessary at present to take further notice of captain Broke's observations than to say, if that was his disposition, his

conduct was so glaringly opposite as to authorize a very contrary belief. Relative to captain Broke I have only further to say, that I hope he has not been so severely wounded as to make it a sufficient reason to prevent his re-assuming the command of the Shannon at a future day.

I have the honour to be, &c.

JOHN RODGERS. Hon. Wm. Jones, Secretary of the Navy.

MAJOR GENERAL HARRISON'S PROCLAMATION.

The enemy having been driven from the territory of Michigan, and a part of the army under my command having taken posses sion of it; it becomes necessary that the civil government of the territory should be re-established, and the former officers renew the exercise of their authority. I have therefore thought proper to proclaim, that all appointments and commissions which have been derived from British officers are at an end ; that the citizens of the territory are restored to all the rights and privileges which they enjoyed previously to the capitulation made by general Hull, on the 16th of August, 1812. Under the present circumstances, and until the will of the government be known, I have thought proper to direct that all persons, having civil offices in the territory of Michigan, at the period of the capitulation of Detroit, resume the exercise of their powers appertaining to their offices respectively. In the present dispersed state of its population, many officers are doubtless absent. In all cases, thus situated, the last incumbent who resigned the office will resume the exercise of its duties. The laws in force at the period abovementioned will be re-established, and continue in force until repealed by the proper authority. Given at head quarters, the 29th day of September, 1813.

WILLIAM H. HARRISON. By the general,

John O'Fallon, Aid-de-Camp,

On the day of the debarkation of our troops into Canada, the fol

lowing general order was issued.
HEAD QUARTERS, ON BOARD THE ARJEL,

September 29th, 1813. GENERAL ORDER, The General entreats his brave troops to remember that they are the sons of sires whose fame is immortal : that they are to fight for the rights of their insulted country, whilst their oppopents combat for the unjust pretensions of a master,

Kentuckians remember the river Raisin, but remember it only whilst the victory is suspended. The revenge of a soldier cannot be gratified upon a fallen enemy. By command,

ROBERT BUTTLER, A. Adj. Gen.

Extract of a letter from general Harrison to the Department of

War.

HEAD-QUARTERS, SANDWICH, U. C. 30th September, 1813. “SIR,

“General Proctor has with him 475 regulars of the 41st and Newfoundland regiments; 60 of the 10th regiment of veterans ; 45 dragoons; and from 600 to 1000 Indians. Some deserterg who left him the night before last, give the latter as the number, The citizens of Detroit suppose the former to be correct.

“The Ottawas and Chippewas have withdrawn from the British, and have sent in three of their warriors to beg for peace, promising to agree to any terms that I shall prescribe. 'I have ag eed to receive them upon condition of their giving hostages for their fidelity, and immediately joining us with all their warriors. The Wyandots, Miamies, and the band of Delawares, which hail joined the enemy, are also desirous to be received upon the same terms.

The celebrated chief, Main Pock, is at the head of the hostile band on the Detroit side of the straight. Tecumseh heads that which remains with the British. The inhabitants of Detroit, who were in daily communication with them, make the former from 1000 to 1200. Their object in dividing their force was to make a night attack upon the part of the army which remained on this side, by a junction of their force some miles above.

A detachment of the army, and some of the vessels of war, will set out for the reduction of Mackinac and St. Joseph's in a

few days.

“I have honor to be, &c. “ WILLIAM H. HARRISON..

Honourable John Armstrong,

Secretary of War,

V. S. SHIP GENERAL PIKE, OFF NIAGARA,

October 1st, 1813. SIR,

On the 26th ultimo it was reported to me, that the enemy's fleet was in York. I immediately despatched the Lady of the Lake to look into York, and ascertain the fact-she returned in the evening with the information that the enemy was in York bay.

« PreviousContinue »