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be humbled by a power whose naval force she had been accustomed to despise from its apparent insignificance.

2. The United States, at the opening of the war of 1812, had three frigates of forty-four guns each, three of thirty-eight, five of from twenty-eight to thirty-six, and nine sloops, varying from twelve to eighteen guns. These twenty vessels constituted their whole naval armament; and even of these, one was on Lake Ontario, and two were unfit for sea. The British navy consisted of from eight hundred to one thousand ships!

3. Commodore Rodgers, with his little fleet, the President, the Essex, and the Hornet, lay at New York when war was declared. Within an hour after he heard the news, he and the Hornet were under way. On the 23d of June, only five days after the war was declared, he fell in with and attacked the British frigate Bel-vi-de'-ra, of thirty-six guns, but she escaped.

4. This, however, was only a beginning. The Constitution, of forty. four guns, commanded by Captain Isaac Hull, sailed from the Chesapeake Bay about the middle of July. She was soon chased by a British fleet, and the chase continued, with some firing, for several days; but the Constitution succeeded in escaping.

5. Meanwhile the Essex, commanded by Captain, afterward Commodore Porter, which was not ready for sea when Commodore Rodgers attacked the Belvidera, having made the necessary repairs, sailed, and, after having taken several prizes, on the 13th of August fell in with the British sloop of war Alert, of twenty guns, which she took, after an action of only eight minutes.

6. This was the first armed vessel which was taken by the Americans during this war. It was not surprising that a frigate of thirty-two guns should vanquish a sloop of twenty; and yet it was not expected by our sailors that a vessel of the size of

COMMODORE PORTER.

2. What vessels had the United States

CHAP. CLX.-1. What of the British navy? at the commencement of the war? What had the British? 8. What ships had Commodore Rodgers? What did he do on hearing the news of the war? What of the Belvidera? 4. Describe the chase of the Constitution. 5. Describe the capture of the Alert by Captain Porter. 6. What can you say of the two vessels?

ATTACK ON QUEENSTOWN.

329

the Alert would make so feeble a resistance. The Essex was not injured, nor a man hurt; while the Alert was greatly crippled, and had three men wounded.

7. This naval battle was fought three days before General Hull's surrender. Three days after the surrender, another event took place which was still more remarkable, both with respect to its character and the final results, than the former. It was the capture of the Brit ish frigate Guerrière.

8. On the 19th of August, the Constitution came up with this frigate, commanded by Captain Dacres, and carrying thirty-eight guns, about a thousand miles eastward of New England, and in two hours made her a complete wreck; so much so, that it was thought best to destroy her.

9. The loss of the Constitution, in this contest, was seven killed and seven wounded; while the Guerrière had fifteen killed and sixty-three wounded. The Constitution was so little injured as to be ready for another action the very next day. Yet the force of the American

frigate was but little more than that of the enemy.

10. These brilliant events at sea had some effect in atoning for our loss on the land. Besides, they encouraged our navy. It had been thought, for some time, that nothing could vanquish the British-force for force; but it now began to be thought otherwise.

CHAPTER CLXI.

MADISON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.-Attack on

Queenstown.

1. As early as the 1st of October, 1812, eight or ten thousand men, with military stores, were collected at various points along the Canadian line, chiefly, however, in three great divisions-the North-western, the Eastern and the Northern armies. Measures had also been taken for arming vessels on the three lakes, Erie, Ontario and Champlain.

2. The north-western army was commanded by General Harrison, and was stationed in the neighborhood of Detroit. The central division was directed by General Stephen Van Rensse'-la-er, and stationed at Lewiston, just below Niagara Falls. The army of the north, under Major General Henry Dearborn, who was also commander-in-chief, was at Greenbush and Plattsburg.

7. What event of importance soon occurred? 8. Describe the capture of the Guerrière. 9. What was the loss sustained by the two frigates? 10. How did these events affect the United States navy?

CHAP. CLXI.-1. What was done October, 1818? 2. How were the three divisions of the army commanded?

3. On the 13th of October, early in the morning, a part of the army at Lewiston succeeded in crossing the Niagara River to Queenstown, and in taking possession of the battery on the heights. But they were not able to maintain their position, for they were only a few hundreds, and most of the men at Lewiston were militia, and refused to follow them as they had promised to do.

4. The commander of the Heights, General Van Rensselaer, was now in a most perilous situation. He had indeed already repelled one attack from six hundred British regulars, and killed General Brock, their commander. But General Sheafe, his successor, renewed the attack with an increased force, and the Americans were at length compelled to surrender.

5. Nothing could have been more unexpected than the refusal of the American militia to cross the Niagara. They had but just before been urgent for the battle, and now they utterly refused to embark.

6. General Brock was much lamented by the inhabitants of Canada, and a beautiful monument was erected to his memory, on the heights of Queenstown, where he fell. An attempt was made, a few years since, to destroy this monument; and, though it was not quite successful, the monument was seriously injured. The villains were never discovered.

7. The attack on Queenstown was followed, in November, by a few bullying efforts, above the falls, on the part of General Smyth. He was the successor of General Van Rensselaer-the latter having resigned. He sent two detachments across, in the night, to Black Rock; but they accomplished very little. The troops soon went to winterquarters, and Smyth, being hissed from the army, went home to Virginia.

8. Thus ended the war against Canada for that year. Never, perhaps, was less accomplished, under circumstances so favorable, than was done by the Americans, in this campaign of 1812. On the 26th of September, they had a force of thirteen thousand men on the frontier, more than six thousand of whom were regulars; while the British could scarcely muster three thousand troops on their whole line from west to east.

3. What was done October 18th? 4. What of the commander of the Heights? 5. The militia? 6. What monument was erected to the memory of General Brock? What attempt was made? 7. What of General Smyth? 8. What of the war against Canada for the year 1812?

NAVAL VICTORIES.

331

CHAPTER CLXII.

MADISON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.-More Naval

Victories.

1. THE success of the naval forces of the United States for this year, 1812, was, throughout, as brilliant as the conduct of the land forces was disgraceful. Where least was expected, and where there was least reason to expect any thing, there the most heroic bravery—not to say the most unprecedented skill-was manifested.

2. On the 18th of October, the United States sloop Wasp, of eighteen guns, commanded by Captain Jones, came up with and captured the British sloop Frolic, Captain Wynyates, of nearly the same size and force, eight hundred miles eastward of Norfolk, in Virginia. The action lasted about three-quarters of an hour.

3. Both vessels were much injured in the engagement, but the Wasp suffered most in her rigging. She had only five men killed and five wounded. The fire of the Wasp evidently fell below the rigging of the Frolic; for the latter had at least seventy or eighty killed or wounded. Indeed, it was said that not twenty of her men escaped wholly unhurt.

4. The Frolic had scarcely submitted to the Wasp, when a British seventy-four gun ship hove in sight-the Poictiers-and immediately bore down upon them. As they were in no situation either to escape or make a defence, they were forthwith taken and carried into Ber muda.

5. One week later than this, viz., October 25th, a still more remarkable victory was obtained by our little navy. The United States, another forty-four gun ship, commanded by Commodore Decatur, who had distinguished himself so much at Tripoli, fell in with and captured the British frigate Macedonian, Captain Carden, rated at thirtyeight guns, but really carrying forty-nine.

6. This action took place in the Atlantic Ocean, about seven hundred miles southward of the Azores. It lasted an hour and a half, and was very fatal to the crew of the Macedonian. Out of her complement of three hundred men, she had more than a hundred killed and wounded, while the United States had but seven killed and five wounded.

CHAP. CLXII.-What was the success of the naval force of the United States for the year 1812 2. Describe the engagement of the Wasp and the Frolic. 8. What was the loss on both sides? 4. How were the Wasp and her prize captured? 5. What of Commodore Decatur? 6. Describe the action between the United States and Macedonian

7. One of those killed on board the Macedonian was the carpenter. As he was known to be in destitute circumstances, and to have left a family of helpless children with a worthless mother, his brave companions immediately held a contribution, and raised eight hundred dollars, to be put in safe hands, for the education of the unhappy orphans. 8. Sailors are apt to be generous. It is not always, however, that they make so wise an application of their charities as in this case.

9. Another victory was achieved by our brave tars before the year closed. Captain Hull had retired from the service, and had been succeeded in the command of the Constitution by Commodore Bainbridge. On the 29th of December, while off the coast of Brazil, the British frigate Java, of forty-nine guns, came in sight, and a battle ensued.

10. The engagement was severe from the first. It had continued nearly two hours, and nearly two hundred men had been killed or wounded on board the Java, when she was compelled to strike her colors. She was so much injured that it was concluded, a few days afterward, to burn her. The loss of the Constitution was hardly onesixth as great as that of the Java.

11. On board the Java, during the battle, was an American prisoner, in confinement. Anxious to know the issue, he often asked a Chinese, who was stationed near him, how the battle was going on. "Oh, a glorious victory," was the reply always. Not satisfied with this, especially as he saw so many wounded men brought below, he asked which side was about to gain the victory. “Why," said the Chinese, "one or t'other."

CHAPTER CLXIII.

MADISON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.-Louisiana admitted to the Union.—Mediation of Russia between the United States and Great Britain offered.-Madison re elected. Various Events of 1812 and 1813.

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1. SEVERAL other interesting events in our national history took place during the years 1812 and 1813. One of these was the admission, in the course of the former year, of Louisiana to the federal union. She was the eighteenth pillar of the great national fabric, and a most

7. What was done for the family of the carpenter on board the Macedonian? 8. Charracter of sailors? 9. Who succeeded Captain Hull? What of the Java? 10. Describe the engagement. What was the loss of the two ships? 11. What passed between the American prisoner and the Chinese?

CHAP. CLXIII.-1. What of Louisiana?

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