Browsing 1. Archival Finding Aids by Subject "United States -- History -- War of 1812 -- Sources."
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Circular to Collectors from the United States Treasury Department, Comptroller’s Office, October 7, 1812.A circular to American customs officers reminding them to be especially vigilant in preventing American ships from trading provisions to the British in any of the ports of Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This was during the early months of the War of 1812. The circular begins “As there is reason to think attempts may be made to evade the provisions of the act of the 6th of July last, to prohibit vessels of the United States, from proceeding to or trading with the enemy, I have to call your attention to it with a view to its most vigilant execution…” The circular is signed by Richard Rush [Comptroller of the Treasury].
John Gifford fonds, 1814Fonds contains 7 letters written to Lt. John Gifford of the 25th Infantry during the War of 1812. The letters are written by his brothers Arthur Gifford and C.V. Gifford, and sister Frances H. Gifford, who resided in New York City and Rose Hill. They date from February to September 1814. Many letters touch on the events of the War. When John Gifford was wounded his brother Arthur wrote on August 1 “I this moment learnt from Mary that you were wounded at the late victory, so glorious to your army collectively and so honorable to yourself individually”. A letter dated at New York, August 14 states “…we had a report last week by a British deserter that the enemy was on their way to attack this city which gained some credit…the fortifications on Sandy Hook and Brooklin heights go on rapidly, the citizens volunteer with such alacrity that merchants, lawyers, doctors and divines are seen digging trenches.” The British invasion of Washington in August 1814 is mentioned in a letter dated September 1. Arthur Gifford writes to his brother “…you have heard of the capture of Washington, this is rather disgraceful and I think plainly indicates something rotten in the Cabinet. If that army who encountered the Plains of Chippewa, who beat them at Bridgewater and compelled them to a retreat at Fort Erie had met them far different would have been the results, the Capital would have stood.” His sister Frances writes to her brother about the poor health of their father in January, followed by a letter in February describing his last days and death.
Letters to Miss Harriet O’Connor from her brother J.M. O’Connor, May-November 1813.Three letters addressed to Miss Harriet O’Connor, City of New York, from her brother Jno [John] M. O’Connor, May-November 1813. The letters were written while O’Connor was fighting with the Americans during the War of 1812. The first letter is dated at Fort George, U.C., May 30, 1813. O’Connor describes the American attack on Fort George on May 25 and 27, writing that “…we attacked & carried Fort George and the Village of Newark, having killed, wounded & taken prisoners better than 400 British Regulars, exclusive of Militia…the enemy have abandoned all the Niagara frontier which is now in our possession, blown up their magazines & retreated with nearly 1400 Regulars towards York…” The second letter is dated at Sacketts Harbour, 3 June 1813. O’Connor writes “We were ordered here to the defence of this place, but it had been attacked previous to our arrival. The British had 1300 Regulars & 50 Indians…They were repulsed by about 500 American Regulars & 200 irregulars. The British both here & at Niagara fought badly because their generals evinced the greatest ignorance & stupidity in their arrangements. The Troops personally fought bravely. Our men in both instances evinced a degree of intrepidity & gallantry that reflects credit on our Country. In fact the amazing valour of our Troops has been the salvation of our generals!!” The third letter is dated at French Mills, N.Y., 15 Nov. 1813. O’Connor describes at length some military engagements with the British as they traveled down the St. Lawrence River. This included fighting at Prescott and near Cornwall. He writes that “…[we] had some skirmishing from the 8 to the 11th Nov. on which day the rear corps of the army was attacked by 1600 regulars & 800 militia and after a sanguinary conflict succeeded in repulsing the Enemy with great loss on both sides. We lost many Officers and some of high rank. Gen’l Covington was killed.” He later adds that “…a retreat was determined upon as the only means of saving the army from the united effects of the elements & the sword”.