Monday, September 16, 2019

USS Fulton-- Part 2: Just One Day of Service

On March 9, 1814, Congress authorized construction of a steam frigate to the design of Robert Fulton, a pioneer in the construction of steam ships.  Construction began in June at the civilian yard of famed shipbuilders Adam and Noah Brown in New York City and launched  October 29.

Delivered to the U.S. Navy in June 1816, but never formally named.  Fulton christened it the Demologos (or Demologus), but after his death, it was named the USS Fulton.

By the time of completion, the War of 1812 was over and she saw only one day of actual service when it carried President James Monroe on a tour of New York Harbor.

Its first commander, Captain David Porter (father of David Dixon Porter of Civil War and Fort Fisher fame and essentially a step father to David Glasgow Farragut) ordered a two-masted lateen rig built on the ship.  In 1821 its armament and machinery were removed and the remainder of its career spent in reserve.

After 1825, she became a floating barracks ship for the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  Its end came on June 4, 1829 in a gunpowder explosion while at anchor.  An officer and 47 men were killed.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Baltimore Celebrating Defenders Day This Weekend

From the Baltimore Sun.

This weekend is the 205th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and the attack on Fort McHenry.  It will be celebrated where a lot of it took place, at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Site.

September 13 they had a parade to the fort.

September 14 had family-friendly activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by an evening of music, photo ops with U.S. Army soldiers, living history exhibitions and a flag-raising, all culminating with  an 8:25 fireworks display.

Today, September 15, there are more family-friendly activities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission to the grounds is free.  Admission to the fort is $15 and free for kids under 16.

A Great Victory and the "Star-Spangled Banner."  --Brock-Perry

Friday, September 13, 2019

The USS Fulton (United States Floating Battery Demologos): Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Last month I was writing a lot about Stephen Champlin's naval career and one of his commands was the steamer Robert Fulton during the 1838 Patriot War.  Initially, I had some confusion until I figured out that the USS Fulton and the steamer Robert Fulton were two different ships.

But the USS Fulton had a War of 1812 connection.  And then there was a second USS Fulton that had a Civil War connection.

This is about the first USS Fulton, originally named the Demologos, a steam driven catamaran-type U.S. Navy frigate.

The Demologos was the first warship to be propelled by a steam engine and built to defend New York City from the Royal Navy during the War of 1812.  It was based on a design by inventor Robert Fulton and was renamed the USS Fulton after his death.  Because the war was over soon after it was built, it never saw action.  No other ship built by the U.S. Navy was anything like it.

Stats:  Laid down 1814,  Commissioned 1816.  Blown up 1829.

153.2 feet long.  58 foot beam.    Regarded as a steam battery.   Thirty  32-pdr. cannons  Two 100-pdr Columbiads

It was armored with five foot thick wooden planking.  It had two hulls with the paddle wheel between them.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Deaths of 9-11 First Responders Continue to Rise

Tom Frey now lives in Florida and is one of the many 9-11 First Responders with serious illnesses brought on by exposure to the dust, smoke and chemicals at Ground Zero.  A battle with Hodgkins lymphoma, tied to his 9-11 exposure, included multiple rounds of chemotherapy.  That treatment led to a secondary diagnosis:  pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable scarring of the lungs that can be have many causes and is one of the latest diseases to be correlated with Ground Zero exposure.

On 9-11, Frey remembers looking up to see gray ash falling like soft rain and realizing that he and other cops were wearing only paper masks:  "I said, 'This is not going to be good down the road.' "

When he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2016, his doctor told him "that the chemo drugs had started a fire in my lungs with some of the debris from the Trade Center, and he said there was nothing they could do for me."

Though Frey had long thought of himself as invincible --  "I figured, hey, all those hot dogs I ate from the street vendors, I must be immune to everything," he jokes --  he is part of the growing toll of victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning?)-- Part 2

Continued from the Tattooed On Your Soul:  World War II blog from today.

This being the 18th anniversary of that dastardly attack.

And as Mary Dixon and Linn Brehmer on Chicago's WXRT, 93.1 FM pointed out, hard to believe that we have a whole new generation who was not even born when it happened.  Hopefully, it will not be forgotten.  Every September 11 all seven of my blogs are devoted to the story.

This song brought tears to my eyes when I saw Alan Jackson performing it shortly afterwards.


Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones

Pray for the ones you don't know?

Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble

And sob for the ones left down below?

Did you burst out with pride

For the red, white and blue

And the heroes who died

Just doin' what they do?


Not Forgotten Here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Fort Malden-- Part 11: The Fort's Roles After the Upper Canada Rebellion

After the Upper Canada Rebellion and Patriot War, the fort was abandoned, but the people of Amherstburg complained they had no defense, so British troops were again stationed and, since there was no defending to be done, they improved the fort.

From 1851-1859, Fort Malden was  occupied by army pensioners in what became known as the Pensioner Scheme which was a way for Britain to replace active military units with retired personnel.  This worked well and most pensioners stayed and with their pensions and hard work, helped Amherstburg's development.

Before the Civil; War, Amherstburg and Fort Malden  played major roles in the Underground Railroad, enabling runaway slaves to get to Canada for their freedom.

From  1859 to 1875, the province of Ontario had ownership of the fort and it was turned into the Malden Lunatic Asylum.

From 1876 to 1935, Fort Malden was surveyed and sold at public auction after being divided into eleven lots.  Then, from 1935 to the present, Fort Malden has been  a National Historic Site of Canada.


Monday, September 9, 2019

Fort Malden-- Part 10: The End of the Upper Canada Rebellion

One attempt by the Hunters' Lodge Americans to defeat the British  took place on January 9, 1838, when they crossed the Detroit River on the schooner Anne (which I have written a whole lot about, click the Anne/Ann (schooner) label).  They attacked Amherstburg, which Fort Malden defended.

All three British regiments and a town militia and Native American warriors defended the town successfully and captured twenty Americans prisoner, including their commander Edward Alexander  Theller.

There were also two other battles fought in the vicinity.  One was at Fighting Island and the other at Pelee Island.

Once the fighting in the Upper Canada Rebellion was quelled, the fort was no longer needed for active military regiments.  The Royal Artillery left between June and July  1839 and the  32nd Regiment also withdrew.  The militia was disbanded a few months later.


Fort Malden-- Part 9: Used During the Upper Canada Rebellion and Patriot War (1837-1838)

After the American withdrawal from Fort Malden, the British allowed it to deteriorate over the years until 1837-1838 when the Upper Canada Rebellion took place.  This also involved what I was recently writing about, the Patriot War of 1838.

The Upper Canada Rebellion involved a group of Canadians wanting to break away from British rule and the Patriot War were Americans willing to help them.  Between the two groups, this strained relations between Great Britain and the United States.

Much of Fort Malden's involvement with this was protecting Upper Canada from American citizens (the Patriots) operating out of Hunters' Lodges who frequently embarked on border raids along the border by the Detroit River.

As a result of this threat, Fort Malden experienced a rebirth of sorts with several buildings added and the earthworks repaired.  Much of this was conducted under Major H.D. Townshend in 1838 and involved the  24th and 32nd regiments who occupied the fort during this period.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Fort Malden-- Part 8: American Occupation

After General Henry Proctor abandoned and burned Fort Malden in the fall of 1813, American forces occupied the towns of Sandwich (Windsor) and Amherstburg, including the land the fort had stood on.

During that time, the area was used to conduct raids on nearby Chatham-Kent and London, Upper Canada (Ontario) for supplies.  The Americans began reconstructing Fort Malden near the site of the original fort.

After the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent in February 1815, the border between the United States and British North America was restored to prewar status and the Americans returned the land and left.  The U.S. Army officially  withdrew from Fort Malden on July 1, 1815.


Friday, September 6, 2019

Fort Malden-- Part 7: Fort is Abandoned By the British

Again, the official name of the fort is Fort Amherstburg, but most everyone refers to it as Fort Malden.

Throughout the War of 1812, the Detroit Frontier (where Fort Malden is located)  was considered as an afterthought to British strategy.  It was "a distant and expendable outer branch"  of Canada.  One that Britain would sacrifice in order to protect Montreal and Quebec in Lower Canada, and Niagara, York and Kingston in Upper Canada.

The losses of York and Niagara in the spring of 1813 placed the Upper Canada's western border in jeopardy.  Resources were directed at the Niagara region and with no chances of receiving significant reinforcements,  General Proctor was forced to abandon Fort Malden in September 1813.

With the British defeat at the Battle of Lake Erie the fort was burned and the fort's inhabitants were forced to flee with American forces hot on their heels.  After the American victory at the Battle of the Thames, general Proctor was able to continue his retreat to Niagara.


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Fort Malden-- Part 6: The Surrender of Fort Detroit

On July 16th, General Hull's American Army met  its first British resistance at the River Canard where two British soldiers were killed, marking the first fatalities of the War of 1812.

Major General Isaac Brock assumed command at Fort Malden on August 13, 1812, and it was Brock who led British troops across the Detroit River a few days later.  With the help of Chief Tecumseh's native warriors, Brock marched on Fort Detroit.

It was reported that General Hull was fearful of "hordes" of Indians swooping down on the civilian population of Detroit and it was this fear that Brock and Tecumseh decided to capitalize on and let Hull know that there were some 5,000 Indians with Brock and that he didn't know if he could control them in a battle if it took place.

This was, even after the fearsome proclamation he had made, why General Hull surrendered Fort Detroit without a fight.

This success at Fort Detroit was a big reason support of the First Nations during the War of 1812.


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Fort Malden-- Part 5: Hull's Brazen Proclamation to Canadians

The first stroke of the Tomahawk, the first attempt with the scalping knife, will be the signal for one of indiscriminate scene of desolation. No white man found fighting by the side of an Indian, will be taken prisoner.  Instant destruction will be his lot.

The UNITED STATES offers you peace, liberty and security.    Your choice lies between these & WAR, slavery, and destruction.  Choose them but choose wisely, and may he who knows the justice of our cause, and who holds in his hand the fate of NATIONS, guide you to a result that is most compatible with your rights  and interest, your PEACE and prosperity.

Big words for a man who surrendered Fort Detroit for fear of those Indians.


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Fort Malden-- Part 5: Hull's Brazen Proclamation to Canadians

Considering how this incursion ended and the surrender of Detroit, this proclamation by Hull certainly didn't bear out his words.


After  thirty years of PEACE & prosperity, the UNITED STATES have been driven to Arms.  The injuries & aggressions, insults & indignities of Great Britain have once more left them no alternative but manly resistance or unconditional submission.

The ARMY under my command has invaded your country, & the Standard of the UNION now waves over the Territory of CANADA.  To the peaceable unoffending inhabitant, it brings neither danger nor difficulty.  I come to find enemies, not to snake them.  I come to protect, not to injure you.

If the barbarous & savage policy of Great Britain is pursued, and the savages are let loose to murder our citizens, & butcher our women and children, the war, will be a war of extermination.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Fort Malden-- Part 4: Opening of War of 1812

Part 3 is on August 31.  Parts two and three are out of order.

General Hull reacted to the Cuyahoga's capture on July 12 when he moved his forces across the Detroit River east of Sandwich (Windsor today) and took the town without opposition.  Sandwich was then used as a base of operations for the American advance into Upper Canada.

General Hull used the Francois Baby House in Sandwich as his headquarters and on July 13, issued a proclamation to the citizens of Canada.  (See next post for his proclamation.)

The Francois Baby House construction began in 1812 and it was unfinished when General Hull used it as his headquarters.  It was later used as British headquarters.  Today it is a National Historic Site of Canada.


Monday, September 2, 2019

Fort Malden-- Part 2: A History of the Fort and Amherstburg

From Wikipedia Amherstburg.

Amherstburg town is a Canadian town near the mouth of the Detroit River about 16 miles south of the city of Detroit.  It is part of the Windsor metropolitan area.

French colonists had originally settled in the area.  In 1796, after losing the American colonies and Fort Detroit (present-day Detroit), Britain established Fort Malden (Fort Amherstburg) as a military fort overlooking Lake Erie at the Detroit River's mouth.

This caused the region's population to grow as did the Crown granting land in Upper Canada to  Loyalists from the U.S. (now known as United Empire Loyalists) in compensation for losses in the former colonies or for payment for service in the American Revolution.

Amherstburg and the fort also played a role in the Underground Railroad to get runaway slaves to their freedom in the years leading up to the Civil War.  It was a major crossing point into Canada.  The town is even mentioned in the famous book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" as being where George and Eliza escaped slavery.


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Fort Malden-- Part 3: War of 1812

Aside from its military history, the fort  was the setting for the British Pensioner Scheme and later became the Ontario Provincial Asylum in 1859.    After that closed, it became privatized.and divided into lots for public sale and that lasted until the 1900s.

Fort Malden's War of 1812 involvement began on July 2, 1812,  when British forces at the fort captured the American schooner Cuyahoga.  The declaration of war was made by the U.S. on June 18, but the American General William Hull at Detroit still did not know about it.

He had chartered the Cuyahoga to transport goods and military records, officer wives and the ill from Toledo, Ohio, to Detroit.  But it had to pass Amherstburg and Fort Malden on the Detroit River and it was captured by the British brig  HMS General Hunter.


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Fort Malden-- Part 1: Formal Name Is Fort Amherstburg

From Wikipedia.

This fort played a large role in the War of 1812 and was also involved in the Patriot War of 1837-1838.

Fort Malden, formally known as Fort Amherstburg, is located in Amherstburg, Ontario.  It was built in 1795 to defend against potential American invasion.

During the War of 1812, Sir Isaac Brock and Tecumseh met here to plan the siege of Detroit.  It was then a British stronghold during the rest of the war.  It also had an important role in the Upper Canada Rebellion and the Patriot War of 1837-1838.

It is now one of the National Historic Sites of Canada.

Because of the 1795 Jay Treaty, the British had to relinquish their Fort Detroit, located at present day Detroit.  They were assigned to Fort Malden, south of Detroit.  In 1797, Robert Prescott, commander of British troops in Canada, ordered it named Fort Amherstburg, for General Lord Amherst, who served during the Seven Years' War.

That name has never changed, but most people call it Fort Malden  as it is in the township of Malden.


Patriot War of 1838

I am going to quit writing about the Patriot War of 1838 now.

But you can find out more by looking up Patriot War in Wikipedia.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Patriot War, Schooner Ann/Anne-- Part 11" And, the George Strong

This involved another ship, the George Strong, that the Anne had captured and evidently used as a tender.

Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
Friday, February 2, 1838

The GEORGE STRONG --  It appears that the robbery of this vessel amounted to the buying , by the British officers,  of ten cords and a quarter of wood, and sundries, for which full payment was made.

It also appears that she was sort of a tender to the piratical Anne.

So, at least some Americans regarded the actions of the Patriots as piratical.


Monday, August 26, 2019

Patriot War, the Schooner Ann/Anne: 53 Feet Long, 13.4 Foot Beam, Launched 1836

Schooner ANN.  Of 25.75 tons.  Built Detroit, Mich.,  1836 by W.H. Simmons.  owned by Shadrack Gillet, a Detroit Commission and Forwarding  Merchant.

Home Port, Detroit, Mich. 53.0 X 13.4 X 4.10  (53 feet long, 13.4 foot beam and 4.10 depth)   No gallery; no figurehead; one deck; two masts.

Former enrollment of Detroit surrendered by reason of new owners, dated May 24, 1836.

Detroit Enrollment No. 13 of 1836.
dated May 24, 1836.

I'm guessing enrollment refers to registration here.

More Than You'd Ever Figured To Know About the Schooner Ann/Anne.  --Brock-Perry