Saturday, March 30, 2013

North Carolina in the War of 1812-- Part 2

Even though the United States suffered many land defeats, things were generally better at sea.  Captain Johnston Blakely (I wrote about him the last several days, including the Blakely Tea Service) was an Irish immigrant who had for a time made North Carolina his home.  His ship, the Wasp, won single-ship fights with the British ships Reindeer and Avon, but disappeared without a trace.

American privateers wreaked havoc on British shipping throughout the war.  The Snap Dragon, NC's most famous privateers, was captained by Swansboro's Otway Burns.  On his first voyage from1812-1813, he seized eight vessels and pickings were so good on the second cruise that the crew was forced to sleep on the deck.

British naval vessels and privateers harassed the North Carolina coasts throughout the war.  The government couldn't spare regular troops so it fell to the militia to protect the state.  British landing parties attacked several different locations.

In November 1813, three barges of armed men from the british privateer Mars captured several American vessels at Wilmington's New Inlet (where Civil War Fort Fisher was later built).  Local militia was able to capture one barge and drive off the others, however.

In another large raid in October 1814 at Currituck Inlet, the British captured three ships and burned three more, but were drive off by local militia.

And, That's Not the End of It.  --Brock-Perry

North Carolina in the War of 1812-- Part 1

From the Encyclopedia of North Carolina.

After the United Staes declared war on Great Britain on June 18, 1812, North Carolina Governor William Hawkins quickly let President James Madison know that he had the state's full support.

North Carolinians served in both the regular army and militia.  The 10th Regiment US Army, contained the most North Carolinians, although there were also state men in the 12th, 13th, 15th and 43rd Regiments and the 2nd US Artillery.

When Detroit surrendered to the British early in the war, this stirred up even more support.  In Mecklenburg County, 100 men past militia age, including many Revolutionary War veterans, drilled at a militia muster and pledged that, if necessary, they would fight the british a second time.

The state was proud of the exploits of the U.S. Rifle Regiment and one of its officers, native-born Captain Benjamin Forsyth tat participated in the capture of York in 1813 and rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel.  He was killed at the Battle of Odell Town, Canada on June 28, 1814.  The state's Forsyth County is named for him.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, March 29, 2013

North Carolina's Blakely Silver Service-- Part 2

After locating Captain Johnston's widow, Jane Hoope Blakely in Boston, they found out the couple only had one child, a daughter, Udney Maria Blakely.  Instead of a sword, the General Assembly decided on a set of tea-plate, soemthing more fitting for females.  As much as $500 was appropriated for it.

The French-style tea service was completed in 1819 and consisted of a teapot, coffee pot, milk jug, waste basin and sugar bowl and tongs and was presented to the daughter on her 16th birthday.  It was made by silversmith Anthony Rasch.

That silver service remained outside of North Carolina for 150 years before returning permanently in 1968 as a gift to the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh.

So, That's Where It Came From.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, March 28, 2013

North Carolina's Blakely Silver Service-- Pt. 1

From the Encyclopedia of North Carolina.

I found this huge book at Books-A-Million in Goldsboro, NC, a few days ago for just $5.  I've been enjoying looking through it where I found the article about the privateer Wasp and its captain, Johnston Blakely (which I had never heard of before) and the CSS Wilmington ironclad (which is in my Running the Blockade blog).

During the War of 1812, US fortunes were down when North Carolina heard about the captures of the British sloops Reindeer and Avon by the Wasp in the summer of 1814.  I was wondering why the Wasp would be in this book until I found out its commander, Captain Blakely, was a Wilmington resident, and to honor him, on December 7, 1814, the General Assembly voted to present him a superb sword on his return.

Unfortunately, that never came to be as the Wasp and all aboard was lost sometime after Oct. 9, 1814.  The General Assembly waited until the end of December 1816 to find out his fate and finally determined to deliver the sword to his widow, Jane Blakely, who they located in Boston.

Something Else.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Privateer Wasp Carries the War to Europe-- Part 2

The Wasp departed for the Spanish coast on August 27, 1814 and soon spotted a ten-ship convoy guarded by a 74-gun ship-of-the-line.  The Wasp was able to cut one out, the Mary, and burn it.  A second ship, the Avon, fell out of line and after a 47 minute fight, the ship surrendered.  But, before the Wasp's crew could board, other convoy ships returned and forced the American ship to retreat.

Three weeks later the ship captured three more prizes and one was sent to Savannah.  Sadly, after that the Wasp disappeared sometime after Oct. 9, 1814, and was never seen again.

Not Always a Successful Story.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Privateer Wasp Carries the War to Europe-- Part 1

From the Encyclopedia of North Carolina.

The privateer Wasp was a sloop commanded by North Carolinian Capt. Johnston Blakely and mounted 20 carronades and 2 long 12-pounders built in Newburyport, Massachusetts. 

Blakely hired a crew of 173 and received orders to sail May 1, 1814, and inflict damage to British shipping in western  Europe and then attack English allies along the Spanish coast and return to New Orleans.  He was to destroy all prizes inswtead of depleting his crew to sail them back.  Under no circumstances was he to engage British warships.

From May to July 6, the Wasp destroyed six commercial vessels.  One, the Reindeer, put up a fight  and damaged the privateer., causing it to limp into the French port of L'Orient.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Monday, March 25, 2013

War Comes to the Chesapeake Bay-- Part 2

There was a two-hour battle that ensued between the British ships and the Lottery.  It was the first salvo in a campaign of fire, plunder and fear for the Tidewater and Bay which would continue for two years.  During this time, the Royal Navy seized and burned hundreds of vessels, launched scores of hit and run raids and pillaged.

The Times of London had demanded "America must be BEATEN INTO SUBMISSION."  And the Royal Navy was to be just the instrument to do it.

A major reason for the arrival of the British fleet was to blunt an American invasion of Canada.

The American frigate Constellation almost became a victim of the British ships.  Captain Charles Stewart had arrived in the ship from Annapolis and had anchored at Hampton Road and had to leave quickly, being pursued by two ships-of-the-line, three frigates, a brig and a schooner.

As the months went by, the number of British ships increased with huge effect on the Virginia,  The state's trade dropped from $3 million annually to just $17,000.

And, Then, There Was Another Blockade of the Area in 1861.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, March 23, 2013

War Comes to the Chesapeake Bay-- Part 1

From February 10, 2013, Virginia Daily Press "War comes to Hampton Roads" by Mark St. John Erickson.

It was February 4, 1813, and, out of the blue, British warships started arriving at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.  Days went by and more appeared.  Just one of the 74-gun ships-of-the-line mounted more guns than all those defending the Elizabeth River at Norfolk.  And there were a lot of them.

They immediately commenced blockading between Lynnhaven Bay and Old Point Comfort.

It didn't take long for a first encounter.  On  February 8th, the HMS Maidstone spotted a sail and began pursuit.  The strange ship turned out to be the six-gun schooner Lottery.  Unfortunately for the American ship, it got becalmed and a two-hour fight ensued.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, March 22, 2013

Top Two Designs for Canada's Bicentennial Revealed

From the March 21, 2013 Ottawa (Canada) Citizen.

The two finalists for Canada's $787,000 to build a War of 1812 bicentennial monument in Ottawa are Brian Cooley and Adriene Alison.  They both have scale models on display.  Brian Cooley's consists of twenty figures on a rectangular base and Adriene Alison's of seven in a circle facing outward.

The Department of Canadian Heritage and National Capital Commission are sponsoring it.  There has been a bit of controversy over the whole process and even with the final two, with Cooley wanting to farm out some of his strucrure to China to keep costs down.

Whoever wins, it is expected to have the monument unveiled in the front of the East Block of Parliament Building in 2014.

Each proposal had to include: the Bitish Army, Provincial Marine, English-speaking militia, French-speaking militia, First Nations and Metis.  (I'm not sure what Metis is?  Provincial Marine I take to be Canadian ships.)

It Will Be Interesting.  --Brock-Perry

Monday, March 18, 2013

HMS Highflyer-- Part 2

In late May, the Highflyer had an indecisive battle with the American privateer Roger.  The Highflyer's commander, Lt. Theophilus Livery and two others were killed.

In July 11, 1813, the fleet arrived off Ocracoke Island, NC and landed troops, engaged and captured American ships.  The troops captured both Ocracoke and Portsmouth islands.

On September 23, 1813, the frigate USS President recaptured the Highflyer off Nantucket Sound by some chicanery.  The President had captured the British recognition signals and lured the Highflyer alongside and captured it without firing a shot.

However, the Americans did not take the ship into their service.

There were other ships in the Royal Navy by the name of Highflyer.  The HMS Highflyer Association doesn't have much to say about this one other than it was captured by the HMS Poictiers.

An Interesting History of a Ship.  --Brock-Perry

HMS Highflyer-- Part 1: American Privateer, British Warship


On an earlier post, I wrote about ships on the British blockade of the Chesapeake Bay and I also wrote about the HMS Poictiers.  One of the ships mentioned as being on the blockade was the HMS Highflyer.  I'd never heard of it.

The Highflyer was built in 1811 in Dorchester County, Maryland.  During the War of 1812, it carried five cannons as an American privateer and captured about ten ships before it was captured January 9, 1813, by the HMS Poictiers (which also captured the USS Wasp and Frolic) and taken into the Royal Navy.

It joined Warren's blockade fleet April 13, 1813 and soon afterwards, pursued four schooners up the Rappahannock Riverin Virginia.  When the river depth got too low for the Highflyer, boats were sent out and captured them.  Three of these were also taken into the Royal Navy.

April 28th, there was an expedition up the Elk River to destroy American ships, stores and a cannon factory at French Town.  This took until May 3rd.  On the way back, they were fired on by batteries at Havre de Grace.  A landing party destroyed the battery and most of the town.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Illinois Military Tract of 1812


Since I live in Illinois, I was interested to learn more about the land given to War of 1812 veterans in the state.

The military tract was in a huge triangle of land in the Illinois Territory between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers in the western part.  The northern boundary extended 90 miles east of the Mississippi along the southern border of today's Rock County.

The area was surveyed between 1815-1816 and consisted of 5 million acres of which 3,500,000 was considered suitable for cultivation.

Soldiers in the war received 160 acres and received warrants for the land by lottery.  Most of the veterans, or their heirs, however, sold the warrants to speculators.  One such company acquired over 900,000 acres.

Also, it was found that many squatters were on the land.  In the end, many of the speculators lost the land.

Settlement of Illinois didn't really kick off until Indian removal.


The Military Tract of 1812

From Wikipedia.

This is a follow up to my Feb. 18, 2013 entry about War of 1812 genealogy with some of the sources coming from bounty land warrants, which I had never heard of before.  So, I had to do some more research.

On May 6, 1812 (six weeks before the declaration of war), an Act of Congress set aside land as payment to volunteer soldiers for the upcoming war (they definitely must have been expecting it).  Land in the west that eventually became the states of Arkansas, Michigan and Illinois.  Missouri land was added after the land in Michigan was determined to be undesirable.

Land was given as partial compensation by states and later the federal government.  This had also been done during the American Revolution, but most of that land was in western Virginia.

Shoot Gun, Get Land.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, March 15, 2013

1812 Veterans Graves Marked in Arkansas

From the July 3, 1812, Harrison (Ark)

The U.S. Daughters of 1812 marked the graves of sixteen War of 1812 veterans at the Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock.

Direct descendants of three of them were in attendance.

Membership in the Daughters is open to women 18 and over who can prove direct lineage.


Not Much War Impact on Harvard

From the July 4, 2012, Harvard Gazette "Harvard in the Wat of 1812" by Corydon Ireland.

Other than book deliveries from England being delayed for two years, there wasn't much impact on Harvard.

The sloop Harvard used to deliver wood from Maine to the campus, but on June 6, 1814, was captured by the British and burned.  Local sources were hard to find, so there was a bit of a wood shortage.

Roofing slate from Wales instead had to come from a New York supplier to finish Holworthy Hall.

Sounds Like An Educated Guess to Me.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The War's Impact On Illinois-- Part 2

Two expeditions were sent out.  One met with some success, the other with disaster.  They were to rendezvous in Peoria for supplies, but both groups were sent home after engagements with various Indian groups.

Their return was not communicated to Captain Thomas E. Craig who was heading to Peoria with supplies.  As he approached, fleeing french settlers told him that 1,000 warriors were nearby.  He found Peoria deserted and the Americans looted it, feasting and returning to their boats that night.

Six Frenchmen appeared there and demanded the return of their possessions.  Very little was given back.  They later heard gunfire and blamed it on the French who denied it.  The village was looted again and this time homes burned and livestock killed.

Pottawatomie Chief Gome agreed to attack the Americans.

A Bit Confusing.  --Brock-Perry

The War's Impact on Illinois-- Part 1

From the June 30, 2012, Canton (Il) Daily Ledger "War of 1812 had impact on local area" by Larry Eskridge.

Information from"Illinois in War of 1812" by Gillum Ferguson.

First off, Illinois was not yet a state, still a territory.

Peoria found itself at the forefront of the struggle between the United States and Indians fighting for Britain.

An early French settlement had been established on Lake Peoria, but in the 1790s had moved one and a half miles upstream to New Village. (La Ville de Maillet).  Most of its inhabitants were French hunters and traders whom the Americans viewed as working for the British.

In August and September 1812, the Illinois Territorial Governor, Ninian Edwards, organized an offensive against hostile Indians.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Truth About the War of 1812

From the June 30, 2012, Baltimore Sun "Letters to the Editor" by David Brandenburg.

Some call it "America's successful 'Second War of Independence'" which is wrong on two counts.  First, it wasn't successful and Second, It was not a war for independence.

It was an attempt by the U.S. government to steal Canada from Britain and it failed.

The British burning the White House and their attack on Fort McHenry were for good reason.  The White House burning was in response to an earlier American attack on York, capital of Upper Canada where American troops set fire to the parliament building.

Fort McHenry was attacked because Baltimore was a "nest of pirates" according to the British.  This would be concerning the numerous privateers operating out of said port.

A lot of the war was the result of a small group in Congress called the War Hawks.  They actively pursued a war with Britain.  The writer of "The Star-Spangled Banner," Francis Scott Key, was opposed to the war.

Now, You Know.  --Brock-Perry

The USS Constitution's "Forgotten Crews" Honored-- Part 3

PHILIP BRIMBLECOM--  Born 1786 in Marblehead and grew up fishing.  In 1809 on his uncle's schooner and sailed to Spain.  But his ship was taken off the Spanish coast and impounded in France.  he went to work on a French merchant ship, but that was seized by the English and he found himself imprisoned again.

He later escaped on an America-bound ship, but was captured again and exchanged in September 1812 as a POW.

He signed onto the Constitution that month. In a December 1812 battle, (probably against the HMS Java) a cannonball took off an arm at the elbow.  This ended his service in the Navy and he couldn't find a job, disabled as he was.  A letter to the Navy requesting that his pension be increased from $6 a month was written.  Whether he got it is not known.

Then, he was able to get a job at the Charlestown Navy Yard in 1816 and he died at age 38.

The Story of a Sailor.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The USS Constitution's "Forgotten Crews" Honored-- Part 2

Historians combed through pension applications, military documents and personal correspondence to come up with the stories of the hundreds who served on the ship.  Fortunately, there was a solid list of crewmen.  In addition, there were pension records and protection certificates which crewmen used as proof of citizenship.

DAVID Debias, a freeborn black from Beacon Hill, was just 8 when he joined the crew and became the servant of a master's mate.  He was among the crew members selected to sail the HMS Levant after the Constitution captured it.

The British seized the ship on its way to the U.S. and he was imprisoned in Barbados for a few months before being sent to his family.  He was discharged in 1815 and earned $32 for his 7-month stint in the Navy.

But, he was back at sea again, joining the merchant fleet then enlisted again on the USS Constitution.  In 1838, he left the ship while docked in Alabama and was seized in Mississippi as a runaway slave.

Researchers found a letter from Debias' lawyer to the Secretary of the Navy asking for proof of military service, but they were unable to find a response at first.  They finally did find one saying he was in the military, but it is not known whether he regained his freedom.

Now, That Is One Really Interesting Story.  --Brock-Perry

The USS Constitution's "Forgotten Crews" Honored-- Part 1

From the July 1, 2012, "USS Constitution's forgotten, brave crew honored" by Peter Schworm.

Undefeated in battle and so stalwart it earned the name "Old Ironsides," the nation's most famous warship and "an abiding symbol of national pride and naval might," the frigate USS Constitution is well-known.

Yet, in its two centuries afloat, the lives of the hundreds of ordinary sailors who served on the ship is little-known.  "As the ship's legend grew, they faded into obscurity."

Now, their stories are being told.

In the past decade, researchers at the USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown have pieced together the lives of hundreds of seamen and Marines stationed aboard.

JAMES BENNETT was a freeborn black man who plugged holes from enemy shot and was later killed at the Battle of Lake Erie.

ASA CURTIS of Scituate, a ship's gunner, was "weather-beaten and scarred from many years at sea.

"Aye, Tear Her Tattered Ensign Down."  --Brock-Perry

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lewes, Delaware to Commemorate the War April 6-7

From the March 8, 2013, Cape (Delaware) Gazette.

There is a picture of the HMS Majestic which patrolled the waters off Lewes during the war.

The Lewes Historical Society has a weekend of events lined up.


The Fort McHenry Guard will be in town to demonstrate War of 1812 cannon-firing at Cape Henlopen State Park and then their will be presentations and a seminar at St. Peter's Church Hall.


The Fort McHenry Guard will be at the Lewes Historical Society and will demonstrate musket-firing.  There will be a rededication of the War of 1812 Park at front Street.

Also, an 1812-themed dinner is planned.


Check Out Your War Knowledge and Play Jeopardy Too

I came across this War of 1812 Jeopardy template and played a round.  I did miss three questions, but some weren't worded too well.

Take the test yourself at .

Saturday, March 9, 2013

War of 1812 Mass Grave on Crab Island

From the June 15, 2012 Listverse.

Mass Grave #8:  Crab Island in New York's Lake Champlain was used a s a hospital during the Battle of Plattsburgh.  Both British and American casualties were treated there.  It was the nearest island to the battle.

The dead, some of whom washed up on shore, were packed into rows in a mass grave south of the hospital.  All but officers, who received proper graves, were lumped together.  (I would take that to mean sailors from both sides.)

Congress finally commissioned a granite obelisk in 1908.


US Shrugs, Canada Goes All-Out for Bicentennial-- Part 2

Britain's heart was not into the war against the United States.  They were preoccupied in Europe fighting Napoleon, who was a much more serious threat.  In effect, we had to fight their "B" teams in terms of soldiers, generals, ships and sailors.  Even the huge British-Canadian hero Isaac Brock was doing everything he could to get transferred back to fight Napoleon, considering Canada a backwater.

As the old saying goes,  "Canadians are sure they won the War of 1812, Americans are pretty sure they did, and the British never heard of it."

Historians say it was an important war as:

1.  It proved the U.S. was here to stay.

2.  It shaped the American future; economically, diplomatically and militarily.

3.  It led to the rise of Andrew Jackson

4.  The Indians were the biggest losers.  It reinforced American determination to entirely remove them east of the Mississippi and as enemies.  They also lost their British support.

5.  Canada stayed British.

The title of this entry refers to the amounts of money the U.S. and Canadian governments were spending on the bicentennial.


US Shrugs, Canada Goes All Out for Bicentennial-- Part 1

From the June 15, 2012, USA Today by Rick Hampson.

In order to recreate the Battle of Queenstown Heights, Canadians had to play the roles of both British and American soldiers.

With their declaration of war on June 18, 1812, the United States had picked a war with the world's strongest military power.  We had 16 ships in our Navy.  They had over 500.

The war resulted in the burnings of two capitals: Washington, DC, York, Upper Canada (now Toronto) as well as Buffalo, New York.

Why did the U.S. fight?  Best answers: 1.  To end impressment,  2.End trade restrictions,  3.  Seize Canada and  4.  Open settlement of the West.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Ships of the War of 1812-- Part 4: Wrecks, Originals and Replicas

The wrecks of the HMS St. Lawrence, HMS Prince Regent, HMS Wolfe and USSsloop Jefferson have all been identified in Lake Ontario.  The remains of the USS Eagle, schooner USS Ticonderoga and sloop HMS Linnet have been found in Lake Chaplain

Of course, there is the original USS Constitution in Boston, and even though the ship did not participate in the Americas, the HMS Vicory, an example of a first-rate ship-of-the-line is in England.

There is a replica of Perry's flagship, the USS Niagara, based out of Erie , Pennsylvania.

The HMS St. Lawrence was rebuilt from 1976-1977 and sailed around the world until it sank in a squall in 1986.

Canada has plans to rebuild the HMS Detroit, Barclay's flagship.  The original was raised by the Americans in 1837 and renamed the Veto with plans to send it over the Niagara Falls as a message to President John Tyler.  The keel of the replica was laid in 2000, but funds dried up and work stopped.

Recently, a salvage company discovered what is thought to be the well-preserved wreck of the Canadian-built frigate HMS Caledonia, but a U.S. court ruled against raising it because of the men who went down with her.

John Marsh wrote this.

So, Now You Know.  --Brock-Perry

Ships of the War of 1812-- Part 3

SLOOP--  smaller than a frigate and could carry up to 20 guns.  Single masted.  Examples of sloops would be the HMS Detroit and HMS Wolfe, flagship of Commodore James Yeo on Lake Ontario.


There are at least 15 ships either afloat or their wrecks that are known.

In 1973, there was a big discovery of the USS Scourge and Hamilton, 88 meters down in Lake Ontario.  Both capsized in a storm August 8, 1813, and 100 men died.  Both landed on the lake floor upright and are well-preserved.

The hull of the HMS Tecumseh was raised in 1953 and can be seen at Penetonguishere along with the remains of the Scorpion and the bowribs of the brig Naawash.

There are remains of the HMS Nancy, a British supply ship sunk in the Nottawasaga River.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ships of the War of 1812-- Part 2

SCHOONERS--On of the most elegant and manageable sailing vessels, typically two-masted and a very common ship on Lake Ontario.  These ships were used for transportation and privateers.  The Hamilton and Scourge were schooners.  The Canadian privateer Liverpool Packet, operating out of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, captured 50 American prizes.

FRIGATES--  often as long as a ship-of-the-line.  Three masts and square-rigged, faster and smaller armament (about 28 guns, generally used for patrol or escort.  The HMS Shannon was a famous frigate that captured the USS Chesapeake.

American frigates were less numerous, but stronger and carried more guns of higher caliber and range.  A British frigate fighting an American one was a very one-sided battle.

These would have been the later-day cruisers.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Ships of the War of 1812-- Part 1

From the War of 1812 Blog

I use the names brigs, frigates and ships-of-the-line quite often.  I know what the ships are, but perhaps others don't.  This blog entry on the excellent site puts it in perspective.

One of the major problems facing the British was supplying Upper Canada.  Shipping was extremely vulnerable along the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario.

BRIGS had two square-rigged masts and carried 10-20 guns.

SHIP-OF-THE-LINE--  These ships were made specifically to take their place in a line of battle, the method navies back then fought, with ships in a line.  Opposing fleets would form two opposite lines and hammer away at each other. 

They carried between 60 and 110 guns.  A First Rate had three decks and carried 90+ guns, a Second Rate also had three decks but80-89 guns, Third Rate over 54 guns on two decks and Fourth Rate also with two decks and over 38 guns.  These ships were used most often for communication and convoy duty.

Fifth and Sixth Rate were considered too small to be in large sea battles.

These would have been considered to be the battleships of their day.  Early battleships were also used in lines to pound away at the enemy fleet.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bits of War: Sacketts Harbor-- Portland, Maine

Tidbits of the war.

1.  SACKETTS HARBOR--  Feb. 5, 2013--  British-Canadians killed at Sacketts Harbor were given proper burial, but their graves were unmarked.  A group is raising money to put a marker at the graves.

2.  PORTLAND, MAINE--  Feb. 5, 2013--  Next to Portland's Eastern Promenade, on a grassy slope overlooking Casco Bay is a site where21 American soldiers, captured by the British, are buried.


War of 1812 Signs to Be Installed in Erie, Pennsylvania

From the Feb. 17, 2013 Go (Erie, Pennsylvania, "Seaway Trail to install War of 1812 signs on bayfront" by Ally Orlando.

Seaway Trail, Inc., VisitErie and the Erie Maritime Museum will install 2 signs in Erie, Pa.'s Bayfront at Dobbins Landing and South Pier at Presque Island State Park.  The one at Dobbins Landing will detail the career of the USS Niagara and its commander Oliver Hazard Perry (the Perry in the blog signoff).

The one at South Pier will detail how the Lake Erie fleet was built and launched.

This is part of a larger project of 19 War of 1812 signs along the 500 mile Seaway Trail which includes the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie.

The new signs measure 40 X 30 inches and are color-coded brown, indicating historical information.

Getting the Word Out, One Sign At a Time.  --Brock-Perry

Peter Parker's HMS Weazel

From Wikipedia.  The final Peter Parker instalment.  For someone who had never heard of Peter Parker, I sure know a lot about him now.  He sure came from a Royal Naval family and I would have to compare him to the Civil War's William Cushing as far as courage, bravery and willingness to take chances.

The HMS Weazel is also found spelled Weazle and Weasel and was a Royal Navy 18-gun Cruizer Class brig-sloop launched in 1805 at Topsham, Devon.  It saw active service in the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic Wars.  Decommissioned in 1815 and broken up in 1825, 

Entered service in 1805 under Commander Peter Parker and in August sailed to Cadiz and joined the British fleet under Lord Nelson and was assigned to carefully watch the port exit of Cadiz for movement of the Franco-Spanish fleet and when they did, signalled Nelson.

Parker was angry when he was dispatched to go after five British ships-of-the-line that Nelson had sent to the Strait of Gibraltar, hoping to lure the enemy out.  As such, the Weazel missed the Battle of Trafalgar.

Afterwards, continued operations in the Mediterranean against the French.

Another Ship, Another Story.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Peter Parker's Father, Vice Admiral Christopher Parker

From Wikipedia and other sources.  It was quite difficult to find out about him.

Christopher Parker (1761-1794?, another source said he died in 1804)  He became a captain in 1779 and Rear Admiral in 1795 and Vice Admiral in 1801.  He commanded the frigate HMS Lowestoff "t"? a 32-gun fifth rate in 1780 and was involved in the capture of Omoa.

Lord Horatio Nelson was on the Lowestoff at one time.  It was wrecked August 10, 1801 at Caicos Passage in the Caribbean Sea.


Sir Peter Parker, 2nd Baronet, Killed at Caulk's Field

That newspaper article awhile back has sure led to a lot of different areas.

From Wikipedia about his early life.

Sir Peter Parker (1785-1814) was the son of Vice Admiral Christopher Parker and Augusta Byron, the daughter of Admiral John Byron.  His father was the son of Admiral Sir Peter Parker, 1st Baronet.

He entered the Royal Navy in 1798 and served under his grandfather and his grandfather's friend, Lord Horatio Nelson on the Victory.  He rapidly rose through the ranks.

In May 1804, he was promoted to commander and 1805, was given the brig HMS Weazel.  This was the first ship to spot the Franco-Spanish fleet leaving Cadiz, which preceded the Battle of Trafalgar.  Parker was promoted to captain after the battle and in 1810, give command of the new HMS Menelaus.


Monday, March 4, 2013

The "Bloody Assizes" in Niagara

From the Bullet News Niagara.

Parks Canada, Niagara National Historic Sites and Niagara Parks Commission will host an interactive evening of music, drama and humor "The Bloody Assizes" at the Laura Secord Homestead.

The "Bloody Assizes" were a series of trials held at Ancaster, Upper Canada.  During the war, some settlers had taken up arms against their neighbors.  Many of them later fled to the United States.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sir Peter Parker, 2nd Baronet (1785-1814)

Since there were so many Baronets in Peter Parker's family, I'll tell what a Baronet is and list them for his branch of the family.

A baronet is an English hereditary title than enables the owner to be referred to as Sir.

There were several Parker Baronet groups, but Peter's was called the Parker Baronets of Bassingbourn and given by the crown in 1783.

The five Peter Parker baronets:

Sir Peter Parker, 1st Baronet (1721-1811)*
Sir Peter Parker, 2nd Baronet (1785-1814)*
Sir Peter Parker, 3rd Baronet (1804-1835)
Sir Edmund George Parker, 4th Baronet (1788-1835)
Sir Charles Christopher Parker, 5th Baronet (1792-1864)*

* Wrote about in last two days.


Back to Peter Parker's Family-- Part 3: Sir Charles Parker, His Brother

From Wikipedia.

Yesterday, I wrote about Peter Parker's two grandfathers, both admirals.  Today, it is about his brother who also would become a British admiral.  I'm sure Peter Parker would have risen to that rank had he not been killed in 1814 at the Battle of Caulk's Field.


Was the brother of Peter Parker and son of Christopher Parker and Augusta Byron and grandson of Sir Peter Parker and John Byron.

He entered the British Navy in 1804 (essentially a family business).  In June 1805, he was on his brother's ship, the HMS Weazel then served on a series of other ships.  In early 1812, he was back on his brother's ship, now the HMS Menelaus.  Then, in May of that year, he went on to serve on the HMS Malta until 1815.

The HMS Malta was an 80-gun Third Rate Ship-of-the-Line captured from the French Navy on 1800 that went on the serve Britain for 40 more years.

Sir Charles Parker served most of his career in the Mediterranean and eventually became an admiral himself.

Like I Said, a Family Business.  --Bock-Perry

Friday, March 1, 2013

Back to Peter Parker: His Family-- Part 2

From Wikipedia.

Peter Parker's, the hero of the HMS Menelaus and died at the the Battle of Slippery Hill in Maryland, mother was the daughter of John Byron (1723-1786), a vice admiral.  He was the father of Peter Parker's mother, who married Peter Parker's son, Christopher Parker, also a vice admiral.

Known as "Foul-weather Jack" for his frequent encounters with bad weather at sea.

He fought in the Seven years War (French and Indian War in North America) and during the American Revolution was commander of the British West Indies fleet which unsuccessfully attacked the French fleet under Comte d'Estrang at the Battle of Grenada.


Back to Peter Parker: His Family

From Wikipedia.

Peter Parker's grandfather (father's father) was Sir Peter Parker, 1st baronet, a British Naval admiral (1721-1811)  He was probably born in Ireland and made a lieutenant in the Royal Navy in 1743 and captain by 1747.  In 1761, he commanded the HMS Buckingham.

During the American Revolution he was sent to South Carolina to aide the loyalists and while commanding the HMS Bristol, June 28, 1776, led the naval attack on what later became Fort Moultrie at Charleston, SC.

Later he was involved in the capture of New York City and Newport, Rhode Island

While commanding the Bristol he acted as patron on friend of Horatio Nelson and was Chief Mouner at Nelson's funeral in 1806.

That's British Navy Royalty.  --Brock-Perry

Timeline for March 1813

MARCH TO DECEMBER--  British naval forces raid the Chesapeake Bay area.

MARCH--  Captain David Porter of the USS Essex rounds Cape Horn and sails into the Pacific to attack the British whaling fleet (an early CSS Alabama).

3rd--  Admiral George Cockburn's British fleet arrives at Lynnhaven Bay.

10th--  First runaway slaves make it to Royal Navy ships in the Chesapeake Bay.

17-18th--  Artillery duel Blackroot, NY versus Fort Erie in Upper Canada.

18th--  Raid of Fort Vallonia, Indiana

19th--  Sir James Lucas Yeo appointed commander of the British Lakes Squadron.

27th--  Oliver Hazard Perry, USN, arrives at Presque Island (Erie, Pa) to assume responsibility for building a Lake Erie fleet.

30th--  Raid at Buffalo Fort, Missouri

30th--  The British blockade is extended to Long island and the Mississippi River.