Monday, September 30, 2013

Middletown, Connecticut in the War of 1812

From Wikipedia.

Before the war, the city was a major shipping center, but the strained U.S.-Britain relations before the war and the Great Embargo started a decline from which the seaport never recovered. Diversification became the order of the day and Middletown was major center for firearms manufacturing and most of the U.S. pistols used during the War of 1812 came from there. After the war, however, manufacturing left the town for Springfield, Massachusetts, Hartford, Ct. and New Haven, Ct..

The city also had a large number of blacks, with some 218 in 1756. During the colonial times, it became quite the city for pewter manufacturing. George Washington visited in 1789, so if you see a place advertising that "Washington slept here," he might have.

Other famous people: BILL BELICHICK, head coach New England Patriots attended Wesleyan University; HENRY CLAY WORK, author of Civil War Song "Marching Through Georgia' and ALLIE WRUBEL, composer of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah."

Now, You Know. --Brock-Perry

Middleton Honors Thomas Macdonough-- Part 2

Macdonough was born in Delaware on Dec. 31, 1783, and served on the USS Ganges in the Quasi-War with France and the USS Constellation fighting the Barbary States. He also served on the USS Enterprise and distinguished himself in the destruction of the USS Philadelphia which had been captured by pirates.

He was promoted to lieutenant in 1806.

He assisted Isaac Hull in the construction of several gunboats in Middletown and married Lucy Anne Shaler on December 12, 1812. Several ships in the U.S. Navy have been named for him.


Middletown Honors Thomas Macdonough-- Part 1

From the September 10, 2012, Middletown (Ct) Press "Middletown honors War of 1812 commodore."

Members of the Society of 1812 in Connecticut and the Connecticut United States Daughters of 1812, honored Commodore Thomas Macdonough, who lived and died in Middletown.

Macdonough Elementary School is named for him.

A ceremony was held at the Macdonough grave in Riverside Cemetery this past Saturday.

The Battle of Lake Champlain on September 11, 2014. brought him fame. Of interest, the American victory at Lake Champlain came just a year and a day after the much more famous Battle of Lake Erie (Sept. 10, 1813).


Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Burning and Massacre at Lewistown, New York

From the September 10, 2012, "American town marks a dark episode of War of 1812" by Randy Boswell.

The December 1813 burning of Lewistown, a U.S. village directly across the Niagara River from Upper Canada's Queenston where at least a dozen American civilians died or were mutilated, a regular massacre.

The American town plans to eract a monument honoring the Tuscorora Indian warriors who helped many Americans escape the slaughter.

Before the Tuscaroras intervened, innocent women and children escaping the town were being killed and sometimes scalped.

The attack on Lewistown was in retaliation for the American Army's destruction of Newark, present day Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Royal Navy Shipyard, York (Upper Canada)

From Wikipedia.

This would be referring to the Royal Navy Dockyard there. York, Upper Canada, is now Toronto, Canada.

The yard operated from 1793 to 1813. It actually was in operation before the town of York was even there.
It built only a few ships before being moved to Kingston because it was too easy for the Americans to attack..


TORONTO, schooner, wrecked 1817

HMS PRINCE REGENT-- schooner launched 1812. Renamed HMS BEREFORD in 1813

HMS NETLEY in 1814 and finally became the NIAGARA, base ship before being broken up in 1843. //// 

HMS ISAAC BROCK-- incomplete frigate burned on the stocks.


List of Ships Built at Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard-- Part 2

These were built at Kingston, Ontario (then Upper Canada).

HMS Sir George Prevost-- schooner, 1813
HMS Lord Melville-- schooner, 1813
Psyche-- frigate1814

Niagara-- gunboat 1814-1843 (formerly known as Netley, 1813)
Queenston-- gunboat, 1814
Crystler-- gunboat, 1814

Kingston-- gunboat 1814
Canada-- unfinished, 1815
Wolfe-- unfinished, 1815

Beckwith-- transport
HMS Sir Isaac Brock, burned on stocks 1813 (this one probably was the one burned at York.).

Of course, none were built after the 1817 Rush-Bagot Agreement that demilitarized the Great Lakes.


List of Ships Built at Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Buffalo- gunboat, 1792
Catherine--gunboat, 1792
Sophia-- gunboat, 1792

Swift-- gunboat, 1792
HMS Speedy, 1798
HMS Royal George, 1809

HMS St. Lawrence, 1814
HMS Prince Regent, 1814
HMS Princess Charlotte

HMS Duke of Gloucester
HMS Earl of Moira-- brig, 1805
HMS Sir Sidney Smith-- schooner 1806.

More to Come. --Brock-Perry

Thursday, September 26, 2013

HMS Sir Isaac Brock

From Wikipedia.

Destroyed before it was completed to prevent capture by Americans at York, Upper Canada. I have been writing about this ship in cinjunction with the HMS Duke of Gloucester. The ship was named after British war hero General Sir Isaac Brock and laid down when it was found that Americans were building warships at Sackets Harbor, New York.

At the time, two sloops were laid down at the Royal Naval Dockyards at York (the Brock), the other being built at Kingston, the HMS Wolfe. Both were sloops (I've also seen the Brock called a frigate). Both were begun around the same time.

By the end of April 1813, the Wolfe was nearly ready for launching, but the Brock still many weeks away. Much of the blame for the delay has been placed on shipyard superintendent Thomas Plunkett.

The ships were to be 637 tons and mount 24 guns.

On April 27, 1813, the American fleet and Army attacked York causing the British to retreat to Kingston. The Brock was burned to prevent capture.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Conflicting Accounts of the HMS Duke of Gloucester at Battle of York

While looking further into the history of the HMS Duke of Gloucester, I found that digplanet said the ship was captured at York and did not escape as Wikipedia said. It was then taken by the Americans back to Sackets Harbor, New York.

Commodore James Lucas Yeo came to Kingston and took command in early May and immediately set about planning a counter attack on the Americans. On May 29, 1813, his naval force and an Army group attacked Sackets Harbor in what is referred to as the Second Battle of Sackets Harbor, but had to withdraw.

However, Americans, fearful of losing, set fire to the Duke of Gloucester and a heavy sloop of war under construction named the General Pike. After the British withdrawal, the Pike was saved, but Duke of Gloucester a total wreck.

Wikipedia says the British destroyed the Duke of Gloucester.

So, I Wonder Which Account of the Duke Is Correct? ---Brock-Perry

Not To Be Confused With the HMS Gloucester

Looking up the HMS Duke of Blucester, I came across the name of an HMS Gloucester, which was also afloat during the War of 1812.

From Wikipedia.

The HMS Gloucester does not have a lot of information that I could find. It was launched in England 27 February 1812 and was a 74-gun Third Class Ship of the Line. I found no mention of War of 1812 service, despite it being around. It probably served in England's home defense fleet or was involved in the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1832, it was reduced to 50 guns and sold in 1884. One site said it had a very uneventful career and was 177-feet long. It was used for harbor service (perhaps a receiving ship) until 1861.

Don't Be Confused. ---Brock-Perry

Kingston, Canada's Ships: HMS Duke of Gloucester

Earlier I listed and wrote a little about the ships built at the Kingston, Canada, Royal Navy Dockyard, but now will go into more detail about these ships. Quite a few were involved in the War of 1812.

These are taken from Wikipedia.

HMS DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, a ten-gun brig launched at the Kingston Navy Dockyard in 1812. It carried ten 12-pdr. cannons. On July 19, 1812, along with the HMS Growler, it engaged the U.S. schooner Julia at Sackets Harbor, NY.

It was repairing at York, capital of Upper Canada (now Toronto), when the Americans captured the town. It managed to escape, but British commander General Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe ordered its sister ship, the HMS Sir Isaac Brock destroyed to prevent capture. Wikipedia referred to the Brock as a frigate, but it couldn't have been if it was a sister ship to the Duke of Gloucester.

The Duke of Gloucester was destroyed by the British 29 May 1813 at the Battle of Sackets Harbor.


Kingston's Fort Frederick

Also on the tour of Kingston's Naval history is old Fort Frederick. It is located at the tip of Point Frederick and was originally an earthwork fort built to protect the Royal Navy Dockyard and the town of Kingston.

On 10 Nov. 1812, it was attqacked by American ships and repulsed the attack.

The current stone fort and tower was built between 1846 and 1847 and replaced the War of 1812 one. Of course, this might technically have been going against the Rush-Bagot Agreement. Today, it is part of the Royal Military College of Canada.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Rush-Bagot Agreement

In 1817, the United States and United Kingdom signed the Rush-Bagot Agreement which provided for the permanent demilitarization of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. After the fighting along the lakes in the War of 1812, it seemed like the right thing to do.

A Big Step Indeed. ---Brock-Perry

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Kingston's Royal Navy Dockyard-- Part 3: Ships Built There

HMS ST. LAWRENCE: Ship of the Line. I wrote about this ship earlier this week.

HMS PRINCE REGENT: Built 1814. A 56-gun frigate renamed Kingston in 1814.

HMS PRINESS CHARLOTTE: Built 1814. A 42-gun frigate renamed Burlington in 1814.

HMS PSYCHE: Built 1814. A 56-gun frigate. Her frame was sent from Britain and assembled at Kingston.

For Some Reason These Ships Were Renamed. --Brock-Perry

Kingston's Royal Navy Dockyard-- Part 2: Ships Built There

HMS DUKE OF GLOUCESTER: Built 1807. A six-gun schooner captured by the Americans 27 April 1813.

HMS ROYAL GEORGE: Built 1809. A 21-gun sloop. In March 1812, it was the largest warship on Lake Ontario. On 9 November 1812, it was attacked by a seven-ship American fleet, but managed to escape back to Kingston. It was renamed Niagara in 1814.

HMS GEORGE PREVOST: Built 1813. A 21-gun schooner renamed Wolfe in 1813. Altered to a brig and renamed the Montreal in 1814.


Fort McHenry Flag Still Inspires After 200 Years-- Part 2

In 1912, what was left of the flag was presented to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. After many restorations, including a recent one, it is on permanent dispaly at the National Museum of American History.


On Flag Day, June 14th this year, three restored threads of the Fort McHenry flag were sewn into "The National 9-11 Flag," a tattered remnant of that day that was found in the rubble of the World Trade Center buildings. That flag is on tour.

The threads were taken from seven small patches of the flag that are at the Star-Spangled Banner House Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

"By the Dawn's Early Light..." --Brock-Perry

Fort McHenry Flag Still Inspires After 200 Years-- Part 1

From the September 10, 2012,Voice of America "War of 1812 Flag Still Inspires After 200 Years" by Ted Landphair.

The British fleet bombarded Fort McHenry, guarding Baltimore, Maryland, for 25 straight hours. Running out of ammunition and without taking the fort's surrender, the fleet sailed away.

This was a very fortunate day for the United States after the British capture of Washington, DC, a few weeks earlier. Then, there was that Francis Scott Key putting pen to paper writing about what he had seen.

Fort McHenry was flying the largest battle flag ever made at the time. The fort's commander, Lt. Col. George Armistead (whose son would die fighting for the Confederacy) had ordered it raised as a symbol of defiance. As a result, it was shot full of holes.

Afterwards, Armistead allowed several pieces, including one of the 15 stars to be snipped off and given away as souvenirs.

"Oh Say Can You See..." --Brock-Perry

Friday, September 20, 2013

Kingston's Royal Navy Dockyard-- Part 1: Naval Warship Race

From the Explore Naval Historic Sites, City of Kingston.

The Royal Navy Dockyard in Kingston, Ontario, was established on Point Frederick in 1789 for the Provincial Marine to provide transports and armed ships to the colonial government.

It was transferred to the Royal Navy of Britain in 1813. During the War of 1812 it built warships as part of the naval arms race with the United States who had a fleet based at nearby Sackets Harbor, New York. 
This was for the control of Lake Ontario.


HMS St. Lawrence: Lake Ontario's Ship of the Line-- Part 2

Before the launch of the St. Lawrence, control of Lake Ontario passed back and forth during the war. Once the St. Lawrence was launched in September 1814, the British had uncontested control of the lake.

However, the ship never saw action as the U.S. ships declined to fight it. It was decommissioned soon after the war and in 1832 the hull was sold for 25 pounds and it later became a brewery storage facility before eventually sinking in 30 feet of water at Kingston.

It is now a popular dive spot, though little remains of the once mighty ship.

I sure never knew there was a ship of the line on the Great Lakes.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

HMS St. Lawrence-- Lake Ontario's Ship of the Line-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Last week, I wrote about a walking tour being offered of naval facilities in Kingston, Ontario, and came across the name of a ship of the line, the HMS St. Lawrence, which I'd never heard of before.

The HMS St. Lawrence was 191 feet long, had a crew of 700 and, among its 112 guns, mounted sixty 32-pdrs, thirty-six 24-pdrs and four 68-pdr. carronades. This made the ship what is considered a first rate ship of the line.

It is the only Royal Navy ship of the line warship ever launched and operated entirely on fresh water. As a matter of fact, it only operated on Lake Ontario because of the how shallow the St. Lawrence River was and its rapids at one end and Niagara Falls at the other.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Washington Navy Yard in the News Today

It was very sad to learn that 13 people were killed today at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC. Fortunately, the killer is also dead.

I have been writing a bit about the yard in this blog as of late. Along with the White House and other public buildings burned in the city when the British captured it in 1814, ships and facilities at the Washington Navy Yard were also destroyed, some by the British, but others by Americans trying to keep them from being captured.

You Rarely Hear About What Happened at the Navy Yard in the War of 1812.  --Brock-Perry

Sunday, September 15, 2013

1812 Walking Tour in Kingston, Ontario-- Part 2

Along the walk, you can learn about the Royal George and Point Frederick Artillery Battery.

At first, Royal Navy ships were built in York (present-day Toronto) but the U.S. sacked it and were a constant threat. Operations were shifted to Kingston Royal Navy Dockyard and over the years some 300 ships built there.

The HMS St. Lawrence was built there (and still is in the harbor of Kingston). The 112-gun ship of the line was the largest-ever Royal Navy ship launched and operated its whole short career in fresh water.


Friday, September 13, 2013

1812 Walking Tour in Kingston, Ontario-- Part 1

From the September 12, 2013, CKWS.

The walking tour covers Point Frederick and the Royal Military College. The college dates to 1876, but way before that, there was the Royal Navy Dockyard at the site. (I have mentioned it before, check out the Royal Navy Dockyard label.)

It is a one kilometer walk with 13 stations and one historic monument. Evidently, you can use your smart phone to get information, but it sounds as if there is also a printed copy of it.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial

I was going to write about this yesterday, but that was the 200th anniversary of this battle which was a major turning point in the war in the west. ---Brock-Perry

Follow-up on the New War of 1812 Stamp

(October 28, 2018) Since a couple months ago I have been going back through my blogs from 2013 and 2014 and inserting paragraphs.  From August 2013 to April 2014 I was unable to use paragraphs in my blogs.  I have no idea why this happened.  This is what my blog entries looked like back then.

From Wikipedia. /// (1823-1879) Lived in New York City. Best-known for his painting of the Battle of Lake Erie. One copy is in the Ohio State Capitol building and the other at the U.S. Capitol. He is also famous for a second piece of artwork "The Discovery of the Mississippi by De Soto A.D. 1541." /// Studied under artist Henry Inman in New York City. Received a commission from the U.S. Congress in 1847 to paint the De Soto picture which he completed in 1855. /// This painting was so popular that the Ohio legislature commissioned him to do a painting of Perry's victory. That one was so well-received that the U.S. Congress requested a copy for as stairway on the north side of the Capitol building. This one was larger than the original one and finished in 1873. /// ---Brock-Perry

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Battle of Lake Erie Stamp Out Today

From the September 9, 2013, WFMT NBC TV.

The U.S. Postal Service issued their second of four stamps commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 today. It is taken from a famous painting of Oliver Hazard Perry's victory done by Ohio artist William Henry Powell.

The first of the four planned stamps came out last year and was of the USS Constitution which defeated five British ships in August 1812. Two more stamps are planned.

This stamp shows Perry in the process of being rowed from his stricken flagship, the USS Lawrence to the USS Niagara.

Today is the bicentennial of the battle. Powell's painting was commissioned by the U.S. Congress in 1865 and after it was finished, was hung in the east stairway of the Senate Wing of the U.S. Capitol. It is believed to be either still there or at the Smithsonian.


Monday, September 9, 2013

When They Burned the White House

From the September 8, 2013, Guardian "When Britain burned down the White House" by Peter Snow.

President James Madison and his Dolley evidently felt that his troops sent out to stop the British on their way to Washington, D.C., would be victorious and planned a prsidential celebratory dinner.

Just before they ate, news of the American defeat reached the White House and the dinner was hastily abandoned as everyone fled.

The British arrived to find "40 places neatly laid, with meat roasting on spits and Madison's best wines on the sideboard in handsome cut glass decanters."

British commander, Major General Robert Ross, reported the meal was "voraciously devoured by John Bull" and a toast made "to the success of his Majesty's armies...was drunk in the best wines."

After dinner, Ross ordered the chairs piled on the table and a fire set.

Wonder If They Washed the Dishes? --Brock-Perry

Friday, September 6, 2013

Falmouth, Massachusetts

From Wikipedia.

I had never heard of this town (and at first thought it might be in Maryland) so had to look it up. It is in Massachusetts and on Cape Cod.

During the War of 1812, action took place there when several British frigates and ships of the line bombarded Falmouth Heights while Massachusetts militia hastily entrenched on the beaches to repel an expected landing that never came.

Also, in 1859, Katharine Lee Bates, author, poet and lyricist of "America the Beautiful" was born there.

Nothing about the Nimrod attack, though.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Save the Nimrod Organization

This organization in Falmouth has a $700,000 fundraiser going on to save the building. It will be demolished September 30th otherwise. It is the Isaac Bourne house part of it that has the cannon ball hole.

The Captain Nathaniel Lewis home is the larger of the two and a 17th century home.

Let's Hope They Save It.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

HMS Nimrod's Shot

Myrna Katz Frommer continued, "With Jim standing guard, we both went into the men's room to take a peek. And there it was, decidedly out of place behind a little door set into the blank white bathroom wall.."

The wall wasn't a bathroom back then. It was on the exterior of a small 17th century harbor-front home. Later, it was picked up and moved, hole and all, to Main Street beside a larger 18th century house.

In 1922, both buildings were put on rollers and pulled by a team of 8 horses to a two acre site on Dillingham Avenue where they were combined into a single residence. Then later it became a guest house and then a semi-private club.

In the 1970s it was converted into a restaurant named for the ship that fired the cannonball, the Nimrod.

Jim Murray bought it in 1995 and it is named the Nimrod Restaurant and Jazz Lounge at 100 Dillingham Avenue in Falmouth, Massachusetts (on Cape Cod).

Using the Bathroom By a Piece of History. --Brock-Perry

HMS Nimrod and Why There Is a Hole in the Men's Bathroom

Back on August 23rd, I wrote about the Nimrod House in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where a group is trying to save it. It is named after the British ship in the War of 1812 which hit it during the bombardment. The cannonball is gone, but the hole is still there.

I was kind of surprised to find that Wikipedia did not have an article about the ship, but did find information in two other sources.

From the Travel Watch "The Nimrod Falmouth, Massachusetts: The Place With a Hole in the Wall."

"...there's the nearly 200 year old hole in the wall of the men's bathroom...."

The Nimrod's owner, Jim Murray, said the hole "was made by a cannon ball fired by the British frigate, the HMS Nimrod, during the War of 1812. The ship's captain demanded the people of Falmouth hand over their guns. When they refused, he had the cannons fire on the town, and a cannon ball penetrated this part of the building. The ball has since disappeared, but the hole remains."


U.S. Navy "Subscription" Ships-- Part 5: Richmond and Trumbull

USS RICHMOND-- 16-gun brig purchased by the citizens of Richmond, Petersburg, Manchester and Norfolk, Virginia, for use in the Quasi War with France. Cruised in the Lesser Antilles and off the U.S. coast. Captured the French privateer Louie. Sold in 1801.

USS TRUMBULL-- 18-gun sloop commissioned in 1800. Built because of losses of merchant ships in the Quasi War. Under the command of David Jewett. Sold in 1801.


Monday, September 2, 2013

U.S. Navy "Subscription" Ships-- Part 4: Patapsco and Philadelphia

USS PATAPSCO-- 20-gun sloop launched in 1799 as the Chesapeake but name changed for the frigate Chesapeake. In 1800, it and the USS Merrimack aided the British frigate HMS Nereide in defending Curacao in the Netherland Antilles from French attack.

Captured two ships during Quasi War. Sold in 1801.

USS PHILADELPHIA-- 36-gun frigate subscribed by the citizens of Philadelphia and commissioned in 1800 with Captain Stephen Decatur, Sr. in command. Participated in the Quasi War and First Barbary War.
While commanded by William Bainbridge, it was captured in the First Barbary War and later destroyed in 1804 by a daring expedition led by the first commander's son, Stephen Decatur, Jr.


War of 1812 Timeline: September 1813-- Part 2

SEPTEMBER 23RD-- USS President captures HMS Highflyer off New England. The President was returning from a raiding cruise off England where it captured 11 merchant ships.

SEPTEMBER 27TH-- General William Henry Harrison lands in Canada. Detroit liberated.

SEPTEMBER 28TH-- The Burlington Races, Lake Ontario, Upper Canada (Ontario).


War of 1812 Timeline: September 1813-- Part 1: Battle of Lake Erie

Compiled from various sources.

SEPTEMBER 5TH-- USS Enterprise captures the HMS Boxer off Maine.

SEPTEMBER 6TH-- Skirmish ay Ball's Farm, Upper Canada (Ontario).

SEPTEMBER 10TH-- Battle of Lake Erie, Ohio.

SEPTEMBER 20TH-- Skirmish at Odeltown. Lower Canada (Quebec).