At times, it looked as if the election of 1812 would be a close one. At any rate, its outcome was more important than remembered. Even as late as July 3 1813, the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser in Australian was speculating on who the winner was. Their information, which came from across the sea on the 12th January of that year, supposed that they could have been wrong about a DeWitt Clinton victory, but “The electors of Vermont are said to be in favor of Mr. Clinton.” Continue reading The re-election of James Madison
At the start of 1812, insurgents were big news in the French media.
“We learn from Valencia that the small fortress that Marshall Sechet has left in his rear, blockaded by various corps of the army, have successively surrendered, and the siege of Valencia has been seriously prosecuted by General Harispe, who commands under the orders of the Marshall. The Spanish General Blake is attempting to collect a force, in order to make a second attempt to relieve the place, but the uniform terror spread by the armies of France, is sufficient to impede his design; and the insurgents have, by the last account, been driven from the right bank of Guadilaviar. The Polish division has particularly distinguished itself in the late encounters with the enemy.”
One thing I notice in looking at old documents is the use of the word “terror” in war, as if it were a good thing. The French weren’t alone is using “terror” as an instrument. Even in the US Navy, ships carried the name “USS Terror” as late as World War II. (The Terror was a minelayer, a ship whose primary purpose was to lay sea mines in the water.)
Baltimore: July 27 1812. The war of 1812 is a done deal. Most of the surrounding “Democrats” support war with Britain, over stained honor from an attack of the USS Chesapeake. They want to fight because Britain is supporting guerrilla warfare. But, one old Revolutionary war veteran, doesn’t agree with the mob. General James MacCubban Lingan wishes for peace. And he defends the home of the publisher of a pro-peace newspaper, the home of the editor of the Federalist Republican.
To the Federalist Republican, war with Britain is merely helping Napoleon. The United States has nothing to gain and everything to lose.
April 1812, Rio de Janeiro, King’s Palace. The Regent and his two sons – meeting with their state secretary and top ministers – have just received the news that Napoleon’s troops have definitely been expelled from Portugal. That means that there is no longer a valid reason for the court to remain in Brazil.
For at least 200 years, Americans have had a national day of prayer. Ironically, this “day of prayer” tradition seems to have been started by a man who is known as a bulwark of the separation of church and state.
Once again, President James Madison seems to be a man of contradiction.