Jan 31, 1812: Thomas W. Hall

On January 31,1812, Thomas W. Hall was born at Hall's Corners in Ontario County, New York. He died on September 7, 1901.  
Mr. Hall`s 89 years or 32,726 days are described in the Ontario, New York History and Genealogy Biographies  as follows: 

He was educated in the schools of that time, was a farmer with his father until 1838, and has always followed this honorable calling until he retired in 1868.
He kept a hotel a short time in connection with his farm business.  June 12, 1838, he married Mary A. Sims of this town, and they had four children: Edward, who died at the age of 17  months; John S., who is a farmer on the home farm.
He married Mary J. Fish of this town, and has two children: Roscoe F., and Mary J., both reside at home; Mary J. married James P. GAGE of Wisconsin, and they have a son, Charles H.; and Edward E., who married Jennie Dorman, who died, and he resides in town.
Mr. Hall's father, Edward, was born in Northumberland, England, in 1774, and came with his parents to the United States in 1801, coming from Albany here in flat boats to Geneva, from there to Hall's Corners through the woods with only marked trees to guide them.
He married Jane Wilson, formerly of Yorkshire, England, and they have 6 children: Sarah, Margaret, Thomas W., Mary, Jane, and Edward N.  Mr. Hall's grandfather, Edward, was born at the old home in England, and married Margaret Neven. They had three children, two sons and a daughter.
Mr. Hall's father was a constable many years, and held the position of deputy sheriff two terms under Sheriff Phineas Bates.  He died in 1860, and his wife in 1832.  Mrs. Thomas W. Hall died June 25, 1888.  (New No. 9 cemetery) 

Jan 30 1812: Private Wheeler Letter

On January 30, 1812, Private Wheeler, serving in the British army in the Peninsular War, writes to his family. Excerpts from the letter follow: 

On the 2nd inst. the 7th. Division marched to the mountains of Sierra de Gatta, in the neighbourhood of Ciudad Rodrigo. We were quartered in the village of Pio, this place contains a few miserable dwellings. We were stationed here to prevent the enemy from rendering assistance to the garrison while the siege was going on. Our duty was very severe, it consisting in furnishing piquets in the passes of the mountains, the nearest to Pio being about two leagues.

The country all around was covered with snow. To shelter ourselves from the keen frosty air that continued during our sty in this part, we dug a large hole in the snow; in the centre, we kept a good fire, around which sat the men on duty; our fuel consisted of furze and fern. Of this we had abundance from places where the snow had drifted, but in collecting it we wanted snow pattern, for often we would sink over our heads, into some hole or burrow, when we expected we had firm footing...

... We could hear the roaring of the guns at Rodrigo, and we heartily wished the place reduced; the nigh of the 19th the assault was made and the place carried by storm. This was welcome news to us. A few days after we returned to Penamacor. Here we found our new clothing and a supply of necessaries had arrived; these being issued were were made comparatively comfortable.

To fill up the remainder of this letter for want of something better I shall give you an account of the manner I have slept this winter. In one corner of the room I have, collected a quantity of dry fern, this forms my bed, it being necessary to strip to keep free from vermin. Every night the contents of my haversack is transferred to my knapsack. This forms my pillow, at the same time secures my kit and provisions from midnight marauders. 

The haversack is then converted into a nightcap. Being stripped, my legs are thrust into the sleeves of an old watch coat, carefully tied at the cuffs to keep out the cold. The other part of the coat wrapped around my body served for under blanket and sheet. Next my trousers are drawn on my legs over the sleeves of the coat, my red jacket has the distinguished place of covering my seat of honour and lastly my blanket covers all. In this manner I have slept as comfortable as a prince. No idle dreams disturb my rest.

I am in possession of that inestimable treasure, health and a lively flow of spirits. Nothing gives me trouble. I am as well off as my comrades and I am convinced we all are provided for a well the nature of the service will allow.

Since our return to Penamacor we have been employed in assisting the battering train from Saba Gal to Castala Branco. I understand the train is on the road to Elvas. If so Badajoz is the next place to be reduced. We expect to march soon. Probably my next will be from that place. It is time we moved from this place for we have nearly glutted the houses, of all wood we could rip for fuel. I am getting tired of this dreary abode. The sooner the campaign opens the better. It is true we shall have to encounter great dangers and fatigues. What of that, it is the very life and soul of a soldier to keep moving. If we do suffer privations, at times, we have some sunshiny days, and dame fortune often leads us out of difficulty and puts us into possession of all the luxuries of life. 
 Source: Private Wheeler, Private Wheeler: The Letters  of a Soldier of the 51st Light Infantry during the Peninsular War & at Waterloo (Leonaur, 2009), 62-64

Jan 29 1812: Letters to Elizabeth Hitchener

On January 29, 1812, Shelley and his wife Harriet both write to Elizabeth Hitchener. The first part of the letter is from Shelley followed by a part written by Harriet. They are still planning a trip to Ireland where Shelley hoped to bring about Catholic Emancipation. More information can be found here. 
Wednesday [January 29, 1812.] 
On Monday we depart for Ireland. This is probably the last letter  you will receive from Keswick. We are staying at Calvert's, and our; 100 pounds has arrived. Prospects appear  fair ; but I have learned to doubt of the result of all human enterprises, whilst my language and my countenance express the confidence of enthusiasm, and my heart rebels against the dismal suggestions of possible evil. 
I do not ask you wherefore you are unhappy, my dearest friend, because I sympathise with every feeling which the unkindness of ingratitude excites in you. But I tell you to subdue it, for our sakes, and for the sake of that world to which I will suppose that you are destined to be an ornament and a glory. Your present state is isolated and friendless ; even worse, daily ingratitude and unexpected duplicity cut you to the heart. You suffer the severities of ill fortune; and all the dreary intercourse of daily life is unmingled by consolation, save the infrequent post days. And what can letters do? They can tell you that you are beloved ; can prove to you that I am yours; but this only at intervals. With what bitter force will ingratitude and duplicity recur! This is more than duty demands : for a devotement like yours some recompence is to be expected. I will find one for you though here a corner of self comes in. Come and live with us. You are not one to start at this." What will the world say? " What they please, precisely. Those who know anything of our public and private character will believe any scandal as soon as Sir F. Burdett's friends would give credit to the story of his keeping five mistresses in Tottenham Court Road. This is one of the Morning Post stories. Nor will the world's whispers affect our usefulness. In what manner? Who will credit that, when I made a Scotch marriage with a woman who is handsome, any criminality, of the nature of infidelity, can be attached to me? Who will believe, when they read our publications, but that our conduct is in some degree regulated by such impressions, and repeated endeavours to counteract general demoralization? And, supposing after all that they did believe this, are we answerable for their silly notions? Is our usefulness and happiness, which latter must in some degree conduce to the former, to be sacrificed to opinion? Is expediency to be the rule of our conduct? Ought minds unisonous in reason and feeling to be separated by the inferences which others may draw from their conduct? 
Let us attempt to form this Paradise, and defy the destroyers. Calm consistent reasoning will defeat the most terrible. Besides, you may be eminently useful : the union of our minds will be much more efficacious than a state of separate endeavour. I shall excite you to action ; you will excite me to just speculation. We should mutually correct each other's weaknesses, and confirm our powers. Harriet, Eliza, and Percy, all join to entreat that you will attempt to come to consider the point without having decided against us previously. How extensive might not be your usefulness, how improved and confirmed your speculations of justness! What admirable and excellent greatness might you not add to the grandeur and firmness of your present character! And I how firm and collected should /not become! I should possibly gain the advantage in the exchange of qualities; but my powers are such as would augment yours. I perceive in you the embryo of a mighty intellect which may one day enlighten thousands. How desirous ought I not to be, if I conceive that the one spark which glimmers through mine should kindle a blaze by which nations may rejoice! 
Am I not earnest that you should come? But consider this point. We have enough money for all of us. There is no doubt but that you could do more good with us than at Hurst. Explain your plan to your father : tell him that your considerations of usefulness lead you to join yourself with us. I will not insult your confidence by supposing that you can fear [but] that you will be independent amongst us. Whenever you come, you have nothing to do but to throw yourself into the mail, and, at the end of your journey, I shall be waiting for you.
In the summer we shall see you. Can you make up your mind never to leave us? How consummate then might not our publications be ; how directed by the close analysis of reasoning, how animated by the emanations of your warmer heart! Have you no money? Write and say so. If not we can easily spare some: we shall have superfluity in Dublin.
Will you well consider this? Oh, my dearest friend, when I think of the uncertainty and transitoriness of human life and its occupations, when I consider its fleeting prospects and its fluctuating principles, how desirous am I to crowd into its sphere as much usefulness as possible ! We have but a certain time allotted us in which to do its business : how much does it become us to improve and multiply this time; and to regard every hour neglected, misspent, or unimproved, as so much lost to the cause of virtue, liberty, and happiness.
I hope to be compelled to [have] recourse to laudanum no more. My health is re-established, and I am now strong in hope and nerve. Your hopes must go with us : I must have no horrible forebodings. Everybody is not killed that goes to Dublin. Perhaps many are now on the road for the very same purpose as that which we propose.
As to what you say of the Duke of Norfolk, it is quite unfounded. The D[uke] is a deist. The Duke is far from the best of the English noblemen:he is not a moral man, but certainly is not attached to Catholicism. He desires and votes for Reform, though he has not virtue enough to begin it in his own person. He is in every respect a character of mediocrity. Depend upon it, I have nothing to fear either from him or his emissaries. The Duke is as [little] my friend as he is yours: he merely desires to gratify his own family, his own borough-interest.
"Passive virtue is " not " your sphere of action : " most active you ought to be. Come, come to Ireland. Arrange your affairs, give up school. It is a noble field. Energies like yours ought to be unconfined. Write for what money you want. You do not fear the journey; the hatred of the world is despicable to you. Come, come, and share with us the noblest success, or the most glorious martyrdom. Here is an appeal to the feelings of a noble mind ! I ought to be ashamed of my- self. Consider merely the considerations of usefulness, and put out of the question all foolish rant of persuasion. Yet come : it is right that you should come. Assert your freedom the freedom of Truth and Nature. 
You will hear from me again. Adieu,my dearest friend. I shall write, before we leave K [eswick], again. Yours P[ercy]  

[Written by Harriet.] 
WHY is my dear friend unhappy, and why are you not with us? Why will you suffer the opinion of the world to keep you from us ? Would it not be better to leave the world to itself, and come and be happy whilst it is in your power? Remember, life is short. What shall I say to bring you to us? Is there nothing we can urge to shake you? Why are we separated? Should we not be more useful all together? You would, by your arguments, countenance ours: as you are older than I am, therefore people would not think what I say so foolish. Then why will you not join us? I am well convinced that, if you were in Ireland, you might do as much good as Percy. Indeed I am hurt at the idea of your being unhappy : and why would you be the slave of a world that has persecuted you, and which continues to wound you in every way it can ? friend, what I say may have no weight. I know I am much younger than yourself, and that your judgment is much superior to mine. You have seen more of the world than myself. Yet, if you knew how ardent we are to have you near us, I am sure you would comply. I cannot wait till the summer : you must come to us in Ireland. 
I am Irish : I claim kinship with them. I have done with the English : I have witnessed too much of John Bull, and I am ashamed of him. Till I am disappointed in the brothers and sisters of my affection, I will claim kindred with those brave sons of the ocean; and, when I am deceived in them, it will be enough.
I have never told you of my sister. 'Tis well : words can never sufficiently express her kindness and goodness to me. She is my more than mother. What do I not owe to her gentle care? Everything. When you see her, you will form your judgment of her. I did think, before I was acquainted with you, that she was the best and most superior woman in the world. I do not say I have changed my opinion: that remains fixed. I have only so far changed it as to think there are some like her; but, as to being better, that I cannot think. She begs me to tell you that she is no lover of forms and ceremonies. She has long  loved and admired you, my dear friend : so do not call her "Miss Westbrook." She is your sister, and mine. How oft have I blessed that Providence who has given me such a treasure ! Did you but know her as I do, you would not wonder at my love for her. Her amiable qualities gain her friends in all who have the happiness of knowing her. But I will say no more, as I are unable to do her  justice. 
I know not if you have bad weather in Sussex. Here it is so uncertain you never know if the morrow will be fine. All this week has been very stormy, and last night and to-day it has never ceased. 
We are spending the last week with our amiable friends [the] Calverts. We are so much indebted to them ! They have been extremely kind and attentive. She is a most amiable woman, and I wish you were here to see her. She saw us reading your last letter, at which she was very much surprised, the length was so uncommon.
You will think of us next Monday night: then we set sail. 'Twill be either pleasure or not: I suspect we shall be very sick. We will write from the Isle of Man, if you do not hear from us before. 
There seems to be sad work in Ireland; but I hope Percy will escape all prosecutions. I hope we shall hear from you again soon. When we do not hear from you it is quite a blank.
I must now say adieu. I hope you will put the most favourable constructions on what we have said. Keep up your spirits, and believe me ever.
Your sincere, affectionate friend, H. S. 

Jan 29 1812 Captain Gray to Prevost

On January 29, 1812, Captain A. Gray wrote to Sir George Prevost Brock, commander of the British forces in North America. In his letter he relays some intelligence with respect to the actions of the Americans concerning Detroit.
The letter also had information about  the Battle of Tippecanoe. This battle had been fought in November 7, 1811 between American forces, led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory, and Native American warriors associated with the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa, also known as the Prophet, were leaders of a confederacy of Native Americans tribes. The British view was that the Battle of Tippecanoe had not been a victory for Harrison. See my earlier post here for more information. 

Excerpts from Captain Gray's letter follows:

York 29th Jan 1812
Dear Sir
I  have communicated to General Brock an Extract from the Letter I had the honor to write your Excellency from Montreal relative to the protection of the Trade of the N. West and S. West Companies. The General most perfectly concurs in the ideas submitted in that Letter, and has directed me to communicate to you his anxious wish that the Post of St. Joseph might be removed to the falls of St. Mary. In short the General's general Policy, and plan of Defences, agrees so exactly with the ideas I had formed, previously to my communicating with him, that I can be at no loss in giving your Excellency every information on that head on my return, it may not therefore be necessary to enter more into details at present.
I propose remaining here till after the House of Assembly has met which will be abut a week from this day...
 ...There is likewise some interesting information received respecting Detroit which he and Col. Elliot(t) (who is also expected) will be enabled to confirm. It seems the Americans are collecting a vast quantity of Ordnance at that Post, which with other indications, pretty clearly manifests their intentions in that quarter. 
….We have got a Detailed account form the Prophet's Camp. He had gained a glorious Victory. His loss is 25 men, and his No. actually engaged did not exceed 100. 

Jan 29, 1812: Martha Ballard

Martha Moore Ballard was born either on 1734 or 1735 in Oxford, Massachusetts and died in May of 1812. She is now remembered because of the diary she kept every day for twenty-seven years from 1785 to 1812. Her diary recorded in short descriptive entries her daily life as a midwife in Hallowell on the Kennebec RiverDistrict of Maine.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, her biographer, notes in A Midwife's Tale that the diary records that Martha as a midwife was involved in 816 deliveries performed between 1785 and 1812.
On January 29, 1812, a Wednesday, Martha Ballard wrote in her diary:
Clear forenn, Cloudy aft; Snowd at Evng. Revd mr Tappin Deld a discoarse from matthew 11 C 28 vers. there were A Considerable number of people Collected here. Sons Pollard & Epm, their wives & Samuel P. & Sopha, Son Jonas wife, Sally, James and Elisabeth.
at home, an Evng Lecture Preacht here.  
The biblical verse from Matthew 11:28 (KJV) reads:``Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest``. 
The transcription above is again taken form the website dohistory. The transcription of the diary is the work of Robert R. McCausland and Cynthia MacAlman McCausland.
For more on Martha Ballard see here and here

Jan 28 1812: Byron to Vaughan

On January 28, 1812, Lord Byron writes rather coldly to dismiss Susan Vaughan, his Welsh maid, from his estate of Newstead Abbey. Byron had been having an affair with Vaughan since December, 1811. Byron's page or servant, R
obert Rushton, was also having an affair with Vaughan. Vaughan may have also have had other lovers.  
As I note in my earlier posts, the events of January 28 were the result of what seemed to be a trivial dispute. Byron had accused Rushton of refusing to deliver one of his letters to Vaughan. Rushton denied the charge in a letter of January 23 with Byron responding on January 25. In that last letter, Byron strongly suggests that he already knows that Rushton is having an affair with Vaughan or at least that Rushton knows something that he is not telling him. Byron asks Rushton to tell him the truth.
The earlier letters can be found in my  posts here and here and here.
It appears that Rushton's response was to provide to Byron a letter that Vaughan had sent to one of her lovers. It is not clear, but the letter could have been a letter from Vaughan to Rushton. (I will need to do some further investigation on this point). In any event on finding out about Vaughan's "infidelity", Byron responds coldly, self -pityingly and hypocritically and sends Vaughan away.
Promiscuity is one thing for a Lord but not for maids.
Further information about this affair was provided in a series of letters from Byron to his friend Reverend Francis Hodgson that were sold at Southeby's in 2009. The Catalogue Notes provides the following:

Byron was at Newstead Abbey in the autumn of 1811 "writing notes for my Quarto" [i.e. Childe Harold] and providing memorable praise of local pleasures:
"...I am plucking up my spirits, & have begun to gather my little sensual comforts together, Lucy is extracted from Warwickshire, some very bad faces have been warned off the premises, & more promising substituted in their stead, the partridges are plentiful, hares finishes, pheasants not quite so good, & the girls on the manor just coming into season..."
One of these "more promising" faces was Susan Vaughan, whom Byron soon took his lover. The affair did not last long, however, and in two largely unpublished letters that reveal the callous side of his character Byron provided Hodgson with a detailed account of its conclusion – another servant revealed a letter showing Vaughan's affection for another man and she was summarily dismissed – and its aftermath ("...she descended from her apartment 'fierce as ten furies' attacked R. till he was covered with blood, tried to throw herself into one of the filthy pieces of water in & about the premises, & when the letters came away, was still threatening perdition, 'thunder, horror guts & death'... I presume she will rave herself quiet...")
She may have lost her livelihood and reputation, but Byron nonetheless cast himself as the victim of the affair, sighing to Hodgson that "I can't blame the girl, but my own vanity in believing that 'such a thing as I am' could be loved."  
Byron's letter of January 28, 1812 to Vaughan reads as follows: 
Byron to Susan Vaughan,
from 8 St James’s Street London, 
January 28th. 1812
I write to bid you farewell, not to reproach you. – The enclosed papers, one in your own handwriting will explain every thing. – I will not deny that I have been attached to you, & I am now heartily ashamed of my weakness. – You may also enjoy the satisfaction of having deceived me most completely, & rendered me for the present sufficiently wretched. – From the first I told you that the continuance of our connection depended on your own conduct. – – All is over. – I have little to condemn on my own part, but credulity; you threw yourself in my way, I received you, loved you, till you have become worthless, & now I part from you with some regret, & without resentment. – I wish you well, do not forget that your own misconduct has bereaved you of a friend, of whom nothing else could have deprived you. – Do not attempt explanation, it is useless, I am determined, you cannot deny your handwriting; return to your relations, you shall be furnished with the means, but him, who now addresses you for the last time, you will never see again.
God bless you!

Jan 27 1812: Coleridge's Last Lecture

On January 27, 1812, Coleridge completed his series of seventeen lectures on Shakespeare and Milton that he had begun on November 18, 1811. The lectures were presented by the London Philosophical Society in the Scot's Corporation Hall, Crane Court, Fleet Street. One could buy a single ticket to attend the lectures for two guineas or three guineas "with the privilege of introducing a lady".  Short hand notes were taken of the lectures and published in the Times, Morning Chronicle, Dublin Chronicle and in Crabb's Robinson's Diary. The lectures were a great success with many of the leading writers attending including Byron (in disguise), Robert Southey, William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb.
Richard Holmes in Coleridge: Darker Reflections (New York: Harper Colins, 2000) writes:
The lectures concluded with a number of such firework displays on poetry, cosmology and the character of Satan, the last (No. 17) on January 27, 1812. "They ended with eclat, wrote Crabb Robinson on leaving Fleet Street, with satisfaction and some relief. "The room was crowded; and the lecture had several passages more brilliant; they were luminous. And the light gave conscious pleasure to every person who knew that he could.. see the glory." 
As an aside, the lecture did have moments that were less sublime including Coleridge taking a swipe at another writer. At one point, he ridiculed the diction in the seventh stanza of the "Hymn to Content", a poem of  the poet, Anna Laetitia Barbauld. [1]  She is now best remembered for complaining that Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was, in her words, "improbable and had no moral." Some contemporaries found the criticism of Mrs. Barbauld to be "unmanly".

[1]  See article of Lisa Vargo "The Case of Anna Laetitia Barbauld's "To Mr C[olerid]ge" 

Jan 27, 1812: Navy and Army

On January 27, 1812, the House of Representatives defeats a bill to enlarge the navy that would have built 20 new frigates and a naval dockyard. The earlier votes to add the dockyard were amended out of the bill. It is a close vote with 62 members voting against the frigates and 59 in favour. The original bill had asked also asked for six 74-gun ships in addition to the frigates. 
On the same day, the Senate votes to confirm Henry Dearborn as Major-General  to command the American Army. The vote was yeas 27 and nays 9. Dearborn was probably superior to his predecessor, General James Wilkinson, but that is only because Wilkinson was in a completely different level of infamy, as described below.  In general, the American Army was a troubled institution. The problems started at the top with its commanders. John Back McMaster in his A History of the People of the United States  (New York, Cosimo Inc., 2006),  at pages 546-47 notes:
...the President had selected and the senate had confirmed a long list of officers. As a class, they were old, vain, respectable and incapable. Henry Dearborn, now made senior Major-General, was past sixty, had been a deputy quartermaster-general in the army of the Revolution, and colonel of a New Hampshire regiment after the peace, had sat in the Cabinet of Jefferson, and had been collector of the port of Boston…

...At the head of the list of brigadier generals stood the name of James Wilkinson, the most infamous man then wearing the uniform of the United States. He had just been tried by a court-martial on the ground that he was a pensioner of the Spain [paid spy], an accomplice of Aaron Burr, an officer insubordinate, negligent, wasteful, and corrupt. Every charge was well founded. But the Court had seen fit to acquit him, Madison approved the verdict, and he was retained in his old command.  
Winfield Scott, who was then a captain, greatly detested Wilkinson. Alan Tayor in The Civil War of 1812 ( New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2010) writes:  
Reckless in his contempt, Scott announced that serving under Wilkinson "was as disgraceful as being married to a prostitute. If they were in battle together, Scott vowed to bring two pistols, one to shoot the enemy and to shoot his general. Determined to be thorough, Scott also denounced Wilkinson as a liar, scoundrel, and traitor. In 1810 a court martial convicted Scott of insubordination and suspended him for one year without pay.
Scott's views seem reasonable except that he was unfair to prostitutes to compare them to Wilkinson.

Jan 26 1812 Shelley to Elizabeth Hitchener

In January,1812, Percy Bysshe Shelley was still in Keswick having met with Robert Southey in December. He was completing his plan for a trip to Ireland where he hoped to work for Catholic Emancipation. In this regard, he had written an  'Address to the Irish People' to advance the cause. He was supremely confident that he would be successful stating in the letter of January 26  of the "impossibility of failure." Southey, Calvert and William Goldwin had all tried to dissuade him from going. He also refers in the letter to a physical attack on him on January 19, 1812.

Shelley's father had now arranged for him to receive some money. In the letter of January 26, Shelley adds an interesting postscript as to how he had told the postman that the letter had only one sheet, probably so that it would not cost more to send it. 
Shelley, together with his wife, Harriet, and Elizabeth Westbrook probably left Keswick on Sunday, February 2, and embarked from Whitehaven for the Isle of Man. After being driven off course by a storm to the north of Ireland, they reached Dublin on February 13 at night. On arriving in Dublin he had the "An Address to the Irish People" printed. 
The letter below was to Elizabeth Hitchener describes his plans for Ireland. Harriet also wrote a letter to Hitchener on the same day.

January 26 1812 
My dearest Friend, 
I eagerly answer your letter. It contains very bad news. I grieve at human nature; but am so far from despairing that I can readily trace all that is evil, even in the youngest, to the sophistications of society. It will not appear surprising that some original taint of our nature has been adopted as an opinion by the unthinking, when they perceive how very early depraved dispositions are exhibited. But, when it is considered what exhaustless pains dire taken by nurses and parents to make wrong impressions on the infant mind,I cannot be surprised at the earliest traits of evil and mistake. I truly sympathize with your Wrongs. These, are, however, of such a nature as will so frequently occur that we must strive to consider them with unfeelingness, and let conscious rectitude inspire an honour able pride which shall infuse elevated tranquillity into the soul. I did not expect this return of kindness from Anne. She is a character who will now mingle in the mass of common life : the seeds which you have sown will spring up among tares and brambles. The dreary intercourse of daily life will blast the suckers ere they even attain adolescency. Here is an addition to that daily load of disappointment which weighs upon the mind, and checks the passionateness of hope. I will, however, cling to those who are deservedly now the landing-places of my expectancy ; and, when they fail, human nature will be to me an unweeded garden, and the face of Earth hold no monster so heartless and unnatural as Man.  

Think not for one moment that I have doubted you. The confidence that I have in the purity and immutableness of your principles surpasses even that which I possess in my own. These expressions are blasphemous to love and friendship. Think of them as of the ebullition of a train of fleeting thought, as of the cloud which momentarily obscures the moon, then sails into the azure of night. 
Harriet has told you of a circumstance  which has alarmed her. I consider it as a complete casual occurrence which, having met with once, we are more likely not to meet with again. The man evidently wanted to rifle my pockets : my falling within the house defeated his intention. There is nothing in this to alarm you. I was afraid you might see it in the newspaper, and fancy that the blow had injured me. 
Dismiss all fears of assassins and spies and prisons. Let me have your confident hopes of safety and success, as well as the earnest good wishes which I fancy I hear you breathing to fill the sails of our packet, and be like ministrant angels to us. All is now prepared for thin forms flitting through the vaulted channels. Perhaps the Captain will come, and my aunt and the little things : perhaps you will bring the dear little Americans, and my mother Mrs. Adams. Perhaps Godwin will come : I; shall try to induce him. — These castles are somewhat aerial at present  but I hope it is not a crime, in this mortal life, to solace ourselves with hopes. Mine are always rather visionary. In the basis of this scheme, however, — if you and I live— we will not be disappointed. 

I hear from my uncle that Sir B. [ysshe] Shelley is not likely to live long — that he will soon die. He is a complete atheist, and builds all his hopes on annihilation. He has acted very ill to three wives. He is a bad man. I never had respect for him : I always regarded him as a curse on society. I shall not grieve at his death. I will not wear mourning : I will not attend his funeral. I shall think of his departure as of that of a hard-hearted reprobate. I will never countenance a lying estimation of my own feelings. 
I have the vanity to think that you will be pleased with my Address to the Irish. It is intended to familiarize to uneducated apprehensions ideas of liberty, benevolence, peace and toleration. It is secretly intended also as a preliminary to other pamphlets to shake Catholicism on its basis, and to induce Quakerish and Socinian principles of politics, without objecting to the Christian religion, — which would be no good to the vulgar just now, and cast an odium over the other principles which are advanced. 
The volume of poetry will be, I fear, an inferior production : it will be only valuable to philosophical and reflecting minds who love to trace the early state of human feelings and opinions, — who can make allowances for some bad versification. None is more qualified than yourself, my friend, to come to a right judgment on this score ; though a consideration of your partiality for the author will prevent him from thinking you infallible in things that regarded his mental powers : — Hubert I have told you of. 
Southey regrets our going. The Calverts were much against it ; nay, all of them violently, except Mrs. C[alvert], who wishes us success heartily. We shall have success : I am perfectly confident of the impossibility of failure. Let your pure spirit animate our proceedings. Oh that you were with us ! You have said you are not handsome; but, though the sleekness of your skin, the symmetry of your form, might not attract the courtiers of Dublin Castle, yet that tongue of energy, and that eye of fire, would awe them into native insignificance, and command the conviction of those whose hearts vibrate in unison with justice and benevolence. 
Dinner surprised me in the midst of my letter. I have since seen yours to Harriet. Oh, my dearest friend, do not suffer the little ingratitude of one of the vipers of the world to sting you too severely ! Do not feel. Yes, do not feel, that I may feel with you ; that every vibration of your nerves may be assimilated to mine, mine to yours. Dare all ! 
You have mistaken Harriet : she is not pregnant. It was a piece of good fortune which I could not expect. I can truly imagine your hopes and feelings concerning the possibility of this circumstance. I hope to have a large family of children : it will bind you and me closer, and Harriet. I, who believe in the omnipotence of education, have no fears for their eventual well-being. 
Harriet has filled up most of this letter, whilst I have been writing to the Captain. Do not consider this as a letter: I owe you one now. You shall have full payment. 
I am now, as Harriet can tell you, quite recovered from the little nervous attack I mentioned. Do not alarm yourself either about murderers, spies, government, prisons, or nerves. I must (as I said) have hopes, and those very confident ones, from you^ to fill the sails of our packet to Dublin. 

The post-woman waits ; and there fore, my dearest friend, I bid you adieu. Happiness and hope attend my dearest friend until we meet at the Post-office, Dublin! 

Your P. B. S. 

I have made a strong, though vulgar 

appeal to the feelings of the post- 

master, as to my veracity about the 
single sheet.* 

Jan 26 1812 New York Evening Post

On January 26, 1812, the New York Evening Post published the following article, again against, any war with Britain:  
Look for yourselves, good people all -- The administration tell me that the object for which they are going to war with Great Britain, is to secure our commercial rights; to put the trade of the country on a good footing; to enable our merchants to deal with Great Britain on full as favorable terms as they deal with France, or else not deal at all. Such is the declared object for which all further intercourse is to be suspended with Great Britain and her allies, while we proceed to make war upon her and them until we compel her to pay more respect to American commerce: and, as Mr. Stow truly observed in his late excellent speech, the anxiety of members of Congress to effect this object is always the greater in proportion to the distance any honorable member lives from the seaboard. To enable you, good people, to judge for yourselves, I have only to beg of you to turn your eyes to Mr. Gallatin’s letter in a succeeding column, stating the amount of the exports of the United States for the last year; the particular country to which these exports were sent, and specifying the amount received from us by each. If you will just cast a glance at this document, you will find of the articles of our own growth or manufactures we in that time carried or sent abroad (in round numbers) no less than $45,294,000 worth. You will next find that out of this sum, all the rest of the world (Great Britain and her allies excepted) took about $7,719,366, and that Great Britain and her allies took the remainder, amounting to $38,575,627. Now, after this, let me ask you what you think of making war upon Great Britain and her allies, for the purpose of benefiting commerce?

Jan 26 1812: Fort Detroit

Watercolour of Fort Detroit probably painted by American engineer in anticipation of war. 

Jan 25 1812: Byron to Rushton

Lord Byron was having an affair with Susan Vaughan, his Welsh maid from his estate at Newstead Abbey. Byron's page or servant, Robert Rushton, was also having an affair with Vaughan. This is the background to what seems to be a trivial dispute detailed in the correspondence exchanged between them. Byron had accused Rushton of refusing to deliver one of his letters to Vaughan. Rushton denied the charge in a letter of January 23. In that letter, Rushton, rather brazenly in the circumstances, added that he would be remiss if he did not acknowledge with the greatest gratitude every favour he had received from  Byron`s ``bountiful hands``.
It appears that the servant had learned a great deal from his master. Byron`s letter strongly suggests that he already knows that Rushton is also having an affair with Vaughan. 
The earlier letters of Susan Vaughan and Robert Rushton can be found in my  posts here and here  
The January 25, 1812 letter of Byron to Rushton can be found in the very useful and elegant site Lord Byron and His Times.
The letter of January 25, 1812 reads as follows: 


“8, St. James’s-street, January 25th, 1812.
“Your refusal to carry the letter was not a subject of remonstrance; it was not a part of your business; but the language you used to the girl was (asshe stated it) highly improper.
“You say that you also have something to complain of; then state it to me immediately; it would be very unfair, and very contrary to my disposition, not to hear both aides of the question.
“If any thing has passed between you before or since my last visit to Newstead, do not be afraid to mention it. I am sure you would not deceive me, though she would. Whatever it is, you shall be forgiven. I have not been without some suspicions on the subject, and am certain that, at your time of life, the blame could not attach to you. You will not consult any one as to your answer, but write to me immediately. I shall be more ready to hear what you have to advance, as I do not remember ever to have heard a word from you before against any human being, which convinces me you would not maliciously assert an untruth. There is not any one who can do the least injury to you while you conduct yourself properly. I shall expect your answer immediately.
“Yours, &c.

Jan 25 1812: Speech of Josiah Quincy

On January 25, 1812, Representative Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts rose to speak in favour of the establishment of a navy. Josiah Quincy, a Federalist, was a representative from Massachusetts  (March 4, 1805-March 3, 1813).
James Fisk of Vermont responded to Quincy arguing against a navy. He stated  that he had originally been inclined to vote for a small increase of the Naval Establishment but it now appeared that what was being considered was "a great system a system which he feared if carried into execution might change the Government." He added that he considered standing armies and navies as dangerous to liberty.
Excerpts from Josiah Quincy's speech can be follow below. The grand rhetoric of the speech, much admired at the time, may seem overly ornate to our ears.  
Mr. Speaker, — I rise to address you on this occasion with no affected diffidence, and with many doubts concerning the expediency of taking any part in this debate. On the one hand, the subject has been discussed with a zeal, industry, and talent, which leave but little scope for novelty either in topic or illustration. On the other hand, arguments from this side of the House in favor of this question are received with so natural a jealousy that I know not whether more may not be lost than gained by so unpropitious a support. Indeed, sir, if this subject had been discussed on narrow or temporary or party principles, I should have been silent. On such ground I could not condescend to debate; I could not hope to influence. But the scale of discussion has been enlarged and liberal, relative rather to the general system than to the particular exigency; in almost every respect it has been honorable to the House and auspicious to the prospects of the nation.- In such a state of feeling and sentiment, I could not refrain from indulging the hope that suggestions, even from no favorite quarter, would be received with candor, perhaps with attention…
...The object I shall chiefly attempt to enforce is the necessity and duty of a systematic protection of our  maritime rights by maritime means. I would call the thoughtful and intelligent men of this House and nation to the contemplation of the essential connection between a naval force proportionate to the circumstances of our sea-coast, the extent of our commerce, and the inherent enterprise of our people ; — I say, sir, I would call them to the contemplation of the essential connection between such a naval force and the safety, prosperity, and existence of our Union. In the course of my observations, and as a subsidiary argument, I shall also attempt to show the connection between the adoption of the principle of a systematic maintenance of our maritime rights by maritime means, and relief from our present national embarrassments.
... Among States, the only sure and permanent bond of union is interest; and the vital interests of States, although they may be sometimes obscured, can never, for a very long time, be misapprehended. The natural protection which the essential interests of the great component parts of our political association require will be, sooner or later, understood by the States concerned in those interests. If a protection, upon system, be not provided, it is impossible that discontent should not result. And need I tell statesmen that, when great local discontent is combined in those sections with great physical power and with acknowledged portions of sovereignty, the inbred ties of nature will be too strong for the artificial ties of a parchment compact?
... It seems sufficient to observe that commerce is, from the nature of things, the leading interest of more than one-half, and that it is the predominating interest of more than one-third, of the people of these United States. The States north of the Potomac contain nearly four millions of souls; and surely it needs no proof to convince the most casual observer that the proportion which the   commercial interest bears to the other interests of that great section of the Union is such as entitles it to the denomination of a leading interest. The States north of the Hudson contain nearly two and a half millions of souls; and surely there is as little need of proof to show that the proportion the commercial interest bears to the other interests of that northern section of the Union is such as entitles it there to the denomination of a predominating interest. In all the country between the Potomac and the Hudson, the interest of commerce is so great in proportion to the other interests that its embarrassment clogs and weakens the energy of every other description of industry. Yet the agricultural and manufacturing interests of this section are of a nature and a magnitude, both in respect of the staples of the one and the objects of the other, as render them in a very considerable degree independent of the commercial…
... Enough has been said to convince any one who will take the trouble to reflect upon the subject that the interest is, in its nature, eminently local; that it is impossible it can be systematically abandoned without convulsing that whole section of country; and that the States interested in this commerce, so vital to their prosperity, have a right to claim and ought not to be content with less than efficient protection….…And will it be seriously contended that, upon the basis of a commerce, like ours, thus treading upon the heels of British greatness, we are absolutely without the ability of maintaining the security of our sea-board, the safety of our cities and the unobstructed course of our coasting trade?
By recurring to the permanency of this interest, the folly and madness of this negligence, and misplaced meanness, for it does not deserve the name of economy, will be still more distinctly exhibited. If this commerce were the mushroom growth of a night, if it had its vigor from the temporary excitement and the accumulated nutriment which warring elements in Europe had swept from the places of their natural deposit, then, indeed, there might be some excuse for a temporizing policy touching so transitory an interest. But commerce, in the Eastern States, is of no foreign growth, and of no adventitious seed. Its root is of a fibre which almost two centuries have nourished. And the perpetuity of its destiny is written, in legible characters, as well in the nature of the country as in the dispositions of its inhabitants…
...It has been said, by some philosophers of the other hemisphere, that nature in this new world had worked by a sublime scale; that our mountains and rivers and lakes were, beyond all comparison, greater than any thing the old world could boast; that she had here made nothing diminutive except its animals. And ought we not to fear lest the bitterness of this sarcasm should be concentrated on our country by a course of policy wholly unworthy of the magnitude and nature of the interests committed to our guardianship? Have we not reason to fear that some  future cynic, with an asperity which truth shall make piercing, will declare that all things in these United States are great except its statesmen; and that we are pigmies to whom Providence has intrusted, for some inscrutable purpose, gigantic labors?.. ... If you had a field to defend in Georgia, it would be very strange to put up a fence in Massachusetts. And yet how does this differ from  invading Canada, for the purpose of defending our maritime rights? I beg not to be understood, Mr. Speaker, by this remark as intending to chill the ardor for the Canada expedition. It is very true that, to possess ourselves of the Canadas and Nova Scotia and their dependencies, it would cost these United States, at the least estimate, fifty millions of dollars; and that Great Britain — national pride, and her pledge of protection to the people of that country, being put out of the question— would sell you the whole territory for half the money. I make no objection, however, on this account. On the contrary, for the purposes of the present argument, I may admit that pecuniary calculation ought to be put out of the field when spirit is to be shown or honor vindicated. I only design to inquire how our maritime rights are protected by such invasion. Suppose that, in every land project, you are successful. Suppose both the Canadas, Quebec, Halifax, every thing to the North Pole yours by fair conquest. Are your rights on the ocean therefore secure? Does your flag float afterwards in honor? Are your seamen safe from impressment? Is your course along the highway of nations unobstructed? No one pretends it. No one has or can show, by any logical deduction or any detail of facts, that the loss of those countries would so depress Great Britain as to induce her to abandon for one hour any of her maritime pretensions. What, then, results? Why, sir, what is palpable as the day, that maritime rights are only to be maintained by maritime means...
... Our capacity to defend our commerce against every one of these powers is undeniable. Because we cannot maintain our rights against the strong, shall we bear insult and invite plunder from the weak? Because there is one leviathan in the ocean, shall every shark satiate his maw on our fatness with impunity?...
...The strong ties of every people are those which spring from the heart and twine through the affections. The family compact   of the States has this for its basis, that their heroes have mingled their blood in the same contests; that all have a common right in their glory; that, if I may be allowed the expression, in the temple of patriotism all have the same worship...
...It is impossible for European nations not to know that we are the second commercial country in the world; that we have more than seven millions of people, with less annual expenditure and more unpledged sources of revenue than any nation of the civilized world. Yet a nation thus distinguished — abounding in wealth, in enterprise, and in power — is seen flying away from "the unprofitable contest; " abandoning the field of controversy; taking refuge behind its own doors, and softening the rigors of oppression abroad by a comparison with worse torments at home. Ought such a nation to ask for respect? Is there any other mode of relief from this depth of disgrace than by a change of national conduct and character?
..The general effect of the policy I advocate is to produce confidence at home and respect abroad. These are twin shoots from the same stock, and never fail to nourish or fade together. Confidence is a plant of no mushroom growth and of no artificial texture. It springs only from sage councils and generous endeavors. The protection you extend must be efficient and suited to the nature of the object you profess to maintain. If it be neither adequate nor appropriate, your wisdom may be doubted, your motives may be distrusted, but in vain you expect confidence. The inhabitants of the seaboard will inquire of their own senses and not of your logic concerning the reality of their protection...
...But let the opposite policy prevail; let the essential interests of the great component parts of this Union find no protection under the national arm; instead of safety let them realize oppression, and the seeds of discord and dissolution are inevitably sown in a soil the best fitted for their root, and affording the richest nourishment for their expansion. It may be a long time before they ripen; but sooner or later they will assuredly burst forth in all their destructive energies. In the intermediate period, what aspect does an union thus destitute of cement present? Is it that of a nation keen to discern and strong to resist violations of its sovereignty? It has rather the appearance of a casual collection of semi barbarous clans, with the forms of civilization, and with the rude and rending passions of the savage state: in truth, powerful; yet, as to any foreign effect, imbecile: rich in the goods of fortune, yet wanting that inherent spirit without which a nation is poor indeed: their strength exhausted by struggles for local power; their moral sense debased by low intrigues for personal popularity or temporary pre-eminence; all their thoughts turned, not to the safety of the state, but to the elevation of a chieftain. 
A people presenting such an aspect, what have they   to expect abroad? What but pillage, insult, and scorn? The choice is before us. Persist in refusing efficient maritime protection; persist in the system of commercial restrictions: what now is, perhaps, prophecy will hereafter be history.

Jan 24 1812 New York Evening Post

On January 24, 1812, the New York Evening Post ran the following article against the coming war: 
"Tricks upon Travellers" or "More Ways than one to kill a Cat." — Old saws.
We are certainly now to have a war, for Congress have voted to have an army. But let me tell you, there is all the difference in the world between an army on paper, and an army in the field. An army on paper is voted in a whiff, but to raise an army, you must offer men good wages. The wages proposed to be given to induce men to come forward and enlist for five years, leave their homes and march away to take Canada, is a bounty of $16, and $5 a month; and at the end of the war, if they can get a certificate of good behavior, 160 acres of wild land and three months’ pay; for the purpose, I presume, of enabling the soldier to walk off and find it, if he can. Now I should really be glad to be informed, whether it is seriously expected that, in a country where a stout able-bodied man can earn $15 a month from May to November, and a dollar a day during mowing and harvesting, he will go into the army for a bounty of $16, $5 a month for five years, if the war should last so long, and 160 acres of wild land, if he happens to be on such good terms with his commanding officer as to obtain a certificate of good behavior? Let the public judge if such inducements as these will ever raise an army of 25,000 men, or ever were seriously expected to do it? If not, can anything be meant more than "sound and fury signifying nothing?" This may be called humbugging on a large scale.

Jan 24 1812: Speech of David Rogerson Williams

On January 24, 1812, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the sum of $100,000 for a navy dock yard. Representative Rhea of Pennsylvania moved to amend the bill to have the dock yard located in Washington City. His motion was defeated by a large majority. On motion of Cheves, the location of the dock yard was left to the President to decide.

The House next dealt with amendments approving $480,000 to repair existing vessels by a vote of yeas 90 to nays 28. The next question was whether to agree with the report of the committee opposing the acquisition of new frigates. 

Rep. David Rogerson Williams of South Carolina rose to argue against the new frigates and spoke at "some length." The highlight of his speech was his thundering denunciation of Great Britain. He declared: ''I feel a deadly hate against Great Britain. Yes, sir, if the red artillery of Heaven were in my hands, I'd soon drive the fast anchored isle from her moorings."

Williams was known for his thundering speeches and was given various nicknames such as "Mr. Thunderbolt Williams", "thunder-and-lightning Williams", "Jupiter Williams" and "thunder and lightning David."

Williams will go on to serve as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army in the War of 1812.  Later, in 1814, he was elected Governor of South Carolina serving until 1816. He died on November 17, 1830, in an accident while overseeing the construction of a bridge over Lynches Creek in South Carolina.