"Glorious News!": How Maryland newspapers reported the War of 1812

Introduction

glorious_newsWhen the nation was engulfed in its second war with Great Britain within thirty-years, newspapers informed the public on the major events of the day just as they do in the twenty-first century. Newspapers also reflected the sentiments and concerns held by their readers held at the time. Whether the editor enthusiastically praised a recent victory on the open seas, or lambasted the leadership for a poorly executed military operation on the frontier, newspapers were keenly aware of their audience and utilized every opportunity to gain a foothold in the public arena.

Maryland was in a unique position during the War of 1812; the Executive and Legislature were heavily Federalist, and against the war with Great Britain, while a large portion of the citizens of Maryland sided with James Madison and the Republican Party, believing that the war was just and would solidify the independence of the United States against her colonial ruler once and for all. You can see these opposing viewpoints clearly in the publications at the time.

During the years surrounding the War of 1812, newspapers wrote editorials in response to articles published in rival newspapers, sometimes engaging in a heated public dialogue for months. At the same time, newspapers relied heavily upon other publications outside of the region for national and international news, regularly publishing articles from other papers. One thing is for certain: newspapers during the 19th century were very popular, quite influential, and heavily depended upon for information on wartime developments.

For Marylanders, it was especially important for newspapers to provide details on the enemy's movements after 1813, when the British were active in the rivers and creeks of the Chesapeake Bay. Due to the slow pace of newsgathering, information would constantly stream in from outside the region about events that at times had occurred months in the past.

This document packet looks at a number of Maryland newspapers that were active during the War of 1812, and provides a number of articles on important events from Maryland and abroad. They are arranged chronologically so that the reader can compare how the different news sources reported on similar events, clearly illustrating the various political viewpoints that existed in the state during this time.

 

U.S. History Content Standards
Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following U.S. History Content Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)

    Standard 2: The impact of the American Revolution on politics, economy, and society

    Standard 3: The institutions and practices of government created during the Revolution and how they were revised between 1787 and 1815 to create the foundation of the American political system based on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights

Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801-1864)

    Standard 1: United States territorial expansion between 1801-1864, and how it affected relations with external powers and Native Americans

    Standard 3: The extension, restriction, and reorganization of political democracy after 1800

    Standard 4: The sources and character of cultural, religious, and social reform movements in the antebellum period

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following U.S. History Content Standards for Grades K-4:

Topic 2: The History of Students' Own State or Region

STANDARD 3:  
The people, events, problems, and ideas that created the history of their state.

Standard 3C: The student understands the various other groups from regions throughout the world who came into the his or her own state or region over the long-ago and recent past.

K-4: Use a variety of visual data, fiction and nonfiction sources, and speakers to identify the groups that have come into the state or region and to generate ideas about why they came. [Obtain historical data]

3-4: Draw upon census data and historical accounts in order to describe patterns and changes in population over a period of time in a particular city or town in the students' state or region. [Draw upon historical data]

Standard 3D: The student understands the interactions among all these groups throughoutthe history of his or her state.

3-4: Analyze the significance of major events in the state's history, their impact on people then and now, and their relationship to the history of the nation. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships]

3-4: Identify historical problems or events in the state and analyze the way they were solved and/or the way that they continue to be address. [Identify issues and problems in the past]

3-4: Examine various written accounts in order to identify and describe regional or state examples of major historical events and developments that involved interaction among various groups. [Consider multiple perspectives]

Standard 3E: The student understands the ideas that were significant in the development of the state and that helped to forge its unique identity.

K-4: Draw upon visual and other data to identify symbols, slogans, or mottoes, and research why they represent the state. [Draw upon visual data]

Topic 3: The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the Peoples from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic and Political Heritage

STANDARD 4:
How democratic values came to be, and how they have been exemplified by people, events, and symbols

Standard 4B: Demonstrate understanding of ordinary people who have exemplified values and principles of American democracy

K-4: Identify ordinary people who have believed in the fundamental democratic values such as justice, truth, equality, the rights of the individual, and responsibility for the common good, and explain their significance. [Assess the importance of the individual in history]

K-4: Analyze in their historical context the accomplishments of ordinary people inthe local community now and long ago who have done something beyond the ordinary that displays particular courage or a sense of responsibility in helping the common good. [Assess the importance of the individual in history]

Standard 4C: The student understands historic figures who have exemplified values and principles of American democracy

3-4: Compare historical biographies or fictionalized accounts of historical figures with primary documents in order to analyze inconsistencies and disagreements in these accounts, and assess their reliability. [Comparecompeting historical narratives]

Standard 4D: eThe student understands events that celebrate and exemplify fundamental values and principles of American democracy

3-4: Describe the history of events. [Demonstrate and explain the influence of ideas and beliefs]

Standard 4E: The student understands national symbols through which American values and principles are expressed

K-4: Describe the history of American symbols. [Demonstrate and explain the influencebof ideas]

K-4: Explain why important buildings, statues, and monuments are associated with state and national history. [Obtain historical data]

3-4: Analyze the Pledge of Allegiance and patriotic songs, poems, and sayings that were written long ago to demonstrate understanding of their significance. [Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage]

3-4: Analyze songs, symbols, and slogans that demonstrate freedom of expression and the role of protest in a democracy. [Consider multiple perspectives]

STANDARD 5: The causes and nature of various movements of large groups of people into and within the United States, now, and long ago.

Standard 5A: Demonstrate understanding of the movements of large groups of people into his or her own and other states in the United States now and long ago.

3-4: Draw upon data in historical maps, historical narratives, diaries, and other fiction or nonfiction accounts in order to chart various movements (westward, northward, and eastward) in the United States. [Obtain historical data]

3-4: Identify reasons why groups such as freed African Americans families migrated to various parts of the country. [Consider multiple perspectives]

STANDARD 6:Regional folklore and culture contributions that helped to form our national heritage.

Standard 6A; The student understands folklore and other cultural contributions from various regions of the United States and how they help to form a national heritage.

K-4: Describe regional folk heroes, stories, or songs that have contributed to the development of the cultural history of the U.S. [Read historical narratives imaginatively]

K-4: Draw upon a variety of stories, legends, songs, ballads, games, and tall tales in order to describe the environment, lifestyles, beliefs, and struggles of people in various regions of the country. Read historical narratives imaginatively]


Maryland State Social Studies Content Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following Maryland Social Studies Standards for Grades 4 and 8:

Grade 4 - Standard 5.0: Students will examine significant ideas, beliefs, and themes; organize patterns and events; and analyze how individuals and societies have changed over time in Maryland and the United States
            Topic C. Conflict Between Ideas and Institutions
                        Indicator 2. Explain the political, cultural, economic and social changes in Maryland during the early 1800s.
                                    Objective a. Describe Maryland's role in the War of 1812
                        Indicator 4. Analyze how the institution of slavery impacted individuals and groups in Maryland
                                   

Grade 8 - Standard 5.0: Students will examine significant ideas, beliefs, and themes; organize patterns and events; and analyze how individuals and societies have changed over time in Maryland and the United States
               Topic C. Conflict Between Ideas and Institutions
                        Indicator 2. Analyze the emerging foreign policy of the United States
                                    Objective a. Explain why the United States adopted a policy of neutrality prior to the War of 1812.
                                    Objective b. Explain how the continuing conflict between Great Britain and France influenced the domestic and foreign policy of the United States.
                        Indicator 4. Analyze the institution of slavery and its influence of societies in the United States
                                    Objective a. Describe pro-slavery and anti-slavery positions and explain how debates over slavery influence politics and sectionalism
                                    Objective b. Analyze the experiences of African American slaves, and free blacks

Maryland State Common Core Social Studies Reading Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following Maryland Common Core Reading Standards for Grades 6-8:

CCR Anchor Standard #1 - Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
        RH.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources

CCR Anchor Standard #2 - Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
        RH.6-8.2 - Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge of opinions

CCR Anchor Standard #4 - Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
        RH.6-8.4 - Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies

CCR Anchor Standard #6 - Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
        RH.6-8.6 - Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts)

CCR Anchor Standard #7 - Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
        RH.6-8.7 - Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts

CCR Anchor Standard #8 - Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
        RH.6-8.8 - Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text

CCR Anchor Standard #9 - Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
        RH.6-8.9 - Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic

Primary Resources

     1. TITLE: A Statement Of Arms and Military Stores in the possession of the State of Maryland
         CREATOR: Ninian Pinkney, Clerk of the Council
         DESCRIPTION:
Inventory of the ammunition in Maryland
         NOTES:
Written June 16, 1812 (two days before war was declared). Highlights logistical challenges of waging war.
         SOURCE: Frederick-Town Herald, July 11, 1812, page 2. MSA SC2829
         REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD.


     2. TITLE: Baltimore Mobs
         DESCRIPTION:
Editorial lamenting the mob in Baltimore that attacked the editors of the Federal Republican  
         SOURCE: Frederick-Town Herald, August 1, 1812, page 3. MSA SC2829
         REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD.

     3. TITLE: British Navy - American Station
         DESCRIPTION:
Account of the British Naval vessels in North America
         SOURCE: Niles Weekly Register, Volume 2, August 1, 1812, page 4. MSA SC4288
         REPOSITORY: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.


     4. TITLE: The War on the Ocean
         DESCRIPTION:
Listing of the number of ships, men and arms taken from the British since war was declared
         SOURCE: Niles Weekly Register, Volume 3, October 24, 1812, page 10. MSA SC4288
         REPOSITORY:  National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

     5. TITLE: No Impressment and Free Trade
         CREATOR: John H. Stevens
         DESCRIPTION:
Letter written from Mr. Stevens to the editors of the Boston Chronicle about the American seamen that have been impressed by the British     
         SOURCE: Niles Weekly Register, Volume 4, March 13, 1813, page 15. MSA SC4288
         REPOSITORY: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.


     6. TITLE: Extract of a letter from Frederica (Kent County) to the editor of the Statesmen
         DESCRIPTION:.
Dated April 26, 1813 and talks about the number of runaway negroes that have fled to the British
         SOURCE: Frederick-Town Herald, May 8, 1813, page 2. MSA SC2829
         REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD.

     7. TITLE: War
         DESCRIPTION
Evaluation of the failures during the first 12 months at war
         SOURCE: Frederick-Town Herald, June 19, 1813, page 3. MSA SC2829
         REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD.

     8. TITLE: Enemy's Squadron
         DESCRIPTION:
Account of the British Navy in the waters near Annapolis
         SOURCE: Maryland Gazette, August 5, 1813, page 3. MSA SC2731
         REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD


     9. TITLE: The Question at Issue
         DESCRIPTION:
Article printed from the National Intelligencer discussing the belligerence of Great Britain and the impressment of subjects from neutral vessels
         SOURCE: Baltimore Whig, August 9, 1813, page 3. MSA SC3259
         REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

    10. TITLE: Fruits of Federalism
          DESCRIPTION:
Article from the Political Examiner, a new republican newspaper out of Frederick, MD, discussing new appointments in that area that go against those aligned with the "peace party"  
          SOURCE: Baltimore Whig, August 12, 1813, page 2. MSA SC3259
          REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

    11. TITLE: Alexander Hamilton, versus The Federalists
          DESCRIPTION:
Editorial quoting Alexander Hamilton in regards to Federalists' opposition to the war
          SOURCE: Baltimore Whig, September 4, 1813, page 3. MSA SC3259
          REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD


    12. TITLE: Triumph of Republicanism
          DESCRIPTION:
An announcement reprinted from the Hagerstown Herald on recent Washington County election results
          SOURCE: Baltimore Whig, October 8, 1813, page 3. MSA SC3259
          REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD


     13. TITLE: Speech of Tecumseh
           DESCRIPTION:
Transcription of a speech made by Shawnee Chief Tecumseh in Amherstburg on September 18, 1813 to Major General Proctor
           SOURCE: Niles Weekly Register, Volume 5, November 6, 1813, page 14. MSA SC4288
           REPOSITORY: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

     14. TITLE: Ad. Cochrane's Proclamation
           DESCRIPTION: Brief notice about the newspaper receiving a copy of Admiral Cochrane's Proclamation declaring the Atlantic Coast of the United States under a state of blockade. To view full proclamation, click here.
           SOURCE: Maryland Gazette, May 12, 1814, page 3. MSA SC2731
           REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

     15. TITLE: Forty-eight Dollars Advance. Chesapeake Flotilla,
           DESCRIPTION:
Employment advertisement printed by Joshua Barney recruiting unemployed men to join the flotilla
           NOTES: Originally printed March 16
           SOURCE: Baltimore American and Commercial Daily Advertiser, May 18, 1814, page 1. MSA SC3392
           REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

    16. TITLE: The Enemy in the Chesapeake
           DESCRIPTION:
Details about the autrocities committed by the British Navy as they sail in the Patuxent River
           SOURCE: Niles Weekly Register, Volume 6, July 30, 1814, page 12. MSA SC4288
           REPOSITORY: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

     17. TITLE: Defence of Fort McHenry
           DESCRIPTION:
An account of the Battle of Baltimore and the accompanying poem to the tune of the song "Anacreon in Heaven"  
           SOURCE: Maryland Gazette, October 13, 1814, page 6. MSA SC3403
           REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

     18. TITLE: Peace
           DESCRIPTION:
Article about a peace treaty being signed in Ghent on December 24, 1814  
           SOURCE: Maryland Gazette, February 16, 1815, page 2. MSA SC3403
           REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

     19. TITLE: Glorious News!
           DESCRIPTION:
Articles about the Battle of New Orleans with a letter from Major General Andrew Jackson to the Secretary of War, as well as news of the peace treay signed at Ghent on December 24, 1814
           SOURCE: Niles Weekly Register, Volume 7, February 18, 1815, page 1. MSA SC4288
           REPOSITORY: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

     20. TITLE: A Proclamation
           DESCRIPTION:
Mayor Nicholas Brewer of Annapolis informing the citizen of the city about an illumination event in celebration of the recent victories over Great Britain  
           SOURCE: Maryland Republican, February 18, 1815, page 4. MSA SC3411
           REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD


Additional Media Resources

"All the Means Within Our Power": Maryland's Defenses During the War of 1812 Teaching American History in Maryland, Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

Bringing Down the House: Burning of the White House in the War of 1812 Teaching American History in Maryland, Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

Flee or Stay?: The African American Experience during the War of 1812Teaching American History in Maryland, Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD Teaching American History in Maryland, Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

Francis Scott Key and the Star-Spangled Banner Teaching American History in Maryland, Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

Mary Pickersgill: Maker of the Star-Spangled Banner Teaching American History in Maryland, Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

Slavery in the United States. A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Charles Ball, a Black Man, Who Lived Forty Years in Maryland, South Carolina and Georgia, as a Slave Under Various Masters, and was One Year in the Navy with Commodore Barney, During the Late War. electronic edition, Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Library 

The Battle of North Point, September 12, 1814  Teaching American History in Maryland, Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

"The Enemy Nearly All 'Round Us" Annapolis and the War of 1812 online exhibit, Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD

Additional Instructional Resources

The War of 1812 video from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

The War of 1812 on the Chesapeake: Home of the Brave video from Maryland Public Television (MPT)

The War of 1812 Classroom Resources  webpage from MPT's Thinkport.org

Secondary Resources

Altoff, Gerard T. Amongst My Best Men: African-Americans and The War of 1812 (Put-In-Bay, OH: The Perry Group, 1996).

Bolster, W. Jeffrey. Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997).

Cranwell, John Philip and William Bowers Crane. Men of Marque: A History of Private Armed Vessels out of Baltimore During the War of 1812 (New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1940).

Eshelman, Ralph. A Travel Guide to the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: Eighteen Tours in Maryland, Virginia, & the District of Columbia (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).

_____________, Burton K. Kummerow. In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake (Baltimore, MD: Maryland Historical Society Press, 2012).

Garitee, Jerome R.. Republic's Private Navy: The American Privateering Business as Practised by Baltimore during the War of 1812 (Middleton, CT:  Wesleyan University Press, 1977).

George, Christopher T. Terror on the Chesapeake; The War of 1812 on the Bay (Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Books, 2000).

Gillmer, Thomas C.. Pride of Baltimore: The Story of the Baltimore Clippers, 1800-1990 (Camden, ME; International Marine, 1992).

Healey, David. 1812: Rediscovering Chesapeake Bay's Forgotten War (Rock Hill, SC: Bella Rosa Books, 2005).

Hickey, Donald R. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict (Champaign, IL: Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 1989).

Marine, William M.  The British Invasion of Maryland, 1812-1815 (Baltimore, MD: Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland, 1913).

McWilliams, Jane. Annapolis, City on the Severn: A History (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011). 

Whitfield, Harvey A. Blacks on the Border: The Black Refugees in British North America, 1815-1860 (New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2006).

Associated Heritage and Preservation Organizations

National Park Service Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
410 Severn Avenue, Suite 314
Annapolis, MD 21403
(410) 260-2470
www.nps.gov/stsp/index.htm
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 962-4290
www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm
National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Avenue. NW
Washington, D.C. 20408

8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740

1 (866) 272-6272
www.archives.gov/
 

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Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Prince George's County Public Schools, Caroline County Public Schools and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress.

 Star Spangled 200 Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission

Research completed with funding from Star Spangled 200 Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission grant, compiled at Legacy of Slavery in Maryland website.

This document packet was researched and developed by Ryan Cox.

 

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