This section of the webpage will be devoted to the War of 1812 which is considered by many historians as the second war for Independence. The War started before and extended after the year 1812. It is named for the year that Congress passed the declaration of war bill against the largest and still strongest empire in the world: Great Britain.
1 February, 1793 France wars with Britain
France declares war on Great Britain after learning that Britain is preparing to join an alliance with Austria and Prussia, nations already at war wotj France.
8 June1793 Rule of 1756
British Orders in Council are issued delcaring that all neutral ships bound for and departing from French ports will be intercepted and searched by the Royal Navy. Contraband, including naval stores and food stuffs, will be confiscated. The "Rule of 1756" is also asserted, declaring that ports closed to a country during peace may not be opened to that country during war. This means French ports that had previously excluded American vessels may not now receive them.
24 June, 1795 Jay Treaty
The Jay Treaty between the United States and Great Britain is ratified by the Senate. Negotiated by John Jay, the treaty increases AMerican access to British West Indian ports and establishes a commission to negotiate compensation for American cargoes illegally seized by the British. In return, the United States agrees to the establishment of a commission to resolve debt disputes dating back to and before the Revolutionary War.
31 May, 1797 France Protest Jay
France refuses to receive Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, the newly appointed United States minister to France, to protest the Jay Treaty. Believing the treaty signals a defacto alliance between the United States and Britain, France increases its harassment of American Shipping.
25 January, 1798 Broken voyage
A British Order in Council formalizes a loophole within its maritime policies allowing the United States to carry no-contraband goods from French colonial ports to france, provided that the cargoes make an intermediary stop at an AMerican port. This doctrine of the "broken voyage" will allow American shippers to prosper as neutral carriers during the Napoleonic Wars.
30 September, 1800 Convention of 1800
The Convention of 1800 is signed with France. The treaty places American-French trade on most-favored-nation basis and acknowledges the neutral right concept of "free ships free goods." American shippers, as neutrals in the war between France and Britain, will e allowed to carry non-contraband goods to British ports without interference from France.
23 July, 1805
A British Court condemns the American merchant ship Essex for violating British maritime policies. The Essex had been carrying a cargo picked up in Martinique -
Caribbean possession of Britain's enemy, France. The decision signals a revocation of the doctrine of the "broken voyage" that had previously allowed American shippers to prosper as neutral carriers. American ships, carrying French cargoes, will no longer be able to "neutralize" these cargoes by making a stop in an American port. Within weeks of this ruling, dozens of American ships will be seized by the British navy.
21 November, 1806 The Berlin Decree
France issues the Berlin Decree, announcing a blockade against Great Britain and declaring that all ships engaging in commerce with Britain will be subject to seizure. This will be followed by the Milan Decree of 17 December 1807, declaring that the ships of any nation acquiescing in Britain's orders in council will be seized.
31 December, 1806 Monroe-Pinkney Treaty
American envoys James Monroe and William Pinkney negotiate a treaty with Great Britain in an attempt to improve trade and diminish maritime tensions. The US seeks increased commercial access to British markets in the West Indies and the revisions of British policeis on neutral shipping and impressment. While Britain makes some concessions on trade, it refuses to relinquish the right to stop foreign vessels and search their crews for deserters from the British navy. Jefferson therefore will find the terms of the treaty unacceptable and will refuse to submit it to the Senate for approval.
22 June, 1807
The USS Chesapeake, sailing off the Virginia coast, is fired upon by the Leopard, a British ship of war, When the Commander refuses to allow the British to board his ship in order to search for British naval deserters. The American public is outraged and Jefferson orders all British ships out of American territorial waters.
The Honorable gentleman from Virginia, James Madison.
Father of the US Constituation
4th President of the United States of America.
James Madison (1751-1836) was the principal architect of the United States Constitution, the Secretary of State under President Thomas Jefferson, and the fourth president of the United States. During the Revolution, he helped draft Virginia's state constitution and served the Continental Congress. In the years immediately following the war, he grew convinced of the domestic and international disasters that would follow unless the national government was reformed, and therefore joined those calling for a constitutional convention. He teamed with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to publish the Federalist Papers. After the Constitution's ratification, he served in the United States Congress from 1789 to 1797.
As a United States congressman and then as Jefferson's Secretary of State, he argued that British commercial and maritime policies should be countered with retaliatory tariffs and trade restrictions. He urged Jefferson to adopt a complete embargo against international trade in 1807.
As president, Madison continued to support aggressive treade measures against Britain and requested a delcaration of war against Great Britain in 1812 when commercial pressure failed to achieve a change in British policy.
During the War of 1812, Madison faced almost treasonous opposition from merchants and public officials in New England, but he refused to limit civil liberties or declare martial law, as he was urged to do by supporters.
Dolley Payne Todd Madison
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) was the wife of President James Maison and the First Lady from 1809-1817. Born in North Carolina, she moved with her family to Philadelphia at age 15. She married John Toldd, a lawyer, in 1790 and had two sons. Her husband and youngest son died in 1793 during a yellow fever epidemic. The next year, future Vice President Aaron Burr introduced Dolley to James Madison, seventeen years her senior, and they were married the following year.
As First Lady, Delley Madison completed the furnishing of the WHite House and made it the center of social and political life in Washington, D.C. During the British attack on the capital, she remained in the city until critical White House documents and the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington had been safely removed.
The honorable gentleman from Tennessee, Andrew Jackson
Seventh President of the United States
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845 was a Major General in the United Stes Army. He served in the United Staes House and Senate (1797, 1823-25) along with serving on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
As a general in the Tennessee state militia he defeated the Creek Indians along with driving his force into Spanish Florida during the Seminole War of 1818.
During the War of 1812, Jackson was appointed a Major General and was sent to protect New Orleans from an impending British attack. His army of Tennessee and Kentucky volunteers forced the British to withdraw from the area. This victory propelled him to the high office in the country.
Tecumseh, Shawnee leader
Tecumseh (1768-1813) was the Shawnee leader of a Pan-Indian confederation forged between 1807 and 1813. Believed to have been in present-day Ohio. His father was killed at the battle at Point Pleasant in 1774. he was perhaps the most important Indian leader of the early ninteenth century.
Tecumseh rose to power in 1807 within the religious movement started by his younger brother, Tenskwatawa. This movement, which intially emphasized cultural renewal and the rejection of European-American influences, assumed an increasingly political character after 1807. As part of this evolution, leadership within the movement shifted from the prophet Tenskwatawa to Tecumseh, whose leadership was more secular in nature. In 1811, Tenskwatawa ordered his followers into battle against an American force led by William Henry Harrison at Tippecanoe Creek (Indiana), leading to the defeat of the Indians and the discrediting of Tenskwatawa. Later, Tecumseh led a remnant of the confederation into an allianace with Britain during the War of 1812. At the Battle of the Thames in 1813, the British and Indians were defeated by an American force, Tecumseh was killed, and the surviving Indians withdrew from the alliance.
Sir Isaac Brock, Major General in his Majesty army
With the outbreak of the War that June, Brock felt that British military fortunes were bleak. In Upper Canada, he possessed only 1,200 regulars which were supported by around 11,000 militia. As he doubted the loyalty of many Canadians, he believed only around 4,000 of the latter group would be willing to fight. Despite this outlook, Brock quickly sent word to Captain Charles Roberts at St. John Island in Lake Huron to move against nearby Fort Mackinac at his discretion. Roberts succeeded in capturing the American fort which aided in gaining support from the Native Americans.
Wishing to build on this success, Brock was thwarted by Governor General George Prevost who desired a purely defensive approach. On July 12, an American force led by Major General William Hull moved from Detroit into Canada. Though the Americans quickly withdrew to Detroit, the incursion provided Brock with justification for going on the offensive. Moving with around 300 regulars and 400 militia, Brock reached Amherstburg on August 13 where he was joined by Tecumseh and approximately 600-800 Native Americans.
As British forces had succeeded in capturing Hull's correspondence, Brock was aware that the Americans were short on supplies and scared of attacks by the Native Americans. Despite being badly outnumbered, Brock emplaced artillery on the Canadian side of the Detroit River and began bombarding Fort Detroit. He also employed a variety of tricks to convince Hull that his force was larger than it was, while also parading his Native American allies to induce terror. On August 15, Brock demanded the Hull surrender. This was initially refused and Brock prepared to lay siege to the fort. Continuing his various ruses, he was surprised the next day when the elderly Hull agreed to turn over the garrison. A stunning victory, the fall of Detroit secured that area of the frontier and saw the British capture a large supply of weapons which were needed for arming the Canadian militia.
Harrison Gray Otis
Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848) was a leading Federalist statesman and a delegate to the Hartford Convention in 1814. Over a long political career, he served in the Massachusetts state legislature, the United States Congress and Senate.
As a leader within the Federalist Party during the War of 1812, he participated in the Hartford Convention, a meeting of New England Federalists called to coordinate the region;s opposition to the war. While rumors circulated that the convention would propose secession from the union, its demands were more moderate and aimed at making future trade restrictions and future wars more difficult to legislate. Otis was assigned the task of delivering the convention report to President James Madison. He was in Washinton when new arrived of the Battle of New Orleans and the Treaty of Ghent, and consequently, he became a symbol of Federalist malcontent.
John Armstrong (1758-1843)
Armstrong was the Secretary of War under President James Madison during the War of 1812. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. As the Aide-de-Camp of General Horatio Gates he wrote the Newburgh Address, a letter urging officers in the Continental Army to not disband at the end of the war unless grievances regarding back pay and officer pensions were addressed by Congress. After the war, he served in the United States Senate (1801-02, 1803-04), and as United States Minister to France (1804-1810). he was appointed Secretary of War in January 1813.
As Madison's Secretary of War during the War of 1812, he was criticized for his performance. The military failures of the war were not entirely his fault. he had to deal with an undermanned army, an aging officer corps, a small navy, unreliable Congressional funding, and resistance from New England governors unwilling to meet manpower requests. But his own shortcomings compounded these difficulties. Most critically, despite considerable warning, he dismissed all threats of an attack on Washington, D.C., and left the city poorly defended. Heavily criticized by the public, and the president, after the city was captured and burned by British forces, Armstrong resigned on 4 September 1814.
The honorable William Henry Harrison from Ohio
9th President of the United States
During the War of 1812, Harrison replaced the disgraced William Hull and recaptured Detroit in September 1813. In the following month Harrison’s forces were victorious at the Battle of the Thames north of Lake Erie, a victory that secured the northwest border. Harrison secured further land cessions from Native Americans in the Treaty of Greenville in 1814 and the Treaty of Spring Wells in 1815.
Following the war, Harrison embarked on his political career. He served in the House of Representatives (1816-19) from Ohio, the Ohio state senate (1819-21), and the U.S. Senate (1825-28). In 1828, he was appointed American minister to Columbia by John Quincy Adams. He offended his hosts by lecturing Simón Bolívar, the South American revolutionary leader, on the dangers of dictatorship and was recalled early in Jackson’s administration.
Commador Oliver Hazard Perry
At the beginning of the War of 1812, the United States sent Perry to command the American forces on Lake Erie. When he arrived in Presque Isle (modern-day Erie, Pennsylvania), Perry commissioned several carpenters to build a fleet of ships. Within a year, he had nine ships. However, only two, the Lawrence and the Niagara, were fit for battle. Perry had also assembled a force of about five hundred men to serve under him, and after several months of drilling, they were a capable naval unit. In September 1813, Perry set sail for Put-In Bay to meet the British fleet. The English were anticipating an easy victory. On September 10, 1813, the Battle of Lake Erie took place. Early in the battle, the British were taking a heavy toll on the American ships. The Lawrence was destroyed. Perry took the ship's flag and sailed for the Niagara. The battle began to turn for the Americans. The British ships had taken heavy cannon fire and were unable to effectively fight the Niagara. The Niagara rammed the British lead ship while the sailors fired rifles at the British seamen. By nightfall, the British had lowered their flag and surrendered to Perry, who was only twenty-seven years old. (from OHS)
DAY TRIPS FOR YOUR FAMILY'S ENJOYMENT
National Battlefield Park
River Raisin is the site of the devastating January 1813 Battles of Frenchtown that occurred during the War of 1812. The battles typified the conflicting interest central to the war but, in the end, the killing and ransom of unprotected American prisoners galvanized America. The resulting polemical rally cry “Remember the Raisin” spurred America’s successful re-taking of the Northwest Territories.
National Historic Site
US 24 and Jerome
Maumee, OH 435537
The Battle of Fallen Timbers was the culminating event that demonstrated the tenacity of the American people in their quest for western expansion and the struggle for dominance in the Old Northwest Territory. The events resulted in the dispossession of American Indian tribes and a loss of colonial territory for the British military and settlers.
Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace between Britain, Canada and the U.S. The Memorial, a Doric column, rising 352 feet over Lake Erie is situated 5 miles from the longest undefended border in the world.
Prophetstown State Park
5545 Swisher Road
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Grouseland, William Henry Harrison Manison
3 West Scott Road
Vincennes, IN 47591