The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Niles Weekly Register, October 29, 1812

Full Text

Extract of a letter to a gentleman in Baltimore from a field officer of the engineers, dated Lake Ontario, Sacket's Harbor, October 10.

"We arrived here on the 1st inst. with the governor and commodore Chauncey, who has lately been appointed to the command of the lakes. I have been constantly employed in laying out batteries, redoubts, quarters, &c. as we are now concentrating and assembling our naval force to this point; it has advantages equal if not superior to any on these waters as to its complete protection from the winds and ice, which are serious considerations in this inhospitable clime. The land commands one of the most beautiful sheets of water in the whole world, dotted with islands whose tops dispute the passage of the clouds. This situation is about 60 miles from where the lake empties into and forms the St. Lawrence; Kingston is situated at the distance of 20 miles on the opposite shore, where the British have a large force, which keeps us on the alert. Never have I seen a more determined set of brave fellows than are embodied here, all are ready and solicitous and urge the officers to conduct them to the enemy. With such men properly disciplined we can confidently expect an easy conquest. Every exertion is making here by the government to get command of the lake. We have a fine ship on the stocks, which will be finished the last of November, and will mount 36 32 pounders, together with the brig Oneida, mounting 20 32 pounders, with six merchant vessels that are to be converted into gunboats. As soon as they are completed, an attack will certainly be made, with every prospect of success. The force now collected here amounts to 3000 men."

Media Type:
Item Type:
Same report in: Baltimore, Niles Weekly Register, October 30, 1812 but the last sentence reads "The force now collected at Niagara amounts to 8000 men."      
New York, The Columbian, October 31, 1812.      
Lexington, Kentucky Gazette, November 10, 1812.      
Same report in: Quebec LC, Quebec Mercury, November 17, 1812 with the last sentence as "The force now collected at Niagara amounts to 8000 men."    
Date of Original:
October 29, 1812
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.94923 Longitude: -76.12076
Gary M. Gibson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Niles Weekly Register, October 29, 1812