"Glorious News!": How Maryland newspapers reported the War of 1812
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.
Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators for both Grades 5-12 and K-4.
Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following United States 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 United States 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 throughout the 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. [Compare competing historical narratives]
Standard 4D: The 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 influence of 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]
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
- Objective a. Describe Maryland's role in the War of 1812
- Indicator 2. Explain the political, cultural, economic and social changes in Maryland during the early 1800s.
- 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
- 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.
- Objective a. Describe pro-slavery and anti-slavery positions and explain how debates over slavery influenced politics and sectionalism
- Objective b. Analyze the experiences of African-American slaves, and free blacks
- Indicator 2. Analyze the emerging foreign policy of the United States
- Indicator 4. Analyze the institution of slavery and its influence on societies in the United States
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
- 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 SOURCE: Frederick-Town Herald, July 11, 1812, page 2. MSA SC2829 NOTES: Written June 16, 1812 (two days before war was declared). Highlights logistical challenges of waging war. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- TITLE: Forty-eight Dollars Advance. Chesapeake Flotilla, DESCRIPTION: Employment advertisement printed by Joshua Barney recruiting unemployed men to join the flotilla SOURCE: Baltimore American and Commercial Daily Advertiser, May 18, 1814, page 1. MSA SC3392 NOTES: Originally printed March 16 REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
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).
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Documents for the Classroom 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.
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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