I'm back in the War of 1812 correspondence files of Connecticut Governor John Cotton Smith, and Quartermaster General John Mix had the most adorable handwriting. No, really, look: Beautifully legible, if definitely unusual in shape, and it looks almost like he was writing along a ruled line. (That's a Connecticut Historical Society document, by the … Continue reading Handwriting of John Mix, 1813
I'm now working on transcribing some miscellaneous correspondence from the papers of Connecticut Governor John Cotton Smith. Most of this is letters to the governor, including this one from Congressional Representative John Tallmadge, dated December 24, 1812: Since I came to the House this morning, I have rec’d your Letter of the 16th instant. When … Continue reading War of 1812: Politicians keep in touch
At the time of the War of 1812, there was no single national paper currency. The U.S. treasury issued "notes," but so did state-chartered banks and even states. And in August 1814, the government's finances were in such a shambles that the public credit collapsed - no one would lend the government money. On December … Continue reading War of 1812: Money issues, and issuing money
On 6th November, the Brigadier responded to an earlier letter from Col. Elisha Tracy, who was in charge of purchases at Norwich. Much of what he said was routine and unsurprising. It's the bit at the end that startled me. On my return to this place from New Haven last evening, I received your favour … Continue reading Brigadier Cushing surprises me.
Things did not improve for the Brigadier General between September and October 1814, although at least there was no British assault or serious threat of one during that time. On the 11th, he wrote to William Jones, Governor of Rhode Island, as follows: Your Excellencys letter of the 10th instant was received this morning, and … Continue reading The tribulations of Brig. Gen. Cushing, continued
The Order Book for Military District #2 (CT and RI) was very tame, but as I mentioned, the last entry referred to "hardships & privations." Having started on transcribing a letter book of Brigadier General Thomas H. Cushing, I begin to have an idea of what he meant. Unfortunately this book begins in September 1814, … Continue reading War of 1812: S.N.A.F.U.
I've finished transcribing the order book (39 pages of 10-point text) and found the last entry very interesting, given the general context of the war in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Here it is, in its entirety: Military District N’o 2 Head quarters Providence District Orders 21st February 1815 The Commanding General has the pleasure to … Continue reading War of 1812: Order book’s last entry