Blupete's History of Nova Scotia

Key Events in the History of Nova Scotia: 1812.


§Sherbrooke acknowledges the order to send the rest of 98th Reg't to Bermuda, but has not fully complied with it because of the "smallness of the regular force at present in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. He points out the necessity of reinforcements in the event of hostilities with the United States, and the dilapidated state of the fortifications of the province."
§6 February 6th, Thursday: The tenth assembly of the province meets in its first session. The House held 39 members in the same distribution as we saw in 1806.
§April: Sherbrooke draws to Liverpool's attention to the dilapidated state of the fortifications of the province and the lack of naval defence. "In the latter end of November or in the beginning of December, I find that it is the custom for the admiral to leave Halifax and with the whole of the Squadron to proceed to the Bermudas; where he remains till the beginning of June in the ensuing year. This has been the case this winter and no Ship of War was left here except the Aeolus [32 Guns] and she only to complete her repairs. The Atalante [18 guns] is the only naval vessel at present defending Halifax." (We might add that it was the Atalante that came up in the fog one night in November of 1813, and straight on into "The Sisters" off Sambro; she sank in twelve minutes.)
§May 11th: Prime Minister Perceval is assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons.
§May 12th, 1812, having made his last entry in his diary on April 13th, Simeon Perkins of Liverpool died.
§On 18 June, 1812, President Madison and the American Congress declared war on Britain. It was a war, historians will agree, that was caused by the British orders in council forbidding neutral trade with French-occupied Europe and the British impressment of sailors on American ships.
§June 23rd: Ignorant of the fact that war had broken out, HMS Belvidera, 36 guns, Captain Richard Byron in command, was cruising about 100 miles south of New London when the American frigate President, "with thirty-two long 24 pounders and twenty-two 42-pounder carronades" gave chase. Catching up, the two behemoths gave battle to one another. Both captains were wounded in the thigh, Byron by the carriage slide of a carronade breaking loose and Rodgers by an exploding gun. If the battle had continued, then, it would have been likely that the President would have succeeded in capturing the Belvidera, however, during the night, the Belvidera wisely slipped away and escaped a further encounter.
§July 1st: The Belvidera came home to the safety of Halifax Harbour.
§Notwithstanding that there were naval battles going on, off the eastern coast, the Nova Scotian sailing vessels, the traders, were making their runs to the eastern coast of the United States, and, apparently, were being welcomed there.
§July 21st, 1812: The Council gave advise to issue letters of marque.
§August 19th, 1812: The Guerriere a British warship, a 38-gun frigate, was making her way home in a fresh breeze; she was due in Halifax for a refit. She had the misfortune, however, to run up against the U.S.S. Constitution, fifty guns, Captain Isaac Hull. The Guerriere was the smaller of the two adversaries: 244 men and 19 boys at quarters. The Constitution carried 476 men. The engagement occurred "during the afternoon of 19 August 1812, about 600 miles S.E. of Halifax." The battle, which we shall review in some detail in our larger history, left the Guerriere in a bad state. After her crew was taken out, she was set on fire by her captors, and Constitution returned to Boston.
§August 24th, 1812: The Liverpool Packet receives a letter of marque.
§August: More problems between the House and the Council in respect to money bills.
§September 7th, 1812: The Liverpool Packet takes her first prize the Portuguese ship, Factor.
§October 25th: H.M.S. Macedonian, 38 guns, was captured by the U.S.S. United States, 52 guns. A battle raged for two hours and ten minutes. The Macedonian with badly damaged and had 36 of men killed, sixty or so wounded. The prisoners were taken to New London and then by cartel to Bermuda.
§November 28th: An agreement for the exchange of naval prisoners of war, was made and concluded at Halifax.
§General election in Britain.
§Elections are held in the province during the months of September and October. Elections, unlike these days, were conducted over a number of days; it would appear that a poll traveled from one part of the province to another.
§"5 October. Admiral Warren, by a proclamation, offered to obtain the prince regent's free pardon to all British sailors who deserted or otherwise joined the U.S. navy, if they would return to duty without delay."
§November 27th, 1812: The Sir John Sherbrooke receives a letter of marque.
§"It was at this time the custom for the admiral to leave Halifax in the latter end of November or in the beginning of December, and, with the whole of the squadron, to proceed to the Bermudas, where he usually remained until the beginning of June, in the ensuing year." (Murdoch.)
§Liverpool becomes the English Prime Minister.
§Bathurst was appointed Secretary of State for War and Colonies and was to remain so for the next fifteen years.
§During the early 1800s the major centers of boat building were to be found at Pictou, Lunenburg, Yarmouth, Cornwallis and Liverpool. The tonnage built dramatically rose in the years 1811 and 1812, the impetus likely being the privateering opportunities created by the War of 1812.
§Dec 26th: The British gave notice that the Chesapeake and Delaware will be under blockade.

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