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Re: [WarOf1812] Cruikshank Documents

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  • Fitzhugh MacCrae
    ... No, its how a handful of politicians - on both sides - wanted a war. That s the way it always is - nobody ever asks the opinion of the P.B.I. who have to
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 2, 2000
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      --- "R. Feltoe" <feltoe@...> wrote:
      > Rob,
      > Here are two pieces from Cruikshank's "Documentary
      > History"
      > All I can say is, What a way to run a war!
      >
      > A letter from New York State Governor, Tompkins to
      > Secretary of War William
      > Eustis on difficulties in supplying the militia with
      > equipment, 27 June,
      > 1812;
      >
      > ". The keeper of the stores will not part with
      > cannon, muskets, ammunition,
      > or other articles, without the order of his superior
      > officer. General
      > Dearborn has requested me to order out the
      > militia.and informs me that the
      > Quartermaster General will supply camp equipage for
      > them. Upon application
      > to the Quartermaster General, who is now in Albany,
      > I find there is no camp
      > equipage except a few tents and about sixty camp
      > kettles which have been in
      > our arsenal at this place for several years. For
      > the delivery of even these
      > I cannot obtain a written order. The Deputy
      > Quartermaster General will not
      > give an order for their delivery without written
      > directions from the
      > Quartermaster General and the Quartermaster General
      > does not seem willing to
      > give such written directions.although he is
      > perfectly willing I should have
      > the articles. Under such circumstances, I shall
      > presume to take possession
      > of them at my own hazard and shall accordingly
      > forward them to-morrow
      > morning, hoping that my proceedings on the emergency
      > will be approved and
      > confirmed."
      > (Tompkin Papers N.Y.State Library)
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > A letter from General William Wadsworth to New
      > York State Governor
      > Tompkins upon being notified that he was being
      > placed in command of the
      > American militia forces on the Niagara frontier,
      > June 28, 1812;
      >
      > "Sir- I have received your letter of the 23rd
      > instant. I take the command
      > of the troops at Black Rock and its vicinity in
      > obedience to Your Excellency
      > 's order with the greatest diffidence, having no
      > experience of actual
      > service. My knowledge of the military art is
      > limited; indeed, I foresee
      > numberless difficulties and occurrences which will
      > present to which I feel
      > totally inadequate. I have been ambitious that the
      > regiment and brigade
      > which I have commanded should be distinguished at
      > their reviews, but I
      > confess myself ignorant of even the minor duties of
      > the duty you have
      > assigned me, and I am apprehensive that I may not
      > only expose myself but my
      > Government. Any aid which Your Excellency may think
      > proper to order will be
      > received with thanks. A military secretary
      > intimately acquainted with the
      > details of camp duty would be of great service to
      > me."
      > (Tompson Papers Vol VII, P271 2 N.Y. State Library.
      >
      > And these guys wanted a war?
      > Regards Richard Feltoe
      >

      No, its how a handful of politicians - on both sides -
      wanted a war. That's the way it always is - nobody
      ever asks the opinion of the P.B.I. who have to fight
      it.

      FR Maccrae
      >
      >
      >
      >


      =====
      Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies Collectors Front and Marching Chorale

      "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

      "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

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    • Rob Taylor
      Richard wrote: And these guys wanted a war? Regards Richard Feltoe Fitzhugh wrote: No, its how a handful of politicians - on both sides -wanted a war. That s
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 2, 2000
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        Richard wrote:
        And these guys wanted a war?
        Regards Richard Feltoe

        Fitzhugh wrote:
        No, its how a handful of politicians -
        on both sides -wanted a war. That's the way it always
        is - nobody ever asks the opinion of the P.B.I. who
        have to fight it.

        I was under the impression that the British
        government did not want to go to war with the U.S. in
        1812? Did they not try to avoid this conflict just
        before it happened?

        Rob

        =====
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      • Fitzhugh MacCrae
        ... A British emmissary was sent to Washington in 1811 to negotiate a settlement. The US government offered trade and porting conceessions (badly wanted by the
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 2, 2000
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          --- Rob Taylor <niagara_falls_98@...> wrote:
          > Richard wrote:
          > And these guys wanted a war?
          > Regards Richard Feltoe
          >
          > Fitzhugh wrote:
          > No, its how a handful of politicians
          > -
          > on both sides -wanted a war. That's the way it
          > always
          > is - nobody ever asks the opinion of the P.B.I. who
          > have to fight it.
          >
          > I was under the impression that the British
          > government did not want to go to war with the U.S.
          > in
          > 1812? Did they not try to avoid this conflict just
          > before it happened?
          >
          > Rob
          >

          A British emmissary was sent to Washington in 1811 to
          negotiate a settlement. The US government offered
          trade and porting conceessions (badly wanted by the
          RN) in return for a ceasing of impressments and
          putting a leash on certain commercial interests in
          Canada (mostly the Hudson's Bay people) who were
          arming Indians as a ploy to eliminate competition from
          Astor over the fur trade. Records indicate that the
          cBritish government.
          Any way, the emmissary insulted everyone in sight, and
          acted like such a perfect ass that the US demanded his
          recall. When he left, he took with him a copy of the
          US proposal, but declined to officially submit it to
          his government. This not being known in Washington,
          there was great rejoicing because it was believed that
          a lasting agreement had been achieved. When the Indian
          problem not only did not cease but increeased, and
          impressments continued, Washington decided that the
          British would just not deal in good faith. Even so,
          one of the obscure facts of the war was that despite
          the problem with England, the senate still almost
          declared war on France instead, the vote losing by
          only four votes!

          FR Maccrae

          BTW, a name that kept coming up as a major player who
          blocked every attempt at achieving an agreement with
          the US was Banastre Tarleton, who certainly was known
          for carrying grudges to extremes.



          > =====
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          >
          > __________________________________________________
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          =====
          Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies Collectors Front and Marching Chorale

          "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

          "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

          __________________________________________________
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        • Rob Taylor
          FR wrote: When the Indian problem not only did not cease but increeased. Rob ... See I thought that the Indians being armed by the British was was greatly
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 2, 2000
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            FR wrote:
            When the Indian problem not only did not
            cease but increeased.

            Rob ... See I thought that the Indians being armed by
            the British was was greatly exaggerated by the
            Americans who were encroaching on Indian lands, and
            that the weapons the Indians did have came by the way
            of normal trade.

            FR wrote:
            and impressments continued, Washington
            decided that the British would just not deal in good
            faith.

            Rob ... I see, that is why they did not want to call
            off the declaration of war when the British on June
            23, 1812 voluntarily revoked the restrictions on
            American commerce. Seems like a big misunderstanding
            eh?

            FR wrote:
            Even so, one of the obscure facts of the war
            was that despite the problem with England, the senate
            still almost declared war on France instead, the vote
            losing by only four votes!

            Rob ... I did not know that, was it because France was
            also interfering with American commerce?


            Rob

            =====
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          • Fitzhugh MacCrae
            ... Hudson s Bay was quite unscrupulous in those days - there is a great deal of documentation that they were stirring up the Indians, sometimes with the help
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 2, 2000
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              --- Rob Taylor <niagara_falls_98@...> wrote:
              > FR wrote:
              > When the Indian problem not only did not
              > cease but increeased.
              >
              > Rob ... See I thought that the Indians being armed
              > by
              > the British was was greatly exaggerated by the
              > Americans who were encroaching on Indian lands, and
              > that the weapons the Indians did have came by the
              > way
              > of normal trade.

              Hudson's Bay was quite unscrupulous in those days -
              there is a great deal of documentation that they were
              stirring up the Indians, sometimes with the help of
              certain British officials in Canada who saw this as a
              reasonable way to counter american settlement in the
              Great Lakes region. Keep in mind that Tecumseh was
              told he would have active British military support
              against the Americans as early as early 1811.


              >
              > FR wrote:
              > and impressments continued, Washington
              > decided that the British would just not deal in good
              > faith.
              >
              > Rob ... I see, that is why they did not want to call
              > off the declaration of war when the British on June
              > 23, 1812 voluntarily revoked the restrictions on
              > American commerce. Seems like a big misunderstanding
              > eh?

              Actually, the Orders in Council were not revoked -
              they were only suspended. By the time the US found out
              that the British were wwilling to deal, both
              Michelmacinac and Detroit had fallen, the Fort
              Dearborn massacre had happened, and there was no
              turning back - it was no longer a war, it was an
              affair of honor under the code duello (JQ Adams even
              referred to it by that specific term in his
              correspondence - and he was no Hawk)
              >
              > FR wrote:
              > Even so, one of the obscure facts of the
              > war
              > was that despite the problem with England, the
              > senate
              > still almost declared war on France instead, the
              > vote
              > losing by only four votes!
              >
              > Rob ... I did not know that, was it because France
              > was
              > also interfering with American commerce?


              Probably more so than England, by that time. Keep in
              mind that there was a growing awareness that Nappie
              had been manipulating US foriegn policy for his own
              ends, andf this was greatly resented, as well. Peace
              with England and war with France meant that the
              Americans would get fat from feeding Wellington's
              army.
              You should also keep in mind that the Czar offered to
              mediate a settlement between the British and the
              Americans - the americans immediately sent a
              delegation to negotiate, and the British refused to
              meet with them or even acknowledge their existance for
              quite some time. It wasn't until American privateers
              began doubling and tripling insurence costs that the
              Gambier delegation went to Ghent. Even then, they
              constantly changed the ground rules and refused to
              seriously negotiate until the British army started to
              suffer reverses.
              Even then, there was an angle - the British government
              went ahead with the New Orleans expedition, under the
              assumption that if successful, it would be a seperate
              negotiation to settle.


              Fitz
              >
              >
              > Rob
              >
              > =====
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              >
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              =====
              Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies Collectors Front and Marching Chorale

              "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

              "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

              __________________________________________________
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            • mmathews@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU
              (snip) ... I m curious about this part, being a bit of a Napoleonic addict. Can you give me some examples of this foreign policy manipulation please?
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 3, 2000
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                (snip)
                >> FR wrote:
                >> Even so, one of the obscure facts of the
                >> war
                >> was that despite the problem with England, the
                >> senate
                >> still almost declared war on France instead, the
                >> vote
                >> losing by only four votes!
                >>
                >> Rob ... I did not know that, was it because France
                >> was
                >> also interfering with American commerce?
                >
                >
                >Probably more so than England, by that time. Keep in
                >mind that there was a growing awareness that Nappie
                >had been manipulating US foriegn policy for his own
                >ends, andf this was greatly resented, as well. Peace
                >with England and war with France meant that the
                >Americans would get fat from feeding Wellington's
                >army.

                I'm curious about this part, being a bit of a Napoleonic addict. Can you
                give me some examples of this foreign policy manipulation please?
                Certainly the US took advantage of some of the situations Napoleon created
                (or tried to), but I respectfully question how much direct influence
                Napoleon had. It has always been my conclusion that the United States was
                just trying to be opportunistic, much like our unfortunate attempt to seize
                Canada and "finish the business started in 1776."

                For example, the French battle fleet was effectively neutralized after
                about 1809. Privateers were slipping out, but getting a message to America
                by that route would be chancey at best. Plus there is not much to indicate
                that American ships were significantly impacted by these French privateers
                in their efforts to trade with England. Granted the Continental System
                would greatly impact the sale of goods with the rest of Europe, but England
                also had a standing policy to prevent materials from reaching France or her
                allies. This included, but was not limited to, the seizure of said ships.

                We could certainly get rich supporting Wellington and England's other land
                ventures, but that could be done without a formal declaration of war.
                After a fashion, England's navy protected America from French
                intervention/influence as much as she protected her own shores. Napoleon
                may well have wanted this or that, but how could he enforce his desires?
                i.e., where would he find his leverage to manipulate?

                Thanks in advance,

                Michael

                Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
                Voice: (507) 285-7585 Cel: (507) 450-3535 Fax: (507) 280-5568
                ------------------------------
                "I've decided to be happy, because it's good for one's health." - Voltaire
              • Fitzhugh MacCrae
                ... About six months before war was declared, the US issued a Cease and desist ultimatum to both france and England. The implication was that the US would
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 3, 2000
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                  --- mmathews@... wrote:
                  > (snip)
                  > >> FR wrote:
                  > >> Even so, one of the obscure facts of the
                  > >> war
                  > >> was that despite the problem with England, the
                  > >> senate
                  > >> still almost declared war on France instead, the
                  > >> vote
                  > >> losing by only four votes!
                  > >>
                  > >> Rob ... I did not know that, was it because
                  > France
                  > >> was
                  > >> also interfering with American commerce?
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >Probably more so than England, by that time. Keep
                  > in
                  > >mind that there was a growing awareness that Nappie
                  > >had been manipulating US foriegn policy for his own
                  > >ends, andf this was greatly resented, as well.
                  > Peace
                  > >with England and war with France meant that the
                  > >Americans would get fat from feeding Wellington's
                  > >army.
                  >
                  > I'm curious about this part, being a bit of a
                  > Napoleonic addict. Can you
                  > give me some examples of this foreign policy
                  > manipulation please?

                  About six months before war was declared, the US
                  issued a "Cease and desist" ultimatum to both france
                  and England. The implication was that the US would not
                  declare war on whoever responded favorably.
                  Napoleon immediately responded in the affirmative,
                  despite the fact that if his decree was actually
                  enforced, it would seriously undermine the Continental
                  System. For instance, if the decree was enforced,
                  American holds could legitimately carry English goods
                  to, say, Prussia, Denmark, or Italy.
                  The English were caught flat-footed by the decree -
                  and didn't believe it for a minute. Unfortuately, they
                  also didn't believe that the Americans were so naive
                  as to believe the French.
                  A major reason for declaring war on France was the
                  fact that French privateers and light warships were
                  seizing American ships in ever-greater numbers (you
                  don't need a battle fleet to wreck a maritime nation's
                  economy - look at what the US did to England) The four
                  votes in the Senate were from silly people who
                  believed that the privateers simply had not yet gotten
                  the word yet about the decree.
                  The state of American perceptions of real politik in
                  those days was, well, laughable. What made it so
                  tragic was that they were so sincere about their
                  rose-colored specs. . . .

                  Fitz

                  =====
                  Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies Collectors Front and Marching Chorale

                  "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

                  "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

                  __________________________________________________
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                • mmathews@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU
                  ... Can you expand for me the specifics of what each power was to cease and desist? Sounds interesting, but is new to me. If I understand the above, we were
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 3, 2000
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                    >--- mmathews@... wrote:
                    >> (snip)
                    >> I'm curious about this part, being a bit of a
                    >> Napoleonic addict. Can you
                    >> give me some examples of this foreign policy
                    >> manipulation please?
                    >
                    >About six months before war was declared, the US
                    >issued a "Cease and desist" ultimatum to both france
                    >and England. The implication was that the US would not
                    >declare war on whoever responded favorably.
                    >Napoleon immediately responded in the affirmative,
                    >despite the fact that if his decree was actually
                    >enforced, it would seriously undermine the Continental
                    >System. For instance, if the decree was enforced,
                    >American holds could legitimately carry English goods
                    >to, say, Prussia, Denmark, or Italy.

                    Can you expand for me the specifics of what each power was to cease and
                    desist? Sounds interesting, but is new to me. If I understand the above,
                    we were asking them to allow us to carry English goods in American hulls to
                    the continent? Why not American goods and avoid the middleman? Greater
                    profit. Would American ships be allowed by the French (as if they could
                    stop it) to come to English harbors? If so it would be very profitable as
                    you could carry American goods to England, load up with English goods for
                    the Continent, then carry Continental goods to either England or America.

                    >The English were caught flat-footed by the decree -
                    >and didn't believe it for a minute. Unfortuately, they
                    >also didn't believe that the Americans were so naive
                    >as to believe the French.

                    I doubt they were. It's easy to see that agreeing on principle with
                    something while knowing that your enemy would never allow it lets you
                    (France) look like the good guy with no risk. Is this what you meant about
                    manipulating US foreign policy?

                    >A major reason for declaring war on France was the
                    >fact that French privateers and light warships were
                    >seizing American ships in ever-greater numbers (you
                    >don't need a battle fleet to wreck a maritime nation's
                    >economy - look at what the US did to England)

                    The battle fleet reference was just one of ensuring through strength that
                    your wishes and messages were delivered/enforced. Re the privateers, do
                    you have any numbers? I would have thought that the only time our
                    merchantile service suffered at the hands of the French was during the time
                    of the "XYZ Affair" in 1799 and the resulting hostilities at sea. I am
                    skeptical about how many French privateers were able to be active after
                    about 1809. Certainly the letters of marque that were frequently issued to
                    armed merchantmen would have been near to impossible for the French.

                    The four
                    >votes in the Senate were from silly people who
                    >believed that the privateers simply had not yet gotten
                    >the word yet about the decree.

                    I'm confused and have deleted the original message unfortunately. So four
                    senators voted *for* war with France, or the vote *failed* by four votes?

                    >The state of American perceptions of real politik in
                    >those days was, well, laughable. What made it so
                    >tragic was that they were so sincere about their
                    >rose-colored specs. . . .

                    It's a "cain't win fer losin'" situation. The media was so one dimensional
                    and perhaps even more dominating than today that people really did believe
                    everything they read. Of course, as has been pointed out at other times,
                    the most hawkish group (the South) had the least to lose in theory and the
                    heavy merchantile states (New England) were largely opposed to war.

                    Thanks,
                    Michael

                    Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
                    Voice: (507) 285-7585 Cel: (507) 450-3535 Fax: (507) 280-5568
                    ------------------------------
                    "I've decided to be happy, because it's good for one's health." - Voltaire
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