The Traveler… “The Little Belt Affair”… Bonaparte putting up a “smoke front”…

June 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Today’s travels landed on a nice surprise! The Middlesex Gazette dated June 6, 1811 carries a lengthy letter by Commodore John Rodgers to the Secretary of the Navy dated May 23, 1811.  This was referencing a confrontation between his frigate and a Britannic which at first would not identify itself, and then was revealed to be Little Belt. This incident furthered the tension between Britain and the United States which led to the War of 1812.

Also in this issue is the reporting that Bonaparte had established a public Manufactory of Tobacco and Snuff. This would be carried on by “a particular committee for the benefit of the public chest, or in other words for his own benefit, and that no private individual shall in future be concerned in the manufacture of these articles…” He would control what type and where all the tobacco would be purchased, etc.  Does it sound a little self-serving??

~The Traveler

The Traveler… oh rats…

September 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This week I have selected tomorrow’s date for our travel advantage. The Connecticut Mirror issue dated September 10, 1810 which on the front page carried an article entitled “Character of Bonaparte”. Mr. S. T. Coleridge had instituted a political paper in which the character of Bonaparte was handled with great severity of reprehension, and assailed with great vehemence of indignant feeling, for which Mr. Coleridge was attacked and vindicated through another newspaper. The article on Bonaparte’s character was introduced for the purpose of shewing the propriety of the epithets which he has applied to it and to be perused with interest. Inside the issue is the reporting of the “End of the Dutch Nation” with the annexing of Holland to the French Empire.

The story from Baltimore, Sept. 1 began as “Was set on fire, on Friday morning, between 2 and 3 o’clock … “ This proceeded to tell of a fire at the home of Jacob Hoffman, “the fire originated from a Rat, which conveyed a lighted candle from the fire hearth, to a closet where the hole was, the fire originated at the hole and made its progress thro the ceiling; but was happily discovered before any material damage was done… It is hoped the above will be a caution to those who are in the habit of letting lighted candles stand in low places after retiring.” By the way, it was noted that the “singular rat” was found dead after the fire was extinguished.

~The Traveler