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… traveling to Rio de Janeiro… part of the “health test”??

February 10, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

I decided to take my travels a like further back in time  and to a place that always intrigued me.  Through letters from Boston and Philadelphia, The London Gazette dated February 12, 1711 reported on a vessel that had been shattered from Rio de Janeiro. The French had landed and were being beaten off with the reinforcement of eight thousand men from the mines… the French retreated.

In my readings, I see numerous  “An Act..” within newspapers, but found this one quite unusual. “An Act to enable John Lord Gower, Baron of Stitnham, an Infant, to make a Settlement upon his Marriage.” I wonder what the terms of the settlement were??

Last, the back page had an announcement about “The Corporation of the Amicable Society for the Perpetual Assurance-Office” for the Affidavit of the Health. The way the announcement read, this may have been part of the qualification testing… if you understood it all, then you were in good (mental) health.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… a hatchet and… a slap in the face…

October 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This week I ventured off the date just a bit, but staying within the current week. I began reading through the October 3, 1810 issue of Thomas’s Massachusetts Spy, or Worcester Gazette when a lengthy front page article entitled “An Island of Savage Cannibals” caught my eye. This was from The Fejee Islands, and after reading the article, I have decided that this would definitely not have been on my vacation agenda! For some reason, a part of ransom requested by these people was twelve hatchets??!!

Inside the issue was a small article entitled “Real Bravery” which read Little Algiers has declared war against France. The independent States of America dare not. Now, talk about a slap in the face…

~ 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

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