War of 1812 Notes
Timeline of Events
1807 – The Chesapeake Incident
1811 – Battle of Tippecanoe
1812 – U.S. declares war.
1813 – Battle of Lake Erie
1813 – Battle of the Thames
1814 – March on Washington, D.C.
1814 – Battle of Baltimore (Fort McHenry)
1814 – Treaty of Ghent
1815 – Battle of New Orleans
The Chesapeake Incident (1807)
Britain and France at war
Both sides forbid neutral trade w/enemy.
British begin impressment of sailors (even Americans).
The Chesapeake Incident
H.M.S. Leopard stops the U.S. Chesapeake, demands to search for four British deserters. Chesapeake refuses; British open fire.
3 U.S. sailors killed, 18 wounded.
3 U.S. citizens were impressed into British navy. A fourth was hung as a British deserter. Results:
President Jefferson calls for embargo against Britain.
U.S. angry with U.K.
The Leopard fooled the Chesapeake into stopping by claiming they had mail they wanted delivered to Europe. The Chesapeake had left in such a hurry they had buried their gunpowder and lighting fuses under other supplies. When the fighting started, they only managed to return one shot, when a sailor lit the powder by picking up a live coal from the cooking fire with his bare hands.
Battle of Tippecanoe (1811)
Shawnee leader Tecumseh forms an alliance of Indian nations against the U.S. British supply them with weapons.
U.S. army under Harrison defeats the Indians.
Tecumseh was 12 years old, playing whites vs. Indians in the woods, when a party of whites wiped out his village & killed his father. He was adopted by the Shawnee chief. Tecumseh met with Harrison before the battle to discuss a land treaty. T. pushed Harrison off the bench they were sharing. He said: "That’s what you’re doing to us!" Tecumseh told his brothers: “Sell a country? Why not sell the air, the clouds, and the sea, as well as the earth?" He was the last real hope for a Native American alliance against the whites. Tecumseh’s brother & second-in-command convinced everyone he had magic powers.
Tecumseh went south to make new allies, and told the Prophet to avoid any battle until he got back. The prophet disobeyed orders. He told the braves his powers could make the American bullets as soft as raindrops. Tecumseh’s army was gathering at a new town called Prophet’s Town on the banks of the Tippecanoe River. Harrison’s U.S. army made camp nearby.
The Indians were not ready, but the Prophet ordered them to attack anyway. The Indian forces were crushed.
Tecumseh’s dream of an Indian alliance was shattered.
The U.S. found British weapons on the dead Indians, realized the Brits were helping the enemy. U.S. "warhawks" in Congress called for war against Britain.
The Curse of the Prophet
Harrison died his first year in office.
Since then, a president has died about every twenty years – Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy. Reagan was shot, but did not die. The Prophet’s Curse: "Harrison may win to be Great Chief, but he will not finish his term. I tell you Harrison will die. And after him, every Great Chief chosen every 20 years will die. And when each one dies, let everyone remember the death of our people."
The U.S. declares war -- 1812
"War Hawks" in the U.S. Congress see the British helping the Indians as the last straw. People in the South and the West are especially mad. Congress calls for war, and President Madison agrees.
The British realize they’ve gone too far, and send a peace commission with an offer to pay for damages, but the ambassadors arrive too late. The U.S. has just declared war. The North (which relies on foreign trade) accuses Madison of starting the war for no good reason. The war is nicknamed "Mr. Madison’s War."
Battle of Lake Erie (1813)
Americans needed to control Great Lakes to invade Canada.
Perry defeated a British Squadron on Lake Erie.
Cleared way for land battle in Canada.
Perry’s fleet was built in six...
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