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Declaration of war.- Leading events of the war. the Union, &c.* So well established appeared the truth of his allegations, and so valuable were his services considered, that he was paid fifty thousand dollars from the secret-service fund. It was generally believed that his disclosures prevented the dismemberment, perhaps the destruction, of the whole Union.
It being determined to declare war against Great Britain, an act was passed in 1812, a laying an embargo upon vessels of the United
a April 4. States for ninety days. On the 8th of April, Louisiana was admitted into the Union; and on the 4th of June, the Missouri territory was organized. On the 3d, a majority of the committee on foreign relations of the house of representatives reported in favor of a declaration of war. The measure was adopted in the house of representatives by a vote of seventy-nine to forty-nine, and in the senate by a vote of nineteen to thirteen. On the 18th of June,f the act was approved by the president, and he issued his proclamation accordingly. Our space will permit us only to give a brief chronological record of the leading events during the war.
1812: June.-- British orders in council repealed. August. der of General Hull. Action between the frigates Constitution and Guerriere. November. - Defeat at Queenstown. Action between the Frolic and Wasp. Action between the United States and Macedonian.
1813: April. - Capture of York (now Toronto), Upper Canada. May.-- Battle of Fort George. June.- Chesapeake captured by the Shannon. September.---Perry's victory on Lake Erie. October.--- Battle of the Thames, and death of Tecumseh. December. -Buffalo burnt.
1814: March. Action between the frigates Essex and Phæbe. July. - Battle of Chippewa. Battle of Bridgewater. August. — Washington city captured, and the capitol burnt.|| Stonington bombarded. M'Donough's victory on Lake Champlain. September. - Battle of North Point, near Baltimore. December. - Treaty of Ghent signed.ş Meeting of the Hartford convention.
* The British minister at Washington solemnly disavowed all knowledge of the matter.
† The majority consisted of John C. Calhoun, Felix Grandy, John Smilie, John A. Harper, Joseph Desba, and Ebenezer Seaver.
# A party immediately sprang into existence called the “ peace party," which cast every possible obstacle in the way of the administration. Although composed chiefly of federalists. it was discountenanced by many leading members of that party.
|| General Ross, with five thousand men, marched against Washington city, which was feebly defended by a few regular troops and militia. The president and his cabinet narrowly escaped capture by flight. It is said that the preservation of the Declaration of Indepen. dence" and other valuable papers was owing to the courage of Mrs. Madison, who carried them away with her own hands.
$ The meeting of the American and British commissioners to negotiate for peace took place at Ghent in Flanders, in August. 1814. The treaty was conclnded and signed on the 24th of December. It was ratified by the president, February 17, 1815.
| Delegations from the several New England states assembled at Hartford for the purpose
War with Algiers. - Incorporation of United States bank. - Madison's retirement and death. 1815: January.-- Battle of New Orleans. February.- Capture of the President. Capture of the Cyane and Levant. These were the principal occurrences during the war.*
The war with England had scarcely closed, when the depredations upon our commerce by the Algerine corsairs rendered it necessary to declare war against that power. A squadron under Commodore Decatur sailed for the Mediterranean in May, 1815, and in a very short time he obtained payment for property destroyed, and treaties highly advantageous to the United States from the dey of Algiers and the beys of Tunis and Tripoli.
In 1816, another national bank was incorporated, with a capital of thirty-five millions of dollars, and a charter to continue in force twenty years. In December, Indiana was admitted into the Union as an independent state. During the autumn, James Monroe, of Virginia, was elected president, and Daniel D. Tompkins, of New York, vice-presi
and on the 3d of March, 1817, the second and last administration of Mr. Madison closed. He had seen his country pass honorably through the trying scenes of a war, and he resigned his office into the hands of his friend and successor amid the blessings of general peace and prosperity. He retired to his seat at Montpelier, in Orange county, Virginia, where he passed the remainder of his days in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture. On the 28th of June, 1836, he closed his mortal career, at the ripe old age of eighty-five years.
Mr. Madison was of small stature, and a little disposed to corpulency. The top of his head was bald, and he usually had his hair powdered. He generally dressed in black. His manners were modest and retiring, and in conversation he was pleasing and instructive. As a polished writer he had few equals ; and the part he bore in framing the constitution,f and its subsequent support, obtained for him the title of “Father of the Constitution.”
of devising measures for terminating the war, to which a large majority of the people of those states were opposed. That convention has been denounced as treasonable to the general government.
* The total expenditures of the United States government during the war may be stated in - round uambers at one hundred millions of dollars, and the loss of lives at thirty thousand persous.
+ He was chosen, in 1829, a member of the Virginia convention to revise the state constitution, and for mavy years he was rector of the university established through the influence of Mr. Jefferson.
He was the last surviving signer of that instrument
THE FIFTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
AMES MONROE, the fifth president of the United States, was born on the 2d of April, 1759, in the county of Westmoreland, Virginia; and it is a singular fact that the coast section of that state produced four of the first five presi. dents. His father, Spence Monroe, and his mother, Eliz
abeth Jones, were both descended from one of the earliest and most respectable families of that state. James was only six years old when the stamp-act was passed, and consequently his early youth was spent amid the excitements which intervened between that oppressive measure and the kindling of the Revolution. He thus imbibed a patriotic and military spirit from the stirring scenes around him; and when, at the age of eighteen years, he left William and Mary college, fired with the zeal which the Declaration of Independence inspired, he hastened to Washington's headquarters in New York, and joined August, the continental army. He was present at the disastrous skirmish at Harlem, on York island, and at the equally disastrous battle of White Plains. He was also found in the vanguard at Tren. ton, and there received a bullet-wound which scarred him for life. For his gallant service there he was promoted to the rank of captain of infantry. In the campaigns of 1777 and 1778, he acted as aid to Lord Stirling, and was distinguished for his valor in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. While a staff-officer, he was out of the line of promotion; and being desirous of rising in the scale of honor, he made an attempt to raise a regiment of Virginia troops. He had the sanction of Washington, but the exhausted state of the country rendered his efforts ineffectual. He then turned his attention from military pursuits, and commenced the study of law under Mr. Jefferson. When dangers threatened, and actual invasion alarmed his