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in all our growing villages.—We must construct a wharf out to Mr. C. M. Reed's pier, where there is deep water.
Feb. 27th, 1836.—Erie Bank. We are informed that the entire stock of $200,000 has been subscribed, and we believe paid in. (News at the same time of probable passage of appropriation in Congress for improvement of harbor.)
Feb. 27th, 1836.—The receipt of positive news of the final passage of the canal and (U. S.) bank bill at this place, on Monday evening, gave a new impetus to the rise of real estate. It advanced immediately about 100 per cent., and has since continued rising at the rate of from ten to twenty per cent. a day. Sales have been made this week amounting to near half a million of dollars. The sales too are none of your sham sales got up for effect. They are bona fide, and liberal, almost invariably made by the purchasers, who are mostly men of heavy capital from the east-Buffalo, Rochester, and New York—and persons able to sustain prices, so far as they buy for speculation, and to improve what they buy for use. There is no danger of retrograde. The tide of prosperity has set in favor of Erie, and it must go ahead. The Fates cannot make it otherwise. Real estate will continue to rise, and we would sincerely recommend any friend of ours who wishes to purchase, to do so as soon as possible.
March 1.-Real estate. Sales increase in briskness, and prices still rising. The amount of sales on Saturday and yesterday (Monday) amounted to over $300,000. Good bargains are yet offered to any one who has cash to invest for first payments, and at prices which cannot fail of advancing, in as great a ratio, as they have done for several weeks back.
It is estimated that the sales in our borough last week amounted to a million and a half of dollars ; they are still going on and daily advancing in prices.
A company has bought land at the mouth of Twenty-mile cr., to construct a harbor there.
A lot of ground sold in Erie in Feb. for $10,000—was sold in March, in Buffalo, to a company for $50,000.
April 2d, 1836.–For the sake of our numerous correspondents, who look with distrust upon all excitement in the grave business of laying out bona fide capital, we will briefly and generally reply that there is no sham nor get-up to the land transactions here-away; and that neither collapse nor the ordinary fever and ague stages need be apprehended for this place; it has grown steadily and slowly thus into public favor, and its present towering prospects have a foundation, in the nature of things, not only permanent and enduring, but natural and everlasting. Look at the position of Erie on the map, read the reports of the U. S. engineers as to the harbor ; above all, at this crisis, observe the enlightened legislation of the commonwealth in anticipating the demand for commercial facilities at this favored spot.
June 11th.-Twelve water lots of 32 feet front sold, notwithstanding the severe pressure in the money market, at an aggregate price of over $40,000.
The most important event that has occurred at Erie was the building and equipment of Perry's victorious fleet.
Capt. Perry, then only 26 years of age, arrived at Erie on the 27th Feb. 1813, and immediately urged on the work which had been already commenced. The northern frontier of Pennsylvania and Ohio was at that time little better than a wilderness; supplies and artisans had to be brought from the Atlantic coast, and the timber for the larger vessels was to be cut fresh from the forest. In the face of a thousand obstacles, Perry succeeded in getting his vessels ready to leave the harbor in the early part of August; though he was still greatly in want of officers and of men, particularly seamen. He was soon after joined by a party of seamen under the orders of Capt. Elliot, then just promoted to the rank of master and commander. Leaving Erie, the fleet went up towards the head of the lake, where various maneuvres, took place for some days between the two squadrons, before a meeting took place. Perry had gone into Put-in bay, on the 6th Sept., and on the 9th determined to go out the next day and attack the enemy. The following able and spirited sketch of the battle is extracted from the biography of Com. Perry, by James Fennimore Cooper, Esq., published in Graham's Magazine, for May, 1843.
Scorpion, Mr. Champlin, 2 I long 24,
Although longer than our limits will fairly admit, yet the compiler would not feel justified in abridging it.
The vessels under the command of Capt. Per-/ The English vessels were as follows, their ry, and which were present on the morning of force being, as stated by Capt. Barclaythe 10th of Sept., 1813, were as follows; the Ohio, Mr. Dobbins, having been sent down the lake on duty a few days before, viz. : Guns. Metal.
Detroit, Capt. Barclay, 19 guns; 2 long 248, I long 18 on pivot, Lawrence, Capt. Perry, 20 2 long 12s, 18 32 lb. carronades. 6 long
12s, 8 long, 9s, 1 lb. carronade, 1 18 16. do. Ningara, Capt. Elliot, 20 2long 125, 18 32 lb. carronades. Queen Charlotte, Capt. Finnis. 17 guns ;'I long 12 on pivot, Caledonia, Lieut. Turner, 3 2 long 24s, i 32 lb. carronade. 2 long 9s, 14 24 lb. carronades. Ariel, Lieut. Packett, 4 4 12.
Lady Prevost, Lieut. Buchan, 13 guns; 1 long 9 on pivot, 2 Somers, Mr. Almy, 2 1 long 24, 1 32 lb. carronade. long 6s, 10 12 lb. carronades. Porcupine, Mr. Senatt, 11 long 32.
Hunter, Lieut. Bignali, 10 guns; 4 long 6a, 2 long 48, 2 long
1 32 lb. carronade. 28, 2 12 lb. carronades. Tigress, Lieut. 1 1 long 32
Little Belt, 3 guns; 1 long 12 on pivot, 2 long Bs. Trippe, Lieul. Holdup, il long 32.
Chippewa, Ms. Campbell, 1 long 9 on pivot. Total number of guns, 54
Total number of guns, 63. It is proper to add that all the guns of all the American vessels, with the exception of those of the Lawrence and the Niagara, were on pivots, and could be used together. The vessels which carried them, however, were without bulwarks, and their crews were exposed to even musketry in a close action. Of these vessels, the Lawrence, Niagara, and Caledonia were brigs; the Trippe was a sloop; and the remainder were schooners.
The force of the British has been variously stated, as to the metal, though all the accounts agree as to the vessels and the number of the guns.
On the morning of the 10th Sept., the British squadron was seen in the offing, and the American vessels got under way, and went out to meet it. The wind, at first, was unfavorable, but so determined was Perry to engage, that he decided to give the enemy the weather-gage, a very im. portant advantage with the armament he possessed, should it become necessary. A shift of wind, however, brought him out into the lake to windward, and left him every prospect of engaging in a manner more desirable to himself.
The enemy had hove-to, on the larboard tack, in a compact line ahead, with the wind at southeast. This brought his vessels' heads nearly, or quite, as high as south-southwest. He had placed the Chippewa in his van, with the Detroit, Barclay's own vessel, next to her. Then followed the Hunter, Queen Charlotte, Lady Prevost, and Little Belt, in the manner named. Perry had issued his order of battle some time previously, but finding that the enemy did not form his line as he had anticipated, he determined to make a corresponding change in his own plan. Ori. ginally it had been intended that the Niagara should lead the American line, in the expectation that the Queen Charlotte would lead that of the English; but finding the Detroit ahead of the latter vessel, it became necessary to place the Lawrence ahead of the Niagara, in order to bring the two commanding vessels fairly alongside of each other. As there was an essential difference of force between the two English ships, the Detroit being a vessel at least a fourth larger and every way heavier than the Queen Charlotte, this prompt decision to stick to his own chosen adversary is strongly indicative of the chivalry of Perry's character; for many an officer would not have thought this accidental change on the part of his enemy a sufficient reason for changing his own order of battle, on the eve of engaging. Calling the leading vessels near him, however, and learning from Capt. Brevoort, of the army, and late of the brig Adams, who was then serving on board the Niagara as a marine officer, the names of the different British vessels, Capt. Perry communicated his orders for the Lawrence and Niagara to change places in the contemplated line--a departure from his former plan, which would bring him more fairly abreast of the Detroit.
At this moment, the Lawrence, Niagara, Caledonia, Ariel, and Scorpion were all up, and near each other; but the Trippe, Tigress, Somers, and Porcupine were still a considerable distance astern. All of these small craft but the Porcupine had been merchant vessels, purchased into the service and strengthened ; alterations that were necessary to enable them to bear their metal, but which were not likely to improve whatever sailing qualities they might possess. It was now past ten, and the leading vessels
maneuvred to get into their stations, in obedience to the orders just received. This brought the Scorpion a short distance ahead, and to windward of the Lawrence, and the Ariel a little more on that brig's weather-bow, but in advance. Then came the Lawrence herself, leading the main line, the two schooners just mentioned being directed to keep to windward of her—the Caledonia, the Niagara, the Tigress, the Somers, the Porcupine, and the Trippe. The prescribed distance that was to be maintained between the different vessels was half a cable's length.
The Americans were now astern and to windward of their enemies, the latter still lying gallantly with their topsails aback, in waiting for them to come down. Perry brought the wind abearn, in the Lawrence, and edged away for a position abreast of the Detroit ; the Caledonia and Niagara following in their stations. The two schooners ahead were also well placed, though the Ariel appears to have soon got more on the Lawrence's beam than the order of battle had directed.
All these vessels, however, were in as good order as circumstances allowed; and Perry determined to close, without waiting for the four gun-vessels astern to come up.
The wind had been light and variable throughout the early part of the morning, and it still continued light, though sufficiently steady. It is stated to have been about a two-knot breeze when the American van bore up to engage. As they must have been fully two miles from the enemy at this time, it would of course have required an hour to have brought them up fairly alongside of the British vessels, most of the way under fire. The Lawrence was yet a long dis. tance from the English when the Detroit threw a twenty-four pound shot at her. When this gun was fired, the weight of the direct testimony that has appeared in the case, and the attendant circumstances, would show that the interval between the heads of the two lines was nearer two than one mile. Perry now showed his signal to engage, as the vessels came up, each against her designated opponent, in the prescribed order of battle. The object of this signal was to direct the different commanders to engage as soon as they could do so with effect; to preserve their sta. tions in the line; and to direct their fire at such particular vessels of the British as had been pointed out to them severally in previous orders. Soon after an order was passed astern, by trum. pet, for the different vessels to close up to the prescribed distance of half a cable's length from each other. This was the last order that Perry issued that day from the Lawrence to any vessel of the fleet, his own brig excepted. It was intended principally for the schooners in the rear, most of which were still a considerable distance astern. The Caledonia and Niagara were accurately in their stations, and at long gun-shot from the enemy. A deliberate fire now opened on the part of the enemy, which was returned from the long-gun of the Scorpion, and soon after from the long-guns of the other leading American vessels, though not with much apparent effect on either side. The first gun is stated to have been fired at a quarter before twelve. About noon, finding that the Lawrence was beginning to suffer, Perry ordered her carronades to be tried; but it was found that the brig was still too distant for the shot to tell. He now set his topgallantsail and edged away more for the enemy, suffering considerably from the fire of the longguns of the Detroit in particular.
The Caledonia, the Lawrence's second astern, was a prize-brig, that had been built for burden rather than for sailing, having originally been in the employment of the Northwest Co. Although her gallant commander, Lieut. Turner, pressed down with her as fast as he could, the Lawrence reached ahead of her some distance, and consequently became the principal object of the British fire ; which she was, as yet, unable to return with more than her two long-twelves, the larboard. bow gun having been shifted over for that purpose. The Scorpion, Ariel, Caledonia, and Niagara, however, were now firing with their long-guns, also, carronades being still next to useless. The latter brig, though under short canvass, was kept in her station astern of the Caledonia only by watching her sails, occasionally bracing her main-topsail sharp aback, in order to prevent run. ning into her second ahead. As the incidents of this battle have led to a painful and protracted controversy, which no biographical notice of Perry can altogether overlook, it may be well to add here that the facts just stated are proved by testimony that has never becn questioned, and that they appear to us to relate to the only circumstance in the management of the Niagara, on the 10th of Sept., that is at all worthy of the consideration of an intelligent critic. At the proper moment, this circumstance shall receive our comments.
It will be remembered that each of the American vessels had received an order to direct her fire at a particular adversary in the British line. This was done to prevent confusion, and was the more necessary as the Americans had nine vessels to the enemy's six. On the other hand, the English, waiting the attack, had to take such opponents as offered. In consequence of these orders, the Niagara, which brig had also shifted over a long-twelve, directed the fire of her two chase-guns at the Queen Charlotte, and the Caledonia engaged the Hunter, the vessel pointed out to her for that purpose; leaving the Lawrence, supported by the Ariel and Scorpion, to sus. tain the cannonading of the Detroit
, supported by the Chippewa, as well as to bear the available fire of all the vessels in the stern of the English line, as, in leading down, she passed ahead to her station abreast of her proper adversary. Making a comparison of the aggregate batteries of the five vessels thus engaged at long-shot, or before carronades were fully available, we get, on the part of the Americans, one 24 and 6 12s, or seven guns in all, to oppose to one 24, one 18, three 12s, and five 9 pounders—all long-guns. This is estimating all the known available longguns of the Ariel, Scorpion, and Lawrence, and the batteries of the Chippewa and the Detroit, as given by Capt. Barclay in his published official letter, which, as respects these vessels, is probe ably minutely accurate; though it is proper to add that an American officer, who subsequently had good opportunities for knowing the fact, thinks that the Chippewa's gun was a 12 pounder. Although the disparity between 7 and 10 guns is material, as is the difference between 96 and 123 pounds of metal, they do not seem sufficient to account for the great disparity of the injury that was sustained by the Lawrence, more especially in the commencement of the action. We are left then to look for the explanation in some additional causes.
It is known that one of the Ariel's twelves burst early in the day. This would at once bring the comparison of the guns and metal, as between the five leading vessels, down to 6 to 10 of the first, and 84 to 123 of the last. But we have seen that both the Lawrence and Niagara