Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Today in History written by Philadelphian Francis Shallus in 1817


1. 1776. Norfolk, Virginia, cannonaded and burnt by the British under lord Dunmore.

1. 1781. Congress appointed John Adams minister plenipotentiary to the United Provinces of Holland.

Same day—The whole of the Pennsylvania line at Morristown, New Jersey, Revolted, except three regiments, whom they fired upon and compelled to join in the revolt. The men had enlisted for three years, and that term having expired, they wished to be discharged, but the officers endeavoured to keep them during the war, this they considered an imposition. General Wayne was very near being killed, several officers were wounded, and one captain killed. Thirteen hundred marched for Philadelphia—when they reached Princeton, general sir Henry Clinton sent two spies to prevail on them to join the British; but his offers were rejected, the spies delivered to general Wayne, and executed on the tenth. On the ninth the revolters marched to Trenton to meet a committee of Congress, and on the 15th the whole business was adjusted.

1. 1794. Thomas Paine, author of the Rights of Man, Age of Reason, &c. and Anacliarsis Cloots another member of the National Convention, arrested by Robespierre, and sent to prison in Paris. The number of prisoners then in the prisons of Paris, estimated at 4650 persons, most of whom perished on the scaffold; which fate Paine escaped by accident, was liberated, and took his seat in the Convention December 3, 1794, his companion Cloots was guillotined March 24, 1794.

1. 1801. Act of the British Parliament establishing the Union between England and Ireland, and proclamation made designating the ensign to be worn by the king's ships, &c.

1. 1804. Hayti declared Independent, and J. J. Desalines appointed governor-general for life, with power to name his successor, and to make peace or declare war. It has since been erected into a kingdom,  January 1, 1817. Henry I, king of Hayti, issued a proclamation proscribing French manners and principles and language, stating his determination gradually to introduce the English language: he had previously established several schools on the plans of Lancaster and Bell.

1. 1805. The Permanent Bridge over the Schuylkill, at High Street, Philadelphia, first opened for the reception of passengers. Same day, thanksgiving day in Philadelphia.

1. 1809 to the first Jan. 1810, there died in Philadelphia about 2004 persons, the number of the inhabitants in the city and liberties then about 100,000.
1. 1810. Married at East Haddon, Connecticut, nine young ladies, being all those that were marriageable at that time in the town. Same day, died in Philadelphia, colonel Francis/ Wade, of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania*, in his 78th year.

1 and 2. 1812. In the night the French opened the trenches against Valentia. Colonel Henry, an engineer of great merit, belonging to Suchet, killed.

1. 1814. General Hall ordered a party of American dragoons to advance on Buffaloe, under captain Stone, accompanied by lieutenants Riddle, Totman and Frazer, of the fifteenth United States regiment; the militia retiring, Totman was killed, and Riddle narrowly escaped being captured.

1. 1815. The British under general Pakenham open , ed a battery of two 18 pounders on the Americans at New Orleans; it was silenced the same day. The Americans had a boat laden with military stores sunk, great part of which were recovered, 34 men killed and wounded, and 2 caissons hlo.wn up by rockets; one of them contained 100 rounds. Same dav, general Thomas joined general Jackson with 660 men from Baton Rouge.

1. 1816. Died in Montville, Con. in his 88th year, William Hilhouse, he was for more than 50 years a member of the legislature or council of Connecticut.

1. 1817. The new Bank of the United States first opened at Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia, for the transaction of business. Wm. Jones, President; and Jonathan Smith, Cashier.

Banks—First one began 808; Bank of Venice 1157; Genoa 1345; Amsterdam 1609; England 1693. Old Scotch Bank 1649; Hamburg 1710; Royal Bank of Scotland 1727; first Bank in America opened in Philadelphia for supplying the soldiers with provisions, June 17, 1780... Bank of North America the first incorporated 1781. Bank of Ireland 1783. First at Boston and New York 1784. In the British settlements in the East Indies 1787. New Hampshire and Soufh Carolina 1792. Bank of Pennsylvania and District of Columbia in 1793. Since that period they have encreased to an astonishing number. Pennsylvania alone containing, in 1817, 70 banking institutions; of which 10 are within the city of Philadelphia and Liberties, and 22 of them unlawful or unincorporated.

About the author:
Francis Shallus (1773-1821) was born in Philadelphia into a patriotic family,  as the revolution was beginning to swirl around his town. When things began to calm down in Philadelphia, young Shallus apprenticed to Robert Scot, the 1st engraver actually employed by the Philadelphia Mint. While working at his busy little print shop as the fledgling nation grew, he apparently decided to share his knowlege and opinions of history in book form. He published 2 volumes called Chronological tables for every day in the year, compiled from the most authentic documents. His work was the first American "Today in History."  Although these volumes produced in 1817, contain events before America's colonization, I will include only British American & early national citations in this blog.