Thursday, January 3, 2013

Today in History written by Philadelphian Francis Shallus in 1817

January 3

3. 1777 Battle of Princeton—General Washington defeated the British; they lost among other officers, captain Leslie, son of the earl of Leven; and upwards of one hundred men killed on the spot, also three hundred taken prisoners. The Americans lost general Mercer, colonels Haslet and Potter, captains Neale and Fleming, and five other valuable officers, with twenty-five or thirty men slain. Brigadier general Hugh Mercer was a native of Scotland, and served with Washington in the war against the French and Indians, which terminated in 1763. In this action he received three bayonet wounds, it is said, after he had surrendered, and of which he died on the 19th of January. The British did very considerable damage to the college library.

3. 1815. British frigate Junon, captain C. Upton, captured the American privateer Guerrier, F. A. Burnham, of four guns and sixty men, from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Same day, the first regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, under colonel Clement C. Biddle, mustered and discharged the United States service.
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.