Why the War of 1812 is Rarely Discussed
The War of 1812 was mostly a maritime battle fought in the North Atlantic. During the first several months after war was declared,
battles were centered around the Middle States. In fact, on October 14th, 1812, the senior naval officer at Charleston, South Carolina,
wrote: "Till today this coast has been clear of enemy cruisers; now Charleston
is blockaded by three brigs, two very large, and they have captured nine sail within three miles of the bar."
Two months he expressed surprise that the inland navigation behind the sea islands had not been destroyed by the enemy, due to its
of its lack of defense. In January of 1813, the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay was guarded by a ship of the line, two frigates and a sloop. A
commercial blockade had not been established, yet the hostile divisions remained outside and American vessels continued to go
out and in around Charleston. A Letter-of-Marque and Reprisal was a government license authorizing a privateer to attack and
capture enemy vessels and bring them before the admiralty courts for condemnation and sale. This method of cruising on the high seas
for prizes with a Letter-of-Marque was considered an honorable calling because it combined patriotism and profit. Otherwise, captured
vessels were done so by "piracy" which was punishable by law. The privateer employed a fast and
weatherly fore-and-aft rigged vessel heavily armed and crewed, and its primary objection was for fighting.
There existed a robust trade with France by Letters-of-Marque for commercial vessels which carried cargo and guns.
By February 12th of 1813, conditions grow worse. The commercial blockade was proclaimed and blockaders entered the Chesapeake
while vessels under neutral flags (Spanish and Swedish) were turned away. Two Letter-of-Marque schooners had been captured, one after a
gallant struggle during which her captain was killed. Nautical misadventures of that kind became frequent. On April 3rd, three
Letters-of-Marque and a privateer, which had entered the Rappahannock, were attacked at anchor. The Letters-of-Marque had smaller crews
and thus offered little resistance to boarding, but the privateer, having near a hundred men,
made a sharp resistance. The Americans lost six (killed) and ten were wounded, while Britain had two killed and eleven wounded.
Source: Sea Power In Its Relations to the War of 1812 by Captain A. T. Mahan, D. C. L., LL. D., United State Navy. (London, 1899)
The Prices of Commodities Jumped During the War of 1812
In war, as in other troublesome times, prices are subject to fluctuate in price. Two great staples were flour and sugar, mostly
lacking due to impeded water transport. From a table of prices current, of August, 1813, it appears that at Baltimore,
in the centre of the wheat export, flour was $6.00 per barrel; in Philadelphia, $7.50; in New York, $8.50; in Boston, $11.87.
At Richmond, owing to inferior communications, the price was $4.00. Flour at Charleston was reported at $8.00, while at
Wilmington, North Carolina, it was $10.25. At Boston, sugar which was unblockaded, was quoted at $18.75 the hundredweight,
itself not a low rate; while at New York the blockaded rate was $21.50; at Philadelphia, with a longer
journey, $22.50; at Baltimore, $26.50. At Savannah sugar was $20, because considering its nearness to the Florida line and
inland navigation, smuggling was a successful and safe venture. New Orleans was a sugar-producing district, and the cost was $9.00,
however, on February 1, 1813, flour in that city cost $25 a barrel. The British vessels forcibly harassed trade up and down the east coast,
especially between Boston and New York. Although the South was more remotely situated, it had bettern internal water communications.
Also, the local product, rice, went far to supply deficiencies in other grains. In the matter of manufactured goods, however,
the disadvantage of the South was greater. These had to find their way
there from the farther extreme of the land; for the development of manufactures had been much the most marked in the east.
It has before been quoted that some wagons loaded with dry goods were forty-six days in accomplishing the journey from
Philadelphia to Georgetown, South Carolina, in May of this year. Some relief in these articles reached the South by
smuggling across the Florida line, and the Spanish waters opposite St. Marys were at this time thronged with merchant
shipping to an unprecedented extent; for although smuggling was continual, in peace as in war, across a river frontier of a
hundred miles, the stringent demand consequent upon the interruption of coastwise traffic provoked an increased supply.
"The trade to Amelia," the northernmost of the Spanish sea-islands, was reported by the United States naval officer at
St. Marys towards the end of the war, "is immense. Upwards of fifty square-rigged vessels are now in that port under
Swedish, Russian, and Spanish colors, two thirds of which are considered British property."
Letters from the naval captains commanding the stations at Charleston, Savannah, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire reflect
news of the molesting by the British of trade. Captain Hull who commanded the Portsmouth Yard, wore on June 14, 1813,
that light cruisers like the "Siren", lately arrived at Boston, and the "Enterprise,"
could be very useful in driving away the small vessels of the enemy as well as privateers.
He purposes to order them eastward, along the Maine coast, to collect coasters in convoy and protect
their long-shore voyages, after the British fashion on the high seas. "The coasting trade here," he adds, "is immense.
Not less than fifty sail last night anchored in this harbor, bound to Boston and other points south.": And, the "Nautilus"
(a captured United States brig) has been seen from this harbor every week for some time past, and several other
vessels (of the enemy) are on the coast every few days."
An American privateer has just come in, bringing with her as a prize one of her own class, called the
"Liverpool Packet," which "within six months has taken from us property to an immense amount."
On one occasion the crew of the ship of an American privateer, which had been destroyed after a desperate and celebrated
resistance to attack by British armed boats, arrived at St. Marys. Of one hundred and nineteen American seamen, only
four could be prevailed upon to enter the district naval force. This was partly due to the embarrassment of the national
finances. "The want of funds to pay off discharged men," wrote the naval captain at Charleston,
"has given such a character to the navy as to stop recruiting."
"Men could be had," reported his colleague at St. Marys, now transferred to Savannah,
"were it not for the Treasury notes, which cannot be passed at less than five per cent discount.
Men will not ship without cash. There are upwards of a hundred seamen in port, but they refuse to enter, even
though we offer to ship for a month only." It should be noted, however, that those who enlisted during the War of 1812 were
promised bounty lands, should they serve five years. Those sailors stationed at St. Marys, Georgia, received land grants in
Camden County of 487-1/2 acres. This is an interesting facet to research because where one sees this sort of acreage listed in
the deed records or on tax digests, they should investigate the 1812 service records on the site of the National Archives. This
will help zero in on more clues and historical data. In these operations the ships of war were seconded by privateers from the West Indies,
which hovered round this coast,
as the Halifax vessels did round that of New England, seeking such scraps of prize money as might be left over from the
ruin of American commerce and the immunities of the licensed traders. The United States officers at Charleston and Savannah
were at their wits ends to provide security with their scanty means, more scanty even in men than in vessels; and when there
came upon them the additional duty of enforcing the embargo of December, 1813, in the many quarters, and against the various
subterfuges, by which evasion would be attempted, the task was manifestly impossible. "This is the most convenient part of the
world for illicit trade that I have ever seen," wrote Campbell.
A somewhat singular incidental circumstance is found in the spasmodic elevation of the North
Carolina coast into momentary commercial consequence as a place of entry and deposit; not indeed to a very great extent,
but ameliorating to a slight degree the deprivation of the regions lying north and south, the neighborhood of Charleston on
the one hand, of Richmond and Baltimore on the other. "The waters of North Carolina, from Wilmington to Ocracoke, though not
favorable to commerce in time of peace, by reason of their shallowness and the danger of the coast, became important and
useful in time of war, and a very considerable trade was prosecuted from and into those waters during the late war, and a
coasting trade as far as Charleston, attended with less risk than many would imagine. A vessel may prosecute a voyage from
Elizabeth City (near the Virginia line) to Charleston without being at sea more than a few hours at any one time."
During July of 1813, Admiral Cockburn anchored with a division off Ocracoke bar, and captured a privateer and Letter-of-Marque
which had there sought a refuge denied to them by the
blockade elsewhere. The towns of Beaufort and Portsmouth were occupied for some hours.
The United States naval officer at Charleston found it necessary also to extend the alongshore cruises of his schooners
as far as Cape Fear, for the protection.
Source: Sea Power In Its Relations to the War of 1812 by Captain A. T. Mahan, D. C. L., LL. D., United State Navy. (London, 1899)
Camden County Families
Famous "Light Horse Harry" Lee Died at Dungeness
Lee was known for his equestrian skills for which he earned the sobriquet of "Light-Horse Harry" . On September 22, 1779 the Continental Congress voted to present Lee with a gold medal; a reward not presented to any other officer below the rank of general. It was given for the action of Lee Legion during the Battle of Paulus Hook in New Jersey, on August 19 of that year. Lee was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was assigned with his Legion to the Southern Campaign. During January of 1781, his Legion proceeded to raid the British outpost of Georgetown, South Carolina with General Francis Marion. Then, Lee joined with General Francis Marion and General Andrew Pickens in the spring of 1781 to capture numerous British outposts in South Carolina and Georgia including Fort Watson, Fort Motte, Fort Danby, Fort Galphin, Fort Grierson, and Fort Cornwallis, Augusta, Georgia. But it was General Nathanael Greene who see Lee to Augusta to prevent British occupation. From there, Lee's Legion and local militia companies engaged to intimidate the Loyalists in the region. There was a wide turn out of militia especially after Colonel Banastre Tarleton ("the butcher") cut down the rebels under a flag of truce. Their revenge would come at the Battle of Cowpens, when Tarleton lost and retreated into North Carolina followed by Lee and his Legion to fight in the battles of Guilford Court House, the Siege of Ninety-Six and the Battle of Eutaw Springs. He was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. As a result, Lee signed many certificates granting bounty lands in Georgia to soldiers who had served under him. From the time that Lee entered the Southern Campaign until the end, he knew victory and defeat, and shortly after the surrendered at Yorktown, he left the Army claiming fatigue and disappointment with his treatment from fellow officers. But his service did not end there. In 1794, he was summoned by Washington to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. Lee commanded the 12,950 militiamen sent to quash the rebels; there was no fighting due to peaceful surrender. In 1798, Henry Lee was appointed a major general in the U.S. Army with the threat of a war with France. In 1808, he was re-commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson as major-general to fight an expected war with Great Britain wherein he organized the Virginia militia. At the onset of the War of 1812, he asked President James Madison for a commission, but it was denied. Soon after the Revolutionary War, his beloved wife Matilda and son Philip died and he was married to Anne Carter. Tragedy struck againas this couple lost their four children. During the war and all of his personal struggles, Lee had loaned money to his friends who could not repay. Not fully charged with debt, in 1809, this situation caused the distressed Lee to turned himself in and was placed in debtor's prison. It was there that he wrote his memoirs which he would live to see published. By 1810 Lee was free, but bankrupt and the family moved to Alexandria where they hoped to live peacefully. While in Alexandria, Lee got in a scrape with a mob. They beat him senseless and left him lying in the street. The doctors who attended Lee learned of his identify and the new of it made headlines. His recovery would be slow and painful and Lee and Anne decided to travel to the West Indies for recovery. In February of 1818 while sailing home, near Georgia, Lee asked to be let off near the now deceased home of General Greene known as Dungeness on Cumberland Island where he was card for by a daughter of Nathanael Greene, Louisa. Still suffering from illness Light-Horse Harry Lee died there on Mar 25, 1818 . Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee was buried with full military honors, provided by an American fleet stationed near St. Marys, Georgia in a small cemetery at Dungeness. Some say that Lee was buried in Lexington, Virginia.
Old Fairfield Plantation
Fairfield Plantation was the home of Congressman John Floyd, born 3 October 1769 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and died on his plantation in Camden County on 24 June 1839. The plantation is located in Camden County at Fairfield Point, near Bellvue and Hermitage Plantations. All of these plantations are on private property. It is located midway up the coast of Camden County. North of Pine Barrens and Bellevue and East of Hermitage Plantations. Floyd's Neck. The Floyd Family Cemetery is located about a quarter of a mile from the site of the former Fairfield Plantation House.
Camden County Wills, Estates, Marriages, World War I Records
The first known residents were the Mocoma Indians, a predecessor to the Creek confederacy which controlled this land until 1763. On San Pedro Island the Spanish built two missions and had a presidio, at least for a while. By 1690 the Spanish mission was gone but this county was dangerously close to St. Augustine Florida and the site of the Spanish fort which ruled the country until 1745 when General Oglethorpe of Georgia won the land war against Spain. Throughout the colonial period, the Spanish converted local Indians to Catholism (called "Spanish-Indians" and used them for raids against the Georgia colony. Two parishes were created during Colonial days, the Parishes of St. Thomas and St. Mary in 1765, from the Creek Land Cession of 1763. This country played a vivid history during the American Revolution, with Loyalists escaping into Florida via the St. Mary's River. After the Revolutionary War, it was one of te the "Original Counties" which were created in the 1777 and was named for Charles Pratt, the Earl of Camden, who was a strong supporter of American Independence. During the 19th century some of the Loyalist traitors returned to Georgia to reside in Camden County. Reseaching the census records for Camden County reveals persons born in Florida and Georgia. Researchers should consider bordering Florida counties as a source of Will Book B was burned.
Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
- Camden County Marriages 1818-1890
- Camden County Marriages from Newspapers 1885-1886
Images of Camden County Will Book B 1777 to 1787
- Camden County Wills 1795-1829 (abstracts)
Aken, James; Argerette, John; Arnold, John; Atkinson, Nathan; Bailey, John Jr.; Bailey, John Sr.; Berniss, Eleazer; Bixby, James; Bryant, Langley; Bulkley, Ichabod; Bullin, Bela; Bunkley, Britain; Campbell, Jane, Mrs. alias Jane Taylor; Christopher, Hester; Cole, Ann, Mrs., widow or Richard; Collier, Thomas; Courter, Harmon; Crews, Micajah; Crozier, Samuel; Dallas, William; Davis, Ephraim; Delany, Daniel S.; Deloney, Martha; Desclaux, Joseph; Dilworth, Aramenta; Dilworth, James C.; Eaton, John; Elliott, Alexander; Ester, Richard; Evans, Evan; Gamble, John; Gascognie, Richard; Gorman, William; Gorman, William Jr.; Graham, Alexander; Graham, Ann; Gunby, Levin; Hagin, John; Hay, John; Hebbard, Elihu; Hodge, Joseph T.; Hollingsworth, Timothy; Howell, Catharine; Hubbard, William; Johnston, William; Judson, Joseph; Keegan, Allen; King, Thomas; Kitchell, John or Joseph; Kuhn, C. F.; Keegan, Allen; Lafurgue, John; Lathrop, Asa; Lefevre, Marie Louisa; Madison, John R.; Mafford, Thomas; Madison, John Ripley; McClure, William; McFarlane, Sarah; McGregger, James; Mecklin, Sarah; Miller, Catharine; Miller, Phineas; Morrison, George; Mussault, Frances; Niblack, William; Nightingale, John Clark; Norris, Thomas; Norris, Thomas; Nunes, Daniel; Ogden, Alexander; Parker, John; Pelletier, Basile; Proctor, Richard; Ragland, Irby; Rains, Cornelius; Ready, William; Richards, Genevieve B.; Richardson, Thomas; Rogers, Lebbiers or Lebues; Ross, John Dr.; Rowe, John; Rudolph, Robert; Shaw, James; Shearman, Elizabeth; Sherman,, Edward; Skipwith, Peyton; Smith, James; Spalding, Johnson; Stafford, Robert; Stafford, Thomas; Starling, Francis; Staunton, William; Thomas, Allen; Thomas, Joseph; Vincent, James; Ward, Bryan; Williams, Jane; Williams, William H.; Williams, Wilson; Wood, John; Woodland, James; Wright, Henry; Wright, James Nickels; Wright, Thomas
Images of Will Book A 1795 to 1829
Testators: Aken, James;Argerette, John;Arnold, John;Atkinson, Nathan;Bailey, John Jr.;Bailey, John Sr.;Berniss, Eleazer;Bixby, James;Bryant, Langley; Bulkley, Ichabod;Bullin, Bela;Bunkley, Britain;Campbell, Jane, Mrs. alias Jane Taylor;Christopher, Hester;Cole, Ann, Mrs., widow or Richard;Collier, Thomas;Courter, Harmon;Crews, Micajah;Crozier, Samuel; Dallas, William;Davis, Ephraim;Delany, Daniel S.;Deloney, Martha; Desclaux, Joseph;Dilworth, Aramenta;Dilworth, James C.;Eaton, John; Elliott, Alexander;Ester, Richard;Evans, Evan;Gamble, John;Gascognie, Richard;Gorman, William;Gorman, William Jr.;Graham, Alexander; Graham, Ann;Gunby, Levin;Hagin, John;Hay, John;Hebbard, Elihu; Hodge, Joseph T.;Hollingsworth, Timothy;Howell, Catharine; Hubbard, William;Johnston, William;Judson, Joseph;Keegan, Allen; King, Thomas;Kitchell, John or Joseph;Kuhn, C. F.;Keegan, Allen; Lafurgue, John;Lathrop, Asa;Lefevre, Marie Louisa;Madison, John R.; Mafford, Thomas;Madison, John Ripley;McClure, William;McFarlane, Sarah; McGregger, James;Mecklin, Sarah;Miller, Catharine;Miller, Phineas; Morrison, George;Mussault, Frances;Niblack, William;Nightingale, John Clark;Norris, Thomas;Norris, Thomas;Nunes, Daniel;Ogden, Alexander; Parker, John;Pelletier, Basile;Proctor, Richard;Ragland, Irby; Rains, Cornelius;Ready, William;Richards, Genevieve B.;Richardson, Thomas;Rogers, Lebbiers or Lebues;Ross, John Dr.;Rowe, John; Rudolph, Robert;Shaw, James;Shearman, Elizabeth;Sherman, Edward; Skipwith, Peyton;Smith, James;Spalding, Johnson;Stafford, Robert; Stafford, Thomas;Starling, Francis;Staunton, William;Thomas, Allen; Thomas, Joseph;Vincent, James;Ward, Bryan;Williams, Jane;Williams, William H.;Williams, Wilson;Wood, John;Woodland, James;Wright, Henry; Wright, James Nickels;Wright, Thomas;
Images of Camden County Will Book C 1885-1900
Testators: Ammons, William;Anderson, Ben;Arnow, Joseph S.;Baker, Jeff;Barnard, Fannie E.;Baxley, James W.;Beaty, Richard;Benson, George W.; Berrie, Catharine A.;Brazick, James;Brown, Philip;Buncke, Gustar; Bunkley, William R.;Caldwell, W. J.;Carnegie, Lucie C., Mrs.; Carnegie, Thomas M.;Clarke, William H.;Clinch, D. L.;Clubbs, Sarah F.; Cohen, Mary A.;Crichton, Ann;Curtis, Alexander;Davis, J. S. N.; Dunham, Andrew J.;Floyd, John W.;Floyd, Marie;Fordham, Silas; Grubert, Jane U.;Harrington, J. B., Mrs.;Hawkins, Thomas D.; Hayes, Calvin;Helveston, McGillis;Hopkins, William F.; Jaflores, Virginia, Mrs.;King, Dolly;King, R. N.;Lang, Caroline; Lang, Cornelia T.;Lang, George;Lang, Isaac;Lang, Isaac Sr.; Lang, Nancy;Lang, W. C.;Long, Alexander;Long, Daniel J.; Long, Julia M.;McCorman, Charlotte;Mitchell, Augustus; Morrison, Charlotte E.;Morrison, George;Pacetty, Julia A.; Peeples, A. M.;Proctor, William;Rains, Joseph C.;Rightman, Anita M.; Ring, Mary;Ripley, Francis L.;Rose, D. F. Sr.;Scott, Alexander C. Sr.; Simmons, John W.;Stafford, Robert;Thomas, Benjamin;Tompkins, John; Trolock, Isabella C.;Walton, Grace;Wilkinson, Elsie;Wilkinson, Eley; Williams, John M.;Wingate, Thomas
Indexes to Probate Records
- Camden County World War I Service Records 1917-1919 (Army, Navy, Marines (Digital Images)
- Camden County Index to Estates 1811 to 1828
- Camden County Index to Annual Returns 1829 to 1848
- Camden County Index to Will Book 1795 to 1829
- Camden County Index to Will Book 1868 to 1916
- Camden County Index to Will Bk C 1885-1900
- 1892 St. Marys, Georgia City Directory (Digital Images)
- Origins of Early Settlers of Camden County
See how easy it is to view Wills, Estates, Inventories, Returns, Sales online