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October 27 1812: USS Constitution and Fall of Detroit



On October 27, 1812, in St Petersburg, John Quincy Adams receives confirmation that the the American USS Constitution has indeed captured the British frigate Guerriere.  Earlier, when he had heard rumors that this had happened, he had thought it was a joke. Adams also learns of the surrender Fort Detroit to the British. "It would be useless," he writes, "and the attempt would be vain, to express my sensations upon this event. There are scarcely any details of the affair given. The honor of my country—O God! suffer it not to go unredeemed".  

Adam's diary entry for this day reads in part: 
27th. About noon this day the report of cannon from the fortress announced that important and pleasing intelligence from the armies had been received; about half an hour after, Mr. Harris, the Consul, came in. He had just come from Count Romanzoff's, where he had been with his nephew upon a visit of taking leave. The news was a great victory of Marshal Koutouzof over the King of Naples (Murat), and the retaking of Moscow by General Wintzingerode's corps, though in achieving it Wintzingerode was himself taken prisoner. In the evening I received from the Grand Master of the Ceremonies a notification to attend a Te Deum to-morrow morning at the Kazan Church, on account of these events. The city was illuminated by night. Mr. Harris lent me an English Courier of 6th October, which he had borrowed from Count Romanzoff, containing a confirmation of the capture of the "Guerriere" frigate; but with it an account of the surrender of General Hull and his army, and of the taking of Fort Detroit by the British. It would be useless, and the attempt would be vain, to express my sensations upon this event. There are scarcely any details of the affair given. The honor of my country—O God! suffer it not to go unredeemed.

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