On December 8 1812, in St Petersburg, John Quincy Adams writes the following diary entry:
8th. Mr. Montreal called upon me this morning. He told me there was a report circulating in the city that Bonaparte (he is now nothing more than plain Bonaparte) was killed. We afterwards, in the course of the day, heard the same report from two other quarters; and even that his body had been found after a battle ; that a courier brought the news last night; and that the fortress guns were fired for it in the night. There is said to be a bulletin, on the other hand, from Admiral Tchit chagoff, admitting that Bonaparte, with seventy thousand men, had passed beyond him.