Frederick Hall was born a slave on Benjamin Oden's plantation in Prince George County, Maryland. Frederick Hall was better known by the alias of William Williams. Oden advertised in the Baltimore newspaper on May 18, 1814, that Williams was a runaway. Despite being a wanted man Williams enlisted in the 38th U.S. Infantry. It was not legal for the United States government to enlist slaves but quotas needed to be filled. Williams earned a $50 bonus for signing and $8 a month salary.  Image [William Williams - U.S. National Park Service]
William Willams traveled with his unit to Fort McHenry on September 10, 1814. He fought in the Battle of Baltimore on September 13th and was severely wounded. Williams received a severe wound to his leg and he later died in a Baltimore hospital. William Willians defended a homeland in which he would never be a full citizen. 
African Americans fought on both sides during the War of 1812. " Even when on opposing sides many were fighting for the same reason and that reason was freedom. The British offered Black soldiers freedom in exchange for their service. On the American side, African Americans played an important part in many battles such as the Battle of Lake Erie, the battles around Baltimore, during the bombardment of Fort McHenry, and the Battle of New Orleans. Many sacrificed everything for a country that did not treat them equally." "Black volunteers in large numbers stepped forward to defend homelands which paradoxically deprived them of basic freedoms for which they fought." 
One of the leading proponents of black troops was Inspector General Nicholas Gray. "In the United Irish tradition, he was heavily invested in winning the war. With so many Irish immigrants serving in the beleaguered army, their leaders sought to ease their burden with black reinforcements. In their openness to black potential, this generation of Irish-American leaders represented an alternative to the racism later embraced by white immigrants to escape their own subordination." 
Letter sent by Nicholas Gray to Washington October 1, 1814, to Honorable James Monroe Secretary of War
I beg to address you on a project which I have submitted to Major Giles Galliard Taylor and several of the Southern Senators, and which most the approbation of General Armstrong.
I wish to have liberty to recruit in the neighborhoods of New York and Boston, a Brigade of free Blacks, which with the attention I should pay to them would be raised and disciplined by the Month of February ready for Service. One half the time one White Regiment can be recruited, to be attached to the Northern Army or otherwise.
My project will if it should be so fortunate as to meet your approbation and that of the President and Congress, gratify my wishes two-fold. It will give me Rank, and enable me to render great and lasting service to this Country.
I am Sir with great respect your most obedient Nicholas Gray Inspector General 
To the Honorable John Armstrong, Aug 6, 1814: " I have the honor to again assist you, that this morning I have been ordered under arrest by the Commanding General. I only desire impartial men upon the court and such as are not frantic enough to accuse the government for having employed me.” The 3rd Military district of the U.S. Judge Advocate's office: "Sir, the charges against Col. Nicholas Gray, Inspector General of this District, having been withdrawn by the prosecution, Charles Humphrey, and for discharging the prisoner from his arrest. Henry Wheaton, Judge Advocate."  With not being a Naturalized Citizen the approaching trial and possibility of Court-Martial made Gray's, duties as Inspector General more stressful to perform. Gray had thoughts of returning to Ireland, as written in his letter to Mr. Patten: “If the news of old George’s death be true, do you think anything will be done for the unfortunate exiles, for I should wish to return in case persecution had ceased and no further danger of prisons.” 
Francis Bloodgood was born on June 12 , 1775 in Albany, New York. He studied at Yale University and established a law firm in Albany. He became Director and President of the State Bank and President of the Albany Insurance Company. From 1797 to 1825 he was clerk of the New York Supreme Court. He was elected Mayor of Albany, New York in 1831 and 1833. When Francis Bloodgood entered office in 1831, he paid all debts of those in debtors prison. Bloodgood was involved in a street brawl in April 1807 over a political dispute with Solomon Van Rensselaer. They exchanged blows and it was reported Mr. Bloodgood struck Van Rensselaer on the head with a large cane. He later paid Solomon Van Rensselaer, for injuries he received in the brawl.
Nicholas Gray in a letter to Mr. Patten in Ireland writes; [Gray along with John Patten, brother-in-law to Thomas Addis Emmet, were State prisoners at Kilmainham in 1804] " I am a Officer of the State and hold my situation under the Supreme Court." [Deputy clerk in Mr. Bloodgood's office ] Gray goes on to describe his income and work day. " I support tolerably my family upon 400 dollars yearly or 90 British that I earn by walking four miles each day to Town, for I live in the summer house of a friend, not as yet being able to afford to rent one mile from the City of Albany; there at nine in the morning, home at one dine, and back at two, stay there till five quill driving, and then home. If I live till spring I shall have my salary doubled. Yours Nicholas Gray. [Thomas Addis Emmet married in 1791, Jane, daughter of the Rev. John Patten of Clonmel, Ireland].  .
In a letter dated New York, March 23, 1813 to John Armstrong the Secretary of War: Nicholas Gray states " I have the honor this morning to receive the appointment of Inspector General in the service of the United States and shall accept the appointment with many thanks. Permit me to request you to inform further in the duty expected to be performed by the Inspector General, my department or district." Signed Nicholas Gray Inspector General U.S. Army. 
Gray describes in the letter below to General John Armstrong, his difficulties in preforming the duties of Inspector General. He is asking for a promotion or an increase in wages as Inspector General. Gray is unable to adequately support his family due to the high price of rent and provisions in New York City. At present he is unable to purchase horses so must visit Arsenals, depots, batteries and hospitals on foot.
Letter sent by Nicholas Gray to Honorable General John Armstrong Secretary of War July 7, 1813
Sir: Having always through an active discharge of my duty, endearment to do credit to the appointment with which you honored me. I beg to be permitted to add something concerning myself, while officially reporting on things and persons connected with the Service.
Owing to the rent and the high price of provisions, the pay of Inspector General is not sufficient for the maintenance of a Man with a family residing in the City of New York.
He is not allowed quarters in the City, nor money in lieu of them. When his duty requires him to visit distant parts by land, the trifling compensation allowed him is entirely inadequate to the expense of living in Towns. It is only twelve dollars per month his forage allows. If he goes by water he must have a special order from the Commanding General to entitle him to any part of his expenses.
From my straightened circumstances, I cannot at present purchase horses, and I have been obligated to perform on foot all my duties in the City and its suburbs, such as visiting Arsenals, depots, laboratory, batteries, hospitals.
To all these matters I have attended personally and without appointment to lighten the fatigue of such duty.
In consideration of all which I respectfully submit, if it is not proper to make any additional allowance to the Inspector General of this district, That the Secretary of War would be pleased to appoint me to a different service in some other Capacity. The manner in which I have acquitted myself here, may I humbly trust, some recommendation to that further promotion, to which as a Military Man I must naturally aspire.
I have the honor to be Sir, with the highest respect your obedient Humble Servant Nicholas Gray Inspector General 3rd Military District 
Letter from Inspector General Office 3 Military District Jan 29, 1814 to the Honorable Secretary of War
Sir, The Port of Sandy Hook is now garrisoned by a detachment of the 41 Regiment. My anxiety for this Post as well as the honor of this district induces me to entreat you will please to give this Regiment a competent Commanding officer. For the command of a post this key to all our fortifications. I have spoken to General Porter on this subject, who promised to write to the War Department - I suspect many of the Platoon Officers of this Regiment will request to resign. I have understood so much since the detachment was ordered to the Hook. I beg this letter may be considered as confidential. Signed Nicholas Gray. P.S. I recommend to notice for promotion Lieutenant Henry R.Wendall, a brave and good Officer, he served with me in Niagara, and proved himself to me he has been a Lieutenant more than two years and is now in this city. Nicholas Gray 
Nicholas Gray was appointed Inspector General to the Military District, No. 3 - New York from the Sea to the Highlands, and East Jersey, on March 18, 1813. Gray writes to Secretary of War James Monroe on December 22, 1814 " There were from twelve to fifteen thousand men in the District, all of whom were three times mustered and Inspected. On July 31, 1814, New York. NY Gray relays to Major General Lewis the numbers of men stationed at Sandy Hook , New Utrecht , and Staten Island , totaling 1,172. " The troops stated as for service are in the very best order."  Inspector General Gray, in a letter dated May 2, 1813, New Brunswick, to John Hulick outlines his responsibilities as Captain in the New Jersey, Militia.
Nicholas Gray gives a series of excellent observations to Major General Lewis, to the readiness of the 3rd Military District on July 21, 1814. He describes " The Sea Fencibles under Captain Morris are a fine body of seamen. They complain that they are made to drill with the infantry and artillery. They say this is contrary to their engagement." They wish to be stationed at Long Island Sound and also request to be allowed a Surgeon to be attached to the Corps.
Inspector General Gray describes the lack of money in the Third Military District "Owing to the scarcity of Money in the Pay and Quarter Masters departments the Service have suffered great injury in this district." This is especially true of the 32nd Regiment stationed at Sandy Hook. "One hundred and twenty-five of the discharged men have remained there, some time, waiting for pay." Gray is also concerned about the soldiers knapsack being considerably too large. - being so large the Soldier will put everything he can catch into it. "The blanket straps could be fastened to the knapsack in such a manner, that the straps could in a moment be loosened, so that knapsack in case of retreat could be thrown off, and the blanket kept - These observations are with great difference submitted."
Semi-Annual Report of Inspector General of Third Military district - New York, July 21st, 1814
To the first Article of my Instructions.
The Infantry in this district continues to improve - Much attention is paid to their discipline.
The four Companies of Artillery are as usual in good order, obedient to orders, and have a good appearance. Their discipline the same as in my last report.
To the 2nd Article of Instruction. The Field and Company Officers with the exception of those hereinafter mentioned are beginning to know their duty, the only want is sufficient subordination and attention to orders. There is no instance of insobriety which have come to my knowledge unpunished.
The Regimental Adj Quarter Masters and Paymasters, continue to do their duty with credit.
The Regimental Books are well kept, but the Non Commissioned officers are not so attentive to the personal appearance of the Men as they should be.
Had the Inspector General a power to break Non Commissioned Officers whose squad appears slowly and in bad order on parade, these would be more attention to the regularity of drills, and the putting on of accouterments.
In fact, the knapsack are considerably too large - being so large, the Soldier will put everything he can catch into it until it is full - and the construction is bad - the whole weight lays in the small of the back, instead of on the shoulders - his blanket should be rolled up round and tight, and strapped on the top, instead of being put inside.
The blanket straps could be fastened to the knapsack in such a manner, that the straps could in a moment be loosened, so that knapsack in case of retreat could be thrown off, and the blanket kept - These observations are with great difference submitted.
To the 3rd Article. There are complaints against Mc Kenny as usual - Want of fresh Meat and good flour for Sandy Hook - The other contractor I have heard no complaint against.
To the 4th Article. The forage is good and sufficient, but great complaint is constantly making of Master Romanine who seems to consider all other Staff departments subordinate to his and endeavor to avoid all kind of responsibility attached to his Office - Much trouble and inconvenience have arisen from his refusing to give necessary receipts to the Officers of the Ordinance department here, for articles received by him, for transportation, alleging, that, as he only provides the carriage, he should not be responsible for the articles and endeavoring to put a responsibility upon other Officers, which does not belong to their department or duty.
In fact, he entered the service, by refusing to incur trifling charges for transportation to the different posts inside and outside the Harbor, where Staff Officers and others are frequently called by their public duties, to visit posts.
He has hired a small vessel by the mouth, and will not make use of any other boat so that every emergency must wait and bend to suit his purposes. He is in truth a pest and burden to the service and his conduct is calculated to bring it into disrupt-----
To the 5th Article. More attention has been paid to the Hospital regulations and supplies since my last report but few patients are now in our Hospitals. There are too few Surgeons for the number of Men, the 32 Reg has but one, and the 42 but one - Three or four more are wanting.
To the 6th Article. On this, I know nothing for the causes stated in my last.
To the 7th. Article. The quantity of Ammunition in store is thought sufficient and well secured, about eight Hundred stored of small arms, over what are necessary for the troops, are on hand, and in good order: two thousand stored more, are expected Daily.
Owing to the scarcity of Money in the Pay and Quarter Masters departments the Service have suffered great injury in this district. The recruitment of the once fine Regiment the 32nd is at Sandy Hook about, three hundred. One hundred and twenty five of the discharged men have remained there, some time, waiting for pay. Those who were sent to this City for discharge, from the Regiment, until within a day or two, used to ramble our streets in bodies, unpaid, and dissatisfied. Many of these Men would have again entered the service, in this district if there had been Money to pay the bounty. The 32nd Regiment has lost two good officers the Colonel and a Major.
The non payment of the retained bounty, is a great cause of complaint with many of the men of the other Regiments of Infantry.
Officers anxious to fill their Companies, pay the Recruit a small sum, and give a due bill for the remainder, which due bill is often lost, to the injury of the Soldier.
Another cause of complaint arises from the Deputy Com General of Purchases issuing due bills, to Officers and Soldiers, for parts of clothing, which due bills also, are often lost.
Some of the Infantry Officers here are in the habit of chastising Soldiers with their own hand, by knocking them down with their fists, for trifling offense or neglects, which practice, when adopted by some, and not by all, causes great jealousy, not only amongst the Officers themselves, but amongst the Soldiers.
The practice should either be sanctioned by the War department, or discontinued by its orders.
The Sea Fencibles under Captain Morris are a fine body of Seamen. They complain that they are made Infantry, and Artillery of, and are obliged to drill with both, which they say is contrary to their engagements.
They wish to have three [cayer] - each to contain thirty five Men. Mounting a 12# canon or a 6 in the bows, and to be stationed in Long Island Sound.
They also request to be allowed a Surgeon to be attached to the Corps, which is mainly One hundred in number.
I beg to apologize for the great delay in sending in this confidential report, and to state that three of the Captains J B Smith, W Smith, and H Davis of the 32nd Regiment stationed at Sandy Hook have not yet sent in their returns, through the Muster and Inspection has been made since 28th of June last, this has been the cause of the delay
Major Banach Master Dyer has forwarded to me a letter he wished to be forwarded to the War department it is here with enclosed.
The rolls which are defined will be forwarded so soon as they arrive.
Confidential Report - Signed by Nicholas Gray Inspect General 3rd Military District New York, July 21st, 1814 
Remarks by Major General Morgan Lewis, Third Military District Head Quarters, July 23, 1814 to the semi annual report of Inspector General Nicholas Gray of the Third Military District.
The commanding General concurs in the first and second specifications of the Report with the opinion of the Inspector General except as to his being invested with the power of reducing non - commissioned officers to the rank, which he believes to be contrary to military usage and the rights of the officers of the Line.
The third has already been noticed by the Commanding General in his communications with the War Office.
The Seventh is understood to be correct, except as to the 32nd Regiment having lost it's Colonel, which is a mistake, and -2000- plans of arms in addition to those now here will be an inadequate supply in the event of serious invasion.
Singed Major General Commander Morgan Lewis, Third Military District
Nicholas Gray in the letter below to General Armstrong Secretary of War requests permission to raise a ten-eighteen company regiment of Irish volunteers as part of the standing military establishment. In the War of 1812, as in other wars, the military relied heavily on immigrant recruits, which in 1812 meant the Irish. "The Irish had the desire to fight the British and due to poverty joined the army, navy or privateer service. The Irish recruits had a powerful incentive to deny Irish birth in recruiting records in case they were captured by the British. To control their own Irish troops, the British took a hard line against any subjects captured while bearing American arms. The British gave captured subjects a choice to enlist in their military or face trial and execution as traitors. Desperate for men, the British preferred enlistment of the Irish to their execution."  Alexander Denniston commanded the Twenty-seventh Infantry, primarily composed of Irish recruits from New York.
Letter sent by Nicholas Gray to Washington Feb 4, 1813 to General Armstrong Secretary of War
I wish to have liberty to recruit a Regiment of Irish, to consist of Ten or Eighteen companies enlisted for the War, and to remain if possible on a permanent establishment.
I should also wish to be allowed to recommend such officers to it, as from education, and gentleman, and who from inclination, zeal, and patriotism, will ensure the good opinion of the government of the United States, and who have more or seen service.
It is my wish to interview with the views of any officer, wishing for the command of one of the Regiments to be raised. My object will be to enroll men who will not enter into any other Regiment, and to enlist the feelings and patriotism of Irish gentlemen, who otherwise would not think of joining the Army.
I have honor to subscribe myself for your obedient Nicholas Gray Lt. Col 
Letter from Nicholas Gray to the Secretary of War, James Monroe Sept 29th, 1814
John P. Emmet son of Thomas Addis Emmett, who wishes to be appointed a Cadet in the Military school at West Point is recommended by Inspector General Nicholas Gray. "That you would order this appointment to be made out, and which will be thankfully received by Mr. Emmet [Thomas Addis Emmet]. He is sixteen years old and has had a fine education. Signed by Nicholas Gray Inspector General 3rd Military District." 
Letter from Thomas Addis Emmet to the Secretary of War, New York, Aug 31, 1814
Sir, "I take the liberty of soliciting from you a Cadets life at West Point for John Patten Emmet, one of my sons. He is just 17 and his education is considerably advanced. He would so much sooner be enabled to engage in active service. The present crisis has excited in him a desire to be useful but my wish is that he should first be qualified for whatever he may be appointed to undertake. Your Obedient Servant Thomas Addis Emmet." 
Henry Gray writes from Albany, New York, January 22, 1812 to the Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton:
Sir, I have received the Warrant appointing me Midshipman in the Navy of the United States, together with a copy of the Navy Rules & regulations and copy of the Uniform, and the Oath, which I have taken. I beg leave to inform you, that I feel highly, honored to the confidence in me and accept the appointment with many thanks, the sincerity of which I hope to be able to show when an opportunity shall offer, in the service of the United States. Have the goodness to say when you wish I should join, and what ship? With reference, My choice would be the Ship President. I have the honor to subscribe myself, with great respect, Sir, your obedient Servant, Henry Gray. 
Henry Gray, the son of the Inspector General Nicholas Gray and John P. Emmet, the son Thomas Addis Emmet, were both born in Ireland. The families of Emmet and Gray immigrated to the U.S. due to their participation in the 1798 - 1803, Rebellions in Ireland. Gray while serving as Inspector general, suffered from every article of consumption due to his harsh treatment at Kilmainham and Wexford Goal prisons in Ireland. Kilmainham Prison, 12th of Aug, 1804, "Mr. Gray can give an affecting detail of Mr.Trevor's barbarous treatment of him, both in Kilmainham, and in Buckridge-court, Ship-street." In a letter from Governor Tompkins to Paul Hamilton, Secretary of the Navy dated, Albany, January 16, 1812 " The protracted sickness of General Gray who officiates as my private secretary, has elicited fears of an approaching consumption, and his great anxiety for the welfare of his children, whom he will leave in slender circumstances, has created much sensibility among his numerous friends." 
In a letter dated New York, Dec 22, 1814 from Governor Daniel D. Tompkins of New York, to Col. Nicholas Gray Inspector General. " In answer to your note of this morning, I take great pleasure in acknowledging that the duties of your office of Inspector of the Third district been orderly during the time I had the honor to command, and they have been discharged to my entire satisfaction, respectfully Daniel D. Tompkins.  Governor Tompkins states that Gray in the summer months of 1812, surveyed the Niagara frontier. He was the engineer who supervised the construction of three forts one at Lewiston named Fort Gray, that at Black Rock occupied by Swifts Regiment, and by the appointment of General Smyth he commanded the artillery at Fort Niagara. After inspection of the troops by Inspector General Nicholas Gray, on December 3, 1814, he was honorably discharged from the military service of the United States Army, with the thanks of Governor Tompkins.
Daniel D. Tompkins was the fourth governor of New York from 1807 to 1817. He was also the sixth Vice President of the United States from 1817 to 1825. Tompkins was born in Scarsdale, New York, and practiced law in New York City after graduating from Columbia College. During the War of 1812, he often spent his own money to equip and pay the militia when the legislature wasn't in session, or would not approve the necessary funds. Tompkins proved to be one of the most effective war governors. He played an important role in reorganizing the state militia and promoted conscription. He declined an appointment as Secretary of State by President James Madison in 1814, instead accepting appointment as Commander in Chief of the Third Federal Military District that included New York City. 
This is taken from a three page letter written: “ To the Congress of the United States” dated Dec 22, 1814
That your Memorialist for the first fifteen months after his appointment performed all the arduous duties of his department without aid. And during that period your Memorialist confidently trusts that he has discharged them to the satisfaction of his different Commanding Officers, as well as of the War Department. That the District of which your Memorialist is Inspector General is of great extent and from its situation on the Sea Coast and the number of places to be garrisoned it requires and actually has had stationed in it more troops of every description than any other whatsoever. That the number of troops necessary for sufficiently protecting and garrisoning it, has rendered, and it is presumed must in the future render the duties of your Memorialist Office more laborious than those of any other in the service of the United States. That in consequence of the large body of the Militia lately in service in his district, Your Memorialist was obliged to extend his office hours, and kept it regularly open from Eight in the morning until Nine at night in order to instruct the inexperienced Officers of there troops in their duty and enable them to comply with the regulations of the War Department with respect to their Rolls and Returns. Your Memorialist begs he may not be misunderstood, or supposed to complain by anything he has stated, of the labors or duties of his office. On the contrary he indulges in a sentiment of pleasure and gratified pride, the he reflects that it has been in his power by concerning industry and unremitted exertion to accomplish much in the situation where he is placed. That with a very sincere desire by the performance of them all, he shows himself worthy of the confidence with which he has been honored.
Signed Nicholas Gray Inspector General 3rd Military District 
New York City's importance to the nation's economic growth increased dramatically after the revolution. The citizens who remembered the British occupation during the Revolutionary War were concerned it could happen again. Although New York had become the most important harbor to defend, it was virtually defenseless. The defense of New York's harbor was left to State government and its governor a Staten Islander, Daniel Tompkins. New York's mayor DeWitt Clinton issued an appeal to New Yorkers to come to the defense of their city. There was a report to the governor that a British fleet could pass by Sandy Hook. There was forts, batteries and blockhouses constructed on nearly every island and reef in New York's harbor and others along the coast. By 1814, New York was defended by 900 pieces of artillery and 25,500 men. The citizens did not panic when five British war vessels were spotted off the coast of Sandy Hook on August 18th, 1814. The British never came any closer. There was military action in upstate New York around the cities of Plattsburgh and Sackets Harbour. A number of historians believe that the fortifications constructed to protect New York's harbor was a major reason why the British never attacked. 
Daniel Parker Adjutant General recommends Colonel Nicholas Gray, for appointment in the Mississippi Territory. This letter was written to Josiah Meigs, commissioner of the United States General Land Office in Washington, D.C. Meigs forwarded the letter to President James Madison on March 17, 1815. Parker writes " Without suggesting anything to the prejudice of the other candidates I think I perform a duty to a brave and meritorious officer of the army of the United States when I recommend Nicholas Gray Esqr. late Inspector General of the third military district which is respectfully submitted."  On “March 30, 1815, Nicholas Gray was appointed register of the land office in the Mississippi Territory”  Nicholas Gray was assigned to the district west of Pearl River, with its land office at Washington near Natchez, Ms.
4. ["Amongst My Best Men: African Americans and the War of 1812" by Gerald T Altoff]
5. " The Civil War of 1812" by Alan Taylor
7. [Image provided by: Library; Richmond, Va. Discovered by David Coffey of Dublin, Ireland ]
8. [Fold3: Letters Received by The Office of The Adjutant General. 1805 - 1821]
9. [ Fold3: Letters Received by The Office of The Adjutant General. 1805 - 1821]
10. [Trinity College Library Dublin, Ireland researched by Paula Hayes]
12. [Trinity College Library Dublin, Ireland researched by Paula Hayes]
13.[ Fold3: Letters Received by The Office of The Adjutant General. 1805 - 1821]
14. [U.S. National Archives Washington, D.C.]
15. [ Fold3: Letters Received by The Office of The Adjutant General. 1805 - 1821]
16. [The War of 1812 U.S. War Department Correspondence, 1812-1815 by John C. Fredriksen]
18. [U.S. National Archives Washington, D.C.]
19. [ " The Civil War of 1812" by Alan Taylor]
20. [U.S. National Archives Washington, D.C].
21. [ Fold3: Letters Received by The Office of The Adjutant General. 1805 - 1821]
22. [ Fold3: Letters Received by The Office of The Adjutant General. 1805 - 1821]
26. [The Public Papers of Daniel D Tompkins, Governor of New York, 1807-1817, Volume 2]
27.[ Fold3: Letters Received by The Office of The Adjutant General. 1805 - 1821]
29. [Fold3: Letters Received by The Office of The Adjutant General. 1805 - 1821]
31. [”The fortification of New York Harbor" by Thomas W Matteo, Staten Island Historian]
32. [ U.S. National Archives, Washington, D.C.]