Moses Austin to Emily Austin, 06-20-1812

Summary: Moses Austin to Emily Austin, June 20, 1812.

Durham Hall, June 20—1812.

My Dear Emily,

I am now bringing you in debt to me in the letter writing.—this makes three I have written you, but I have such a pleasure in thus holding a communication with my only Daughter, that if I were to write twenty, without an Answer, I would write with the same pleasure again, your Dear Mother's last letter is Dated in Philadelphia, she says Emily is so much engaged in examining the strange things of the Great City, that she cannot write at this time at all— all is well you are doing just as you should do, now is the time to examine well the things of nature and art, every thing you see will teach you the duty and obligation we are under to our god and society—it will prove to you how much man is capable of doing, when his mind is properly improved, it proves to you the great and unbounded Works of Nature, its the strongest proof that all things in this life are under an all wise Creator, who has ordered all things to answer his great intentions, no place exhibits man in a more striking point of View, then in a large City—each day calls his attention to some act of Duty towards his fellow men and proves his good or bad inclination towards his suffering neighbour. One of the greatest duties enjoined on man is to do as he would be done by, give unto others what he expects others will give unto him, the rule strictly & frankly adheared to, will always produce friends and admirers in every country and among every Nation, it also produces an internal Sattisfaction which nothing can take from you—let me recommend the rule of conduct to you my Emily—its a foundation on which you may build with safety, and happiness will be the sure consequence, the pillars of a female character are Truth and Virtue, with a modest deportment to all but especially towards her inferiors—let your Deportment always be courteous to such whose situation in life has rendered them unequal in, information or personal acquirements— such, if persons of Common feeling have mortifications in abundance without receiving them from those that have the happy capacity to please and enjoy the works of nature and art—therefore always think that you are only doing your Duty when you make all such persons easy and satisfied in your Company—bear in mind that if you have a talent inferior [Superior] to an Other that its your duty to exercise it with that reserve that will give Offence to no person, however low their situation and condition in life, for altho. you have now a Father that takes great pleasure in labouring that you may enjoy the advantages, yet the time will come when that Father will cease to labour for his much esteemed Emily and altho. the sweet [sweat] that moistens his temples are so many drops of delight when he contemplates that he labour for his Emily and her Mother—they will End, and then O, then, will you require all your Exertions to rise superior to the frowns of the world—should your situation be such as hundreds of Others are and which is many times the lott of the most exalted to-day rich in the things of this life, to-morrow a beggar, ere this reaches you I trust you will have the satisfaction of seeing your brother who if nothing has detained him must be in the City of New York or Philadelphia this event will hasten the time of your return to Louisiana and altho. I shall be much pleased & Delighted to again see my Emily, yet when I reflect on the Change into the Country it greaves me that my situation detains me in this Country, It must be so, and she must Submit—I did hope that the establishing the charter at Washington would have made such a change in my situation that my stay in this Country would be short, but like all Other events in this World, they have terminated differently and I must submit to my disappointment.

Your Mother mentioned that your stay in Philadelphia would be short, that you return again to New York with Miss Hall to spend an Other quarter under her tuition. I am satisfied that my Emily should lay up a store of information, its Riches that cannot be taken from her, and should dame fortune turn her heel against you she cannot touch your store of Information It is a treasure no reverse of situation can deprive you of—therefore drink deep at the fountain of knowledge. It prepares you to discharge the duties of a child, a friend and wife

Accept my Dear Emily of the warm and affectionate esteem of your Father and be assured that nothing can give him so much satisfaction as to see his child return to his fond embrace—

Moses Austin [Rubric]