John Bowman to Stephen F Austin, 08-05-1813

Summary: War politics in Kentucky.

Fayette County Ky, August 5th 1813

My old Friend,

I once again have taken up my pen to address you; to inform you that I have not quite forgotten you, and to make my apology for not writing long since—The Reason is that I have never heard where you were, since I had the pleasure of receiving your letter dated in July, 1812, written from some place in Louisiana but I could not tell precisely where; until I fortunately met our friend William Bates in Lexington ten or twelve days ago, who for the first time informed me that you had returned to the mines; I had always previous to this information been impressed with a belief that you had gone on to the Eastward as you wrote me—and of course I knew not where a letter would have found you—This my dear friend is the reason you have not often heard from me; and not (as you may have supposed) that our former intimacy and friendship are forgotten by me—no Stephen true friendship with me is of a more lasting duration, and cannot thus easily be forgotten, though we have been for a long time separated by the distance of some hundred Miles, and scarcely heard of each other; and though it may be that fate has decreed that we shall never again see each other, yet still you my friend shall live bright in my recollection, neither time nor distance shall ever efface from my mind the thoughts of that friend, with whom I have spent so many agreeable hours, whose kind attention to me while in a strange country has been unequaled; think not that these are the effusions of a mind that is disposed to flatter, far be it from me to sport with your feelings by attempting to flatter you; a grateful recollection of past occurrences has drawn from me this candid declaration of the high esteem in which I hold you

I might here have closed my letter which was commenced principally with a view of renewing that friendly correspondence which heretofore existed between us but before I conclude I will give you the politicks of the day about Lexington—We are divided into to parties, the Federal and Republican or in other words the peace party and the war Party—ever since the declaration of war (and I believe long before) the Federal party have violently opposed the measures of the Government, with what view I am at a loss to know, unless they expect by their great opposition to render the present administration unpopular at a time when our armies have met with so many defeats to the north; there by expecting to put our leading Characters out of office, that they may come into power themselves, and in order to effect this object I believe there are some characters base enough to sacrafice our Republican institutions an[d] upon the ruins thereof erect a government, the Spirit and genius of which I think would be more congenial to a foreign Clime—I would not wish to be understood as believing that there are many in this quarter who would go thus far, but there are a number (whose motives I cant help thinking are pure and innocent) who have united themselves to that party, the principal Leaders of which would go to any lengths in order to put down the Republicans—our Election which closed yesterday will go to shew the strength of the two parties in Fayette. John Pope who had disgraced himself by his opposition to the war, came forward as a candidate to represent the people of Fayette in the next Legislature; he met the fate he deserved, that is the people chose to let him stay at home. Genl. R. S. Russell between whom, and Pope, the contest lay had 1208 [or 1268] and Pope 434 thus you see the strength of the two parties here—

The Executive of Kentucky has been called on by Genl Harrison for as many men as he can furnish, who are to rendevous at newport the last of this month—there will be volunteers a plenty, and Shelby takes the command of them—I shall go myself—Adieu my friend for a while—

John Bowman [Rubric]

Mr Stephen F Austin

P. S. My Warmest respects to your Mother and sister and all enquiring Friends

J. B.

[Addressed:] Stephen F. Austin Esqr Mine A Burton Territory Missouri Politeness of Mr Wm Bates.