Stephen Austin to James Austin, 09-12-1798

Summary: Yellow fever epidemic. Purchase of horses, etc.

New Haven 12th Sept. 1798

Dear Sir:

I wrote Charles from this Place the Post before the Last informing of our arival here with Mrs Austin Nancy and Juliana being obligd to fly from Philada again from the fever which now rages in that Most unfortunate City with greater violence than it Ever has done before the City is almost wholly Deserted 40 Thousand of the Inhabitants are soposd to have Left it and the Remainder Incampd around the City in Tents and Sheads Built to Keep them from the Weather Although such Number have Left the City yet the Daly Cases admitted at the City Hospital are 90 to 100 and the Deaths average About 50 a day but what adds to this Misfortune is that the Fever Rages also at New York and Near half the people have also Left that City—and at New London also it is yet worse the People have all Fled from that Place before which the Deaths were Greater than in Philad so that it appears as though this Country is to be ravaged by this Devouring Pestilence—Two of the Banks have Left Philada a[nd] gone to German Town and all the Publick offices are gone to Trenton the Bank of Pennsylvania was Robd Just before they Left Town of 150 Thousand Dollars in Bank Notes— 1000 Dollars is offerd as a Reward to Detect the Villiens— Indeed Nothing Can equal the Genl. Distress of that City as to the News Papers Charles Says you have had None Since I Left you I sopose the Printer is Dead or Fleed I know his Brother Sam Smith is Dead with the Fever three others of the Printers are Stopd they stayd untill the Fever Overtook them—this unfortunate Sickness will Prevent my shiping the articles I intended untill I can Return which I fear will not be untill the Last of October when it will be so Late that I think to Purchase a Waggon and Horses and Load it with goods and send it on by Land to you I Can Purchase Good Stout Horses at Philad when I return Very Low at 50 Dolls a Head and as good a Horse as Charles was at 50 Dollar also and unless you Can Purchase Mr Sanders Waggon and Horses Nearly at this rate it will not do to Promise Cash Nor Lead which is as good as Cash— I should Sopose you may at this Season Imploy the Waggon about you on Such Terms as to anser as well as to Send our oan Waggon as to this do the best you Can— I have ordered 28 Sacks of a Salt from Mr Pollard of Norfolk to be Sent to Mr Saml Paine to be forwarded to Lynch bourgh—which is for you to Put up your Beef and Poark which take good Care to have well salted—and get all you Can—I am Sorry Charles has been so unfortunate as to Loose his horse but this I expected when he told me he rode him so hard that extreem hot weather I wonder he had not killd himself and all this for Nothing sopose he had not have Seen Thomson—No Consequences Sufficient for Such Imprudence to him Self—I have here Inclosd you 100 Dollars to help you along— and if you find it Necessary you may Draw on Me at 30 Days for what you may want if this Cant be Done inform me wheather I shall forward you more money or not—as in Paying Part Cash and Goods should Sopose you may Imploy Waggon and I want all the Shot Rushd on to Linchbourgh Possible that it may be ready at Richmond to Ship before the River Closes—and write Mr Paine to Keep it not Sell it as it will bring 250 Dollar pr Ton this Winter at Philad— all our family Join in Love to Charles Self and Peggy with yours affectionately

S Austin

I hope you will have all the Fields Sowd with Eye as I Proposd and as to the Clover Seed I shall forward that but if you had it it must [not] be Sowed untill April Next this I find is the best time when it must be Bold in which will not hurt the Eye—

[Addressed:] Mr James Austin Post Master Austin Ville Wythe County Virginia.