Moses Austin to Andrew Henry, 07-04-1806

Summary: Demand for protection in retaining a 3-pounder.

Mine a Burton July 4th 1806

Dear Sr.

Your Note is rec'd by little John. This is not a moment to speek of reason since reason appears Not to be the Order of the Day. You say that the Officers of the Battalion are determin'd to take the piece of Ordenance by force Unless Other wise given Up. I have been in possession of this peice of Ordenance five years. It was brought to this place at my Expence. at my expence put in Order. I am Accountable for the peice when called on by proper Authority. I now ask you by what Authority the officers of this place call on me to give it up they may as well demand any part of my property as the Cannon and say I insult them by not not giving it up to them.

I have commemorated this Day Twenty years and many times at my House, pray Sr is it in this I have insult'd them If an Insult has been given they are the men that have give the Insult

I am always dispos'd to meet my fellow men on friendly terms to arrange misunderstandings with temper and reason but Mr Henry do you Expect I am to be forced into measures No Sr. I now tell you that If my House is forced by armed men so be It, I can only stand on the Defensive.

You are pleas'd to say you are this Day A Soldier but doth that take from you your Authority as a peace officer I think not and my Dear Sr. Remember you must be Accountable for this Day[s] outrage If any is Offered to me or my property

Reason is and shall alway[s] be my guied and on Reasonable terms only am I to be Your, 0[bedient Servant.]

[Moses Austin.]

[To Major Andrew Henry.]