Seth M. Hunt to Moses Austin, 09-24-1809
Summary: The embargo.
My Dear Friend,
The Proclamation of the President of the U. States again inhibiting Intercourse with this Country, has arrived and excites the most lively apprehension in the minds of the merchants connected with the U States—great fears are expressed that War will be the consiquence of the refusal of this Government to ratify Mr Erskines agreement)-— for myself, I am not without a confidant hope, that Mr. Jackson will satisfactorily adjust all differences and place the relations of the two Countries on the most friendly footing—
Owing to the high price of Cloths—the uncertain continuance of Intercourse and the general unwillingness expressed by the merchants and manufacturers to ship Goods to the U States on Credit— at least, on such reasonable terms of Credit as to promise a fair profit on their sale in America—I had therefore detirmined to postpone any purchases, until confidence and a good understanding should be restored between the two Countries—Nothing could have proven more fortunate—since it would have been impossible for me to have shiped the Goods before the arrival of the Presidents Proclamation which prohibits their entry into the U. States and I should have found myself under the greatest embarrassment, had I made the purchases and been under acceptences for the payment of the amount in 12. or 15 months—while the Goods remained in England—locked up in the ware houses of Liverpool and London—
For this season your orders must go unexecuted and how far it may be in my power to execute them by the Spring Vessells (should intercourse be restored) will principally depend on the restoration of confidence—I have the prospect—nay almost the promise of the support of a most respectable House-—who I have every reason to believe will grant me the aid of their credit and recommendation—if so—I shall meet with no difficulty in obtaining every credit that I may desire—
Your letter of the
For some weeks all intercourse with France has been impossible— but as the Grand Expedition has now returned from the Scheldt— I am in hopes that some opportunity of getting to Holland will offer in a few days—if so, I shall certainly embrace it—but I shall write you again before I go.—