Isaac L. Baker to Stephen F. Austin, 08-05-1810

Summary: Transylvania University. Student gossip.

On Sunday morning the 5th day of August 1810, the nine oclock bell having just rung, Isaac L Baker of Lexington Kentucky being somewhat crossed in love and bedeviled by the girls determines to sit down and before he goes to meeting to write a good sociable letter to his friend Stephen F Austin of Upper Louisiana thinking thereby he may greatly relieve his own disturbed spirit and not prove detrimental to his good friend by answering his friendly epistle of June 10th

My good friend Stephen, Thus will I still address you—Dark indeed and mysterious to my understanding are those obscure hints you threw out in your letter. You thus address me—" You no doubt visit very often at Mrs P—'s and so forth. M. S. have (I am convinced)" say you " long ere this yielded their influence over you[r] he[a]rt to that bright and heavenly luminary and so forth."

What in the d—l you meant I could not devine and being anxious to know I hopped on my horse (for I have one of my own now) and rode out post haste six miles to the cave and asking the elder of the divinites of that place what it meant when I was told it was an intimation that I was anxious to pursue the same road to happiness which you wished to follow when here or in other word you suspected I had centered my hopes of happiness on the right side of a certain row as you go from University to town but neither at the place where you boarded nor at a lawyer's a silversmith's nor at Col Trottrer's. This explication of the mystery struck me with astonishment and almost made belive the fair translater had not a good and clear comprehension.

What that I—Baker—your friend—wished to stand between you and happiness—No, by the powers of dirt I could not believe you ever entertained such an idea of me.—I hope sir you will not impute to me any thing of this kind and even if the fair angels surmises were true I fear that you small tho sturdy and I tall and upright would bend before a powerful invader who is now under sail.— I long have expected the assault—but it might perhaps be improper to meddle with other people's affairs [so] far as to mention names so I will wave the subject till I see you in person—which I trust will not be more than eight weeks after you get this at farthest—

I received a letter from M A Heard about eight days since. He is undetermined when he shall visit Lexington again but expects it will be some time first. He lives in Russellville and appears well pleased with the pla[ce] and people

Our University is in a perfect state of tranquility has about 70 students who generally apply themselves pretty well— The professors are all in good health

Nothing comical going on at present in this country. Crops are very good and the Inhabitants healthy—

Notwithstanding you give such a poor description of the society in your part of the world I almost envy you your situation and feel an anxiety to be again with my parents, family, and friends in the Mississippi Backwoods for here there are so many things to puzzle a fellow's Brain and restrain his actions that but little satisfaction is seen; however I will stand it out this session then take a small breezing of about six months and return to Lexington again to my studies and continue about one year.

I was in Miss P. A. S. ____comp[any] last evening one or two hour's. She was [very] anxious to see your letter and says if I do not gratify her she will swear eternal indifference to me. S. that sweet provoking girl and her neighbor think you might at least have sent your respects to them. They are well and as beautiful and gay as ever—

Misses T. and M. E. accept your good wishes for their prosperity and desired me when next I wrote to let you know their friendship is not diminished in the least by absence and further that you may enjoy all the good things earth produces or heaven can bestow. If you were within whisper I might tell you a great many grievous things such as that S. from somethings which have been told her as coming from me is no more as Sociable and friendly as She used to be and something a cursed sight worse than all that—but my paper is almost filled so I will wind up by informing you I am well and remain your very sincere friend and well wisher

Isaac L. Baker

[Addressed:] Stephen Fuller Austin Esqr near St Geneveive Upper Louisiana