Maria Austin to Moses Austin, 06-23-1812

Summary: Anxiety over war. Danger from Indians. Price of lead in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia June the 23

Notwithstanding I wrote my much beloved Husband, on the, 22—Inst. Informing him of the Declaration of War—the great Anxiety of my mind is such I must again take up my pen, to beg and Intreat you not to be lulled into a fatal Security that there is no danger to be apprehended from the Indians—oh my loveing Husd. my pen is Inadiquate to the task of Describeing the distress of my mind on this Subject and the danger of my Sons Voyage, I think he has had time to Arrive in New York Provided he has met with no delays, but oh two well I know the great Uncertainty of a passage from N Orleans to the Atlantic States and if he is so Unfortunate as to be detained at the Mouth of the river, as I was, it will be a Maracal, if he Escapes being taken—

Commode. Roggers went out the day the Express arrived in N Y - and the next day brought in a British Merchantman—this will give the Allarm and in a short time we may Expect their armed Vessels from Hallifax on our Co[a]st, who will Capture every american Vessel theay can find—on the other hand if he is so fortunate as to Escape, his Cargo will turn out well, as lead is at this time foreteen dollars pr Hundred this together with what you could send up the Ohio would secure a Sufficiency in case you should be Obligh'd to Abandon the Mines—which if one half is true, that is Stated in the papers, you must sertainly do—if you have any regard to your one [own] safety—and oh my dear Husband what will become of my poore Sister and hur helpless famaly, also Elias and his dear little famaly in short the hole Neighbourhood will be Exposed to savage Barbarity—it tis a Meloncholy truth that the Indian tribes boath on the MississippiMissouri and Wabash, are only wateing for the Prophet to give the word—to Commece hostillitys and that the Combination is Extensive, beyond anything that has ever before Occurd, and you must now be Sensibly—that it will be the Interrest of the British Government to give every Encouragement to the Indians to Joine them and the powerful Influence theay have over the different tribes, is two well known, for me to say any thing on that head—and I have only to lament, with others the Unhappy prospect this War, Opens to out View—it has come like an Electrick shock upon the greater part of the people who have been two Sanguine, in regard to peace Measures—but now theay know that war is began, every man Seemes animated for the welfare of his Country and as the United States are so illy prepared for the Contest—theay see the Necessity of being United and Exerting themselves in doing that which will Save their Country—may heaven Assist them in a Just cause and Change the hearts of the Indians in favor of the white people is my ardent prayr—I informd you in my last, that Sister Becca had come to town on purpose to see me—an event has taken place that Obliges hur to return Emeditly to Dellaware—it tis the illniss of Mr Berry— he was sceased two days passed with the Inflamatory fever and he was so ill when the letter was wrote, the doctors had but little hopes of his Recovery—I have not Informed Sister of his Situation, as it rains this Afternoon as hard as it can poor—Mr Peter Berry will have a Carriage provided for hur Earely in the Morning, when I shall Communicate the Distressing Contents of the letter—I have little hopes of hur finding him allive poor Becca, she has hur share of trouble in this world though if it pleases god to take him, I think she will be Able to Manage nearly as well without him, provided she can Recover hur health and he leaves hur free from debt I have this moment Received a letter from our good friend H Austin he Expresses the greatest anxiety for the Arrival of Stephen he laments that he did not start sooner, he says lead is forteen dollars and much wanted—he was Apprehensive I was out of pocket money and Inclosed me 80 dollars, which was very kind and Considerate in him— indeed he has in every Instance beene Attentive and friendly to me and mine—he says Emily is in good health—god grant my dear little boy may be preserved and Escape the fever which has prevaild in the Neighbourhood where he Resides—of this I informed you in my last and great will be my anxiety till I hear from him again—I try all that lays in my power to keep up my Sperits and hope for the best your Situation and my sister Peggy's Creates more Unhappyness in my breast than any thing else and I hope you will Omit no Opportunity of writing what will give me the smallest Comfort and Consolation on the Alarming Subject of Indians Affaires—if things is as bad as I have reason to think theay will, cannot you get a place in Kentuek—where you could Come to with J Austin and where your famaly could joine you this fall pray write and let me know the true state of things in your quarter poor Sister, Sympathises with me in all my trouble and Anxiety of Mind, I have beene with hur since she has beene in town and hur Company has kept up my spirits—but to Morrow she must leave me to attend perhaps a dying Husband—she joines me in Affectionate love alid best wishes to yon and Sister Peggy—my love to all Enquiring friends and believe me to be your ever Affectionate and faithfull wife—

Maria Austin

[Addressed:] Mr Moses Austin, P. M. Mine A Burton Upper Louisianna.