The Letters of William Cullen Bryant - Vol. 1

By William Cullen Bryant II; Thomas G. Voss et al. | Go to book overview

seem angry that the General should think the safety of his [pitiful?] village of more consequence than that of their corn & potatoes-- Those however who stay at home are the more discontented-- The soldiers are said to enjoy themselves wonderfully & some of them swear that they would not come back if they could have an opportunity-- They have been attentively supplied with every comfort & convenience which their situation could possibly admit of-- They are established at the rope-walks-- We are very anxious to hear from Congress--our paper of today in which we expected the President's message failed. 5 I believe everybody knows what kind of talk to expect from the mouth of His Imbecility, if he may be so titled--but the eyes of an attentive nation are fixed upon their Legislature to see what steps they will take upon this momentous occasion.

How does a southern autumn agree with your constitution? I hope it has not given you the fever & ague which we who dwell on the salubrious sands of the Old Colony dread so much. It is bitter cold today with us, and I have several times regretted that you were not here to enjoy it-- The Judge and his family are I believe, well-- 6

[unsigned]

MANUSCRIPT: NYPL-GR (draft) PUBLISHED (in part): Life, I, 125-126.

1.
State militia general Nathaniel Goodwin of Plymouth. See "A Description of Bridgewater, 1818," Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Second Series, 7 ( 1818), 165.
2.
Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, commander of the British fleet, had reported to Secretary of State James Monroe his order to Gen. Robert Ross, commander of the invading land forces, to "destroy and lay waste such towns and districts upon the coast" as he might find vulnerable. Morison, History of the American People, pp. 392-396, passim.
3.
Caleb Strong ( 1745-1819, Harvard 1764), then governor of Massachusetts.
4.
Illegible. Of the militiamen Bryant names, only his cousin Ben Howard has been identified. Cullen does not mention other cousins, Oliver Bryant and Oliver Snell, then also in the militia. See Bradford Kingman, History of North Bridgewater ( Boston, 1886), pp. 247-248.
5.
President Madison's message to a special session of Congress on September 20 urged the need for money and men to fight another campaign. See James B. Richardson , A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1897, Published by Authority of Congress (Washington, 1899), I, 547-551.
6.
Probably Judge Daniel Howard of West Bridgewater, a neighbor of Baylies' and cousin of Dr. Peter Bryant. "Youth," p. 159.

13. To Peter Bryant

Bridgewater September 30 1814

Dear Sir

Yours of August 30 I received the eighth of this month. 1 Your determination was what I expected. Yet I am rather of opinion that if I do not go to Boston this winter I shall hardly go at all. If I am admitted next

-36-

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