|William Cumming, Petersburg, [Va?] to [Rev. Andrew Craig, Lisburn?].
|Irish Emigration Database
|Petersburg, Virginia, USA
|Lisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
|Rev. Andrew Craig
|son-in-law - father-in-law
|T 1475 pp.78-79: Copied by Permission of Miss A. McKisack, 9, Mount Pleasant, Belfast.
|The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
|Document added by JM 02:09:1993.
|Petersburg. 3rd. August 1812.
An event that you have so long feared has at length
taken place. War was declared by Congress on the 18th June,
against Great Britain, although contrary to the wishes and
expectations of a great majority of the people of Property in
this country. I believe it was a last effort of the party in
power brought about with a hope of keeping themselves in, but
of all others it is in my opinion calculated best to hurl
them from their seats. Indeed we cannot reasonably calculate
on an establishment of a perfect understanding till our present
rulers are turned out and the genuine friends of the country,
the Washington party, are brought into power. It is much to be
hoped that so desirable an event may not be far distant. Indeed,
I cannot believe that the good sense of the people of this
country will permit the party in power to govern them much longer,
nor do I think there is any danger of an alliance with
France, although I firmly believe Mr. Madison would like such
a measure, but he will not in my opinion attempt so bold a
The mercantile part of the community, the New England States
particularly, will be dreadfully injured by the War, they aremuch the greatest shipowners, four-fifths of which is now
abroad, and nearly all of them have and will fall into the hands
of Great Britain: already many have been captured, last New York
Gazette contains a list of seventeen valuable ships that have
been taken off our coast and sent to Halifax. This is a fine
harvest for officers of the ships on this station. One of our
national vessals [vessels?] has already been taken, and great fears are
entertained for Commodore Kaye of this squadron, they sailed
about forty days ago in pursuit of a Jamaica fleet, and since
then John Bull has mustered a superior force on the coast, expecting
to intercept him and his booty.
Notwithstanding the hostility of our Government to Great
Britain, yet I cannot bring myself to believe that the war
will be of long duration, it is so much the interest of both
nations to be at peace and in habits of friendship that I
hope and believe the present contest will soon be at an end.
I was happy to learn by your sundry letters to Mary
that you had quite recovered and that the family enjoyed good
health. I most sincerely hope this will long continue, and
that in the course of a few years we shall all meet again in
our native country.
Please make my kind love to Margaret, Rachel, and
James, who am, dear Sir,
Received and forwarded by your obedient servant