War of 1812: "The sound of war is so familiar to us"

In October 1813 near Mention, Ohio, an American settler named Garrit Bras wrote to his uncle who lived in Massachusetts. He detailed news about the family and neighbors and the prices for agricultural crops, along with a paragraph about conflicts during the War of 1812. He mentioned the Battle of Lake Erie, Commodore Perry, General Harrison, and Tecumseh. 

The spelling in this transcription is original; some punctuation has been added in brackets and a couple of unidentified words are noted with a bracketed question mark.

Menton, Oct. 29th 1813

Dear Uncle

It is with the greatest pleasure that I take this opportunity of writing to you by mail not having any other opportunity to send— We all enjoy very good health at present and hope the same Blessing rests with you and your family and with all the rest of our relations & neighbors— We received your kind letter that you sent by Mr. Bates and was happy to hear of your good health and prosperity—it has ben a very healthy time here with us but we hear that many of our kind Neighbours has been surround[?] by death and likewise of the of the Death of Ely Matthews—We have no news to write more than what you have heard 'tis likely—

The sound of war is so familiar to us that it has become an old story we are in no danger from the Indians any more than you are in Chester[.] the defeat of the English by Admiral Perry has completely put us our of all danger[.] Gen Harrison has had a battle with the indians & conquord[.] it is said that Tecumsie the Indian general Brother to the Prophet was killed in the battle we have heard that all the Indian tribes but one have sued for a peace—

Produce is very high Corn one Dollar Rye six shillings Potatoes four shillings and they fetch $2.50 in Detroit. Whiskey 9/6 by the Barrel—we have harvested our Corn an shall have about one hundred and sixty Bushels & about 50 bushels of potatoes we have seven hogs four of them a-fatting and shall put up one or two more. Corn did not turn out very well owing to the unaccountable wet season[.] we have some wheat and have sowd four acres of rye and shall sow two acres of wheat—We shall begin to harvest your part of the corn in two or three days—flax and wool is scarce himp [hemp] is plenty and likewise which is made here whatever store articles you want purchase them there for the merchants here are extortioners. If you have any spare money lay it out in combs and thimbles and such trifles and by a little trouble you will double your money[.] Fetch what ever iron ware you have too it is not so good here and very dear—

Mother wants you should fetch her some steel thimbles— I think it very strange that you have not wrote one a letter but it is no more strange than true.

So I must conclude by wishing you a good journey an health we all send our good wishes to you

Yours, Bras

N/B there is three dollars that is coming to me from you if you will by me a ploughshare that will weigh about 25 lb well. . . and what there is lacking I will pay you for—do fetch me that with out fail for there is none to be got here—I could have fetched double what I did therefore do not be bashful about furthering your trade. H.



War of 1812 mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. 1813 Oct. 29, Garrit Bras, 2 pages.