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Pipe Creek Frederick County Oct. 5 1814
My Dear Friend,
I received your two letters the other day as I passed through George Town. I knew your anxiety to hear from us in these alarming time would make a letter acceptable but I have been in such perpetual hurry and confusion that sitting down to write was quite out of the question.
I took a letter for you from here to George Town which I put in the Post office there the day before the memorable flight from Bladensburg. From that time to this I have hardly been a day at home and could write you such an account of my adventures as would tire us both. Ridgeley however tells me that he suspects you mean to visit him this month, from your asking whether he will be at home, and I shall therefore have the pleasure, I trust, of talking away a night or two with you.
I have just got my family all collected together again and am about returning home. My children, except the youngest, have been here and Mrs Key (who insisted on getting as near George Town as she could) has been staying at a tavern on the road and occasionally in George Town and Fred[erick] Town. I sent some of my affects out of Town and got Mr. Addison to take charge of your papers and mine. Your gun is also at his house. You have no doubt heard how providentially we escaped in George Town. You will be surprised to hear that I have since then spent eleven days in the British Fleet. I went with a flag to endeavor to save poor old Dr. Beanes a voyage to Halifax, in which we fortunately succeeded. They detained us after their attack on Baltimore, and you may imagine what a state of anxiety I endured. Sometimes, when I remembered that it was there the declaration of this abominable war was received