David Offley to sister about his plans if there is peace with England



Date Written

Feb. 24, 1814

David Offley was 34 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Mary Offley, was 20 when it was received.

David Offley died 24 years, 7 months, 10 days after writing this.
It was written 209 years, 7 months, 11 days ago.
It was a Thursday.

Lisbon [Portugal]
24th Feby [1814]

My dear Sister,

I learn there is a vessel departing from neighboring port for America, and altho’ I have wrote you so frequently of late yet will remember my promise of writing by every opportunity to let you have my news. So very uncertain is everything in which I am connected in this world, that I know not what will be my destination from this. When I wrote you last, I expected to have left before now but the last packet from England brings such accounts of a probable peace with England, I am afraid to move. There is, however one consolation for me—should that desired event take place, altho’ I may be disappointed in my present views—yet the great benefit my establishment in Smyrna will thereby receive, will much more than compensate me for it. I expect every moment to receive letters from England which will in some measure determine my plans. I have not one line from Mr. Woodmass, of whom I am very anxious to hear. I understand, however, generally that our business has gone on well during my absence.

I have met here the brother of my much esteemed Mrs. Morton, with whom I am quite intimate. Many other of my European friends are here, but still I spend most of my time in my chamber. I have lost all relish for society. I long once more to be at Smyrna. Then, I hope I may find some consolation in the kindness of friends I much esteem—confident as I am that I have never left my dear children in such good hands as the present yet cannot I help feeling great anxiety on their account—When I get to Smyrna, if I in my absence is likely to continue for some time, and a peace with England should been taken place, think most probable I shall send for some of my dear boys to join me; their company would be the greatest happiness I can hope for in this world.

I enclose the promised letter for Richard which before you deliver him, mind to seal it. I invite him my dear Mary to make you his confidant try and gain his confidence and thinking it will be in your power to be very useful to him. My little namesake, I am sure he loves me and will be a good boy, and our dear little Ann, fail not to talk to her often of me. Let me be the promised reward for all her goodness, but never the threat of punishment.

Remember me most affectionately to our dear Mother tell her how much I love her and Rachel. I suppose about this time is handing the maternal roof. I feel happy in her good prospects. Give my love and prayers for their happiness, remember to give my love to our cousin Pamela & my best respects to Mr. Hughes and to John tho’ last not least give my love and to his Mary tell John I never met a finer flock of merino sheep in my travels thro’ Spain, without thinking how well they would suit his ‘complaint’. I hope he will go on improving his farm and that when I have the happiness to see him again shall be able to greet him with—well done thou good and faithful farmer.

On a certain most melancholy subject, I have promised you, I have promised myself, never more to speak—to keep this promise costs me much. What is uppermost in my thoughts, I may say always in them, either sleeping or waking, it is difficult to keep from speaking of to a dear sister. However, god I trust will grant me strength & patience. I have not merited my destiny.

I hope you will have some opportunity to write me, & when they present, you will never fail me to write me--My friends in London, Lisbon, & Cadiz will always know where to forward them. I think, however most [?] be on my way to Smyrna ere long.

Adieu my dear sister may you be as happy as you merit to be & the constant prayers of your most affectionate & most unfortunate brother.


You cannot think of the difficulty of forwarding letters—I have been obliged to open this to take out Richard’s letter he will however show it to you. I dare say before this gets to hand it will be opened again—patience.

Scans of Letter