Harriet Hackley to Catharine Wistar Bache

Since the receipt of your kind letter my dear friend I have been very ill, which must plead my excuse for having so long delay’d to answer it. my health is now restored, or nearly so, & with pleasure I hasten to thank you for your prompt attention to my wishes—Poor Don Felix! I am truly sorry for him, would to heaven it was in my power to serve him in any way, I have not heard from him for some time & greatly fear his situation is worse even than it appears to be, I shall write to him very soon; I know [. . .] he is an ill temper’d man, & unwilling to oblige or serve any one I fear. who is the Spanish Minister? not Onis, I have heard that he quited the U.S. some time ago—if it is Onis, I know him, & will venture to write, it can do no harm at least, tho’ I do not flatter myself that my interest is sufficient to be of much service to anyone.

You ask me my friend whether I am permanently settled.—I wish it was possible for me to answer you satisfactorily; I do not expect under existing circumstances to return to Spain, & hope that my husband may be able to return to me before the end of the War, but my prospects are uncertain (plans I have none) the state of the case is exactly this, Mr Hackleys business renders it necessary for him to remain in Europe, (how long I know not) my duty confines me to Virginia, my children look to me alone for protection, & cost it what it may I will never forsake them! I should condemn myself as a wretch unworthy the protection of heaven if I was capable of forsaking them to gratify the desire of being with their Father. Alas! it is a severe trial! but I have borne it now three years & I trust strength will be granted me to support myself with dignity for a longer period, if it should be necessary. the call for fortitude now is much greater than formerly, I hear very seldom from Cadiz, & few of my letters arrive there in safety; but thank God! I have heard lately, & will look forward with hope that the same hand which protected one ship & brought her in safety may also guide others containing information so necessary to my peace.

Can you tell me anything of Mrs Meade? poor woman I have felt great uneasiness on her account, the last news I had of her Husband he was in the common jail in Cadiz; you have probably heard the circumstances of the affair, he offended the Spanish Government it seems, & was arrested by their order. I am truly sorry for it.

The girls are not with me just now, but my little ones send you a kiss. adieu my dear Mrs bache, & believe me most sincerely

your friend
H Hackley
RC (PPAmP: Catharine Wistar Bache Papers); dateline beneath signature; addressed: “Mrs Catherine Bache Philadelphia”; endorsed by Bache: “Mrs Hackley”; stamped; postmarked C[. . .], Virginia, 26 Feb.
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Harriet Hackley
Catharine Wistar Bache
Date Range
February 17, 1813