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Cynthia Barker

New Englanders who migrated to Ohio left their friends and families behind. Often, letters back to friends simply spoke of the mundane occurrences on the frontier, but certainly some may have frightened their readers. By the 19th century, New England settlers did not have to worry about Indian attacks, but for the new Ohioans, this was a never-ending fear, and only one of many new concerns with which they would have to contend.

A colored engraving illustrates 
the early Ohio landscape

Cynthia Andrews married Eliphalet Barker in 1813. The letter excerpted here was written by Cynthia to her friend Julia Buttles on September 19, 1813. Cynthia and her husband and Julia all had left Worthington, Franklin County, Ohio and were in New England, so Cynthia referred to news that had just arrived of her friends in Ohio. Julia Buttles, daughter of an early Ohio settler, married Job Case, also of Worthington and went back there to live.

Dear friend
...Noah had a letter this day from his father Griswold....Emily Griswold is taken again with the fever, Nancy Taylor lay at the point of death; Hezekiah Benedictís wife is dead; Henry Willcox had moved down from the forks of Whetstone for fear of the Indians; his wife was taken stone blind, and lay at the point of death. Luther Caseís wife sent for the Doctor the day before he wrote--he says that Doctor Wills has more business than he can do--The Indians are getting to be very thick near them; they have come as near as Lewis Settlement on Allum Creek not ten miles from Worthington (3 nights before he wrote, which was August 30th) guns have been fired on both sides but not any of our people killed, it is supposed that one or two of the Indians were killed by the appearance of blood, the days after for there were two different times, and places that they were fired at; but [Ezra?] G. says that our people are in full chase after them, and he believes they will soon be glad to clear out; just as he had finished his letter, news arrived of the defeat of our fleet on the lower lake with the loss of two of our vessels sunk and two taken--"worse & worse"... (Foster, 136)

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