On September 12, 1814, Herman Cope, a merchant at 76 Sharp Street, wrote to his Uncle in Philadelphia and shared the news that his family had fled the city:
As our friends in Philada may feel anxious to hear from us at a moment when all is threatened I avail myself of a few moments before the mail closes to inform thee that all our families have been so fortunate as to meet a conveyance some few miles in the country where I am in hopes they will be safe – our store goods and some household articles are sent out – The British came into the River yesterday – their forces variously … from 30 to 60 sail – the wind … away they anchored about 10 miles … the fort – where they have been landing their men all this morning- the lands force not known. It is supposed an attack will be made by land and water and the fate of the city decided In 24 hours – all the militia have marched.
In haste [then] &c.
In January, Herman Cope had hoped for peace with Britain in time to import dry-goods to sell in the fall. Clearly his hopes had not been realized.