A Letter from Abram Maury
to Abram Maury

Williamson County Tennessee
~ 1820 ~

© 1997, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.

(There are two letters on this page)

Manuscript Postmark:
       Franklin T
Manuscript rate:
       25 and Mail
       Cadet A. P. Maury
       West Point, New York

Franklin Tennessee July 16th 1820
Dear Abram
       Not long since I had the pleasure of reading a letter from you to your mother, in which you complain of the negligence of your friends in not writing more frequently.
       To exculpate myself from the charge of negligence, and to give you a general account of late occurrences, as well as confer an obligation on your pen, is the design of the present communication.
       Of the few Incidences worth enumeration, I shall give you a preference of priority to the present call sessions of the legislature which commenced the 26th of last month & to which Joel Parrish was elected senator from this county, in consequence of the resignation of your father.
       The principle business of the session is to remedy some discrepancies in the late land bill, make some appropriations for the satisfaction of those who may be injured by the adjustments of the boundary line between this state and Kentucky and particularly to devise and put in operation some means by which the pecuniary embarrassments of the country may be alleviated.
       The house is now acting on a bill of the latter intent, which was presented by Grundy and favors the establishment of loan offices through the state with a Capital stock of $750, thousand, in bills to be warranted by the proceeds of un appropriated lands & in assurance of which the Public faith is pledged, this I think is unconstitutional but not withstanding the bill will undoubtedly pass. Gen. Jackson has been at Murphreesborough, and railed out with the loudest declamation against such an unconstitutional proceeding. He told the legislators that he would not be surprised if they were indicted for prugery, and that any 12 honest jurors would convict them, this excited the indignation of some of them to a high pitch, but no further.
       Huntsman told him the he,el [that he’ll] be dammed, if he did not make as much money as he could and spend it too if he chose.
       But let’s alter the subject and turn upon the Gals a while, for I’m sure a young man whose blood circulates as vigorously as yours must think about them often and would be glad to hear of them once in a while. As Sally is the one that pleases us the most lets talk some about her, she is in the country yet, her brother has come for her, but will not start down until September, she says that she wont marry me, I say so too and she will see the time when she will be very glad to get me, she is a fine and will be a handsome girl. Thinks a great deal of the ring and much more of the one who presented it. And requested me over and over that when I wrote to remember her to you both amicably and affectionately.
       Your Sister is at the legislature with Mrs Parrish, her health is tolerable, and she has an Alabama beau, viz, Doctr Anderson a clever Genteel young man, she has kick,d him once, but he has come to try again and will probably meet the same fate. Martha is at home quite healthy & your mother is statu Quo. Your relations are all well except Abram White who has been unwell but is now on the recovery. Chapman has not arrived & we have not heard from him since you arrived at Philadelphia, can you give any account of him? if you can for gods sake do it for his parents are very uneasy about him. --- Mary Old was married the other day to young Russel who used to go to the Harpeth academy. Nothing more but remain your Friend
Abram Maury
       Fontain Degraffenreid is here, he will go down this fall, is entirely off with Caroline. I have some notion of going down this fall.

A. Maury
Autograph of Abram Maury

       The author of this letter, Abram Poindexter Maury Sr, 1766 ~ 1825, is often mentioned as the father of Franklin Tennessee. Abram P. Maury Sr was a Tennessee State Senator from Williamson County. As noted in his letter, he had just resigned his office. He had been appointed as one of three commissioners to superintend the sale of land that had then been recently acquired from the Cherokee Nation. His wife was Martha Worsham, 1775 ~ 1844.
       The addressee of this letter is Abram Poindexter Maury Jr, 1801 ~ 1848. He later became a member of the U. S. Congress from Tennessee, 1835 ~ 1839. His wife was Mary E. T. Claiborne, 1806 ~1852.
       Joel Parrish was a cousin of Abram P. Maury Jr.
       “Grundy” is of course, Felix Grundy, the noted jurist and politician.
       “Huntsman” is Adam R. Huntsman, a Tennessee State Senator from the upper Cumberland region. He was holding office when this letter was written.
John Russell married Mary W. Old, 16 July 1820.

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot
Provenance: Tennessee Books and Autographs

A Letter to the Hon. Abram Maury
with Mention of Freeing Slaves

Williamson County Tennessee
~ 1837 ~

© 1997, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.

Cicular Black Postmark
       Franklin. Ten . . Nov 27 Manuscript:
       Hon. Abram P. Maury
Washington City, D.C.

Poplar Grove, Nov. 25th, 1837
My dear Cousin Abram,
       Obedient to your request, (in yours from Louisville, I write immediately on its arrival. Your suit was decided, the Friday after you left, of which cousin Mary has informed you. She learned, shortly after she wrote that it was Mr. Meigs intention to bring suit in behalf of the heirs immediately; she therefore thought it advisable, and was advised to set them at liberty and acted accordingly. Mr M. (not knowing how she had proceeded) sent the sheriff out for their names, and was much displeased to learn that he had been anticipated. They had all left for Nashville on yesterday, excepting Matilda’s Sam. Latitia requested that he should stay here until she could let his mother know that she could get him by sending or coming for him. Cousin Mary bears her lot like a woman: She suffer’d Joshua to come and assist his family off without venting any vindictive animadvertions, or showing the least disposition to do so. It is thot probable, that all, (together with Joshua) will aim for a free state and consequently Pink’s bondage is considered insecure, as Joshua is capable of any thing, & he, Pink was advised by the kind of a white man who moved them off, to go to Nashville when he chose, telling him that he could also with impunity; also the overseer express’d some uneasiness the day they left, on account of Pink’s conduct or the manner in which he express’s himself to him. Therefore cousin Mary wishes you to instruct her how to act in this most perplexing dilemma.
       Cousin M has concluded to take Eliza in until she can get another. Drog & Anderson do extremely well and things pass off almost as well without Tish as with her.
       The overseer is very respectful to Mrs. Maury, & I believe has given no cause for complaint since your departure. There are 50,000 lbs. cotton out, and supposed to be 4,000 yet to pick out. The weather has been so extremely cold, for the last few days, that the hands have been kept within doors; So much for Mr. Alexander’s cure for their health. Cousin Mary’s foot is entirely well, and I think her throat would be if she would mind me and not expose her self, but she is sometimes unruly and then she complains. Can’t you devise some means by which I can bring her into measures? or rather, within doors when she should not be out? Your ma is not well; the rest are well & doing well. Dr. Reid has removed to the Campbell’s late residence, Sally & Molly are quite pleased with their new home. They learn finely. Tell Tommy, Sane says "if she is not to busy she will got before her" & tell Tommy I say if she does not write to me I will not think of her so often, nor love her so much.
       Zebulun has gone to Alabama. Cousin Daniel to the W District; they both expect to return shortly.
       Your Ma and affectionate wife join me in love to you & all.
       Tell cousin James to come home, he has been gone long enough. Be certain to write often; as you know we would be glad to hear from you always. We talk of you often and oftener wish the void fill’d that you have left, which cannot be filled in your absence.

Sincerely & Truly

Old Beek has a fine grandson )
Polly discharges the duty of mother to the little responsibility. )
Massa got his shoes after a while. They fit very well. Zed thanks you for them.

These persons mentioned in text are probably Negro slaves:
Matilda, Sam (a child?), Joshua, Pink, Eliza.
These persons mentioned in text are possibly Negro slaves:
Droc, Anderson, Massa, Zed, Latitia, Sane, Old Beek and his daughter Polly.

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot
Provenance: Phil Bansner

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