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Title:[Letter] 1829 Apr. 20 [to] Governor Sam Houston / James H. Peck et. al. : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Peck, James H.

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: April 20, 1829
Extent: 3p
Summary:This document is a letter dated April 20, 1829 to Sam Houston regarding Jacob Philipson a sixteen year old boy being held in jail on a larceny charge in Nashville, Tennessee. The letter pleads for the boy's release by explaining how his respectable family suffered personal and financial hardships.
Collection:Governor Sam Houston Correspondence
Box:Allen - Strong, b1

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St Louis 20 April 1829His Excellency Saml [Samuel] Houston Gov. [Governor] of Ten. [Tennessee]

We have been informed that a youth whose name is Jacob Philipson lately from this place has been committed to the Jail in Nashville upon a charge of Larceny.

Feeling considerable interest in the fate of this boy, on account of the respectability of his family, who reside here and with whom we are acquainted, we have taken the liberty of stating to you a few facts in relation to them, believing that you will give them such weight as they in your judgement may be entitled to, in deliberating upon the application, which we are about to make.

Jacob Philipson is one of five children, who several years since had the misfortune to be deprived of their mother, the most valuable member of their family, and also their older brother, a youth of much promise; about the same period a sudden reverse in the affairs of their father, together with an infirmity under which he yet labours [labors], left them to depend for support, mainly upon the exertions of their Uncle Joseph Philipson , and who to derive the means of that support, in consequence of a like reverse of fortune, was compelled to become a teacher of music, an art which he originally acquired as an accomplishment merely.

By the exertions of this Uncle much care has been bestowed in the education of the children. For reasons unnecessary to be mentioned, those who had the guardianship of the youth in question, were induced too early to yield their consent to his inclination to leave home and to throw himself upon his own resources for support. With the youth himself neither of us is acquainted, we are informed however from unquestionable

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authority, that although his appearance would indicate a much greater age, he was in fact on the 8th January last only sixteen years old, and that he acquired by a tuition of five years, not his Education merely, but the art from which he expected to derive support— That he was remarkable for a premature development of those faculties and powers, that give strength to the passions, rather than force to the empire of reason.

Although possessing very considerable talents for music he is otherwise of a weak understanding. It has occurred to us therefore, that his having embarked upon the world, without friends to admonish, as a period when most in need of admonition, perhaps destitute, and when his passions would have their greatest sway, and reason its least controul, [control] involve considerations which, though unregarded by the law, may greatly mitigate the rigor of the sentence, which society is disposed to pronounce on the aberration from moral principle with which he stands charged, and which for that cause properly and forcibly appeal to the seas of mercy.

If the circumstances of the offence, (concerning which we profess entire ignorance) do not exclude the hope of reformation, we should think this more likely to be effected by the exertion of the prerogative of pardon in his favor, as far as to arrest the ignominious part of the punishment, than by subjecting him to all the penalties of the law, while by such an intervention you would in no degree disarm the criminal law of its terrors.

But if considerations referable to the youth himself do not furnish reasons for the intervention solicited, those which have most influenced us, relate to other members of the family, and more particularly to the youngest sister, who is just twelve years old, greatly prepossessing in her manners,

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and promising to make a woman of uncommon beauty. She is also eminently gifted with a talent for music. We express but the opinion of others entitled to more weight than our own, when we say that in her performance upon the piano, notwithstanding many disadvantages attending her tuition, she is exelled [excelled] by any one of her age of either sex in the United States, to which she unites extraordinary powers of vocal music.

Whilst the younger sister has more particularly interested our feelings, we would remark that the elder sister, of considerable beauty and well accomplished, was within a few weeks married to an officer of the U [United] States Army. The Brothers, younger than the unfortunate subject of this letter, are fine and promising youths.

We would make one more suggestion in behalf of this interesting family; their uncle upon whom they are now dependant, is considerably advanced in years, and should death deprive them of him, they might in that event have to look for assistance to him, whose reformation is one of the objects of this letter.

With great respect we subscribe ourselvesYour Obdt hble Serts [Obedient humble servants]
Signed{ James H. Peck Jno [John] W. Bass Wm. [William] Clark

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