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Title:[Letter] 1837 Dec. 11 [to] Jesse Abernathy Esq[ui]r[e], Pulaski, Tennessee / W[illia]m R Brown : a machine-readable transcription of an image
Author:Brown, William R.

This work is the property of the Special Collections Library, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 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.

Date: December 11, 1837
Extent: 4p
Summary: This document is a letter dated December 11, 1837, to Jesse Abernathy in Pulaski, TN, from William R. Brown. In the letter, Brown expressed concern regarding the influence of the Whigs in the state of Tennessee, particularly in Giles County, where Whigs had obtained control of the press. He stated that Henry Clay would be the presidential candidate of the Whigs to rival current president Andrew Jackson. Brown further stated that he had relinquished his political aspirations and had no plans to run for office. He also discussed the issues of banks and a pending bill in the Tennessee legislature that would funnel bond money into the creation of a state bank in Middle Tennessee. Another bill proposing to charter a bank was earlier rejected by the Tennessee senate.
Collection:William R. Brown
Folder: MS-224

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Nashville Decr [December] 11th 1837
Dear sir

I admit in the onset that I owe you an apology for not several weeks since acknowledging the [unclear: recut ] of your truly gratifying letter — At that time the proceedings of the legeslature [legislature] aside from the Senatoreal [Senatorial] election were uninteresting, and of that election I know you had all the information worthy your attention. I have defered [deferred] from time to time writing hoping that I should be able to give the details of the most important subjects before us, of this however I am still denied the opportunity in part, The bill to establish a state bank and for other purposes emalgamating [amalgamating] internal improvement education &c [et cetera] is still pending and from appearances is most likely to prove a troublesome and vextious [vexatious] subject the friends of this measure are quite unwilling to separate the bank from the other provisions of the bill, while the friends of the bank cannot support it with them attached to it— The bill proposes to sell the bonds of the state amounting to six millions one million seven hundred thousand to be applied in E [East] Tennessee to internal emprovement [improvement] one million 3 hundred thousand to the same purpose in the Ne [Northeast] District 2 millions to be vested in a state bank in Middle Tenn. [Tennessee] and the remainder left as a bate [bait] held out to us in this portion of the state for the purposes of internal emprovement [improvement], and the proceeds of the bank relied on for the payment of the whole debt, and this is urged as if the benefits of the were not to diffuse itself over the whole state, if there should be benefits derived from a bank, the policy of which remains yet to be tried, in all these project, of improvement by the provisions of the bill the Governor is to subscribe for half of the stock, not satisfied with the law of 35 authorizing one third to be taken by the state but another [added: step] reaching to one half is made of this latter policy you have often heard my opinion, and I fear I may have cause to regret that I did not vote for a repeal of the law of 1835 above alluded to. You have no doubt heard much of the Whig rejoicing at the news from New York the accounts of the illumination here are much exagerated [exaggerated] not more than one half of the houses on the square were illuminated and as far as my observation extended not that many in other places or parts of this great would be Whig city the point in Tennessee at which

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Henry Clay has been fairly put in nomination for the next presidency by the once pretended friends of Andrew Jackson , yes sir it can no longer be disguised that Henry Clay is the candidate of the Whigs in Tennessee for the first office in this nation and selected by those who but a short time since were crouching and paying homage at the feet of the venerable expresident [ex-president] who would have thought this a few short months ago? Not a man in five hundred in this state.

The Presidents message has reached us, and is generally spoken of as an able document, I have read it with much care and am fully prepared to say —to use a common phrase it is as plumb as a line, you will see it for yourself soon I shall therefore suspend further remarks untill [until] we shall see each other. I am told that friend Estes has sold his press and that it is still in the hands of the Whigs, What a pity is this, how much to be lamented it is that we have no one in Giles possessed of public spirit enough to vest a few dollars in rescuing so formidable an engine as the press from the hands of our enemies, it is useless to to tell me that that paper has had no influence in shaping the politics of Giles County there are many [added: in that county] who read no other paper and whose minds are [added: have been] influenced by it to take the course the have done, and all that is wanting to redeem Giles is to expose the tricks, so to speak, of the enemies of republican principles, Giles County is republican in her principles and might be restored to her first love if the proper means were brought into requisition. I know the people there too well to indulge a different thought for a single moment, of them,

As to the entimation [intimation] in yours relative to my again presenting myself before the people in the capacity of a candidate for office I at this time have not the most distant idea of doing so my political aspirations are entirely cured and the fever for such pursuits perfectly cooled off for even in my short experience I have learned that few men can engage in politics without feeling the thorns that are always strewed along his path prick him sorely at almost every turn again men with whom one has to act in the discharge of his public duties too often [look look] ahead to promotion at the expense of public good and I now say to you that if in anything I have contributed an humble mite [might] to the welfare of those who sent me here however humble that mite [might] may be

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I am amply rewarded for all my efforts to do so and at the expiration of the time for which I was elected shall cheerfully surrender the charge confided to me and will never again undertake or desire so important a station though I know it to be and humble one. The reasons I have for this determination are may and strong I shall not undertake here to give but am ready on any proper occasion when I see you to do so

General Jackson was in town a few days since. The old Hero talks as fluently about banks and in fact on all subjects whatever — his head is clear and mind strong apparently as if he were in the prime of life his health has much emproved [improved] since he was here about 4 weeks since he is a venerable looking man — his person much altered since I saw him 10 or 12 years ago. You have no doubt seen in the Union an extract of John Bells speech in Massachusetts — he is in fine business apologysing [apologizing] for the sins of Tenn. [Tennessee] though she is march back in solid colums [columns]. Now it is my opinion that when Mr [Mister] Bell sees that the bill to charter Yeatman & Woods bank was rejected by the senate of a Tennessee legislature and his plan of getting a [gap] N Bed[gap] US bank of Pennsyl [gap] is defeated [gap] confidence in the states returning to the good old republican of Massachusetts as speedily as he anticipated

I have just recd [received] a letter from Charles — you may read this to him and other of our friends if you think proper. Tell Charles his allusion to futurity as far as I am concerned in a political point of view is of no importance to me but it is truly gratifying to hear that my constituents are pleased with my course thus far — I have no views or ends to accomplish other than the good first of those that sent here and second the general welfare of the state if all my acts here does not redown to promote that end it shall be an error of the head and not of the heart. When I say friends to whom this may be read I only mean Charles W D Abernathy L E Abernathy and such only I once indulged the hope of getting home by Christmas the prospect of doing so is at this time gloomy. I hope however that we shall adjourn by the 10th of Jany. [January] even this is uncertain

Wm [William] R Brown

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Jesse Abernathy Esqr [Esquire] Pulaski Tennessee
[added: Polite Attention of Capt. [Captain] Rhea ]

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