1844: Gen. Jacob F. Farrington to Gen. Calvin Jones

This letter was written by Gen. Jacob F. Farrington (1811-1858) of Memphis, the son of Joshua Farrington (1770-1847) and Nancy Critz (1784-1858) of Brownsville, Tennessee. He was a gin manufacturer and this letter, no doubt, refers to the repair of a gin. Gen. Farrington married Mary Pope McGehee, daughter of Malinda Hill (1796-1824) and John Scott McGehee, Esq. (1791-1870) of Panola county, Mississippi in 1844.

Gravestone of Gen. Calvin Jones

Farrington wrote the letter to Gen. Calvin Jones (1775-1846), the son of Ebenezer Jones (1752-1825) and Susannah Blackmore (1755-1828) of Massachusetts. Calvin moved to Smithfield, N.C., in 1795, was a physician; officer in the North Carolina militia; editor of the “Star,” a Raleigh, N.C., newspaper; and owner of a plantation near Bolivar, Hardeman County, Tennessee, to which he moved his family in 1832. Calvin was married to Temperance Boddie Williams (1786-1873). His son, Montezuma Jones (1822-1914, ran the plantation upon his father’s death.

The final paragraph references a “fellow running away” which I interpret to be a slave as Gen. Farrington was known to be a slave holder.

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Gen. Calvin Jones, Bolivar, Tennessee

Memphis [Tennessee]
July 27th 1844

Gen. Calvin Jones
Dear Sir,

Your favor of 20th inst. per Mr. Goodrich came to hand day before yesterday.

If you can get it down per boat, I will endeavor to have it down for the return of the boat but I do not think it probable it can be done in so short a time; besides, I should not wish it sent away unless I could be at home while repairing it. I think you had better send it down by the boat if you can & let it remain till I can have it thoroughly repaired & if the water fall[s], send it by some returning wagon. I presume the difference in price would not be much, as back loading is generally cheap. If, however, I could find it practicable to send it by the return of the boat, I should do so but think improbable as stated.

I thank you much for your congratulations at my return & the satisfaction which seems to be entertained with my course & still more particularly with that of the Whigs as a body. I think upon the whole, they have done well & we now have for our battle a bright & cheering sky — every sign is encouraging. We are just enjoying a rich treat over the news from Maryland where we have achieved one of the most brilliant victories ever won — scarcely lost a man. I have just sketched over the proceedings of the convention & am highly pleased with them. All that we hear from Washington is good for Whig prospects and also for our Naval Depot.

I am just starting after a fellow running away & hence you must excuse a short & desultory letter.

Very truly & Respectfully, — J. F. Farrington

We are all well. Goodrich is off.


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