1831 Tn Ltr: John Catron, Us Supreme Court Justice Trades Iron Bars For Land For Sale
1831 Tennessee Stampless Letter: John Catron, Nashville, TN to Charles Hicks, Lawrenceburg, TN. Address shows Charles Hicks, Esq. Lawrenceburg, Ten. With Nashville T March 22 postmark and stamped PAID written "10"? and "account closed" This letter is both a letter and a contract signed and witnessed. Look at #1 and bottom section is orginal letter. "Squire Hicks [Charles Hicks appears in the 1826 Lawrence County Tax List and is the County Clerk of Lawrence County in 1839. Also a Charles Hicks seems to be a major local player in Indian lands.] I recd your letter to day. Go to Mr. Bell sign the release above which he will witness& get from 700 lbs of iron. This is your order for the same to him. Respectfully, Jn Catron March 1831" Now the top section written in Nashville like the letter reads" I hearby transfer & assign to John Catron all the right, title and interest , I have in & to an improvement made near lands of John McFale [Deputy Sheriff of Lawrence County] on the iron works tract of John Catron in the County of Lawrence, State of Tennessee. The improvements consisting of a house, stable, fence etc.. The said John Catron having paid me the sd Charles Hicks therefor seven hundred pounds of bar iron my hand andseal this 30th day of March 1831 Witness Thomas Bell[In 1834 Thomas Bell bought land adjacent to Duncan Iron Works. This isthe Bell mentioned in letter] Charles Hicks seal" On one flap " 30 of March 1831 Received 700 pounds of Iron in full of the within Charles Hicks" John Catron, George Catron and Lucius J. Polk had bought the lease that the Steele Brothers had on an iron works on the Buffalo River near the Natchez Trace actually owned by Chickasaw Chief John McLish. George died and Catron bought out Polk. He had Felix Catron, George's son run the mill until 1833 when he sold out to George Napier. John Catron (1786-1865) [see #4 from internet]was one of the most mysterious men ever to serve on the Supreme Court. He was born of German immigrant parents in either Virginia or Pennsylvania, moved to Kentucky and fought in the War of 1812 under Andrew Jackson. He migrated to Sparta, Tennessee in the Cumberland Mountains, studied law, practiced and was prosecuting attorney. He moved to Nashville in 1818where he specialized in land law. In 1824 he was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court and in 1831 [year of the letter] he was made Chief Justice. The position was abolished in 1834 and he returned to private practice. In 1836, he ran Martin Van Buren's Tennessee presidential campaign and in 1837 outgoing President Andrew Jacksonwas given the opportunity to appoint two new Supreme Court justices as the Court was expanded from 7 to 9 justices. Jackson appointed Catron who was confirmed by the Senate and served on the United States Supreme Court 1837-1865. Catron was a stong supporter of states rights and slavery and opposed corporations. Although a Southren sympathizer he supported the Union in the Civil War. A crowd tried to prevent him from holding court in Nashville and he went to Washington DC under military escort. He remained in touch with Abraham Lincoln to keep Federal Courts open in southern areas under Union occupation. A fantastic Tennessee letter/contract byfuture United States Justice of the Supreme CourtJohn Catron. Sent folded.
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1831 Tn Ltr: John Catron, Us Supreme Court Justice Trades Iron Bars For Land: $665