You can read about how I came to know about Dr. Boyd McNairy and his connection to my Sims family here. I updated this page in June 2013 with a chart showing the maternal links among the McNairy, Shelby, Minnick, Hodgekinson and Sims families.
This post is in form a family remembrance and lament that times were changing in Nashville and the descendants of Dr. Boyd McNairy were losing the family home to the ravages of time and progress. It was written by an unknown author in 1881 based on material the author says came from Dr. Boyd McNairy's daugther (Caroline Belle McNairy Goodrich) and from Boyd McNairy's grandaughter (Irene McNairy Evans), who was the daughter of Dr. John Sims McNairy, deceased.
As with all such articles that are written long after some of the events described, we need to compare and contrast this source with earlier sources, if available, to detect errors or inconsistencies. It is not the purpose of this blog to render an analysis or opinion on this source or others, but in the interest of accuracy, the editor of this blog has detected several errors or inconsistencies between this article and earlier sources.
At the end of this post, the blog editor has listed several additional sources written in the 20th Century that either used this particular article as the main source or appear to have used this article as a source.
A MEMORABLE HOUSE.
Historical Sketches of Some of Its Illustrious Inmates.
The Venerable Roof that Sheltered Lafayette, Jackson, Clay, Crittenden and Prentiss.
Written for the American
On Summer street, in the city of Nashville, there is the remnant of an old house which is fast wearing away, and will soon disappear. Instead of the iron fence inclosing a well kept private hedge and the expanse of rich, green grass, and the beds of fragrant flowers, which made that part of Summer street so attractive forty years ago, nothing is left but the stone pillars of the gates, and the dilapidated remains of the fence, and a few trees and patches of grass and weeks, here and there. The roof of the old fashioned, hospitable porch is gone, leaving the door looking bleak and unprotected. Several years ago a fine modern store suggestive of prosperity and ease and comfort, was built on one end of the yard, including the south half of the house and this elegant proximity made the other half seem still more dingy and sad. The street is now in a transition state. In the old ante-bellum days was a favorite neighborhood for dwellings, and was graced by the substantial and comfortable and beautiful houses of some of the leading people of the city and Commonwealth. Now business transactions are invading these quiet premises, and where the birds used to build their nests in the old trees, and twitter notes of gladness through the day, stores are standing with gay windows and with signs hanging over the pavement. A new one has lately appropriated twenty-five feet on the north side of the garden belonging to the old mansion of which I have been speaking, thus increasing the strong contrast between well to do brightness and trimness and the faded relics of ancient worth and dignity. Very soon the grounds will be entirely occupied by business houses, and the coming generation will know nothing of the fine place which was once an ornament to the city. If the memories of the irrevocable past were spirits, endowed with the power to materialize which has been claimed for certain spirits by sundry, keen-eyed and keener-witted enthusiasts, strange sights and sounds would, in this old house, astonish the vision and startle the ear. Amid the soft radiance of wax candles, graceful forms moving in the dance would sometimes be seen through the old-fashioned windows, and the lively notes of the negro musicians, formerly so popular, would float on the still air. Figures of illustrious men would bow, and gracious women would smile upon the faces around them, animated with eager interest. Fresh young voices would sometimes thrill the air with sweetness, and reveal to the passer by the domestic happiness that reigned here long ago; and sometimes wails of grief would fall weightily upon the ear. Snowy lilies would gleam like the falling plume of some bird of passage, and roses and weeping seringas and columbines and golden dandelions and violets and lilies of the valley would fill the eye with a phantom flash of beauty, and the air with the delicate odor of departed bloom. But mortal senses are not thus favored with the perceptible presence of the memories of the past and it devolves upon the humble scribe to record upon public tablets the scenes of bygone days, and to tell the tale of the actors who moved among them. Thus may they live in our memory and be crowned with the bays of esteem and reverence; and we may be benefited by the shining examples of their worthy deeds.
The old mansion was the residence of Dr. Boyd McNairy, who was a leading physician of Nashville, and one of the principal members of a large family connection, whose influence was prominent in business and professional and social circles, and whose descendants are reckoned among the most valued of our citizens. Dr. Boyd McNairy was born in North Carolina in 1785, and was brought to Tennessee when he was five years old. His oldest brother, John McNairy, was born in Guilford county, North Carolina, in March, 1762. He had been appointed Judge of the Superior Court for the Western district, and in the latter part of October, in the year 1788, he arrived in Nashville with a party of immigrants, one of whom was Mr. Attorney Jackson, whose name and fame became in after times the glory of Tennessee. McNairy and Jackson had joined the immigrants at Jonesboro, and remained there several weeks await the arrival of a guard from Nashville to escort them through the wilderness. During their perilous journey, the travelers were saved from the terrors of a night attack of Indians by the sagacious watchfulness of Jackson, who detected the savages in their imitation of the hooting owls, and advised the camp to continue the journey without waiting for day. Judge McNairy returned to Jonesboro in the following spring, there was no vigilant Jackson in his company, and he was surprised and chased by the Indians, and lost his horses, camp equipage and clothing. On the 20th of February, 1797, President Washington appointed John McNairy the Judge of the District Court of the United States for the State of Tennessee. He held this office until a few years previous to his decease, which occurred at his residence near Nashville, the 10th of November, 1837. The following brief and expressive epitaph was written by his gifted nephew, Henry C. McNairy:
In council wise, of artless mind, E'er honest be, and passing kind; Fair Peace through life her smiles did lead. None knew but loved the gentle friend.
On the 14th of September, 1809, Dr. Boyd McNairy was married to Miss Hodkinson, who was born in Burlington, N. J., on the 19th of May, 1788, and whose happy childhood was spent on the banks of the beautiful Delaware river. The latter years of her school life were passed in Philadelphia, where she made her home with an aunt, and where she lived until her marriage and removal to Tennessee. Her father, Mr. Peter Hodgkinson, had been a trader with the West Indies, and went in his own vessel to Canton, China, it being one of the first American vessels to reach those distant and unknown shores. It may not be out of place to mention here the design on Mr. Hodkinson's [can't read] was very appropriately an anchor. Mrs. Caroline B. Goodrich, of New Orleans, a daughter of Dr. Boyd McNairy, whose fine remembrances of family traditions and history has given the writer much information, has in her possession a bowl which her grandfather brought from China. It has a likeness of his vessel painted on the bottom. She has also a fan made to his order in the Celestial Empire, which is ornamented with a picture of British ships, among which appears his little American vessel. On one of his trips he brought from China a piece of white silk, intended by his kind and loving forethought to be at some future day his daughter's wedding dress. The sad record follows that, while she was still a young child, he was lost at sea.
Mrs. Goodrich says that her grandmother, Mrs. Peter Hodkinson, was among the ladies and children who fled to Gen. Washington's tent for protection when the British marched on Philadelphia. The invading army soon went into winter quarters, and the ladies busied themselves with carding and making cloth for Gen. Washington's soldiers.
Dr. McNairy brought his fair young bride from the comforts and amenities of the staid city of Brotherly Love to what was then a little border town in the far West. But Nashville was never ruled by rough and lawless adventurers. There was here, from the beginning, a circle of gentle birth and elevation of character, and Mrs. McNairy found a congenial and happy home.
While the home on Summer street, continued to become the McNairy mansion, was under the hands of the builders Dr. McNairy bought it from the owner, Mr. Stothard, an early citizen of Nashville. It was one of the first brick dwellings in the town; and the grounds, at that time, extended to Church street. With its well stocked garden and numerous out houses it looked like the home of a country gentleman whose ample resources could supply every want of happy inmate and favored guest. According to the custom of those days the Doctor's office was in a small building a few steps from the dwelling house. It was a cosy little place of two rooms, both fronting on the street; and was set, like the large house, in a surrounding of grassy lawn and beds of flowers, and overshadowed by locust, ailanthus, mulberry, and several majestic cottonwood trees. A large apple-japonica, just in front of the office, made a beautiful picture when its red flowers shone against the green leaves.
Mrs. McNairy's piano was one of the first brought to Nashville, and whenever she played a crowd would gather near the house to listen to its graceful and charming tones. To obtain such instruments for what was then a Western wild, was not only expensive but difficult. Everything brought here had to be transported in wagons from Philadelphia or Baltimore across the Alleghenies through Jonesboro, Knoxville and Kingston, and then across the Cumberland Mountains via Sparta and Lebanon to Nashville. The route was long and tedious, and the roads very rough, and the task of getting a piano here without injury was very great. These delightful instruments have been so much improved that they seem to be entirely different from the comparatively small ones which gave as much pleasure in those early days. One of those old pianos was exhibited at an industrial exposition in Nashville eight or ten years ago, and aroused much attention. It had belonged to Mrs. Dr. A. G. Goodlett, who died some years since at an advanced age, and was brought to our city in the early times. The transition from the harpsichord to the piano took place about a hundred and fifty years ago and it was from the harpsichord that some of the great masters of music drew those bewitching harmonies that could hold the world in ecstasy of admiring and reverential silence. All honey and success to the noble toilers who perfect musical instruments, but the Muse of Melody dwells not in the dead instrument, but in the mind and heart of taste and feeling and in the deft finger of loving skill.
Dr. McNairy was very generous and hospitable, and his house was often the scene of gay and happy gatherings. It witnessed however, in September 1813, the sad spectacle of a wounded man, "gaunt, yellow-visaged, sick, prostrate, with his arm bound up and his shoulder bandaged, waiting impatiently for his wounds to heal and his strength to return."—Paxton. It was the immortal Jackson who, as is well known, was badly wounded in the unworthy and unfortunate affray with the Bentons. "His left shoulder was horribly shattered, and a ball buried itself in the thick part of his left arm, near the bone. Before the bleeding could be stopped, two mattresses, as Mrs. Jackson used to say, were soaked through and the General was reduced almost to the last gasp. It was two or three weeks before he could leave his bed."—Ibid. He lay in the large parlor in Dr. McNairy's house, and by the help of ropes suspended from the ceiling, he was lifted and enabled to rest by change of position. Mrs. Goodrich says that since her earliest recollection the two holes were in the ceiling where the ropes were fastened. A large entertainment was to have taken place there that night, which, she says was postponed on account of Gen. Jackson's arrival in so much suffering. During his imprisonment in the chamber of pain and weakness, the courier came with news of the shocking and woful massacre at Fort Mims in what is now Alabama. On the 4th of October, a month after he was wounded, he could not mount his horse without assistance, and his left arm was still bound in a sling. Nevertheless, at the appointed time, he started to the rendezvous at Fayettville, more than eighty miles from Nashville, where troops were assembling to march against the Indians. Notwithstanding their friendship in these days, Dr. McNairy became alienated from Gen. Jackson in politics in after years and headed the opposition of thirty-seven men in Davidson county, whose numbers afterwards greatly increased.
Among the many men of distinction that were entertained at Dr. McNairy's residence we may mention with gratification and pride the illustrious Gilbert Motier Marguis de Lafayette, who was here on his well remembered visit to the United States in 1824-25. Responding to an invitation from Congress, he returned to the scene of his early toils and triumphs, arriving in New York on the 15th of August, 1824. President Monroe had placed a national vessel at his disposal, but he preferred to come in a Havre packet. He was accompanied only by his son, George Washington, and his secretary. "His arrival," says Everett "called out the whole population of the country to welcome him, but not in the stiff uniform of a parade, or the court dress of a heartless ceremony. Society in all its shades and gradations, crowded cordially around him, all penetrated with one spirit—the spirit of admiration and love. The wealth and luxury of the coast, the teeming abundance of the west; the eloquence of the town, the cordiality of the country; the authorities municipal, national and State; the loving relics of the Revolution, honored in the honor paid to their companion in arms; the [can't read] and learned ladies; the children of the schools; the associations of active life and charity; the exiles of Spain, France and Switzerland; famished kings; patriots of whom Europe was not worthy; and even the African and Indian—everything in the country that had life and sense—took a part in this auspicious drama of real life."
Gen. Lafayette visited the Eastern, Middle, Southern and Western States, and he made everywhere "a jubilee of hospitality and enthusiasm." The eloquence of Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, greeted him on his introduction to Congress; he visited the tomb of Washington, and knelt in tears by his coffin; at Charleston, he saw again the gallant Huger who had been imprisoned in his cause at Olmutz; everywhere incidents of the most heart-stirring character arose in his path, as the hero of the Revolution, visited the battle fields where he and his brethren had fought. He saw in their dwellings at Monticello, Montplier and elsewhere five Presidents of the Union—John Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and John Quincy Adams."— Duyeknick.
Gen. Lafayeete, with his son and his secretary, arrive near Nashville on the 4th of May, 1825, and landed on the grounds of Maj. Wm. B. Lewis, the confidential friend of Gen. Jackson, above the present waterworks. He was received by Gen. Jackson and a number of cities and Gov. Carroll made an address giving him a cordial welcome to Tennessee. An immense procession, including the military companies, escorted the distinguished visitor into the city, where the Mayor Robert B. Currey, addressed him and gave him a hearty welcome to Nashville. The streets were decorated with arches of evergreens and flowers inscribed with patriotic mottoes. Dr. McNairy gave up his house to the noble and honored guest, going to his brother's Nathaniel McNairy's, whose house was where West Nashville now is, with his family, during his stay. A Spanish servant, whose singular sobriquet was Pickaninny, was left in charge of the premises, and he every day let Mrs. McNairy know that everything was in order and receiving suitable attention, she and the doctor coming daily to entertain visitors. The rooms in the main part of of the house, above and below, and wide back piazza had been connected by large folding doors, so that for great receptions or entertainments the house might be transformed quickly into commodious and beautiful halls. Gen. Lafayette's sleeping apartment was one of the large rooms in the south side of the house. Mrs. Irene Evans, a granddaughter of Dr. McNairy, has the curtains that hung around the bed of the Marquis. They were made of linen woven in Philadelphia in 1776, and were brought to Tennessee as heirlooms by Mrs. Dr. McNairy when she married in 1809. The following pictures were stamped upon the linen in a delicate pink color: A large oak tree full of acorns and a cedar tree are growing close beside each other, and on the ground leaning against them are a gun, a spear and two shields, a cannon and piles of balls and near by are lying a trumpet and a drum. Upon the band encircling the trunk of the oak is written, "Liberty Tree," and above this fastened on the trunk upside down, is a paper bearing the words, "Stamp Act" In the distance appears a troop of horsemen carrying several banners. Then comes a large car with ancient heavy wheels, drawn by two leopards, guided by George Washington, who is standing in the car; behind him sits the Goddess of Wisdom holding up a shield upon which are the worlds "American Independence, 1776" and before the car two feather decorated Indians are walking, blowing trumpets from which pennons are streaming. Other horsemen are seen in the distance, armed and apparently marching to attack a fort upon a high hill, over which a flag is waving. The Temple of Fame is seen next, so high that clouds are resting upon the steps. A great angel is standing, partly on the clouds, partly on the steps, holding two trumpets and blowing the one in his left hand. At the foot of the long flight of steps are two cherubs, just beginning to ascend, and carrying between them the globe upon which is seen the Western Continent, with Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia extending from the Atlantic to the unknown shores of the Pacific ocean. Then appears the Goddess of Liberty in the clouds, with a shield upon which are the thirteen stars. Near her, standing on the ground, is Benjamin Franklin, holding one end of a wide band bearing the words "Where liberty dwells, there is my country." The other end is upheld with the left hand of a nymph, who holds in her right hand the pole and cap of liberty. The elaborate and beautifully executed design is repeated many times on the curtains, and has a firm effect.
Gen. Lafayette visited the Masonic fraternity, and was welcomed by Wilkins Tannehill on their behalf as a friend and brother. A public dinner was given him at the Nashville inn at which Gen. Jackson acted as president. The first whiteman who settled in this country, Timothy de Mon Breun, was at this dinner and was toasted as "The Patriarch of Tennessee." A grand ball was given in horror of Lafayette, the tickets to which were remarkably elaborate for our youthful city, and show the enthusiasm which was felt for the magnanimous foreigner who had done so much to make our country "the land of the free." The invitation occupied the space between two fine columns, one supporting a bust of Jackson and entwined with a ribbon bearing the names of his battles and having the figures 1813-15 inscribed on the pedestal; the other supporting a bust of Lafayette and bearing likewise the names of his battles and the figures 1777-81. At the base of the columns were laying cannon and cannon balls, drums, torches, etc. Above was the sun with "76" in the center and around were the thirteen stars in the sky. Just below the sun was an eagle holding arrows in one claw and the branch of peace in the other, and placing with its beak a laurel wreath upon the head of Washington's bust, which was supported by a column in the midst of clouds and encircled by swords, spears, banners and the cap of liberty. Beneath this and just above the invitation were the words, "Welcome to Lafayette." The design was by R. E. W. Earl, who painted so many pictures of his beloved and honored patron, and whose tomb at the Hermitage bears this inscription, "Artist, Friend and Companion of Gen. Andrew Jackson."
In company with Jackson, Lafayette reviewed the troops on the grounds south of where the Customs-house now stands, then called the South Field. An old soldier who had served under Lafayette in Europe, was living a hundred miles from Nashville, and walked every step of the way to see once more his beloved commander. The General recognized him and falling on his neck, kissed and embraced him. Before his departure Lafayette spent several days with Jackson at the Hermitage.
Henry Clay made his home with Dr. McNairy on his visit to Nashville, as did the Hon. John J. Crittenden, who was here in 1844. Mr. Crittenden was an able and noted politician, and one of the most influential Senators in Congress. Dr. McNairy's daughter, Mrs. Goodrich, says: "In 1840 we gave up the house to Mr. Clay, with the exception of one room which mother and father occupied. Mr. Clay would come to mother and ask her to order out the carriage, for he was so tired he wanted to slip away from crowd. He and mother and I would get in and go out the back streets to avoid the crowd, but they would always find him out and surround the carriage." Mr. Clay was in Nashville when Lewis Reneau, of Sevier county, received the Whig flag, with an appropriate address, from Miss Sevier, a granddaughter of Gov. John Sevier, on the porch of Dr. McNairy's house. The ladies of the city who were attached to the Whig party offered, in 1840, a fine silk banner to the county that gave the largest Whig majority, according to population. It was awarded to Sevier county, the Democratic vote being forty against more than nine hundred. The flag was made by Mrs. Dr. John S. McNairy, a daughter-in-law of Dr. Boyd McNairy and is described by one who remembers it as being very handsome and embellished with the likeness of Washington on one side and on the other the Goddess of Liberty and the rising sun with the inspection, "A better day is dawning." Lewis Reneau, who was then Senator in the Legislature from Sevier county, was appointed to come to Nashville and receive it. He afterwards delivered it to the people, who were assembled in larger numbers in Sevierville, the county town. A barbecue was prepared for the occasion. His father, Thomas Reneau, was one of the first settlers of Sevier county. The Whigs of Nashville gave to the Hon. Henry Clay a splendid silver service, as a token of affection, and sent it to Lexington, Ky, by a delegation of his friends headed by Dr. Boyd McNairy. During the last great Whig convention that was held in Nashville, the Louisiana delegation was entertained at Dr. McNairy's. It was led by Randall Hunt, one of the great orators of the day.
The Hon. Sargent S. Prentiss, the celebrated orator, was also a frequent guest at the McNairy mansion. "He was distinguished." says Henry Clay in a letter relating to his death, by a rich, chaste and boundless imagination, the exhaustless resources of which, in beautiful language and happy illustrations, he brought to the aid of a logical power which he wielded to a very great extent. His voice was fine, softened, and, I think, improved by a slight lisp, which an attentive observer could discern. Mr. Crittenden, in a similar letter says: "It was impossible to know him without feeling for him admiration and love. His genius, so rich and rare; his heart, so warm, generous and magnanimous; and his manner, so graceful and so genial, could not fail to impress these sentiment on all who approached him. Eloquence was part of his nature, and over his private conversation as well as his public speeches, it scattered its sparkling jewels with more than royal profusion." He died at Natchez, Mississippi, in July, 1850, in the forty second year of his age.
Dr. McNairy named his youngest son Henry Clay in honor of the illustrious fellow-countryman whose friendship he so highly esteemed. Never was there a young man more worthy to bear a great name. Nature had richly endowed him with the noble qualities which make manhood so attractive, and education had developed those qualities into activity and beauty. He was very handsome, courtly in bearing and speech, studious and fonder of the quiet pleasures of his library than of the less substantial delights of society. But the trait which would distinguish him in every woman's eye, was his gentle and faithful attention to this mother. After the death of his father in the summer of 1856, he devoted himself with the most delicate assiduity to comfort the bereaved heart in her widowhood. Mrs. Frances B. Fogg says of him "when a young man in his strength and vigor, patiently, tenderly and untiringly as a daughter, bows down his life to rock the cradle of declining age; to cheer and sustain by the happiest efforts of taste and intellect, the weakly and heart-stricken pilgrim of a troublesome world—this is a picture that angles must delight to dwell upon," He never failed in his self-appointed duty of having a little talk with his mother, just before she retired to rest every night. He would make her pillow soft with his gentle sympathy, and leave an atmosphere of calmness and content which would bring sweet slumber and pleasant dreams.
In his studious hours, his pen was often busy and opens and songs signed "H. C. McN. occasionally appeared in the papers. Many beautiful pieces never saw the light. The following stanzas copied from the manuscript in Mrs. Goodrich's possession, express a grand thought with lovely simplicity.
An infant slept. O, fair to see Amid the coffin's gloom; Too fair, we thought, as yet to be A remnant of the tomb.
We placed a bud within its hand, And went away to weep, To think that life's first golden sand Was wasted in that sleep.
But ere the narrow house closed o'er, We looked again to see The darling baby smile once more In death's sweet mystery.
Still fair as beauty's sculptured thought The little cherub lay, As if the lovely clay had caught The soul's immortal ray.
And what we had not marked, at first, As living to expand. The bud a beauteous flower had burst, Blown in its frozen hand.
O, then a whisper on the air, Made bright the darkened sod— 'Tis but the bud you're placing there, The flower will bloom with God.
It was Mr. McNairy's intention to publish his poems and a visit to England for that purpose was among his plans for the near future, when the sad event occurred which ended his fresh young life, and all his earthly plans. In 1862, his mother had been visiting her daughter, Mrs. Goodrich, in New Orleans, and he joined her there in a short time. The troubles of the country impeded their return home, but the season was approaching when it was deemed unsafe for any but residents to remain in New Orleans, and the attempt to get to Nashville must be made. Before starting, while tracing the route on the map, and talking over the difficulties they would meet in passing through a country ravaged by contended forces and desolated by the chances of war, Mr. McNairy remarked that if they could get through Guntersville he should feel safe. They were accompanied by a young lady whose home was also in Nashville, and by several family servants, and on Friday, the 25th of July, they reached Guntersville, in North Alabama. Here their way was hedged up, and they were compelled to wait in patience. They found themselves among the soldiers and in the midst of skirmishing, the Confederates were in the town and the Federals on the opposite bank of the Tennessee river. They took rooms at the hotel kept by Mrs. Raymond in the absence of her husband who stayed away to avoid being taken prisoner by the Federals. Mr. McNairy spent the time as cheerfully as possible, reading Shakspere to the ladies, and seeing to divest their thoughts from the trying scenes around them. On Monday morning, while seated at the breakfast table, they were startled by a terrific noise followed by the frightful outcry that the enemy were shelling the town. The young lady traveling with the party, who is now Mrs. Dr. Cobb, says that everybody ran out of the house, which was in a very exposed situation, and she darted to her room to get some money out of her trunk, expecting to join the others immediately, and fly with them to some safe place. In three minutes she was at the door, but everybody was gone; there was not a human being in sight. A stranger to town, and weakened by sickness from which she was just recovering, nothing was left for her but to wait in the hope that somebody would come to her rescue. In the midst of flying and exploding shells, she says an unaccountable calmness possessed here. She lay down on a bed in Mrs. Raymond's room, and found a prayer book she began to read the strengthening words. After some time, an officer on horseback appeared at the window and with an exclamation of horror at seeing her there, begged her to come quickly with him to a place of safety. She refused to go, telling him that her friends would return for her. About noon the shelling ceased and Mr. McNairy soon appeared, looking anxious and weary. He had taken his mother several miles in the country and had now returned to find the friend whom in the hasty and terrified flight of the morning they had left behind, and to remove the baggage, but more particularly to secure the valise of manuscripts, which he always carefully guarded as the most precious of his possessions. He seemed very tired, and wished to rest before returning. Mrs. Raymond also appeared, and said that she would give them some dinner before they started away. After they had eaten the shelling began again, and they left the hotel, fearing to remain, and going out the back door, hoping to escape unhurt in that way. They had gone but a few steps beyond the door, when a shell passed through the house and cutting a peach tree in two, exploded at their feet, killing Mrs. Raymond instantly, and inflecting a frightful and fatal wound on Mr. McNairy. Mrs. Cobb was uninjured. She saw that Mrs. Raymond was dead. She knelt by Mr. McNairy and held some water to his lips, and some blackberry wine which Mrs. Raymond had given her the day before. His first enquiry was for Mrs Raymond, who was lying in such a position that he could not see her, and Mrs. Cobb told him that she was well. He asked to be put in bed and was borne into the house by several soldiers. Just then another shell burst a little distance, and Mrs. Cobb says that her head fell forward upon her breast and she remained a few moments on her knees stunned and unconscious where he had fallen. As soon as he was lain on the bed, he called for her, and begged her to take care of his mother. Extending his hand, he earnestly repeated his request. "Miss Mary, will you take good care of my mother?" Satisfied with her assurance he quietly breathed his last. He lived nearly a half hour and seemed to suffer no pain. His wound was such that no skill nor remedy could have saved or even prolonged his life.
Mrs. Cobb took charge of the precious remains, the fine features unmarred in their youth and beauty, and went with them to the afflicted mother whose agony of grief no words can describe. Years before, when her son John died, she had shut herself up with her sorrow, and had kept the blinds closed until the crape hangings with which they were fastened wore way in the weather. How can she bear this sudden and heart breaking bereavement! Through the ravages of war, the property of the country was such that only the roughest preparations could be made for the interment of him who was worth of a monarch's last resting-place. And they waited all the next day, in the vain hope of getting a minister to performed the last sad rites. His mother could not bear the thought of his being buried without a word, and Mrs. Cobb offered to read the burial services of the Episcopal church at the grave, which she did as well as her aching heart and sob-broken voice would permit. Unspeakably sad is the record but as the years roll on, and his character shines out in the lustre of its love and purity who will not esteem him more to be envied than many who live untroubled, to old age, and are borne to their graves with the pomp of power and magnificence?
Mrs. Cobb brought Mrs. McNairy to her doubly desolate home, the old mansion on Summer street; but she soon went to her son, Walter McNairy, in Washington City, where she remained about three years and then returned to her daughter, Mrs. Goodrich, in New Orleans; and there on the 27th of April, 1869, she died, aged eighty-one years.
For nearly a score of years, the old house has been occupied by tenants, and has been gradually wearing way. It will ere long, give place to dwellings more modern and possibly more useful, but none so attractive or so delightful as the McNairy mansion of the olden times.
"We may build more splendid habitation, Fill our rooms with paintings and with sculptures. But we cannot Buy with gold the old associations."
Reference: The Daily American (Nashville, Tennessee), Sunday, 19 Jun 1881, p. 2; a microfilm copy of which was located in Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee in July 2014
Nell Savage Mahony wrote two articles on the McNairy family in the 20th Century. They were written for The Nashville Tennessean Magazine, which was an insert to some Sunday editions of The Nashville Tennessean newspaper. The first article titled Boyd McNairy, Physician and Host was published Sunday, April 1, 1951 and a second article titled The McNairys and the Lady from Boston was published Sunday, April 8, 1951. The Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville, Tennessee contains a collection of Nell Savage Mahony Papers. The second typed draft for the article published April 8, 1951, contains a handwritten notation citing this June 19, 1881 article as the reference. Although the typed drafts for the April 1, 1951 article don't explicitly say the June 19, 1881 article was the source, it seems clear that it was.
Indenture entered into this 6th day of June 1817 between Thomas Williamson of Davidson County and State of Tennessee of the one part and Boyd McNairy and John Shelby of the same place of the other part, witnesseth said Williamson for and in consideration of the sum of $7,500 to him in hand paid by said Boyd Mcnairy and John Shelby, receipt acknowledged, has granted and conveyed to said McNairy and Shelby their heirs and assigns forever a certain tract of land situated in Davidson County and in the town of Nashville, known in the plan of the said town as part of town Lot Ten.
Beginning at the corner of said lot at the south corner of John Young’s Lot to run down main street twenty eight feet to a stake, thence at right angles eighty feet to a stake, thence at right angles twenty four feet to the line of the aforesayd John Young’s lot, thence with said line one hundred and twenty feet to the beginning, being part of the ground conveyed by G K L Marr to Thomas G Bradford on 23 Jun 1810 and registerd in Book I Page 207 and conveyed by said Bradford to Alpha Kingsley on 3 May 1814 and recorded in Book K 602-603 and conveyed by said Kingsley to Thomas Williamson by deed 28 July 1815.
To have and to hold, etc.... Thomas Williamson (seal) Wit Elmore Douglass Alfrend Flournoy William Arm
Proved September Term 1819 Test R McGavock, clerk of Supreme Court of Errors and Appeals for the 4th circuit
Reference: Davidson County, Teneessee Deeds, Book N, pps. 332-333, copy in Family History Library, Salt Lake, Utah, microfilm #0,332,663
This man's effrontery is almost without a parallel; it is only equalled by his depravity. He talks of his moral character, as if he was not himself aware of his entire destitution of principle! He makes assertions and gives certificates, as if he himself deemed them worth of belief! With nothing of reputation to loose—his character having already reached the speculative degree of infamy—he is wholly reckless of consequences feeling perfectly secure under the panoply of his own worthlessness. It cannot be expected that we should condescend to bandy epithets of personal abuse, with such a man. No charges of his against us, of any description, can excite our wrath, or in the slightest degree disturb our equanimity; and the public exhibition of his true character, which we now make, is not in consequence of any accusation he may have made against us, but is for the purpose of shooing to the world "what manner of man he is," who on his own responsibility, assail the reputation of Andrew Jackson, and has the impudence to compare his moral character, black and deformed as it is, with that of the citizen and solider of Tennessee. We assert then, and it will not be denied that Andrew Erwin has been charged in a public report of the Attorney General of the United States, with the crime of perjury!—we aver furthermore, that afar much solicitation on the part of the said Erwin, the Attorney General—Mr. Wirt—did review this report with all the evidence on the subject which he could obtain, and instead of changing his opinion and retracting the charge of perjury against the said Andrew Erwin, he reiterated it, and substantiated it more completely than was done in the first report. We have not a copy of this second report by us—application has been made at the proper place for one, but it has not been received; and to the truth, we very much doubt whether the authorities at Washington will permit a copy to be taken In the absence, therefore, of the report itself, we give the opinion of a gentleman of unquestionable veracity and respectability, who saw and examined it. It is contained in the following extract of a letter: DEAR SIR—Your letter of the 19th inst. was received this morning. I regret that I have not a copy of the Attorney General's second report on the subject of the introduction of African slaves into the United States by the Erwins, and others. The second report was made by the Attorney General to the Secretary of War, on the 3d of January, 1824. Some time before I left Washington, I called at the War Department for the purpose of seeing it, but after some apparent search, was informed by one of the Clerks that it could not be found. I afterwards called at the office of the Attorney General, and there read it from his opinion-book. It fixes upon Col. E in the most forcible and incontrovertible manner, the charges made against him and his son, in the first report." If it should be objected that this letter may have been written by a person inimical to Col. Erwin, and contains probably, a prejudiced view of the report; we reply, published the report. Col. Erwin will meet with no difficulty in obtaining a copy—and if it do not sustain the writer of this letter, or if it exonerates Col. Erwin in the slightest degree from the odious accusation of perjury, we will, with great cheerfulness, give it a place in our columns. It appears, then, that the man who has been authorised by Mr. Clay to organize the administration forces in this state—who has for the last month or two, been vaporing and blustering about here, charging Gen. Jackson with negro trading—challenging him to deny it—measuring moral characters with him—furnishing Doct Armstrong with certificates, and impugning our veracity, stands charged by the Attorney General of the U. States, in two successive reports, with the crime of PERJURY! A pretty fellow truly, to talk about moral character! But this is not all. The following extract from the affidavit of John Allison of the state of Georgia will show that the subornation of perjury was ever present to Col. Erwin's mind. John Allison, one of the heirs of David Allison, together with the other heirs, had executed to Gen. Jackson a deed of conveyance of their rights to 85,000 acres of land in this state. This deed, as it is well known, interfered much with the designs of Colonel Erwin. By what means he attempted to evade its force, will be seen from the following extract from John Allison's deposition: "This deponent further states, that some time during the last spring, a certain Andrew Erwin called upon deponent, and wished him to give to said Erwin an affidavit which would go to invalidate the deed first alluded to, and to obtain a certificate from my neighbors which would be to certify that I was a man of truth and veracity; that he had procured from my brother Alexander Allison such an affidavit and certificate, and that he wished me to give a similar one, or all the poor people living on the land in dispute, would be (smudged). I in positive terms refused to make an affidavit, as he then desired, upon which said Erwin threatened that if I did not comply, that he would by a suit, drag me to Nashville, in Tennessee." With these testimonials touching the character of Andrew Erwin, we submit it to the public, whether any statement of his can be worthy of belief—whether accusations from such a source of entitled to any weight—and finally, whether any cause would not be disgraced by such an advocate. We shall now proceed to the consideration of the proof adduced by Col. Erwin, in support of his charge of negro trading against General Jackson; and the first of the evidence itself, and then of the mode by which it was obtained. After all his blustering notes of preparation, the only title of evidence that he has been able to exhibit in support of the charge, is contained in the following memorandum which he asserts, may be found in the bank book of General Jackson in his own proper hand writing: "A Jackson's proportion of cash for negroes bought of Richard Apperson $929,45." Really, the confident, swaggering tone of Col. Erwin had induced us to expect something more formidable; but, "a mountain in labour, and produced a mouse." He conduct on this occasion reminds us of the famous Dutch tumbler of antiquity, who having pompously proclaimed his intention of tumbling over a certain precipitous hill, took a runing of three miles, and when he reached the foot of the hill, very leisurely walked over it. A slight examination into the transaction will be sufficient to evince Col. Erwin's profound ignorance of the circumstances connected with it. Seeing the some of $929,45 entered on Gen. Jackson's private bank book in the manner discribed above, he immediately concluded and hazarded the assertion that this sum was advanced by Gen. Jackson as his prop[sic]tion of the first payment—that Coleman paid a like sum, together amounting to $1958,90, constituted the amount of the first payment. Hence he inferred, that as Gen. Jackson advanced an equal propo[sic]tion of cash with Coleman, he was equally interested in the profits which might accrue. Both premises and conclusion in this instance are wholly false, as will clearly appear from the subjoined statement of facts. On the 18th May 1811 Joseph Coleman, Horace Green, and Andrew Jackson entered into articles of agreement with R. Apperson for the purchase of a number of negroes. The terms of payment were, $2050 in hand, $4,000 at the expiration of six, and $4,000 more at the expiration of twelve months For the payment of the two last mentioned sums, Coleman, Green and Jackson, were to give their bills on a House in Philadelphia, and for the further security in case the bills were dishonored, they gave their notes for similar sums, payable in the Bank of Nashville. These are the provision of the contract, on which the charge of negro trading has been preferred against General Jackson*. In reply to the accusation, we have before alleged, and we affirm again that Gen. Jackson had no interest whatever in the transaction other than as a security for the payment of the purchase money, and that he never desired, nor was it intended that he should participate in the profits. These allegations Col. Erwin denies, and insists that General Jackson was an interested partner. To the proof then and the testimony:— The only item of evidence on which Col. Erwin bottoms his charge against General Jackson, of a participation in the profits, is the advance of the $929,45 which he alleges Gen. Jackson made, as the half of the first payment, Jos. Coleman paying the other half, and both constituting the full amount of the first payment to wit, $1958,90. If therefore, we shall show, that such advance was made by Gen. Jackson, and that there was no payment to be made at any stage of the transaction, of the some of $1958,90 which seems to have troubled Col. Erwin's imagination so much, the conclusion which he drew from the supposed payment of proportions, equal sums, &c. &c. will fall to the ground. To do this, it is only necessary to refer the reader to the provisions of the agreement. The sum of $2050 was paid down, and the receipt acknowledged. The $929,45, then, in the memorandum, could not have been part of that sum, for the memorandum, according to Col. Erwin's own acknowledgement, was made "six months" after the purchase of the negroes; neither could it have been a proportionable part of either of the four thousand dollar payments, or in fact of any sum of money stipulated to be paid at any time to Apperson for the negroes. Thus it seems, that the sum of $929,45 was not, nor could it have been Gen. Jackson's proportionable part of any payment made in the course of the transaction, and the "first payment" of "$1858,90" spoken of by Col. Erwin, was never heard of by the parties, but had existence only in his own crazy imagination. Having now demonstrated, that the premises of Col Erwin are entirely false, and his conclusions wholly fallacious, we shall feel perfectly satisfied in submitting the case to the consideration of the public; but for the purpose of putting the matter completely to rest, we shall proceed to the proof of a negative, as General Jackson's friends have often done before, and prove conclusively that the was not interested in the purchase of Apperson's negroes, further than as security for the payment of the purchase money. The very face of the agreement indeed would be sufficient to convince a man of business of this fact. General Jackson was known to be a man of property and credit—Green was a young man just commencing bu[sic]isness without fortune—and Coleman's circumstances any thing but flourishing. If then it had been the understanding of the parties that General Jackson was a principal in the transaction, would not his name have been put first in the contract? Would it not haven Jackson, Coleman and Green, instead of Coleman, Green and Jackson? This consideration of itself, is sufficient to rebut the supposition that he was a principal in the transaction. But the following endorsement on the back of a copy of the original articles, copied by J. Anderson, the Cashier of the bank, and certified by him to be a true copy, which endorsement is also witnessed by him, will for ever remove all doubt upon the subject.
"Note.—The said Andrew Jackson has no interest in the purchase from R. Apperson of the negroes, or cotton and Tobacco from B(smudged) Smith, he only holds a lien on them for the payment of the purchase money, for which he is bound as security, for Jos. Coleman. May 19th, 1811 Signed, ANDREW JACKSON J.A. This endorsement witnessed ty the Cashier of the bank, is conclusive—no loop is now (smudged) whereby there can hang a doubt. If any of our readers feel desirous of knowing how General Jackson became subsequently interested, and for what resins he assumed the management of the property, they have only to free to our previous account of this business. The bill of $4000, payable in six months (crease, smudge), protested; General Jackson was in consequence, compiled to pay the corresponding note in Bank, which had been given him by Coleman, Green and Jackson, as farther security† it was then, that to save himself, h took a transfer of Coleman's interest, brought back the negroes from the lower country, and disposed of the greater part of them here.—This transfer of Coleman's to him, will explain the memorandum on the strength of which Col. Erwin has founded his accusation. That the sum of $929 45 mentioned in this memorandum, was not money advanced by Gen. Jackson for the purchase of the negroes, we have already demonstrated, by reference to the amount and dates of the several payments designated in the articles of agreement. As Gen. Jackson took a transfer of Coleman's interest, it was right that in a future settlement, which would necessarily have to be made with Green, he should be allowed any expenses which Coleman had incurred in relation to the negroes. And this sum of $929 45, we doubt not, was for expenses incurred by Coleman before he assigned his interest to Gen Jackson—including, possibly, the sums of money expanded on the negroes by the latter, after he assumed the control of them, all of which would, of course, be allowed in a subsequent settlement with Green, and of which it was necessary for Gen. Jackson to keep an account. In conclusion, we shall submit a few reflections relative to the manner by which the contents of a private bank book, deposited in bank for safe keeping, had been, in utter contempt of all the obligations to secrecy thereby imposed, published to the world. The publications of Col. Erwin, in all probability, have deceived, (as they were intended to deceive,) a large portion of the community. Doubtless, when the honest, unsuspecting reader, saw the formal dignified note of Dr. Boyd M'Nairy the President refusing permission to Col. Erwin to examine the Bank, and the verbal refusal of Wilkins Tannehill, Esq. the Cashier, to the same effect, he exclaimed in simplicity of his heart, "what a magnanimous President"! What a conscientious Cashier!! Now, a will it be believed, that these pinks of magnaminity and propriety at the very moment they uttered their refusal to Col Erwin, knew well that he stood in no need of the permission he had desired of them? We say, will it be believed that Col. Erwin, at the time he desired permission to examine the private papers of an individual deposited in the bank for (smudged) information in his picket? And that too, with connivance of these very officers who thus publicly denied him the priviledge of examination. We state it as a fact susceptible of proof—it will not be denied—that the private bank book of Gen. Jackson, which he deposited in bank for safe keeping, a short time previous to his departure for the Seminole war, has been exhibited to various individuals of the administration party in this place. We have no doubt that Dr. M'Nairy and Wilkins Tannehill, Esq. have chuckled over this private memorandum an hundred times. Tow or three months ago we were informed by a gentleman, of the existence of such a memorandum, and of the intention of the enemies of Gen. Jackson in this place to use it to his prejudice; and the formal demand by Col. Erwin of the President and Cashier for permission to examine the private papers of the Bank, and their refusal, were a perfect mockery, and alone designed to screen them from the contempt and indignation which a knowledge of their agency in this business, must necessarily produce in the public mind. A for-warn soldier on the eve of his departure to meet and conquer the enemies of his country, deposits his private books and papers in a bank as a place of trust and security, and ten or twelve years after their contents are published by the connivance of the President and Cashier, for the purpose of injuring him in the estimation of his countrymen! A grosser breach of confidence—a dirtier, more pitiful business, we have rarely seen. Whether those engaged in it, can have a very nice sense of honor, we leave it to the community to determine.
* See a certified copy of the articles of agreement, in our possession. † See the original note in our possession.
Reference: United States Telegraph (Washington, DC), 28 Jul 1828, p.1 as indexed at Genealogybank.com
To Boyd McNairy, Nashville, Tenn., March 7, 1850. Reports that the executive branch shows "no disposition to oblige me, or to pay respect to recommendations of mine." Suggests, therefore, "that if Govr [Neill Smith] Brown would signify his wish that your son should be appointed his Secy in the Russian mission, that would be the most likely way to gratify your wishes." Adds: "Ah! my freind how often I am pained that I am powerless in ability to serve my true & faithful friends."
Editor's notes: For Brown—governor of Tennessee (1847-49) and minister to Russia (1850-52). Colin M. Ingersoll, rather than McNairy's son, received the appointment.
Reference: Robert Seager II, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay Volume 9 The Whig Leader 1837-1843, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 1988; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, p. 685
I send with great pleasure, according to your request, a letter of introduction of your son1 to my friend Mr. [William N.] Mercer, who does not like to be addressed as Dr.
We are here in the midst of great excitement on the Slavery question. I do not yet see land, but hope for the best, whilst fearing the worst.
The Mission filled by Mr. Donelson remains vacant,2 and I beleive for the present is intended not to be filled. If it should be determined to fill it, I hadhear to what I said in a former letter in regard to it and yourself. My relations to the present [Taylor] Administration are not hostile, but I have no reason to feel that it has any particular disposition to oblige me...
1. John Sims McNairy, first noted in 5:922, but not otherwise identified.
2. Proabably Andrew Jackson Donelson who had served as minister to Prussia 1846-49; however, he had been succeeded by Edward A. Hannegan in 1849. Hannegan was recalled in Jan. 1850, and in August President Millard Fillmore nominate Daniel D. Barsard for the post. He was confirmed on Sept. 2, 1850...
Reference: Robert Seager II, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay Volume 9 The Whig Leader 1837-1843 University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1988; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, pps. 654-655
To Boyd McNairy et al., Nashville, July 10, 1840. Thanks them for their invitation to visit Nashville on August 17 next [McNairy to Clay, September 21, 1839], but pleads that he is "worn down by the fatigures of an exhausting Session of Congress" and cannot come so soon. Suggests late September or October instead.
Reference: Robert Seager II, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay Vol 9 The Whig Leader 1837-1843, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, ky, 1988; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, p. 432
From Boyd McNairy, Nashville, September 28, 1831. Reports that "The strongest wish of your friends in this quarter is that you should be elected Senator—It is not your interest alone we look to, but our country also, and the condition of our public affairs at present requires the best heads and the most patriotic hearts to avert the impending danger—Your enemies will continue to abuse you, but let them, nothing can or will stop them—You must not be surprised if you hear of [John] Eaton being our next Senator, I am told from good Authority orders have been issued from the City—At present [Felix] Grundy is opposed by a warm and personal friend of mine Colo. [Ephraim] Foster—and if the election can be brought on he will certainly defeat him—They have certainly become tired of Grundy as I believe, indeed I have no doubt Old [John] Overton and other Jackson men of the same grade will try and keep off the elections, hoping that in one year that Eaton can be elected—If the election is brought on your friends will try & make Foster defeat Grundy, he is also a strong Jackson man, but he is a gentleman, and I cant say that of Grundy." In a postscript dated September 29, adds: "I think you may rely upon it, that the election will be put off. So that Eaton will die."
Editor's comments: The Tennessee legislature tried and failed to put together a majority to elect a U.S. senator both at the 1831 regular session and at the 1832 special session. At the end of the session in 1833, after 55 ballots, Ephraim H. Foster withdrew as a candidate and Felix Grundy was elected. See Brian H. Walton, "A Matter of Timing: Elections to the United States Senate in Tennessee Before the Civil War," THQ (Summer 1972), 31: 134; and Thomas P. Abernethy, From Frontier to Plantation in Tennessee (Chapel Hill, 1932), 296.
Reference: Robert Seager II, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay Volume 8 Candidate, Compromiser, Whig 1829-1836, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, ky, 1984; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, p. 407
From Boyd McNairy, Nashville, May 11, 1830. Mentions "in confidence" that the Governor of Tennessee, William Carroll, said "in a large company of strong Jackson men...that the Jackson party favored you more than all men in the U. States, and as a personal friend of no gentleman stood before you with him." Suggests that if it is "consistent with your views, I should like by some means or other you could renew your correspondence with him, if you feel a delicacy in doing so, through me you can effect it with perfect security—If we could get him openly with us, and I know there is strong predisposition that way, the state or a majority would be certain, (that is Jackson off the field) I am [a] very sanguine man, and probable govern[e]d it too much by my feelings, but I fear not the contest or result between yourself V. B. or Calhoune [sic, Calhoun]—All things would be certain if Carrolle [sic, Carroll] was with us. your friends must have an independent intelligent gentleman as editor in Nashville, one who will tell the truth fearless of consequences and he must have character—Your daughter Mrs. J[ames] erwin passed through Nashville some days ago well, Cant you pay her a visit next month, how your friends in this state would rejoice to hear that you intended to visit us, and your enemies I have no doubt a great many would be rendered neutral—"
Reference: Robert Seager II, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay Volume 8 Candidate, Compromiser, Whig 1829-1836, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, ky, 1984; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, pps. 206-207
Your letter1 came to hand informing me the prospects of my son getting a birth [sic] in west point school. your attention to this matter has conferred a lasting favour— Our United States district Attorney Colo. Crabb2 has resigned his office: there will be a great many Richmonds3 in the field: I dont know that I ought to say one word to your department, but I cannot remain silent having a particular friend whos mertis & qualifications are equal to any man in our country, who is desireous [sic] of the appointment. The gentleman I recommend to your atention is Thomas H. Fletcher esqr.4 If you can render him any service in this matter, you will confer a great obligation—Your daughters heath [sic] Mrs. Irwin5 is good With high respect Your friend
1. not found
2. Henry Crabb
3. William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act V, Sc iv, line 9
4. McNairy to Clay, November 13, 1826 and Yeatman to Clay, December 29, 1826
5. Mrs. James Erwin
Reference: James F. Hopkins and Mary W.M. Hargreaves, eds., The Papers of Henry Clay Volume 5 Secretary of State 1826, University Press of Kentucky, 1973; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, p. 1054
You will excuse a second application on the same subject. I want my son John Sims McNairy1 got in West Point University. Any attention you may render on this subject, will be greatfully acknowledged [sic], Majr. Eaton2 during the last Session of Congress informed me his name was placed in the war office Since that time, things have occured [sic] which will prevent Any exertion on his part; All the great men of our state would be opposed to the appointment, the only reason, I am an administration man—It is presuming a great deal probable [sic] to write; but Sir, feeling as I do, and being openly opposed to the Aristocracy of our state, I feel great solicitude about future results—Do not fail to Operate effectively in the state of New York, that point gained every thing secure— If there should be a vacancy in the Marshalls place of our state, permit me to recommend to your consideration Theo. R. Bradford3 of Bedford county to fill the vacancy. He is a gentlman fully qualified to perform the duties, and is violently opposed by the ruling party of our state, & has been so, in all matters & things for 10 years upon the same grounds— With high respect
Your daughter Mrs. Irwin4 Well [sic]— Boyd McNairy
McNairy, son of John McNairy, had been brought in his childhood from North Carolina to Nashville, where, after being graduated from the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania, he practed his profession for over fifty years.
1. Not further identified. He did not receive the desired appointment.
2. John H. Eaton.
3. Theodorick F Bradford had published a newspaper in Clarksville, Tennessee, 1810-1011, and had established the first newspaper in Bedford County, the Shelbyville Tennessee Herald, which he conducted from 1816 to 1818. He was in 1826 a member of the Tennessee Legislature, where he served four terms. There was no subsequent appointment of a marshal in Tennessee during the Adams administration.
4. Mrs. James Erwin.
Reference: James F. Hopkins and Mary W.M. Hargreaves, eds., The Papers of Henry Clay, Volume 5 Secretary of State 1826, University Press of Kentucky, 1973; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, p. 922
N.B. The editors of this work incorrectly identify Boyd McNairy as the son of John McNairy. His father was Francis McNairy. Boyd McNairy had a much older brother, Judge John McNairy.