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.
Joint Resolution for the relief of John S. McNairy, of Nashville, Tennessee.
Section 1. Be it resloved by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That the Comptroller of Public Accounts, on receiving proper evidence of the loss of two several certificates of land scrip, number twelve and sixteen, issued by the government of Texas to Thomas Toby, for six hundred and forty acres each, and transferred to John S. McNairy, of Nashville, Tennessee, shall issue duplicates of the same to the said McNairy; which certificates, when issued, may be located on any of the unappropriated pulbic domain of Texas.
Sec. 2. Be it further resolved, That this resolution bake effect from and after its passage.
Approved, January 18, 1848.
Reference: H. P. N. Gammel, ed., The Laws of Texas 1822-1897 Volume III, p. 324, The Gammel Book Company, Austin, Texas, 1898, freely available on Google Books/Google Play
At a meeting of the friends of the present Administration of the General Government, held at Decker & Dyer's in Nashville, 26th April, 1828, WILKINS TANNEHILL, Esq. was appointed Chairman, and John P. Erwin Secretary. The object of the meeting having been stated from the chair, Dr. Boyd McNairy submitted the following resolutions:
1. Resolved, That it is the right of freemen in a government like ours, to assemble themselves together for the purpose of freely expressing their opinions, in relation to the concerns of the great national family, of which they are members—And, that it is also right and proper, pending any great political contest for those who concur in opinion to mingle their reflections and united their efforts for the promotion of the cause they approve.
2. Resolved, That we view the leading measures of the present Administration of the general government, as dictated by sound wisdom and pure patriotism, and calculated, in an eminent degree, to advance the interests of our common country.
3. Resolved, That we view the aspersions attempted to be thrown upon the conduct and character of John Quincy Adams, and Henry Clay, the prominent members of the present Administration, as groundless and unfounded, the result of disappointed hopes and mortified ambition.
4. Resolved, That in order to afford to that portion of our fellow-citizens who concur with us in supporting JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, for the office of President of the United States, and RICHARD RUSH for Vice President, an opportunity of manifesting their preference at the ensuing election, it is proper and expedient that some suitable person should be nominated as Elector for the district composed of the counties of Williamson, Davidson and Rutherford.
5. Resolved, That it be recommended to the friends of Mr. Adams, in said counties, to assemble at Nashville on the 26th of May next, for the purpose of nominating such elector, and for other purposes.
6. Resolved, That the Chairman appoint six persons on the part of this meeting, to meet such as may be appointed from the counties of Rutherford and Williamson.
The resolution were severally read and adopted. Whereupon Boyd McNairy, John P. Erwin, Thomas Welch, Simon Bradford, John Sangster and Elihu S. Hall were appointed to compose the delegation from this meeting at the proposed Convention.
On motion of Mr. Temple, it was resolved, that there be a committee of correspondence to consist of five persons, whereupon Wilkins Tannehill, Matthew Watson, Wm. Temple, Jno. Newman and Walter Simms were appointed.
Dr. Newman presented a written address, pertaining to the objects of the meeting, which was, on motion, referred to a convention to be assembled on the 26th of May, for the purpose of selecting an Elector and for other purposes.
On motion of Mr. Backus it was resolved, that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the news papers of this place.
W. TANNEHILL, Chm.
J.P. ERWIN, Sec'y.
Reference: Reporter (Lexington, Kentucky) 14 May 1828, p. 4 as indexed at GenealogyBank.com
By the Citizens of Davidson County, in the State of Tennessee, to the people of the United States.
The committee selected by the citizens of this county to express their views and feelings on the subject of the next Presidency, approach it with that diffidence, which its high character is naturally calculated to inspire. Every part of the union is equally interested in the choice of their Chief Magistrate; and feeling as the committee do, that they are the humble instruments of a very small portion of these people, no attempt will be made to condense all the reasoning which might be adduced in favor of the man, who is the choice of this section of the Union. In appointing us, our constituents acted only in the ordinary exercise of a constitutional right, in the free expression of their thoughts and opinions; and were it not that they deem it our duty in obedience to their wishes, to express those thoughts, considering the momentous nature of the question, and the various considerations combined in its result, we should shrink under the conviction of our inadequacy to the task.
Of the high and prominent characters that have been designated as fit persons to succeed Mr. Monroe, whoever may be the free and unshackled choice of a majority of the people of the Union, we shall hail as our constitutional ruler. In the administration of the national government, we have no partialities, or sectional feelings to cherish.—It is alike to us, whether our President come from this, or that state, provided he shall be a plain, republican man, who combines in the highest attainable degree, a knowledge of the various interests of the country, with honest of purpose, and energy of will, to select the best constitutional and practicable means of attaining the greatest portion of public happiness; and to effectuate those means.
We hold it to be a principle essential to the preservation of libery in a republican government, that the will of the people, or of a majority, should govern. To expect in this fallen wold, a perfectly fair, unbiased and untrammeled expression of this will, would be chimerical. It was in the contemplation of the constitution, that the people, thorough the medium of electors, should choose their President. Though perfection be not attainable in this sublunary state of existence, yet in this, as in every other high concern of life, we should approach it as near as we can. In doing so, the constitution will be preserved, when every aberration leads to its extinction, leaving us the form, without the substance of freedom—a government of all others the most to be deprecated, because its evils and oppressions are most difficult to be removed.
Every state has its own mode of choosing its electors, within the pale of the constitution. The Legislature of each state may direct the manner of choosing these electors by the people, which necessarily excludes the idea that the Legislature of a state, may itself, make the choice.—That it is constitutionally competent to choose by general ticket, we have no doubt, but this method greatly abridges the freedom of election; in practice and in effect, throwing into the hand of a few (those who frame the ticket) these appointments, which of all others we consider the most important.
The mode of choosing electors by districts seems to be the only correct one, as by it, the people who are to vote, have an opportunity of knowing the principles and character of the person voted for. In any other way, they are necessitated to vote, not from their own personal knowledge, but on the nomination of others, the aristocratic few. We are aware however, that it is inherent in the pride of states as well as individuals, to exert all the influence of which they are capable on important occasions, such as the election of the President of this union—that they are prone to adhere to that mode best calculated to consolidate their whole strength, without a scrupulous regard to the constitutional elective rights of the people. Though we deem it our duty to express the opinion of those we represent, yet we almost despair of seeing a different state of things, until the nation shall, by an amendment of the constitution, establish a uniform mode of elections of the electors of President and Vice President.
Another mode of selecting the President has of late years been adopted, not by state’s having the semblance of constitutionality, but foreign to every feature of it. We mean a congressional caucus, and recommendation. The people are forever told, that their delegation in Congress do not claim the right of choosing the electors, nor the President, but in their individual capacities only, recommend a fit person; and that this is necessary to prevent the evils growing out of an election by the house of Representatives of the United States, in case there should not be a majority of the whole electors in favor of any one person.—Permit us for a moment, fellow citizens, to examine the main grounds of this argument, and some of the objections to which it seems liable.
A want of a majority of votes, in favor of one person, it is [smudged], may some times occur, but it is not probable; in the nature of things it must be of rare occurrence. But suppose it does happen, as the constitution supposes it may, let it be decided in the constitutional mode. Whilst it is the supreme law of the land, let us hold it sacred. Amend the constitution if necessary, but not infringe or evade its provisions, especially in so vital a part as the selection of President. Though it is not anticipated, that it will be necessary to recur to the house of Representatives in the ensuing election, yet should it happen, the consequences are not leared. The Representatives in Congress of the American people, dare no produce a serious commotion in the discharge of a constitutional duty. The people are too enlighten to bear it. It is a familiar case in all the state legislatures, and shall it be said, that so high an responsible, and decorous a body as the house of Representatives of the United States, cannot be trusted, without convulsing the nation! The constitution forbids the idea—it has entrusted them with this power, nor do we know where it could be more safely vested. Not in a Congressional caucus, we are sure, because, if submitted to, it would be of uniform occurrence, when in all probability an election by the house of representative, confer as it is, to the three highest on the list, will not be necessary;—and because, in our opinion, the mode of selection by a congressional recommendation, is liable to much greater objections. According to this mode, the people have no effective agency in the transaction. Of such a nature it is overwhelming influence, that in ordinary times, a great majority of the people in the United States, would immediately acquiesce in such a nomination, without further enquiry; and thus in effect, instead of the selection being made by the people, it would be brought about by the delegation in Congress, contrary to the spirit of a plain and essential provision of the constitution, which declares, that “no Senator or Representative, or person hold any office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.” Why this prohibition, but to guard the main pillow of our liberties from destruction, by the exercise of either a vitiated or undue influence, or both combined? The committee think it unnecesary to descend to minutiae to demonstrate that the members of Congress might, & probably would be, influenced by feelings far different from those which would govern the great body of the American people. In no country where law exists, has the personal character of the Chief Magistrate greater effect on the people, their liberties & happiness, than in the United States. His patronage is great and the mode of selection by a congressional caucus, judging from the experience of history, and the nature of man, it not now, will in a few years, be subject to great abuses. We cannot avoid seeing, that its inevitable tendency, is the perpetuation of whatever errors and abuses in practice and theory, may creep into the government.—And although no fears are entertained from the execution of an improper influence, by the honest and upright statesmen now in the executive chair, we have no security in the practice of Congressional caucuses for the continued attainment of so desirable an object, but the very reverse. Self interest is the first law of nature, and it is not the insulated interests, feelings or wishes of the incumbent Chief Magistrate, or of the caucus delegation in Congress, but of the great body of the people of the union, which is to be consulted in the selection of the President. Upon his intelligence, republican principles, honesty, and firmness, mainly depend the freedom and prosperity of the nation.
The advocates for the caucus system can have but one end in view, and that is, to cause some one, by means of the influence of a caucus nomination, to be elected, who might not be without it. Now, a caucus nomination will, or will not, have the effect of making the President; If this object be not effected by it, it is then useless; If the object is attained, then congress make the President. The argument stands thus; the congress in 1823,’4, indirectly and most unconstitutionally elect the President, to prevent the same congress from doing the same thing in 1824,’5, directly and constitutionally.
Arguments from necessity are not less untenable; it is urged that it is necessary, first, for the purpose of consolidating the Republican party, secondly, to prevent the election by the house of Representatives. To which, we answer, that there is no federal candidate; they are all republicans, and this ground, if tenable at all failed. The election by the house of representative is not to be deprecated, it was foreseen and provided for by the constitution, and if it were to be feared, the same men are much more to be dreaded in caucus in 1823,4 than when constitutionally called on in 1824,5. It is the same men of the house of representatives, as it respects the next election, who would have to act in Caucus; thus committing themselves, and prejudging the case—those, who by constitution are called on as judges (in case there be not a majority) in 1825, are to determine for the people in a matter of the very highest concern! It is impossible that the people will bear so gross an abuse, as that the house of representatives, their constitutional judges, should voluntarily, in caucus, commit themselves, or prejudge the case!
It is our earnest prayer, that this election may be as free from extraneous influence as the constitution contemplated. Let the people peaceably and quiet meet together, discuss, and express their feelings and opinions; and even the individuals of whom the local Legislatures are composed. Al this is innocent, it is useful, it is in the spirit of freedom, and of the constitution. It has no imposing, no overwhelming, and no destructive influence. By the interchange of these thoughts and opinions, truth and knowledge are obtained;—such, as without unusual corruption, will be sufficient to concentrate a majority of the people, trammelled as the election is, by state regulations.
If, among the people of some three or four of the largest states, constituting a majority, there shall exist a community of feeling, interest, and judgment, eviaced by an unbiased bite as to their chief magistrate, it is the duty of all to acquiesce. But the smaller states, of which there are four fifths of the union, cannot shut their eyes against the unequivocal usurpation and sacrifice of their rights of sovereignty, by a congressional caucus, which probably will be strenuously advocated by the aristocracy of a few of the largest states. The Union is founded on republican principles the constitution provides that people shall have a fair opportunity of selecting their President in the first instance, if a majority can agree; and if they cannot, it then provides for the fair exercise of state sovereignty: & in this even, according to the constitution and the law of nations, each state of the Union will be on an equal footing. The argument then terminates in this:—will nineteen or twenty states, of the middling and smallest class, permit four or five of the largest states, by a maneuver of their members of congress in caucus, to deprive them of a constitutional right, essential to their liberties? In this process all men will remark, that, in caucus the vote of each member of congress from the largest states, will have five times the effect that would be attached to such states, should the election come before the house of represenativies in congress. It is no wonder then, that New York, and a few of the other largest states, should be in favor of a Congressional caucus!
Until lately the nation seemed to be divided into two great, but harmonious interests, the north and the south.—The late war, with the increase of population, has brought into existence, another division, the west, destined ere long from the weight of its population, and hardiness of character, to be at least equal to either of the other two. It is repeated, that these are parts of one great whole, with minor sectional feelings but moving harmoniously within the ???admirable republican constitution, under the genuine auspices of which, we hope to live and die. Though just risen from beneath the horison, the west, is not without her enlightened and distinguished sons of freedom. Among whom none seems more prominent than General Andrew Jackson.
It is not for us to portray the public career and character of this distinguished citizen. His public character is incorporated with the history of the republic—It is in the keeping of a grateful country.—will grow brighter with age, and descend to posterity with undiminished lustre, as one of its richest inheritances.
An accurate knowledge of his worth in the social relations of life, is not so easily acquired, except by his neighbors, and those placed in situations to have personal knowledge of his virtues. From the committee, most of whom have been acquainted with him from his earliest appearance on the theatre of life, this might be expected—Gen. Jackson’s character is as strongly marked in social intercourse, as in his public acts. In search after truth, he is patient and persevering at all times. But the sure strength of understanding, energy of will, and promptness of action, are equally distinguishable in private and public life.—Frank, attentive and urbane to all around him, dispassionate inquiry and reasoning are invited, never meet with impediment, and have nothing to fear in their approach to him. Intelligent, prompt, and clear in his perceptions, Gen. Jackson, being previously informed, things, speaks and acts, with decision. Man, in all his relationship, has been peculiarly the study of his life. Hence his scrupulous fulfilment of his private engagements, seeing that none go away dissatisfied, and his conviction of the necessity of inculcating the principles of the christian religion, which he believes and encourages. He is a light and comfort to his family, to his neighbors, and to his freinds. The finer feelings of humanity are found equally elevated; to this, let the way-worn traveller, the unfortunate and indigent, answer; but their feelings would be merged in the love and gratitude of his sick and dying countrymen, who served in our armies with him.
General Jackson is alike distinguished for private worth and public services; and gratitude as well as conviction of his fitness, leads us to accord to him the preference as the successor of Mr. Monroe; we accordingly submit his merits to the people of the United States. But the committee cannot, in justice to our fellow citizens, come this address, without an assurance, that neither collectively nor individually, have they, or any of them, any knowlege or information, respecting Gen. Jackson’s disposition on the subject. They have only seen his answer to a committee of a meeting in Pennsylvania, from which they are authorized to say, that he has never sought, as they believe he never did, any public employment, nor has he ever declined, when it was the wish of a majority, or a great national interest concerned.—He is assiduously employed on his farm in our neighborhood, in cultivation of which, and with those with whom he associates, no vestige of ambition can be traced;—always happy, but efficient in the sphere assigned him by Providence.
John McNairy Jno. Overton.
R. Whyte Edward Ward,
John Haywood, E. H. Foster.
Reference: Nashville Gazette (Nashville, Tennessee), 25 July 1823, p. 2 as indexed at GenealogyBank.com
Public Meeting.—Agreeably to public notice, a numerous and respectable meeting of the citizens of Nashville and the county of Davidson, was convened at the court-house, on this 29th day of April, 1823, for the purpose of taking into consideration and expressing their opinion on the subject of selecting a suitable person, and recommending him to the people for the office of President of the United States, at the next elections.
On motion, Robert C. Foster was appointed Chairman, and Randal M’Gavock, Secretary.
On motion, the following resolutions were read, and unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That it is the option of the citizens composing this meeting that, at the approaching election of President of the United States, the people ought to select for a candidate, and support for that office some distinguished citizen, whose Republican principles have been tested by long experience; whose political integrity, public virtue, and energy of character, are calculated to administer with purity the government of the United States; and thereby preserve to her that high standing and character which she has attained:
And to that end, Resolved, that we will support for that office, ANDREW JACKSON, and we do recommend him to the people of the United States as peculiarly qualified to discharge the duties of that important station.
Resolved, That a committee be appointed, consisting of the following persons, John McNairy, John Haywood, Robert Whyte, John Overton, Edward Ward and E. H. Foster to prepare and cause to be published an address to the people of the United States, on the subject of the election of the next President of the United States.
Resolved, That the foregoing resolutions be signed by the Chairman and Secretary, and published in the newspapers printed in Nashville.
R. M’Gavock, Sec.—[Whig.
Reference: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, D.C.) 19 May 1823, p. 3 as indexed at GenealogyBank.com
Mr. Clay influenced by that vengeance and desperation which now marks all his conduct has lately laid before the public the following letter, one hundred copies of which were sent to this country in a paper printed at Washington City, styled “We the people,” to individuals who had never previously heard of the paper or its nominal editor.
Nashville, (Tenn.) 3d of Jun, 1828
Hon. H. Clay:
DEAR SIR—In the Address of the Central Committee at Washington, I see that the hon. THOMAS P. MOORE has assailed you, in a certificate, with all the virulence of a violent partisan. Mr. Moore seems to have forgotten his declarations, when last in this place, the fall or the summer of the year before the last election for president. He then publicly declared in my presence, that he considered the state of Tennessee disgraced by brining out Andrew Jackson, whom he looked upon as totally unfit for the station; inquired of me if I thought his ears would be safe in Nashville for making those declarations. He was then your strong friend, and regarded Gen. Jackson’s nomination as intended to injure your prospects in the West. This declaration was made by Mr. Moore in presence of many gentlemen of this place, who have a perfect recollection of it. You can make what use you please of this information.
With high respect your friend,
Whether these papers have been paid for out of the contingent fund, will probably be ascertained at some future day. Mr. Clay’s motive in giving this note publication, cannot be mistaken. In the latter part of August or the first of September preceding the presidential election, business called me hastily to Nashville. It was after dark when I arrived there; and the next morning I was seized with a fever and confined to my bed. By the advice of T. T. Duncan, esq. I sent for Dr. Boyd McNairy, who attended me with great assiduity through a dangerous illness. I never left my room but once and then only for a few moments, until I was placed in a carriage by Gen. Houston, then a member of Congress, and Gen. Joseph Duncan, now a member from Illinois, & conveyed to the springs, twenty miles on my route home.
I never saw Dr. McNairy previous to his attendance at my bed side; I have no recollection of ever seeing him out of my room in my life. I was then the zealous, undisguised friend of Clay, and thought that Gen. Jackson had been brought forward to divide his interest in the West, and prevent his election, & to show that I have never concealed this opinion, I take leave to quote a sentence from my printed speech, published throughout the United States during the last summer. “By the people there was no election—Gen. Jackson, of whose character and prospects I had formed a very incorrect estimate, and who had been held up to the people of Kentucky as a Western candidate, brought out for the purpose of defeating Mr. Clay and aiding Mr. Adams, received 99 electoral votes.” I do not remember of ever having used the expressions which Dr. McNairy attributes to me, but I am firmly persuaded that if I did use them in his presence, it was in my room while laboring under the influence of violent disease. If Dr. McNairy is in the habit of treasuring up the rash and peevish expressions of his confiding patients, that he may thereafter proclaim them to the world for their injury, I have only to regret that I fell into the hands of a man so utterly regardless of the first principles of honor and social duty. If he means to say that I made any such declaration to him in the public streets, my recollection of my intercourse with him, authorizes me to say his statement is untrue.
While I was sick in Nashville, General Jackson visited me for the first time in his life, and invited me as soon as I could be conveyed in a carriage to go out to his house, and remain there until I should completely recovered. I could not, however, comply with his kind invitation. Devoted to Mr. Clay, I was opposed to every thing which opposed him, and as was very natural, I far underrated General Jackson’s virtues, talents and qualifications. I have long sigce become convinced of my error, to acknowledge it to the world, and as my enemies event will admit, made some atonement for it, to my constituents to whom alone I am responsible at least so far as a zealous and fearless support of Jackson’s election can do it. No incident of my life has given me more pain than this note from Dr. M’Nairy. Not part of the pain inflicted uyon me by this occurrence, results from and unwillngness that Gen. Jackson and the world should know all that I have ever said of him. I do not pretend to deny, and certainly shall offer no apology for it; that in urging the claims of Mr. Clay, I may have used in many parts of Kentucky, harsh language in regard to the pretensions of General Jackson, and motives of those who supported him. I labored under a delusion common to two thirds of the citizens of Kentucky.
It is perhaps proper before I come this communication to notice a virulent and abusive article in the Kentuckian, headed “Thomas P. Moor,” and purporting to be editorial. It states that gen. Jackson was my last choice previous to my leaving home in the fall of 1824; and that I travelled a considerable part of the way with Gen. Jackson to Washington city. No truthful and responsible man will assert that I ever insinuated an intention of voting for Mr. Adams; it is known to the citizens of this district, that previous to the last election I denounced Mr. Adams throughout it; I travelled to Washington City the fall referred to, in company with my colleague Mr. Buckner. And although we passed Gen. Jackson= on his way, neither of us exchanged a word with him, and I never more than exchanged the ordinary civilities of the day with him until after I had voted for him to be President of the United States. I hope that such papers as have inserted Dr. M’Nairy’s letter will do me the justice to publish this communication.
T. P. MOORE
Harrodsburg, July 10
Reference: Signs of the Times (Albany, New York), 16 Aug 1828, p. 2, as indexed at GenealogyBank.com
Be it known to those it may concern that I John Shelby M. D. late Hospital Surgeon to the Southern division of militia under the command of Majr Genl. Andrew Jackson in the Creek Nation, do hereby certify that I dressed Epperson Bandy's wound at Camp Shotten within the aforesaid Creek Nation, in the month of November in the year 1813 and that the said Epperson Bandy was then a solider in the service of the United States and is the same person or soldier mentioned in the above certificate. Sworn to & subscribed by Lieut Beverly Williams. Given under my hand the day & year above written.
John Shelby M.D.
Reference: War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, compiled ca. 1871 - ca. 1900, documenting the period 1812 - ca. 1900, record group 15, National Archives Catalog ID 564415; digital image indexed at Fold3.com