Slavery

Tennessean abolitionist asks Mississippi lawyers Miller & Kilpatrick to help him in his claim against a man who he is sure “will run off or dispose of his negroes rather than be forced to pay his just costs…” – eight years later, Col. Miller was killed at Gettysburg in Pickett’s Charge

Autograph Letter Signed “H. Owen,” 1.5p, 7.75” x 9.75”. Somerville, Tennessee, September 24, 1855. Original 5.5” x 3.5” postmarked envelope with embossed 3¢ Washington stamp addressed to “Messrs Miller & Kilpattrick / Pontotock / Mississippi” through “Memphis.” Pontotock is about 85 miles southeast of Somerville.

In part, “I drop you a line to learn the exact condition of the claims I sent you on BD High … I am sure High will run off or dispose of his negroes rather than be forced to pay his just costs. Several of my friends in his vicinity have claims against High & spoke of sundry items due to you but I believe they have concluded to wait awhile longer … I should go & do so myself on my claims – for I have no confidence in High. Perhaps you could do so for me as my attorneys. Should you be willing to act thus in the matter…”

Records of the American Colonization Society reveal that receipts were issued in Somerville, Tennessee, to “Mr. H. Owen, $2” for a contribution and, “H. Owen, to Sept. 1850, $1” noted “for Repository.” Published in the October 1849 issue of “African Repository and Colonial Journal,” a monthly which promoted both colonization and Liberia. Among the items printed were articles about Africa, letters of praise, official dispatches stressing the prosperity and steady growth of the colony, information about emigrants, and lists of donors. While Owen’s $2 contribution was for the ACS, he also contributed $1 for the monthly journal.

Hugh R. Miller and William H. Kilpatrick became law partners in Pontotoc, Mississippi, in 1853. Miller had been a Mississippi State Representative (1841-1843) and Circuit Judge (1845-1853). In the Civil War, he commanded the Pontotoc Minute Men (Company G, 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment) from January 1861 until April 1862 and the 42nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment from May 1862 until July 3, 1863, when Col. Miller was mortally wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg in Pickett’s Charge. Kilpatrick served as Captain, 9th Mississippi Infantry (“Corinth Rifles”) and, promoted to Major, commanded the 5th Battalion of the Army of Mobile in 1862.


Item: 58030

Price: $600.00
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Slavery
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