Date Original

1861 April 20


Letter from John A. Powell to Governor Henry M. Rector requesting to leave Tennessee to get a position in Arkansas after secession and to warn Rector of assassination attempts.


[Page 1] Trenton A(?) 20th 1861
Gov H M Rector
Sir I seat myself to ask
of you a favor that perhaps you
can not grant yet when I think
of times gone, times of peace that
we may never see again for
I know your nature is never
to surrender and the troops
in our midtst[sic] require that
on our blood I may well say
you will necessarily be one of the
first who they will attempt
to assasinate[sic] for they are
too cowardly to give you an
honerable[sic] defence[sic] and we must
meet them (I am sorry to say
it) with the same wepons[sic] that
we meet the cowardly midnight
assassins. Great
god did you ever dream of [illegible]
teaching. I heard that notorious
traitor Ethrige speake[sic] yesterday
in the town he said Lincon[sic] is right
[Page 2] and appeals to the poor man
to know why he should spend his
time from his wife and children
to fight for the negro for they
have none[.] Let those who have
negroes fight for them[.] he is for certain to the extreme limits
of its meaning[.] he said (if every
other man in Tenn should forsake
the stars and stripes he would
take hold then to the breeze
and fall with them)
but I am digressing from my
subject[.] I began to alude[sic]
to times gone by where we lived
near each other and were friends.
I hope that nothing in absence
has turned up that would ailinate[sic]
me from your good feelings
for I have stood by your political fortunes
for 8 years both in adversity
and prosperty[sic] I still since remem
ber the old ties and land marks
of friendship and in this last
terable[sic] trial in which our honor
with the peace of our country is at
[Page 3] stake I ask you if there
be any place unfilled to
give me a position in which
I can strike one blow in defence[sic]
of the wife Arkansas gave
me and my children that
was born on her sail and
the little fortune that I
laboured[sic] so hard and so long
to make from her fertile bosom
we have no military organi
zation here as yet[.] this end of
the state I believe will be
with us but I greatly fear
the middle and East end
of the state is hopeless and
the movement north show
very clearly to my mind
that the thunders of war will
be heard in our midts[sic] soon
perhaps before you read my
letter if so ever amidst
its fury I hope to be rememb
[Page 4] I never asked an office of
profit in my life
my time as you are aware
has been devoted entirely
to my private business
endeavoring to make a
competancy[sic] for my
family[.] I would not
now trouble you with
an appeal for office if
my country was at peace
and it was not the duty of
every citizen to give his time
and life if nessary[sic] to the
protection of his rights[.]
if you can grant my [illegible]
[illegible] the telagraph we have
direct communication through[.]
if you cannot please let me
have from you as early as you
can for if I fail at home
I must cast my fortune
with strangers
Yours truly
Gov H M John A Powell
Little Rock
[Page 5] Patriotic letter from
John A. Powell of
Trenton Tennessee wish
to serve his county
and will accept any
office at the ready
Gov Rector That
will enable him
so to as.
April 1861.
[illegible] by telegraph

Physical Description

Letter, 5 pages, 8" x 10.25"


Correspondence; Civil War; Secession; Political activity; Political representation


John A. Powell

Geographical Area

Trenton, Gibson County (Tenn.); Little Rock, Pulaski County (Ark.)




MS.000132, Series II, Item 70

Resource Type



Kie Oldham collection, MS.000132


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter, John A. Powell to Governor Henry M. Rector, Kie Oldham collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Letter, John A. Powell to Governor Henry M. Rector