Monday, July 8, 2013

Featured Manuscript Collection

Jared C. Martin Family Papers
MSS 05-01

Finding Aid

The Jared C. Martin Family Papers documents life in antebellum Arkansas through the personal correspondence of an early Arkansas settler and his family. Correspondence in the collection is dated from 1824 to 1882, with the largest concentration of letters written in the 1830s-1850s.

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Letter: James H. Martin (opposite Little Rock, Arkansas Territory) to Eli J. Lewis (Post of Arkansas), January 17, 1826.
Martin writes about money owed to Lewis and how to collect payment. James Hutcheson Martin operated a ferry with his brothers in Little Rock on the Arkansas River. He died in 1826.

Jared Carswell Martin, the son of Irish immigrants John and Elizabeth Allen Martin, was born October 11, 1806, in the Cherokee Indian Nation, Georgia. He spent the majority of his childhood in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, before relocating to Little Rock, Arkansas Territory, around 1821. Jared operated a ferry on the Arkansas River with his brother, James Hutcherson Martin, and spent two years carrying mail between Little Rock and the Arkansas Post. Jared served as Pulaski County treasurer from 1840-1842, as a Pulaski County representative in the Arkansas legislature from 1842-1844, and as state treasurer from 1843-1845. Jared married Mary “Polly” Douglas on January 25, 1827, and the couple had eleven children. The Martin family settled in Fourche Bayou near Little Rock and set up a farm. Jared Carswell Martin died November 7, 1857.
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Letter: Amos Byrd (Lawrence County, Arkansas Territory) to Jared C. Martin (Little Rock, Arkansas Territory), June 29, 1834.

Most of the personal correspondence in the collection deals with health, family relations, finances, and the state of the crops. Additionally, Jared C. Martin was a religious man and a few of the letters deal with his involvement with the church. Notably, two letters are from James Wilson Moore (1797-1873), the father of Presbyterian Church in Arkansas.
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Letter: James H. Martin (Jackson, Missouri) to his uncle, Jared C. Martin (Little Rock, Ark.), January 12, 1840.

Many of the letters talk about local and state politics, as various members of the Martin family were involved in state-level Democratic politics. One letter of note is a piece of constituent correspondence regarding traveling ministers addressed to Jared C. Martin, John W. Cocke, and P. T. Crutchfield, Pulaski County Representatives in the Arkansas House from 1842-1844. In addition to Jared C. Martin’s political activities, his brother John Martin III served in the Missouri legislature from 1829-1836 and as postmaster of Batesville, Arkansas, from 1848-1862, and his brother Allen Martin served as Pulaski County surveyor from 1825-1830, as a member of the Arkansas Territorial Legislative Council from 1831-1833, and as Pulaski County sheriff from 1836-1838.

The bulk of the collection has been digitized and is available online.

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Notice: M. Hill to Jared C. Martin (Little Rock, Ark.), July 20, 1840.

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Certificate: commissioning Jared C. Martin Treasurer of the State of Arkansas, 1845.


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