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Letter of Governor James Turner to Judge John Hall -1808

Contributed by Sally Turner Goodhart &  Kim Waddy

Washington 25th Decr. 1808

This being a day of rest and festivity throughout the Christian wourld, but as none of the latter attaches to me in this place I dont know how I can devote a part of my time better than to that of a friend. In the first place I intend to offer an excuse in not sooner acknowledging your favour of the 6th instant, on the receipt of it I calculated by the time a letter could reach Warrenton you would have left it for Raleigh, its true I might have written to as to trust you on your return but as I never was very particular in my affairs it has passed of until this time.
As to the proceedings of Congress you have it in the papers, as to the situation in which we stand with foreign governments, I endeavoured to place you as nearly on a footing with the good folks here as possible by sending you the Presidential message and documents which accompanyed it, and the report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, from which you will in the first place be able to form your opinion as to the probability if any exists of our causes of complaint being settled in an amicable way- and from the next you will be enabled to see the course that will probably be pursued by Congress as to those Tygers & Sharks. I also sent you Giles' speech against the repeal of the Embargo. The farmer I think coloured rather too high the prosperous situation of his broken farmers, or at least as one of them know fine advantages of improving lands &c which is deemed more beneficial than the sale of valuable crops, is lost on me. My plan has hitherto been to enjoy what today presents itself and let tomorrow provide for itself- But ajoking apart it certainly was a most excellent speech, and does honor to be heard, and the Patriotism of the heart of the man who delivered it.
I still continue of opinion that the Embargo is the best plan to be pursued, and let the British Ministers say what they will, aided by every thing their friends in this Country can do (for friends they have) acquisition to our school, and be a permanent resident amongst us. I rec'd a letter the other day from W. Falkener saying that the Raleigh folk bad out lied him for Wm. Sambourne, and requested me to aid him in procuring a teacher of music if possible in this place or elsewhere, I have put a notice in Smiths Paper and engaged Jo Gales Jr. to aid me in procuring one, his acquaintance in Phil'a probably will contribute much towards making my endeavour successful. I wish every much for Mrs. Falkener to get a good teacher if she does not her school will certainly decline.
The Citizen Davison is becoming the owner of more real property in Warrenton than almost any other of our citizen - does he intend having entertainment kept at Hazzard's place.
I am sorry to hear that Warrenton should have so much degenerated in the short span of two months as to have her principal citizens called before the Court by the presentment of the grand jury. You did not name any particular character, and to my great mortification it is known here and somewhat balked of that our friend Plummer was one of those presented, near his friend Jammie for whom he gave his suffrage April next. The want of timber & other naval stores provisions for her Spanish & Portuguese allies if not for herself and the cotton to employ her labouring citizens will compell them to relinquish those orders.
There is a strong part here that I believe are for war direct, and the Federalists who were unanimously opposed to the Embargo are becoming lukewarm as to its repeal in sentiment list if that measure is given up that War with England will be substituted.
The Presidential Election is settled, Mr. Madison gets 123 votes, Mr. Pinckney 47. and the present Vice President 6. to that that matter is gotten over satisfactorilly to the Republic generally and yourself & I may say myself particularly
I believe I mentioned to you that I expected Miss Craven would endeavor to sell and her brothers wills. I hope the property sold will at the sales, and that a sufficiency of furniture may be left for the accomodation of his sister. does she intend living there or not. What have you done with Prince and Hannah - did you make a trial to have them emancipated or did you conclude to defer it to some future time.  I am glad to hear our Boys stood a good examination - I hope if Mr. Nicholson is qualified as has been represented that he will be come as a member of the College of Election for North Carolina will hear of it, be informed that he owes part of his success to the vote of a man presented for gaming.
Why does not Fitts lecture him, except that foible he is a well meaning man, and with good advice I think that notwithstanding his tatterly having become so conspicuous as to attract the notion of the grand jury he might be saved. On my return with the aid of Fitts I think by our example, and advice he may yet be reclaimed.
Let me hear from you frequently, it has been a considerable time since we parted and will be before we meet again as your circuit will commence about the time I return. My respects to everybody I know. God is great & mercifull. May give you many day of happiness & prosperity.

J. Turner

To Judge John Hall

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This may be of interest to someone on the Warren County website. It is an obit from the "Warrenton Gazette" from May 3/1873. I'm including the text as written. This was transcribed from microfilm of this newspaper.   Kim Waddy

Death of Hannah Hall, former slave of Judge John Hall

Died in Warren County at the residence of Thomas Carter, Hannah Hall, an old and faithful colored woman, aged eighty. We all mourn the loss of one that had been so useful while living, but are consoled by knowing that she professed faith in her Redeemer for many years before her death, and she is now doubtless standing in the presence of her Lord and Master singing His praises.

Aunt Hannah was buried on the premises of her old master, Judge Hall, on Friday the 18th inst. Many citizens, both white and colored, attended the funeral services, which were conducted with impressive solemnity by the Rev. Mr. Bialy, of the 1st Baptist Church.

"In the blank silence of the narrow tomb,
The clay may rest which wrapped her human birth;
But all are conquered by that silent doom,
The spirit of her thought shall walk the earth,
In glory and in light."

Notes by DW: May 3, 1873 was a Saturday. "Friday the 18th" would have been April 18, 1873, so Hannah Hall died probably about that date. In 1870, Hannah Hall, age 75, black, midwife, was living in the household of Ned & Martha (Hall) Turner, in Warren County, Township No. 10.  The "Thomas Carter residence" mentioned would have been Thomas M. Carter (1839-1922), wife Sallie Boyd ( 1845-1911); Thomas was a Free Person of Color who served on the Warren Co. School Committee, whose ancestors were longtime Warren Co. residents. Sallie Boyd, a former slave, whose parents were William Smith Boyd & Louisa Falkener, was likely formerly acquainted with Hannah during slavery, and possibly even related through her mother. Thomas & Sallie named a daughter, born in May 1873, Hannah, apparently after Hannah Hall.

Thanks to the owner of this letter is Sally Turner Goodhart, the 3rd great granddaughter of Gov. James Turner & Judge John Hall.



2015 by Sally T. Goodhart, Kim Waddy, Deloris Williams, Ginger Christmas-Beattie for the NCGenWeb Project.  No portion of this or any document appearing on this site is to be used for other than personal research.  Any republication or reposting is expressly forbidden without the written consent of the owner. Last updated 04/18/2017