Chapter 24

Terms of Use

About Me

Poems for

Stories for

Cruise to

Edward Coles to Morris Birkbeck--in Clarence Alvord, Governor Edward Coles, Illinois Historical Society Library, 1920, pp. 148-151. Back

Notwithstanding we differ--Reprinted from the Illinois Intelligencer in the Edwardsville Spectator, May 17, 1823, and in the Illinois Gazette, May 23, 1823. Back

there were persons of the party--Edward Coles to Mary Carter, March 15, 1823, University of Virginia Library. Back

He writes John--Edward Coles to John Coles III, April 5, 1823, Roberts Coles Collection. Back

this unfortunate convention question--Edward Coles to Mary Carter, March 15, 1823, University of Virginia Library. Back

Tell him from me--Edward Coles to Rebecca E. Coles, Sept. 6, 1823, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

He spent the spring and summer--Coles' movements during this period seem to have been as follows. He left Vandalia soon after the legislature adjourned on February 17 (Edward Coles to Richard Flower, April 12, 1823, in Alvord, pp. 118-120; Edward Coles to John Coles III, April 5, 1823, Roberts Coles Collection). In early March he was in Edwardsville, attending the dinner in his honor that is mentioned in Chapter 24. Then he went to St. Louis, returning on March 22 to Belleville, a community south of Edwardsville, for another dinner (J. M. Peck to Hooper Warren, March 27, 1855, in Alvord, pp. 332-337; letter to John cited above). By April 5 he was back in Vandalia, two weeks later than he had intended, because of heavy rains (letter to John cited above). It is likely that Coles returned to Edwardsville briefly in May 1823, since that is the time that Peck places him at Mason's house for the secret meeting at which David Blackwell is offered the position of secretary of state (see Chapter 21). But by June 27 Coles is back in Vandalia, writing to Vaux (Edward Coles to Roberts Vaux, June 27, 1823, in Alvord, p. 127-129). Coles probably left Vandalia to spend the summer in Edwardsville (considered a healthier place) around July 1 (Edward Coles to James Madison, April 25, 1823, in the William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 7, series 2 (1927) 32), remaining in Edwardsville through September, with the exception of the trip to Missouri about which he writes his niece Rebecca. Back

I have lived more comfortably--Edward Coles to Rebecca E. Coles, Sept. 6, 1823, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

This has been the most cool--Edward Coles to Nicholas Biddle, Sept. 18, 1823, in Alvord, pp. 130-132. Coles also mentions his plans to go to St. Louis "in a day or two," where he will meet Biddle's brother and his bride. Whether he actually went is unknown. Back

It will be recalled--See Chapter 17. Back

--W. T. Norton, Centennial History of Madison County, Illinois and Its People, Chicago, 1912, pp. 140-141, 161. The letter from May to the commissioners is on p. 141.

In November Coles was back in Vandalia--Exactly when Coles returned to Vandalia is unclear. On Oct. 25 he wrote to his sister Mary Carter from Vandalia, mainly concerning the Soulard suit, still pending, but also complaining that now that he has leisure to go to Missouri for Isaac, Isaac hasn't written him (Edward Coles to Mary Carter, Oct. 25, 1823, University of Virginia Library). It is one of the ironies of Coles' life that just when he was devoting himself so completely to anti-slavery, he should be forced to spend additional time tending to Isaac's slave plantation in Missouri. But on April 10, 1823, Isaac finally married, at the age of forty-three, and was no longer interested in coming out to Missouri. His wife, Luisa Nevison, had considerable property in Norfolk, which even after her death on Sept. 5, 1824, continued to occupy Isaac's attention. ("Almanac Dates," Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See also, William B. Coles, ed., The Coles Family of Virginia, New York, 1931, p. 94. See Coles' letter to his niece Rebecca, cited earlier, for some details of his efforts on Isaac's behalf.) Sometime in late December Coles visited Isaac's Missouri estate. On Dec. 25, 1823, he paid $170.00 to a John McQuerry to meet the expenses of El Prado for 1824. On Feb. 12, 1824, Isaac, at his wife's property near Norfolk, writes to sister Betsey that he has gotten a letter from Edward written in January that gives a long account of El Prado, which has been badly managed by an overseer named Simmons. Isaac laments that it will always be so since the distance is too great to hope for better (Roberts Coles Collection). Back

The auction has afforded me--Edward Coles to Roberts Vaux, Dec. 11, 1823, in Alvord, pp. 133-134. The quote in the following paragraph is from a postscript to this letter. Back

two-thirds of Coles' farm--Edward Coles to Morris Birkbeck, Jan. 29, 1824, in Alvord, pp. 148-151. See also the Jan. 21 letter to Vaux cited below, and Edward Coles to W.C. Flagg, 1861, Illinois State Historical Society Journal (1910) 59-64. Back

the Spectator reports--Edwardsville Spectator, Dec. 13, 1823. Back

As Coles explains to Vaux--Edward Coles to Roberts Vaux, Jan. 21, 1824, in Alvord, pp. 166-170. Back

The commissioners to whom May had addressed his letter--Norton, p. 140. Back

Benjamin Spencer--Ibid., p. 101. Contains the information on John Barber as well. Back

Hail Mason--Ibid., p. 334. Thomas Lippincott writes of the Mason brothers: There were three brothers then in Edwardsville . . . who occupied conspicuous positions--James, Paris and Hail Mason. The first of these, James Mason, was, as I have said, proprietor of the old town plot. He was a genial, pleasant man, seeking mainly the acquisition of wealth and having no political ambition. His household, was ever a place of delightful resort, not only from his own cordial good fellowship, but especially rendered so by the cordial, interesting conversation of his wife. Paris Mason was an industrious man and carried on a mill at the foot of the street, where the Cahokia was dammed for that purpose. The third, Hail Mason, was for a number of years a justice of the peace and a worthy citizen. He afterwards became a preacher in the Methodist connection (Ibid., p. 140). Back

My attorneys contended--Edward Coles to Andrew Stevenson, April 7, 1824, Princeton University Library. All of the subsequent quotes to Stevenson are from this letter. Back

On March 31, 1824--Since on March 23, 1824, the Republican Advocate announced Edwards' appointment as Minister to Mexico, it is likely that Coles knew of the appointment well before his interview with Hubbard. Back

My delay in the acknowledgment--Roberts Vaux to Edward Coles, June 14, 1824, in Alvord, pp. 173-174. Back

The pages of the Intelligencer--In a letter to Thomas Lippincott, Coles recalls his contributions to the Intelligencer at that time. My labor in the cause was so great, he writes, that during the several months which passed between the purchasing of the Illinois Intelligencer [and the end of the campaign] there were few numbers of that paper which did not contain some article from my pen, either original essays--the most methodical and lengthy of which were contained in nine numbers over the signature of "One of Many." Also numerous extracts from the writings and speeches of the most celebrated men of America and Europe, many of which were published under the title of "The Voice of Virtue--Wisdom and Experience on the Subject of Negro Slavery" (Edward Coles to Thomas Lippincott, Sept. 1860, extract in the Illinois State Historical Society Journal, vol. 3, no. 4 (Jan. 1911) 62. Back

Physical combat increased--Norton, p. 337. Includes statistics and an account of the dispute between Smith and Warren. Back

That summer the Covenanters--Republican Advocate, July 6 & 13, 1824. Back

Edward Coles

Chapter 24