1840: Israel R. Clawson to Isaiah Dunn Clawson

This interesting letter was written by Israel R. Clawson (1776-1849) of Woodstown, New Jersey, to his son, Isaiah Dunn Clawson (1822-1879) — a student at Princeton University. Clawson graduated in 1840 but continued on at the school to earn an MD degree in 1843. He adopted Whig party politics like his father and later became a politician himself. See Isaiah’s biography in the footnotes below.

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Addressed to Isaiah Clawson, Esq., Princeton [New Jersey]

Woodstown [New Jersey]
August 2d 1840

Respected son, I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present & hope you are the same. I suppose that they are going to have a great meeting in Newark on the 7th of this month. We have had several very large town puts [parades?] On the 4th of July – the largest of them — was said to be 6 or 7 hundred people here that day & there was a glorious time for Old Tip [William Henry Harrison]. There was Marton V Buran [Martin Van Buren] with a white hat on. A boat 2 feet & a ½ hi[gh] resembling the White House rowing above him so that wosent half yet, there was wrote on his back, “Dam the Hard Cider. How it works me.” He rode in an old box, something similar to those that stove goods come in, sat on a pair of selky shaves and wrote on one side, “the Globe” & the other, “Away with the Subtreasury.” He had a Gum cane in his hand about four feet long & an inch thick which he used for whipping the hors[e]. The hors[e] was an old lazy thing with white spots on. He was dressed uggeler than anny other man could be. He had on short son’s trowsers that just came down to or below his knees with snaps about a foot long and diching boots on and behind him was ____ I. R. Clawson & the ophilus brick with the banner that belongs to the company.

The next was Old Tippecanoe with a long band from Philadelphia. Behind that was that small bote of yours in the office in the name of ____ Constitution in your Dearburn. Next was the Constitution from Eldrege’s [Eldridge’s] Hill with port holes around it with another band of music. They had guns at every port hole. The next was about 2 hundred hors[e] backers. The next was For Meigs from Publica Hill with another band & about as again hors[e] backers dressed in white with a small flag on one side of the saddels. On the back was a blew pad with 26 bright shining stars the B___ W________. The next a very eligant log cabin from Glass Borough [Glassboro] drawn by 6 mules with a barrel of hard cider on. Before the next was another Convension from Coletown. They all met there in the morning at ½ past 8 o’clock & raised a liberty pole one hundred feet high with a beautiful flag on the top. They came to Woodstown about eleven o’clock. The convension reached from Joseph Cook’s to Moses Hales. Evry barn in Woodstown was filled with horses.

We dined 1:40 at our house at one table. There was several speakers spoke out in Samuel White’s woods. Turns in Woodstown Brick are mensioned before Ruben Hilliard, Dan Adams, Neze Hermes. Both Samuel Dickison & Junien besides several more than I can’t recollect at this present time.

We are all getting along verry well here. The boys is all for Harrison & Tyler. They are going to have a great convension in Salem about 3 o’clock I do expect — we do not know serton yet. On the 24[th,] there is a going to be a very large me[eting in May’s Landing. They are going to have a log cabin drawn by 56 mules of Brigses. I haven’t time to write any more. If I could a have time, I could write 4 or 5 sheets of paper full.

It is getting verry late. I must retire to bed. Plese to write as soon as is convenient. We have plenty of water melons here now. The girls are all doing well here. We are going to have a camp meeting here on the 10 day of August. My pen is bad, My ink is black & I kept the ink in prin___

Your respected Father, —  I. Clauson


Isaiah Dunn Clawson (March 30, 1822 – October 9, 1879) was an American Opposition Party / Republican Party politician who represented New Jersey’s 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1855 to 1859.

Born in Woodstown, New Jersey on March 30, 1822, Clawson attended Delaware College, (Newark, Delaware) and Lafayette College (Easton, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Princeton College in 1840 and from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1843. He commenced the practice of medicine in Woodstown. He served as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly in 1854.

He was elected as an Opposition Party candidate to the Thirty-fourth Congress and reelected as a Republican to the Thirty-fifth Congress, serving in office from March 4, 1855 to March 3, 1859, but was not a candidate for renomination in 1858.

After leaving Congress, he resumed the practice of medicine in Woodstown, where he died on October 9, 1879. Interment in the Baptist Cemetery.

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