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M.W.S. Kendall, M.D. October 18, 1880 letter to James Low III


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October 18, 1880 Letter From

Dr. M. W. S. Kendall, MD

of Bellview, Calhoun County, Illinois

to James8 Low III

of Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois.

The letter was found in the trunk of James8 Low III and transcribed Dec 1997 by his great-great grandson, Bingham James Forrest12 Lowe of Phoenix, Arizona. Punctuation and spelling errors have not been corrected.

Over the years, James8 received a number of letters that reveal much about his character and interests. James8 had a keen interest in politics and had a warm heart and he helped many people. The following letters speak volumes about James8 and the type of person he was.

The letter is from Dr. Kendall who was a close friend of James8 and who may have known James8 in Maine. This may be the same Dr. Kendall who died on November 21, 1882 and whose death certificate reads: W.W.S. Kendall. Farmer and Physician. Died Nov 21, 1882, Griggsville, Pike County, Illinois. Cause: Capillary Bronchitis. Suffered 10 days. Buried Walnut Grove Cemetery on Nov 22. Age 67 yrs, 6 mo 10 days. Born in Maine. Another possible candidate is an M.W. Kendall who is buried in the Maysville cemetery, Pike County, Illinois, born in Belfast on May 26, 1818 and who died November 21, 1892.

In 1878, when Napoleon Bonaparte Greathouse was having great financial difficulties and could not care for his children, James8 sent his grandson, Robert Henry10 Greathouse to live for a time with Dr. and Mrs. M.W. Kendall and their son, William.

Genealogical position of James8 Low III:

10th generation: Frank, Forrest, Lenna, Arthur, Edward, Paul, Leland, Charles Doss, Pearl, Henry, James, George

Bingham James9 Low(e)   Aug 27, 1853 - Feb 10, 1923           (wife: Mary D. Culver)                    of Pittsfield, IL

James8 Low III                  Apr 27-1816 - Sep 2, 1889               (wife: Margaret Huston Montgomery) of Clinton & Brighton, ME / Pittsfield, IL

James7 Low Jr                   1796 - Mar 20, 1824                        (wife: Mary Wyman)                       of Clinton, ME (fought in War of 1812)

James6 Low Sr                   Jul 17, 1770 - bef 1830                    (wife: Elizabeth "Betsy" Chase)      of Boxford, MA / Clinton, Maine

Nathan5 Low                     Oct 1, 1742 - Jul 24, 1804                (wife: Lucy Lord)                            of Ipswich & Boxford, Massachusetts

Caleb4 Low                        1707 - Jul 17, 1777                          (wife: Abigail Varney)                     of Ipswich, Massachusetts

David3 Low                       Aug 14, 1667 - Jun 2, 1746              (wife: Mary Lamb)                          of Ipswich, Massachusetts

Thomas2 Low                    May 8, 1631 - Apr 12, 1712             (wife: Martha Boreman)    of Groton & Boxford, Suffolk, England / Ipswich, MA

Thomas1 Low                    1605 - Sep 8, 1677                           (wife: Margaret Todd)       of Groton & Boxford, Suffolk, England / Ipswich, MA

Giles0 Low          unknown (Wife: Syseley Wall, marr 3/5/1601/02)     of Brancepeth, Durham, England; Groton & Boxford, Suffolk, England



Bellview, Cal Co, Illinois

October 18, 1880

To my good old friend,

Mr. James Lowe

I am not well I have not been able to do anything for some 6 weeks Mrs. Kendall is well, notwithstanding She has had the hard task of nursing me so long - fed me nearly two weeks with a spoon while I was unable to sit up in bed.

I am now mending slowly, I hope I shall be able to see you before the election day, but fearing I am unable to get there, let me tell you few positive truthes concerning the Democrats and Greenbacks. First let me tell you they are one party, and a little slip of paper I shall send you in this letter is enough to convince any thinking man. I do assure you this very same Cincinnati Enquirer was during the whole Rebellion as much of a Rebel paper as was ever printed anywhere in the south.

I am, and have been for many years, well acquainted with its publishers, and in it they claim the union of the two parties.

Now let me in but a few words tell you what the trick is, they call it a Greenback party and speak of the greenback money as if it is to be like the present greeback money. It is not so, the present greeback money has the Government to back it, and will pay dollar for dollar. Now notice the difference between the two kinds of greenbacks, the greenbackers greenback money has no one to redeam it, no one. It has no government to say we will redeam it, but now mind you in all the political halls the greenback and Democrats join and vote Democratic on all important questions. Remember David Davis. Well now for the greenback party money again.

The law then is to be made read in this way, all persons hold land[?] ole1.gif Government bonds or cirificates are forced to produce them for payment by a certain time or they are nul and void, that is will never be paid. And they are to be paid with this greenback party money which reads in this style this One dollar or One thousand dollar Note is good and lawful money to pay all debts public and private, now cant you see the drift of the democrat party the true Rebel party by this means they compel the good men of our Country who let the Government of the United States have their money to fight the rebel with, I say compels them to take this greenback party money for their bonds & there being no one to redeam the greenback money it is worthless except to pay a debt. You cannot buy a loaf of bread with a thousand dollar bill, if the one who has the bread to sell was not in debt. Some will say I will get in debt, and pay this worthless money to my creditor, let us see how he will do it, he falls greatly in love with your home farm and says Mr. Low what do you ask for your farm, one third cash and the balance in one year, if he buys for ten thousand dollars he pays you three thousand and three hundred and thirty three dollars, the 1/3 of the 10 thousand you give him a deed, and want a mortgage for the balance. When to your surprise, he says never mind the mortgage, I will just pay you the balance down and he pays you a hand ful of money of the greenback party. Now you owe no one and you cannot use it. Now again let us see how you will talk to this same man when your eyes are opened on that subject. When this man askes you what you will take for your home farm, your answer will be ten thousand dollars in cash, gold or silver, or greenbacks secured by the Government, money to be paid before the deed is handed to you. Then said he, I cannot buy of you, and so every body will say, I sell no more , one cents worth, without the cash. Now where has the business of the country gone to. Let me tell you it has fled at the approach of Greenback Democracy. We have not one dollar of gold and silver to one hundred or one thousand dollars required to do business on. What will you do with your wheat if it cannot command any justifyable price for want of money in the hands of dealers to purchase it. And down goes the business and senses of the best government under the sun by the trick of the democrat & greenback party. Remember they are one working for only one purpose and that is repudiation. In other words to destroy the credit of the nation and use the money to pay the Rebel claims and pension the Rebel soldiers, and stop the pensions now being paid the Union soldiers, and widow and orphans of those who lost their lives in the Union Army to save our Country.

N.B. We are now a prosperous nation with a large amount of wealth under the Republican rule. And when the Democrats were in power we were in debt heavily and were borrowing money at a heavy interest to carry on the Government. Now should we of the North wish to become the slave of the Rebel, Tyranical, Bull doggin Murderous Southerner. I say, Hurrah for Republicanism in all places and at all times.

I was in Company with several Democrats who were very angry at something I had said and one of them came up very quickly to me and said in a loud voice Dr. did you say so and so? My answer was yes I did what of it? Well said he I did not think you would say such a thing. Well sir, I did and if you will wait a minute or two I will say something more. Well what is it, well said I, I ask you all what do you think the Southern people should do with a Northern man (a Yankee) who goes down there to live and after he has been there a year or more says he is a republican and wants to be a mayor of the City in which he lives?

Now answer the question each of you. The man above alluded to says at once shoot him the impudent son of a B___h. Well said I tell me why he should be shot, because he is not a native of the south and no right there. Well said I, he is an American and should have a home any where in the United States wherever it suits him. Said he, I say shoot him or any other Yankee in the South. Well said I, gentlemen, do you all agree with him? One man says I do not, nor I, says another. Well said I, now let me ask one more question and see how you stand on it, and then I will tell you one thing more and leave you for the present.

N.B. If to day the two men to be voted for by the people were Jefferson Davis on the Democratic ticket and General Grant on the other, I ask you each to tell me candidly which you would vote for. Those in favor of Davis step to the South side and those for General Grant step to the North side. Two of the men hurrahed for Jef Davis and the balance hurrahed for Garfield Grant and the Republican Party.

We can now see what the Democrat Party is plainly and I am a Republican I fought in the Union Army and draw a pension said one man and I am not willing to be ruled by my enemies, loos my pension and give it to them. There was a gain of 5 or 6 republicans.

Now said I a little more and I am done with you. I then said to the man who first addressed me, you were born in the North why should you be so hard on the Northern Yankee. No sir, said he, I was born in the south Mississippi. Well, said I to the othe Jef Davis man, you were born in Ohio. No sir, said he, I am a Kentuckyan. Now tell me where you get your privilege to come in the North and do, and talk as you do, to the Northern people? Well, he said, I am an American.

Well, said I, do you know just what I am? No he said. Well, I will tell you. I am a retaliator, who wish to serve others as they wish to serve me. I think all such people as you should be shot who come here and talk and act as you do and I think you two are ballot stuffers, vote 3 or 4 times at different precincts under different names, and I shall see that you are looked after on the Election day. Good buy for this time, and left them.

Remember, Greenback is Democrat Repudiation. That is not to pay the national debt, but steel the money we have in the Government Treasury and fill the pockets of the Rebels of the South.

Personal note to you. I have left out quite a number of words in my letter to you but I am unable to copy it. I cannot sit up but a little while at a time to write, so I enterlined it through out the whole letter and hope you will excuse the same. I hope you are, and all of yours, well. I hope to see you before long.

I send you a news paper our little Calhoun County Pilot, I have marked two or three pieces for you to read.

Love to all. Yourself, sons, and families.

M.W.S. Kendall, M.D.


N.B. I write you this letter in this plain hand so you will not be troubled to read it. Some are bothered to read the back hand writing.


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© 1999 by Bingham James Forrest Lowe [g.g.grandson of James Low(e)]

Email: Bingham J F Lowe @ Lowe Family Descendants.com

        (copy address and remove the spaces to send an email)

November 17th, 2010 marks the 374th anniversary of the Low(e) Family in America.