Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

The War of 1812 - The Letters

I teased about the letters.  Here is the transcription to the best of my capability. 

(JSP 01)

File 9221 Percival, John S. M.D. 1815 (N.Y.)

(JSP 02)

Re md for appt. Hosp. Surg. Mate - Jan 28.

1182 - New York

Jno. S. Percival S. Mate 

R by Dr. Stearns

28 Jany 1815

(JSP 03)

City of Washington 28th Jany 1815

Sir I have the honor to enclose you a letter which I lately received from Dr. John Stearns of the city of Albany, recommending Doctor John S. Percival for the commission of Surgeon’s mate. With Doctor Percival I have no acquaintance, with Doctor Stearns I have been long and intimately acquainted with his true character in the line of his profession. I have taken the liberty to certify upon the back of the letter enclosed.

I have the honour to be Sir

With great consideration

Your Most Obt Sevt.

John Lovett  

(Addressed to the Honorable James Monroe)

(JSP 04)


Encl. Percival, John

Jany 28, 1815

Hon John Lovett 

Member of Congress Washington

(Reverse of letter)

(JSP 04)

Albany 20th Jany 1815

Dear Sir, Although I have some acquaintances with the mode of receiving, yet I have very little with that of professing solicitations for office. It is therefore with reluctance that I trouble you with the request of my Nephew Dr. John S. Percival - he wishes to obtain your aid in procuring for him the appointment of Hospital Surgeon mate. Dr. Shaw the Hospital Surgeon at Green Bush has informed him that he wants a mate and has directed him to pursue this mode to obtain the appointment. In recommendation of Dr. Percival I can freely say that I believe him to be well qualified to discharge the duties of that office - He was appointed Surgeons mate in the militia detached last summer for the defense of New York, but on account of the removal of his surgeon to the hospital, performed the duties of Regimental Surgeon without an appointment & was singularly successful not to lose a single patient in that Corps. 

Your successful interference in this case will confer on me a favor which I shall always be happy to reciprocate, and an obligation which I trust I shall never refuse to acknowledge.

At the National bank posses what is your opinion of it (—)?

Accept assurance of my highest esteem and friendship.

John Stearns

Hon. John Lovett

The undersigned can with truth and confidence certify that Doctor John Stearns has long stood at the head of his profession in the city of Albany, and that no gentleman would be more cautious and guarded against urging the pretensions of any candidate which was not well founded in merit and skill.

John Lovett of the House of Rep from Albany, NY

Washington City

28th Jany 1815

Copyright 2010-2022, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 8, 2022

Overture: The War of 1812

Yesterday, I attended an American Ancestors webinar on Researching War of 1812 Ancestors. You think you know all you can about that war and which of your ancestors/collateral relatives served in it. Then you have an "AHA" moment.

I have Kirtley, Chinn, and Carter war of 1812 ancestors. I have Graves collateral relatives who fought in the war of 1812. Two of whom were massacred/captured at Frenchtown (Monroe, Michigan). Then I found the motherlode.

My ancestor, Dr. John Stearns Percival - my great great great grandfather - was in the War of 1812. That blew me away. I wasn't even looking for him, I just put "Percival" in the search field.  I found four pay abstracts for Percival, John S, surg. mate.  And he appeared under an alternate spelling of Purcival. Since I knew that my ancestor attended medical lectures at Troy, New York, I had an inkling that these New York pay records could belong to my ancestor.

These records were found on Ancestry. I also have a subscription through Ancestry to Fold3 and thought check there. What I found there proved my hypothesis. I'm just going to post the folder image today since I've not yet transcribed the letters written on his behalf, by his uncle, Dr. John Stearns. Our family has a habit of naming family members for grandparents and other relatives. For instance, John Stearns Percival (below) was named for his maternal grandfather, also Dr. John Stearns. My dad was named for his maternal grandfather, Frank Bowman.  This was a totally unexpected, yet beautiful find. 

Copyright 2008-2021 ACK, for Generational

Copyright 2010-2022, ACK for Gene Notes