RECOMMENDATION FOR A FLORIDA PHYSICIAN AND PLANTATION OWNER TO RECEIVE A FEDERAL COMMISSION AS A LIEUTENANT OF DRAGOONS; Free-franked folded-letter from Florida State Senator James H. T. Lorimer to U. S. Senator J. D. Wescott. James H. T. Lorimer.
RECOMMENDATION FOR A FLORIDA PHYSICIAN AND PLANTATION OWNER TO RECEIVE A FEDERAL COMMISSION AS A LIEUTENANT OF DRAGOONS; Free-franked folded-letter from Florida State Senator James H. T. Lorimer to U. S. Senator J. D. Wescott.
RECOMMENDATION FOR A FLORIDA PHYSICIAN AND PLANTATION OWNER TO RECEIVE A FEDERAL COMMISSION AS A LIEUTENANT OF DRAGOONS; Free-franked folded-letter from Florida State Senator James H. T. Lorimer to U. S. Senator J. D. Wescott.

RECOMMENDATION FOR A FLORIDA PHYSICIAN AND PLANTATION OWNER TO RECEIVE A FEDERAL COMMISSION AS A LIEUTENANT OF DRAGOONS; Free-franked folded-letter from Florida State Senator James H. T. Lorimer to U. S. Senator J. D. Wescott.

Tallahassee: 1848. Unbound. This one-page folded letter measures 15.5” x 10” unfolded. It is dated “January the 16th, 1848.” The cover bears a green “Free” handstamp indicting no postage was required as it was addressed to a U.S. Senator. It is postmarked with a green circular Tallassee handstamp dated January 19. The letter is in nice shape.

It reads in part, “I take the liberty to address you a few lines . . . to obtain your support in procuring the appointment of Dr. Washington Parkhill to the office of 2nd Lieutenant in the Dragoon Service in the U. S. Army. . . . The recommendation . . . for the appointment to which he aspires was signed by nearly every member of the Senate of Fla., as well as a large majority of members of the House. . . . Dr. P. possesses imminently all the qualifications necessary to make a good soldier and officer of high rank.” Westcott has docketed the letter: “Mr. Parkhill will make a good officer. Col Lorimer is the Whig Senator with the Florida legislature from Tallahassee.”. Very good. Item #008905

George Washington Parkhill was the son of John Parkhill, a Virginian, who moved to Florida in 1828 with his family and established a homestead in Leon County that eventually grew into a 3,000 acre cotton plantation, Tuscawilla, worked by over 170 slaves.

Washington Parkhill was educated in the North and attended the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons. Following his graduation, Washington returned to Florida where he apparently decided that he would rather be a soldier than a physician. A neighboring planter, Florida State Senator James Lorimer, spearheaded the effort, soliciting the assistance of still another plantation owner, J. D. Wescott, who was one of Florida’s two first U.S. Senators. Washington was never commissioned in the Dragoons, but remained at Tuscawila, eventually becoming “Master” of the plantation.

His military interests continued, however, and at some point was he appointed to be a major general in the Florida state troops. Although a Unionist, Washington resigned his appointment after Florida seceded and raised a volunteer company, initially named the Howell Guards in honor of Jefferson Davis’s wife, which in the fall of 1861 was one of the first Florida units to head north to fight in Virginia. There, it was redesignated as Company M, 2nd Florida Infantry. Washington was killed while leading his company during the Seven Day Days Battle near Richmond.

Perhaps apocryphally, it was reported that his slave, Louis, picked up Washington’s body from where he was slain and carried it towards Richmond. He was stopped along the way by a man calling from a house, “Whose body do you carry?” When told that it was Captain Parkhill of Florida, the man ordered, “Bring him in here, he was born in this house.”

An insight into plantation politics with a scarce Tallahassee postmark that involves four early and important Florida pioneers: both of the Parkhills, Lorimer, and Wescott.

Price: $500.00

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