James I. J. Culpepper
Male, #32065, (3 Jun 1806 - 15 Oct 1846)
|Father*||John Culpepper of Randolph Co., AL (1 Oct 1772 - 13 May 1855)|
|Mother*||Nancy Gillespie (c 1778 - 25 Jul 1848)|
|DNA*||James has been proven by DNA and genealogical research to be a descendant of Joseph Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC, who is a son of Robert Culpepper of Lower Norfolk, the son of Henry Culpepper of Lower Norfolk, VA.|
|Birth*||3 Jun 1806||James was born at Lexington District, South Carolina, on 3 Jun 1806.|
|1810 Census||6 Aug 1810||Daniel, Francis, James and George was probably a free white male, age under 10, in John Culpepper of Randolph Co., AL's household on the 1810 Census at Richland District, South Carolina. Unaccounted for are 1 male 0-10 and 1 female 16-26..1,2|
|Marriage License||20 Dec 1828||James applied for a marriage license to wed Martha Byne Blackstone at Crawford Co., Georgia, on 20 Dec 1828.|
|Marriage*||21 Dec 1828||He married Martha Byne Blackstone at Crawford Co., Georgia, on 21 Dec 1828 at age 22.3|
|1830 Census*||1 Jun 1830||James was listed as the head of a family on the 1830 Census at Crawford Co., Georgia. Unaccounted for is 1 M0-5.4|
|Land Lottery*||1832||He had a fortunate draw in the land lottery in 1832 at Crawford Co., Georgia,|
lot 1133/20/3 in what became Paulding Co., GA.5
|Birth of Son||circa 1834||His son John G. Culpepper was born circa 1834 at Crawford Co., Georgia.|
|Birth of Son||between 1830 and 1840||His son William Culpepper was born between 1830 and 1840.|
|Indian Wars*||1836||He served in one of the Creek and Seminole Indian Wars in 1836|
(Served in Captain Dudley’s Company, Georgia Volunteers, Second Creek Indian War.)6
|Birth of Son||circa 1836||His son George Washington Culpepper was born circa 1836 at Chambers Co., Alabama.7|
|Birth of Son||circa 1839||His son Nathan F. Culpepper was born circa 1839 at Chambers Co., Alabama.|
|Mexican War*||1846||He served in the US War with Mexico in 1846.8|
|Death*||15 Oct 1846||He died at Coosa Co., Alabama, on 15 Oct 1846 at age 40.|
|Biography*|| Mrs. J. W. (Ira Gay) Deam of Gay, GA a descendant of Joel Culpepper, John Culpepper's oldest son, preserved the record of James Culpepper's birth and death from the John Culpepper Bible and Mrs. D. W. (Lavyn Wright) Sisco transcribed the record as follows: _________________________James L. Culpepper _________________________b. 3 Jun 1806 _________________________On Tuesday about Midnight _________________________d. October 16, 1846 |
On the marriage certificate which was submitted by his widow in order to get a pension, the middle initial appears to be an "I." And in her 24 Aug 1897 application for a Mexican War pension, James' widow, Martha B. (Blackstone) Culpepper, wrote: I am the widow of James J. Culpepper, who served under the name James I. Culpepper....
However in a 12 Feb 1887 application Martha specified that James had served under the name James J. Culpepper. It seems likely that Mrs. Deam read the middle initial in the Bible record as a lower case "l." instead of an uppercase "I" but four documents in different handwriting in the pension file clearly show that the middle initial was an "I." However census, deed, and service records and his widow refer to James as James J. Culpepper. Perhaps James had three names or perhaps he didn't like his middle name and used another. A great-grandnephew was named "James Inman Carlisle" in 1869. This MIGHT have been James Culpepper's middle name as well.
James' parents were recorded in the 1800 census of Lexington District, SC and this is probably where he was born. However, James' father, John Culpepper, is next noted administering the estate of John's presumed grandfather-in-law, Daniel Peek, in Richland District in 1807 and James' parents are noted living in Richland District in the 1810 census. So, depending on when the family moved to Richland District, it is possible that this was James' place of birth. James was noted living with his parents as one of five males 0-10 years of age in the 1810 census of Richland District, SC. Unfortunately, his parents have not been found in the 1820 census of South Carolina or Georgia but the family is presumed to have been living in Edgefield District since this was where James' father, John Culpepper, sold the land "where I now live" in 1823. Shortly after this, James presumably moved with his parents to Georgia where his father, John Culpepper "of Monroe" county is known to have purchased land in 1827.
James found his way to Crawford Co., GA, by 1830 possibly moving with his older brother, Joel, who was recorded there in the 1830 census. There James married and is noted with a wife and child in the 1830 census. As a married man with children who was a U. S. citizen and a resident of Georgia for at least three years James would have been eligible for two draws in the 1832 Gold Lottery of Georgia. He drew lot 1133 in district 20 of section 3. This would have been a 40 acre lot near the southwest corner of Paulding Co., GA where it connects with Carroll Co., GA. It is not known if he ever mined the land or if he sold it. According to the Indian War pension application (#2073, no certificate) by James' widow, James was in Alabama by 1836, possibly having moved there with his older brother, Francis G. Culpepper, and his family. Both brother's are supposed to have taken part in the Creek War. The following is the pension application of James' widow: INDIAN WAR PENSIONS. - Act of July 27, 1892. DECLARATION OF WIDOW FOR PENSION. State of Georgia, County of Muscogee, ss:
ON THIS 29 day of August, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety 2 personally appeared before me J. C. Cook Clerk Supr Crt within and for the County and State aforesaid, Martha B. Culpepper aged 78 years, a resident of Columbus in the County of Muscogee in the State of Georgia who being by me first duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:
I am the widow of Jas J Culpepper, who served under the name of Jas. J. Culpepper, as a private in the Company commanded by Captain Dudley in the _____ regiment of Ga Mil Vols., commanded by Col._________ in the war with Creed Indians in the year 1836. I think he served along the Chattahoochee river in Ga & Ala, and probably down into Florida. That my said husband enlisted at Dudleyville Ala, on or about the ___-___ day of May, A. D. 1836, for the term of months that I was married under my name of Martha B. Blackstone to my said husband by John Neal M. G. on or about the 21 day of Decbr A. D. 1828 at Crawford Co GA, in the State of Georgia, and lived with my said husband from the date of my said marriage until the day of his death, to wit: the 15th day of October, A. D. 1846, when my said husband died at Coosa Co. in the State of Alabama, and that I have not since remarried; that there was never any legal impediment to said marriage.
No. 1. That my said husband, being duly enlisted, as aforesaid, actually served thirty days with the Army of the United States, in the war aforesaid, which service was as follows: Guarding the frontier against the approach of the Creek Indians, and his frequent skirmishing & fighting with said Indians and was honorably discharged at __________________ on the _________ day of _____________ A. D. 1836
No. 2. That my husband was personally named in a resolution of Congress for a specific service in said war, to wit: In the resolution of the Dont Know about it day of _______________, A. D. _____, and was honorably discharged at Dont remember. on the _____ day of refer to records.
No. 3. That I am 78 years of age, and that I was born on or about the 28th day of Sept A. D. 1814, at ____________________, in the State of ____________________
That I have _____________ heretofore made application for pension or bounty-land, which said claim is No. 66.974 which B. L. Warrant was issued in my name about the year 1857. And that I also made an application for pension on account of death of my husband which resulted from gunshot wound rec'd in Mexico, which claim was rejected. Also she made application for pension under Act Jany 29 1887, rejected.
That in support and proof of my right to pension, I tender herewith, under the regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior, the following evidence: The rolls of Capt. Dudleys Company Ga Militia Vols war with Creek Indians in year 1836, which record is in the War Dept. Washington D. C. Also the evidence now on file in the Pension office relative to marriage, death, &c of soldier to Claimant. And the affidavits of Geo. W. Gordon, Esq, Hon Flynn Hargett Sr. et al all of whom have known me a long time.
That since the death of my said husband I have resided at the following places, to wit: Rockford Coosa Co Ala, Harris Co Ga and now Columbus, Muscogee Co, Georgia.
That I make this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the pension roll of the United States under the provisions of the Act of July 27th, 1892.
And I hereby appoint, with full power of substitution and revocation, Flynn Hargett, Jr. of Hardeman Ga my true and lawful attorney, to prosecute my claim.
My Post Office address is Columbus, Ga. /s/_R._S._Wilson________________/s/_Martha B Culpepper /s/_John W. Riddle State of Georgia, County of Muscogee, ss:
Before me, a Clerk Supr Crt in and for the County and State aforesaid, on this 29th day of August A. D. 1892, personally appeared Martha B. Culpepper known to me as the person described in, and who executed and signed the foregoing declaration for pension, as widow of Jas. J. Culpepper, and whom I certify to be a credible person and of good repute for truth and veracity in the community in which she lives, who being by me first duly sworn, deposes and says that she has read (if claimant cannot read, read to her and so state in acknowledgement) the foregoing declaration and knows the contents thereof, and that all of the facts therein stated are true. ________________________________/s/_Jno_C_Cook_Clerk ________________________________________S_C_M_C Ga.
On the cover of the application, it was noted that James J. Culpepper enlisted "May 1836" and was discharged at the "Close of War 1836." In an affidavit supporting the application, Geo. W. Gordon and Hattie E. Gordon noted that they had known Martha for 30+ years and: have lived near her and have heard her speak very ofter about her said deceased husband, Jas J. Culpepper, and his service in the Indian War, and also of his service in the War with Mexico. Affiants say that they never knew said Jas J. Culpepper, personally, but have heard said Martha B - say that he died in the County of Coosa and state of Ala. about the year 1846; and from their acquaintance with her they fully believe what they have heard her say about his death. Affiants further say that since they have known the said Martha B. Culpepper she has been a widow and for most all the time, or quite all the time, in very dependent circumstances; that claimant is now about 79 years old and her physical condition is very precarious and that they believe her pension claim is meritorious and should be made Special, placed on the completed files and adjudicated at the earliest day possible....
James has not been found in an 1840 U. S. census but presumably was living in Alabama since this where he enlisted to fight in the Mexican War in 1846. James' widow filed three pension applications which appear to be based on James' death in the Mexican War. The first application appears to be a generic widow's request for a pension: Widow's Declaration for Pension or Increase of Pension. This must be Executed before a Court of Record or some Officer thereof having Custody of the Seal. State of Georgia, County of Harris, ss
ON THIS 22 day of September A. D., one thousand eight hundred and eighty 6 personally appeared before me a Notary Public of the Exofficio J. P. a Court of Record within and for the County and State aforesaid Martha B. Culpepper aged 72 years, who, being duly sworn according to law, makes the following declaration in order to obtain the Pension provided by Acts of Congress granting pension to widows: That she is the widow of James J. Culpepper, who Volr [volunteered] under the name of Jas J Culpepper at Mobile, Ala., on the _____ day of June A. D., 18 46 in Capt. Dennis' Co. Talladega Rangers, in the war of 1846-1848 who rec'd a most severe gunshot wound in his left hip while in a battle or skirmish at or near Buena Vista; on a/c [account?] of which, together from exposure & hardships endured while on the March, &tc he died on the 15 day of [September crossed through and written over by] October Oct., A. D. 1846, who bore at the time of his death the rank of private in the service aforesaid; that she was married under the name of M. B. Blackstone to said James J. Culpepper on the 21 day of December A. D. 18 28 by Rev. Jnoathan Neal at Crawford Co Ga there being no legal barrier to such marriage; that neither she nor her husband had been previously married (if either have been previously married so state, and give date of death or divorce of former spouse.) ________________ that she has to present date remained his widow; that the following are the names and dates of birth of all his legitimate children yet surviving who were under sixteen years of age at father's death, viz: __________ of soldier by __________, born _______ 18 __ __________ of soldier by __________, born _______ 18 __ __________ of soldier by __________, born _______ 18 __ __________ of soldier by __________, born _______ 18 __ __________ of soldier by __________, born _______ 18 __ __________ of soldier by __________, born _______ 18 __ __________ of soldier by __________, born _______ 18 __ __________ of soldier by __________, born _______ 18 __ That she has not abandoned the support of any one of her children, but that they are still under her care or maintenance. Only two of my children living. They are not under my care as both are married that she has not in any manner engaged in, or aided or abetted, the rebellion in the United States, that no prior application has been filed for a pension on account of soldier death; but that a bounty land warrant has been granted in her name, No. #66.974 that she hereby appoints, with full power of substitution and revocation Flynn Hargett, Jr. of Hardeman, Ga. her attorney to prosecute the above claim; that her residence is No. __________ street __________ and her Post Office address is Mulberry Grove, Harris Co. Ga. /s/_J_H_Reese___________________/s/_Martha B. Culpepper /s/_J._H._Beers
Also personally appeared J H Reese, residing at near Mulberry Grove Ga, and J H Beers residing at near Mulberry Grove Ga, persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly sworn, say that they were present and saw Mrs. Martha B. Culpepper, the claimant sign her name (make her mark) to the foregoing declaration; that they have every reason to believe from the appearance of said claimant and their acquaintance with her that she is the identical person she represents herself to be; and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim. ________________________________/s/_J._H._Reese ________________________________/s/_J._H._Beers
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 22 day of September A. D. 188 6 and I hereby certify that the contents of the above declaration, &tc., were fully made known and explained to the applicant and witnesses before swearing, including the words "Sept." erased, and the words "15" Oct", added; and that I have no interest, direct or indirect in the prosecution of this claim. ________________________________/s/_G_W_Gordon ________________________________Notary_Public_Exof_J.P.
In response to an 11 Dec 1886 request from the Department of the Interior, Pension Office for James J. Culpepper's service record, the War Department returned the following: War Department _____ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, __________Washington, Mch 4, 188 7
Respectfully returned to the Commissioner of Pensions. James J Culpepper, a Private of Capt Sumeral Dennis's Company Col Withers Regiment Ala Mex War Volunteers, was enroled on the 2d day of June 18 46, at Mobile for 6 months. He was mustered out June 16" 1846 a Private. Period of service 15 days. Books of organization are not on file. ________________________________/s/_A_C_Drum ________________________________Adjutant General
The next pension application followed a few months after the first using a form specifically related to the Mexican War: MEXICAN WAR. CLAIM OF WIDOW FOR PENSION.
This must be Executed before a Court of Record or some officer thereof having Custody of the Seal. State of Georgia, County of Harris, ss.
ON THIS 12th day of February, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty 7 personally appeared before me ____________________, the same being a Court of Record within and for the County and State aforesaid, (1) Martha B. Culpepper aged 72 years, a resident of Mulberry Grove in the State of Georgia who being duly sworn according to law, declares that she is the widow of (2) James J. Culpepper deceased, who was the identical (3) Jas. J. Culpepper who served under the name of (4) Jas J. Culpepper as a (5) private in the Company commanded by Captain Dennis Ala, Regiment of Vol commanded by __________________ in the war with Mexico, that her said husband (6) Vol[untee]r[ed] at Mobile, Ala. on or about the ________ day June A. D. 1846 for the term of 6 mos and continued in actual serivce in said war for the term of (7) mos, and whose services terminated by reason of (8) honorable discharge on the ______ day of ___________ A. D. 1846. She further states that the following is a full description of her said husband at the time of his enlistment, viz: 9 height 5 feet 9 inches, complexion, dark; eyes, blue; hair, black. She further states that she was married to the said Jas J Culpepper at the city (or town) of Knoxville in the county of Crawford and in the State of Ga. on the 21 day Decber A. D. 1828 by one (10) Jno. Neal who was a (11) Minister of Gospel and that her name before her said marriage was Martha B. Blackstone and that she has not remarried since the death of said soldier; and she further states that (12) neither herself nor her said husband had been previously married and she further declares that she is [space for specifying disability, etc.] (if claimant is over sixty-two years of age, this space need not be filled.) and that her said husband (13) James J. Culpepper died at Rockford in the State of Ala. on the 15th day of Octo A. D. 1846 and she further declares that the following have been places of residence of herself and her said husband since the date of his discharge from the army, viz: (14) In Coosa Co., Ala; and the claimant since her husband's death, has resided near Mulberry Grove, Harris Co. Ga. She makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the Pension to which she may be entitled under the provisions of any act of Congress granting pensions to widows of Menican War soldiers, and hereby constitutes and appoints, with full power of substitution and revocation Flynn Hargett Jr. of Hardeman, Georgia her true and lawful attorney to prosecute her claim. And she further declares that she heretofore made an application for (15) bounty land & obtained one #66.974. The claim for pension, on account of death of her said husband from wound rec'd &c, is pending. and that her residence is No. ___________ Street, City (or Town) of ______________ County of Harris State of Georgia and that her post-office address is Mulberry Grove, Ga. /s/_S._J._Foster________________/s/_Martha B. Culpepper /s/_J_M_Huling
Also personally appeared S. J. Foster, aged 33 years, residing at No. Mulberry Grove street, in Ga., and James M Huling aged 27 years, residing at No. Mulberry Grove street, in Georgia, persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who being by me duly sworn, say that they have know the said Martha J. Culpepper for 15 years and for 12 years respectively; that they were present and saw her sign her name (or make her mark) to the foregoing declaration; that they have every reason to believe, from the appearance of said claimant and their acquaintance with her, that she is the identical person she represents herself to be; and they further say that they are able to identify her as the person who was the wife of the identical (16) Jas. J. Culpepper who rendered the service alleged in the above application (in the company of Captain Dennis in the regiment of Ala. Vols in the war with Mexico) by the following named facts and circumstances, viz: (17) That Mrs. Culpepper swears to the facts & we know her to be a person of veracity and eminently worthy of belief and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim. /s/_S._J._Foster________________/s/_S._J._Foster ________________________________/s/_J._M._Huling
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 12th day of February A. D. 188 7 and I hereby certify that the contents of the above declaration, &c., were fully made known and explained to the applicant and witnesses before swearing, including the words _______________ erased, and the words _______________, added; and that I have no interest, direct or indirect in the prosecution of this claim. ________________________________/s/_A._J._Truett _____________Clerk of the Superior Court Harris Co.
Affidavits supporting this application include one from neighbors A. L. Moon and L. C. Hargett, Jr. who swore that that they had known Martha for 30+ years and: They have Known the said Martha B Culpepper for the space of time above mentioned & have lived neighbors to her; have known her to visit relatives in Ala. where she & her husband lived prior to his death; have seen an affidavit from a person in Crawford Co. Ga. stating that the records there showed that Martha B. Blackstone and J. J. Culpepper were duly & legally married; They state further that they have seen a letter which was written by Jas J. Culpepper under date of June 11th 1846 from Mobile, Ala, and addressed to Martha B. Culpepper, his wife, which letter stated that his company had just been mustered into service &c. They further state that they have known persons visiting this County from Ala. Mrs. Culpepper's former home, identify recognize her as the widow of Jas J. Culpepper. They state further that the Dept of the Interior (Pension Office) has granted to M. B. Culpepper a B. L. Warrant No. 66.974 & there is no doubt of her identity.
Two other witnesses, S. J. Foster and J. M. Huling signed an affidavit which added information about the land Martha had received: Which warrant was for 160 acres land. Act Mar 3d 1855, No. 66.974 and issued June 9" 1857. They state further that they have learned from claimant & other reliable authority that claimant move an unknown date from Ala. to Harris Co Ga, in 185-, and that she has lived here ever since....
It is interesting to note that Martha received land for her husband's service before the Civil War but does not appear to have been able to get a widow's pension after the Civil War. Martha made a final appeal (#455, rejected) for a pension in 1897: MEXICAN WAR PENSION.--Act of January 29, A. D. 1887. DECLARATION OF WIDOW FOR PENSION. State of Georgia, County of Muscogee, ss:
ON THIS 24 day of August, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety 7, personally appeared before me, clerk of the Superior Court of Said County the same being a court of record in the State of Columbus in the County of Muscogee in the State of Georgia who, being by me first duly sworn according to law, deposes and says: I am the widow of James J. Culpepper, who served under the name of James I. Culpepper, as a private in the Company commanded by Captain Dennis in the ______ regiment of ______________, commanded by ______________ in the war with Mexico; that my said husband enlisted at Mobile Ala. on or about the _________ day of June 1846, A. D. ______, for the term of six months; that I was married under my name of Martha B. Blackstone to my said husband, by Jonothan Neal a minister on or about the 21 day of December A. D. 1828 at Crawford County Ga, in the State of Georgia, and lived with my said husband from the date of my said marriage until the day of his death, to wit: the 15 day of October A. D. 1846 when my said husband died at New[?] Wetumpka [Wetumpka is in Elmore Co., AL and James was supposed to have died in Coosa Co., AL. Could New Wetumpka have been in Coosa Co., AL and later named Rockford where Martha is known to have lived and mentioned in one application as James' place of death?] in the State of Alabama, and that I have not since remarried; that there was never any legal impediment to said marriage.
No. 1. That my said husband being duly enlisted, as aforesaid, actually served sixty days with the Army or Navy of the United States in Mexico, or on the coast or frontier thereof, or en route thereto, in the war with that Nation, which service was as follows: as a private in company known as Taledega Rangers at and was honorably discharged at Mobile on the ____ day of __________ A. D. 1846
No. 2. That my said husband was actually engaged in a skirmish in said war, some time in June 1846 and was brought home on or about the 8th day of Sept. 1846 and died from said wound on 15th Oct. 1846.
No. 3. That my husband was personally named in a resolution of Congress for a specific service in said war, to wit: In the resolution of the ___________ day of ____________ A. D. _______, and was honorably discharged at __________________ on the __________ day of ______ A. D.
No. 4. That I am 83 years of age, and that I was born on or about the 28 day of Sept A. D. 1814, at Richmond Co., in the State of Georgia
No. 5. That I am disabled by reason of Age and the said disability was not incurred while I was in any manner voluntarily engaged in, or aiding or abetting the late rebellion against the authority of the United States.
No. 6. That I claim pension by reason of the fact that I am dependent in whole or in part for my support upon a Grand Daughter, not legally bound for my support and that such dependence as alleged consists in this, to wit: _________________________________
That I have ______ heretofore made application for pension or bounty land, which said claim is No. ______
That I am a pensioner of the United States as ________________ under certificate No. ______, at the rate of _____ dollars per month.
That in support and proof of my right to pension I tender herewith, under the regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interion, the following evidence: _____________ and the affidavits of _____________
That since the death of my said husband I have resided at the following places, to wit: in Coosa County Alabama and Harris County Georgia and in Columbus Georgia That I am not [smeared ink]ing under any political disabilities imposed by the 14th amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
And I hereby appoint, with full power of substitution and revocation, H. J. Hayden & Co. War Claims Attorneys, of Washington, D. C. my true and lawful attorneys, to prosecute my claim.
My Post-office address is Columbus Ga /s/_C.[?]_J._Thornton___________/s/_Martha_B_Culpepper /s/_S_E_Lawthon[?]_Notary_Public STATE OF Georgia, County of Muscogee, ss:
Before me, Jno C Cook, a clerk of a court of record, on this 24 day of August, A. D. 1897 personally appeared Martha B Culpepper known to me as a person described in, and who executed and signed the foregoing declaration for pension, as widow of James J. Culpepper and whom I certify to be a credible person and of good report for truth and veracity in the community in which she lives, who, being by me first duly sworn, deposes and says that she has read (if claimant cannot read, read to her and so state in acknowledgement) the foregoing declaration and knows the contents thereof, and that all the facts therein stated are true. ________________________________/s/_Jno_C_Cook_Clk _______________________________________S_C_M_C_[?]
The following is from pp. 806-808 of Vol. 18 of The Encyclopedia Americana International Edition published by Grolier, Inc. of Danbury, CT: MEXICAN WAR. The annexation of Texas in 1845 laid the foundation for the war with Mexico. Although Texas had been for many years practically free, and had been recognized by the United States, Britain, France and other countries, Mexico refused to acknowledge its independence. When the United States proposed to admit Texas into the Union, Mexico gave warning that the annexation would be equivalent to a declaration of war. On March 6, 1845, Mexico protested, and soon afterward withdrew her minister and severed diplomatic relations. Her acts, however, scarcely justified her threats, as at that time at least little or no preparation was made for war. It has, therefore, been claimed that had the American government used a conciliatory policy peace might have been preserved and friendly relations reestablished. At the moment, however, the Mexican people and authorities were in a rather belligerent attitude, due in part to pride and in part to an expectation that the United States would soon be involved in a war with Britain over the Oregon boundary, in which case Mexico would have a powerful ally to aid her. Did President James Polk at this point seek to strengthen this hope in the minds of the Mexicans, intending at the proper moment to make a compromise and peace with Britain, as was done, and thus leave Mexico at the mercy of the United States? Perhaps history can never answer the question, but events at least seemed to march in harmony with the thought, For Mexico soon found itself in the dilemma that it must either sell California to the United States, receiving in return a goodly sum of money to appease its pride, or engage in a war to sustain its honor and territorial integrity. Mexico bravely, but perhaps not wisely, chose the latter alternative, not fully realizing the inequality of the contestants, nor the depth of the humiliation to which it would be subjected. Doubtless President Polk preferred to acquire California without war, but its acquisition was to be the principal measure of his administration. Hence if war was the only means to secure it, war it must be--at least enough to get possession of the desired territory. Causes of the War. The immediate occasion of the war was the dispute in regard to the western boundary of Texas. Proclaiming its independence in 1836, Texas asserted that its western boundary was the Rio Grande to its source thence due north to 42° north latitude. The following year the United States recognized its independence and, in December 1845, by a joint resolution admitted it into the Union as a state, providing that boundary disputes were to be settled by the United States. President Polk accepted the boundary claimed by Texas, and on Jan. 16, 1846, ordered Gen. Zachary Taylor to march to the eastern bank of the Rio Grande as the western boundary of the United States. Mexico insisted that the Nueces River--100 miles (160 km) east--was the true western boundary of Texas and therefore that General Taylor was now on Mexican soil. On April 25, 1846, the first blood was shed in a conflict between a band of Mexican troops that had crossed to the eastern side of the Rio Grande and a company of American soldiers. The news of this action was immediately communicated by General Taylor to President Polk, who sent his now noted message to Congress, asserting the war was begun by the act of Mexico on U. S. soil. Congress finally accepted, after a stormy debate in the Senate, the president's statement, and war was recognized as existing. Other causes were also at work and help to make a decision in regard to the justness of the war still more difficult. Mexico for many years had been in a chronic state of revolution. The natural result followed. American citizens in Mexico sustained property losses and doubtless were frequently unjustly arrested and even imprisoned. Claims arising from these causes had been in part settled under a convention of 1840 but many of them were still pending. Some were just; more, either unjust or extravagant in amount. President Polk united these unsettled claims with the boundary question and demanded that Mexico receive an envoy extraordinary with power to settle both--on its face an eminently fair proposition. On the other hand, Mexico professed to be ready to receive an ambassador to settle the boundary dispute but declined to receive John Slidell as U. S. minister when he was commissioned to settle all disputes, insisting that the two questions were distinct in kind and origin and should not be united. President Polk in his message asserted that this action of Mexico was in violation of its promise to receive a minister and hence justified his administration in its measures and forced him to take possession of the disputed territory. The need for more slave territory was perhaps another factor in causing the war. At least many from the South took an aggressive position on all questions in dispute between the two countries and thus made a peaceable settlement more difficult. Both the economic and the political reasons for more territory began to be felt by 1846--the one to have new soil over which to spread the land-exhausting system of slavery; and the other to have new territory out of which to carve new slave states so that the equilibrium between slave and free states might be maintained. Some other forces tending to arouse the war and aggressive spirit may be noted. The cry of "manifest destiny" played a part. Many, especially in the West, felt that the Pacific Ocean was the natural western boundary of the United States. They also demanded the "Golden Gate" that commerce might be opened up with the Orient. The two great parties--the Whigs and the Democrats-- divided sharply on the question. The war, in fact, became almost a party, instead of a national, issue. The Democrats, as a rule, supported the administration and its claim that the war was just. The Whigs, on the contrary, asserted that it was a most unholy and unrighteous war, and characterized it as "Polk's war." Abraham Lincoln, entering Congress in 1847, became a severe critic of the policy pursued, while Thomas Corwin of Ohio went so far as to use this language: "If I were a Mexican I would tell you, 'Have you not room in your own country to bury your dead men? If you come into mine we will greet you with bloody hands, and welcome you to hospitable graves.'" President Polk summarized his reasons for recommending that Congress recognize war as existing as follows: "The grievous wrongs perpetrated by Mexico upon our citizens throughout a long period of years remain unredressed; and solemn treaties ... have been disregarded.... Our commerce with Mexico has been almost annihilated." He then added: "As war exists, and ... exists by the act of Mexico herself we are called upon, by every consideration of duty and patriotism, to vindicate, with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country." The Campaigns. The war with Mexico was accepted as a fact by Congress on May 13, 1846. There were four principal fields of action in its prosecution, (1) Along the Rio Grande, under the command of Gen. Zachary Taylor; (2) in California, where Capt. John Charles Fremont and Commodore Robert Field Stockton were in command, (3) in New Mexico, with Col. Stephen Watts Kearny leading the U. S. forces; and (4) from Veracruz to Mexico City, under the command of Gen. Winfield Scott, the commander in chief of the U. S. armies. Everywhere success attended the arms of the United States. It was one of the few wars in history in which no defeat was sustained by one party and no victory won by the other. General Taylor defeated the Mexican troops at Palo Alto on May 8, 1846, and at Resaca de la Palma the following day, and captured Matamoros on the 18th. He remained near that city for some weeks to recruit his army and prepare to advance into the interior. On September 24 he entered Monterrey, after a siege of four days and a gallant resistance by the Mexicans. Taylor's most famous victory, however, was won on Feb. 22-23, 1847, at Buena Vista. General Scott gave orders, which fell into the hands of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the Mexican general, for General Taylor to send some nine regiments to aid Scott in his proposed attack on Veracruz. Santa Anna immediately marched his whole command against Taylor expecting to crush him in this weakened condition. It was 20,000 men against about 5,000. But the skill of Taylor, the persistence of his army, and the organization and equipment of the U. S. troops won a great victory. Taylor became the hero of the hour, and Buena Vista made him an irresistible presidential candidate.... Fremont's course in California has been a subject of keen controversy. As leader of an exploring expedition he was already in northern California, and early in 1846 was recalled to the Sacramento Valley. California was the goal of the political policy of Polk's administration. The means to secure its acquisition were uncertain. It might be gained by war or by filling the territory with settlers from the United States, who in the course of time might bring it into the Union as Texas had already been annexed. Or it might be effected by securing the goodwill of the native Californians who were unhappy under Mexican rule. The latter policy seems to have been the one adopted by the administration. The U. S. consul at Monterey, Calif., Thomas Oliver Larkin, was developing this policy with a good prospect of success, it is claimed, when Fremont appeared on the scene. He seems to have developed a fourth policy--namely, the establishment of an independent government under the control of settlers from the United States in the Sacramento Valley. This movement resulted in the so-called Bear Flag Republic and in virtual civil war between the native Californians and the newer settlers. At this moment the Mexican War began, and the Bear Flag was replaced by the Stars and Stripes. It has been claimed by some California historians that Fremont's course, had not the Mexican War come at the moment it did, might have lost California to the United States. The native Californians, alienated as they were by his course, might have put themselves under a British protectorate in revenge for the treatment accorded them. Be that as it may, by the end of 1846 all California was conquered and held by U. S. troops and Fremont was regarded as the hero who had won the "Golden Gate" by his energy and decision. Santa Fe was captured by Colonel Kearny on Aug. 18, 1846, and New Mexico was secured with almost no loss of life. By the end of the year, therefore, all the territory that the administration desired was in the possession of its armies, but Mexico was still unconquered. Scott had been chafing in Washington during the summer and fall of 1846 while Taylor was winning his brilliant victories. He asked to go to the front to assume chief command, but the administration retained him at the capital under the plea of needing his advice. As it happened this Democratic war was officered by Whig generals. Scott had already been a candidate for the Whig nomination for the presidency. The charge was now made that Scott was kept from command for fear that success might make him a more formidable candidate in 1848. Finally, when he was sent to the front in January 1847, the cry was raised that the purpose was to dim the luster of Taylor's victories, or at least to divide the popular support between the two generals in such a way as to destroy the political prospects of both. General Scott besieged Veracruz in March 1847, and by the 27th had captured the fortress of San Juan de Ulua, which had been thought almost impregnable, and was ready to enter the city. On April 8 he started into the interior, and on the 18th captured Cerro Gordo, the 19th, Jalapa, and the 22d, Perote. On May 15 he entered the important city of Puebla. Remaining here for some weeks he again advanced, in August, toward the capital, and on the 10th came in sight of the city. Two important victories were won August 20--at Contreras and at Churubusco. He captured Molino del Rey on September 8, and the victory of Chapultepec on September 12-13 gave him Mexico City itself, which he entered on September 14 with an army of only 6,000 men. General Santa Anna escaped from the city and attempted, unsuccessfully, to organize further military resistance. The war was practically over, but the victory was so complete that it began to be a question whether there was any government left with sufficient power to negotiate a treaty of peace. An agitation began with friends both in and out of Congress, as well as in the cabinet, looking to the annexation of the whole of Mexico. John C. Calhoun, on the one hand, and Daniel Webster and a majority of the Whigs, on the other, joined hands to defeat this plan. President Polk was finally forced to make the ultimate decision. Nicholas Trist was sent in March 1847 to Mexico to make a treaty of peace. Failing, he was ordered in the fall to return to Washington, but disobeying instructions, he remained in Mexico. On Feb. 2, 1848, he concluded a treaty of peace in harmony with his original instructions. The administration was in a quandary. To ratify meant to condone the disobedience of Trist. To reject meant a prolongation of the war, and time to perfect the intrigue for the annexation of "All Mexico." President Polk, after some hesitation, decided to send the treaty to the Senate for its consideration. Received February 23, it was ratified, after some amendments, on March 10, by a vote of 38 to 14. On May 30, treaty ratifications were exchanged and the war ended. The Mexicans had fought bravely, even stubbornly and at times skillfully, yet in every contest, even when the odds were greatly in their favor, without a single victory. In part superior leadership and training won for the soldiers of the northern republic, and in part their cooler and more persistent character. But in the main it was not bravery, nor generalship, nor even character that won. It was science and education applied in the equipment of the armies, the guns of the soldiers, the cannon, and the powder in the arsenals that made the one so much more effective than the other that the most daring bravery was no counterpoise. The Treaty of Peace. The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave to the administration of President Polk the territory that according to his diary he intended to acquire--California and New Mexico. Mexico in return for the loss of its fairest northern provinces was paid $15 million and was released from all claims of all kinds held by citizens of the United States against it, estimated at $3,250,000, which the United States assumed. Boundary lines were drawn, and provision made in regard to other questions at issue between the two countries. Results. Usually successfully waged wars redound to the credit of the party in power. In this case, however, the Democratic party, the author and supporter of the war, was defeated by the Whig party, the party of opposition and criticism, in the presidential election of 1848. The Whigs made use of the popularity of a successful general (Taylor) to defeat the party that had made his glory possible. Evidently the people were ready to accept the fruits of the war, but also were ready to punish the party they believed had acted wrongly. A large number of young officers, destined for renown in later years, proved their worth in this war. Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman, Robert E Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson, and Jefferson Davis, foreshadowed, in this Mexican struggle, the greatness that was to be theirs in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. The acquisition of some 522,568 square miles (1,353,450 sq km) of territory--about one sixth of the modern continental United States--was the most important immediate as well as remote result. It was important in the issues that its acquisition precipitated. Should it be slave or free territory? Who should determine its institutions? Out of this question grew the larger one who had the right to control the institutions of the territories in general? To settle the first question David Wilmot, a Democrat of Pennsylvania, proposed the celebrated Wilmot Proviso, which would exclude slavery forever from all territory acquired from Mexico. Four long years of intense and bitter debate followed. This question and a series of others were settled temporarily in the Compromise of 1850. The second question was answered by the term "nonintervention," which meant, or soon came to mean, one thing to Douglas and the Northern Democrats and another to Davis and the South. Three main theories were evolved or defended in answer to the third query: (1) the view that Congress had the right to control the institutions of the territories and could make them slave or free at its will, (2) the Dickinson-Cass-Douglas doctrine of popular or "squatter sovereignty--the doctrine that the people of a territory themselves, while yet in a territorial status, determined their own institutions, (3) the radical Southern view that slaves were property, and, as property, might be taken into any territory-- the common public domain of the states--with no constitutional power anywhere to hinder or prevent. The new territory was important secondly in its industrial and political effect on the nation. The United States now had an outlook on the Pacific Ocean comparable to that on the Atlantic. China, Japan, and the rest of the Orient were brought within the circle of its influence. Conditions favorable to further expansion were prepared. In addition to the great effect on commerce thus prefigured, that on wealth and industry was not less. The gold, silver, copper, and other mineral wealth of the Rocky Mountain region would flow into the pockets of the people of the United States. This vast addition of territory and wealth tended also to emphasize national pride and ambition, to arouse a still more intense belief in "manifest destiny," to develop a more optimistic tone, and perhaps also to produce a more materialistic spirit. HOWARD W. CALDWELL University of Nebraska.
|Research note||2012||He is referenced in a research note for John F. Culpepper of Muscogee Co., GA.9|
|Martha Byne Blackstone (28 Sep 1814 - 23 Dec 1899)|
|Marriage License||20 Dec 1828||James applied for a marriage license to wed Martha Byne Blackstone at Crawford Co., Georgia, on 20 Dec 1828.|
|Marriage*||21 Dec 1828||He married Martha Byne Blackstone at Crawford Co., Georgia, on 21 Dec 1828 at age 22.3|
|Charts||Henry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk: DNA Status Chart (Male only, 8 generations)|
John Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
|Last Edited||1 Mar 2013|
- P 173 (John 1m 26-45 w/5m 0-10, 2m 10-16, 1f 0-10, 1f 16-26, 2f 26-45)
p 173 Nancy (1 of 2 females 26-45 in hh of John Culpepper)
p 173 Joel (1 of 2 males age 10-16 in hh of John Culpepper)
p 173 John J. (1 of 2 males age 10-16 in hh of John Culpepper)
p 173 Daniel P. (1 of 5 males 0-10 in hh of John Culpepper)
p 173 Sarah O. (1 female 0-10 in hh of John Culpepper)
p 173 Francis G. (1 of 5 males 0-10 in hh of John Culpepper)
p 173 James I. J. (1 of 5 males 0-10 in hh of John Culpepper)
p 173 George W. (1 of 5 males 0-10 in hh of John Culpepper).
- 1810 Federal Census, United States.
Columbia, Richland District, SC
John Culpepper, page 173, 5 M0-10, 2 M10-16, 1 M26-45, 1 F0-10, 1 F16-26, 2 F26-45, 16 slaves.
- Ancestry.com, compiler, Georgia Marriages to 1850, Online database at Ancestry.com, 1997.
James L. Culpepper and Martha B. Blackstone on 21 Dec 1828 in Crawford Co., GA.
- 1830 Federal Census, United States.
Page 399, Crawford Co., GA
James J. Culpepper, 1 M0-5, 1 M20-30, 1 F15-20.
- Rev. S. Emmett Lucas Jr., The 1832 Gold Lottery of Georgia, Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1988, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. 975.8 R2lb.
James J. Culpepper, Morris District, Crawford Co., GA, drew lot 1133/20/3 in what became Paulding Co., GA, 1832.
- Indian War Pension Application dated 1892, Georgia. Indigent Widow’s Application #2073, no certificate. Remarks: Old Wars Widow Pending, Mexican Widow Rejected #455.
- DOB based on 1950 census, POB based on pension application.
- See his biography.
- Warren L. Culpepper (#1942), Former publisher of Culpepper Connections, e-mail address.