Monday, November 5, 2012

Politics Will Make You Crazy

Timothy Jarvis Carter was born in Bethel, Maine to Dr. Timothy and Frances (Freeland) Carter. He was the older brother of my 3rd great-grandfather, Elias Mellen Carter. He died in Washington, D.C. at the age of 38. His good friend and fellow Maine represenatative, Jonathan Cilley, had been killed in a duel on February 24, 1838. Timothy was so upset over the death of his friend that he went insane and died on March 14, less than a month afterwards.

From the Daily Ohio Statesman, March 21, 1838
We have but little Express news. Both Houses of Congress attended the funeral of the Hon. Timothy J. Carter, a member from Maine, on Saturday last. Mr. Carter was confined to his room at the time of Cilley's murder. On hearing of that fatal deed, he became insensible and never fully recovered. 

From the New Hampshire Patriot, April 9, 1838
DEATH OF HON. T. J. CARTER - The melancholy duty devolves upon us to-day to announce the death of another member of the delegation in Congress from this State. - The Hon. T. J. CARTER is no more. The particulars of his death will be found in the subjoined letter of a correspondent...He was one of the most pleasant and amiable men living - and was strongly endeared to a large circle of personal and political friends, who will deeply regret his early death. Although not in the habit of participating in debate, he possessed a sound and discriminating mind - and his opinions were entitled to, as they received, the respectful attention of his friends. 
From out Correspondent
Washington City, Thursday Morning
March 15th, 1838
Dear Sir: - Again the badge of mourning is hanging at the door of Berth's boarding house - the friend, the colleague, the fellow boarder of the martyred Cilley has followed him to the land of shadows - the Hon. Timothy J. Carter is no more. Mr. Carter's health has been feeble for several months past, but, as he himself informed me within the past month, he was getting better, and until the day that consigned his noble hearted colleague to the tomb, he was regularly in his place in the House. On that day, while the parties were out, I conversed with him while in hope that the affair would be amicably settled and that both parties would return unharmed! Alas! had that hope been realized, Maine would not now be called to mourn over two of her most upright and promising young men. The shock occasioned by such an effect upon Mr. Carter that his brain became disordered, and I have been told that in his delirium his constant idea was that he had been challenged to fight a duel. He continued to lose his strength gradually, under the effects of his disease, until last night, when death terminated his sufferings. With a sad heart do I reflect upon what has occurred here within the past three weeks, and with feelings in my bosom that I dare not trust my pen to express I leave this melancholy subject with a hope and conviction, that these mournful events will have the moral effect which shall cause the whole nation to frown down a practice only worthy of barbarians in a barbarous age. 

From the National Aegis, March 28, 1838
The following beautiful eulogium, upon the character and virtues of this gentleman was pronounced by Mr. Evans, in announcing his death to the House of Representatives, of which he was a member. 
Mr. Speaker - These bades of mourning which we still wear denote that death has been in the midst of us. Again his arrow has flown; and again has the fatal shaft been sent, with unerring aim, into a small and already broken rank. it is my melancholy office to announce that since the last adjournment of the House of Representatives, Timothy Jarvis Carter, then one of its members, from the State of Maine, has surrendered up to the Being who gave it, a life upon which many anxious hopes depended, and for whose preservation many an ardent prayer had gone up to the Father of all spirits. He died last evening at 10 o'clock, at his lodgings in this city, after a sickness of not very protracted duration, but of great and excruciating intensity of suffering and agony. The ways of a righteous Providence are inscrutable, and while we bow in submission, we are not yet oppressed with deep and solemn awe. 
Our deceased friend and colleague, was a native of the State and the district which, so lately, he represented in this branch of Congress; and he, therefore, brought with him the confidence, largely bestowed, of those who had known him from his earliest years. Well did he deserve it. His character for probity, integrity, uprightness, morality, was free from spot or blemish. His principles were well founded. Loving the country of his birth, and its institutions, with all his heart, he pursued with fidelity such measures as his judgment deemed best calculated to promote the welfare of the one and the durability of the other. He was a lawyer by profession, faithful, just, discriminating, attentive, humane, in its practice. 
Of manners, mild, courteous, affable; and a temper, kind, conciliating, patient, he won respect and attachment, even from those who differed from him in matters of opinion; and probably there lives not human being who has a single resentment, or one unkind recollection to bury in his grave. He has gone in the strength of manhood, and the maturity of his intellect, the road that all must once pass: - "calcanda semel, via, lethi."
The ties that bound him to life are severed forever, as all human ties must be severed. 
"Liuquenda tellus, et domus, et amaus
Uxor; neque harem quas celis, arboruia
Te practer lavisas cupressos
Ulla, broven dominum secuffiur"
Although when his eyes opened for the last time upon the earth and the sky, they fell not upon his own native hills; though the sod which will cover him will not freshen in the same influences which clothe them in verdure and beauty; though he died far from home, the companions and the brothers of his childhood were with him, - the sharer of his joys, the solace of his griefs, stood by him, and the hand which could best do it assuaged the bitter pains of parting life. The last earthly sounds which fell upon his ear were tones of sympathy and kindness, and affection, and support - tones which ceased not, even when they vainly strove to pierce the cold and leaded ear of death. Tears shall flow copiously, and deep sighs be heaved over his lifeless form; tears not more scalding, sighs not deeper drawn, nor mingled with any bitter recollections - any unavailing regrets. 
If human means could have availed - if devoted, fraternal sympathy and care - if constant, abiding, self-sacrificing affection, triumphing over exhausted nature and bearing up a feeble frame, unconscious of weariness, through long and painful vigils, would have saved his life, he would have been spared to the friends who now deplore his death and to the State and to the country which he served. To that stricken bosom we proffer - alas! How little will it avail! - our sincere sympathy and condolence. He has gone from this place of earthly honors and human distinctions, to a seat in that "House which is not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens." 


Photo Credits -
Newspaper articles accessed on Genealogy Bank

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