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March 14, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Austin Family, Part II



To Archibald Austin, Esq.

This open letter, addressed to Archibald Austin, Esq., of Buckingham County, appeared in Richmond’s The Whig. Written by an anonymous Slate River voter, the letter reminds us that, throughout the 19th century, the elite of Buckingham County closely followed the Richmond newspapers. One wonders if Austin replied via The Whig.

For The Whig


Having understood that a “Caucus” at Buckingham February court, determined to “run” you as one of the Jackson candidates for a seat in the next Legislature, and doubts having risen as to what course you would pursue (if elected) in relation to the next Presidency, I have taken occasion to present the following interrogatories to you through the newspapers. I make no apology, sir, for addressing through that source: This is an “interesting crisis,” and great necessity exists that the sentiments of those that are candidates (whether voluntarily so, or whether thrust forward by a Caucus.) for those votes of freeman, should be made known without the least reserve. With a view therefore to know your opinions upon the above named to subject, I propose to enquire –

First – Whether or not you are now inclined to support Martin Van Buren, Esq. Of New York, as the next president of the United States? And

Secondly – If not now inclined to his support, would you or not vote for an electoral ticket pledged to his support in preference to Hugh L. White, Esq. of Tennessee?

A Slate River Voter.

Buckingham, 20th Feb. 1835.

Coming Next: Archibald Austin, deceased

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