William Wyatt Bibb letter to Senator Charles Tait

William Wyatt Bibb letter to Senator Charles Tait

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Bibb, William Wyatt, 1781-1820
Title: William Wyatt Bibb letter to Senator Charles Tait
Dates: 1816 June 25
Quantity: 0.029 Linear feet (1 folder; housed in 1 document box with minor collections MS 2705, 2706, 2708-2710, 2714, 2719, 2720, 2724, 2730, 2734, 2735, 2739, and 2740)
Coll. Number: ms2705(m)

Biographical/Historical Note

William Wyatt Bibb was born in Virginia in 1780. After graduating from William and Mary College, he went on to study medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1801 he received his M.D. degree and moved to Georgia. In Georgia, Bibb became interested in politics. He was both a Georgia congressman and senator. Also, he was a U.S. Senator between 1813 and 1816. Eventually, Bibb became the Governor of Alabama, the office in which he died in 1820.

"In 1796 U.S. president George Washington appointed Benjamin Hawkins as "Principal Temporary Agent for Indian Affairs South of the Ohio River," a position he held until his death in 1816...Hawkins was born on August 15, 1754, in present-day Warren County, North Carolina, to a wealthy family. As a young man, he attended the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), where he studied French. While he was there, the American Revolution (1775-83) broke out, and upon Washington's request, Hawkins joined the general's staff as translator. After the war, Hawkins began a successful career in politics, serving not only in the Continental Congress but also as North Carolina state legislator and, later, as U.S. senator. While serving in Congress, Hawkins took an interest in Indian affairs, and he was involved in several treaty negotiations with the Cherokees and Creeks. Through this work, Hawkins gained a reputation for being fair and just in his dealings with the Indians, which led Washington to appoint him as Indian agent... He tendered his resignation on February 15, 1815... A year later, on June 6, 1816, Hawkins died in his home at the Creek Agency Reserve." -- "Benjamin Hawkins (1754-1816)." New Georgia Encyclopedia. http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/ (Retrieved July 29, 2009)

"Tait, Charles, a Senator from Georgia; born near the present town of Hanover, Hanover County, Va., February 1, 1768; moved to Georgia in 1783... professor of French in Cokesburg College 1789-1794; studied law while teaching and was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1795... commenced the practice of law in Elbert County in 1798; presiding judge of the western circuit court of Georgia 1803-1809; elected as a Democratic Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Milledge; was reelected in 1813 and served from November 27, 1809, to March 3, 1819... appointed by President James Monroe as United States district judge for Alabama 1820-1826, when he resigned... died near Claiborne, Ala., October 7, 1835." -- "Charles Tait." Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. http://bioguide.congress.gov/ (Retrieved July 29, 2009)

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of one ALS of June 25, 1816 written by Bibb, possibly addressed to Senator Charles Tait of Georgia. In the letter Bibb discusses the public outrage stemming from his congressional proposal to fix the salaries of senators and congressmen, an idea regarded unethical and illegal by the nation. In 1816, as a result of the controversy, Bibb was forced to resign his Senate seat. Also included in the letter are Bibb's ideas concerning the replacement of Col. Benjamin Hawkins, Indian Agent for the southeastern United States, who had died in office.

Index Terms

Bibb, William Wyatt, 1781-1820 -- Correspondence
Hawkins, Benjamin, 1754-1816
Indian agents--Georgia.
Legislators--United States--Correspondence.
Tait, Charles, 1768-1835 -- Correspondence
United States--Officials and employees.
United States. Congress. -- Salaries, etc.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William Wyatt Bibb letter to Senator Charles Tait. MS 2705. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

1Letter, 1816 June 25