Colonel Samuel Gwin

Colonel Samuel Gwin

Written by Jay Guy Cisco
From Historic Sumner County, Tennessee

Samuel Gwin was a brother of Senator Gwin. He also located in Mississippi, where he became prominent, though less so than his brother, and less is know of him. The following letter, copied from "Claiborne's History of Mississippi," will give some idea of Colonel Gwin:

Washington, October 14, 1831 Hon. George Poindexter, United States Senator: Sir- My recent appointment, Register of the Land Office at Mount Salus, makes it my duty to explain to you why I sought the position, and to say something of my antecedents. I am a native of Tennessee; was a volunteer under Jackson in his Indian campaigns; was in Coffee's brigade in the assault and capture of Pensacola in 1814, and in all the engagements with the British below New Orleans. I lost my health by long protracted exposure, and to this day am a habitual suffer. In 1829 the Postmaster General was good enough to give me a clerkship in his department, since which time I have never been absent from my post. My beloved wife is now threatened with consumption, and I am advised that the only hope for her is to take her to a warmer climate. Under this advice, and with this hope, and for the happiness of a young family, I submitted the case to the President, and, with the noble sympathies of his nature, he conferred on me the Mount Salus appointment.

I do not apprehend that anyone will doubt my qualifications or character, but I fear my non-residence my be considered an objection. For this I must ask indulgence. I have never resided in Mississippi, but have shed my blood on her soil in her defense, as the records of our battles will attest. My venerable father and his six brothers were soldiers of the Revolution. Respectfully, your obedient servant, Sam'L Gwin

Senator Poindexter bitterly resented the appointment of Colonel Gwin, and from that time on made vigorous war on President Jackson. He succeeded in the Senate in having the nomination of Colonel Gwin rejected, and he appointed to the new Land Office at Choccchuma, a more profitable position. The Gwins succeeded in defeating Senator Poindexter for re-election. The canvass resulted in a duel between Judge Isaac Caldwell, Poindexter's law partner, and Colonel Gwin. Both parties fell. Caldwell expired in two hours. Gwin was shot through the lungs and survived a year.

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