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This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.
|Size||2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1600 items)|
|Abstract||Robert Looney Caruthers was a Lebanon, Tenn., lawyer, state legislator, Whig politician, founder and professor of law at Cumberland University, United States Representative, 1841-1843, state supreme court justice, and Confederate governor of Tennessee. The collection pertains to only a part of Caruthers's political career and consists in bulk of letters received, 1840-1849, and lesser amounts, 1823-1839 and 1866-1870. There are no papers from 1854 to August 1865. The papers chiefly concern Caruthers's law practice, state and national politics, Cumberland University of Lebanon, Tenn., before and after the Civil War and, after the war, plantation management. Correspondents include Andrew Jackson Donelson, Ephraim Hubbard Foster, Nathan Green, Alexander Peter Steward, and Felix K. Zollicoffer.|
|Creator||Caruthers, R. L. (Robert Looney), 1800-1882.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
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Robert Looney Caruthers was born in Smith County, Tenn., on 31 July 1800. He was engaged in mercantile pursuits from 1817-1819, then attended Woodward's Academy near Columbia, Tenn., and Greenville College, 1820-1821. He studied law in the office of Judge Samuel Powell at Greenville and was admitted to the bar in 1823. In 1824, Caruthers was clerk of the State House of Representatives, then clerk of the chancery court of Smith County, and editor of the Tennessee Republican. He moved to Lebanon, Wilson County, Tenn., in 1826; was State's attorney, 1827-1832; and was made Brigadier-General of the Tennessee militia in 1834. In 1835, Caruthers was elected to the State House of Representatives and, in 1841, was elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress (4 March 1841-3 March 1843). He was the founder of Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn., in 1842 and of its Law Department in 1847.
Caruthers served as presidential elector on the Whig ticket of Clay and Frelinghuysen in 1844; was appointed judge of the Supreme Court of Tennessee in 1852 to fill a vacancy; and then elected to the position in 1854, which he held until the beginning of the Civil War. He was a member of the Peace Congress of 1861 held in Washington, D.C. He was elected Governor of Tennessee in 1862, but never served because of the occupation of the state by federal forces.
At the close of the Civil War, Caruthers became dean of the Law Department at Cumberland University, in which capacity he served until his death. He was also the first president of the board of trustees of Cumberland University. Caruthers was at one time "Worthy Patriarch" of the Sons of Temperance for Tennessee and was also a ruling elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He died in Lebanon, 2 October 1882, and was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery.
For further information see Biographical Dictionary of the American Congress.Back to Top
The collection pertains to only a part of lawyer, politican, and law professor R. L. Caruthers's political career and consists in bulk of letters received, 1840-1849, and lesser amounts, 1823-1839 and 1866-1870. There are no papers from 1854 to August 1865. The papers chiefly concern Caruthers's law practice, state and national politics, Cumberland University of Lebanon, Tenn., before and after the Civil War and, after the war, plantation management. Correspondents include Andrew Jackson Donelson, Ephraim Hubbard Foster, Nathan Green, Alexander Peter Steward, and Felix K. Zollicoffer.Back to Top
Letters to Caruthers from numerous prominent Tennesseans, as well as from relatives and private citizens seeking advice about legal problems. Topics include Whig politics, national and local issues, Cumberland University, and post-Civil War agricultural operations. There are only two letters written by Caruthers in the papers. His custom was to note on the back of letters received the date on which he answered and write a brief summary of the reply given. Correspondents include Andrew Jackson Donelson, Ephraim Hubbard Foster, Nathan Green, Alexander Peter Steward, and Felix K. Zollicoffer. There is also a photocopy of a letter from Millard Fillmore, 1850 (original may be viewed with staff assistance).
|Separated Folder SEP-1416/1|
Separated folder (SEP-1416/1)Back to Top
Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, July 1996
Encoded by: Lynn Holdzkom, February 2006
This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.Back to Top