October 18, 1937 letter from Joseph W. Buck (1891 - 1955) to Mabel SHIPMAN Shaw(1875 - 1973)

Campbells of Nelson, PA

Image of a letter from Joseph Wallace Buck to Mabel SHIPMAN Shaw,  
    Oct. 18, 1937

[A 1937 letter from Joseph Wallace Buck to his 2nd cousin, Mabel SHIPMAN Shaw. Mabel had written to Joe Buck, telling him about the Rev. Cannon Edward Claude Essex. In his reply, Joe Buck describes to Mabel an 1867 letter from Peter Clinch Essex to Joseph D. Campbell. Mabel, Joe Buck and I each met Rev. E. C. Essex a number of times and engaged in active correspondence with him. - wbt]

Oct 18, 1937

Dear Cousin Mabel:

I should have written you much sooner concerning the information you sent me about E.C. Essex, our distant cousin.1 I waited, however, as I wanted to look up some data which I knew I had.

I found a most interesting letter dated March 30, 1867 from Peter C. Essex to my grandfather. The correspondence had started by the fact that his mother, Mary Essex, had written to Ann Clinch Campbell shortly after she died asking abut the family and stating that they had gotten the address from a letter written in 1818. In this letter [the 1867 one - wbt], Peter Clinch Essex, gave the following information concerning the children of his (Peter Essex) grandparents, John and Elizabeth Clinch:

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  •  July 15, 1775
  •  November 12, 1778
  •  November 30, 1780
  •  May 11, 1783
  •  February 24, 1785
  •  April 8, 1790
  •  July 17, 1793
  • -April 15, 1799
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Our Ann Clinch was born January 27, 1804. Her father was Thomas, who was born November 12, 1778. I do not know whether or not you know it, but I have a silhouette of Thomas Clinch.2 According to my information, he came over on the same ship as the Campbells.3 He settled somewhere in New Jersey, and while on a business trip to Philadelphia. he died in one of the yellow fever and was buried there in a common grave.4

Ann Clinch, his daughter, then lived with her stepmother5 at New Hope, New Jersey,6 and it was there that Joseph, having met her on the boat and having kept in correspondence with her, married her,7 bringing her home by pillion.

In this letter of March 30, 1867, Peter told my grandfather that at his request, he had secured a birth certificate of Ann Clinch However, I have never been able to find that among the papers.8

Joseph W Buck

1. I have lots of correspondence from him, news clips about him, and memories of him. I plan to make a new web page for info about him. E. C. Essex was a 2nd cousin, twice removed of Joe & Mabel. I.e. he was a 2nd cousin of their grandfathers. (And a 2nd cousin 3 times removed from me.

2. Joe's daughter, Cornelia Buck Key sent me a copy of that silhouette. After the war, Cornelia lived for a while in England and met E. C. Essex & a number of his siblings, nieces & nephews. Cornelia told me that when Joe came to visit her in London, he hosted a dinner party at Brown's Hotel (then as now, one of London's finest) for about 30 of our Essex cousins.-wbt.

3. Other evidence points to Thomas, Sarah & Ann coming over on the same ship from Bristol to Philadelphia as Enoch Blackwell and his children & siblings.

4. Another account has Thomas' death and burial as being in NYC, but Joe may very well be right about it being Philadelphia.

5. Ann never had a stepmother. She was raised by foster parents -- one of the brothers of her step-father, Enoch Blackwell -- and that brother's wife. The late Stella MAUGERI Blackwell and I concluded that Ann was raised by foster parents Joshua and Amelia Hey Blackwell. There is no indication that she ever lived with Enoch.

6. Some of the time in New Hope, Bucks Co., PA. And some of the time across the river, in or near, Lambertville, Hunterdon Co., NJ.

7. The part about riding pillion may be correct. But we know they were married in Nelson, PA. The part about meeting on the boat and corresponded thereafter is implausible. Ann was one year old at the time of her crossing. And according to a diary excerpt that Joe quoted in his CCC letter of 1925, Joseph Campbell made his voyage (from Londonderry to Perth Amboy, NJ) in 1810.

8. England didn't begin issuing birth certificates until 1837 -- long after Ann had left. Perhaps Peter Essex was referring to a baptismal certificate of a christening record.

Copyright © 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

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