6 August 1864: “So such as one it would seem no less the interest than the duty of the state to extend the means of subsistence”

Item Description: Letter from James Farrow to James Tupper.  Writing on the behalf of Col. Jones, he requests that wages of agents of the Agency of South Carolina be increased so they could afford lodging, clothing, and food.  At the current wage, most agents were forced to share poor accommodations in Richmond.





Item Citation: Folder 9, in the William Asbury Whitaker Papers, #3433, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Spartanburg S.C.

6 Aug. 1864

James Tupper Esq

Dear Sir,

At the instance of Col. E. P. Jones I take pleasure in addressing you in the subject of his present compensation, Though I would not feel justified in this communication without Col. Jones’ request I am free to say that with that, I do so most cordially- for I think his present compensation is rendered wholly inadequate by the price now ruling in Richmond for Board & Lodging.

At the opening of the last session I made extensive inquiries & found the usual price of Private Boarding Houses, two being in the same room, to be from Eighteen to Twenty (18 to 20) Dollars per day. To have a room to myself I paid twenty five Dollars per day. A gentle mew of my acquaintance – a member of Congress who, as I know, is not at all extravagant- and who procured his room- told me that with the most rigid economy his Lodging & Board cost him Thirty Dollars per day. Moreover, there is not a Government Clerk about Richmond that does not receive Three hundred and Thirty Dollars per month- and in order to eke out a subsistence from this they are often huddled together two, four and sometimes six in one room- and that room not unfrequently is an attic or a basement. Col. Jones’ compensation is only two hundred and ninety one dollars & 66 cts per month while that of his Assistants is only One hundred & Eighty Seven & 00/100.

So far as I have been able to judge from a close observation Col. Jones has been indefatigable in the discharge of his duties. And, I have good reason to believe that in all his official intercourse with the authorities about Richmond his bearing has been such to secure the respect and good will of all with whom he came in contact and at the same time zealously and efficiently carry out the purposes of his appointment.

Col. Jones’ familiarity with the army regulations acquired in active service as Colonel of a Regiment during nearly all of the first year of the war- his legal knowledge and experience as a Practitioner of twenty or thirty years- his experience in his present office through more than Twelve months- to which may be added the invariable bearing of a true Carolina Gentleman- all combine to render him more efficient probably than any other person who could now be obtained for that position.

So such as one it would seem no less the interest than the duty of the state to extend the means of subsistence– at least for himself respectfully suggest that a fair measure of the cost of his boarding would be the price of Board at a Irish Class Private Boarding House. This would be not less than Eighteen Dollars per day, or Five hundred & Forty dollars per month- this for only board & loding of himself, to say nothing of clothing for himself & subsistence for his family. It will be borne in mind in this convexion that Col. Jones (as also his assistants) but obliged to be and remain in the City of Richmond all the time.

Having inaugurated this agency in its practical operations, and feeling some personal as well as patriotic pride in continuing in its administration, Col. Jones, though over Fifty years of age (even before his appointment to this office) has continued in the discharge of these duties for a long time past as a considerate sacrifice of his individual means- hoping all the time, from day to day, that his compensation would be increased to such an amount as would afford him decent shelter, clothing, & victuals.

Having been requested by Col. Jones to bring this subject to your attention I have done so in that frankness which which I think justice if not the interest of the state demands.

With high respect

Yr obdt servt

Jas. Farrow


Agency of So Ca at Richmond

Letter from Hon James Farrow, 6 Aug 1864

On increase of salaries of agents


Ex. Department

Columbia Aug 15 1864

Let salary of Principal agent be fixed at Four thousand Dollars and that of each assistant at Three thousand per annum from 1st July last

M. L. Bonhaln

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