Gen. William H. Jackson

There is more to this but it’s not posted online. 😦

After various skirmishes with the enemy in front of Gen. Bragg, Gen. Jackson was ordered to join Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, in the fall of 1863, at Canton, Mississippi.  He commanded the calvary of that army in all the movements on the Big Black river, for the relief of Vicksburg, & opposing Sherman’s attempted marches to Meridian, capturing a goodly number of prisoners, army trains, & destroying much of Sherman’s supplies.

When Gen. Joseph E. Johnston was assigned to the Army of Tennessee, then at Dalton, Georgia, at his request, Jackson’s command was transferred there, as previously, at Johnston’s request, he was transferred from Tennessee to Mississippi.  He was assigned by Gen. Johnston to duty as commander of the calvary on the left wing of his army, which position he held during the entire memorable Georgia campaign, reporting directly to Gen. Johnston, a member of every council of war that was held, & participating in all the engagements.  His command performed very faithful service; among other notable events, the defeat of Kilpatrick, at Lovejoy Station, & again, in conjunction with Gen. Wheeler, at Newnan, Georgia, which resulted in the capture of one thousand five hundred Federal calvary.  Gen. Jackson’s command participated actively & most gallantly in the deperate fights around Atlanta, while Gen. Hood was commanding the army; also in the memorable battle Gen. Hardee fought against Sherman’s army, at Jonesborough, Georgia.

Gen. Jackson was then selected by Gen. Hood to accompany him in his move around Sherman into Tennessee.  On reaching Florence, Alabama, he was put under command of Gen. Forrest.  Jackson’s column led the advance into Tennessee, pursuing most vigorously the retreating Federal army.  Unaided, & alone, it held Schofield’s army at bay at Spring Hill, Tennesee, all night, after Hood’s disastrous failure to attack that army with his whole force, that afternoon.  It participated in the bloody battle of Franklin, one of the most desperate engagements of the whole war, & pursued the flying Federals, leading the Confederate advance up to within three miles of the strongly fortified city of Nashville.  Thence it moved with Forrest & operated around Murfreesborough, where Jackson defeated & drove back the enemy to their entrenchments, after the infantry, commanded by Gen. Bate, had fled the field, capturing, while there, a train seeking to succor Murfreesborough, together with a large number of prisoners.

Upon the defeat of Hood’s army besieging Nashville, Gen. Jackson was ordered over to the Columbia & Franklin turnpike, to sit in front of the victorious Federals, under Gen. George H. Thomas, who were then advancing.  This he did successfully, & his command bore the brunt of the retreat from there to within twenty miles of the Tennessee river, & to their credit be it said, did more than any other command in preventing the capture of Hood’s entire army – recrossing the Tennessee river in as good order & as well organized as when they made their march into Tennessee.

Jackson’s command was noted for its discipline & famous for its true fighting qualities.  For this service Gen. Jackson was assigned to the command of all of Forrest’s cavalry troops & the Texas brigade, making three brigades, & was recommended for promotion by Gen. Dick Taylor & Gen. N. B. Forrest, as he had previously often been recommended by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Gen. Hardee & Gen. Leonidas Polk.  Promotion, however, was never given him, because, while in Mississippi, Gen. Jackson arrested a young friend of Mr. Joseph Davis, a brother of President Davis, for taking government cotton, carrying it into Vicksburg & selling it, & declining to accede to the request of Joseph Davis for the release of his friend.  This was regarded as a high-handed offense against the said Joseph Davis, who was all-powerful with his brother Jeff., & which offense was shared in by President Davis.

Gen. Jackson next served with his command in the Alabama campaign, defeating Gen. Croxton & Gen. McCook, of the Federal army, & arrived at Marion Junction, Alabama, where he learned of Forrest’s defeat at Selma.  Forrest then moved his forces to Gainesville, Alabama, at which time Gen. Taylor surrendered to Gen. Canby the troops of that department.  Here Gen. Jackson was appointed by Gen. Dick Taylor, commissioner on the part of the Confederate States, associated with Gen. Dennis, of the Federal army, for the parole of the Confederate troops at Gainesville, Alabama, & Columbus, Georgia.  This was Gen. Jackson’s last military service.  The war had ended.  The sword of the dauntless cavalry leader was sheathed.  Henceforth the services he saw in the field were to serve him well in the peaceful pursuits of the farm.  He returned to his home at Jackson, Tennessee, after the surrender, & his father turned over two cotton plantations to him, which he managed successfully until the fall of 1868.

On December 15, 1868, he married Miss Selene Harding, of Belle Meade, near Nashville, Tennessee, daughter of Gen. William G. Harding, a very full & most interesting sketch of whose life & family connections appears elsewhere in this volume.  Mrs. Jackson’s sister, nee Miss Mary Harding, is the wife of Judge Howell E. Jackson, late United States senator from Tennessee, & judge of the United States circuit court for the Sixth circuit – two brothers marrying two sisters.

Mrs. Jackson was educated at the old Nashville Female Academy, under Dr. C. D. Elliott, & completed her education in Mme. Masse’s private French school, in Philadelphia.  She is a highly cultivated lady, speaking French fluently, &, while domestic in her tastes & habits, & supervising her household department, her active housekeeper is her cousin, Miss Lizzie Hoover.  A lady of true refinement in every pulsation & thought, cultivated & well read, Mrs. Jackson is also the most devoted daughter, wife & mother.  Her sphere & her glory is the home circle.  Sociable in her nature, & fond of the company of her friends, her health yet forbids her being a lady of society.  She loyally & lovingly subscribes to the idea that her duty is first to the dear ones at home, & the nearer she can attain perfect happiness in this true sphere the more bright are the glimpses of heaven.  Thoroughly imbued with the true spirit of Christianity, she is sympathetic in her nature, & given to large yet unostentatious charity.  No one possesses a more tender heart for the poor, the needy & distressed than she.  Possessed of principle of the highest order, & the personification of truth – pure & unembellished; a Tennessean, highly charged with pride of ancestry & of State; intensely southern in her feelings, & without concealment in the expression of them; devoted to the Confederate soldier, & sympathizing with & urging on every movement looking to the perpetuation of the memory of the fallen heroes of the Confederate cause – she is endeared, not alone to her family & friends, but is claimed as one of the jewels of the commonwealth, a true-blooded southern lady of the fairest & most delicate organization.  How vividly apt, in contemplating this happy union, are the poet’s words, “None but the brave deserve the fair.”  Born, as her father was, on God’s beauty spot of earth, the lovely Belle Meade estate, which is her home, as it was & is her father’s, & was her grandfather’s, she is very pronounced in her preference of a farmer’s life for her son, in spite of all the allurements of political or fashionable existence.

By his marriage with Miss Harding, Gen. Jackson has three most interesting, bright & happy children, all born at Belle Meade: (1) Eunice Jackson, was born February 8, 1871.  This daughter, now entering her “teens,” is distinguishing herself by conducting a Sunday-school for the colored children on the Belle Meade estate, & a charitable society in Nashville bears her name, “The Eunice Jackson Society,” in the interest of which a monthly periodical, entitled Woman at Home, is published.  Her father said of her, “Parents are apt to be partial to their children, but if this daughter has a fault we have not discovered it, which is saying a great deal.”  With a Grecian face, a graceful figure, & modest manners, she promises to be an honor to the name she inherits.  (2) William Harding Jackson, born July 17, 1874.  (3) Selene Harding Jackson, born August 20, 1876.

Gen. Jackson & wife, & the daughter Eunice, are members of McKendree church (Methodist Episcopal, south), of which he is also trustee.  Originally, Gen. Jackson, as was his father & brother, was a Whig, but since the war he has acted with the Democratic party.  He has never held any office, subscribing to the idea that the holding of political office is oftentimes incompatible with a high order of self-respect & personal independence.

Gen. Jackson’s father, Dr. Alexander Jackson, was a native of Virginia, & a graduate of the Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia.  He married in Virginia, & settled first at Paris, Tennessee, where he practiced a few years, & finally located at Jackson, where he died, in 1880, at the age of seventy-six.  He was a man of considerable property, which he had accumulated by the practice of medicine & investments in negroes & land.  He was one of the remarkable men of the State, of extensive reading, a fine writer, his style being clear, perspicuous & terse.  He served in the Legislature two terms, 1849-50 & 1851-52, during the inauguration of the internal improvement system.  He was a member of the agricultural board of Tennessee, & took great interest in all matters pertaining to agriculture.  He was a member of the Methodist church.  Of a philosophical turn of mind, he took life easily & smoothly, never permitting anything to disturb him.  Fond of good living, he was exceptionally hospitable to the day of his death.  He passed the last half of his life in reading, writing & visiting all portions of America.  Though possessed of as much brain as any man in the State, he was not ambitious, & upon his writings & labors many men in Tennessee have risen to prominence.  He was one of the remarkable conversationalists of Tennessee; of a rare jovial & social temperament, not given to excess, however; fond of the society of young people; given to music, the arts & sciences, yet possessed of an exceedingly practical turn of mind, & was a man of rare judgment as to men & measures.  In the rearing of his boys, his cardinal principles were to impress upon them that truth is the bed-rock of all character, & to establish an intimate companionship with them.  Of the paternal ancestry of Gen. Jackson further back, the editor finds no trace, except that the family is of Irish stock.

Gen. Jackson’s mother, nee Miss Mary Hurt, was born in Halifax county, Virginia, daughter of parson Robert Hurt, a Baptist minister, a man of rare oratorical & conversational powers.

Gen. Jackson’s maternal uncle, Maj. Robert Hurt, of Jackson, was a member of the Legislature, & of the bureau of agriculture of the State, a man of most pleasing address & great popularity.  He has sons & daughters in Jackson, Tennessee.  Gen. Jackson’s maternal uncle, William Hurt, was noted as a turf man, in Virginia, a contemporary of William R. Johnson, “the Napoleon of the turf.”  His children are in Virginia.  John & Henry Hurt are influential men in their respective neighborhoods, & both have represented their counties in the Virginia Legislature.  Gen. Jackson’s great-uncle, James Hurt, a Baptist minister, a man of strong brain, & of great honor & integrity, was one of the pioneers of West Tennessee.  He has left sons & daughters of fine worth, most of whom live near Milan, Tennessee.  His eldest son, James Hurt, is the most distinguished member of the Supreme bench of Texas.

Gen. Jackson’s father married three times, & had two sons by each marriage.  The two middle sons, James & Milton Jackson, are respectable farmers in West Tennessee.  By the last marriage, he had two sons, Samuel Miller & Robert Turner Jackson.  Samuel Miller Jackson is a hardware merchant in Dyersburg, Tennessee, & the younger, Robert Turner Jackson, of Nashville, has all the elements of a most prominent lawyer, as he is possessed of the most sterling character.  He is a member of the law firm of Whitworth & Jackson, of Nashville.

Soon after the marriage of Gen. Jackson to Miss Harding, he sold out his planting interests in West Tennessee & came to Belle Meade, & became the assistant of Gen. Harding in the management of his farm.  This was done after the earnest & polite invitation of Gen. Harding, that he would make his home with him, stating that there was plenty of room & plenty of work for them both, & as he was growing old he did not wish to be separated from his daughter, who had charge of his household affairs.  The relations between the two in that position have been most pleasant, agreeable & confidential.  He has devoted himself to the business with intelligence, energy & assiduity.  During this period, from 1868 to 1886, he has occupied a front rank in all that pertains to agricultural matters, either State or national, being the prime mover in organizing & conducting, as chairman of the executive committee, the valuable agricultural journal known as the Rural Sun. his idea being that agricultural journals, like almanacs, should be calculated for the latitudes they are designed to serve.  His observation had taught him that many young men at the South were swamped in agricultural persuits, in the effort to apply the teachings of northern agricultural journals to the latitude & conditions of the South, the conditions between the two sections, in point of agriculture, being entirely different.  In the East, where land is the principal cost of production, the primary object is to bring about the greatest yield to the acre, which must be done by heavy manuring or most scientific modes of culture.  In the South, where land is plentiful & cheap, & labor the principal cost of production, the object is to make the most per hand, going over the greatest number of acres with a given force, relying upon proper rotation of crops & the great fertlizer, red clover, to keep the soil always in good heart.

He has filled the positions of president of the State association of farmers; president of the Bureau of Agriculture of the State, & the financial agent of that bureau, under the administration of Gov. John C. Brown, which bureau got out the work entitled “The Resources of Tennessee,” in two volumes, the principal work of reference at this day, as it is descriptive of the State by grand divisions, from east to west, also an accurate description of each county of the State.  In that work is an accurate geological & agricultural map of the State, which originated with Gen. Jackson, his idea being a suggestion, which led to the preparation of this map, that as the agricultural products of a State hinge so intimately upon the geological formation, it was well to have a combined map showing forth both the gealogical formation & agricultural production of each county.  It is a source of pride to him that this work was published at a cost less, by two thirds, than any similar work of equal merit in any State of the Union, & it was gratifying to him that he should have presented the anomaly, hitherto unheard-of, of covering back into the treasury over six thousand dollars of what was considered a small legislative appropriation for the purpose, for which he received the thanks of the Legislature for fidelity & good judgment in the execution of this trust.  This work, published in different languages, & scattered abroad, was the initiatory movement which has led to the attraction of immigration & capital to our borders.  Regarding it as in the nature of a census, which should only be gotten out at stated intervals, he recommended to Gov. John C. Brown that he, the president, & his associates of the bureau, should resign, & thus save the State that expense, & create the office of commissioner of agriculture, who should be provided with a large room at the capital, & whose duty should be to collect specimens of minerals, ores & woods, together with agricultural products of the State, & there be prepared to give intelligent & impartial information to the visitor & intending settler in our State, which suggestion was adopted, & is carried out to the present day.

He was the originator of the National Agricultural Congress & held the first meeting in the city of Nashville, was subsequently elected president of that body, & has been among the foremost in advancing the interests of his State.  He has written & spoken a great deal in advocacy of reforms tending to curtail extravagant expenditure in State, county & municipal government; also in those measures that tend to lighten the burdens of the tillers of the soil in the State & nation, upon whose shoulders the permanency & splendor of the government rest.

In the fall of 1883, he was selected as the president of the Safe Deposit, Trust & Banking Company of Nashville.

When Gen. Jackson was asked what methods in life – military & civic – he had brought to bear on his efforts for success, he replied: “If I could say that there was one cause above all others that has tended to my success in every position in which I have been placed, it is a commendable pride of character – not content to do…

Page Missing – the following could be yet another sketch.

…each sale.  There have been eighteen annual sales of yearlings from Gen. Harding’s stud, & in all that time the produce of Belle Meade stallions have never failed to get a large proportion of the plums of the turf.  The best year the farm ever had was in 1881, the year after Bonnie Scotland stood at the head of the list of winning stallions, his get that year crediting him with one hundred & thirty-seven races & one hundred & five thousand dollars.  So commanding a lead did Bonnie Scotland have that year that Leamington, who came next, was not within sixty thousand dollars of him.  The immediate consequence was that the sons & daughters of the old Tennessee stallion brought in 1881 an aggregate of forty-one thousand dollars, eleven head averaging over one thousand nine hundred dollars, & one bringing the phenomenal sum of seven thousand five hundred dollars.

In 1881, the French government sent their representatives, Baron Favorot & Capt. De La Chere, to inspect the horses of America, also the leading breeding establishments of thoroughbreds.  Upon their return to France they made a report to the government, comprising five hundred to six hundred pages, descriptive of every species of horse, including “le plug” – the plug horse – so accurate were they.  In this work they say: “The best specimen of the trotting horse we found in the State of Kentucky, in America, but the best specimen of the thoroughbred horse we found at Gen. Harding’s (Belle Meade), in the state of Tennessee.  Indeed, we saw a crop of thoroughbred yearlings there that surpassed anything we had ever seen in England or France” – a high compliment, which Tennessee will not be slow to appreciate.

To the casual observer or thinker this may be surprising, but it should not be when we reflect that Tennessee was far in advance of Kentucky prior to the war in thoroughbred horses, the development of this animal dating back to 1808, in the vicinity of Nashville, & the breed improved by the judicious expenditure of money by such men as the immortal Andrew Jackson, Col. George Elliott, Hon. Bailie Peyton, Col. Berry Williams, Judge Jo. C. Guild, & A. C. Franklin, of Sumner county (now succeeded by his sons, Capt. James C. & A. C. Franklin), & by Gen. W. G. Harding, Mark R. Cockrill, John Harding, Sr. (who began on a small scale but never increased it), & Gen. William W. Woodfolk, of Davidson county.  This important industry brings a great deal of money & a great many people to Tennessee.  It is, therefore, not surprising that the breeding of this stock, started by such men of thought & ability, should have been carried on up to this period by their successors with enlightened judgment, judicious expenditure, care in the selection of the best strains of blood to propagate, coupled with the most careful attention in the breeding & rearing of such valuable animals, aided as this section is by the very best climate known to the new world for this breed of horses, being nearly identical with the same parallel of latitude as Arabia & the Barbary States, where this stock first originated.

Other branches of animal industry at Belle Meade include the rearing of a herd of from two hundred & fifty to four hundred head of the best grade of Durham cattle that can be obtained in the markets of Tennessee, & about one hundred head of sheep, of the mixed breed of Southdown & Leicester.  For a place of this size this would seem a small number of sheep to carry.  In explanation, the proprietors deem their land too valuable for sheep except for table use, & unless the range is very extensive of cheap land, the breeding of sheep, including the losses from death & dogs, would be one hundred per cent., which deceives a great many, for the reason that on a place of this size (five thousand acres), you can stock it with one thousand five hundred dollars.  Hence, it is readily seen, very little can be made out of it, as compared to carrying ten thousand dollars or fifteen thousand dollars’ worth of beef cattle, making fifty to sixty per cent.  In other words, the dealing of sheep on a place like this is identical with the foolish experiment of a person trying to eat soup with a fork.  It will be readily perceived he will not get much soup.  A herd of about two hundred & fifty grade Cashmere goats is kept, designed principally for browsers to assist in cleansing the pastures of the buckle brush, briers, iron weeds & switch cane.  Hogs, of the Berkshire breed, are raised sufficient in number, say one hundred & fifty, to provide meat to the quantity of twenty thousand pounds annually, which is required by the laborers on the place.  Also, there is a herd of about forty purely bred Shetland ponies, which is being increased annually.

A portion of the place, designed as a hog & mule department, consists of an orchard of one hundred & twenty-five acres, & connected with it three hundred & fifty acres filled with beech trees, which furnish a great quantity of mast, enabling the proprietors to raise hogs as cheaply as any other point in Tennessee.

The entire farm is run by the partnership firm of Jackson Bros., Gen. W. H. Jackson & United States Judge H. E. Jackson.  Everything pertains to the firm except separate residences, private stables & private dairies, each one milking from twenty to forty cows, & making butter for market, each cow yielding from four to six pounds of butter per week, buttermilk being given to the laborers to aid them in rearing their children.  The labor of the farm consists of about twenty farm hands, about one-half of whom are plow boy size, from ten to fifteen years old; one man has charge of all the thoroughbred stock, with four assistants; one man in charge of all out stock, beef, sheep & hogs; one white man, a mechanic, in charge of the saw mill, grist mill & all machinery.  He is the carpenter also, with an assistant negro carpenter, who is also the blacksmith.  The wages system has been adopted, on the idea that the share system is fatal, both to the owner & the cropper; for a partnership with a negro is construed on his part to be absolute freedom to idle away all the time he, in his judgment or caprice, may see proper.  The system of wages on this place is a graded one, & consists for the best hands of ten dollars per month for January & February, besides rations in sufficient quantity of good & healthy food, house for the laborer & his family, including fuel, a garden spot of sufficient size to furnish all vegetables for his family, fruit from the orchard, buttermilk for the family (medicine, in case of sickness, is furnished gratuitously – not being a part of the contract), team & tools to cultivate their garden spots, & every other Saturday as a holiday.  Twelve dollars a month wages are paid the balance of the year, except during the harvest months of June, July & August, when fifteen dollars per month is paid.  For plow boy size, eight dollars, nine dollars & twelve dollars per month wages are paid, with the house, fuel, & other things as for the others.  The remaining hands are classified between these two rates, according to their ages, efficiency & ability to perform work.

The negro quarters (cabins) are arranged on three sides of an open court or square of five acres, a play-ground for the children, & where the hands hold their open air church meetings, when the weather is pleasant.  During inclement weather an ample room is provided for church services.  All of the children of the place are taught in Sunday-school every Sabbath evening, by Miss Eunice Jackson, eldest daughter of Gen. Jackson, the exercises consisting of reading, the catechism & singing.  They all attend the district day school under a colored teacher.  These hands, the oldest ones, slaves before the war, were born & raised on the place, & the motto of the management is, they would rather pay above then below the customary wages of the country, give them better treatment & in return have better command of the labor & receive more faithful labor.  The farm is conducted under system – military in its precision, formulated in rules – not too stringent, distributing the labor & regulating the working on the principle of deduction from wages for neglect, disobedience of orders, careless breaking or losing of tools, etc.  Yet, all this is based on strict justice & kind treatment, for the negro, like the white child, it seems, can never be made to understand the sacredness of a contract, as well as how the employer’s interest is to neither forget or neglect the fulfillment of a promise.  Gen. Jackson stated that he had not, in seventeen years of his management, forgotten or neglected but one promise made to a hand.  He promised a negro, George Thornton, to bring him a pair of pantaloons from the city.  As he stepped out of his buggy at the horse-block, George was there with an air of perfect confidence that he would receive his pantaloons.  When informed that Gen. Jackson had forgotten them, his face presented a dejected appearance.  Gen. Jackson said to him, “I am sorry, George; & the only way I can rectify it is to give you the money, which I now do, & loan you my saddle horse to ride to the city & get them,” which George accepted, perfectly satisfied.  This is the treatment, reciprocal in its terms, between employer & employee at Belle Meade, & this sort of treatment will always insure interest in the affairs of the employer, & secure the best description of service.

The glorious forests, the beautiful woodlands around Belle Meade have excited the unqualified admiration of thousands.  The superb scenery has been likened to the country around Warwick, in England, but it is even grander & more beautiful.  Here are five thousand acres in this princely estate – great fields interspersed with parks, groves, forests, the splendor of feudal years.  The match of this place is not to be found this side of some of the fairest ancient estates of old England.  For this reason one of the most interesting features of Belle Meade to visitors, & the one in part conducive to the good living of the family, is a beautiful park containing four hundred & twenty-five acres, well set in blue grass & supplied with fresh running water.  The forest primeval here displays huge oaks festooned with vines.  The enormous branches hang over the green turf & unite the beauties of field & forest, of lawn & running brook – & there’s your picture!  But it is not yet complete.  Within that park is a herd of about three hundred & fifty deer, the common fallow deer of Tennessee, collected by Gen. Harding, who began with five & added fawns from time to time, as he might catch them in his hunts.  This animal increases rapidly, each doe adding one or two a year.  The deer furnish royal sport to the members of the family & their friends, by getting them out of the park & chasing them with a pack of fox hounds (thirty being on the place), & ending the chase at any point with the Scotch stag hounds which Gen. Jackson imported from Scotland, & of which he now has three.  Many thousands of distinguished persons have visited Belle Meade & enjoyed this rare treat, among them, Lord Tarbot, the third son of the Duke of Sutherland, who not long since was the guest of Gen. Harding, & while there joined in a deer chase after the English fashion.  It is an agreeable study of the deer in the park as showing the wonderful instincts with which nature has provided them.  The doe when she drops her fawn will move immediately away from it.  When she returns there to nurse him she will put him in motion.  After nursing, the little fellow will continue to run as long as he has breath, the doe following several hundred yards behind him.  When he drops from exhaustion, she immediately turns at right angles from the track they have been going, clearly saying thereby that if an animal of prey is coming on their trail, she will divert the pursuer’s attention, carry him off after her & not permit him to go…

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…distinguished Tennessean (Gen. William G. Harding) is a household word.  His life has been a complete success, & furnishes an incentive for high endeavor on the part of the youth of the South.  In his quiet retreat, surrounded by those who love him, this venerable man can have a pleasing retrospect.  The book of his life is without a blot or a stain.  His word is as good as his bond, & that is beyond valuation.  No whisper has ever been heard against his name or his character.  From a small beginning he has made Belle Meade, as the commissioners of the French government lately said, the most splendid race horse nursery in the world.  His career exhibits the rich results of a life anchored to a never-dying purpose.  There are ambitious young men in Tennessee, here & there, who have commenced their career in the same line, who can gain immense advantages by a close study of Gen. Harding’s life & methods.  In the hey-day of youth he caught the spirit of “Old Hickory,” & from him he learned to fear “the stain of dishonor as a wound.”  From him he imbibed the loyalest of loves for the pure bred horse.  With an unflagging energy, & with an elastic hope, he set about the development of the glories of Belle Meade, his ancestral home.  It’s broad acres & its famous denizens show what a brave & honest man can do.  How rich is his experience!  How beneficial would be his autobiography!  What a tale he could tell of Priam, of Lexington, of Jack Malone, of Bonnie Scotland!  In his younger days, Gen. Harding wielded a facile & fascinating pen.  In the evening of his life, if so minded, he could enrich the literature of his State by deathless reminiscences of his contemporaries & his horses.  He could not withstand the appeal of his friends on this score, & we trust requests may pour in upon him to begin the work.  He is the pioneer in one of the most remunerative industries of the South, & his book would be read by all with increasing interest.  Besides, his words of experience would greatly aid the rising establishments all over Tennessee, which are destined to bring great revenue to our people.

Bio courtesy the book “Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans by William S. Spear”.

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