John Nicholas Meriwether [TMSI #71]
Unknown newspaper (clipping from Minor Meriwether’s book)
Date unknown (pencil date of 1872)
Died- on Friday, April the 5th in his fifty second year of general debility, resulting from malarial poison, J. N. Meriwether – he was born August the 19th, 1820, in Christian county, Ky. His parents, Douglas and Judith Meriwether, originally from Virginia, after several moves, settled in Carroll county, Mississippi in 1836, where their dust now sleeps. Here the deceased spent his happiest days. He married Miss Helen O. Statham in October 1846, by which marriage he had four sons, three of whom are now living, two having reached maturity. One of his sons died the 12th of last February.
He was descended on this fathers side from the Douglas branch of the Meriwether family, who originally came from Louisa county, Virginia, and was related to the Minor, Lewis, Overton, and Terrell families. On his mother’s side he was related to the Carrington, Mayo and Cabel families of same State. He was very fond of his family connections, especially the Meriwether branches, and took great pleasure, and was very accurate in tracing its genealogical history. He moved to Tallhatchie county in 1857. He had been in bad health several years prior to his death, with hepatic and renal disease, produced by malarial poison, lived a happy peaceful life, was possessed of a humorous, joyous nature, loved jokes and fun, but while he was mirthful and playful he was never sarcastic.
He had a social genial nature, indeed, his fondness for society seemed to deepen as he grew older. He had a strong grasping mathematical mind, which might have enabled him to have succeeded in any of the professions had his taste led him in that direction. He was fond of reading and was passionately fond of Burn’s poems. He together with his wife joined the Presbyterian church in 1853. He was fully aware of his approaching death, which he did not dread, on the contrary, he expressed himself anxious to go.
When asked while apparently dying, if he believed in the immortality of the soul, he replied that he did, and in the efficacy of Religion, but that there was a great deal of bigotry and selfishness in the churches, he said at the same time he took an enlarged view of God’s mercies, and that we would be happier if we would be more liberal and larger in our views, that he had thought and felt deeply on Religion, but had seldom spoken of it, for fear of making his children prey to sensationalists.
He took an affectionate farewell of his wife and children, his brother and brother’s wife, kissed and embraced each of them, and warned them not to let coldness or family troubles grow up between them – he also bade each of his friends and neighbors present farewell. Said that he would like to carry the hope beyond the grave that some of his children would become distinguished in coming years, said that he realized that he had descended from a noble family, and that “a long line of noble Romans had gone before him,” that he would have been better pleased had he done more in life to have been worthy of them, but upon the whole had little to regret. Holding his little nephew and youngest son in each arm, he blessed them, bade them love each other and to adorn and honor the professions they might choose. He sent loving messages to the relatives whom he visited last summer in Kentucky. Having finished, he turned over and said, “Now let me die,” and died as quietly as if falling asleep. God bless his memory and also the generous friends and neighbors who so kindly solaced his last hours by their sympathy and delicate attentions. May they each and all be enabled to died as he had died, full of hope and trust in a merciful God, and may they too have soft hands and loving hearts to comfort their departing souls, and a Redeemer to receive their spirits beyond the grave.